Dead Cells

Dead Cells

1,096 ratings
Explorer's Guide
By Ray G. Quit
[THE BAGUETTE UPDATE] Infographics with full progression map and items and their scaling with brutality, tactics and survival for your builds and some in-depth details about how game works.
Hey! I don't know about you guys but I love a good infographic. So in this guide I'll present you two of my creation. One showing you a full progression map and the other weapon and skill scaling which you can use in your builds. Other than that you'll find a lot of technical info that I managed to figure out regarding loot, items and some unlockables.

If you found it helpful please give it a thumbs up and add it to favorites. The more of thumbs up it gets - the more people will see it (that's how steam guides work) and hopefully benefit from it. Thanks!

There are 3 tiers of stats that we can pick up during our progress in form of scrolls. Brutality, Tactics and Survival - red, violet, green respectively. Melee and ranged weapons as well as shields and skills fall to one or two of those categories. The more points in each tier you have, the more powerful your item will be. For those weapons that scale with two tiers it scales only with your highest stat. So for example having 10 brutality and 5 tactics for a Cursed Sword will scale only with Brutality and investing in Tactics won't strengthen it (unless you reach 11 tactics).

Every stat improved by 1 gives you +15% damage for item with its respective color. Aside from that you get +X% health for each stat spent. The health bonus gets smaller as you keep investing on a single stat. But if you decide to start investing in a different stat you will add a lot more to the health pool. The idea here is that mono-tiered builds are rather glass canons (high damage, low health), 2-tiers builds are balanced, 3-tiers build have a lot of health but low damage. Have in mind that Survival gives the most health starting at +60%, next is Brutality starting at +50% and the last is Tactics starting at 40%.

Now let's move to the infographic. There's currently 60 weapons and 31 skills = 91 items total. 48 of them are scaling with brutality, 49 with tactics and 30 with survival (those numbers include items that have two-tier scaling). Following image shows you exactly which item belongs to which tier.

You have only icons here, mainly because they're easier to manage and update later if needed, but if you need a name of any of the items and where to grab a blueprint for it you can go check the gear page on Dead Cells wiki.[]
Here you have a full progression map showing you all possible routes you can take. Progressing trough all paths require acquisition of the runes (which I will explain later on).


On my progression map you'll notice that every biome has a biome level. That level influences items that you'll get inside that biome. There are sets of rules that have an effect on the item. Add the number to the biome level according to the condition to figure out how it works:

0 - for items found loosely on the ground
0 - dropped from a monster
0 - behind a paywall (golden door)
+1 - bought from the merchant
+1 - regular chest
+1 - cursed chest, together with a gem and scroll of power, additionally the item will be colorless (scales with your higest tier regardless of its original scaling)
+2 - from elites
+2 - reward for completing a challenge secret area

Additionally if you're playing on 3 Boss Stem Cells difficulty add +2 to your items level and on 4 Boss Stem Cells add +4.

The runes are permanent unlocks that will give you access to locked parts of the map - including biomes. You will want to get them as soon as possible to not skip any possible loot on your way.

The Vine rune can be picked up in the Promenade of the Condemned by fighting with an elite Undead Archer (tip: dodge its double arrow)
The Teleportation Rune in the Toxic Sewers unlocked by fighting with an elite Slasher (tip: bring a shield or something to stun or immobilize him with)
The Belier's Rune in Ossuary by fighting with an elite Slasher yet again.
The Spider's Rune in Slumbering Sanctuary by fighting with an elite Orb Caster (tip: bring a ranged weapon)

So if you're in a hurry to get them all your routes would be:
The Prisoners' Cells > The Promenade of the Condemned
The Prisoners' Cells > The Toxic Sewers
The Prisoners' Cells > The Promenade of the Condemned > Ossuary
The Prisoners' Cells > The Toxic Sewers > The Old Sewers > The Insufferable Crypt > Slumbering Sanctuary
You can't do them all in one swoop, so once you've unlocked one either carry on or die and start from the beginning. There's also Challenger's Rune that unlocks daily runs in the starting zone and can be found after defeating boss in The Black Bridge, but that one isn't needed for progression and you'll get it eventually.

