Red Algorithm

Red Algorithm

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By Eugene
In this short guide you will learn everything about Runes in Red Algorithm.
What are Runes?
Hello there! Let's talk about Runes today.

When you browse heroes, close to the button that starts the game, you can see another one:

Each hero has his/hero own set of runes, and you can't transfer them between heroes

This going to lead you to the hero runes screen:

John here has quite a lot of them...

Runes allow you to permanently improve some of the hero stats like damage, range, etc.

There are 13 stats that you can improve in the current version 1.5, and each stat can be improved only 10 times, which usually will give the hero +10% to it (like +10% damage, etc.).

+10% to one stat might not seem like a big deal, but if you max out a few stats like that, your hero will be significantly stronger. And, unlike with perks, and almost anything else in the game that applies only to the current game, runes will stay will you forever and work in any game you play with this hero.

There is a trick though, the total number of stats is 13, and you can invest 10 runes in each, which should indicate that you can find a total of 13 * 10 = 130 runes, right? No. Total number of runes is limited to 70 (at least in the current game version). This means that you can't improve all stats to the max with runes, you have to choose what stats to improve, and what should be left as they were for each particular hero.

How to get them?
You can get runes the same way you get any other bonuses on the map (new weapon, more damage, heal, weapon upgrade, etc.), just by finding it on the map and picking it up.

A rune on the map looks like this:

This small rounded purple thing

Come close to it and you'll get it. When the game is over and you died, all runes that you found will be given to you, so you can distribute them whenever you want.
Rune drop rates
Now that we established that runes are cool, let's see how we can get them.

Rune drop rates in the current game version 1.5 are:
  • 5% per minute in the casual mode from 5 to 15 min
  • 10% per minute in the casual mode from 16 to 25 min
  • 20% per minute in the casual mode from 26 min
  • 15% per minute in Hard Mode from 5 to 15 min
  • 30% per minute in Hard Mode from 16 to 25 min
  • 60% per minute in Hard Mode from 26 min
  • +5% with Collector[] perk
  • +5% with a blessed weapon, and -5% with a cursed weapon
  • +25% if the hero has less than 10 runes (newbie boost)
  • +0.25% per each completed achievement
  • And 2x (double chance) with Pickaxe DLC
Let's see how this works.

Let's say that a new player just trying out the game for the first time, he starts with 0 runes. He is playing casual mode as John. First 4 minutes in the game his chance to get a new rune will be 0%, because they can drop only from the 5th minute (this is to prevent save/load kind of abuses).

From the 5th minute he will have a 5% chance to get a new rune at the start of each minute (and it will stay on the map for 1 minute), which is not a lot, but, as he is a new player who has 0 runes (John hero has 0 of them), he will get additional +25% chance to get a rune, totalling 30%. So, on average, after 4 minutes, he will get a new rune every 3 minutes he survives.

As you may conclude from the drop rate table above, it's not easy to get runes in Red Algorithm. You pretty much have to play in Hard Mode to improve your chances, and as more you survive, as higher the drop rate gets. If you managed to survive 30 minutes in the casual mode, as there are a few people who did so, you can get 20, 30, or even more runes from just one game.

Getting the first 10 runes for any hero is relatively easy because of the newbie boost (+25%), but then it gets much harder and you have to play a lot to get many of them.

Also, note that completing achievements can improve the rune drop rate (check out this guide to learn how to get achievements). Right now there are 60 achievements in the game and if you complete even 20 of them, it will increase rune drop rate by 0.25 * 20 = 5% per minute.

You can see your current rune drop rate in the game if you turn "Dev Stats" to "on" in settings.

It's the last thing there, "rdr % (rune drop rate)"

Turn the Dev Stats ON to better understand how the drop rate works in practice.
Pickaxe DLC
Farming runes isn't an easy task. To max out a hero and get all the possible runes for his (70) you might need to play 30 - 40 hours or so. How much time it will take depends on many factors, mainly on what game mode you are playing (Hard Mode has 3x higher chances to get runes), how many achievements you get, how long you survive on average, and so on.

