how to not suck (updated for Patch 0.6.1)

Stop Using Your Mouse

Why would you ever use your mouse to move

How To Not Suck: Power Ups

If you haven't noticed already, there is a huge green button in the main menu with the word "POWER UP" written on it. If you just started this game, you should focus on the first few rows of upgrades before anything else. Great picks are damage, max health, regen, luck, magnet (note: you will only need magnet if youre still very new) and potentially greed if you wanna earn more money. Later on, you wanna get area, cooldown, amount and duration. All the other upgrades are pretty much useless. Once you unlock banish and skip, you can buy both as they are very cheap. No, you do not need revives. You do not need the 15%+ XP from the growth upgrade either. Both are too expensive and do not benefit you in any substantial way. The worst thing you could upgrade as a new player is curse. The description alone should tell you that you do not wanna upgrade that.

How To Not Suck: Characters


If youve just started, you probably only have Antonio unlocked. Antonio is a very good character due to him being able to deal 1.5x damage at level 50, allowing him to deal over 2x damage with Spinach and the power upgrade. He also has great health and +1 starting Armor.

Imelda + Pasqualina

Imelda gets a 30% XP boost at level 15, making her a decent pick. Magic Wand is also a great weapon if you're still new, as it hits the enemy closest to you. Pasqualina starts with Runetracer, which is a fantastic weapon at the start. Her ability is nothing special, the only reason you pick her is for the starting Runetracer.


Antonio, but replace the +1 Armor with a +1 Projectile/Amount. Also replace the Whip with a far worse weapon. Knife is one of the more "meh" weapons in the game. You will only pick Gennaro for his ability, which is pretty good.


This. This is the character you wanna start with if youre still new. Garlic is insanely good early on, allowing you to rush through levels very quickly. He might not have good health, but his 25% pickup radius will help you grab more XP gems.

Arca + Porta + Clerici

These 3 are alright. Nothing special to point out. Arcas -15% cooldown is good, Porta has more area, Clerici has huge HP and regen.


Best normal character. 2 starting items, broken ability, easy access to the best evolution in the game. Pugnala is one of the best characters and losing with her is pretty hard unless you do so on purpose.


If youre new, Christine is not for you. Christine has low health and starts with pentagram. Pentagram is an item newer players will absolutely hate. If you're more experienced you will notice the -25% cooldown inherent to Christine. You will also know that Pentagram is an amazing starting item. Christine is able to rapid fire weapons if you max out the cooldown, making her one of the best characters in the game.

Mortaccio, Cavallo, Ramba, O'Sole

All of these are good. Not much to say as all have the same ability. +3 max amount is insanely good, and their starting items are also very nice.

Leda + Red Death + Boon Marrabio

If you have these, you're probably already good at the game. These are basically playable bosses. All three are insanely strong and will win you any run due to starting with evolved items.

The Rest

Other characters not mentioned are either downright horrible (cough Toastie cough) or aren't worth mentioning as theyre unlocked late. Missing No is a broken mess and only available through editing game files. None of these characters are bad (except Toastie), some are even great (Toastie past level 100).

How To Not Suck: Stages

The basics

All stages have bosses. These bosses always spawn at certain times (3 minutes, 5 minutes etc.). Only certain bosses will drop a guaranteed chest. This never changes, no matter what stage you pick. They all drop a red XP crystal. If you let them stay on the ground for a few minutes, you will easily be able to level up a huge amount. This will be explained further in the next section.

Mad Forest

The first one. Not too hard, not too easy. Probably the most unique enemies in the entire game are in this stage. There is nothing special to say apart from unlocking Lama and Celine here.

Inlaid Library

The easiest normal stage. The best normal stage for beginners. To the left you'll find multiple Tomes, which can be added as an extra 6th passive item. To the right is a Stone Mask, allowing you to get a total of 7 passive items. Not the highest amount, but both of these are pretty good passives allowing you to easily get powerful and grind a lot of money. Most annoying part are the exploding ghost ladies.

Dairy Plant

A nightmare. Possibly the hardest normal stage. If you've just beaten Inlaid Library, prepare for a terrible time. Things will block your path, giant milk lakes are everywhere, and the entire map is a mess. The minotaur charges are way too large and this really is not a fun stage apart from the minecarts which can damage enemies for a huge amount. This stage also features a potential green reaper known as stalker. If he touches you, youre dead. He vanishes after a few minutes

Gallo Tower

Currently the last normal stage. It is hard, but not Dairy Plant level (opinions might differ). The most annoying part are the regenerating red skeletons. If you dont watch out, theyre gonna revive right ontop of you and deal massive amounts of damage to you. It also has shooting stars that can hit you for a decent chunk of damage, the most unique bosses in the game currently and a blue reaper that will slowly go up and fill the lower screen with water containing magic bubbles that will instantly kill you. He is not a threat, so you can generally ignore him. Just like the stalker, he too will vanish.

