Not without some delays and some controversy on social media, Hogwarts Legacy is already in the hands of many players, thanks to the Early Access granted by the Deluxe Edition of the game. All other players will have to wait until Friday, February 10, or for the later PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions, which arrive in April and July respectively.
Many new students, then, will be coming to Hogwarts School and the full open-world adventure that Avalanche Software has created, as we told you about in our review. So that you don't run around like a headless chicken (which Nearly Headless Nick would love), we've put together this guide of essential tips to help you make the most of every second of Hogwarts Legacy and progress through the game with ease.
It's a spoiler-free guide to the story, so you can read it without fear even if you haven't started playing - let the magic begin!
Professor Weasley's quote (yes, those Weasleys) is the first piece of advice we'll be giving you on how to play the game, and that is to explore every nook and cranny of the school in the first few moments of the game. As soon as you arrive at the school, Deputy Headmistress Weasley will give you the Hogwarts Field Guide, a handbook to keep track of the places, locations, equipment, skills and inventory you've collected in Hogwarts Legacy. To progress through the game you will need to level up with experience, and the easiest and quickest way to get it at the start of the game is to retrieve pages of the Field Guide hidden throughout the school, Hogsmeade and the surrounding area.
Most of the pages are obtained through the Revelio spell, but others will require Accio, Confringo or Levioso. These spells are unlocked in the story, so stop by from time to time and interact with the objects marked in blue when using Revelio. Another trick, if you hear the sound of a bell, is that there is always a secret nearby.
There's a reason why he was the most famous wizard in history. Merlin was also a student at Hogwarts, and he left his legacy (never better said) around the grounds of Hogwarts Vale in the form of simple puzzles in which we have to destroy objects, carry fireflies to marked rocks or throw huge boulders and dunk them into stone holes. Whatever it is, the prize is worth the effort. Spaces for equipment inventory, which are very important because they are really limited, and because it also represents the biggest source of income in the game.
Very important: As soon as you can, get Mallowsweet seeds from The Magic Neep in Hogsmeade, as they are the key to activating Merlin's Trials.
It may sound like silly advice, but nothing could be further from the truth. Money in Hogwarts Legacy is (at least until the last third) a scarce commodity and absolutely essential to progress. The vast majority of merchants have prices that can only be considered abusive, but there are some minimal purchases to be made, such as potting seeds and summoning spells. All of these serve to turn the Room of Requirement into a self-sufficient factory of adventuring equipment, such as potions and plants for combat.
The most convenient way to raise money is to sell equipment you no longer use. Prioritise those marked (in this order) green, blue, purple and orange. Each one will be more valuable than the last, and so if you run out of room to carry more on a mission (see why it's important to do Merlin's Trials?) you'll have to destroy the less valuable ones.
The good thing about seeds and spells is that you only have to buy them once, after which you can generate them infinitely (with opals) in the Room of Requirement.
Another trick for quick cash. If you come across those chests with one eye that pop out when they see you, it's best to use the disillusion spell to sneak up on them and get the 500 coins in each one. And if you don't have the spell yet, you can use the invisibility potion.
Combat is a fundamental part of Hogwarts Legacy, and while at first it doesn't require much skill or complexity, enemies will soon become more demanding and better prepared for your attacks. Some of them will employ a permanent magical shield that will deflect your spells unless you counter it with a spell of the same 'colour family' as the shield. For example, if a dark wizard has a purple shield, an enchantment like Accio or Depulso will break the barrier, while if the shield is yellow it's best to use Levioso or Arresto Momentum, though our favourite is the Tranform spell, which turns an enemy into an exploding barrel and can be cast on others. Two casualties for the price of one.
There are enemies that are especially weak to certain spells. You're going to see a lot of spiders in the game (a lot of them), and the best way to take them down quickly is to intersperse basic casts with fire spells like Incendio or Confringo. Trolls are pretty tough, but you can use Flipendo to use their own club against them to deal a lot of damage.
Don't disdain the use of herbology classes when fighting. Chinese Chomping Cabbages, Mandrakes and Venomous Tentacula are very useful tools that can get you out of trouble with large groups of enemies, or stronger ones like Acromantulas or Trolls. Always carry a good supply of them.
The broomstick is the primary means of magical transport in the world of Hogwarts Legacy. While Floo Powder is great (it's the equivalent of fast travel here), you'll need to unlock destinations first, and they'll often be quite far away. Luckily, we have the brooms. The shop in Hogsmeade has several models at 400 coins each. Just get your hands on one and the game will speed up a lot from then on. With it, you can travel in a straight line and even enter the Forbidden Forest or the mountains safely by air. Of course, flying broomsticks is forbidden in Hogsmeade, as well as inside the castle, so we'll have to find another way to reach certain places... Did someone say Alohomora?
Alohomora is the enchantment to open magical locks and we will get it by doing a side mission for the Hogwarts caretaker, Mr. Moon. Carrying a certain amount of an item will improve the spell to open level two and three locks, so whenever you see a statue of a Demiguise, make sure it's night time (you can change the time of day in the map menu) and grab the statue.
And for the moment, with these tips you can start your Hogwarts Legacy adventure with peace of mind, although we don't rule out adding more notes as we explore every corner of Avalanche's game. Have a fantastic start to the new year at Hogwarts!