Forge (also known as Foundry) can be found after each of the bosses and only then. In there you can permanently upgrade chances for your weapons to drop with +, ++ and S quality. Each of those quality levels will add to the weapon or skill extra damage, stronger and additional affixes (the effects like +100% damage on burning enemies). Aside from that ++ upgrade guarantees you +1 to the tier (Brutality, Tactics or Survival) to which this item belongs and S upgrade will give you +2. In case of items that belongs to two tiers the tier bonus will be randomly generated within those two tiers - for example for [Cursed Sword S] you can get +2 tactics or + 2 brutality or +1 tactics and +1 brutality.

You can upgrade gear by spending cells which goes as follow:
  • 1000 cells for 100% chance for + quality gear
  • 3500 cells for 60% chance of ++ quality gear
  • 8000 cells for 30% chance of S quality gear

Those are permanent progress bars so you'll be able to have benefits from those every time you spend enough cells to reach each 5% milestone (as in 5%, 10%, 15% and so on). You can't exceed the 60% cap for ++ nor 30% for S quality gear.

Boss Stem Cells (BSC) are permanent unlocks that can make the game harder and more rewarding. They can be obtained by defeating the current final boss. Once you defeat him, you'll receive a Boss Stem Cell which will allow you to play on next level of difficulty where you have to defeat that boss again to gain access to the next difficulty and so on until you reach 4 cells. Each difficulty will make your enemies hit harder and have more HP. Starting from 1 BSC difficulty you'll notice new enemies that weren't present in the biome that you're in - and that enemy-loadout will continue up to 3 BSC. On 4 BSC you will notice yet another kind of enemies added to all biomes. On top of that these are changes that are affected by the Boss Stem Cells:

Some of the most useful guides and links that I use for the game.

Official Dead Cells Wiki[]
Official Dead Cells site[]

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Satan's Krips Jun 30 @ 3:25am 
also the ui change (i think i prefered the look of the old but the simple functionality of the new)
Satan's Krips Jun 30 @ 3:22am 
i'm guessing the ramparts rework (the first thing i noticed) along with sounds was the baguette update
Ray G. Quit  [author] Jun 26 @ 12:37pm 
They're known now as boss stem cells. You obtain it by beating current final boss and that unlocks the new difficulty level for you by using stem cells.
whats a boss source cell?
Joshieaka11 Jun 17 @ 8:42pm 
Thanks SO MUCH for this map it is very helpful <3
Ray G. Quit  [author] May 18 @ 10:37pm 
That's true, but I decided to skip that. Mostly because when you have no rune, the game pretty much forces you to go from Prisoners' Quarters to Promenade. Your first visit in the Promenade will force you to have a battle with that elite for the rune because without it you won't progress anywhere. I've put the rune markings on my map where you would have a choice, but you're locked because you may not have the rune yet.
Kurokey May 18 @ 2:56pm 
isn't the map wrong though? as far as I can tell, you need the vine rune in order to get to the lift that goes from the promenade of the condemned to ramparts.
Ray G. Quit  [author] May 18 @ 2:12am 
Sure, I don't mind.
Nicw May 18 @ 12:08am 
Thank you first for your guide.I have been playing dead cells lately.It's really a good game,and i am going to write a game review about dead cell,I wonder if you allow me to use some pictures in this guide,i want to use them on my game review and post them with your name noted.Thanks for your watching and I am sorry for my poor English. Thank you so much for the guide again.
Ray G. Quit  [author] May 15 @ 9:00am 
Guide updated to Baguette update :shelterfrog:

A few minor progression map changes and updated Forge and Boss Stem Cells sections. If I missed something feel free to let me know in the comments.

Also I finally learned how to update my map on wiki page (was actually pretty simple) so enjoy it here:

See you next patch.