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Curse Cursed Effect.png is a mechanic in Dead Cells where the Beheaded is punished for angering the gods. Curses cause any amount of damage to one-hit kill the player, and they must kill enemies in order to lift it. Curses function as a risk-reward mechanic that can greatly benefit the player with rewards such as Scrolls, Gems and healing.


Nearly all sources of damage kill the player while cursed, regardless of their current health or any damage-reducing abilities they may have.

  • Curses work off of a point-based system, where killing enemies reduces the total points by one. Each time a curse is inflicted, another set of points is added to the total amount of curse points that are already there.
  • Curses have synergies with certain Gear and Mutations.

The following damage sources instantly kill the player while Cursed:

  • Any enemy hit that deals at least 1 damage, even while blocking with a shield.
  • Any trap hit.
  • Jumping into a bottomless pit.
  • Damage-over-time due to poison.
  • Self-damage from using Lightning Bolt Icon.png Lightning Bolt continuously for too long.

While most sources of damage kill the player in a single hit while cursed, there are a few exceptions:

While cursed, the player cannot use the Homunculus Rune.

  • However, the player can still use the Homunculus Rune if the only source of curse is the Cursed Sword Icon.png Cursed Sword.


There are a few different ways one can be afflicted with a curse:

Cursed Biomes[edit]

Biomes can randomly become cursed during a run depending on a few factors:

  • Cursed Biomes start to appear in runs from 2 BSC and the maximum number of Cursed Biomes that the player can enter is capped depending on the difficulty chosen:
    • 2 BSC: 2
    • 3 BSC: 3
    • 4 BSC: 5
    • 5 BSC: 8
    • When the cap is hit, no more cursed biomes will appear in the run, but as long as the cap has not been reached Cursed Biomes can keep appearing.
  • In biomes at least one exit will be non-cursed and up to two exits can be cursed.
  • Each exit has a 25% chance to be cursed.
    • A biome must have been visited once before it can be cursed.
    • The Bank can't be cursed.

Cursed Biomes offer a higher risk and reward:

  • In a Cursed Biomes ~9 (+/-2) total cursed enemies will spawn, these will be Cursers, Doom Bringers and Sore Losers.
  • Cursed Biomes receive a +1 in gear level to all sources of gear.
    • This allows the player to find level 21 gear (XV-S or XV-L) by entering the cursed CavernRotG on 4+ BSC and encountering a Mimic.
  • Additionally, Cursed Biomes will have a +10% increased chance for a Cursed Chest to spawn (5% -> 15%, 110% -> 120%)


  • While cursed, the Spite Sword Icon.png Spite Sword does critical hits.
  • Alienation Mutation Icon.png Alienation makes it so decreasing the curse counter restores 5% HP but increases the number of enemies required to lift the curse by 50%.
  • Acceptance Mutation Icon.png Acceptance reduces gained curse counter from sources by half, but consuming food inflicts curses.
    • Having both alienation and acceptance will reduce curse gain by 25%, rounded up.


  • Ice Armor Icon.png Ice Armor will prevent instant death when getting hit while the skill is active.
  • Foresight Icon.png Foresight will prevent instant death when getting hit while the passive is active.
  • Gaining curse while having the Cursed Sword Icon.png Cursed Sword equipped still gives a curse counter.
  • The amount of curse received from cursed chests can be changed using custom mode to any number between 0 and 999. This blocks achievements.


  • Curses are the only mention of gods in the entire game.


  • 0.5: Killing spawned enemies no longer reduces the curse counter.