There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG official key art and logo

There Is No Light is a brutally fast paced action-RPG that rewards you for taking risks and playing aggressive. Combine that with the simple fact that both you and your enemies are glass cannons that hit hard and fall apart even harder, and it's very easy to see how one can find themselves in a bit of a rut at some point in their journey.

So if you're new to the more challenging side of the action-RPG genre, or if you're simply looking to make your first run through There Is No Light as smooth as possible, allow me to share with you some handy tips and advice to help you get started. Without wasting any more time, let us begin!

Video version of this guide (~11 minutes)

1) It's all about the charged attacks

Enemies in There Is No Light have three different types of attacks, each designated with a colorful marker above their head. Red attacks are generally weak and can be interrupted by your basic strikes. Yellow attacks are powerful and can only be interrupted by charged attacks, while White attacks cannot be stopped at all and thus need to be dodged.

As such, the best strategy against most enemies is to be aggressive while they're trying to do Red attacks, and then stun them with a charged attack when they try to pull off a Yellow attack. This then gives you even more time to wail on them, which in turn lets you build up more rage, which you can then use to stun them again and repeat the whole process. So even if you have to sandbag a charged attack for a couple of seconds in order for everything to line up, it's well worth doing so as having a stun on demand will go a long way towards keeping your head on your shoulders.

There Is No Light dark indie action RPG screenshot of a boss being stunned by a charged attack

Even bosses can be stunned by charged attacks

2) Stay calm, stay alive

Given that the pace of combat may be blisteringly fast at times, it's natural that your first instinct will be to try to speed up in order to match it. That is unfortunately a costly mistake as trying to do too many things at once in There Is No Light will usually end with you taking unnecessary hits and dying soon after.

So what should you do? In my eyes, the easiest way to remain calm and focused even in massive battles is to find a rhythm that suits you. In general you want to dive into combat, dish out a couple of attacks to build up your rage meter, dodge any incoming strikes from your opponents and then dash back in to land the killing blow with your charged attack.

Once you get comfortable with some sort of attack pattern you'll free up a lot of brain power for more important tasks like tracking enemy movements, prioritizing targets, and figuring out when you can take great risks for even greater gains. Until you reach that point, however, it's best to err on the side of caution and prioritize being out of harm's way.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of a battle with four enemies

The more enemies there are, the more calculated your strikes need to be

3) Medicine is worth its weight in gold

Unlike most action-RPG There Is No Light is extremely stingy when it comes to healing supplies. They are highly limited in number, with there only being one or two hiding in each region, and they do not respawn at all!

So unless you're willing to make a literal deal with the devil in order to gain more medicine, you'll need to carefully ration how you use it. My advice would be to save it for situations where you are clearly going to defeat a boss or a challenging section, but you just need a bit more health to ensure nothing goes wrong. Using it this way will give you the best bang for your buck while also avoiding those awkward situations where you use a heal early on in the fight and then die anyway, thus wasting it forever.

Similarly, if you ever find yourself taking too much damage while near a checkpoint, it's much better to simply restart than waste medicine or try to push through on low life. The second time around you'll have a lot more experience with that particular encounter so you'll likely be able to go through it without taking a hit, and you'll also save yourself a heal for later when you might really need it.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of the player healing in a boss fight

I eventually lost that battle and felt really dumb about wasting my one and only heal

4) Charged attacks can slowly heal you

While healing supplies are scarce to come by, they're not the only way to keep yourself healthy. Hitting enemies with charged attacks fills out your healing meter, with each attack filling one of the four slots. Once all of them have been filled out, the next charged attack will generate a small health orb you can attack for (you guessed it) a small heal.

In order to capitalize on this you'll want to land as many charged attacks as possible, even when they are completely unnecessary. So if you find yourself in a fight against enemies you know you can easily defeat, make sure to separate them so you can hit each one individually with a charged attack in order to get the maximum amount of health out of that one combat encounter.