Il Molise

idk play around with weapons

Green Acres

You only play this for the achievement.


Merchant is here who allows you to buy the "3k items" as well as a permanent boosting Golden Egg (also found by killing Death and the enemies spawned when trying to get the new items from the Yellow Sign). Buying the Glass Vizard allows you to have the merchant in any map.

The Bone Zone

Currently the hardest stage. Enemies get stronger with time and there are no items to pick up apart from coin bags. If you want a moderate challenge, play it. Just watch out for the stalker+water reaper combo. Don't scream FLEENSTONES or your game will implode and suck you into a bad mario bootleg.

How To Not Suck: Movement

You see the starting box you spawn in? The one that is as big as your game window? Great. You typically dont leave that unless you wanna get an unlock. You are usually gonna "circle" around your enemies, slashing a way through their waves if necessary. At one point you might need to run away if youre still new, but thats okay. Just remember to loop back and collect the leftover XP once the bad wave stops. Movement isnt hard to master. All enemies move practically the same, apart from the rushing enemies such as the bats in Mad Forest or the minotaurs in Dairy Farm who have the potential to be downright horrible if they push stronger enemies into you.

How To Not Suck: Weapons

This is the juicy bit. No weapon in this game is actually bad. This section will only talk about base weapons, not their stronger evolved/combined counterparts. This will be split into 3 categories (+ an extra one for a particular item).

Weapons you should probably ignore

Peachone, Ebony Wings,Clock Lancet and Laurel. None of these are bad, but the birds only get powerful later on in the game and are a pain to get while also taking up 2 slots for what is basically the same item. Clock Lancet and Laurel are both utility, but aren't all that useful unless but can be very good for newer players who just wanna survive a bit more.

Weapons you might wanna pick up

These are weapons based on your playstyle. This includes the Magic Wand, Knife, Santa Water, Shadow Pinion, Garlic and Gatti Amari. Magic Wand and Garlic are probably the best of these for beginners because of how simple they are to use, but Knife and Santa Water are also good choices. Shadow Pinion is unlocked rather late but is quite good if combined with the right upgrades (especially Amount).

Weapons you should probably pick up

The best items in the game. Axe, Cross, Whip, King Bible, Fire Wand, Runetracer, Lightning Ring, owning both guns and Song of Mana. These are all very powerful. Runetracer becomes slightly less useful later on, while King Bible and Cross start out as not that good until getting a few upgrades. If you can and want to, you should probably pick up atleast 3 of these in a run.


Pentagram is the strongest base weapon in the whole game by sheer numbers and size. It deletes all enemies on screen. But it comes with the downside of potentially deleting your XP crystals and everything else that is on the ground/would be on the ground (including chests). Terrible for new players, but absolutely broken once you get better at the game. Upgrading it increases the chance of Pentagram sparing your items and also reducing the long cooldown. Please keep in mind that Pentagram can not kill later bosses and has a hard coded 15 second minimum time of activating.

How To Not Suck: Passives

These are the items you need to evolve weapons and also the same ones that really end up carrying your run to 30 minutes. These will also be split into 3 categories, but this time with no extra one. As before, this will look at them on their own, not including evolutions.

Passives you should probably skip

Wings, Skull O'Maniac, Crown, Stone Mask, Bracer, Attractorb, Silver Ring, Golden Ring, Metaglio Left, Metaglio Right and Armor. None of these are good on their own. You only pick these up for evolutions or farming coins. Apart from that, they serve no purpose except to make the game more challenging (which is the case for Skull O'Maniac, the Golden Ring and both Metaglios).

Passives you might wanna pick up

This only includes Spellbinder, Hollow Heart, Pummerola and Tiragisu. All of these are alright, but are also mainly used for evolutions. If you have a free slot and an item that you dont want to/cant evolve, you can pick one of them.

