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On this page you can find an assortment of many of the unique mechanics within Dead Cells.


  • When you take damage a mechanic called recovery activates. This lets you recover some of your lost health by dealing damage to enemies.
  • Upon taking damage, 80% of the lost portion of the health bar turns from green to orange, indicating how much health can be regained by dealing damage.
    • This orange portion begins to shrink after a 0.08-second delay, at a rate of 30% maximum health per second until it disappears, leaving only the green portion and indicating the recovery effect has ended. If the player takes damage again while an orange portion of the bar remains, the bar will be discarded completely for a new orange bar based on the new health loss, resetting the Rally Effect.
  • The Recovery Mutation Icon.png Recovery mutation causes recovery health to drain at 0.24 seconds after taking damage, at a rate of 10% of maximum health per second.
  • While an orange portion of the health bar remains, damaging enemies heals the player for 12% of the damage inflicted, with each hit's recovery capped at 20% of the original health lost.
  • Total health recovery is reduced by 65% while the player is protected by a force field, such as the one given from taking hits with a shield equipped.
  • Since v1.9, the Update of Plenty, recovery is no longer affected by skills. This means they cannot gain health back.
    • However some skills added in the Fatal Falls DLC are bugged and can still trigger it.

One-hit protection[edit]

  • If the player takes a hit that would normally kill them while their health is above 25% of maximum health, that hit instead drops the player to 1 HP. All nearby enemies are also stunned for about 1 second.
  • One-Hit Protection normally takes 45 seconds to recharge before it can activate again, but its cooldown can also be reset by drinking a potion or refilling your health completely in any way.
    • It can also be disabled in Custom Mode.
  • Disengagement Mutation Icon.png Disengagement could be considered an upgrade to the regular one hit prevention, as it prevents most fatal damages while also providing a protective shield when triggered.


If the player significantly damages an enemy while they are in the middle of an attack or defensive maneuver, the overwhelming force may breach that enemy's defenses, interrupting the maneuver and stunning them for 1.4 seconds.

Basic breach mechanics[edit]

  • By default, damage dealt to enemies by direct hits (not damage-over-time effects) is added to an enemy's breach damage.
  • Breach damage, at an enemy tier of 1, decays at a rate of 20 points/second until it reaches 0.
  • Breach damage must exceed 100 to cause a breach.
  • Breach damage's decay rate and the required breach damage to cause a breach both scale with enemy tier using the same formula that increments enemy health.

Breach resistance[edit]

Enemies can be more resistant or more vulnerable to breach during certain maneuvers. The degree of resistance or vulnerability is quantified by the maneuver's breach resistance as follows:

  • If a maneuver's breach resistance is equal to 0, breach damage accumulates normally as the enemy takes damage during the maneuver.
  • If a maneuver's breach resistance is positive (greater than 0), damage taken by the enemy during the maneuver is reduced by (breach resistance x 100)% for the purposes of breach damage accumulation (e.g. if a maneuver has a breach resistance of 0.5, a 40-damage attack would only increase breach damage by 20 points).
    • If a maneuver's breach resistance is equal to 1, the enemy cannot be breached at all during the maneuver due to damage taken being reduced to 0 for the purposes of breach damage accumulation.
  • If a maneuver's breach resistance is negative (less than 0), damage taken by the enemy during the maneuver is increased by (-(breach resistance) x 100)% for the purposes of breach damage accumulation (e.g. if a maneuver has a breach resistance of -1.5, a 40-damage attack would increase breach damage by 100 points, enough to cause a breach to occur if the enemy has an enemy tier of 1).

In general, larger enemies are harder to breach than smaller enemies, melee attacks have higher breach resistance than ranged attacks, while Bosses and their minions are immune to being breached.

Breach bonus[edit]

Some of the attacks from the player's Weapons are more or less effective at causing breach damage on all enemies. The degree of effectiveness of breach damage generation for a particular attack is quantified by its breach bonus as follows :

  • If an attack's breach bonus is equal to 0, breach damage is equal to attack damage.
    • Damage from Shields and non-Weapon sources can be assumed to have a breach bonus of 0.
  • If an attack's breach bonus is positive (greater than 0), breach damage is increased by (breach bonus x 100)% compared to breach damage for a breach bonus of 0 (e.g. if an attack with a breach bonus of 1 deals 40 damage, that attack increases breach damage by 80).
  • If an attack's breach bonus is negative (less than 0), breach damage is decreased by (-(breach bonus) x 100)% compared to breach damage for a breach bonus of 0 (e.g. if an attack with a breach bonus of -0.5 deals 40 damage, that attack increases breach damage by only 20).
    • If an attack's breach bonus is equal to -1, the attack cannot cause a breach to occur due to damage being reduced to 0 for the purposes of breach damage generation.

In general, breach bonus is higher for melee attacks than for ranged attacks, greater for final blows of weapon combos than for first blows, and larger for slow weapons than for quick weapons.

Note: The bullet points for breach bonus effects assumed that attacks were occurring during enemy maneuvers with a breach resistance of 0. For cases in which breach bonus and breach resistance are both non-zero, final breach damage is obtained by applying the attack's breach bonus effect first, then the enemy maneuver's breach resistance effect.


