After you complete your first Hades run, your father isn’t too happy. He places a Pact of Punishment in your room, a scaling difficulty log. This pact is used to change runs slightly, via the Heat Gauge. You get to choose how a run’s difficulty scales, so you get to adapt the game’s difficulty based on your playstyle! However, in general, there are some heat modifiers that work well… and others are really hard! Check out our list for an idea of what order to select your modifiers.
Best Choices for Heat Gauge in Hades
The best and worst modifiers for your Heat Gauge in Hades is based on a few things; firstly, how likely will this end your run? Secondly, how likely is this to deal damage to you in general? If you think you’re more readily able to dodge damage from one category than another, then feel free to change this list to your advantage!
List of Heat Modifiers
- Convenience Fee (1 Heat, 2 Ranks): While Charon might make you pay more, it’s not too hard to avoid shops. So, if you run this… just prioritize basic rewards and save money!
- Jury Summons (1 Heat, 3 Ranks): Getting more monsters can be tricky, but Hades has a lot of books focused on the Area of Effect. In some runs, you’ll deal more damage, because there are extra foes in a room!
- Heightened Security (1 Heat, 1 Rank): Traps hitting harder doesn’t sound too bad… but 400% damage is a ton. This means, in the final boss, Hades’s pot summons will deal 150 damage. That’s… insane. This is arguably not worth the heat, but it can be funny to watch enemies die extremely fast.
- Middle Management (2 Heat, 1 Rank): For two Heat, you add another creature or problem to a mini-boss encounter. These chambers are rare enough that this isn’t much of a big deal. However, if you have trouble with minibosses… maybe leave this for later.
- Tight Deadline (1, 2, 3 Heat, 3 Ranks): A deadline might be a bit scary at first, but this simply means you have nine (to seven) minutes to clear each room. As you get more used to Hades, you’ll find that the nine-minute limit is actually pretty fair, since it pauses when it makes sense to. And if you can handle that, that’s two Heat for free! Seven and five minutes per floor is much harder, likely pushing this down to Rank 7 or 8.
- Damage Control (1 Heat, 2 Ranks): This gives enemies an overshield that ignores damage. For some weapons and builds, this is much worse. But, most weapons swing a lot, so one or two instances of damage isn’t that much.
- Calisthenics Program (1 Heat, 2 Ranks): Slightly more difficult than Damage Control is Calisthenics Program. This is almost only because it negatively affects bosses more than Damage Control, and bosses in this game are rough.
- Extreme Measures (1, 2 Heat, 3 Ranks): For up to five Heat, every boss except Hades gains additional techniques. This can be run-ending or just fine, depending on your build. I’d suggest starting with one boss, and then move on once you get used to Double Furies.
- Underworld Customs (2 Heat, 1 Rank): You’re forced to sacrifice a boon per floor. For some builds, like focused builds where there are only a few boons, this stinks. But, if you get a ton of boons… some boons are useless! Get rid of ’em for two Heat.
- Forced Overtime (3 Heat, 2 Ranks): This is a scary Heat Gauge modifier; enemies move so fast and attack so fast! This can be rough, especially for slow weapons. However… each rank gives three Heat. That’s… a lot, the most you can get from one modifier.
- Approval Process (2, 3 Heat, 2 Ranks): Approval Process limits what options you have in any given run. This can be devastating since some gods have awful boons. Be careful with this one, but it gives so much heat!
- Routine Inspection (2 Heat, 4 Ranks): Each grab of Routine Inspection reduces your talents from Mirror of Night. Grabbing one of these isn’t too bad, but getting all four? That can reduce your damage by a gigantic amount! Because of that, be careful when grabbing this.
- Hard Labor (1 Heat, 5 Ranks): This modifier increases damage by 20%, up to 100%. This isn’t too bad, but bosses dealing 20% higher damage can be painful, let alone 100!
- Benefits Package (2, 3 Heat, 2 Ranks): This makes armored enemies into powerful foes. This can be surprising, and during encounters with 4-5 armored enemies, you can take big damage. However, it’s five Heat, so it’s a reasonable choice.
- Lasting Consequences (1 Heat, 4 Ranks): Each rank decreases your healing by a fourth. So, up to 100% healing reduction… auper scary at max! And it’s honestly not much heat. Try not to max this out unless you’re really confident!
In Hell Mode, you have Personal Liability, which removes your invulnerability shield when you take big damage. You can’t choose to remove this, though… so, we don’t care about it!
That’s all of the best! It’s really subjective, so make sure to try these for yourself and see what works! This is just my personal experience of the game, after all. So, give the Heat Gauge a whirl, and good luck on your runs!
Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.