Passives you should probably pick up

Spinach, Duplicator, Empty Tome, Candelabra and Clover are all fantastic passives. Spinach allows you to dish out a lot more damage, Duplicator gives you the ability to shoot out +2 projectiles, Empty Tome reduces cooldown by a huge amount, Candelabra makes your projectiles massive and Clover increases your chance of getting item drops and higher quality chests. All but 1 of them have a fantastic evolution weapon.

How To Not Suck: Evolutions

Evolutions are what deal the most damage. I usually refer to them as simply "(part of weapon name) + evo" (e.g. Runevo for Runetracer/NO FUTURE, Ringevo for Lightning Ring/Thunder Loop), but for the sake of this guide I will refer to them as their in-game name. It will be split up in 4 categories this time. While combinations/unions arent evolutions, I will still treat them as such here. This will, unlike the last 2, take the base weapons and passives from before into consideration.

Evolutions you should probably ignore

La Borra (Santa Water+Attractorb), Manajja (Song of Mana+Skull O'Maniac) and Vicious Hunger(Gatti Amari+Stone Mask). These are worse items than the base version. Avoid them unless you want to get the achievement. It would simply work better to have a good passive item instead of the evolution.

Evolutions you might wanna get

Thousand Edge (Knife+Bracer), Holy Wand (Magic Wand+Empty Tome), Soul Eater (Garlic+Pummarola), Valkyrie Turner (Shadow Pinion+Wings) and Vandalier (2 birds). Knife was always a "meh" item, Thousand Edge doesn't make it broken. Holy Wand is nothing more than an extra evolution if you already have Empty Tome and want another evolution, Valkyrie Turner can fill your entire screen with early 2000s internet lasers, meanwhile Vandalier suffers from the additional problem of having to get use and get both Ebony Wings and Peachone and also getting them to max level (16 level minimum).

Evolutions that you should probably get

Bloody Tear (Whip+Hollow Heart), Heaven Sword (Cross+Clover), Unholy Vespers (King BIble+Spellbinder), Hellfire (Fire Wand+Spinach), NO FUTURE (Runetracer+Armor) and Thunder Loop (Thunder Ring+Duplicator). All of these are great. They all deal really good amounts of damage, and Vespers even acts as a shield to knockback any enemies that get into its range. Most of their evolution passives are also pretty great and work well with the evolutions. Heaven Swords critical ability is also good, but due to a certain Arcana becomes kind of useless. Bloody Tear allows you to heal a lot of health, Hellfire just deals far too much damage, NO FUTURE becomes broken after your projectile speed is high enough and Thunder Loop just wipes out huge areas of enemies.

Evolutions that are above everything else

Phieraggi (2 guns+Tiragisu), Death Spiral (Axe+Candelabra), Infinite Corridor (Clock Lancet+Maxed out Silver Ring+Maxed out Gold Ring), Crimson Shroud (Laurel+Maxed out Metaglios) and Gorgeous Moon(Pentagram+Crown) are all broken. Phieraggi is easily the best weapon in the entire game and covers the whole screen (perfect with Duplicator and Empty Tome), Gorgeous Moon recharges quickly and gives you extra XP crystals as well as having the effect of Vacuum (sucks in all XP crystals) and also has a 100% chance to not delete items, Death Spiral just deals massive amounts of damage with it's piercing capability while also knocking all enemies away. Infinite Corridor halves the health of all enemies that are currently on screen and Crimson Shroud reduces all damage to 10 which can be further reduced by armor. Infinite Corridor and Crimson Shroud allow you to kill Death, and it is the intended way to do so.

How To Not Suck: Items

Experience Gem

Called both Gem and Crystal in this guide, these are dropped by enemies (not all enemies have a 100% chance of dropping them). There are a total of 6 variants (3 of which are only dropped by Gorgeous Moon).


Standard XP crystal. 1 XP


Gives more XP than the standard one, dropped by stronger enemies. 5 XP


Gives more XP the "longer" it stays on the ground. Can catapult you multiple levels if left on the ground long enough. Typically dropped by bosses and the enemies in the last few minutes of a run. These also appear once 400 standard XP crystals are on the ground. Basically just a condensed XP crystal. XP varies.

Orange, Pink/Magenta and Gold/Yellow (depending on your preference).

All 3 dropped by Gorgeous Moon. To my knowledge they are the same as Blue XP gems.


Drop rate affected by Luck. Found, just like all other items apart from XP gems, by destroying what usually is a light source (even if it emits no light). 1 coin (just a coin), 10 coins (red bag) and 100 coins (big purple bag, need to be level 5 for it to drop) are all available.

