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Starting out in Clicker Heroes you will have only a few things open to you. Your stats screen, achievements, the monster you're expected to click on a few times to kill, and Cid, the Helpful Adventurer.
You must start out clicking whatever monsters appear on the right until you kill 5 of them. At this point you can hire Cid to raise your base click damage. Once you kill 5 more monsters, floor 2 will be unlocked and you should click that floor and move there as you will get slightly stronger enemies and progress further into the game.
You may notice you now have a new hero available to hire for 50 gold. It is suggested to get Cid to level 10 before buying Treebeast as heroes generally have upgrades for you to buy at level 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, and for Cid, 150. Leveling heroes will cost more and more gold as their level grows.
At this point you probably already have the early achievements that involve killing a few monsters and clicking a couple of times. You will get more periodically for doing certain tasks. The further you progress into the floors the higher HP monsters you will face and the higher gold you will gain per kill. Due to Patch 1.0, Achievements no longer provide rewards for doing them except the amount of times you ascend.
At floor 5 you will be faced with the first boss. There is a boss every 5 floors and they all have a 30 second time limit for you to kill them in. If you can't kill the boss quick enough you will re-enter the boss floor and the boss will have full HP again. You can try as many times as needed to kill bosses.
Do this until you reach deep into the floors. Remember to keep leveling the heroes until you've bought all the upgrades!
- Hold CTRL+Click to level a hero 100 times
- Hold Z+Click to level a hero 25 times
- Hold SHIFT+Click to level a hero 10 times.
- Hold Q+Click to level a hero 9999 times.
- Press T to move through modes (so you don't have to hold; ×25 is the best one to stay on, as you'll need it for leveling up your main heroes)
You've become quite the treasure seeker, but your journey is far from over.
You may notice that the monsters you're fighting are getting harder to kill, taking longer to slay even with your new heroes and upgrades. This is intended.
By now you should have Amenhotep at around level 50 and the lvl 50 upgrade purchased. You will see that unlocked at level 150, quite the jump, is the "ASCENSION" ability. This is where you are headed. At this point, or very soon after, you will see 'Ascend for +1 Hero Souls' above your heroes in the upper right corner of the interface. You earned this HS from leveling your heroes up a total of 2000 times. Continue leveling up your heroes until you have a minimum of 14000 total hero levels. (You can see that you have 14000 hero levels in your statistics bar.) This will give you 7 hero souls.
Keep progressing to level 100 and you will fight a Centennial boss with a guaranteed reward of 1 Hero Soul the first time you kill him in that world. From now on each boss you face has a 25% chance to be Primal and give you a few Hero Souls when you kill it. These will be your main staple for HS in the future.
Every 10 floors you beat from then on (F100) will also award you a Gild for a random hero. These will give that hero a +50% damage boost and stacks as many times as you have gilds. You should get to level 135, and kill the boss.
When you get at least 8-16 Hero Souls you should use that ASCENSION ability.
It will prompt you with a warning that you will have all of your heroes lost but will gain those HS. It is worth it. Ascend and move to the next stage of the game.
Remember to use the abilities that appear next to the heroes' interface, they will help you out!
Early to Mid Game
You are now the owner of a few Hero Souls. Each soul gives you +10% DPS to all of your heroes (adds it to your base) and makes progressing back up to where you were, and higher, much quicker.
You will also have the Ancients tab unlocked. You shouldn't worry about those on your first Ascension. As you may have guessed you will be doing ascensions many, many times.
Progress through the game once more and meet new, stronger heroes. When the monsters seem too beefy to continue, ascend again. It is suggested to only ascend if you will get at least 150% of the HS you got last run, or 50% more. If you can make that number even bigger, all the better!
It will start to get difficult to keep up with what was mentioned above, seeing as Frostleaf is hard to level and Dread Knight is miles away. This is where you go back to Treebeast, as weird as it seems, and level him to 1000 or 1025. This will put his DPS to that of or greater than Frostleaf's. You generally want to level only certain heroes up to these high levels as the damage gained vs cost isn't the best for every hero. The best heroes for leveling are Treebeast, Ivan, Brittany, The Masked Samurai, and The Great Forest Seer. "Sam" is the best of these, but it will be after your first or second ascension before you can get him to 900+.
