'Most ambitious' Vampire Survivors update yet features 'immersive door opening action' and 'world premiere train mechanics'

A free Vampire Survivors update called "Laborratory" released by surprise this week, adding a new challenge stage, bonus stage, weapon, and "holiday-themed" character. A trailer shown at today's ID@Xbox Showcase (embedded above) also promises "immersive door opening action," "world premiere train mechanics," "genre-defining cart racing," and "fully rendered running animations." 

Update 1.10 is Vampire Survivor's first "AAAA" update, says developer Poncle—an ironic reference to Ubisoft's recent declaration that its long-delayed pirate game Skull & Bones warrants a fourth 'A.' The update's Steam news post includes the full details, most of which are hidden by spoiler tags. Here's the non-spoilery breakdown of what's in the patch:

  • 7 new EXTRA achievements
  • 1 new challenge stage
  • 1 new bonus stage
  • 1 new character
  • 1 new weapon with its evolution
  • 1 new passive weapon
  • 1 new power-up, Seal III

Disembark from this article now if you want to discover all that on your own. Otherwise, here's how to unlock everything in the Vampire Survivors Laborratory update:

  • Pick up a total of 33 Rosaries to unlock the Laborratory stage. If you've been playing for long you'll most likely already have enough; if so, enter and exit a run to get the unlock.
  • Use the levers in the larger rooms of the stage until you get the Santa Javelin and Arma Dio.
  • Evolve the Santa Javelin with a maxed out Clover
  • Use the levers at the bottom of the new stage to defeat a lot of enemies and unlock a bonus stage
  • Survive 20 minutes to unlock Santa Ladonna.
  • Seal/Banish 40 items in a run to unlock the Seal III power-up.

"Everything is trying to kill you" in the Laborratory stage, according to the patch notes. The level intriguingly includes levers which have "mostly positive effects" when pulled, depending on your Luck score. Meanwhile, the new character, Santa Ladonna, "starts with a temporary cooldown bonus and automatically triggers a Rosary when reaching critically low HP."

The notes also mention that technical work on online co-op is "going well," but say that it's "still too early for more details." They additionally reveal that Poncle is working on a secret new feature which will pave the way for new Adventures, standalone campaigns introduced a couple updates ago. 

"We had planned to make new Adventures more often, but then realised that while they work very well to isolate new DLC content, the base-game ones are missing something," wrote the developer. "So we've been working on adding a new feature to the game (that will remain a little secret for now) after which we'll be back releasing new adventures.

"The Tides of the Foscari one is an exception. Instead of just retelling the story of the DLC, we decided to do something different with it, but that requires yet another feature that still isn't in the base game. Hopefully we'll see it happen sometime during the summer!"

Vampire Survivor's Contra collaboration DLC, Operation Guns, releases next week, and after that it's onto patch 1.11—so says the entirely unhelpful Vampire Survivors "chaos roadmap":

The Vampire Survivors roadmap at the start of 2024. The next patch is 1.11.

(Image credit: Poncle)

You can read the full Vampire Survivors 1.10 patch notes on Steam. I've copied the details on the patch's additions below, as well as all the fixes and tweaks:

New stage: Laborratory

A challenge stage where everything is trying to kill you, including the narrow corridors. There are special levers you can pull to trigger mostly positive effects (depending on Luck) that could also spawn weapons and passives, depending on which room they're from.

New weapon: Santa Javelin & Seraphic Cry

Though starting weapon as it aims for random enemies, can critically hit and it turns the Duration stat into additional Amount for itself. Compatible with special arcanas (Gemini, Twilight Requiem, Tragic Princess). Requires a maxed out Clover to be evolved.

The evolution uses Luck to deal additional damage. Picking up Rosaries while it is equipped turns them into a quadruple screen clearing explosion that turns enemies into XP gems.

New passive: Arma Dio

Allows you to choose any base-game passive.

It actually counts as a weapon, so can also be chosen from a Candybox.

