No Rest for the Wicked: 13 Tips and Tricks for Survival

No Rest for the Wicked is a tough game, but there are ways to make your journey much easier.
no rest for the wicked tips tricks guide

Moon Studios’ No Rest for the Wicked is a punishingly difficult game at times, with tough combat and rare healing items combining to make your journey feel insurmountable. But with the right approach, and a keen understanding of the game’s Souls-like fights, you just might make it through alive.

There’s plenty the game doesn’t tell you about how to survive in its world, so for additional tips and tricks to make your time in No Rest for the Wicked fun and satisfying, read on. Here’s what we’d recommend for surviving your trip to Sacrament and beyond.

1. Don’t be too enthusiastic with your swings

The most basic rule of combat you’ll learn naturally over time is that you shouldn’t swing at your enemies more than three times in a row, particularly in the early stages of the game. You need to save a little stamina for a dodge roll, or you’ll wind up needing to take a breather right in the path of your enemy. Given most of them hit hard, you’ll risk death with this approach.

For a better approach, in all cases, swing 2-3 times at your enemy, then plan your dodge roll or counter-attack, based on your preference. Personally, I avoided counter-attacks as the timing is precise, and rolling away is more reliable in a pinch, but it’s best to experiment to find your own preference.

2. Always have at least 5 meals in stock

As you travel through No Rest for the Wicked, you’ll come across campfires. Every time you see a fire, you should check to see whether you can cook a meal. Without them, you won’t survive the majority of enemy encounters. To make sure you have enough ingredients for a meal, always pick up mushrooms and other plants as you encounter them, ensuring ample stock.

In the early stages of the game, I’d recommend having at least five meals in stock (either Mushroom Pie or Grilled Fish). When the going gets tougher, 10 meals is probably a more accurate estimate of how much you should have in stock. Also, make sure to select the best meal for your item wheel, otherwise you’ll have trouble healing well in battle.

3. Don’t run too far in battles

This is a minor point, but try to keep your battles contained to one area. If you roll too far, you may run into even more enemies, adding to the difficulty of battle. You’ll want to keep your rolls tight, and orbit your enemy, ensuring you don’t attract any more attention to your fight than is necessary.

4. Walk away from tough enemies, return later

warrick the torn no rest for the wicked
Image: Moon Studios

Sometimes, you will encounter a boss or enemy in No Rest for the Wicked that is genuinely too hard for you. No amount of dodging, rolling, and praying is going to help you here. What you need to do is walk away. Generally, No Rest for the Wicked will provide opportunities for levelling in other areas of the map, if your progress is blocked by a particularly difficult or hard-hitting enemy.

Those enemies that seem to have catastrophic power that kills you in one hit may not be your proper next target in the game. You’ll usually be sent on side quests and have non-singular goals, so if you’re struggling to advance, try a new battle or exploring other darkened areas of the map (areas you visit in the past will be refreshed with new enemies on occasion.) Even if you gain a single level, or a better weapon, or an opportunity for a weapon upgrade, you’ll have an easier time if you walk away to get stronger, then return.

5. Pay attention to area ratings

As you travel through No Rest for the Wicked, a pop-up will alert you as you enter a new area. Pay attention to what this pop-up says – it will determine whether you live or die. If an area is ranked as Deadly or Dangerous, you should turn back. Enemies here will hit too hard for you right now.

You want to be entering areas that are Safe or Moderate. They’re not entirely easy – the game is never easy – but you will have a better chance of surviving in these regions. If you need to get to a Deadly or Dangerous area (for example, to answer a summons) it’s best to level up in other areas before proceeding.

6. Cerim Whispers become Fast Travel points eventually

no reset for the wicked
Screenshot: GamesHub

Spoiler alert: No Rest for the Wicked does have Fast Travel. Annoyingly, it only unlocks around 4-5 hours into the game though, so you’ll need to be patient. Once you unlock the feature (by speaking to a citizen near the Cerim Whisper in Sacrament) you’ll be able to travel across the map as you desire.

