Rhythm roguelike Crypt of the Necrodancer gets massive update after 5-year hiatus

overhead view of Necrodancer gameplay
(Image credit: Brace Yourself Games)

Rhythm-based indie roguelike Crypt of the Necrodancer just got its first update in five years, with version 3.0 making a whole host of changes and additions including bug and quality of life fixes, as well as Steam Deck support and a level editor.

Crypt of the Necrodancer first graced our screens all the way back in 2015, offering a surprisingly catchy combo of RPG and rhythm game. In our review at the time, we stated that "Crypt of the Necrodancer strikes the balance between charm, readability, and difficulty that is so important for a game of this type, and it does so off the back of a set of brilliantly-executed new ideas."

Update 3.0's addition of a level editor is particularly surprising to me, and could prove a shot in the arm for Crypt of the Necrodancer's longevity, with a theoretically infinite well of user-made maps keeping fans busy for years to come.

The quality of life improvements include the ability to save and quit in the middle of a run. Previously progress in Crypt of the Necrodancer was only saved in-between runs, so this is a welcome change, and one that dovetails with the update's addition of Steam Deck support. Update 3.0 also adds a "no beat mode" to play the game sans its signature gimmick for an easier time, as well as more efficient streaming of resources to reduce load times.

Update 3.0 tidies up Crypt of the Necrodancer's replay system, leaderboards, speedrun timer, and menu system while addressing a selection of crash and desync issues. I've put the patch notes in full below:

List of New Features in v3.0.0

  • Added No Beat mode, enabling Bard-like gameplay for any character. Yes, even Aria for anyone who would like to experience the game’s story in an easier way!
  • Added a Save and Quit feature to allow exiting the game and resuming the session later.
    • The session is also automatically saved when closing the game window.
    • Suspended and resumed runs can be submitted to the Deathless, Story and All-Characters leaderboards.
  • Greatly reduced loading time when starting the game by streaming more resources on demand.
  • Added improved controller support via Steam Input, with gamepad-specific button symbols and Steam Deck support.

Controls and Input Improvements

  • Added various improvements to the controls and input system.
    • Added the ability to assign multiple keys or buttons to the same action.
    • Added support for custom multi-key combos for any in-game action.
    • Most menu controls can now be customized.
    • Mouse buttons can now be assigned to in-game actions.
    • Added a menu for quickly switching between keyboard/controller schemes for co-op players.

Custom Music Overhaul

  • Added an overhauled custom music system with the ability to save multiple playlists and switch between them.
    • Audio files in the MP3, OGG and FLAC formats are supported.
    • Beat detection is performed in the background, allowing more songs to be selected in the meantime.
    • Special tracks (story bosses, training, tutorial) can also be customized.
    • Imported songs and their beatmaps can be previewed directly in the Custom Music menu.
    • On Linux, a native file chooser dialog is now used in place of the in-game selection menu.

New and Improved Co-op

  • Added dynamic view scaling for local co-op sessions when players move away from each other.
  • Added independent per-player beatmaps in co-op mode: play any combination of Cadence, Bolt and Bard!
    • Each player tracks their own rhythm: the presence of a Bard or Bolt does not transfer their effects to all players.
    • Adjusted the behavior of all enemies to follow the rhythm of the nearest player.

Updated Replay System

  • Added an advanced option to view post-death replays from the perspective of the enemy that ended the run.
  • Added a redesigned replay system with hotkeys for seeking through and skipping levels.
    • Multi-run replays (Deathless, Story, All-Characters) now record and playback gameplay across all runs.
    • Replays now reproduce accurate input timings for Bard, in No Beat Mode or with Custom Music enabled.
    • Replay auto-saving can be configured to record all runs, only victories, or no runs at all.


  • Added a warning to the leaderboard menu if mods or custom rules are causing the leaderboards to be disabled.
  • Split co-op leaderboards into 'Cadence + Cadence' and 'Mixed Characters'.
  • Changed Custom Music leaderboards to also include No-Beat Mode and other rhythm customizations.
  • Added Low% speedrun leaderboards, tracking the fastest completion times without the use of items or shrines.
  • Added offline saving for achievements and stats, synchronizing them automatically once the connection is re-established.
  • Meeting an achievement's unlock condition while offline will grant the achievement upon reconnecting.

Speedrun Timer

  • In the All-Characters selection room, the speedrun timer is now always paused, including on intermediate characters.
  • Completing a partial run in All-Characters or Story mode no longer shows a confirmation menu while letting the speedrun timer continue.
  • On boss floors, the speedrun timer is always paused until the first move, even if the "Show boss intros" option is unchecked.
  • Waiting out a custom song now adds a time penalty of up to the original song's full duration to the speedrun timer.
    • This ensures that extremely short custom songs can't be used to gain an advantage on the leaderboards.

