In Hades, the most recent game from Supergiant, you play as Zagreus, who is attempting to escape the Underworld. He also happens to be the son of the titular Greek god, bemused at his progeny’s repeated failed trips into Tartarus and beyond. You see, Hades is a roguelike, which means you’ll be undertaking run after run through a randomly generated labyrinth of dungeon rooms and enemy combinations.
Inevitably, you’ll die and find yourself back in the House of Hades, which serves as the hub world that you’ll revisit in between runs. Here, you’ll meet a handful of interesting NPCs, each with their own backstories and relationship with Zagreus. In your forays outside the House of Hades, enemies may drop something called Nectar, which can be gifted to most of these characters (with the exception of Hades, that jerk).
In exchange, they’ll offer Zagreus a Keepsake, which is a sort of accessory that bestows a boon in combat. These keepsakes can give you an advantage in battle, and increase your chances of escaping the Underworld. In this guide, we’ll rundown what keepsakes each NPC will give you, and suggest a few that you should prioritize early in the game.
Which Keepsakes Will Each NPC Give You?
Here’s the full list of what keepsakes each character will give you in exchange for some Nectar, and what bonuses you’ll gain from using them. It’s also important to know that you can upgrade the effects of Keepsakes by clearing combat encounters while having them equipped.
As a note, keep in mind that Hades is still technically in Early Access, so these items are always subject to change!
|Old Spiked Collar||Cerberus||
Gain 25/38/50 Health.
Take 20/30/40% less damage from the front, but 10% more from behind.
Whenever you gain Darkness, restore 50/75/100% of the amount in Health.
Items purchased from the Well of Charon have their durations increased by 3/6/8 encounters.
Gain 1/1.5/2% damage for each encounter you clear without taking damage.
|Chthonic Coin Purse||Hypnos||
Receive 100/125/150 Obols once per escape attempt.
Deal 20/30/40% more damage while at 30% Health or below.
|Harpy Feather Duster||Dusa||
Broken urns have a 2/3/4% chance to contain healing items.
When taking lethal damage, survive with 50/100/150 Health once per escape attempt.
Rubble from damaged pillars deals 200/500/700% damage to enemies.
Deal 10/20/30% more damage to distant enemies.
Take no damage for the first 3/4/5 hits from Bosses
After taking damage, become invulnerable for 0.5/1/1.5 seconds.
The next Boon you receive will be from Athena. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
The next Boon you receive will be from from Zeus. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
The next Boon you receive will be from Poseidon. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
The next Boon you receive will be from Aphrodite. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
The next Boon you receive will be from from Artemis. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
The next Boon you receive will be from Ares. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
The next Boon you receive will be from Dionysus. They have a 10/15/20% increased chance to be Rare or better.
Gain 1/1.5/2% Dodge chance and move speed for each encounter you clear quickly.
Enter Blood Gates without losing Health. Boons from Chaos have a 20/30/40% increased chance to be Rare or better.
Which Keepsakes to Pursue Early
In the early game, Zagreus is going to feel particularly squishy and undeveloped, so a good strategy for gifting Nectar is thinking about how to mitigate that. Most of these choices revolve around getting your undead-killing engine up and running by focusing on survivability and upgrading Zagreus’ ability to maintain Health.
- Skelly’s Lucky Tooth is basically a free way to defy death, incredibly helpful for lengthening your runs. This is one of the best choices for your first Keepsake, to be honest.
- Nyx’s Black Shawl restores your Health whenever you pick up Darkness, giving you some control over your Health pool. Just make sure to choose the encounters that reward you with Darkness!
- Environmental damage is easy to overlook in Hades, but Sisyphus’ Shattered Shackle makes it one of the best ways to quickly clear an encounter. Attack those pillars and watch your foes fall.
- The Broken Spearpoint from Patroclus makes you invulnerable for a short time after taking damage. The implication here should be obvious.
And those are our choices for the best Keepsakes to go after early in Hades! Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section!