7. Visit Fillmore as soon as your weapons are damaged

Prior to entering Sacrament, you’ll need to save a villager named Fillmore from roving bands of enemies. Once you’ve saved him, he’ll set up shop in Sacrament and become your most helpful ally. He can upgrade and repair your weapons if you pay him coins – and you should visit him often.

Keep your weapons repaired always to ensure you have the best chance in battle. When you’ve saved up enough money, you can also fork out for weapon upgrades, which usually require Copper Ingots (easily purchased from Fillmore) and cash. These add damage and finesse, and are necessary for beating higher-powered enemies.

As an aside, there’s also witchy woman in the Sacrament marketplace who can add runes and enchantments to your weapons. She’s also handy for weapon upgrades, so be sure to check out her wares.

8. Sometimes, you deplete an area’s resources and must move on

Moon Studios is currently working on this issue, but for now, you need to be aware that you can deplete the resources in certain areas of No Rest for the Wicked, and therefore have no means of healing yourself for a major boss battle. The balance of resources currently isn’t quite right.

If you’re too enthusiastic about using healing ingredients in the early stages of the game, you can get stuck without a means to boost your health mid-battle, forcing you to enter incredibly difficult fights where you can’t take a hit. Just be mindful that resources do deplete, and sometimes you will need to move on from areas as best you can.

9. Don’t fear the reaper

no rest for the wicked combat
Screenshot: GamesHub

Again a minor point – but death is common and accepted in No Rest for the Wicked. As long as you don’t waste your healing ingredients (as in – don’t waste your healing if you believe a fight is hopeless), death can actually be a useful state. Use your first deaths in a major boss battle to analyse their movements, and determine how best to attack them. Stand still, let yourself die, and then use those lessons in practice.

10. Analyse the size and swing of your enemy

This ties into the last tip. When you first encounter a boss, don’t try to kill it the first time, or the second time. These rounds are for analysing their attack patterns, and how large their swing is. You’ll need to understand this to best defeat them in combat, as you need to ration your own movements and attacks while in the firing line.

If you know an enemy swing can only go a few metres ahead of them, make sure you’re rolling out of that span. If you know enemies can jump, and they always jump in a particular direction, learn where you should roll to avoid them.

In the end, most bosses in No Rest for the Wicked can be defeated with careful, quiet analysis, so make sure to spend time understanding your enemy before you dispatch them.

11. Kick down ladders, bridges as you find them

no rest for the wicked bridges ladders
Screenshot: GamesHub

As you travel in No Rest for the Wicked, you may find a risen ladder, or a drawbridge in the ‘up’ position. Where you can, it’s best to kick down these ladders and bridges, to ensure you have an easier path through the game. These serve as shortcuts, and you’ll thank yourself when you finally need them (and you will).

12. Heaviness applies to armour + weapons

In No Rest for the Wicked, you get a weight score that determines how you can move in battle. A ‘Heavy’ warrior moves slowly, and can’t run properly or roll – but they can use a hard-hitting tackle. A ‘Normal’ warrior is able to roll, and perform a variety of other movements, and in my time with the game, I’ve found it’s best to stay in the Normal weight class.

The score is calculated by the types of armour and weapons you have equipped, combined, so if that means needing to wander the game pantsless or without gloves to save weight, that’s what you should do.

13. Remember the game is in Early Access

This tip is a simple one. Remember No Rest for the Wicked is currently in Early Access. Changes will be made as the game progresses, and Moon Studios is looking for ample feedback from players. If you get frustrated with a portion of the game, or a particular feature, it’s best to submit feedback to the developer, stay calm, and realise most other players are probably dealing with similar issues.

In future, the game is likely to evolve, so stay patient if you’re really stuck or there’s any particular mechanics you’re looking to fight with (weapon durability, I’m looking at you).

No Rest for the Wicked is out now on PC via Steam Early Access.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.