Curse of the Dead Gods: Complete Controls Guide and Tips for Beginners

Curse of the Dead Gods is now available as one of the monthly (May) games for PS+. Here's your complete controls and tips.

Curse of the Dead Gods is now free for anyone with PS+ as it is one of the three monthly games for May. The game pits you as a warrior who must travel through various levels within a temple to undo the curse of the dead gods. However, along the way, you’ll encounter your own curses, various enemies, and diverse bosses.

Below, you will find complete controls for Curse of the Dead Gods. Following the controls will be gameplay tips geared toward beginners.

Curse of the Dead Gods PS5 & PS4 controls

  • Move: L
  • Torch: X
  • Main Weapon: Square
  • Secondary Weapon: Triangle
  • Two-Handed Weapon: Circle
  • Target Lock: R3
  • Dodge: R2
  • Parry: L2
  • Pause Menu: Options
  • Contextual Action (Interact): R1

Note that pressing the right stick is denoted as R3. There is no L3 function in Curse of the Dead Gods.

Curse of the Dead Gods Tips

The gameplay tips below are for beginners for what can be a rather difficult game. However, the tips are good reminders for even veteran players.

1. If necessary, play on Assist Mode (with drawbacks) in Curse of the Dead Gods

Curse of the Dead gods admits that it’s “a challenging game by design.” Depending on your skill level in these top-down games and Curse of the Dead Gods specifically, you may find that the game is too difficult for you to proceed.

From the main menu, you can activate Assist Mode, which will drastically reduce the difficulty of the game. However, there are two major drawbacks. First, the save file (of three available) will be “flagged” with Assist Mode, which cannot be undone. This is like playing Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal on Safe mode, unable to revert the difficulty.

Second, and maybe more importantly depending on your goals when playing, you cannot unlock trophies in Assist Mode. For trophy hunters, this is a big drawback as you must play on the default (challenging) difficulty to unlock the 31 trophies (five hidden).

It’s recommended to play without Assist Mode at first and only switch to it if you’re struggling immensely. Use the Assist Mode playthrough to gain a better understanding of enemies, their attack patterns, and familiarizing yourself with the levels.

2. Try to have one melee, one ranged, and one two-handed weapon at all times

Swapping out the default gun with the Schofield Revolver. Note the “Offer to the gods” option.

You will always start (even after death) with the default sword and revolver regardless of what weapons you had when you died. Throughout your journey, you can find other weapons after defeating certain enemies, finding treasure chests (more like coffins), and by making offerings to the gods (more below).

The weapons are broken down to main, secondary, and two-handed. For main, you can have weapons like swords, maces, claws, and throwing knives. For secondary, you can have weapons like shields, whips, and daggers. For two-handed weapons, well, you can have two-handed weapons like mauls or broadswords.

Here is a full list of weapon types in Curse of the Dead Gods in order of main, secondary, and two-handed weapons:

  • Swords, claws, maces, and throwing weapons
  • Pistols, shields, daggers, and whips
  • Spears, heavy weapons, bows, and bombs

Because the enemies you’ll encounter can have a mix of melee and ranged attacks, it’s best to also have the same. Some weapons will have secondary abilities (such as a burning effect or adding to your attributes) which can help whittle down foes quickly.

Some enemies will actually heal their comrades and spawn others, so make sure to target them first!

3. Master perfect dodging and parries

Using the dodge (R2) and parry (L2) functions can really simplify your battles should you master the timing. Dodging takes off one light of stamina (blue lights beneath your player) and you begin with five stamina. If you perform a perfect dodge, you will restore the stamina point you lost from dodging.

Each action you take depletes stamina, some faster than others. A dodge will always take one stamina, but attacks will drain stamina dependent on the weapon. Two-handed weapons are slower and bulkier, using more stamina for example.

Perfect parries, though difficult and with a higher chance of sustaining damage if mistimed, are the ideal defensive mechanism. To parry, you must time your parry just as an enemy attack is about to land. If you hit it during their windup, you’ll be hit.

There are two benefits to parrying. First, the enemy who is parried will be weakened for a short time, meaning they will suffer more damage. Second, a successful parry restores two points of stamina! However, it may be best to engage in parrying when you’re facing off with three or less enemies than those times when you’re surrounded by a bevy of enemies.