Go through this process until you have accumulated around 30-50 HS, at which point you should invest in the Ancients tab and summon an Ancient. There will be 4 ancients available. Only summon one of these, preferably Solomon if you have him and then level him up a few times. Don't spend more than 25% of your HS on whichever ancient as none of these give you damage back(except Siyalatas and Morgulis), only help with getting HS or progressing to the higher floors quicker.
Continue to ascend with ever increasing HS values until you have a few hundred. This is where you get to start choosing your path to go on.
Choosing Your Play Style
You've been working hard to get to this point. Lots of clicking and patience. Now you can choose which path (or a mix) you want to go on as you continue in your adventure.
You can choose the style of idling, where your heroes do the work for you and you need to just come back every once in a while to level them up and buy upgrades because of the auto progression feature (unlocked after first ascension or after floor 100.
Or you can chose the Hybrid method where you start idle, until you lose either lose insta-kill or can't kill a boss (anywhere between those two points is also okay), and then focus on the game and click a lot of times. You should have an Auto Clicker, and have Siya beyond level 2.000e5 if you want to go Hybrid. Otherwise, just play idle until you can meet both requirements.
Before we get into the main progression methods I will mention some Ancients that are good for both paths, ordered in ones that are, in my opinion, most useful to get first.
- Solomon: Increases Hero Souls from Primal bosses.
- Mammon: Increases all gold drops. Only pairs well with Mimzee and Dora, since leveling him costs a lot of hero souls, so basically you are losing a lot of DPS for proportionally less rewards if you don't have the other 2 Ancients mentioned.
- Atman: Increases the probability of Primal bosses to appear, up to +75%. Exponential cost. (2^n level up cost, where n is the next level)
- Mimzee: Increases gold from Treasure Chests by +50% gold per level.
- Argaiv: Increases bonus of Gilds by 2% each level. This becomes very very useful when you have over 50 gilds that you can put onto one hero.
- Morgulis: Adds an extra 10% damage to your Hero Souls. (makes then 11% DPS bonus each instead of 10%) Morgulis pairs very well with Chor'gorloth the Outsider.
- Dora: Increases Treasure Chest appearance chance. Exponential cost.
- Kumawakamaru: Lowers the monsters you need to kill to reach the next floor. (Limit= -8) Exponential cost. If monster reduction is a decimal, it becomes a % chance for the next floor to have either the normal or one less monster to kill. i.e.: -1.53 would be -1, and a 53% chance to have -2. Reentering the floor does not change the kills required.
- Dogcog: Lowers the price to upgrade and hire heroes by up to 99%. Exponential cost.
- Fortuna: Gives a chance to give 10x gold from each kill, max 99.99% chance. Works on chests and the clickables. Exponential cost.
- Bubos: Lowers boss HP by up to 50%. Exponential cost.
- Vaagur: Lowers skill cooldowns by up to 75%. Exponential cost.
Now that we've established which Ancients are good for any build, lets get to the two main styles of progression mid to late game.
Before we get into this method, we need to define what Idle mode is. Idle mode is activated once you have not clicked any monsters or used any abilities for more than 60 seconds (1 minute). If your abilities last for more than one minute, their duration will not stop idle mode from activating (except for Clickstorm), so you can get those last seconds to work in conjunction with idle mode. It's not suggested to use abilities more than just after starting.
This method focuses on letting your heroes do everything for you, and using the game's Idle status for your benefit. You will need two key ancients to get this method rolling:
- Siyalatas: Increases idle DPS. This is a must get for this build.
- Libertas: Increases gold gained when idle. Very useful with chest spawns.
- Mimzee: Increases gold from chests. When combined with a decently leveled Dora chests will be just about the only method of actually gaining money at a noticeable rate.
The key thing with the idle method is that you must not click on the monsters. You can still click on the food clickables that appears without the idle status breaking, but you must click right on them and only once. Leveling up heroes will not lose idle status.