Floor Chicken

The most useful item obtainable from light sources. 30 HP healed per Chicken.


Need to be level 4. Freezes all enemies (including ones that spawn after picking it up). Time still progresses however.

The Clovers

Gilded Clover can allow you to farm a lot of money. Little Clover gives you 10% extra luck. Also the only way to obtain Exdash without the code.


Need to be level 8 for it to drop. One time use Pentagram.


Need to be level 12. Sucks in all XP crystals.

Nduja Fritta Tanto


Treasure Chests

Give you money and Passives or Weapons (only upgrades, not anything new). Only way you can unite/evolve Weapons. If everything is max level, you get 25 coin bags. These chests have a chance to contain 1, 3 or 5 items. Typically only a chest after the 10 minute mark allows you to get evolutions. There are some exceptions (e.g. the entirety of Dairy Plant). Also give you Arcanas.

Apart from XP gems and Treasure Chests, none of these are required to win the game. They are useful boosts, but nothing else. This section only exists to inform you that things apart from coins are dropped by light sources and have uses.

How To Not Suck: Relics

Milky Way Map is something you need (obtainable in Dairy Plant). Music Banger and Sorceress' Tears are nice additions, but you only need them if you wanna 100% the game (Fun Fact: Tears descriptions contains "Stage Selection" while Music Bangers description is instead written as "stage selection"). Yellow Sign is an extension to the Milky Way Map by allowing you to see 4 new items. Glass Vizard allows you to unlock the Merchant for every stage. Randomazzo unlocks Arcanas (next section).

How To Not Suck: Arcanas

Congrats. If you've unlocked all of these, you are already decent at the game. All Arcanas are busted. They're all good. But some are better than others. Evolutions of the items named here also benefit from the effects (if only the evolution is named the base item does not benefit from it).

IV - Awake

3 revives. Buff you if you use a revive (not just those obtained from the Arcana). Really only useful if you wanna spend revives to gain massive stats or if you wanna grind money from dying to Death. Pretty good.

V - Chaos in the Dark Night

-50% to 200% projectile speed (continously changes over 10 seconds). It looks funny combined with Gatti Amari. Good.

VI - Sarabande of Healing

Doubles Healing. Bloody Tear and this make you basically unkillable. Also Chickens are now turned into weapons. Very good.

VII - Iron Blue Will

3 bounces and potential pierce to Axe, Knives, Guns and Minecart (Weapon from Ramba). Pretty good.

XI - Waltz of Pearls

Iron Blue Will but for Magic Wand, Fire Wand, Cross and the Minecart (again). No pierce this time. Good.

XII - Out of Bounds

All enemies that are frozen also explode. Works great with Jail of Crystal, also makes Orologions easier to find which is always nice. Good.

XIV - Jail of Crystal

Magic Wand, Runetracer and Eight the Sparrow (Phierragi loses this ability) all can freeze enemies. Given NO FUTURE can hit groups of enemies with its splash damage and Holy Wand has basically no coldoown to fire, it can potentially freeze every enemy on screen. Good.

XV - Disco of Gold

Coin bags (only the items) give you the Gilded Clover effect. You get healed from money. Works great with VI. Pretty good.

XVI - Slash

Enables critical damage. Allows you to potentially deal 4x as much damage with Axe, Whip, Knife and Heaven Sword. Very, very good.

XVII - Lost & Found Painting

V but with duration. Good.

XVIII - Boogaloo of Illusions

-25% to 50% Area changing continously over 10 seconds. Alright too (looks funny with Garlic). Good.

XIX - Heart of Fire

You blow up if you get hit. Also allows Fire Wand and light sources to blow up dealing a lot of damage. Very good.

To check how to unlock these, look in the in-game "unlocks" screen.

How To Not Suck: The End

This whole thing started out as a joke as I 100%ed the game for the 5/6th time (I lost count). I ended up making it into one of the most detailed and extensive things in the entire VS community section. I hope it allowed atleast some people to stop being terrible at the game (which honestly, its pretty hard to be terrible at this game). Unlike any other guide I've seen, this doesn't "rank" any items from best to worst as any person with a brain would be able to understand that every weapon has a purpose and it's strengths and weaknesses. Listening to the Tier Lists of other people is a huge mistake, because only you can decide what you like and what you think is good. Don't let some average Joe tell you otherwise. The biggest point of advice for any roguelike/roguelite, not just VS, is to keep playing. Losing is part of the job, and unlike other games you can't get good at this genre without playing a lot of it.


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