Supergiant’s Pyre, a beautiful combination of sports, RPGs, and Oregon Trail, has finally released, and for the most part it’s a fairly straightforward game. However, there are plenty of finer strategic points that the game doesn’t outright explain to you. Because the game ties its narrative so closely to its mechanics, many game-changing secrets and tips cannot be shared without spoiling the plot.

We’ve compiled a list of the ones we can safely share so that you can have a slight advantage as you begin your journey through the Downside.

Consider Giving Up Goals If You Are Ahead

If you successfully score on the opponent’s goal, you will find yourself down a team member temporarily. Similarly, if the opponent scores they will be down a team member, giving you the advantage for the next round of play. The only hit point that matters is the last one, so they say, so keep this in mind when warring against your opponent. If you feel as if two characters aren’t enough to withstand their onslaught, then consider giving up a goal to someone with a low glory rating. Lower glory means less damage done for every goal scored, and as long as your damage outpaces theirs you will still be on track to winning. Giving up a strategic goal to get your whole party back is an easy way to put the enemy in a position to lose more HP than you did.

Alternate Flinging And Diving

If you don’t want to give up goals, then perfect the art of orb flinging. Flinging the orb into the opponent’s pyre doesn’t do a lot of damage; however it does reset both teams to their full three member status. If a fling is all you can get with a two man team, you might as well take the shot.

Keep Who You Want To Give Up In Mind

Without spoiling much, at times you will be asked to permanently remove a member of your party from your ranks. You can only choose from your highest-level characters, and they never come back. You likely don’t want to give up your best party member, so I suggest spending time to level up characters you don’t necessarily like, so they can be given up instead. The “train a party member” vocation works well for this, giving them 1000 points of enlightenment even if you never use them in a Rite.

Spread Your Enlightenment As Much As Possible

The best way to prepare for losing a party member is to keep everyone leveled about evenly. Not only will this allow you to choose from most of your party members when you have to give one up, it also means the rest of your party won’t be too weak to survive after the loss.

Sort Characters Into Classes And Try To Keep At Least One Around From Each Class

In general, characters can be sorted into three different “classes.” Attackers excel at getting the orb into the enemy’s pyre in a speedy and efficient manner. Defenders use their auras and masteries to help protect your pyre and half the enemy’s advance. Finally, disruptors are good at banishing the enemy, allowing your attackers to score. Which character will fall into which class is entirely dependent on the masteries you give them and the talismans you equip them with. Regardless, try to keep at least one character from each class around so that you can be adequately prepared for anything that comes your way.

Examine The Opponent Before Facing Them

Keep these classes in mind when selecting your party for each rite. In general, defenders beat attackers, disruptors beat defenders, and attackers beat disruptors. If your opponent is a team of fast moving curs, for example, a team of heavy giants with huge auras will make your pyre nearly impossible to get to. Simply banish them all and lumber your way into their goal. If your opponent‘s team is full of long distance projectile classes, use your speedy attackers to run circles around them. Tailor your team to the situation and you will find it difficult to lose.

Max Two Characters And Keep Them

Once most of your party is of a high enough level, pick your top two characters and stick with them. Max them out so they learn one of their ultimate masteries. From the mid to end game, you will be using these two characters and the character you will eventually give up for most rites. If all goes well, you will never have to give up either of your two best characters.

Use Story Relevant Characters

Before each match, members of your party will have dialogue with the opposing team. While these characters might not be your favorite, it’s strongly recommended to use them anyway. Participating in story relevant dialogue may grant you temporary bonuses, items, or even new party members!

Always Check The Caravan

If the caravan has a “…” symbol on it, head on in and check around. At worst, you’ll find a couple new story elements in the Book of Rites. At best, you’ll have a conversation with one of your party members that temporarily or permanently raises one of their stats. You’ll also reveal their backstory, which in turn opens up new conversations that raise yet more stats. You can also find items littering the floors and walls of the caravan at times. There’s basically no reason not to check the caravan every chance you get.

Don’t Ignore Sandra’s Summons

Every so often, a party member will be called in to the caravan to participate in a unique three-on-one challenge map. Completing this challenge gives you access to a unique accessory for the character that participated.

Min-Max With Talismans

Your first instinct will likely be to use each character’s unique talisman with that character, but this isn’t always the way to go. In general, you want to use talismans that increase glory on your attackers, talismans that increase hope on your defenders, and any talisman that gives a buff to special abilities or cooldowns to your disruptors. Many unique accessories do fall in line with these classes, but several do not, so be sure to experiment.

Sell Unique Talismans

Unique talismans sell for a pretty penny so if you aren’t using them, sell them as soon as possible. In addition, each of these talismans is locked for use with one character and one character only. If you give that character up permanently, then there is no reason not to sell their stuff to outfit the rest of your party.

Get The Contract And The Burning Promise

These two accessories are very important. The contract gets you gold each time you banish an enemy, and the burning promise gets you gold each time you score a goal in the opponent’s pyre. If you are confident you can win your upcoming rite, then you should always have these accessories equipped. They will give you a steady gold income, allowing you to spend time doing things other than foraging and treasure hunting.

Remember, Exiles Can Only Learn Four Masteries

Tech trees are nothing new to RPG fans, but the tech trees in Pyre are particularly small. You only get to choose four masteries over the course of the game, and many have prerequisites. It’s worthwhile to map out the exact masteries you want as soon as you get your character, so as to not have to spend gold on reassigning them later in the game.

Explore The World Map

Mid-way through the game, you gain the ability to fly around the world map. While it’s tempting to go straight to your next destination, take some time to wander. You’ll find glowing spots that prompt conversations with the rest of your party. These conversations can lead to temporary or permanent bonuses, new items, and new talismans.

Keep A Close Eye On Volfred’s Records

Volfred’s records keep track of many things, including your win and loss records, other teams’ win and loss records, current standings, individual player rankings, and more. In short, it’s a sports portfolio. In essence, Pyre is a sports game. Each rite is a game and you’ll play several seasons, at the end of which you’ll need to give up a character. You can alter which teams you face by playing specific games and either winning or losing to help or hurt the opposing team’s record.  No one is going to get angry if you throw a match.

Use A Controller

While you can play Pyre with a keyboard and mouse, we recommend against it. It simply doesn’t give you the control you need for a faster paced sports game like this. While clicking through menus is easier with a keyboard and mouse, rites are far easier with a controller.

You Can Restart Rites

Finally, Pyre is interesting because it has no game over condition. A loss simply affects the story and lets you play onward. However, this isn’t going to be acceptable for many people, so if you really want to be a perfectionist, remember that you can restart rites at any time. This is especially useful if your opponent gets a few early game goals on you and you don’t want to start at a disadvantage.