Tunic Beginner's Guide artwork with logo

Tunic is a highly enjoyable and Zelda inspired action-adventure with a heavy focus on exploration. While the difficulty curve might not be all that extreme, Tunic can still be quite tricky to get into, especially if you miss some of the cryptic clues and end up becoming underpowered or simply stuck.

So if you want your first experience with Tunic to be as smooth as possible, allow me to give you some spoiler-free tips and advice to get you started. Without further ado, here's the brief list:

Video version of this guide (~8 minutes)

1) Keep an eye on the manual

Unlike most games that rely on in-game tutorials to guide you forward, Tunic prefers to let you figure out things on your own. When it absolutely has to give you a hand, however, it usually does so by having you unlock a relevant page from the incredibly handy in-universe 'manual'.

These pages can give you clues on where to go next, offer you maps of areas you can explore, and most importantly of all, tell you what to do in order to activate certain objects in the world. So if you ever find yourself lost and unsure where to go next, make sure to check out the last few pages you found as they will almost certainly point you in the right direction. This is especially important once you start trying to figure out how the golden plates work, because without the manual you're probably not going to get anywhere.

Tunic screenshot of the in-game manual showing the triforce

It's often a bit cryptic, but the manual is a real lifesaver

2) All roads lead to the temple

This is a bit of a specific tip, but if you've scoured the manual and you can't figure out where to go next, there's two places you should check out: the temple at the center of the map, and the floating teleport hub.

Odds are the answers you seek will be found within as most of Tunic's story revolves around these two locations. So if you've completed the obvious objectives and have no idea what Tunic wants you to do next, give the two locations a do-over as you'll almost certainly run into something new and interesting.

Tunic screenshot of the closed temple doors

3) Explore, and then re-explore

Tunic's world is absolutely brimming with secrets to uncover, many of which contain highly useful items and stat upgrades. As such, if you find a strange bit of scenery or a road that seems to lead directly into a wall, make sure to sniff around as you'll soon enough stumble upon a chest that's absolutely brimming with goodies!

While doing this you'll also likely find a bunch of chests and secret areas you simply can't access yet. Make sure to remember those! Eventually you'll get new abilities and items that help you navigate the world, so coming back to the old areas and picking up all of the chests you've missed will give you access to heaps of gold and consumables, perfect for that final push into the end-game.

Tunic screenshot of treasure being everywhere in the world

Treasure and secrets are everywhere!

4) Don't forget to level up

In order to power yourself up in Tunic you will need to find hidden items that can grant you stat boosts. However, instead of simply using these items and getting the benefits immediately, you'll need to pony up a fair bit of gold in order to increase your damage, defense, health, magic, stamina or even the potency of your potions.

You can do all of this by visiting any of the handy respawn points scattered throughout the world. Once you're there simply open up your inventory and navigate to the bottom right of your screen. The stat-boosting items you collected will be waiting for you there, and once you sacrifice them alongside a bit of gold you will gain a permanent increase to one of your attributes. Needless to say this is incredibly important, so learn from my mistakes and make sure not to neglect your leveling.

Tunic screenshot of the leveling up screen

5) Slow and steady wins the race

While the frantic pace of combat might make you panic and push you towards wildly swinging your sword in the vague direction of your opponent, that will more often than not end in your defeat as enemies in Tunic deal massive amounts of damage. Instead, a more slow and methodical approach to combat will yield far better results.

This is because every single enemy clearly telegraphs their attacks and mostly uses the same sort of patterns. As such, once you truly figure out how to avoid these attacks you'll be able to reliably do so every single time, after which you can go on the offensive and dish out some serious damage in return.

So as tense as some of the bosses can be, your best bet is to stay calm and observant. You might die a few times while learning the fight, but once you've got a grasp on the enemy's moveset you'll be able to practically dance around them as they desperately try to hit you.

Tunic screenshot of the Garden Knight boss attacking

The bosses can be scary, but they're also really fun!

6) Your shield is stronger than you might think

Years of games like Dark Souls have conditioned people, including myself, that blocking powerful attacks with your shield is something you should only do as your very last resort. This is not the case in Tunic.

While dodging around is incredibly important and will save you from a lot of trouble, it will also quickly burn through your stamina meter, especially on the more aggressive bosses. On the other hand, quickly blocking a blow with your shield and then moving out of the way of the follow-up will barely waste any stamina while keeping you perfectly safe and ready to swing back.

So figure out which attacks to dodge, which attacks to block, and don't ignore either option as they work best when used in tandem.

Tunic shield being used to block lasers

Your shield can even block lightsabers!

7) If you can't beat it, blow it up

Items in Tunic are remarkably powerful, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the various types of bombs. It doesn't matter if we're talking about a single strong enemy or hordes of skeletons, a carefully placed explosive will either kill them outright or bring them to low health.

So if you ever find yourself in a situation where a tough enemy is blocking any and all progress, grab a couple of bombs and see if they can help you even the odds. If you don't have enough items on hand to destroy your nemesis from range, you can also try to fight for as long as you have healing potions and then use your last few bombs when it's basically guaranteed they'll finish the enemy off.

It's also worth mentioning that bombs are fairly cheap to buy from your friendly neighborhood skeletal demon merchant. As such, if you're really having trouble just spend a couple of minutes grinding gold in order to build up your supplies. It might not be glamorous, but pockets full of dynamite will get you pretty far! 

Tunic screenshot of an explosion going off behind the player

Cool foxes don't look at explosions

Closing Thoughts

And there you have it, seven simple tips that will hopefully make your first run through Tunic a pleasant and straightforward experience. That said, regardless of how many tips you read or how much you prepare, you will very likely fail or get lost time and time again.

That is simply part of the process, and something that makes succeeding in Tunic all the sweeter! So embrace both your glorious victories and humiliating defeats, and most of all, make sure to have fun exploring Tunic's charming little world!