How to play guide for Moonlighter

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This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Moonlighter. There are quite some information available at this time, and we urge you to check back often, as new information is being added all the time! Feel free to edit this guide with any tips, tricks, and suggestions.

Basic gameplay[edit | edit source]

Moonlighter combines the action and adventure elements of a roguelike dungeon crawler with the magic of a shop management simulator. As the game title suggests, the player is essentially "moonlighting" as a shop owner by day and working as an adventurer at night. The player enters procedurally generated dungeons and explores them on a search for treasures to sell in their shop. Each of the five dungeons has a different theme and the player will find related items when they defeat enemies in that dungeon. When a player has collected a full load of treasure (or simply is too injured to go on), they can activate a magic pendant that generates a warp back to town. This pendant will cost some gold to activate, so make sure you have some gold stored up before going to a dungeon, otherwise you'll be forced to use the Merchant's Mirror (more below) or pass out.

The town of Rynoka is initially home to just one store, Moonlighter, owned by the player. As the game progresses, the player can invest in the town and invite other merchants to come and set up shop. This opens up the opportunity to craft weapons, armor, and potions, as well as to purchase decorative items for your shop and other things.

Progress is made in the game in a few different ways. Ultimately the goal is to open the mysterious 5th dungeon, but in order to do that the player must first unlock each of the first four dungeons and defeat the guardian inside. Once each boss is defeated, they provide one of the four keys needed to open the final dungeon (as well as some rare loot)! To progress through dungeons, players will need to craft upgraded weapons and armor, as well as enchant that gear to be even more powerful. All of that will come at a steep price in both gold and rare items from the dungeons. Therefore, much attention needs to be paid to maximizing the amount of gold earned selling items in your shop as well as spending some of your hard-earned money on shop upgrades to further increase your money-making capabilities!

Controls[edit | edit source]

The use of a gamepad/controller is highly recommended when playing Moonlighter.

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

After watching the opening cutscene, you will find yourself in the dungeon. There is a basic tutorial that will lead you through learning the basic controls needed for adventuring. It will end in an impossible-to-win battle, dumping the player out to the entrance of the dungeon where Zenon will meet them and provide some more background about the setting and dungeons, as well as helping get you started on your shop-keeping.

Your first goals will be:

  • Craft an upgraded weapon and basic armor
  • Invite the Smith and Witch to town (500 gold each)
  • Purchase the first shop upgrade (6,000 gold) and the various tier 1 upgrades for the shop (Bed, cash register, etc.)
  • Explore all three levels of the Golem Dungeon and defeat the Golem King

The first thing you will need to do is enter the Golem Dungeon and bring back a full load of treasure to sell. Your inventory consists of 20 slots, 5 from your pockets and 15 from your backpack (neither are upgradeable, sadly). You can fill up your inventory by collecting loot dropped by enemies, or by looting chests scattered around the dungeon. Many of the higher valued items are only found in chests. However, plenty of items in chests are 'cursed'. These 'curses' affect the items in various ways, and items with different 'curses' can't be stacked, even if they're the same item.

Each dungeon level is fairly similar, consisting of a random series of inter-connected rooms with a final door leading to the next level (or boss, on the third floor). Each dungeon level also includes two special rooms, a Healing Pool, and an Abandoned Campsite. The Healing Pool will allow the player to heal some amount of health by jumping in the water. However, it is not unlimited and can only be used to heal a certain amount of health on each level. The healing pool is always in the right path that leads to the next floor. The Abandoned Campsite features a readable journal entry that will give the player more lore information. Occasionally you may encounter a single room that belongs to a higher-level dungeon. These can be rewarding but also dangerous because they will contain higher-level enemies.

You will also discover two additional special items when you first enter Golem Dungeon II and III, the Merchant's Mirror and the Merchant Emblem, respectively. The first allows you to destroy items and receive a small amount of gold for them (~40% of its value), useful if you want to make room for more valuable items, for example. The latter allows you to pay a much larger cost than the Merchant Pendant (5 times as much, to be precise) to create a portal that will let you back into the dungeon at the point you escaped. When you come back, the rooms will be refilled with enemies, and the map of the entire floor will be revealed. However, chests will not be refilled, but any items that you haven't taken (or decide to leave in) will still be there.

Be sure to pay attention to the amount of health or potions you have left. Should you lose all your health before teleporting away, you will pass out. This will cause you to lose all the items on your backpack, and have the option of retrying or going back to town. If you retry, you will start from the first floor again with whatever you have equipped and what's in your pocekts. If you decide to return to town, you will be 'spitted out' of the dungeon. Even if you want to try again, its preferable to go to town, stash whatever you have left in your pockets in your home, then return to the dungeon for another go.

At the beginning of the game, saving every item is recommended. As you play more, learning about which items are valuable and which are not, you may eventually begin to make more strategic decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of, but for your first few runs at the dungeon, just keep it all!

Once you're back at the shop with a full load of items, take a moment to head back into the "home" portion of the shop and stash all of the following items:

These items are always useful to the player for crafting potions and enchanting equipment. Items stored in chests can still be used by the Smith and Witch merchants, so there's no need to worry about taking them out before visiting them. Once you've advanced to other dungeons, additional types of Jelly will be dropped and should also be saved.

