Striving for Light: Survival – Basics and Hints

Stay a while and read.

Basic Guide with Hints


When you start a character you are given a choice to play either “offline” or as part of a “season”. Both are essentially exactly the same for the purpose of this guide. Both are, essentially, played offline anyway. Read the in-game description for more information.


You begin with next to nothing. Future games might have more options. In order to gain new weapons, abilities and characters you must unlock them by filing some condition. In order to see the condition, hover over any weapon, skill or character which has yet to be unlocked.

Skill tree

A new Skill Tree is randomly generated at the start of each new game.

Take a moment and look at your options.

General Skills

A number of skills are available (at random) to any character during all games.

This include skills such as Double Hit, which give your character an extra attack on a monster.

Skills which increase your damage, help you move faster, shot more or faster projectiles are all part of this pool of general skills that will appear, as a part of your (randomly generated) skill tree.

It doesn’t matter what skill you have selected, what weapon you have or character you play. Skills picked from your pool of general skills will always appear on your skill tree.

While some skills appear more than others (by example, Increase Attack Speed is common while Increase Movement Speed is rare) this doesn’t change the fact that Skills you don’t want will show up in your Skill Tree.

On the flipside this does mean that players which want to invest on both Melee and Ranged skills always get a little treat from both sides.

Selected Skills

Mostly skill which you need to unlock. Read their description to see how. You can pick any number of those skills (or all, or none) but if you don’t have 12 the game will select some from you to make up the rest, which include skills as of yet unlocked.

Skill Points

You get one bonus skill point per completed Wave.

One more skill point per level-up.

Damage and Skill Modifiers


The damage of weapon is the base damage your attack and most special abilities that use a weapon will use.

A sword with a listed 10 damage will do 10 damage without any modifier.

If attacking with a melee weapon with one point in the Double Hit skill, by example, you would do another 10 damage.


All modifiers are added together, by example:

  • +20% from Male Unknown Wanderer
  • +140% from 2 Skill Points of Increased Melee Damage
  • =160% Bonus (a multiplier of 2.60)

If we take our simple sword from above which do 10 damage then:

  • 10 multiplied by 2.60 = 26 damage.

An attack would then cause 26 damage and with 1 point of Double Hit, you would do another 26 damage when hitting an enemy in melee.

Note: Similarly if the player start with a Female Unknown Wanderer the total would be 120% and the attacks would do 22 damage instead.

A note about attack speed

Very similar to any other statistics which all add additionally. Except in this case, once the modifiers are added together, they multiply the attack speed of the weapon. Both Ranged and Melee weapons share the same Attack Speed Modifier. A Ranged Skill which reduce your Attack Speed by 10% will thus make your Melee Attacks slower.


We’ve already mentioned two skills: Double Hit and Increased Melee Damage.

As noted above Increased Melee Damage stack with itself additionally.

One point equal a bonus of 70%. Two equal 140%. Three 210%. And so on.

What about Double Hit? It is essentially the same for both it and any other Stackable Skills (To see which skill Stack and which does not Stack see the skill description).

By example we’ve already determined, based on the last section, that with one point in Double Hit, the hero will do 26 damage. Investing another point will add another 26 damage, for a total of 52. And so on, with three points for 78 damage, etc…

Exceptions include but are not limited to:

  • Not all Skills Stack: Sometime you have to choose either one Skill or the other.
  • Not all Skills are Good For You: You can right-click them in skill menu to turn them off temporarily.
  • Not all sources of damage is shown in one total on the game screen, in which case, the numbers may overlap multiple times which is sometime hard to see.
  • Some sources of damage, in particular melee weapons such as sword and their ability like Double Hit, can hit more than one time if the animation “hit just right”. This is easier if the target is bigger. While big weapon will hit multiple times simply because they are big enough to have an animation that stay on a monster for a long period of time.
  • Triggers: Skill which don’t activate until a pre-requisite is filled. For some, like Double Hit, the requisite is simple. Others will be more complicated, as described in-game.
  • Some of skills descriptions are simply wrong. Those will be fixed soon enough as reported. Meteor and Clash of Steel have a similar descriptions yet work differently.


Everything here is opinion. Everything here will be disagreed with by someone, sometime vehemently. That’s okay.