Quality of Life Updates

  • Added an audible countdown when unpausing to get back into the rhythm.
  • The length of this countdown can be configured in the settings, or it can be turned off altogether.
  • Added a new latency calibration assistant that matches the BPM of the current song.
  • Added the ability to paste into text boxes (such as the run seed) by pressing Control+V.
  • Added the ability to toggle AMPLIFIED content on or off without restarting the game.
    • This also changes which set of leaderboards can be viewed and submitted to.
  • Added "Custom Rules" menu, allowing various gameplay settings to be tweaked. This disables leaderboard submissions.
  • Added a menu for gameplay quirks - obscure mechanics or bugs from previous versions that can be toggled on or off.
  • Added support for unlocking the game's framerate beyond 60 FPS.
  • Added options to change the game's view scaling mode.
  • Added options to customize the intensity of screenshake, particles and freeze frames.
  • Added an option to show advanced settings, unlocking many additional customization options for experienced players.
  • Added a hotkey for searching through menus (*Control+F*).
    • The following menus are supported: Options, Custom Rules, Mods, Reassign Controls, Select Replay, Load/Save Dungeon.

Better Modding Capabilities

  • Added a fully redesigned mod loader and modding menus.
    • Multiple mods can be loaded at once, and their override priority can be customized.
    • This includes mods altering `necrodancer.xml`: changes will be merged together in priority order.
    • `necrodancer.xml` mods created without the AMPLIFIED DLC can now be loaded even if the DLC is enabled.
    • Mods can be loaded in the middle of a run without requiring a restart.
    • The Mods menu now displays thumbnails, authors and descriptions from the Steam Workshop.
    • Subscribing to a mod while the game is running now downloads it automatically.
    • Active mod downloads now indicate their progress in an overlay while in the lobby or in a menu.
  • Added a text-based translation/localization system.
    • This allows for the creation of fan translations without needing to edit any image files.
    • Translation template files are available in the same CSV-based format used by the game.

New Custom Level Editor

  • Added a new level editor with many additional features and improvements to the control scheme.
    • The level editor can now be used with a mouse, keyboard, or controller.
    • Various shape tools are available for placing tiles and objects: freeform pen, line, filled/outlined rectangle.
    • Using the eyedropper hotkey (*Q*), existing tiles and objects can be quickly selected for further placement.
    • The eraser tool (*Right-click*) adaptively deletes objects, walls, or floors based on the starting point of the pen stroke.
    • A selection tool allows cutting, copying, pasting, moving, and deleting rectangular sections of the level.
    • Tiles and objects are grouped into categories, which can be quickly navigated by pressing *Tab*.
    • The contents of the side panel can be filtered by pressing *Control+F*.
    • The side panel can be resized by clicking and dragging, or by changing the editor options.
    • Almost every type of tile/object in the game can now be placed in custom dungeons, including bosses.
    • Multiple items, enemies or other same-category objects can be stacked on one tile by holding *Shift* while placing them.
    • The player spawn point can now be moved around using the 'Move objects' tool.
    • The contents of chests, crates and urns can be customized by placing items (or enemies!) on them.
    • Existing custom dungeons can be imported into the level editor and are automatically converted into the new dungeon format.
    • Levels in custom dungeons can be reordered, duplicated and renamed.
    • Boss songs and special tracks can be chosen in custom levels, allowing the usual song-length time limit to be removed.
    • When generating procedural levels for custom dungeons, a fixed seed can now be optionally specified.
    • The size of generated boss levels can be customized, altering the arena size and the number of boss minions.
    • Boss levels in custom dungeons can now be modified in the editor after being generated, and will save their changes.
    • Story bosses can be added to custom dungeons.
    • Newly generated levels can be quickly rerolled with the same settings, but a different seed.
    • When using a controller, grid-aligned and gyroscopic controls are supported for cursor movement.
    • Hotkeys are available for Quick Save (*Control+S*), Test Level (*F5*), Undo/Redo (*Control+Z* / *+Y*) and many other actions.
    • All mouse, keyboard and controller bindings can be customized.

Updated System Requirements

  • On all systems, at least 4 GB of RAM are required, and 8 GB or more are recommended for best performance.
  • On Windows, a 32-bit or 64-bit installation of Windows 7 or greater is required.
  • On MacOS, a 64-bit installation and MacOS version 10.10 or greater is required.
  • On Linux, a 64-bit installation of Ubuntu 18.04 or SteamOS 3.0 is required.

Crash and Desync Fixes

  • Fixed crash when using an Electric Dagger to knock an enemy into a Rat Familiar.
  • Fixed crash when using the Boots of Lunging to move instruments around in Nocturna's final boss.
  • Fixed crash when loading a workshop mod with invalid images or audio files.
  • Fixed some text not being colored correctly in non-English languages.
  • Fixed many known causes of replay desynchronization:
    • Fixed desync when using more than one item or spell after stepping on the exit stairs.
    • Fixed desync when using healing items to block damage from Spike Traps.
    • Fixed desync when 'Enable Particles' option differs between replay recording and playback.
    • Fixed desync when performing rapid inputs during the song transition of Cadence's final boss.
    • Fixed desync when moving rapidly as Bard.
    • Fixed desync when Nocturna's final boss summons enemies.
    • Fixed desync when an Armored Skeleton spawns from a Sarcophagus.
    • Fixed desync when changing a replay's playback speed.
    • Fixed desync when resizing the game window during a run.
    • Fixed desync when a Blast Helm explosion is used to defend against a Fireball.
    • Fixed desync between Windows and MacOS/Linux when the player is diagonally aligned with a digging miniboss.
Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.