Runes are permanent upgrades which enable the player to travel to locations and Biomes which are not accessible otherwise. Once acquired, the player's collected runes can be viewed in the saved game slot (in the main game menu, under "play"). The only way to acquire runes is to travel to specific zones and defeat a Boss or an Elite enemy, which spawn from certain Elite obelisks.
There are currently 8 runes in Dead Cells: the Vine Rune, the Teleportation Rune, the Challenger Rune, the Ram Rune, the Spider Rune, the Homunculus Rune, the Customization Rune, and the Explorer's Rune. All runes will drop after the guardian is defeated and can be picked up afterwards, save for the Homunculus rune, which is acquired automatically after the Hand of the King is defeated.
List of runes
|Icon||Name||Biome||Description||Location||Elite Guardian or Boss||Grants access to|
|Vine Rune||Promenade of the Condemned||This permanent rune causes climbing vines to grow.||In a room accessed by entering a door found at the base of a large overhang||Undead Archer||Toxic Sewers, Ramparts|
|Customization Rune||Ramparts||This permanent rune unlocks the Custom Mode.||In a room close to the entrance of the Ramparts||Undead Archer or Zombie||Custom Mode|
|Challenger's Rune||Black Bridge||This permanent rune provides access to the daily challenge (Prisoners' Quarters).||Defeat the Concierge||The Concierge||Daily Run|
|Teleportation Rune||Toxic Sewers||This permanent rune lets you use teleportation monoliths.||In a room found beneath a switch-operated door with the switch directly behind the door||Slasher||Ossuary, Forgotten Sepulcher, Dilapidated Arboretum, Morass of the Banished|
|Ram Rune[a]||Ossuary||This permanent rune lets you break through certain floors.||In a room with spikes that is in front of a switch-operated door||Slasher||Ancient Sewers|
|Explorer's Rune||Forgotten Sepulcher||This permanent rune reveals the whole map and its points of interest (scrolls, merchants, etc.) once you've explored most of the level.||In a room that is after two elite room, which is at the end of the biome||Two Dark Trackers||N/A|
|Spider Rune||Slumbering Sanctuary||This permanent rune lets you cling to walls.||In a room with a dropdown and a banner||Caster||Slumbering Sanctuary (if entered from Black Bridge/Nest), Graveyard, Prison Depths, Corrupted Prison|
|Homunculus Rune||Throne Room||This permanent rune lets you leave your body.||Defeat the Hand of the King||The Hand of the King||Cavern|
- The Ram Rune will also buff the player's dive attack damage and range (long fall dive attack only).
- The Homunculus Rune allows the player detach their head and control it separately from their body to access certain areas. It can latch on to a single enemy, dealing damage to them and leaving the player with full control of the player's body. The damage is scaled on the player's highest stat. The head can also climb walls indefinitely.
- The head will return to the body instantly, going through all obstacles, under any of the following conditions: Reaching the max distance away from the main body, the player taking damage while the head is latched onto an enemy, the head defeating an enemy, or if the player presses the assigned button again.
- The cooldown for this rune will not start unless the head attaches to an enemy but returns before the enemy is defeated. The cooldown is instantly reset if the enemy is defeated, should the head be still on that enemy.
- The head can also take items and blueprints before bringing them back to the player. However, they will be dropped if they encounter any enemy.
- Using the rune breaks invisibility.
- This rune can't be used if the player is affected by curse, except if the only source of curse on the player is the Cursed Sword.
- For the Explorer's Rune, once the player has explored 80% of the biome's map, the entire map of the biome and the map inside BSC doors are revealed, showing all points of interest, enemies, as well as items and scrolls of power (but not blueprints).
- Additionally if an enemy is carrying precious loot, like an item or scroll, it will be marked in the map with a star, but it doesn't reveal any layouts or terrain.
- This effect is similar to the map-revealing effect of the Forgotten Map.
- Teleportation Rune introduced.
- Vine Rune introduced.
- 0.3: Challenger's Rune introduced.
- Spider Rune introduced.
- Ram Rune introduced.
- 1.0: Homunculus Rune introduced.
- 1.1: Customization Rune introduced.
- 1.2: Customization Rune can now be obtained in the Ramparts as well.
- 1.5: Explorer's Rune introduced.
- Formerly known as Belier's Rune
Gear • Biomes (Map) • Enemies • Bosses • Mutations • Runes • Mechanics • Controls • Custom Mode • Aspects