The Binding Of Isaac: Beginner Tips

Binding Of Isaac is a game that is equal parts disturbing, disgusting, and deranged. But within all of that alliteration, there is an undeniable charm that compliments stellar gameplay and endless replayability. You could spend hundreds – THOUSANDS – of hours murdering Satan with your salty tears, and you’d still have more game to uncover.

But getting into The Binding Of Isaac is not exactly simple. There have been re-releases, ports, remasters, and expansions that have all melded together to make a beautifully dense – and difficult – experience. Going in blind might leave you feeling mighty bitter, and maybe even overwhelmed. We’ve got you covered though.

Keep Moving

You have to keep moving. If you go away from this with anything, make it this. Staying still will lead you down a path of self-destruction. Enemies will come at you thick and fast, and your tears won’t hold back the hordes forever. Moving and shooting on the other hand, well, that’s a match made in heaven.

Moving for moving's sake, however, won’t get you far either. It’ll take time and practice, but actively moving to gain advantage whilst avoiding projectiles and enemies should be your goal. You don’t have a lot of HP to start with, so master avoiding damage in the first place.

Learn Patterns

Following on from that, you have to learn enemy patterns. There are hundreds of enemies and bosses in The Binding Of Isaac, and each one of them will attack and approach in different ways. Heck, some of them die in unique ways that can well and truly mess up your day.

As with most things, this will take a while, but learning what each enemy does will let you plan out each room more effectively. This is important for basic enemies, champions, minibosses, and actual bosses. Knowing how each sentient poop-pile moves will help improve your play.

Look For Secrets

It might be hard to see under the layers of excrement and blood, but The Binding Of Isaac is very much inspired by the original Legend Of Zelda from 1986. This plays into all sorts of things, such as room layouts and movement. But the most important aspect of The Legend Of Zelda that made the transition is the secrets.

Each floor has a Secret Room that can be found by bombing a wall. Secret Rooms tend to spawn adjacent to multiple other rooms, which makes finding them easier than you’d normally expect. Not only that, but Super Secret Rooms also exist, and these are much harder to find, but reward you with all kinds of gubbins.

Mess Around In Different Modes

Back in the day, The Binding Of Isaac only had one mode – the main mode you play. The comparatively recent expansions to Isaac have introduced more ways to play, and this, in turn, has added hodds of new content. There is always something to do in Isaac – and chopping and changing how you play can help improve said play.

But it’s not just additional modes, like Greed, but additional difficulty modes. These difficulties bring new challenges, and some of them even introduce new items, giving you more than enough reasons to crank that dial up a notch.

Experiment With Items

One of The Binding Of Isaac’s defining traits is the sheer number of items you can find whilst battling through basements, wombs, and circles of hell. The number of items you can find is rapidly approaching 1000, which is truly staggering. Each item will apply different buffs, debuffs, and effects to Isacc – often changing how you pay.

Getting your head around all of these items is one thing, but then you have to wrack your bonce to figure out how they all interact. A massive number of items can be combined to radically change how each one individually functions. Experimenting with each item, and how each item interacts with each other, is all part of the fun – and challenge.

Try Different Characters

The Binding Of Isaac stars the eponymous Isaac, but he isn’t the only character you can play as. Ok, that might not be entirely accurate, but that would delve too far into the intricate lore of Isaac which is a story for another time. What is important, however, is how this affects gameplay.

There are a whopping 34 characters in the latest iteration of Isaac, and these have huge gameplay ramifications. Some characters are more difficult, some are less difficult, and others, well they are just a sidestep. Like with items, experimenting with each character is all part of the game.

The End Isn’t The End

This is almost a spoiler, but The Binding Of Isaac doesn’t end when you beat the game. This might be a hard pill to swallow since “beating” the game for the first time isn’t exactly easy for newcomers. Each victory expands the game in new and unexpected ways. Killing Mom may be the goal at first, but each subsequent victory leads to new areas, bosses, and enemies.

The Binding of Isaac is a long game, and it isn’t prepared to share all of its secrets with you right from the get go. Keep playing, keep delving, and keep killing. It’s the only way to see the true ending.

Don’t Give Up

The biggest tip we can give is to not give up. The Binding Of Isaac is hard, heck, it might seem unfair – RNG can be a right womble at times. Don’t let your failures get to you though. There is so much to find, do, see, and kill, and it’s all worth the effort.

With enough practice, you can beat The Binding Of Isaac with a shockingly high level of consistency. Very few games ask as much as Isaac, and fewer still reward you as handsomely.

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