How to play guide for Moonlighter

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This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Moonlighter. While there is very little information available at this time, 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.

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 besides.

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)
  • 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. 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 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 Magnifying Glass 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). The latter allows you to pay a much larger cost than the Merchant Pendant to create a portal that will let you back into the dungeon at the point you escaped.

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.

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 North or East from town!
  • 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 as a secondary weapon!
  • Some rooms with holes in the floor actually contain a special "lower level" that often contains valuable treasure!
  • While usually plenty of time, there is a monster that will emerge if you spend too much time on a single level. If it catches you, it will be instant death!
  • Once you unlock The Hawker and at least one shop upgrade, you can buy decorative items that give bonuses to your shop.

See also[edit | edit source]

Promotional Content