This method will get you the fastest progression through floors that you can "instant kill" (where the monsters' HP never even appears and "Dead!" is constantly displayed) but will leave you 50-200 floors below your actual maximum floor that you can reach if you have some clicking damage and critical damage ancients leveled up a good bit. It's optional to use this "Hybrid" method, but useful for pushing for that next achievement or to get just a little bit more Hero Souls.
This method focuses entirely on how many times you can click per second and how focused you can be on what is going on. You will be using just about, if not every ability that you have at your disposal along with specific ancients to boost your click and critical click damage through the roof.
While click damage is important, as you progress into this build your Critical clicks will do upwards of 10,000x more damage than both your normal clicks and DPS combined. It is important to have all of the upgrades purchased for every hero that give you 0.5% more click damage from your DPS and ones that boost Critical clicks in any way.
Key ancients for this build:
- Juggernaut, Increases your damage based on how many stacks you get (from active clicking, at least once per 5 minutes). Stacks can exceed 100,000 easily. It is expected that you will be using an autoclicker to save yourself from wrist and finger cramps from clicking thousands of times per run. You must purchase this ancient for this method to be of any use at all, depending on how active you are. (Read more about how Juggernaut works at his page.) The Juggernaut bonus does not stack with idle bonus, either idle dps overrides or the higher dps does.
- Fragsworth, increases click damage by 20% per level. Good for raising your base click damage to more than that of your base DPS.
- Bhaal, Increases Critical Click damage by 15% per level. This ancient will give you that through the roof damage clicks that will one shot monsters until your maximum 100 floors.
- Sniperino, increases duration of Lucky Strikes. Other duration increasing ancients are good, but with the exponential cost it's not as good. Relics can help with this, and late game relics can give upwards of +400 seconds to Lucky Strikes.
The next component to this method is the abilities that you will be using.
Assuming you have them all unlocked already, start by using Energize, Dark Ritual, then Reload. This will give you 10% more DPS and give Dark Ritual a 1 hour cooldown reduction. (Hotkeys 8,6,9)
Next use: Powersurge, Lucky Strikes, Metal Detector, Golden Clicks, and Super Clicks. (Hotkeys 2,3,4,5,7)
You should already have your Auto-clicker up and running (If you decide to use one). Using these abilities almost ensures that you will crush the next 20-40 areas. Remember to level up your heroes 100 times every now and then with CTRL+Click. You can hold down the key to check how much money you need to level them to the desired amount.
Whenever possible use Powersurge (and Clickstorm if it doesn't create much lag).
Every 3rd use of Powersurge, use Powersurge, Lucky Strikes and Metal Detector. (HK=2,3,4)
Every other use of the previous combo use: Powersurge, Lucky Strikes, Metal Detector, Energize, Super Clicks. (HK=2,3,4,8,7). You can use Energize on either Powersurge or Super Clicks. Technically Energizing Powersurge is a little better as you boost the hero's dps too so they can do more damage, but your click dmg already does everything so it's hardly noticeable.
If you are pre-transcendent, save golden clicks (maybe metal detector also) for the superchests boosted by Mimzee, Thusia, Pluto, and Mammon.
When dark ritual is available for use, you can either click it again then use reload after it or wait until energize is ready then use the order: 8,6,9.
When To Stop
It should be noted that this method can go on forever if you want to leave the game autoclicking overnight, but it starts to become lacking in returns as Juggernaut is additive and not multiplicative. A good ascending point is when it takes over 50 critical clicks to kill an enemy (non boss), can't kill the boss, or reach 1.000e5-2.000e5 stacks. Past 1.000e5 stacks, there's very little benefit from the extra stacks in the short term (5-15 minutes).
This is an integral part of progressing into the game. As you gather gilds from beating the 10's floors, they will just assign themselves randomly and generally not benefiting the hero that is doing most of your damage.
You can fix this by going to the bottom of the Heroes tab and clicking "Gilded". This will show you which heroes are gilded, and with how many of them. You will want to shift these around depending on where you are in that ascension. Yes it will cost some HS (80/gild moved) but it is well worth it. It's not suggested to move your gilds at all until you have about 5.000e4-1.000e5 HS. When re-gilding becomes common place, you should always have ~1.000e5-2.000e5 unspent HS just for re-gilding purposes.
