Sands of Aura – Tips and Tricks for New Players

A collection of helpful hints and often overlooked features, and more detailed information on gameplay and mechanics to help players new to the game smooth their first few hours, or even for experienced players to see if they’ve missed something.

Quick Tips for Returning Players

  • You can queue multiple Spellblade effects to go off in sequence.
  • Hitting an enemy from behind, or while they are stunned such as from a parry, deals guaranteed critical hits. This works both ways. You are vulnerable to to backstabs and stun-crits. This also applies to poise damage taken while blocking.
  • The brightness of the bubble while you are blocking gives you a rough idea of how much ‘Poise’ you have left before the shield breaks, and you are stunned.
  • Your maximum poise is a percentage of your max Health. Increasing your max health through armor and runes will increase the amount of damage you can block before your shield breaks.
  • You can fast travel to any Island you have landed at from anywhere on the Grainwake, or when standing right up against a Resonance Bell outside, by going to the map and clicking on the island icons.
  • You can buy Echoing bells from Galiana, and use them to safely return to the last bell or landing spot you rested at. Helpful to avoid losing your Glint, of if you simply get stuck. I’d recommend always carrying a few.
  • Stuck without an Echoing bell? The Red Skull in your inventory is a death stone, allowing you to give up the fight, and return to the last bell as if you had died.
  • Activating a spellblade charge, then dashing, extends the range of your dash considerably, useful for crossing tricky-to-jump gaps.
  • You can hold down the Heal button to ‘Cleanse’ your weapon of corruption without performing a Special Attack, while still geneating Spellblade charges. Useful to power the Spellblade dash if you’re in a tight spot, and your Special Attack might push you off a ledge.
  • Corruption and Spellblade charges carry over if you switch weapon, so you can have two different weapons, with different Spellblade Gems, and switch to suit the situation. Fire Spellblade is strong against single targets, Lightning is good against groups, and Frost is a strong, all-round defense option.
  • Despite it’s dangers, the Noxious Vault is a good place to farm Glint efficiently
  • Many of the Priests on the islands (Such as the Noxious Vault) will put down a large ground area that slows movment. Two of these areas in the same place will stop you completely. However, you can still dash out of them. Spellblade dashes are good for this.
  • All armor sets have the same bonus health and armor, across all upgrade levels, so choose the one that fits you best based on the set bonus, or simply on style.
  • Leveling an armor to level 4 at the forge unlocks another rune slot. This may be more effective for offence builds than leveling all armor pieces individually.
  • Although the story leads you straight towards Ubaani, He’s intended to be a tough boss. Explore the other islands first if you’re having trouble fighting him.
  • You can use Echoing bells and Drinks as a form of Glint storage, since they sell for the same value as you buy them, allowing you to build up a stock of ‘safe’ Glint. Glintstone items can also be used for this when you find them.
  • Tapping R or clicking the Right Thumbstick while in the inventory will show the flavor text for an item, giving you a little lore about it.
  • Having trouble with the early part of the game? The ‘Timeworn Codex’ and ‘Poisoner’s Pommel’ can be obtained as soon as you leave Lawrence’s house after leaving the tutorial, without having to fight anything. The locations for these can be found on the Wiki. (Linked in the Foreword)
  • Still having trouble? The Monsterous Mimosa drink, obtainable on Starspire after a short quest gives you slow health regen, although at the cost of reducing your damage. If you’re patient, it allows you to heal between fights without using your limited supply of Testament Bells.
  • There are many hidden secrets to be found across Talamhel. Hint:Interacting with certain objects or walls that don’t have a prompt may lead you to hidden treasures.
  • All sources of crit are the same, and don’t stack. Backstabs, Stun crits, and Random crits all scale with increased critical damage. DoT effects will also deal critical damage, but only while the enemy is stunned. Stacking dots on an enemy, then stunning them with a parry is an effective tactic to maximise your DoTs.
  • One handed Stabbing weapons are especially good for this. Use the Axe Head, Poisoner’s Pommel and Timeworn codex, with a fire spellblade gem. Make sure you have all 4 spellblade charges, and at least one full segment of corruption, but this will work better with a full bar.
    Parry an enemy attack, then quickly activate all 4 spellblade charges, and unleash your special attack. This will deal huge critical damage, and leave them with a very strong DoT effect that will also deal critical damage till they recover from the stun. Parry them again while the DoTs are still active to make the DoTs deal critical damage again.

Default Control Basics

Keyboard and Mouse assumes a three button mouse, and gamepad buttons assume an Xbox controller. Sands of Aura Does work with a Playstation controller too.

The controls, particularly the gamepad ones, take strong inspiration from Dark Souls.

