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"The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth" Character Guide

Eric loves to play "The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth" on Steam, and it is one of his favorite games. He wants to teach others about the game.


Master The Binding of Issac: Rebirth Characters

There are many characters in The Binding of Issac: Rebirth. To unlock everything in the game, you will have to play as every character.

I have updated this guide for Repentance. The guide now has the latest information on how to play the characters.

I also assume you own all the DLC. If you don't, this guide may seem misleading as there were some big changes to the game in the final update.

I am going to explain how the characters are different, and I am also going to explain how to best play as each character.

I am going to explain each character in alphabetical order.

Are you interested in learning about tainted characters? I plan on making a guide on them as well. But for this guide, I will only focus on the standard characters.

??? (Blue Baby)

Here is some info about ??? (Blue Baby).

About ??? (Blue Baby)

???, or more commonly called Blue Baby, has slightly more damage and speed than normal. But overall, the character has average stats.

You start the game with three soul hearts, and you can never pick up red heart containers. They also have the Poop item.

Take Fewer Risks

Blue Baby is one of the more difficult characters to play as in The Binding of Issac: Rebirth.

Not being able to gain red heart containers makes the game quite harder. You will have to be more careful overall.

Also, you can’t use red heart containers to take devil deals, and they always cost three soul hearts or black heats. This makes taking devil deals a lot riskier than normal.

You are going to want to take fewer risks early game as hearts will be limited.

I would not recommend going into curse rooms, using sacrifice rooms, or devil beggars unless you have a huge amount of health.

You might want to avoid challenge rooms as well, depending on how confident you feel.

Devil deals are very risky, and I don’t recommend taking them without at least six or seven soul hearts.

The right item might be worth the risk, though. Abaddon and Black Robes are always safe picks as you get the health you spend back.

Not taking a devil deal and going for angel rooms is the much safer option as this character.

Red Hearts Are Pointless

Red hearts are now mostly useless. Any cards or trinkets that give you red hearts are also no longer helpful.

There is only one exception. When you have the Dark Bum item, red hearts become soul and black hearts.

Soul and Black Heats Now Are Very Important

Items that give soul hearts and black hearts are much more useful. You will want to try to get as many soul hearts as possible.

You might want to consider pills even if you normally think they are risky. A balls of steel pill is a huge find for this character. Also, The hierophant cards are great as well.

Gimpy is a great item as it has a chance to give your soul hearts from damage.

Soul Locket Is the Best Item You Can Find

Soul Locket is a great item for any character to use. But it synergies very well with Blue Baby. You will gain stats when you get extra health.

It is hard to get one particular item in any run of the game. But be sure to get this item if you see it!

The Poop Item Has One Use

The Poop is a bad item, but it does have one use. If you use this item near a gap and bomb the poop, you create a tiny one tile bridge.


Here is what you need to know about Apollyon.

About Apollyon

Apollyon has the same stats as Issac. But he has one less red heart and starts with different items.

Apollyon starts with Void and, this is an item that allows you to consume pedestal items for stats.

How Void Works

Apollyon is an interesting character. With Void, you can avoid picking up bad items. You can avoid items you don’t want or that don’t give good stats.

Every time you void, you will receive an upgrade to two random stats.

You will not receive stats if Void tries to upgrade a stat that is already maxed. This happens when you void items when you have the maximum speed or tears stat.

Changes to Void in Repentance

With the Repentance update, there were some changes to how Void works.

You now can't get a bonus from voiding multiple items. This one is a pretty big nerf, and Void now is a bit less fun to use.

It was very fun to find spots where you could void multiple items for huge stat gains.

You can now void items after picking them up. This change at first might seem small. But it is a big deal.

You can now void items right after buying them in stores and devil deals. Doing this allows you to purchase items and turn them into random stats boosts.

This change also gives you a very tiny window to void items if you can't see what they are and find out you don't want that item.

How I Use Void

I mostly void items that don't give stats bonuses or that don't add to what I already have. I void most items early on.

You can also void quest items like the Negative and Polaroid. But then you won’t be able to go to the chest or dark room.

If I have the coins, I will buy items from stores to void them as well.

Once I get to maximum tears or speed, I consider getting rid of Void. Voiding items might no give any stats now. If I find a really good active item, I tend to also get rid of Void.