Stagger is a hidden mechanic that works in a similar way as Breach.

  • Damaging an enemy during its attack adds "Stagger" to the enemy's attack.
    • This delays the attack's "Hit Frame" (which is separate from the actual attack animation, causing the animation to become desynced), but can never fully interrupt the attack.
  • The amount of Stagger depends on the Animation-Lock (aka. Endlag) of the weapon's attack that hit the enemy. It serves as a leniency mechanic so players don't get hit while being stuck in a long animation of some slower weapons.
  • Stagger has no internal cooldown and can be more efficiently used by dual-wielding 2 weapons. This can be further optimized if the weapons can cancel the cooldown/endlag animation of the other weapon (i e. Pure Nail Icon.png Pure Nail + Spite Sword Icon.png Spite Sword).



Knockback is a characteristic of certain weapons and abilities which causes opponents to be knocked away a certain distance. Many knockback effects also cause enemies to be knocked into the air slightly upon being moved, but some simply slide them across the ground. Additionally, knockback can often cause enemies to be stunned. Typically knockback is used to put more distance between the user and their attacker, especially when using ranged weapons.


Grabs are a characteristic of some enemies and items which pulls the target towards the one who initiated the grab. Grabs are typically useful for pulling targets into close range to be taken out more easily by melee weapons.

Dive attack[edit]

  • A Dive Attack is performed by pressing the jump button while holding down in mid-air. This move makes you fall faster, negates the stun from falling long distances and deals damage to enemies, but will be automatically canceled if it takes too long to hit the ground (like falling through the exit elevator in the Ramparts).
    • You can negate the stun from this fall by performing another Dive Attack after the first one is canceled.
  • 3 levels of damage can be dealt with the Dive Attack:
    • If the distance fallen is at most that achieved by double-jumping from a flat region with no platforms or ledges nearby, the player deals 35 base damage in a 1-tile radius (60 base damage in a 2-tile radius if the player possesses the Ram Rune Icon.png Ram Rune).
    • If the distance fallen is more than double-jump height, the player deals 90 base damage in a 2-tile radius (110 base damage in a 4-tile radius if the player possesses the Ram Rune).
    • If the distance fallen is more than 2.5 stories, the damage is increased by a further 50%, producing final base damage values of 135 without the Ram Rune, and 165 with the Ram Rune.
  • Dive Attack damage scales with the highest of the player's stats.
  • The Dive Attack is counted as a melee attack, and so it can trigger a variety mutations such as Melee Mutation Icon.png Melee and Scheme Mutation Icon.png Scheme, as well as Heart of Ice Mutation Icon.png Heart of Ice. However, Thorny will not damage the player if hit by a Dive Attack from behind.

Force field[edit]

Main article: Force field

Force field is an effect that can be applied to the player or enemies from various sources. They render the protected subject invincible.


Main article: Curse
  • Being cursed makes you die instantly from most forms of damage.
    • In Custom Mode, curses can be configured to instead leave the player at 1 health. This is still bugged in that throughout the whole game it only works on ONE curse.
      • Curse death won't be triggered by:
        • Darkness damage.
        • Malaise damage.
        • Face Flask Icon.png Face Flask damage.
  • Curse can be attained from:
    • Opening a cursed chest.
    • Breaking a golden door.
    • Having the Cursed Sword Icon.png Cursed Sword in your inventory (even if in the backpack)
    • Eating food whilst possessing the Acceptance Mutation Icon.png Acceptance mutation.
    • Picking up a Corrupted Artifact
  • Curses can stack.
  • The Homunculus Rune Icon.png Homunculus Rune does not function if you are cursed by anything other than the Cursed Sword.
  • Curse is reduced by killing enemies, save for the Cursed Sword's exception, which is lifted by dropping this weapon. It also DOES NOT stack with all other sources.
    • Alienation Mutation Icon.png Alienation increases the counter by 50%, while Acceptance reduces that by 50%. As mutations can only be taken once per each transition area, the newer taken mutation will scale its effects on the previous one's value, with the terminal value rounded up. For example, if the player gets a 10-kill curse, then Alienation, they will raise the counter to 15. If they get Acceptance later on, it will decrease the counter by 7.5. However, as curse values can't be decimals, the player will end up with an 8-kill curse.

Enemy teleportation[edit]

Starting from 4 BSC, almost every enemy gets the ability to chase after you via teleporting, akin to Elites and worms. Unlike Elites and worms, you'll see a brief red silhouette accompanied with red circle indicating where they will teleport and which direction they will face (though sometimes they face the opposite direction).

  • Elites that are protected by force fields cannot teleport. Certain enemies also cannot teleport (all purely ranged enemies except Knife Throwers, Yeeters, stationary enemies and flying enemies).


Kill combo speed boost[edit]

Main article: Speed buffs

By killing 8 enemies in a short amount of time, your movement speed is buffed for 10 seconds (30 seconds with the Velocity Mutation Icon.png Velocity mutation), boosting running speed by 40%, rolling speed by 12%, and climbing speed by 50%. Killing an enemy while affected by this buff refreshes its duration.