Once you've unlocked the Smith, you should also use the "Add to Wishlist" feature to mark items that are needed to craft your preferred weapon. The easiest path is to upgrade your basic sword and shield, but another weapon may suit your style better. Once you have a wishlist, you should also store any marked items instead of selling them.

The remaining items should be placed in your shop to sell. It is wise to fully stock your store before opening, and re-stock items as quickly as possible while open to maximize sales. As each customer looks at an item, their face will indicate how they perceive the value. If you are selling something you don't know the best price for, it is best to start by only selling a single item (versus the entire stack) and start on the high side and lower the price if its too high. This ensures you don't accidentally sell a whole stack of a new high-price item at a low cost! Below is a partial list of items in the Golem Dungeon arranged into three basic tiers of prices.

  • Low (1-100 coin price)
    • Root
    • Vine
    • Teeth stone
    • Iron bar
  • Medium (100-1000 coin price)
    • Glass Lenses
    • Hardened Steel
    • Golem Core
    • Foundry Rests
  • High (1000+ coin price)
    • Gold Runes
    • Golem Volume
    • Rune Tool

At the end of the day, your shop will close and once everyone has left, you will see a summary of the day's business. Once you have earned enough coins, visit the Bulletin Board to unlock the Smith so that you can start on the path to upgrading your weapon. You can also unlock the Witch so that you can brew additional potions.

Once you have some money stored up and have invited the smith and the witch, you can focus on upgrading your shop. There are 4 items that you can upgrade: Your bed, the cash register, a sale box, and the chest.

  • Upgrading your bed wil give you some extra health every run. This extra health cannot be regenerated with potions or the Healing Pool. Further upgrades will increase the extra health recieved and also give you a 'shield' that will completely negate the first damage you recieve. Highly recommended, especially if you have trouble dodging attacks. (Note: The upgrade takes effect the following half-day (if you bought it during the night, the extra health will only be added the following day, and buying it during the day wil make the extra health available thae same night)
  • Upgrading your cash register will increase the amount of money earned per transaction in the form of tips. Further upgrades will increase the number of tips earned. Definetly the most recommended upgrade to buy first, as it will make buying everything else easier.
  • Upgrading the sale box will add a sale box to your shop. This box can be used to store items to sell, just like a regular stand in your store. The sale box can hold a lot of items, and most customers will check it out at least once while in your store. Items are prices automatically, and anything bought from the sale box are instantly processed, so the customer wil not go to the cash register before buying, and you will recieve the money as soon as they bought it. However, items sold here will have a significant discount from the ideal price. Further upgrades will reduce the discount, increasin the money made per transaction. Highly NOT recommended, but it can be useful if you can't be bothered to price the item yourself.
  • Upgrading your chest will increase the capacity of your main chest (the one next to your bed). Further upgrades increase the capacity further. Useful if you hoard items for a few days before selling them.

Repeat these basic steps until you're able to accomplish all of the basic goals above. Once you have armor and an upgraded weapon, you should have no problem defeating the Golem King and moving on to the Forest Dungeon.

Tips and tricks[edit | edit source]

  • The Dungeons are accessible by going either Northwest or East from the Moonlighter.
  • Weapons with longer reach can be used through barriers like rocks and tree stumps. It can be useful to have a long-range weapon like a Bow or a Spear as a secondary weapon.
  • Some rooms with holes in the floor actually contain a secret room that often contains valuable treasure! These rooms can be identified by a 'sparkle' in the pits when you first enter the room. You can only see this 'sparkle' once, so pay attention!
  • While usually plenty of time, there is a large green monster that will emerge if you spend too much time on a single level. If it catches you, it will be instant death! This monster will also crush any loot and chest in the room, so when you see it, get a move on!
  • Unlocking the Le Retailer can help you based your pricing on your items for sale, the price on Le Retailer is mostly 3 times the bad (😥) price, so you just need to lower it based on it.

Note: (Le Retailer Price / 3 ) - (100-->500) = satisfying price.

  • Some customers will have a bubble with the picture of a sword and helmet when they enter. These customers are heroes, and they will only buy potions or equipments (weapons or armor).
  • Make sure to pay attention to the customer's reaction to see if you've set the correct price or not.
  • Once you unlock The Hawker and expanded your shop at least once, you can buy decorative items that give bonuses to your shop. These bonuses include, but not limited to:
    • Making customers pay more from the same price in the form of tips
    • Increase the maximum numbers of customers in the store
    • Extend the opening hours of your store
    • and more!
  • After expanding your store, you will have more space to display items for sale, and more customers can fit inside at any one time. However, this will also invite thieves in your store. They can be identified by the bubble that appears as they walk in, similar to heroes, except they will have the picture of a thief's mask and cap instead. Thieves will spend some time looking around, then they will attempt to steal an entire stack of items from your display. Roll towards them to tackle and retrieve your items before they make it out the door, or your items are lost.
  • Expanding your store also attracts wealthy customers. They can be identified by the bubble that appears as they walk in, similar to heroes, except they will have the picture of a top hat and a mustache instead. They are able to buy items at prices that regular customers find overpriced (they stil won't buy it if the price is way too high). Tip: as soon as they want to buy an item, increase the price so you can earn more from them, but not too high that they will not buy it.


See also[edit | edit source]