Rise from the ashes.
Remnant: From the Ashes is a new Souls-like RPG shooter that can be played with up to two co-op partners, set on a post-apocalyptic world invaded by a race of tree-like creatures called the Root. If you hadn’t guessed from its genre, it’s tough and has a lot of systems to master, as well as a bunch of secrets to uncover. Get yourself off to a good start with our beginners guide, featuring lots of tips and tricks to help you out.
Should you play the game solo or in co-op?
Remnant: From the Ashes was designed with co-op in mind. There are definite benefits to co-op, like the ability to revive each other and split the attention of a boss rather than them focusing all of their attacks on you. The devs even hint that some secrets can only be obtained when playing with others.
However, it’s completely possible to play Remnant solo, and still an enjoyable experience to do so. It’s tough in the beginning but gets easier after some grinding of traits and gear upgrades, and the enemies are scaled to be easier when on your own. There are some other things you can do to mitigate the disadvantages of playing solo – choosing the Ex-Cultist, for example, starts you off with a weapon mod that heals you. Obviously, you can avoid putting points into the Teamwork trait and focus on the others, particularly Vigor, to increase your resilience.
Take time to loot – and keep an eye out for secrets
It pays to explore every level in Remnant: From the Ashes thoroughly, as they’re chock-full of resources to collect, equipment and other secrets. A good rule of thumb is to melee all crates and anything else wooden, like tables, chairs, and even bookcases – many of these can be broken and will drop scrap, the game’s primary currency, and iron, which is used for crafting.
Use the minimap in the corner of the screen for reference, making sure you clear all ‘fog of war,’ to ensure you explore every nook and cranny of the map. Don’t leave a single staircase or alleyway unexplored – as well as useful resources, they can hide magic rings, tomes of knowledge (that give you a skill point) or even a weapon. The following are two examples you’ll definitely want to look out for:
- Look out for the ‘strange coin’: The location of this could potentially vary because of the randomly generated nature of Remnant’s map, but keep an eye out in the alleyways for a strange coin. This is of sentimental value to Ace in Ward 13 – find it and give it to her, and you’ll get a very effective magnum revolver in exchange.
- Explore the area of the second boss battle: When you’ve completed the second boss battle in a church, make sure you thoroughly check the building. Again, the exact location may vary, but in my experience, the basement held a sniper rifle, which proves extremely useful for the level that follows.
Combat tips and tricks
The first combat tip is a simple one – aim for enemy weak spots (often the head, but this can vary), as this will do significantly more damage. A red or yellow damage counter figure shows that you’ve hit a vulnerable spot of an enemy. Another important mechanic to master is the dodge roll, which will be familiar if you’ve played other Souls-likes. This is crucial for avoiding damage and getting the upper hand on enemies.
Keep an eye on your crosshair
Your crosshair shows some useful information in addition to where you’re aiming. A central doc in the centre of the reticle shows that you’re shooting that weapon at its ideal range – this is important, because any closer or further away and you will receive a drop-off in damage output. You can see the effective range of a weapon if you take a look at it in your inventory.
As well as this, a red circular reticle in addition to your main reticle shows if your shot is going to miss and hit a wall or other obstacle you’re standing next to, instead. Keep your eyes peeled for this to avoid wasted ammo, and tap shift shift (on PC) while aiming to switch the direction of your stance to help you shoot around walls.
Watch out for enemies spawning behind you
Some enemies in Remnant: From the Ashes are already waiting around in the level, but others spawn in from nearby passages or materialise from thin air – and this can even happen behind you, catching you off guard. Listen for screams, enemy taunts etc. coming from behind you, and generally watch your six to avoid getting caught out.
Stock up on consumables
Remnant: From the Ashes has a variety of consumables that can be looted or bought from Reggie in Ward 13. There’s a standard health potion to supplement your Dragon Shard and a few buff items, which are optional but useful for boss battles. Ammo boxes are also worth having in reserve. These are very useful on a long run, letting you replenish ammo without having to retreat to a checkpoint and respawn enemies.
Most important, however, is that you keep antidotes to every type of status effect, as these can really mess you up if you’re unable to cure them in the middle of a boss battle or swarm of enemies.
What the different status effects do – and how to cure them
The status effects that you’ll be exposed to at the beginning of the game include:
- Burning: Causes moderate damage for the duration of the burning effect. You can cure it with a hydro coolant.
- Bleeding: Not only causes gradual damage for the duration of the effect, but also reduces your healing from items, mods and the Dragon Shard by 50%. Cure it with a bandage.
- Root rot: Builds up when exposed to the attacks of certain root enemies. When it reaches max, it causes…
- Infection: Frequently stops your character in their tracks to have a coughing fit (very annoying!). Doesn’t wear off, has to be cured with an oilskin tonic or checkpoint heal.
Other dangers to watch out for
Be on your guard for these dangers while exploring Remnant’s world:
- Fall damage: Your character will get hurt from a modest height, and there are a lot of things to fall down from.
- Exploding enemies: Some of these include the big, pink puffy exploders that run towards you in the sewers, which cause damage and infection; and immolators, a variant of the standard Root mobs which set on fire when first hit and can cause burning.
