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Fighting enemies takes up the majority of a players time while playing Heroes of Hammerwatch, and as such there are many aspects to it one must become familiar with in order to become adept at progressing through floors with efficiency and picking the most effective items.

Enemy AI

Enemies use many different strategies to try and kill you, here is a small list of some of the most common ones:

  • Attack you from the sides so swinging straight forward won't work as well
  • Attack then move from their previous spot so projectiles miss more often
  • Charge straight at you
  • Surround you so escape is harder
  • Attack in groups, enemies that spot you or are hit will often bring those around them to attack as well
  • Summon reinforcements
  • Buff nearby enemies in some manner

Bosses all have their own AI to keep you on your feet and to ensure you have all your bases covered when it comes to maneuverability and precise movements.


Upgrades and items have two main ways of enhancing your damage: base damage (Attack/Skill Effects) and power scaling (Attack/Skill Power).
Note: Skill Effects currently only applies magical damage to Primary Attacks.

To calculate primary attack damage, convert percentages to decimal then use the following:

(phys_base + phys_item_damage) * (1 + (0.02 * AP)) * MULTIPLIER * DMG_INCREASE * (1 - 1/(1 + enemy_armor) +
(mage_base + mage_item_damage) * (1 + (0.02 * AP)) * MULTIPLIER * DMG_INCREASE * (1 - 1/(1 + enemy_resistance)

Enemy defense:

  • armor: (1 - ((1 - armor_pierce%) * (enemy_base_armor/4 if Shield Breaker active))/50)
  • resistance: (1 - ((1 - resistance_pierce%) * (enemy_base_resistance/4 if Magebane Active))/50)
  • DMG_INCREASE = ∑ all item +damage% and damage increase on crits
  • MULTIPLIER = ∏ (1 + %damage bonus) ∀ Tavern drinks, Chapel bonuses, and some items such as Amulet of Decay and Seal of the Martyr.
  • ∏ is the symbol for multiplying one after another, opposed to summing one after another when doing ∑

Damage Calculator

Damage Types

Items that increase base damage (physical or magical), attack power, or mentions that it is applied to primary attacks exclusively increase the strength of your primary attack.

Items that increase skill power, skill crit chance, skill crit multiplier increase the damage of EVERY OTHER damage source. This will even enhance the base damage of reflected damage or passives such as Paladin Juggernaut and Priest Celestial Orbs.

Armor penetration and magic penetration is specific to the damage type of your skill or primary attack. Note that hybrid damage does half physical and half magical damage so primaries and skills will only receive 50% effective benefit out of any penetration items/buffs.


The player has a % chance to do a critical hit on any given attack. The chance and amount depends on the item obtained, what drinks were taken from the Tavern, and what upgrades the player has gotten in town. Critical chance is calculated multiplicatively: A Heart Seeker(12.5%) and Assassin's Dagger(7.5%) do not make a 20% chance, but instead a 19.05% chance for crits on any given hit, and about a 1% chance for a double crit.
Critical damage is a general damage modifier added onto other damage modifiers, and as such does not multiply its own damage. The player can still hit well over 10K damage with multiple crit hits on a single attack, thus crits are a powerful and crucial thing sought after in most runs.

Health and Mana

There are many different ways to regain health and mana, most often innate regeneration is the largest portion. However you can design a character to regain health from lifestealing instead with the Bloodthirst Ring or the Chapel blessing.

Other methods of gaining health are via class traits or by getting healed by the Priest or Paladin.


Another way to regain health in a more instantaneous fashion would be to pick up food or mana crystals that appear on the floor.
There are 4 health pickups and 3 mana pickups. They are as follows:

  • Health
    • Apple: 10 HP
    • Orange: 25 HP
    • Cheese: 50 HP
    • Steak: 150 HP
  • Mana
    • Small crystal: 15 MP
    • Medium crystal: 45 MP
    • Mana Orb: 90 MP

All Pickups can have their values increased by the Apothecary or by the Exceptional Consumables fortune.

Armor and Resistance

Armor reduces physical damage taken, Resistance reduces magical.
The damage reduction formula from armor and resistance is very simple, both use the same equation of: 1 - 1/(1+defense/50)

Damage Reduction

Items, drinks, and traits that reduce damage taken are applied multiplicatively, one after another. So even if you have 80% damage reduction from armor, the Priest's Divine Protection (max -50% damage when you have mana), and the Last Stand Tavern drink (-50% damage taken while standing still) you will still take 5% of the incoming damage. (100 * 0.2 * 0.5 * 0.5 = 5)

The Tower Shield and Paladin's shield both reduce the base damage being sent at you, before any damage reduction modifiers are applied. 100 incoming damage will become 75, then get reduced from there.


Evasion is calculated similarly to crit chance, where each source of evasion is multiplicative. Each evasion source rolls independently for evasion and if any one of them rolls a positive outcome, all damage will be nullified. The player is also immune to all incoming damage for the "duration" of the evade, which is about 1/4 of a second or the duration of the character changing color to indicate a successful evasion.

You can still reflect damage even when you evade an attack.


Combo can get gotten by picking up the combo sphere in your first Red Room which can be found after defeating the first boss. Combo is unlocked for all characters permanently once the orb is picked up.

A player gets in combo by killing 10 enemies in quick succession (before the magenta bar above the player or to the right of the HP/MP bars on the bottom left depletes). The combo will be maintained for as long as you keep rapidly killing enemies.

Being in combo will give the player increased movement speed and allow them to do attacks that would otherwise pin them in place such as the Wizard's Meteor Shower or using a primary attack.

Items Enhancing Combo

The Spheres of Power item set gives buffs while in combo, adding to your HP and MP regen as well as a significant damage buff for the Sphere of Champions. The set bonus also radiates projectiles while you are in combo, increasing your damage output even further.

Apothecary's Sphere will cause you to enter combo when using a potion. This is the only way to intentionally enter combo without killing ten enemies or relying on on evade. You cannot, however, use a potion if you are at full HP and MP.

Amulet of Vengeance gives a 10% chance to enter combo when taking damage.

The Trickster's Ensemble four piece set will put you in combo whenever an attack is dodged.

NG+ Debuffs

For every New Game Plus level the player embarks on, the game will put a bigger and bigger reduction on player armor and resistance.
The formula for calculating the debuff is:

  • Armor: 50*NG_lvl0.75
  • Resistance: 40*NG_lvl0.75

When the player's armor is negative, they will take increased damage from monsters, and unlike having a high positive armor where new armor does less and less for the player, increased negative armor will always increase damage taken by 2% per negative armor.

NG+ also increases enemy armor/resist, damage and HP by some unknown formula.