Source of Madness – Beginners Guide (Tips / Builds / Stuff)

A simple guide to beating the game and getting achievements. Unlocks and strategies.

Tips / Strategies


  • You can use both rings at same time.
  • Areas contain secrets, so explore your surroundings, especially behind you and above you.
  • You can sometimes heal yourself in a shop but gain a curse (look for the tall guy up the stairs).
  • You can unlock a flask to heal yourself; you can also unlock flask refilling inbetween levels.
  • There is a secondary unlock tree to the right of the gear/class tree that has some useful things (flasks, dash, legendaries, powerful items).
  • Class unlocks require entering a large portal and fighting a boss. Pyromancer is unlocked at the beginning of the cave of act 1.
  • Try this trick: dash, then jump, then dash again to get really high or over large gaps (like the one at the end of the cave in act 1). The dash cooldown perk helps with this trick.
  • Currently, besides lore, there is nothing to find/unlock in the temple. The Dark Mirror and the Roof do not have a purpose yet.
  • If you don’t like the class choices available when you start a game, pick one then bring up the menu (ie. press escape) and select end run to get some new classes.
  • Consider upgrading your hood to one that has the most hp regardless of its rarity/mods whenever you have a chance. This greatly helps survivability.
  • Don’t unlock everything at once as this dilutes the item pool. I have highlighted useful classes/skills/gear below.
  • Kiting is very powerful with some attacks. Try luring enemies into your attacks (ie. poison rot; fire bomb).

General Strategies

Close Combat

  • Enemy attacks will flash before they are executed, so pay attention to flashing limbs then dash in another direction.
  • Bamboo Burst and Arcane Blast are shotgun charge attacks with low range. They are great for close combat and crit builds.
  • Get on top of bosses and attack downwards. Flying Hood helps with this tactic.

Crit Procs

  • They are great.


  • Will add more info soon.

Elite units (blue health bar)

  • Will add more info soon.

Boss Strategies

Act 1 Mini Boss

  • Try to kill the turrets at the end of the worm first. This makes it easier when the worm hangs upside down at the end of the fight and you can only hit the turrets near its head.
  • Fireball works great on this fight as it allows you to fight from a distance.

Act 1 Final Boss

  • Don’t die.

Act 2 Mini Boss

  • Attack from above if you can avoid the boss sweeping arm attacks.
  • Use weapons that hit many body parts (flame wave; arcane wave; ice lance; bamboo burst, arcane blast, etc).

Act 2 Final Boss

  • Don’t do drugs.

Act 3 Boss

  • Make sure to upgrade your head slot as the transition from act 2 head items to act 3 items is a significant amount of HP gain.

Krampus (cryomancer unlock)

  • Flying hood helps when combined with flame lance, then hover over his head.
  • Avoid the ice balls if possible since they will freeze you in place.
  • Maximize your ice resistance.
  • The top platform is a good place to attack from, but remember to refresh your warmth buff from one of the crystals.


See unlock section for detailed info. Basically, you don’t want to unlock everything all at once as it will dilute the item pool. Here is some items to aim for unlocking:

Gear/skills/classes (left tree):

  • Pyromancer: lovely earlier class that can take you through the entire game; good for crit builds
  • Cryomancer: great mobility, some nice skills too
  • Stormcaller: close combat crit build class
  • First skills: take the right side of the tree beyond pyromancer up to Fire Worship. All the skills/gear unlocked are useful, especially flame wave.
  • Second skills: take the left side of the tree beyond bloodmancer up to Blood Stone. Blood stone is very useful for crit builds; Vampire Ring is a great way to heal without potions.
  • Third skills: take the right side of the tree beyond cryomancer up to Ice Crystal. All the skills/gear are useful. Ice lance is great for hitting multiple body parts / enemies at once (overlap the attack on the enemy).
  • Other: Flying Hood is good with any build/skill that keeps you airborne (cyromancer dash; flame lance; etc).

Other (right tree):

  • Blood Extraction and Arca Sanguis: get asap, more blood from enemies/chests
  • Flask use; refill use: get the first flask upgrade, then add others and refill charges when you can afford them
  • Favor of the Gods and Tier+: invest in at least the first perk of each of these, then add the other perks as you can. Focus on Favor of the Gods first.

Other Stuff

  • Act 3: Follow act 1 to the moon then go left (backwards)
  • Act 1 FinaL Boss: Don’t try to get beyond the sides of the area, it will instantly kill you.


A few builds to help you through the game. In the tips/strategy section, I outline an ideal way to spend your blood/everstar currency on unlocks to make playing the game easier. Regardless of the build, a high life helmet is always desirable.

Early / No Legendaries:

Damage based: Fire is strong early on. Pyromancer unlocks early on.

  • Recommended classes: Generalist, Pyromancer
  • Recommended rings: Fireball, Flame Wave, Arcane Burst, Bamboo Burst, Greater Fireball, Eye of Cthulhu, Vampire Ring
  • Recommended gear: Flying Hood when used with Flame Lance (which isn’t very good otherwise)
  • Recommended unlocks: Pyromancer, Greater Fireball, Flask+, Dash+

Mid / Early Legendaries:

Crit based: Crit with legendaries is nice, especially after unlocking the bloodmancer item Blood Stone (heals on crit).