New character: Santa Ladonna

Starts with a temporary cooldown bonus and automatically triggers a Rosary when reaching critically low HP (recover hp to full to recharge the ability). Absolutely nothing else 👀

New stage: Carlo Cart

A silly little bonus stage where you cannot fully stop moving. It plays very differently compared to the average stage, so there are no extra unlocks tied to playing it, it's just for fun.

New power-up: Seal III

As the name suggests, it's a more convenient Seal power-up that allows you to seal 3 items per rank. This brings the total number of sealable items to 60!

1.10.0 tweaks and fixes

- You can now PET the dog by pressing both triggers on a controller.

- When playing co-op, added the option to Share Passive among players for evolution purposes.

- Stage Selection is now split into two steps for ease of navigation if you're playing with a controller

- Updated pre-spawned arcana treasures so they get pulled in by VIII - Mad Groove.

- Improved loader to provide more information about the current DLC loading progress.

- Added missing retaliation damage to Pako Battiliar and its evo.

- Fix for tips not showing in the Treasure Chest info panel of evolutions.

- Fix for Bestiary mobile portrait info masking issue.

- Pickups group in recap page now generates a new row when exceeding max width.

- Fix for the game over red background overlay to use correct sizing after White Hand.

- Fix for Sole Solution causing tile map issues during the fight with The Ender.

- Fixed audio playback error in fight with The Ender.

- Fix for "new content available in store" button showing up incorrectly.

- Fixed character reveal so the characters are the correct scale.

- Hyper mode toggle is now correctly shown.

- Fix for text overlap/sizing in treasure chest info panel.

- Updated pause menu map to match old-engine implementation.

- Fixes for various weapons to hide them correctly when dying in co-op.

- Fix for errors with random arcana selection being triggerable before the animation is complete.

- Fixes for various stage collisions when playing in inverse mode.

- Updated the player stats panel (pause menu) to handle displaying the Recovery value to 2 decimal places, so small increments are shown.

- Fix for DLC ordering so that DLCs will now be loaded in a consistent order.

- Fixed cosmic egg in bestiary.

- Updated the Item Found page to check whether the item you are picking up allows duplicates, and if so displays the base level data.

- Fixed an issue where if you manually changed the window size the current resolution would not display correctly inside the options page.

- Fix for camera zoom issues when playing on displays less than the target 16:10 aspect ratio (both portrait and landscape).

- Fixed selection arrows sometimes showing on mobile when they should not.

- Fix to make drop downs hide when clicking anywhere outside of them.

- Fixed an issue with allowing player 1 to reassign controllers when toggling in options.

- Fix for Gatti chicken eating power and chance upgrades being reset on level up.

- Fix for drowner's spawned via trisection events after 30 minutes being invulnerable.

- Fix for disable moving background not being applied on stage start (only when toggled).

- Fixed formatting / centering issues with secrets page on mobile.

- Added a loader between menu and gameplay to show that the game is loading a stage.

- Fix for Moongolow secret check in co-op.

- Added scrolling to character selection progress panel.

- Fix for hyper (and inverse) mode creeping to stages without hyper (or inverse) unlocked.

- Added in missing scene fade transition between Moongolow and Holy Forbidden.

- Fixed hellfire rotation on world bounce.

- Various portrait UI scaling fixes.

- Fix for error with coin spawn in Poe's Adventure Chapter 3.

- Improved back button navigation on bestiary to be more accurate to JS.

- Fix for cut off character found animation on mobile portrait.


- Evolving Four Seasons now only requires a maxed out Candelabrador


- Evolving the Flash Arrow now only requires a maxed out Bracer

- Fixed a sprite error in Foscari Abyss' background.

- Fixed animation timing of World Eater.

- Fix for World Eater offsets.


- Fix Impostongue firing assassination when disabled.

- Updated the body part pickups that Shapeshifter spawns to allow them to be attracted by the magnet.

- Updated the font used for the Vent2Weapon when enemies are ejected.

- Fix for reactor engine sprite not filling in the black bars in portrait leaving visible gaps for the flames.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.