This is a simple, spoiler-free FAQ for your adventures in the world of HyperRogue. You don't need this to play the game, but it might help with some of your frustrations and inform you about some elements of the game that might not be immediately obvious.
Q: So, what's the deal with geometry in this game?
A: HyperRogue uses what is known as "hyperbolic geometry". This is different from the "Euclidean geometry" you probably use in your everyday life, and from the spherical geometry that is used to navigate the surface of Earth.
The most visible difference between hyperbolic and Euclidean geometry is the treatment of parallel lines. In Euclidean geometry, parallel lines are fairly boring -- they always keep the same distance. Not so in hyperbolic geometry -- there, two parallel lines will diverge. This is directly tied to the concept of space: hyperbolic plane simply contains "more space" than the Euclidean one.
Q: Why are the tiles getting smaller towards the edge?
A: Short answer: because you don't have a hyperbolic monitor. Unfortunately, it's impossible to show exact representation of hyperbolic plane on a flat monitor, similarly to how it's impossible to show exact representation of spherical Earth on flat map. Some distortion will necessarily happen. HyperRogue uses a method called "Poincaré projection" that maps the whole infinite hyperbolic plane to a disc in Euclidean plane. To do this, the scale of the world keeps shrinking as you go towards the edge. You might notice that your visible game field doesn't actually touch the blue circle -- in truth, the whole rest of the infinite game world fits in that small gap, but even if you could see it, you could discern no details from it.
Q: You've mentioned this word "infinite"...
A: Yes, I did.
Q: No, I mean, how does that even work?
A: The world of HyperRogue is "potentially infinite", which simply means that it has no boundaries. You will never find an edge that would stop you from further exploration (although there are SOME barriers). The world is generated as you go. The areas you've already passed through are retained and you can revisit them, but thanks to the huge amount of space in hyperbolic plane, it's easy to get lost and you might not be able to actually find those areas.
But that's OK. Nothing in the world of HyperRogue is unique. If you lose a certain land type, item or other feature, you can just continue on and it will appear again sooner or later.
Q: What are the "Great Walls"?
A: The Great Walls are barriers that separate the various lands. They are straight lines (distant Great Walls look as circles, but that's an artifact of Poincaré projection) with openings that allow you to pass between the different areas.
Q: Why is the game so disorienting?
A: Hyperbolic geometry is just like this. The sum of inner angles in a triangle isn't 180 degrees, which results that if you move in a closed path and return to the starting point, you will find the screen in a different orientation. Unlike Euclidean and spherical geometry,
it's very hard to enforce a self-consistent system of cardinal directions, and most of such systems would be cumbersome to use outside of some special region.
If you feel dizziness or nausea, stop playing for a bit. If the feelings persist for a long time, you might want to see a doctor.
However, if you start seeing hyperbolic worlds in your dreams, don't be panicked. This is completely normal.
Q: Some descriptions mention "horocycles". What's that?
A: See the Curves page
for detailed explanation.
Q: What things about hyperbolic geometry can I experience by playing HyperRogue?
A: See the blog post
which explains many aspects of hyperbolic geometry which are visible in the game.
2. Basic controls
Q: How to control the game?
A: There are several different control schemes available. Num pad, qweadzxc or hjklyubn schemes all work. However, the hexagonal and heptagonal tiles, combined with lack of fixed orientation are not overly compatible with keyboard movement. It's probably the best to use mouse: click on an adjacent cell to move into. If you click on your own cell (or press 's' or '.') you will spend one turn waiting without moving.
Q: Are there other commands?
A: A few. Some ranged Orbs allow you to shift+click to use them. You can set in configuration whether they should still be usable without the Shift key.
If you get some Dead Orbs and wish to drop them, the 'g' key is an alternative to clicking on the "Dead Orbs" line.
The 'v' key opens the configuration menu where you can customize many aspects of the game.
Finally, right-clicking almost any game element will show you some information about it.
Q: How to control my view?
A: Arrow keys allow you to move the view to center on different cells (however, they won't let you see any further: you can only use them to explore the area you can see). You can re-center your view on your character with Home or Space keys. Page Up/Page Down allow you to rotate the game world. Finally, the Alt key will highlight the outlines of your character, monsters and items, to allow you to see them better. This is useful especially for the cells close to the edge of your view.
Q: What are the columns of numbers at the sides of the screen?
A: On the left, you have your kill list: list of all monsters you've killed during this game. You can right-click the monsters to see their descriptions.
If you've killed at least three different types of monsters, you will also see a total kill count -- it appears in top left, next to fps counter.
Note that not all monsters count toward total kills. For Ivies, only the roots count as kills, not branches. Friendly "monsters" don't count at all.
On the right side of the screen, you can see your treasures. The number on top is the total value of treasures you've found (most of them count for 1 $$$ each). Then you see each treasure on a separate row -- once again, you can right-click them to read their description.
If you find any magical Orbs, you can find their data below the treasures. Most of the Orbs have certain number of "charges" which decreases by 1 every turn. You should always read the description of any Orbs you find to learn the details of their use.
