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Dead Cells has eight different Runes for you to find and collect, each offering access to new areas through the unique abilities they offer. All Runes drop after you defeat the Guardian who defends them.

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Once you collect a Rune you'll permanently have access to it, even after death, meaning you'll be able to use its abilities forever. Here are all of the Runes in Dead Cells, their locations and how to unlock them.

Vine Rune

Dead Cells Vine Rune

Location: Promenade of the Condemned

Guardian: Undead Archer

Use: This Rune allows you to grow climbing vines that you can then use to access other locations including the Toxic Sewers.

The Vine Rune is the first you'll find in Dead Cells and can be found in the Promenade of the Condemned. Of course, Dead Cells is a rogue-lite so areas will change from run to run, but keep your eye out for a large overhang, there should be a door at the base of this which will be the entrance to the room the Rune is inside of.

To get this Rune you'll have to defeat the Undead Archer Guardian. Their arrows can be blocked or dodged if you're quick to react and they're easy to kill with just a few attacks, even with low damage weapons.

Teleportation Rune

Dead Cells Teleportation Rune

Location: Toxic Sewers

Guardian: Undead Slasher

Use: This Rune allows you to use the teleportation monoliths seen throughout the map and will let you access multiple locations including the Ossuary and Forgotten Sepulcher.

The Teleportation Rune can be accessed by interacting with the coffin pictured in the image above. To get here you'll need to locate a room containing a switch behind the door. The Rune will be found beneath this room and using the switch will open it.

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In order to get the Teleportation Rune, you'll have to defeat the Undead Slasher, they're a tough enemy to defeat with their quick dash allowing them to quickly reach and attack you. Make sure to use your roll a lot to dodge their slashes and perhaps bring some slow effects to reduce the speed of their attacks. Once they finish their combo, there's a small window to deal damage in before they start slashing again.


Ram Rune

Dead Cells Ram Rune

Location: Ossuary

Guardian: Elite Slasher

Use: This rune allows you to destroy special parts of the ground that are clearly marked with an orange symbol.

The Ram Rune is found in a room in the Ossuary with walls adorned with spikes. You'll need to activate a switch in order to get inside.

As with every Rune, you'll need to take on a special enemy to unlock this one - defeating the Elite Slasher in this area will unlock it. Watch out for its shockwave after the third attack, you'll need to roll in order to avoid its effect. The Ram Rune can be used to access the Ancient Sewers.

Challenger's Rune

Dead Cells Challenger Rune

Location: Black Bridge

Guardian: The Concierge

Use: The Challenger's Rune is rather unique, it doesn't give you a special ability like the other seven Runes. It instead offers you access to the daily challenges which you can find next to The Scrible.

This rune can be found in the Black Bridge and requires you to defeat the games first main boss, The Concierge.

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It's a hard boss and his most dangerous move is the leap across the arena, you'll have to crouch or roll out of the way to stop taking damage. The Aura of Laceration is also a move to watch out form as it will activate a red aura around The Concierge which will deal damage on contact.

Turrets are very effective because The Concierge ignores them even if they're dealing damage to it, otherwise, make use of your parries to try and stun it.

Spider Rune

Dead Cells Spider Rune

Location: Slumbering Sanctuary

Guardian: Elite Caster

Uses: This Rune allows you to climb up walls and access areas such as the Graveyard and Prison Depths. It also expands your movement options significantly, and is incredibly useful in every stage of the game, allowing a lot more creative combat options too.

The Spider Rune is found in the Slumbering Sanctuary, within a room that has a dropdown and banner on the wall, and requires you to defeat the Elite Caster who is waiting for you there.

It only has one attack, a fireball, but it will teleport away if you get too close which makes it hard to deal damage. Ranged weapons are very effective as a result of his teleport move.

Homonculus Rune

Dead Cells Homonculus Rune

Location: Throne Room

Guardian: Hand of the King

Use: This is a pretty cool Rune, allowing you to separate your head and body, controlling the head in order to fight enemies or reach hidden places.

The Homonculus Rune is a reward for defeating Dead Cells' final boss, the Hand of the King. Unlocking this Rune will let you access the Cavern.

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Of course, earning this Rune is really tricky. The Hand of the King is a tough boss, and you'll likely get taken down a few times by him. AoE weapons like grenades are great at dealing solid damage to him; although the best strategy is to focus on avoiding rather than dealing damage. You will have windows to attack in, but they're limited so making use of skills that deal passive damage can be a game-changer.

Customise Rune

Customise Rune Dead Cells

Location: Ramparts

Guardian: Elite Archer or Zombie

Use: This Rune doesn't make any changes to gameplay, instead unlocking a custom mode that allows you to change settings within the run.

The Customise Rune requires you to defeat an Elite Zombie or Archer and is hidden in the Ramparts very near to where you'll spawn into the zone. Both enemies are easy to defeat, the Zombie only has a scratch move which can be parried or dodged, and the archer has a fire arrow attack but is very weak.

Some of the custom game modes you can access with this rune include; Speed Run, I Love Brutality and One Hit, One Kill. You can also change what items are accessible in a run, outfits and even mutations.

Explorer's Rune

Dead Cells Explorer's Rune

Location: Forgotten Sepulcher

Guardian: Two Elite Dark Trackers

Use: This rune reveals the entire game map. This includes scrolls, merchants amongst other relevant Points of Interest.

The final Rune in Dead Cells is the Explorer's Rune which can be found in the room following the room you fight the Dark Trackers in at the end of the level.

Dark Trackers are strong elite enemies, making it a tough Rune to unlock, they're quite tanky but can also teleport towards players. You can use this to your advantage though, lure them out of the larger group of enemies and they're much easier to deal with, especially if you can avoid their backstab attack which leaves them vulnerable for a few seconds.

This is a great Rune for endgame players who are looking to find every last bit of content the game has to offer.

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