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"Archero" Runes Guide

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Sigbog is an avid gamer whose addiction spans PC and mobile titles. They love to break games down and pick them apart.

Runes Guide

Runes bring an entirely new way to enhance, customize, and strategize your character.

Runes bring an entirely new way to enhance, customize, and strategize your character.

The Runes Upgrade System

The runes upgrade system was introduced in the 1-year anniversary update 2.0 for Archero and offers a brand new way for players to power themselves up. However, this system is notably a bit more complex than other upgrade systems in the game. Not only does it feature a new currency, it features multiple runes each with multiple perk slots with ranges of impact cycling off a random based re-roll system. There's a lot to chew on, but this is roughly how they work:

  • Runes grant you multiple slots of perks and stat buffs
  • There are multiple runes to unlock, each with their own unlockable list of perks and buffs
  • All runes are active simultaneously, you do not need to select which to use
  • Perks and their stats are randomized when forged, with some perks rarer than others
  • Forging costs the new 'rune' currency and coins.

There is a lot to get used to, but just know you'll receive significant benefits simply from unlocking them. Furthermore, if you forge them to improve them, you can also choose to keep your original stats so if you don't like what you see don't keep it!

Unlocking Runes

In order to access runes at all, you must unlock the rune talent. It's the epic talent in the bottom right of the talent screen. After unlocking at least 1 level, a new rune tab will open on that screen.

From there, runes will be activated. You unlock 1 additional rune every 20 player levels for up to a total of 5 runes at level 80. Furthermore, each benchmark of 20 levels also unlocks an additional perk slot on each rune. This means at level 80, you'll have 5 runes each with 5 perks for a total of 25 buffs. Comparatively, at level 40 you'll only have 3 runes unlocked with 3 perks each for a total of 9 buffs.

Runes Types

As of July 2020 there are 5 types of runes, each with a different emphasis, offering buffs to different stats or different perks although with some minor overlap. The types of runes are currently:

  • Power unlocked at level 1
    This rune focuses on offensive power, offering boosts such as attack, crit damage, and increased rates for some offensive abilities.
  • Savior unlocked at level 20
    This rune focuses on durability, offering boosts to max HP, damage resistance, and increased rates for some defensive abilities.
  • Recovery unlocked at level 40
    Similar to Savior, this rune focuses on durability as well, but also has many healing perks including a buff to the effect of red hearts and buffs to bloodthirst.
  • Courage unlocked at level 60
    This rune contains many hero buffs, such as improvements to specific heroes' base health and attack.
  • Luck unlocked at level 80
    This rune is still to be explored!

The buffs start to pile up significantly, leading to a massive power improvement to your character as you unlock and optimize more runes.

Upgrading Runes

There are 3 ways to improve your runes.

  1. Increasing your 'Rune Powerup' talent.
    Upgrading your talents and randomly receiving a buff to your 'Rune Powerup' talent will increase the ranges your rune buffs can land in.
  2. Forging your runes.
    Spending 5 runes and 5000 coins will re-roll a selected rune, generating a new set of perks and a new range for those stats. You can choose to keep your original perks or accept the new ones. The goal is to roll your rune for stats closer to the higher maximum range, or more preferred/rare perks.
  3. Increasing your player level.
    Each 20 levels unlocks an additional rune and a perk slot for that rune, multiplying your power significantly.

Forging a Rune

After forging, you can choose to swap in the new stats to replace your old ones, or hit the red X button to keep your old stats.

After forging, you can choose to swap in the new stats to replace your old ones, or hit the red X button to keep your old stats.

Earning Runes

Runes don't require anything overly specific to earn. They will drop from a few locations:

  • Randomly in stages
  • From the time reward at a rate influenced by your expedition level.
  • Occasionally in the special box section of the store, in the 'Runes Box' for gems.
  • In some of the chapter packs for microtransactions.

Overall they aren't rare or difficult to accumulate, however the kicker is that you may need to forge many times in order to get a perfect set of stats. However, the flip side is that you'll get pretty good stats very easily just by unlocking them and doing a small amount of forging. Overall this makes the system very powerful for all types of players.

Forge Rewards

Added shortly after the release of the Runes system, Forge rewards create a small bonus of stats as you re-roll runes repeatedly so even if you end up not getting a better set of stats, you at least make some progress towards incremental bonuses. You earn these Forge rewards by forging a set number of times. They also vary by the specific rune.

  • Power: Gain +20 attack every 20 forges
  • Savior: Gain +60 health every 20 forges
  • Recovery: Gain +60 health every 20 forges
  • Courage: Gain +20 attack every 20 forges
  • Luck: Still to be explored!

Final Thoughts

Runes may be an excessively complicated and comparatively difficult feature, but not one without its benefits. The game is certainly in need of more progression vectors to play around with and forging runes will be a fun way to optimize characters for a long time to come.


nerd on September 02, 2020:

no i got it when i was level 50 something. just keep upgrading :).

chris on August 19, 2020:

I have upgraded my talent 47 times and still yet to unlock the runes. When does this happen? Is it at a cwrtain number?