Vampire Survivors - Beginners Guide - Getting Started

What is Vampire Survivors?

Vampire Survivors is a roguelite survival game, with Castlevania-esque monsters and tonnes of power ups. The player is tasked with fending of waves and waves of the undead set against a timer. You don’t have to beat every monster, but you do have to beat the clock.

If you get chance, read our review of Vampire Survivors – we gave it a very respectable score for its replayability but found its graphics were a little dated (even for a retro styled game!).

In this guide, we’ll be giving you our 5 best quick start tips on how to play everyones newest favourite survival game – Vampire Survivors.

1. Always keep moving. Do not let yourself get surrounded

The first tip is obvious for every survival or bullet hell game. Do not stay still for too long, the longer you remain stationary the more surrounded you become. In Vampire Survivors, the monsters spawn in a 360 degree area around you. Worse still, occasional groups of enemies spawn and rush you from any direction.

It is always best to keep moving and circle round on yourself to pick up any experience gems, coins or chests you have missed. Don’t worry, no drops despawn.

Vampire Survivor - Beginners Guide - Getting Started
Staying still for too long is a guaranteed way to get surrounded quickly. Always keep moving.

2. Group enemies together for an easier time

Whilst circling the encroaching mobs, you’ll find they very quickly group into one mass of rotting undead. Not great for your nerves, but perfect to be picked off by your power ups.

Bunch the monsters together to work on them as a group rather than attempting to pick them off in singles. Remember, your options are limited at the start of the game so lure them and group them.

Vampire Survivors - Beginners Guide - Getting Started
Grouping your enemies together makes it easier for your power ups to pick off monsters faster and more efficiently.

3. Upgrade your whip as soon as possible

Vampire Survivors has multiple heroes you can unlock and play with. Each has their own specialist ability and starting power up. Your very first hero is Antonio and he comes with the whip, obviously channeling his inner Simon Belmont.

The whip is a sturdy power up to be given at the start and one shots a lot of the earliest monsters. However, it is directional and strikes automatically in the direction the player is facing (only on the horizontal plane mind). Though some power ups grant magic missiles and fireballs, few power ups will be as useful to the first time player as an upgraded whip.

Upgrading the whip allows it to strike both front and back at the same time. This is incredible useful as you circle enemies and prevents you from becoming too surrounded early on. Always upgrade the whip first on your initial playthroughs.

Vampire Survivors - Review
Upgrading the whip on your first playthroughs makes the game so much easier.

4. Leave no chest behind

Incase it hasn’t already become apparently – Power ups are everything in Vampire Survivors and initially you’ll earn your first few by leveling up.

After level 4 or 5, you’ll notice this becomes increasingly more difficult as the experience required to level up grows exponentially. The answer? Collecting chests to retrieve new power ups at random.

Glowing monsters and boss mobs reward chests once defeated. Whilst these chests do not despawn, losing them in a throng of monsters has a real impact. You’ve earned these chests, you deserve to collect them! Every chest will grant an upgrade to one of your existing power ups.

Vampire Survivors - Review
Chests grant either 1, 3 or 5 power ups. They also give coins that can be used to buy upgrades and power ups between games.

5. Spend your coins!

It took me some time to realise that the coins collected in game can be spent on Power ups that persist into the next games. But once I knew, I set about upgrading them as quickly and as often as possible. Ignore the additional heroes and focus on the power ups. You’ll find yourself in a far better position.

Which power ups you choose will be a matter of preference but I will always recommend might and regeneration as key to your ongoing survival.

Vampire Survivors - Beginners Guide - Getting Started
It is easy to ignore the power up menu, but it is recommended to upgrade these as soon as you have the coin.

More tips to make surviving easier

Where Vampire Survivors lacks depth and story, it makes up for it in its power ups. Power ups can feel very weak individually, but together they are stronger. Here are some more tips to help the beginner.

  • Learn your power up combinations – A maxxed out Firewand and Spinach item creates the Hellfire item which is far stronger than the standard Firewand. Combinations like this exist throughout the game.
  • Find your favourite hero – Everyone has their preferred play style, from those that prefer high DPS projectiles to low DPS area of effect power ups. Some unlockable heroes start with these power ups and have buffs that benefit them – a favourite of mine is Poe who starts with the garlic power up.
  • Stick to the first map – Until you have a bank of power ups that have been leveled, you’re best off sticking to the first map ‘Mad Forest’. Maps like the ‘Inlaid Library’ have a completely different layout and force the player to move horizontally instead of a 360 degree area to move in. These maps are considered harder, so stick with ‘Mad Forest’ until you’re comfortable

Vampire Survivors is available now on steam.

Vampire Survivors - Beginners Guide - Getting Started
The ‘Hellfire’ power up is one of the first you’ll create but it is devastatingly powerful.
Anthony Jansen
Anthony is a gaming advocate. He has been playing video games since the early nineties and has a real passion for the 16 bit era. He believes that every game deserves a chance (except Treasures of the Deep - which scared him as a child).


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