In Hades from Supergiant Games, you play as Zagreus, the son of the titular god. He wants to escape the Underworld, which requires many, many attempts. This is a roguelike, after all, with a ton of randomized elements that change from run to run. Each foray into Tartarus and beyond is cobbled together from unique combinations of enemies, room layouts, encounter rewards, and more.
Another aspect of the randomness manifests itself in the form of Boons. These are combat gifts that are bestowed to Zagreus by the various gods of Olympus and elsewhere. Typically, Boons serve as upgrades to Zagreus’ assortment of offensive and movement abilities. There are five slots where you can equip Boons: attack, special, cast, dash, and wrath. There are ten gods in Hades that are capable of offering Boons, and each one specializes in a different types of bonuses. In this guide, we’ll run down what each god is capable of offering Zagreus, and offer some picks that make fighting the hordes of the Underworld a bit easier.
As a note, Hades is still in early access, meaning that the information in this guide is subject to change.
The Basics of Hades Boons
Before we get down to it, there are a few things to know about how Boons work. First, they come in four rarities: common, rare, epic, and heroic. You can only have one Boon equipped in a slot at a time, but some gods offer trades for old Boons. Engaging in such a trade will increase the rarity level of a Boon by one level. This is also the only way to acquire heroic-tier Boons.
There are also Boons that alter the effects of already-equipped Boons, augments that increase their bonuses, and up the damage to enemies afflicted with specific status effects.
In addition, each god has a Legendary Boon that greatly enhances Zagreus’ combat prowess. Getting a god’s Legendary Boon can be a bit tricky, and the exact method is unclear. Some speculate that you need to have first gained a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Boon from that god before they’ll offer their Legendary Boon.
Hades also includes Duo Boons, which are super rare Boons that are made of a combination of Boons from two separate gods. To find one, you’ll need to have high-tier Boons from two different gods.
The 10 Gods and Their Specialty Boons
Here are a list of the 10 gods that can offer Zagrues a Boon, and what their specific focuses are.
- Aphrodite – Offers Boons that inflict the Weak or Charmed status effects on enemies.
- Athena – Offers defensive Boons, and Boons that allow Zagreus’ abilities to deflect projectiles.
- Ares – Offers offensive Boons, and Boons that inflict the Doom status effect on enemies.
- Artemis – Offers Boons that grant critical hits and improve Cast abilities.
- Chaos – Offers Boons that bestow bonuses after inflicting a debuff on Zagreus for a certain number of encounters.
- Demeter – Offers Boons that inflict the Chill status effect, among others, on enemies.
- Dionysus – Offers Boons that inflict the Hangover status effect and improve survivability.
- Hermes – Offers Boons that increase Zagreus’ mobility, attack speed, evasion, and cast recovery.
- Poseidon – Offers Boons that add a knockback effect to Zagreus’ attacks, and improve encounter rewards.
- Zeus – Offers Boons that add a chain lightning effect to Zagreus’ attacks, or cause lightning to strike nearby enemies.
Finding Specific Boons in Hades
So, you’ve settled on a god whose Boons you prefer to play with, and now you want to make sure you can find them when you start your run. Well, for the most part, you’re at the whims of Lady Luck, unfortunately. Being a roguelike, much of the Hades experience is randomized. There are a few things you can do to stack the deck in your favor, though, such as:
Wear Your Preferred God’s Keepsake
During your ventures in the Underworld, you’ll come across a collectible called Nectar, which you can give to various NPCs in exchange for a Keepsake. There are quite a few, and each has a different effect on the game. If you give a Nectar to one of the 10 gods who offer Boons, you’ll get a keepsake from them guaranteeing the next Boon you find will be from them.
For example, if you like Zeus’ lightning-based Boons, give him a Nectar and he’ll trade you a Thunder Signet. Wear it into battle, and the next Boon you find will be from Zeus. Keepsakes can be upgraded by having them equipped and killing enough enemies. The upgraded version of the gods’ Keepsakes have an increased chance to be of higher rarities.
Focus on Just a Couple Gods Per Run
Equipping a specific god’s Boons will make it more likely that you’ll see more Boons from that god later in the run. So, if you don’t happen across the god you’d like to see, you might be better off leaving the encounter room without picking up a Boon if it drops one, which will no doubt feel wrong.
Also, you’ll occasionally stumble across Charon’s shop. The ferryman sells various goods for Obols, which is a form of currency in Hades. Charon usually sells at least one Boon, usually for around 150 Obols. If it’s from a god you want, you’d better snag it right away!
And there you have it! A quick rundown of the Boon system in Hades. Which gods are your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!