KB&MGamepadAction
W, A, S, DLeft ThumbstickMove your character around the game world
Mouse MovementRight ThumbstickMove the camera around
Left Mouse ButtonRight ButtonMain Attack Combo
Right Mouse buttonLeft ButtonBlock (Parry)
FA-ButtonInteract
SpacebarX-ButtonJump
Left ShiftB-ButtonDodge (Hold to sprint)
QY-ButtonHeal (Hold to cleanse)
ERight TriggerSpecial Attack
RLeft TriggerReady Spellblade
Middle Mouse ButtonD-Pad DownWeapon Swap
TabStartOpen Menu

Gameplay Basics

Some basic information on gameplay and mechanics

Bells and Healing:

The large bells you find around the world are Resonance bells. They restore your health, recharge your Testament Bells, and refresh enemies around the world, with the exception of bosses.

Your testament bells are your mobile healing, each will restore 50% of your health. Any excess healing is wasted. This means that you have a flat total health ‘budget’ within which to clear a zone, reach and fight a boss, or obtain an item, before having to return to a bell and reset the enemies to restore your healing.

Increasing your Health and Armour can help extend this budget, and a certain buff drink, obtainable early, can give you very slow regeneration, constantly adding to your health ‘budget’.

Blocking, Parrying, Stuns and Crits:

Holding Right mouse button or Left Button on a gamepad will block. Blocking prevents you from takin gdamage from most enemy attacks, instead reducing an invisible ‘Poise’ bar. Once your poise runs out, your shield is broken, and you are stunned. the brightness of the shield bubble indicates how much poise you have left. Increasing your max Health will increase your max Poise

Blocking at the right time just as an enemy attacks you will parry them. A successful parry will stun the enemy for a few seconds, preventing them from attacking or moving. Parrying works against most Boss attacks, and most projectile ranged attacks, though the latter won’t stun the attacker.

Parried attacks don’t deal damage to Poise, and parrying an attack won’t break your block if you continue to hold down the block button.

Attacking an enemy from behind guarantees a critical hit. All damage a stunned enemy takes will also be a critical hit, even Damage over time.

This also applies to the Player. Taking damage from behind, or while you are stunned will be a critical hit.

Corruption, Special Attacks and Spellblade Attacks:

Each fighting style has it’s own special attack, and your spellblade options are determined by which Spellblade Gem you have slotted into your weapon. One of each of the three gems can be found in the tutorial area, Melgom’s Cavern

As you deal damage to enemies, Corruption builds up in your weapon, displayed by the segmented purple bar to the lower right of your screen. Once you have one full segment, you can unleash this corruption to perform a special attack, consuming all the built up corruption in the weapon. For each full segment, the special attack gets stronger, and you convert them into Spellblade Charges, displayed as ‘Pips’ above the Special attack icon at the bottom of the screen.

You can press the Spellblade button to ready a Spellblade charge, that will be consumed the next time you hit an enemy, dash or block to add an extra elemental effect. You can press the button several times to queue multiple charges in sequence, good for unloading several elemental attacks or dashes in rapid succession.

Armour and Runes

There are several armor sets to be found throughout the game. Most armor sets are scattered across a single island. Each has a set bonus for wearing 2 pieces, that is enhanced if you wear all 4 pieces, allowing you to specialize, or wear half each of two different sets to combine two effects.

Runes can be slotted into armor to benefit from various stat buffs. These runes can be overridden by new runes, destroying the original, or once you beat the boss at Tupi’s Grotto, a Runecarver can be found in Starspire allowing you to safely remove runes (and Spellblade Gems) for free. Be warned – The boss of Tupi’s Grotto is not for the unprepared.

Drinks

Drinks are consumable items that provide long term buffs that persist until you drink a new drink, or die. They can be found across Talamhel, as can their recipes. Taking the recipes to Yilda, in the Indigo’s Call Tavern, in Starspire will allow you to purchase more of those drinks from her. They can provide powerful buffs that offer significant changes to your playstyle, at the cost of usually having a negative effect with them.

Glint

Glint is the primary currency of Talamhel, and is gained mostly through defeating enemies or selling valuable Glintstone items. Glint is dropped when you die, but can be retrieved if you return to the pile before you die again. Glintstone items can be used as a form of ‘safe’ glint storage, as they will remain in your inventory, and can be sold later when you need a chunk of money. Drinks from the tavern and Echoing bells from Galiana can be used the same way, since they sell for the same amount you buy them for.

Blessings

Across Talamhel you can find Scripture of Leisis. These scrolls are used by Navae, the Leisistral Priestess to grant you the Blessings of Leisis, which provide strong permanent buffs that form the basis of character progression.Each blessing will cost you a number of scrolls and some glint. You are limited to a certain number of blessings at each tier, and must reach this limit to progress to the next tier. The pips between the tiers indicate this limit and your progress towards it.

Blessings cannot be reset, and are permanent for that character. Choose carefully.

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