When climbing up ledges, if there are two ledges: one that is above the other, and provided they are close enough. You will be able to climb up two ledges at once. And reach the top of the second ledge.


  • Unless you fall off into the abyss in Ramparts, Fractured Shrines, Undying Shores, Cavern, the Crown, or Astrolab (in which case you take 30 base damage, scaled by the enemy level of the zone but capped at 30% damage), there is no fall damage in Dead Cells.
    • However, if you fall from a long enough distance, you will be temporarily stunned. The stun duration increases with the distance the player has fallen.
    • The value is counted as trap damage and can be reduced with Masochist, however the player won't get the usual speed boost from it.
  • Enemies take fall damage.
    • The minimum fall distance for enemies is much shorter than that for players, so using something that causes knockback such as the Assault Shield Icon.png Assault Shield or the Spartan Sandals Icon.png Spartan Sandals to take advantage of this is a good idea. In fact, Spartan Sandals will always cause the enemy to take minimum fall damage regardless of the distance.
  • Dive Attacks prevent the stun caused by falling. However, there is also a limit of how much the dive attack can prevent this stun, most specifically if the attack ends before you touch a solid surface. Rolling in mid air will reset the dive, allowing you to dive again during very long falls.

Air Stall[edit]

All weapons have a mechanic that, when in range to hit an enemy, allows them to suspend the player in the air for a very short time, which allows for hitting enemies that are in the air, such as Kamikazes, more easily. Some weapons can also air stall without being in range of an enemy, such as the Magic Missiles Icon.png Magic Missiles.

Parrying and Blocking[edit]

Main article: Shields
  • Holding down Shields will block a percentage of incoming damage, along with activating the on-block effect of the shield
  • Tapping the Shields will initiate a parry animation. If timed correctly, all damage will be nullified, the enemy will be stunned, and the on-parry effects will be applied

Two-handed weapons[edit]

  • Two-handed Weapons are special weapons that take up both of the players weapon slots. They always have 2 separate attacks or abilities, and these abilities usually inherently synergize with each other in some way. An example is the Repeater Crossbow Icon.png Repeater Crossbow whose primary attack does critical hits on rooted foes while the secondary one roots them.


Once the Backpack Icon.png backpack upgrade is unlocked, picking up a third weapon allows the player to store said weapon. While in the backpack, the stored weapon cannot be used (unless the player also has a mutation relating to the backpack). However, holding down the interact key allows the player to drop the backpacked weapon after they have left the equipment menu, allowing them to swap the item out with their current loadout as usual.

Note that skills, two-handed weapons, as well as certain weapons (most notably the Giantkiller Icon.png Giantkiller), cannot be stored in the backpack.

Status effects[edit]

Main article: Status effects

Status effects are temporary buffs or debuffs that affect the subject in various ways. They are typically categorized by an icon above the enemy (or player) that has received the effect, although there are a few exceptions to this.

  • Weapons and Skills can have modifiers that increase damage dealt to an enemy suffering from a specific negative effect.

Environmental effects[edit]

The environment in Dead Cells can affect the player and enemies in many ways.

Liquid interactions[edit]

  • Enemies in pools of liquid are immune to burning effects, unless covered in inflammable oil.
  • Enemies that take damage from ice-element attacks while standing in a pool of liquid cause the pool to chill dramatically, causing all other enemies in the pool to be slowed as if they had recently thawed after being frozen, as well as being rooted in place.
  • Enemies that take damage from electric-element attacks while standing in a pool of liquid cause the pool to become electrified, dealing 18 base Shock DPS to all enemies in the pool for 2 seconds. Shock DPS scales with the scaling stat of the item producing the attack that electrified the pool. Electric weapons deal critical damage to enemies in water.

Poisonous puddles[edit]

  • In the Toxic Sewers as well as the Ancient Sewers, the player will come across pools of poisonous water, which will deal damage, should they be entered. Enemies will not take damage from these pools.
  • When in contact with the poison, the player starts taking damage equal 10 damage in 2 seconds, divided into 5 ticks per second, each dealing 1 damage.
  • The damage is a damage-over-time effect that refreshes every 2 seconds, should the player still be standing in the poison.
  • It is possible to avoid taking damage, as the contact is only registered if the player touches the ground of the puddle, so if they run over a 1-tile puddle or avoids contact with the second part of the double jump, which allows him to touch the liquid but not the ground, they will not take any damage.

The Darkness[edit]

  • Without stepping near a light source for 12 seconds, the player will start taking damage.
  • Killing enemies reduces the darkness slightly.
  • The damage is dealt in ticks, with 3 ticks per second. DPS increases dramatically and can be lethal if the player doesn't reach a light source in time.
  • Entering a lit area resets the 12 second timer as well as the tick damage.
  • The Darkness will not kill the player immediately if they are cursed, but they will still die from the tick damage.
  • Though usually exclusive to the Forgotten Sepulcher, it can be enabled in custom mode for all biomes.
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