Hogwarts Legacy is a massive game, and I don't just mean that in terms of its puzzle-packed castle, and the open world Highlands that seem to stretch off into infinity. No, it's also a big game in terms of length, with a hefty central story arc, and a Witcher-worthy complement of sidequests that would distract even the most diligent student of magic.
There's a lot to understand, and Hogwarts Legacy isn't always the best at offering an indication of when a lot of these features are going to unlock. Here, I'll walk you through eight hard-fought tips that should help speed up your Hogwarts Legacy progress, understand the game a little better, and avoid needlessly investing your time where it won't offer much dividends.
Progress the main quest before you properly explore
While it may be tempting to pick a point on the horizon and run off into the Highlands as soon as you arrive at Hogwarts, it's better to bite off a chunk of the main quest first. Many aspects of Hogwarts Legacy don't unlock until you've progressed through the story; your ability to get a broom and fly so you don't have to trek across the map, the Room of Requirement which acts as your base, and even the Talent system that upgrades your spells. I'd say push until you get to Autumn at least. By then, most of the game's central mechanics have unlocked and you can explore the world properly without hitting quite so many obstacles.
Do your assignments for extra spells
Many challenges in Hogwarts Legacy are impossible to overcome if you don't have the right magic. There is a certain Merlin Trial, for instance, that can't be completed without Flipendo, and there are Treasure Vaults that are totally inaccessible unless you have Glacius or Incendio. Completing these extra assignment quests when they pop up is the best way to unlock spells that you need in the open world. The good news is that most of the challenges each Professor sets are relatively easy—the only ones that might give you trouble are Professor Garlick and Professor Sharp's assignments as they involve buying expensive plants and seeds.
Eye chests break the economy
There's a way to never worry about getting gold in Hogwarts Legacy, and that is by opening eye chests. These cyclopean treasure hoards are hidden around the map, but once you learn the Disillusionment spell, you can sneak up on them and plunder each for 500 gold. It's an utterly absurd amount of money, and considering how many there are scattered across the map, they make the in-game economy meaningless. You'll get the Disillusionment spell during the Secrets of the Restricted Section quest with Sebastian quite early on. Once you get some cash behind you, buying Mandrakes and Fluxweed Seeds for assignments will be a lot easier.
Grow your own
Another way to save gold long-term is to grow plants rather than buying them outright. After you complete your first Herbology lesson, you can buy seeds from Dogweed and Deathcap in Hogsmeade, and bring them back to grow plants in the Herbology classroom. You can also harvest plants in the wild or around Hogwarts to save some money; there's plenty of Venomous Tentacula in the Hidden Herbology Corridor dungeon and in the classroom where its entrance is located.
Once you unlock the Room of Requirement, you can buy a large potting table from Tomes and Scrolls, which lets you grow the Fluxweed you need to complete Professor Garlick's assignment. This is also a great way to farm the large amounts of Mallowsweet you're going to need to complete those Merlin Trials.
Complete Merlin Trials early for extra gear slots
One of the most annoying features in Hogwarts Legacy is the lack of gear slots, especially when the game constantly throws new gear at you. It does downright break things at points as well—I opened a legendary chest, didn't have enough gear slots to pick the item up, and was unable to open it again so lost the item. The best way to fix this is by completing Merlin Trials; little open world challenges that unlock after you go to meet Natty in Lower Hogsfield. Each costs Mallowsweet to start and requires you to complete a little preset puzzle, but once you finish enough of them, you can unlock more gear slots in the challenges menu.
You can stealth kill enemies
Stealth isn't an appealing option in Hogwarts Legacy when you can just run into a goblin-filled camp and blast everyone with spells. That said, there is a way to backstab enemies when you're being stealthy for murderous possibilities. When you're using the Disillusionment spell, sneak up behind a dark wizard or goblin and activate them to perform Petrificus Totalus—a one-shot kill. While it's unlikely you'd be able to stealth kill an entire camp, this is a handy way of weeding out some of the tougher enemies before you start blasting.
Stupefy is the best spell
Hogwarts Legacy spells: Every spell you can learn
Hogwarts Legacy Merlin trials: How to solve the trials
Hogwarts Legacy Room of Requirement: How to get in
Hogwarts Legacy Demiguise statues: Unlocking Alohomora
Hogwarts Legacy eye chests: How to crack them open
Hogwarts Legacy broom: How to take flight
Hogwarts Legacy's combat system is all about breaking shields of certain colours by using spells of that same colour, but when you only have four spells in each set, dealing with shield types while also having your best red damage spells equipped is tricky. You can switch spell sets, of course, but trying to parry while also remembering which set you left a certain spell in is an added challenge. The good news is that Stupefy—your parry counterattack ability—allows you to all but ignore the shield system.
Stupefy breaks all shields, and the best part is you don't even have to fire it at the enemy that attacked you. This means you can parry weaker enemies, and then aim Stupefy to break the shields of tougher ones who use more red, unparryable attacks. Once you unlock talents, you can upgrade Stupefy to deal damage on hit and stun enemies for longer so you can combo them with your other spells more. You can also upgrade Protego to fire off projectiles when you time your pre-parry block perfectly.
Find the Demiguise Moons
As you explore Hogwarts and the Highlands you'll happen upon a whole lot of locked doors with no way to open them. If you know the setting, you've probably realised that you need the Alohomora spell. When you get to Autumn, you'll be able to undertake "The Caretaker's Lunar Lament" quest that gives you the lockpicking spell and sees you collecting Demiguise Statues for upgraded versions of it.
I'd greatly recommend collecting the nine moons that are needed to give you Alohomora level two. While there are some level three locks in the world, they are a lot rarer. Level one and two locks, however, are pretty much everywhere, and give you access to treasure, new Puzzle Doors, and collectibles like the final Daedalian Keys.