Loop Hero, one of the best surprises of the year, is a autobattling RPG about walking in circles. Each time you make a loop of the map, the monsters that spawn there get four percent stronger. You play cards that can influence those monsters in some ways or spawn new ones with the hopes of getting better gear that'll help you survive successive loops. This will go on until about loop 12 or 15—maybe loop 20 if you're good—before you'll either trigger a deadly boss battle or get slaughtered by overpowered monsters. Not Jefferey, though. He's a player who figured out how to get to 13,283 loops, all while farming an absurd amount of crafting resources.
"Realistically I could go forever," Jefferey tells me via email. "Unless there was a power out, internet failure, game crash, etc."
I heard about Jefferey's antics through a mutual friend. Since Loop Hero came out, he's spent over 70 hours with the game. First he beat all the four main bosses (and two secret ones), and then he devoted the rest of his time to figuring out how to break Loop Hero by achieving an infinite loop where the player character can walk forever while earning a potentially infinite number of crafting resources. Here's how he did it.
To infinity and beyond
Jefferey's method relies on exploiting a couple of powerful cards. The most important is a card called Road Lantern, which reduces how many monsters can inhabit nearby tiles. This effect stacks. With enough Road Lanterns overlapping, tiles become completely uninhabitable by any monsters.
"There is also a tile called Ruins that gives you a basic resource every time you pass by the square even if there are no monsters," Jefferey explains. "So the next logical step was to see if I could remove all the monsters and keep getting resources indefinitely—or as I like to call it: going infinite."
The key here is that Ruins give you a random resource each time you pass one. Normally, these resources have to be earned by meeting certain requirements, like killing certain types of enemies or discarding unwanted cards. But with Ruins, it's possible to acquire every type of resource just by strolling through.
Jefferey explains that the trick is getting a loop of the right shape. Each time you start a new game the path your hero walks is randomly generated, so the trick is getting one where every tile can be surrounded by no less than four Road Lanterns so no monsters can spawn. You then begin to cover the road tiles in the Ruins card surrounded by Road Lanterns. Ruins normally spawn dangerous Scorch Worms, but the overlapping Road Lanterns will block these beasts. "Once set up you can leave it running forever and as long as you play on act four there is no resource cap," Krazonozon says. "This could be done by loop 60 to 80 depending on your card drawing skills."
This what that looks like:
What to do before attempting infinite loops
Getting to a point where you can successfully cover the map in Ruins and Road Lanterns is another challenge, though. Until you're able to successfully play enough Road Lanterns, you're going to have to square off against deadly Scorch Worms and Slimes that spawn on empty tiles. You'll also have to unlock Act 4, which doesn't limit how many resources you can haul back to camp. But Act 4 also requires you to fight the three previous bosses. Having good gear isn't enough on its own, you'll also need a fully stocked home base.
Looking at the image above, you can see that Jefferey uses the Thicket and River cards, which synergize to greatly improve your attack speed, in addition to a card you unlock later in the game called the Arsenal. This gives your character an extra equipment slot. When used with the Rogue class, that means getting access to necklaces that grant magic HP, which operates like a regenerating shield. Combined with the insanely high attack speed of all those Thickets, your character can wipe out packs of monsters without taking a hit to their actual HP. This is the basic strategy that Jefferey used to beat most of Loop Hero's bosses, the same one recommended by our Loop Hero guide.
Surviving long enough to pull this off, though, will require some grinding. Jefferey recommends doing separate runs where you bring only the Desert card, which reduces everyone's max HP by 0.5 percent per card. Stack enough of them and your Rogue will kill most enemies in one hit while still avoiding any damage thanks to its regenerating magic HP. If you focus on items that give you the "attack all" and attack speed stats, you'll quickly melt most packs of monsters in a few seconds.
"After my guy had decent gear around level 40ish I was able to let the game auto run while I was doing other things or sleeping and it would fail around loop 105-110 and when I got back to the computer [I could] spend the [Orb of Immortality] to take all the resources. When you clear Act 4 bosses you get eight [Orbs of Immortality] and it only takes four to take all the loot so this was good for resources."
Do this a few times and you should have enough resources to max out your base. You want to build a lot of Mud Huts, and upgrading them, to increase the total number of Supply Items you can have active at once. Each Supply Item provides a passive buff to your character while on the loop. Jefferey suggests stacking the Farmer's Scythe, Count's Chair, Antique Shelf, and Old Painting. "This is the biggest gain in player power you can get," Jefferey says.
Once you have a large enough horde of Supply Items, you should easily be able to survive until loop 80 and be able to set up your infinite loop using Jefferey's strategy. Once you've blocked Scorch Worms or other threats from spawning anywhere you can simply leave the game running forever and you'll get a random resource for each Ruins tile you pass. Congratulations, you just broke the game.
If you're hoping to reach Loop Hero nirvana, here's a breakdown of the cards that Jefferey uses to achieve infinite loops:
- Bookery: Needed to swap out unwanted cards to draw new ones (helps you get Ruins and Road Lanterns).
- Graveyard: Filler card that's used for the Bookery.
- Spider Cocoon: Use this to spawn easy monsters in the early game to help you draw more cards.
- Ruins: Gives a random resource each time you pass through it. Should aspire to cover the entire loop in these cards.
- Road Lantern: Place around Ruins cards to reduce how many Scorch Worms they would spawn. Ideally you want enough Road Lanterns covering each Ruins so that no enemies are able to spawn.
- Oblivion: This card removes other cards you have placed. Use it to remove tiles you no longer need (like Bookery) to make space for more Road Lanterns.
- Arsenal: This card is necessary so Rogues can use necklaces that provide the Magic HP stat.