What's the best weapon in Hades? There are six Infernal Arms you can equip in your escape from the Underworld, and they're so well-balanced that, in their base form, there's no clear winner. It all comes down to your playstyle and the upgrades you get—if you're not a fan of the bow at first, wait till you try it with Flurry Shot, which lets you hold down attack to fire continuously.
Some are more useful in certain situations, however. Aegis, the Shield of Chaos, has a bull rush that lets you block and then zip forward, damaging whoever you hit. It's worth unlocking as soon as you can because it's an excellent weapon for clearing the first act with. Those bull rushes will let you cause bonus wall slam damage in the smaller chambers of Tartarus, and are great for both blocking Megaera's attacks and getting behind her for a cheeky backstab.
Of course, once you're used to bull-rushing all over the place, you make it to Asphodel, which has puddles of lava everywhere and you end up cooking yourself more often than not.
But back to the beginning. What are the six Infernal Arms, and how do you unlock them?
All Hades weapons: How to unlock all six Arms
- Stygius, the Stygian blade: Unlocked for free at the start of the game
- Coronacht, the Heart-Seeking Bow: Unlocked for one Chthonic Key
- Aegis, the Chaos Shield: Unlocked for three Chthonic Keys
- Varatha, the Eternal Spear: Unlocked for four Chthonic Keys
- Malphon, the Twin Fists: Unlocked for eight Chthonic Keys
- Exagryph, the Adamant Rail: Unlocked for eight Chthonic Keys after all other weapons are unlocked
It's worth spending Chthonic Keys on weapons rather than anything else until you've got all six. The other main thing you'll want keys for is to unlock additional sets of upgrades in the Mirror of Night, but that's only worth doing after you've spent rather a lot of Darkness on buying Greater Reflex (for a bonus dash) and maxing-out Death Defiance (which restores you to life at half health when you die), and that's going to take time.
Every new weapon is a completely different playstyle, essentially a whole new class. And a random one of them, which will glow purple in the arsenal room, gives a bonus 20 percent to Darkness earned in each run. It's worth hopping between them just for that reason, and you'll be glad of the practice later on.
Weapons can be upgraded for the duration of a run with Daedalus Hammers, which appear randomly. One might be in the very first room, taking the place of a god's boon, or appear as a reward for clearing a room, or be available for purchase in Charon's shop. No matter where they spawn, you usually won't be able to acquire more than two per run, so choose carefully. It's never a bad idea to take an upgrade that just improves damage with whichever of a weapon's abilities you favor, as you'll need those big damage numbers in later acts—and Daedalus Hammer upgrades stack.
That's all you'll need to know when you start playing Hades. However, once you've unlocked all of the Infernal Arms, you're not done. That's when you need to start worrying about weapon aspects, and for that you'll want Titan Blood.
Hades Titan Blood: How to get it
You'll get your first Titan Blood in Hades for defeating Megaera and escaping Tartarus. You get more by defeating the furies with different weapons, doing the same with the final boss, completing certain tasks from the Fated List of Minor Prophecies, or buying it from either the Wretched Broker or Charon's final shop. If you've got to the point where you're regularly making it to the final shop in your runs, it's worth saving all your money just in case. Charon saves his best stock for the end.
Finally, you can get more Titan Blood by using the Pact of Punishment to increase your Heat level—defeating the furies and the final boss on higher and higher difficulties. If you're playing in Hell mode you'll have access to the Pact of Punishment right away, otherwise you'll need to clear the game once to get it.
What are Hades weapon aspects?
What you spend Titan Blood on is permanent improvements to Infernal Arms. Each has four forms. The first is the Aspect of Zagreus, the vanilla version you've been using already, which can be upgraded five times for one Titan Blood each time.
Where it's really at is the subsequent aspects: Each of which unlocks a new look and either different upgrades, or a complete transformation of how the weapon works. Two of them will be available right away, though they'll cost more Titan's Blood than the Aspect of Zagreus upgrades.
Aspect of Chiron for the bow is notable, as it makes the Volley Fire automatically seek out whoever you last hit with a normal attack, and each upgrade increases the amount of arrows in the volley. What's more, plenty of bonuses, whether from boons or Daedalus Hammers, apply per arrow. Hangover damage from Dionysus, for instance, or stacks of freeze from Demeter. Then there's the Daedalus upgrade Concentrated Volley, which gives +3 damage for each consecutive hit to a foe, or Relentless Volley, for +4 shots. There's a lot of potential synergy there.
(Update: Supergiant were paying attention to how people were using the bow because in the latest patch the volley special has had its damaged reduced. However, the Aspect of Chiron's volley has had its number of arrows increased to offset that, so it's still valuable if less of a game-changer.)
Other aspects particularly worth spending your hard-earned blood on are Aspect of Achilles for the spear, which gives post-rush bonus damage, Aspect of Chaos for the shield, which lets you throw multiple shields after a bull-rush, and Aspect of Eris for the Adamant Rail. That one adds to any damage you cause within four seconds of using the bombard if you stand in the bombard's area-of-effect. Maxed-out it's a bonus of +75% to all damage for those four seconds, from any source. No matter what your build, that's huge.
What are hidden aspects?
Each weapon also has a hidden fourth aspect, and it takes some earning to find these. First, spend Titan's Blood on multiple different weapons, buying at least the first upgrade for each of their aspects. The amount you'll need to spend differs—spread it over five weapons and you'll need to spend five Titan's Blood on each, concentrate on three and you'll have to spend seven on each. Then keep talking to Achilles until he mentions Guan Yu, a name you may know from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Achilles will guide you through unlocking the Aspect of Guan Yu for the Eternal Spear, your first hidden aspect. After that, other characters will help you with the others. Spend at least five Titan's Blood on the Adamant Rail and Zeus will want to talk about it, spend five Titan's blood on the Twin Fists and Asterius the Minotaur will be your guide. Try wearing the weapon you want to unlock when you meet them to make it more likely they'll bring them up in conversation.
The hidden aspects are all powerful, but special mention goes to the Aspect of Arthur, which Nyx will tell you about. It transforms your sword into Excalibur, which gives a bonus of +50 to your health and lets you drop an aura on the ground that slows enemies and projectiles while you're standing within it. It also has its own moveset with a lot of reach. The only downside to the Aspect of Arthur is that it's a little slower, but you can begin an attack, dash, and then finish the animation wherever your dash ends. Or take the boon from Hermes that increases your attack speed to simply negate the drawback of this powerful weapon.
Combined with Athena's Divine Strike for increased attack damage and the Daedalus Hammer upgrade Greater Consecration, which increases the size of your aura and the potency of its slow effect, you are essentially invincible. By the time you unlock the Aspect of Arthur you'll have mastered so many other weapons it won't matter, but in a finely balanced game with no one, all-purpose perfect weapon, Excalibur is maybe the best. Kind of. For some playstyles.