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Spelunky 2 beginner's guide: tips and tricks to beating world one

It's not on PC yet, but that won't stop us

Featured post A range of enemies in Spelunky 2.

Spelunky 2 is as tricky to survive as the original game, and poses plenty of challenges for even seasoned players of the series. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll give you some tips for passing enemies old and new and getting to the end of world one.

Spelunky 2 beginner’s guide

Spelunky is filled with secrets, enemies, traps, items and a lot more besides. We’ll have other more specific guides soon, but below you’ll find some general tips for how to play the game successfully.

Always carry something

Any object held in your hand can be thrown, and thrown items can trigger traps and burst enemies. It doesn’t matter what it is: carrying something is always better than carrying nothing. Looking out for rocks in particular, which are found dotted around the ground on levels, can be thrown long distances, and can never be destroyed.

Look down

If you hold down, your character will crouch, but half a second later the camera will pan down to show you more of what lies below you. Spelunky 2 is a game about descending through levels, so knowing what obstacles lie ahead is essential for planning how to tackle the obstacles ahead.

In particular, look out for dart traps. These grey, square blocks are found embedded in the wall, and being hit by their dart subtracts two points of damage. They can be easily avoided by triggering them using an object dropped in front of them – see the tip above – but this only works if you spot them first.

Rescue your pets

Each Spelunky life begins with 4 health points, but there’s a free extra health point available on every level in the form of the pets. By default, it’ll be a pug, and carrying him to the exit will get you a rewarding lick and 1 extra health point. It’s worth trying to rescue the pet on any run where it wouldn’t take a bunch of bombs to reach them, because extra health will allow you to make so many more mistakes. And you will make mistakes.

Plus, rescuing a pet meets the “always carry something” rule, too. You can throw the pet to trigger pets and burst enemies, and they can take a few points of damage before meeting their own demise.

A pug in Spelunky 2, which can be rescued to restore health.

Gather as much money on the first level as possible

You’ll likely prioritise progressing through the worlds and levels in your initial hours (and days and weeks) with Spelunky 2, but the eventual goal will be to maximise the amount of gold you collect. You can worry about that score later, however. For now, gold is important because you can spend it in shops to buy items which can significantly alter your chances of making progress.

Specifically, there is always a shop on level two. That means it’s worth collecting as much money as possible on level one, so that you can buy something good when the shop does come around.

Shop wisely

If you do reach the shop with money in your pocket, more bombs are always useful, but there are a bunch of other items worth your time, too.

  • Springy shoes: These let you jump a grid square higher, and lower your reliance on ropes.
  • Spike shoes: These will kill any enemy you drop on to instantly, instead of simply knocking some of them unconscious.
  • Climbing gloves: These let you cling to any surface, and again lower your reliance on ropes. They’re particularly useful on some later stages.
  • Sticky paste: This makes your bombs stick to surfaces when thrown. Extremely useful, but it’s also possible to get sticky paste for free if you can kill a giant spider.
  • Jetpack: As useful in Spelunky 2 as it was in Spelunky 1, but still expensive, too, costing 20,000 gold.

There are tons more items available in shops, and we’ll have more in-depth Spelunky 2 item guides along soon. For now, I’d say: most weapons are not worth your time, because a rock will often do as good a job with fewer drawbacks, and some of the new items such as hoverpacks and powerpacks are good but probably not worth the money in the early stages of your time with the game.

Be careful of chests and vases

Every Spelunky 2 level is littered with smashable vases and openable chests. These are worth collecting because they contain gold and gems, which is important, as explained above. However – be careful! Chests can also contain lit bombs, and vases can contain snakes and spiders. Make sure you’re standing adjacent to a vase before you whip it, rather than overlapping it, or you’ll take instant damage. Or better yet, use a thrown rock or other item to smash them from afar.

Triage enemies

If you look down and scout out the area ahead, you’ll normally spot a handful of enemies lying in wait. It can seem overwhelming, but fret not. It’ll take time to gain the dexterity needed to fight and avoid enemies successfully, but a big part of the challenge is knowing what enemies do and what order you’ll need to tackle them in.

We’ll have a more robust Spelunky 2 enemies guide along soon, but here’s a handful of tips for dealing with world one enemies.

  • Look out for dart traps, tiki traps and spikes first. These do the most damage or kill in one hit, but are also static objects that can normally be avoided if you see them first.
  • Next look out for cavemen and lizards (who are new, and yellow). These enemies will charge at you as soon as they see you, but bouncing on their heads will daze them for a spell.
  • After that, it’s bats, man. Bats will hang from ceilings and flap in your direction at a shallow angle as soon as you’re lower than they are in the level, but they flap slowly and in a straight line and can be slowed by getting stuck in scenery. If you dodge a trap or daze a caveman, you’ll often have to quickly turn to whipping with bats afterwards.
  • Lastly, spiders. Like bats, these hang from ceilings, but they only drop if you’re directly beneath them. They then hop in a fixed pattern rather than crawl, meaning it might take them a while to navigate to you depending on where they fell. In a scrape with a bunch of different enemies, you can often leave the spiders to last, basically.

That’ll do for now. Spelunky 2 is an even more vast game than its predecessor. Everything is deadly, and there is nuance to every object. But the above tips should help you get started, and we’ll have a lot more updates soon.

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