- Enemies on the ceiling: Another mainstay of underground levels, some Root enemies can be spotted dangling on the ceiling and will promptly jump down when you get close enough. Catch them out with a headshot while they’re still suspended.
- Mini-bosses: Remnant has a variety of tougher enemies that pack a punch and have a larger health pool. The game will alert you with a special sound when they spawn. Some early examples include:
- A tough, armoured enemy that drags a large sword and charges towards you. Dodge roll past them and blast them with a shotgun, or keep your distance with ranged weapons.
- Archers that like to keep their distance and fire ranged attacks. They glint and make a noise when they’re about to fire, so dodge roll and fire back. Close in on them if you can.
- Summoners that keep spawning more enemies. Can cause a lot of trouble if left unchecked, so ensure to go to the source rather than getting endlessly caught up in the mobs they unleash.
- Reaper-like enemies that block ranged fire with their weapons and unleash devastating damage up close. Dodge roll wherever possible and shoot them whenever a window of opportunity opens.
Weapons/guns guide – which are best?
Tips on some of the weapons available near the start of the game. Note that these are taken from the point of view of my chosen class, the Ex-Cultist.
- Repeater: Your basic starting pistol. A decent amount of ammo, but damage output is weak – you’ll soon want to replace it for most situations with the….
- Magnum revolver: A powerful, fairly versatile weapon, particularly at mid range – one of the best to keep in your regular rotation. Does a good chunk of damage to enemies, especially when you hit their weak points. The only main downside of the revolver is its low ammo, so you’ll need to be accurate and try to avoid wasting shots, supplementing with some melee hits and your rifle.
- Shotgun: Arguably one of the best weapons at the beginning of the game, especially when upgraded a few times. Can deal a lot of damage up close, and has a generously large clip. This can make short work of even tougher enemies. Bought from Rigs in Ward 13.
- Coach rifle: Some similarities to the shotgun, but key differences are a more accurate spread, slightly further range and that it only has two shells before needing a reload – its main downside. A moderately useful weapon, but arguably the shotgun is better.
- Hunting rifle: An all-rounder of a rifle, with a good range and rate of fire, and ammo count that’s not too stingy, either. The damage output is pretty middling, however, so while it’s useful at mid-range you’ll want to switch to the shotgun for more close-quarters levels. Bought from Rigs in Ward 13.
- Sniper rifle: Has the benefit of being able to put a lot of distance between you and your target, as well as dealing a decent amount of damage, especially to enemy weak points. It’s bolt action, however, only firing one shot before needing a reload.
Note that you can regularly swap out weapons for different situations and the game will smartly translate its ammo count to the other weapon without penalty. The only thing to watch out for is getting caught out by enemies while poking around in your inventory!
How to upgrade and get more uses of the Dragon Shard
To be able to heal more times, you can upgrade your Dragon Shard, the item which acts like an Estus Flask from Dark Souls. The ability to do this opens up once you’ve completed the second boss battle in the game. You’ll need quite a lot of scrap, lumenite crystals and a simulacrum, a very rare resource – I found my first one in the Cutthroat Channel, a semi-optional sewer level.
How to unlock new traits
Traits are the abilities you can place points into when levelling up, to gain a variety of bonuses. You begin the game with Vigor, Endurance and Spirit to increase health, stamina and mod power generation, respectively. But by completing certain quests and other conditions, you’ll unlock other traits to put points into. Some of the ones you can earn near the beginning of the game are:
- Teamwork: Earned when you play co-op for the first time. This increases your damage resistance, EXP gain and mod power generation when near allies.
- Exploiter: Earned by firing a set quota of headshots and other weak point shots – this takes a little while to earn. Increases the damage done to enemy weak spots.
- Elder Knowledge: Listen to the tape recorder on floor B2 of Ward 13, the floor below the reactor. Increases EXP gained.
- Mother’s Blessing: Unlocked after beating the second boss. Reduces the ranged damage you take.
- Quick Hands: Unlocked after beating the third (optional) boss. Increases weapon reload speed.
- Keeper’s Blessing: Unlocked after beating the fourth boss. Increases resistance to elements.
- World Walker: Unlocked by visiting the level after the fourth boss. Reduces stamina spent.
Take advantage of grinding opportunities
The game becomes significantly easier when you manage to level up your traits and gear. If you’re stuck, grind it out. What’s worth bearing in mind is that unlike many Souls-likes, Remnant doesn’t penalise you for dying – you keep your acquired resources and EXP. The second boss battle, for example, is just after a checkpoint and spawns in loads of enemies that you can grind scrap, iron and lumenite crystals from, not to mention experience.
Where to get forged iron
Forged iron is needed to upgrade weapons and armour past level five. You will find it after you beat the fourth boss, in the levels beyond – Ace in Ward 13 will also sell a limited amount for 25 scrap each when you reach this point in the game.
James, our deputy editor, loves a deep action-adventure game, RPG or metroidvania. In addition to making sure everything on the site is as good as it can be – scouring for typos, tweaking headlines, finding the fanciest images – he’s also in charge of the reviews section.