The Masked Samurai is the first person you want to stack most if not all of your gilds on in a run. In later runs you can skip re-gilding him, but for your first few runs you afford to re-gild you should put the gilds onto him. After Sam reaches around level 2425, get Atlas to level 725 and move all your gilds to him. Continue to level him up. Once Atlas is level 1500, get Terra to 1000 and move your gilds to her. You will repeat this 1500/1000 re-gilding pattern all the way down to Wepwawet. To see this in a table and how to gild heroes once you reach past Wepwawet, see here.
Mid to Late Game
By now, you've Chosen how you wish to play the game and have gotten quite far into the game, reaching floor 300 and beyond. However, you've unlocked a few things since choosing your play-style: Clans, Mercenaries, and Transcendence. Each one will be of use to you as you progress through the game, though clans may be of less use depending where the clan's immortal is leveled.
Once you get a Mercenary you will want to send it out on a quest, if you have the option to get a second merc from the quest, pick that every time. You can have up to 5 mercs at one time. Mercs have a set lifespan each time you get one or revive it. The lifespan is randomly chosen and can be a short as a few minutes to more than 5 days. Lifespan is only drained while questing. Hiring a merc is 40 rubies, so unless you're trying to get a high rarity merc, reviving them is usually a good option and doesn't restart their quest.
Quests will be a very good source of gold to push a little further past a wall, Hero Souls to progress faster in general, Relics to boost your game, or to get rubies to buy gilds or quick ascensions.
Now, Transcendence is where you want to be headed. Transcending will give you Ancient Souls which can be fed to the Outsiders to boost aspects of your game. Specifically Idle ancients, Solomon, and Hero Soul gain. These boosts are very strong and often you will want to transcend your first time almost if not immediately (After you ascend your last time to get the HS from that run). You should have around a dozen AS your first transcendence. A decent spec for your outsiders at this point would be 2/0/2/1/6. This is assuming you have 12 AS. You may change this up as you please, but you will want to make sure you don't hit your "Transcendent power" cap (the Bonus HS you will receive, based on Borb, Phan, and the HS fed to the Outsiders) too early on as you will only be losing HS if you reach is too quick.
A good point to Transcend for a second time, or for any time in the future for that matter, is when you have 6-8 AS reach to be acquired. If it's still easy to get the next AS then continue doing ascensions until you feel like reaching the next AS will take too long. A helpful resource for where to spend your AS can be found here, however it's still your game.
Late to Very-Late Game (getting "Completion")
You've done the steps, you've achieved great heights and by now you have accumulated millions, billions, Trillions, even 1e20's of Hero Souls and don't know where to go from here. You can keep grinding for higher and higher numbers of Hero Souls and Ancient Souls or:
- If you haven't got every non-floor achievement, try to get those.
- If you haven't got to move your gilds to Midas after buying Wepwawet and have Midas be your main source of damage, you're not done yet.
- If you haven't buried Leeroy Jenkins, it's time to let your worst 2 or 3 mercs die to try and farm for his name. (See Mercenaries page for more info on Leeroy Jenkins's spawn chance)
- If you haven't gotten a level 70+ clan Immortal dead in a single click, there's a new goal. Level 80, 90...
- Ancients to keep investing into are:
- The ones key to the build you chose to use (if you use Hybrid you will be leveling them all).
- Argaiv. Your 500 gilds on that one hero will benefit greatly from Argaiv's boost.
- Solomon. You should know his importance.
- If you keep looking at your ancients and thinking "Man, even if I level him up that's not going to do anything!" Use Excel to see how much it would cost for 100, 200, or 300+ levels. If that is an ancient whose level up cost is n, then it probably isn't all that much. Also with Excel you can figure out the percent increase from what you had before. Often times it will be a good 25%+ increase unless you are in the very-late game with lvl 15,000+ ancients.
Things to Remember
Keep ~1.000e5-2.000e5 HS on you at all times for re-gilding.
