How to get started in Slay the Spire

Dive into your first run in Slay the Spire with a little extra help.


Slay the Spire is a game that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master, and you’re going to find yourself having to start over again and again. The good news is, you can get a grip on some things pretty early on, which will make your life a bit easier in the long run. Here are a few things you should know before you get started in Slay the Spire.

Cards are Discarded After Each Turn

One of the biggest things to remember when heading into Slay the Spire is that each turn you’ll be granted access to a hand of cards. These cards act as your attacks, defense and other skills. These are your main way of interacting with enemies in Slay the Spire. Learning to make the most of these cards is going to be extremely important, and you can’t hold onto cards—unless you have specific skills which are granted by some cards—after the turn is over, so try to use as many as you can.

Slay the Spire battle overview
Each turn grants a new hand of cards to play.

Defense is Just as Important as Attack

Attacking is an important part of any strategy in Slay the Spire, but your options to heal are limited, so you’re going to want to set your deck up so that it is able to provide defensive buffs just as much as attacking cards. This means that you’ll want to make use of those cards as well. Adding Armor to your character will allow you to take some damage without actually losing HP, and in a game where an extra couple of HP can make a difference, this is an important thing to keep an eye on when you’re setting off into battle.

Make Your Energy Count

Each turn, you’ll only have three Energy, which is required to play the various cards in your hand. While most cards only cost one Energy to play, some can cost as much as two or three, so make sure you’re sorting your deck to fit well so that you can make your Energy count. This is one of the most important things to get used to, and it might take a bit of work before you really come to grips with the system and how it works.

Slay the Spire resting at campfire
Campfires are littered around the dungeon path, granting you the ability to heal or upgrade cards.

Of course, Slay the Spire is a really complex game beneath the surface, and becoming a master at it will take time. These tips should help you get a start in the game, but don’t be afraid to look around at our other Slay the Spire guides for more help.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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