Part of the appeal of roguelike (and roguelite) games like Dead Cells is the feeling of triumph over adversity that comes with successfully clearing a run. These games are very hard, and you can usually tell from the word go, so when you manage to knock down every foe in your path and make it all the way to the end of the game in one piece, you really feel like you can take on the world.
Of course, to get to that point, you need to get good at the game first, and that means learning all of the basics, memorizing enemy and trap patterns, Frankensteining the best possible builds from available weapons and power-ups, and more. Usually, the only way to actually figure that stuff out is through trial and error as you play the game normally, but it’s a bit unwieldy to go through an entire run with only half an idea of what you’re doing.
In order to make the process of learning and understanding the mechanics of Dead Cells easier, Motion Twin has implemented their latest update: Version 2.5, officially known as the “Practice Makes Perfect” update. Unlike previous major content updates, 2.5 doesn’t feature any major balance changes to the game. Rather, the idea is to provide tools to make the game more accessible to newer players and the roguelite-challenged without altering the overall mechanics of the games for purists and veterans. Here’s an explanation of the Practice Makes Perfect update in Dead Cells.
Dead Cells Practice Makes Perfect Update
In a nutshell, the Practice Makes Perfect update adds these features and changes to the game:
- Training Room: a place to practice combat tactics against enemies and bosses.
- Aspects: Optional equippable perks that make the game easier.
- World Map: Shows all biomes you’ve been to, as well as the paths that connect them.
- Additional quality-of-life tweaks
The Training Room
Dead Cells features a surprisingly large bestiary of ravenous beasts and cantankerous guards, all of whom would very much prefer that the Beheaded stay at the bottom of the Prisoner’s Quarters. Because there are so many kinds of enemies, it can be easy to lose your head and forget how to fight them in the heat of the moment. It’s for this reason that the Training Room has been added.
In the Training Room, you can set biome presets to go up against any enemy you’ve already fought at least once on your own risk-free. It’s a great way to practice strategies, tactics, and good ol’ fashioned reflexes. If there are bosses giving you trouble, don’t worry, you can fight them freely as well. Besides the presets, there are also weapon tubes that’ll give you whatever gear and tools you prefer to run with, which also gives you the opportunity to experiment with builds you might not feel confident trying in the heat of things.
The Training Room can be entered from the start of a run prior to entering the Prisoner’s Quarters, though you’ll first need to unlock it with a key retrieved from an NPC in the Prisoner’s Quarters.
I miss the days of cheat codes. There was something kind of devilishly fun about decking yourself out with absolutely busted power-ups and abilities. If you wish a Dead Cells run could be a little more tilted toward your favor, then you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of the new Aspects system.
Aspects are equippable power-ups that bless the Beheaded with some pretty hearty buffs. Just to give you a few examples, the Toxin Lover Aspect makes poisonous clouds and puddles heal you instead of hurt you, the Grenadier Aspect instantly refreshes your grenade cooldowns whenever they kill an enemy, and the Firestarter Aspect makes all flame attacks deal +100% damage, increased to +200% for violet flames.
After you complete your introductory run, you’ll unlock three random Aspects. Every time you die in a run, another random Aspect will unlock, capping out at the 13 currently available in the game, though more may be added in future updates. The only catch to using Aspects is that, while they’re equipped, you can’t unlock new boss cells or get flawless boss achievements. Aspects are meant to help you along, but if you wanna be a real baller, you gotta do it yourself.
The World Map
Dead Cells already features a map of its many biomes, which is helpful to inform you of where you are and where you’re going. However, the existing biome map only shows you the biomes themselves, omitting the paths between them. This has been remedied with the newly added World Map.
The World Map serves the same general function as the biome map, except in addition to the list of biomes, it shows you all of the different paths between them you’ve discovered over the course of your runs. If you check the map in the middle of a run, it’ll also show you your path so far. You don’t have to do anything special to unlock this; it’s now in the game by default.
Quality of Life
Besides the big three content additions, the Practice Makes Perfect update also features a few minor quality-of-life tweaks. Those tweaks are as follows:
- A reminder to use the Homonculus Rune to exit a run after killing the Hand of the King
- You can now sell your Flask refills
- Your total damage change is displayed when picking stats from a scroll
- Cell drop buffs for visiting biomes you haven’t been to in a while
- Return Stones now teleport you outside their relative Z-Door
You can visit the official Dead Cells website to view the leaderboard and learn more about it.