Sometimes leveling your ancients isn't always the best thing to do. Holding onto a bunch of HS might sometimes be better just to give you some raw DPS bonus, or leveling Morgulis for a little extra.
Heroes get multipliers every 25 levels once they are level 200. At level 200 they get 4x damage, 225, 4x damage again. This effect stacks upon itself. Every 1000 levels there is a 10x multiplier, up to level 8000. For the heroes after Frostleaf, from levels 525 to 725 they get a 5x damage multiplier.
If you have exhausted most other really good Ancients, purchase Morgulis (If you haven't already) and dump most of your remaining souls into him. (may take a while with the number of HS you have). He gives a flat 10% boost for all the HS you bank into him. (Turns each HS into giving 11% more DPS instead of 10%)
- Relevant info: Hold Shift to level ancients 10 times in a click, hold CTRL to level them 100 times in a click, hold Z to level them 1000 times in a click, hold Q to level them up as many times as possible, and hold V to choose the exact amount of levels you want to put into an ancient.
Sometimes a mix of both methods can be good. Use the Idle method to get past the first chunk of floors (0-200 less than your HZE(Highest zone ever)) then use the Active method for the rest of what you can reach. Should take about an hour for each part and you will double the HS from just the idle method alone.
Use the "Buy Available Upgrades" button at the bottom of the Heroes list! It will save you a bunch of tedious clicking. And don't worry, it doesn't auto buy the ASCENSION upgrade.
Take a break sometimes! The game still gains gold while you're gone. Additionally, you will progress floors while the window is closed until you reach a boss that your DPS cannot beat in the allotted time.
If you feel like you aren't making any progress, use the idle method for a day or 2, resetting every hour or two and just accumulate HS. By the next day you will probably have gotten a good amount (compared to what you had before) and can progress further or buy/upgrade more ancients.
This method consists in using an automation tool in order to repeat the "Energized Dark Ritual with fast Reload" process a lot of times. Since the Dark Ritual increases the DPS exponentially, it is the most efficient way to power up, therefore automation is a natural way to answer that simple question : how to progress in the game without spending a lot of time in front of the computer. The automation of Dark Ritual is more efficient than leaving Juggernaut and autoclicker working together for hours.
The Automated Method can take you to zone 4800 with no much actual play time spent in front of the computer. In other words, you can painlessly get 20 Energized Dark Rituals (×6.7275 DPS bonus) with this method. At this stage, you have actually reached the late game. This play style is described in 3 parts : basics, guidelines for Ancients and Relics, tips for manual intervention. Although the core of the method is automation, there are a few strategies to follow in order to make it efficient.
The basics of the Automated Method
- Unlock all the skills as soon as possible, summon and boost to the max all the Ancients that improve them, with highest priority to Vaagur (get a faster cooldown first). Less than a dozen of Ascensions should be enough if mercenaries are used wisely for getting the HS.
- Implement the following loop with any automation tool - The technical details are omitted(which software, window focus, and screen saver issues) since that is actually the funniest part in this play style.
|Begin:||Activate skills: 1-2-3-4-5-7-8-6-9||All skills are activated at the first step.|
|Wait 15 min.||This is the idle part.|
|Activate skills: 8-9-1-2-3-4-5-7||Reload the Dark Ritual and activate the remaining skills.|
|Wait 2 min 30 sec.|
|Activate skills 1-2||Non stop Clickstorm keeps the combo.|
|Wait 2 min 30 sec.|
|Activate skills: 1-2|
|Wait 2 min 30 sec.|
|Activate skills: 1-2-3-4|
|Wait 2 min 30 sec.|
|Activate skills: 1-2|
|Wait 2 min 30 sec.|
|Activate skills: 1-2|
|Wait 2 min 30 sec.|
|End:||Go to the begining.||Repeat the process.|
A good number of iterations for this loop is 16. This corresponds to 8 hours of automated progression each time the loop is executed, and 8 hours is good for sleeping or going to work. Furthermore, 16 Energized Dark Rituals worth a x4.59 (=1.1^16) damage bonus, which is equivalent to performing 25 level-ups for all Heroes (x4 damage).