4. Be aware of your surroundings

While playing, you’ll notice there are several environmental factors that can come into play. Jaguar stone heads will shoot fireballs at you in a linear direction (the direction they’re facing) while the quadrupedal statue pictured will shoot out a stream of fire when lit with the torch. There are multiple environmental factors you can use to your advantage as these will damage your enemies. Try to get a group near an exploding barrel and light it, for example.

Further, keep an eye out for breakable walls, those that have big cracks through them. You can destroy these walls in two ways. First, you can use a two-handed weapon to smash the wall. Second, you can use environmental factors (like fireballs) to crack them open. Generally, you will find more gold or hidden paths in these areas, so it would behoove you to break as many of these walls as possible.

5. Make offerings to the gods, but beware of adding corruption

You’ll come across shrines to make offerings to the gods. You can make two types of offerings: gold and blood. The former merely requires you to offer a set amount of gold for an offering. The latter, while requiring blood, doesn’t take any health, but has one major effect: it adds to your corruption meter.

You can track your corruption with the purple meter on the bottom right of the screen. After reaching 100 corruption, you’ll “unlock” a curse.. There are five curse icons with the last one being the “Final Curse,” which will “strongly jeopardize your chances of success.”

Not all curses will have negative effects, but most will. For example, one curse will make gold disappear quicker – Blinding Greed – while the Final Curse – Xbeltz’aloc’s Truth – slowly reduces health until it hits one HP.

There are five curses associated with each temple – Jaguar, Serpent, Eagle – 19 normal curses, and the one Final Curse.

Here are some ways corruption is added to your player:

  • Walking through doors into new areas (around 20 corruption added)
  • Being hit with an AoE attack by an enemy
  • Making blood offerings to the gods (dependent on beseeched item)

Most of the offerings will have secondary effects that can add to one of your three base attributes. These attributes are Constitution (health), Dexterity (damage), and Perception (gold and gear). Simply, the more Constitution you have, the larger your health bar. The more dexterity you have, the larger the damage you inflict. The more Perception you have, the more gold and weapons are dropped by enemies.

There are trophies associated with obtaining 50 points in each stat during a single exploration for the trophy hunters out there. You may be able to unlock more than one during a single run (depending on how far you get), but it may be best to focus on each one individually during a run.

6. Collect Crystal Skulls, Jade Rings, and Blood Emblems for use in the Underworld

You’ll come across Crystal Skull and Jade Rings from killing enemies and finding treasure. Both serve an important purpose, but are unavailable until you die – and you will die. In fact, it will be extremely difficult to beat the game without dying several times.

Unlike weapons, Crystal Skulls and Jade Rings are locked to your character and will remain even after death. This is because you need to use them in the Underworld to unlock more blessings and weapons for use in your next run.

Standing on the circle in the Underworld and hitting R1 will reveal the blessings page. You can unlock blessings from three gods – T’amok, Sich’al, and Yaatz – that will add permanently to your character. Early on, it’ll be difficult to gain the higher tier of blessings as the Crystal Skull and Jade Ring costs are excessive; some cost over 200 Skulls and 30 Rings!

You can also unlock more weapons from here. While they’ll become available, you’ll have to find them during your next run to equip them. However, you can also upgrade the weapon shrines in the Underworld, which will randomly have a main and secondary weapon you can switch out your default for should you like what is there.

You will also unlock Blood Emblems only for completing each stage. These Emblems serve two purposes. First, they’re used to advance to the next stage of levels. In the above picture, there are three immediately available temples to explore, but the next group requires two Blood Emblems. This means you will have to clear two of the first three stages.

Further, Blood Emblems are also required for some upgrades in the Underworld. You will need to defeat each level multiple times to obtain enough Emblems to unlock all stages and maximize the upgrades.

Xak-Olchir, the Blood Hunter is the fist boss you’ll encounter.

The Underworld is crucial to your eventual defeat of the temple and lifting the curse of the dead gods. Be strategic in how you spend your Skulls and Rings. There are some further functions so explore them and make sure to use the Underworld’s upgrades upon each death.

There you have it, our complete controls and tips to be successful in Curse of the Dead Gods. Remember to avoid as much corruption as possible, master blocking and parrying, and make use of the Underworld to gain the advantage!

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is the Lead Editor for He has a PhD in Education, but has always been a gamer. His main gaming interests are RPGs and sports, with some action and adventure on the side. Bruce still hails Chrono Trigger as the best game ever.

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