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Currency describes two separate resources that is used by the player to purchase or unlock items, abilities and upgrades within Dead Cells. Those resources being gold and cells.
Gold is the main currency the player uses within runs to be spent in various ways. Once a run is finished, prematurely or otherwise, all or nearly all of the gold the player had is lost. Gold is never used to permanently unlock anything, it is only used to affect one's current run.
- Normal enemies can drop small gems worth 20 gold while elite enemies will drop small gems and gold worth around 500 gold.
- If the Gold Reserves upgrade is unlocked, the Dead Man's Bag will appear next to the player at the start of the run. It contains all the gold up to its maximum capacity, depending on level, that the player had at the end of their previous run.
- The is an easy way to make extra money due to its special abilities to give extra gold when blocking or parrying attacks from enemies.
- Gold can be obtained from large floating gold rocks which can give the player a sum of extra gold.
- If the Recycling upgrade is unlocked, you can recycle found gear and other items for gold.
- Remembering to retrace one's steps through a level and recycling any unwanted items such as leftover food or amulets will greatly boost net income.
- Going to incentivized biomes will assist in gaining more gold during a run.
- Looking out for wall runes can help increase the player's gold count, since they usually have gems which will give lots of gold when picked up.
- Timed or perfect door reward rooms in Passages contain multiple high quality gems worth several thousands worth of gold. Trying to unlock these doors will greatly boost one's gold count if successful in doing so.
- grants gold for each enemy killed while under the effect of a speed boost.
- grants 3 gold for every hit point the player loses when taking damage.
Gold is most commonly spent at the various shops encountered throughout the island, both for purchasing items and re-rolling their offerings. It can also be spent by opening gold doors, upgrading weapons and re-rolling their affixes at the Blacksmith's Apprentice's Minor Forge, or by re-rolling the selected mutations from Guillain.
Debt is a mechanic unique to the Bank, where loans can be taken from the various ATMs within the Bank, which will give 2,000 gold per usage, but will also incur 2,000 debt that must be payed back at the end of the biome. This comes in the form of a gold door that will cost an equivalent amount of gold to your debt value. Alternatively, the gold door can be destroyed, but doing so will curse the player for 5 curse points for every 2000 debt points they had incurred. As such, breaking the door is ill-advised if the player had racked up a massive debt beforehand.
Cells are a special currency that is used primarily for unlocking items and upgrades. They are often dropped from slain enemies and bosses, or found in chests and canisters in biomes. Cells are lost upon death. The base amount of cells that can be found in a biome is around 1/4 of the amount of mobs in the biome.
- The door next to the Collector's room that prevents the player from leaving till they have spent all of their cells can actually be broken. Because of this, the player can instead choose to carry their cells further without spending them. The primary reason to do this is to be able to invest more cells at once into The Blacksmith's legendary forge, instead of only the measly amount that bosses drop upon death.
- Besides being dropped from enemies, cells can also be found in special cell vats throughout various areas.
- Liposuction , is a rare pickup which has a 0.3% chance to drop from slain enemies.
- Going to incentivised biomes will assist in gaining more cells for unlocking upgrades.
- Timed or perfect door reward rooms in Passages contain large amounts of cells. Trying to unlock these doors when when going on runs intended specifically to obtain large amounts of cells is a good idea.
- When successfully completing a run with cells remaining, the next time one starts a new run, a bag of Residual Cells can be found next to the player which contains all the cells the player still had in their inventory upon their victory. While this is usually only a small bonus, it is still one that should be utilised, so carrying these cells to the passage beyond the Prisoners' Quarters is advised.
A biome incentive is a mechanic where less visited biomes will start to get a bonus to dropped cells and gold. For cells this is a 25% chance for a golden-colored cell being dropped from any enemy, even those which didn't drop a cell. For gold, there is 10% chance for an enemy to drop a gem. The bonus starts appearing when the next selection of biomes you can enter from the current biome have been visited a combined total of 15 times. This only includes visited biomes and at least two of them have to be have been visited. If there is only one available exit out of the current biome, Biome Incentive does not activate.
- 1.9: Reworked item costs at shops as well as making gold received from gems and enemy kills no longer scale.
- 2.8: Introduced debt mechanic.
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