It's possible to get all the runes for John, Sarah, and Mr. Lee (free heroes) without paying anything, it will just take you quite some time.

However, you can speed up the process if you get Pickaxe DLC on Steam.

It will double your chances to get a rune, making farming much faster.

You can't buy runes directly in Red Algorithm via microtransactions, and generally, you can't just buy something that will make you better in this game (premium heroes aren't much stronger than free heroes). Pickaxe will just save you time farming runes, and it's a good way to support this indie game and its solo developer, as it's more reasonably priced than premium heroes.
What stats to improve with runes?
As mentioned above, there are 13 different stats you can invest runes into. All of those stats can be improved in the game with perks, weapon upgrades, bionic body parts, etc., but runes will improve them forever for this hero. So, what should you improve?

It's everybody's personal choice how to invest those runes. It depends on your strategy, game style, a particular hero, your favorite weapon class, the game mode you play, etc.

But a popular thought is to improve stats that a particular hero is lacking.

For example, Sarah has a good move speed, so maybe you shouldn't improve it with runes even further, and you'd better concentrate on something else, a critical chance, health, regeneration, or maybe range. However, John has quite some HP, but he doesn't move fast, so investing runes into move speed for him makes much more sense.

Here is a bit of very general advice on what to improve for each hero with runes:
  • Sarah with SMGs and MGs can benefit from anything that increases DPS (damage, hit speed, critical, range, accuracy) and health (HP, dodge or regeneration).
  • John has good starting HP and a kind of heal (from his starting Breathing Room[] perk), so he can enjoy additional move speed, and almost anything else. Alternatively, you can try to make him even more tanky by improving armor, dodge, regeneration, and getting more HP.
  • Mr. Lee can survive even more if you improve his dodge further, but then it depends on what kind of weapon you like to use with him. If those are primitive weapons, then the range is not a bad choice, then maybe hit speed, and other things.
  • Fernando is a very strong hero in the mid-game that gets more runes than other heroes (because he starts with Collector perk). He needs to improve many stats, but if you like to use shotguns with him, range and critical chance would be your priorities.
  • Lucy learns fast already, and she has at least one heal from the start, but her starting pistol really lacks DPS, so you can improve damage, hit speed, crit, range, and accuracy first. Then maybe HP, dodge, or regeneration.
  • Osiris starts with a plasma weapon, so you can consider improving splash size, as well as the stats that increase DPS (damage and hit speed). Then, you get a bit of survivability (HP, regeneration, etc.) and move speed as well.
Your approach can be radically different from that and you have full freedom to build any kind of character you like. Don't hesitate to experiment!
How to reset them?
You can see a small reset button on the runes screen:

It's near the total number of runes you have

The reset costs 5 runes. After that, you will get all your invested runes back (except 5, that is the cost of reset) as free runes, so you can invest them again in a better way.

Warning! The "reset runes" button in settings is NOT the kind of reset you are looking for, don't click on it! The reset button in settings is for technical use only (for the developer and testers). If you click on it, it will just erase all your runes to 0 and you won't get anything back!
What is a Purity Mode?
Lastly, let's talk a little bit about the Purity game mode.

If you turn "Purity" to "ON" in settings, rune effects will be disabled, and if you go ahead and play in Hard Mode with Purity ON, your results will be saved in the special Steam Leaderboard called Purity.

In other words, John with 70 runes and John with 0 runes will be equal in Purity mode.

The fact that rune effects are disabled (like +10% bonus to your damage from runes), doesn't' mean that you can't find runes in this mode. Runes will still appear in Purity mode and you can pick them up, just their effect won't work.

What is the point of this mode?

Purity is like a tournament mode that makes everyone equal before the law. No matter how long you played and how many runes you got, everyone starts from the scratch in Purity mode, which means that the total time you survive will depend more on your skill and the lack with RNG in the current game, and not on the number of runes you have.