With the recent Repentance changes, I find myself even more willing to toss Void for the first active item that seems good.

Without Void, the run becomes like any other run. But I normally have no issues with this.

If I do get a lot of good active item voids saved, I might keep Void the entire run. But this does not happen too often.

I Don't Take a Lot of Devil Deals

Since Apollyon has very low health, I tend to avoid taking devil deals. But if the right build and health points, I might consider it still.

Devil deals are somewhat more attractive. Since you can now void the bad ones. But it is a risk to lose health for a stats gain. I might do it with a large amount of red hearts.


Here is what you need to know about Azazel.

About Azazel

Azazel starts with slightly different stats. They start with three black hearts, but you can add red hearts. Azazel also starts with flight and a short-ranged Brimstone attack.

Having Flight is Great!

Having flight early game is huge! You will be able to skip and avoid a lot of the obstacles in rooms.

You will also be able to take cover by flying over the rocks and other obstacles. It feels like cheating sometimes!

The Short Attack Is Quite Annoying

The main annoyance I have this character is how short the attack is. Range up items help make the beam longer, but even then, it will always seem short.

You will have to get used to making slower and close-range attacks. It will take a while to get used to it.

You Need to Play Safe Early Game

You need to be careful early game as Azazel. With no red hearts, you will die very fast if you can’t avoid damage.

You will want to try to get red heart containers or as many soul and black hearts as you can get.

I don’t recommend taking devil deals without any red heart containers. Even with extra health, devil deals are always risky.

But there are some items I almost always will take.

Black Robes and Abaddon are safe items to get. The extra health added will save you from dying, and you will get extra damage for free.




Learn About Bethany

Bethany has very similar stats to Isaac. The character starts with the Book of Virtues.

She can't use soul or black hearts for health as these are converted into charges. I will explain how this works soon.

The Active Item Character

Bethany is a character designed to use active items as much as possible. These items will become the main focus of your run.

All soul and black hearts become charges that can be used to active items more than once.

Due to the Book of Virtues, you will get wisps that orbit around you every time you use an active item. The wisps are different depending on the item you use.

Remember, even if you don't want to keep an active item, use it at least once to get an extra wisp.

Need to Be Careful About Your Health

Since you have to rely on red hearts, I recommend playing the game more cautiously early game.

Items that normally would heal you now give charges.

Use the Book Virtues often Early Game

Don't wait until you find another active item to use the Book of Book Virtues. You still will get wisps that will slightly increase your attack. This is as long as they don't bump into anything.

Battery Items Are Great

Since the goal is to use active items as often as possible, all battery items are great. Take every chance to get these items as you can.

Also, the Watch Battery and AAA Battery are great trinkets to have as well. If possible, have both!

Bethany Strategy

Early game, I will use the Book of Virtues often. But I won't use soul charges too often. I will try to save them up until I find another active use item.

How I play very much depends on what active item I find. The wisps you generate change depending on what items you find.

There are far too many differences to list them all. Thankfully the game's wiki is a great resource for this.

Since Bethany depends so much on active items, it is hard to plan a strategy other than find items that make active items better.

I suppose one notable item is BFFS! This item will make your wisps better.

Defensive-based items like Yum Heart and Book of Shadows are also great.


Here is some info about Cain.

About Cain

Cain is a character that shoots tears only from one eye. They have two heart containers. Cain has a much shorter range and has more movement speed.

You also start with one point of luck due to Lucky Foot. With recent changes to how Lucky Foot works, you also now will only find good or neutral pills every run.

Time to Take Your Pills

With the Repentance update, Cain is now the character to find and eat as many pills as possible.

Your runs may be determined by how many pills you find and what pills are in each run.

I recommend taking an identifying every pill as soon as possible.

Mom's pill bottle or the pill baggy are great items to find. One gives your extra pills, and the other lets you hold two pills.

How to Play Cain

Cain’s playstyle is about the same as Isaac's. With the lower range, you will need to move closer to enemies to shoot them.

Thankfully many items increase range, so this is a temporary issue.

Once you have the Paper Click trinket unlocked, you can open any gold chests without needing keys. Ideally, you will find a lot of gold chests early on.

Also, Cain starts with a key. Starting with one key might seem small, but it helps a lot early game.