  • Recommended classes: Geomancer (shield works well in close combat when using bamboo burst or arcane blast), Pyromancer, Cryomancer
  • Recommended rings: Bamboo Burst, Arcane Blast, Flame Wave, Ice Lance (it can overlap / hit multiple enemy locations)
  • Recommended gear: gear that gives something when critting such as “create minion”, “apply burning” (very useful when using pyromancer or +crit if burning jewelry or +10% damage to burning enemies), “apply chill” (if using cryomancer), blood stone jewelry (hp on crit)

Damage based: Maximize your damage with gear or +projectile items.

  • Recommended classes: Pyromancer (vs burning enemies), Generalist (when using kiting tactics), Cryomancer (vs chilled enemies), Geomancer (if using low range skills like bamboo burst)
  • Recommended rings: Fireball, Greater Fireball, Vampire Ring,

End / Lots of Legendaries

Crit based: IMO, end-game crit legendary is the best build. It is very powerful.

The idea is to maximize crit chance and on crit effects. Priority is to get a Blood Stone (the more the better). Creating minions mod is very powerful. Try to get apply burning/chill. Consider using jewelry that increases crit chance against burning/chill (if you can apply it). +Projectile on bamboo burst is very good (it adds a lot of extra projectiles). Then charge both rings and get in close to the enemy. For bosses, get on their top/head/body and just fire downwards, or if you have lots of health, then dash into the middle of them and attack in any direction.

  • Recommended classes: look for crit chance on any class except bloodmancer, otherwise cryomancer or pyromancer (+crit vs chill/burning enemies respectively); sometimes stormcaller has high crit chance but their passive perks kinda suck
  • Recommended rings: Bamboo burst, Arcane Blast
  • Recommended gear: Same as crit build above, focusing on applying burning/chill and creating minions (turrets are okay, but not a priority). Lots of blood stone jewelry. Shield bubble and ring of fire are nice to have since you will be fighting in close range.


Currently the game doesn’t allow you to hide/disable unlocked items. This is detrimental to the game as the more you unlock, the further you dilute the pool of items. There are some really useful items that you want to have access to in a run, so diluting the item pool with less desirable items makes each run harder to complete. Thus I recommend not to spend your blood at the end of each run and instead only unlock specific items when you have enough blood to do so.

You will need 200,000+ blood to unlock everything. You will need ??400+?? everstar to unlock everything.


  • Pyromancer: Act 1, start of second level (cave), don’t need to fight anything
  • Geomancer: Act 1, end of third level (forest), enter a portal, kill a boss
  • Bloodmancer: Act 1, end of fourth level (moon), enter a portal, kill a boss
  • Cryomancer: Act 2, end of third level (ice area), enter a portal, kill a really hard boss (see tip section)
  • Stormcaller: Act 2:, end of fourth level (some area), enter a portal, kill a boss


  • Flasks (gain health): second unlock tree, uses blood
  • Dash: second unlock tree, uses blood
  • Legendary items: second unlock tree, uses everstar
  • Powerful items: second unlock tree, uses everstar
  • Free ring/helmet: second unlock tree, uses everstar

Useful unlocks

  • Pyromancer: lovely earlier class that can take you through the entire game; good for crit builds.
  • Cryomancer: great mobility, some nice skills too.
  • Stormcaller: close combat crit build class.
  • Blood Stone: heals on crit.
  • Fire Worship: +crit chance vs. burning enemies.
  • Flying Hood: invulnerability when in the air; works well with Cryomancer dash and dual Flame Lance (aim down).
  • Ice Lance: can be used to hit multiple enemies/body parts by charging and overlaying the attack on the enemies/boss.
  • Great Fireball: Good long range weapon early on, however aiming can be annoying.
  • Vampire Ring: Multi-projectile life leech, great for healing (costs 1 hp but heals 2hp for every projectile that hits).
  • Blood Extraction and Arca Sanguis: get asap, more blood from enemies/chests.
  • Flask use; refill use: get the first flask upgrade, then add others and refill charges when you can afford them.
  • Favor of the Gods and Tier+: invest in at least the first perk of each of these, then add the other perks as you can. Focus on Favor of the Gods first.


Below are some strategies for specific achievements. Anything not listed here is unlocked just by advancing in the game.

Get poisoned 150 times: works with any type of poison. An easy spot is in act 1, forest zone, where you find pools of poison: just jump in, get poisoned, leave and repeat.

Unlock all classes: see unlocks section.

Unlock all upgrades: requires 200,000+ blood and ??400+?? evenstar.

  • Defeat 10 Monsters.
  • Defeat 100 Monsters.
  • Defeat 500 Monsters.
  • Defeat 5000 Monsters.
  • Defeat 10000 Monsters.

It takes a lot of time. You’ll kill ~300 monsters per run. You’ll get close to 10,000 if you are trying to unlock everything above.

A few areas have endless monster spawns:

  • “Act 3 final boss red orbs”: probably the easiest method; don’t damage the boss to limit the amount of white laser attacks to 1, then stand somewhere and let the red balls move to you.
  • “Portal red orb summoners”: only spawns 1 monster at a time.
  • “Enclosed room spawner”: spawns 1 monster whenever another is killed; these rooms require you to destroy 3 glowing things to proceed, so don’t destroy them all or the endless spawning ends.
  • “Act 1 final boss pre-fight”: don’t destroy the portals and kill the enemies they create; spawns 3 enemies every ~5 seconds.
  • “Act 1 final boss low health”: get the final boss down to very low health, this will trigger an attack that summon additional monsters; in addition to the portal spawns, you can farm these enemies on the left side of the area where the boss attacks won’t hit you.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3021 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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