However, if you're fighting against tougher enemies, consider the whole healing meter system as a little bonus rather than something you should actively pursue. After all, if you're doing suboptimal moves in order to score a small heal, and in the process end up taking damage because you're wasting charged attacks, you can very easily end up with less health than what you started with.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of a healing globule dropped by enemies

Healing orbs are flung away from enemies, so don't accidentally leave them behind

5) Combine attacks from different weapons

Even though new weapons are slow to unlock in There Is No Light, all of them are well worth using. However, while the game presents them as a side-grade, something you can switch to if you're tired of the classic sword, in reality they are more utility focused and can make your life a whole lot easier if you learn how to combo your attacks with them.

For example, the two-handed sword doubles as a boomerang which gives you a powerful ranged attack that can be chained together with your normal swings to do an immense amount of damage. So while smacking people with the two-handed sword on its own is perfectly fine, you'll get far more mileage out of it by using it in unison with the other weapons.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of the two-handed sword boomerang

You can reflect the 'boomerang' with a swing in order to dish out some serious damage

6) Exploring wide or deep are both viable options

There Is No Light offers a somewhat non-linear world to explore with around 3-4 unique paths for you to rummage through at any given time. This means you can either teleport around and constantly visit new areas, or simply focus on one path until you're done with it.

If you stick to one path you'll have to deal with consistently more challenging enemies, but you will be rewarded in the end with a brand new weapon. On the other hand, if you skip from one side of the map to another you will have a much easier time and have much more experience to upgrade your current weapons, though you will obviously delay the acquisition of new ones.

Both approaches are perfectly valid options, so it really comes down to personal preference. The only important thing here is that you understand what your choices even are as There Is No Light doesn't tell you much of anything.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of the fast travel system

You can fast travel anywhere, so feel free to explore to your heart's content

7) Explore areas thoroughly

There Is No Light's areas are full of secrets and side-paths to uncover, many of which are hidden in plain sight and require a keen eye to spot. Basically, if you ever see a path branch off from the main one, even if it seemingly results in a dead end, snoop around as you'll likely find that you've missed a sneaky environmental clue somewhere.

As far as rewards are concerned, most of these secrets will lead to consumables, quest items and bonus fights. While you can skip them without any real repercussions, I would highly advise not doing so as all of this stuff is useful, even if it might not appear to be at first glance.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of a side quest giver

Sometimes you'll find loot, and sometimes you'll find a whole new quest to undertake

8) Don't ignore urgent quests

Unlike a fair few RPGs that give you infinite time to solve quests, urgent matters in There Is No Light are actually urgent. After all, if someone is dying from a particularly nasty poison, leaving them to suck it up while you continue to explore won't end well.

More specifically, certain quests will fail and the NPCs move on from their positions when the main local boss gets killed, kind of like in the Dark Souls series. So you can still snoop around the area, but just make sure to turn around at the very end in order to handle any outstanding matters before you lose the opportunity to do so.

There Is No Light indie action-RPG screenshot of a spiderweb covered giant

As for him, I don't think he'll be going anywhere

9) Running is faster than fighting

Some of the areas you'll have to go through in There Is No Light are absolutely nasty and riddled with difficult enemies from beginning to end. Because of this, dying near an unclaimed checkpoint can be an incredibly frustrating experience since you'll have to push through all those mutated monstrosities all over again in order to have a second go at it.

The good news here is that in most scenarios you don't actually need to fight all of those enemies. If you've looted all of the side-paths and you're only interested in progressing through to the next area, you can skip the vast majority of encounters by simply dashing through them. It's a bit risky, sure, but it's also a lot faster so even if you mess up and die you can still make it back to where you were originally before someone doing things 'fairly'.

There Is No Light dark indie action-RPG screenshot of a spider attack

You're faster and smarter, so use it against them

Closing thoughts

There you have it, nine simple tips that will hopefully make your first experience with There Is No Light a nice and pleasant one. That said, this is still a highly challenging game we're talking about, so don't be too disappointed if you end up dying hundreds of times on your first playthrough. I'm a long-time veteran of the genre and even I've kicked the bucket more times than I can count.

At the end of the day, it's all just a part of the learning process. So pick yourself up, take a deep breath, and go back at it again. You'll succeed eventually, and when you do it'll feel amazing since it was an actually hard-fought victory!