Q: What is a "roguelike", actually?
A: Roguelikes are a genre of computer games that have evolved separately from the
mainstream -- even though they are commonly viewed as a subgenre of CRPGs (computer
role playing games), they are
in many senses closer to board games, like Chess where the "chessboard" is randomly
generated by the computer, than to other computer games. While most CRPGs try to
tell a story, roguelikes are more about challenge and skill -- and, since you have
to start from the very beginning when you lose the game, you really need to earn
lots of skill to win. If you have experience from other CRPGs, doing the same
things again and again may sound not fun -- but it is not actually the case in
the whole game is procedurally generated by the computer, and it is different each time.
(Recently the elements of
roguelikes, such as procedural generation and permadeath, are added
to more and more computer games which do not really have much in common with true
roguelikes, causing even more confusion.)
Q: So, what's the goal of the game?
A: HyperRogue has one main goal: to obtain an Orb of Yendor. This is the "main quest". To get to an Orb of Yendor, you must collect treasures from various lands -- you will need at least 10 treasures from at least 9 different land types (new lands will be unlocked as you collect them), and then gather another 10 treasures from the land unlocked by doing this.
At the beginning, it's not a good idea to collect too many treasures of a single type: the monster generation in each land type is tied to the number of treasures you've found there. Collecting too many treasures of one type could result in your character being overwhelmed by monsters and in the dreaded "Game Over" screen.
Note that finding an Orb of Yendor isn't the end of the quest -- you need to complete one more little task which you'll learn about as soon as you find the Orb...
Q: Are there other goals?
A: Yes, there are a few. For each treasure type, there is an achievement for collecting 25 and 50 treasures. Note that the monster generation will be very high if you try going for these achievements, so be ready for it! There is a Hyperstone Quest, which will open if you collect 10 of EACH normal treasure type. This might take a long time and it can get dangerous. You can try to search for a Holy Grail. If you meet some Knights, they will tell you more. Finally, a little mouse told us that there is a Princess (or Prince, depending on your personal preferences), imprisoned deep within the Palace...
Q: How do I die?
A: Although HyperRogue is a roguelike, it's fairly forgiving (unless you play the hardcore mode). You are not allowed to make any move that would be immediately suicidal. You will only die when 'checkmated', i.e. when ANY possible move would lead to your death.
Q: Does this game has any additional modes?
A: Several. If you press 'v'to go to the configuration, you can find the extra modes under "special game modes" (keyboard shortcut is the 'm' key):
-- this will change the game to hexagon-based Euclidean tiling. Most of game features is available in this mode, but note that the game is balanced for hyperbolic play and so it's easy to get stuck or die in Euclidean mode. There is one achievement in the game that you can only get in this mode.
-- this will eliminate the "checkmate" function: one wrong move will get you killed.
Shoot'em up mode
-- this will change the game to real-time movement and continuous space, though some level of tile-based mechanics is retained. You move using keyboard and attack by throwing knives.
-- this will allow you to use various keyboard shortcuts to gain advantages or experiment with the game. If you're trying to do some tough challenge, it might be a good idea to experiment in the cheat mode first to learn the ropes.
See the last section here for a list of Cheat commands.
Pure Tactics Mode
-- collecting at least 20 treasures in a land will unlock it for the Pure Tactics Mode where you can play that land on its own, without any distractions.
-- here you can skip all the tedious treasure collecting and go for the Yendor Quest right away. However, you might be forced to use some nonconventional strategies.
Q: Is the source code available?
A: Since version 6.6, the source code is included and you can find it in the "src" subfolder in the folder where the game is installed. The free version had the source code included from the begining.
Q: What's the difference between the free and paid version?
A: The paid version has the newest features and lands. Once the next major version is finished, the previous version will be released for free.
Q: Any final advice before I start to play?
A: Some useful advice are:
1. Pick your battles. If you feel that an area is too dangerous, leave it. Nothing important can be permanently lost. This is especially important in the Jungle: staying too long in one area WILL result in the Ivies overgrowing you!
2. Don't lead the monsters along. It's usually better to kill them quickly than to run from them.
3. Learn the effects of the Orbs and use them to your advantage.
4. Don't be greedy -- don't grab more treasures than you need.
Q: Where can I discuss HyperRogue and report bugs?
A: Currently, the only
HyperRogue forum is on Steam
You can use that even if
you didn't buy the Steam version. Also, the roguelike subreddit
and RogueTemple forums
are great places for discussing roguelikes, so you could discuss HyperRogue there.
If you don't want to do that, you can send email to the developer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a question that you think should be added to the FAQ, contact Fulgur14 at email@example.com.
Q: Is there a guide?
A: A guide by Fulgur14
is maintained on Steam.
Q: Are there any interesting videos?
A: YouTube has some. Currently, the
most extensive videos
are made by Sprite Guard Alpha.
If you want to make HyperRogue videos as well, send a message and we'll add you to this section of FAQ as well!