One funny thing to do manually in Automated Method is to toggle the Progression button (keyboard shortcut = Q in AZERTY). It is disabled automatically when you lose against a boss. When upgrading DPS with Dark Ritual, there is no need to progress in the game. The player can stay at its current level, iterate with Dark Ritual in order to get stronger, and then enable progression before the spell Activateing. Sometimes it is useful to disable progression for farming before fighting the next boss.
Guidelines for Ancients and Relics
Make the mercenaries work for HS and Relics. With patch 0.25, a good way to manage the mercenaries consists in choosing long quests (1 or 2 days) in order to maximize the quest reward and mercenary's XP. If the mercenary dies, revive him up to level 12. With this method, one week is enough to get a Legend. Do not spend all the HS you gain. Each time you gain and spend HS, save some in order to get higher and higher HS damage bonus.
Since Automated Method involves both active and idle playing, it is recommended to summon and upgrade the Ancients so that both playing styles are boosted. When going high (to level 1000) with Ancients, give priority to the ones that give more money : Mammon and Mimzee. Go high as well with the ones that give more click damage : Argaiv, Bhaal, Fragsworth, Juggernaut. The harder you hit, the further you reach, and the more money you get from Treasure Chests. For the idle playing, no need to push Siyalatas and Libertas too high (level 300 is OK) since their bonuses are decreasing with respect to their levels. All Ancients are useful, except Morgulis (normal HS bonus is good enough). Every Ancient that have a maximum level limit should be upgraded to the top during middle game, before going high with the ones that have no limit.
When managing the relics, always favour the ones that boost the spells. Relics are the only means for going past the maximum level limit of some Ancients. For instance, Clickstorm becomes very interesting when its duration is more than 150 seconds : non-stop Clickstorm is possible when this skil is activated over and over. Boosting Golden Clicks duration is also very interesting.
Tips for human interventions
Besides managing the Heroes, the Ancients and the Mercenaries, the player can still use auto-clicker during the idle part of the process (15 minutes with no skill activated) in order to get a higher click bonus at the next iteration. A better thing to do is to kill monsters until a Treasure Chest is found; then stop auto-clicker and leave the automated skill activation do the job for stealing its money.
Generally speaking, human intervention is welcome as long as the player gets more money than leaving the automation alone.
The player can also interrupt the automation in order to farm manually. In this case, it is good to break the routine of the spell automation, in order to use Energize and Reload with Golden Click and Metal Detector. When the Treasure Chest is huge (much more HP than your DPS), stealing its gold twice with Golden Click is very profitable. A good way to find quickly a Treasure Chest consists in autoclicking with Lucky Strikes, Powersurge and Super Clicks without Clickstorm. When a Treasure Chest is found, stop the autoclicker and wait for the damage spells cooldown. After that, steal the money with Golden Click and autoclicker.
A good tuning for autoclicker is 35 clicks per second. At this rate, Golden Click is very powerful with autoclicker.
Another good reason to interrupt the automation is the deep running. The deep running consists of leaving autoclicker for hours, so that the click combo will become huge (above 1.000e5). Then, when the click combo bonus has no more effect, break the combo by reloading the game. Iterate this until you find a Treasure Chest. Due to high levels the chest should have high health and yield loads of gold. At this point Clickstorm, Metal Detector and Golden Clicks should be activated.
Manual farming and deep runs are good when you are lacking patience and want to perform a giant step. Otherwise, just leave the automation alone. Dark Ritual is just a free and exponential damage bonus. Theoretically, there is no progression limit using solely Dark Rituals You can beat anything with only one level 1 basic Hero, but you have spend enough CPU time. Indeed, the problem with Dark Ritual is the reload time, which cannot go below 30 minutes. This is why farming and spending money can greatly accelerate the process. In practice, leaving the automated farming with no manual intervention lead to a fair progression rate.
When spending money for going high with Heroes (above level 200), just follow the classical method that consists in relying on very few Heroes. Good candidates are the Masked Samurai (see Wepwawet) - move at least 100 gilds on this hero. Note that earning and moving gilds is something slow and expensive.