Bursting Wield and Bursting Shot

Do not underestimate those chaining On Death skill. The damage is low and it doesn’t scale well but their range is huge. Often only one or two kill is needed to start a chain reaction that will destroy an entire pack of monster instantly. One skill point is enough, after getting a good AoE skill.


An alternative to the two previous “On Death” skill mentioned above for Ranged characters. It’s a pretty bad Skill in the first waves but it can absolutely clear a screen full of enemy in the last few waves.

Picking a good Area of Effect skill (Basics)

Should be your number one priority after Wave 1 is complete. This is particularly important if you start with a character who very weak initially but strong later. If you have only 1 or 2 heart, a good beginning will involve getting at least one extra heart and one good area of effect skill.

If you’re Melee: Double Hit (general skill) and Explosive Hit (unlockable) are your bread and butter. Clash of Steel isn’t that great but it’s stronger base damage help make up for its shorter range and 50% Chance on Attack.

If you’re Ranged: Explosive Projectile (unlockable) is your best option. If not available or not unlocked yet, Additional Projectile combined with Attack Speed (general skill) and Projectile Multiplier (unlockable) will help you get started. Unfortunately, the area of effect options for ranged tend to be of the… shudder… damage over time variety.

If you’re open to picking the best option based on the situation: Even better. Often a good skill of the opposite damage option is better than a bad skill of your focused damage option.

If you’re a Summoner: That’s a bit beyond the scope of this guide… try getting more chickens or something.

Damage over Time

They are terrible sources of damage, requiring too much pointless specialization. Pick them for fun and experimentation, not for power. This might change if skills that reduce the time between their tick rate are introduced but right now those skills don’t exist.

Fire is not as bad as Poison. I’d rather have monster die instantly but if I have to wait, I’d rather wait 1 second rather than 3. Makes sense to me anyway.

Ranged is better

As a general rule, in the current balance. This is not to say you should play ranged, just that it’s good to know if you have some trouble with the game.

Heleja start with roughly 7 skill point worth of skills while other characters have between -2 to +2.

Dark Staff, Focus and Lighting Staff all multiply your damage. Every other wand is terrible compared to them in term of raw maximum damage.

Melee skills are at their best when they work for your Ranged Skills. By example using Scattering Hit or Scattering Sweep, melee skills which fire multiple full damage projectiles. Both of those skill can also be fired from two powerful melee abilities: Trembling Ground or Ranged Construct.

Use Double Hit to fire even more Scattering Hit or Scattering Sweep.

… but wait, there’s more! Since you’re ranged, you don’t have to (if you don’t want) pay attention to Melee weapon damage. You are free to use a quick weapon like a dagger to use your “Melee” ranged-based skills even faster.

There is a limit to chained combo

This vary enormously and is hard coded depending on the skills used. In general that limit is, roughly, three. That is to say, by example: Scattering Sweep -> Cutting Shot -> Scattering Sweep -> No more. This is not a rule but more of a very rough guideline.

As of writing the game is still in heavy development. Last week your weapon effect transmitted to Scattering skills. No more 🙁 Unless it’s changed… again!

Range Construct is the ultimate of Ranged builds. The damage penalty is a joke, maybe 3 damage lower with a typical wand… but the attack speed penalty is worth 3.3 Attack Speed Increase speed node. So you’ll probably want to wait until you’re around at least ~120 Attack Speed before activating “Range Construct”. Which vary of course, based on the weapon of your range weapon.

What about melee?

There is no good “melee” character. Goladir has a bonus of 50% damage, which is not even a single skill point worth of Increased Melee Damage. In other words: The best melee character is also Heleja. As of time of writing, anyway.

That being said Goladir is a brick and Heleja is made out of paper, so do what you want, there are other character to unlock and pick if you like them which is what really matter.

Unlock the Hammer quickly. It’s the ranged weapon equivalent of having a “damage multiplier” built-in. Other weapons can be cute but they are usually not as versatile as the good ol’ hammer.

Double Hit is your bread and butter damage multiplier. Once unlocked Explosive Hit are nodes to include and pick too.

Similarly to a Ranged build using Ranged Construct, a Melee Construct will almost always give the best results in the endgame. Trembling Ground used to be good, until 24 hours ago, now it’s the second best option. Boomerang and Cyclic are for fun, not power.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6908 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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