Rain World: Downpour is the first expansion to the much beloved creature survival game, in which you play as a lone Slugcat trying to make its way through a post-apocalyptic hellscape of predators. You use your smarts and whatever junk you find lying around to conquer the food chain, or at least live long enough to get where you need to go.
Among a whole lot of other stuff (opens in new tab), the expansion adds five new furry bois to play with: Spearmaster, Saint, Gourmand, Artificer, and Rivulet. Each of the new Slugcats has its own particular playstyle, from the Artificer’s ability to craft bombs, to the Saint’s sticky tongue that lets him swing above the heads of hungry creatures.
For those who haven’t played Rain World before, there’s a lot to understand, and a fair bit that the game wants you to learn for yourself through death and experimentation. If the prospect of these five new furry fellas is enough to entice you to try Rain World, these ten tips should help smooth progress through your first run, so you can move onto the more advanced Slugcats with an understanding of how its deadly world works.
Master your Slugcat’s movement
Sometimes you just get unlucky in Rain World; you pass through a pipe and there’s a lizard waiting at the other end with its mouth open, or a vulture swoops down and you’re carried off into the sky before you know it. Most of the time what decides whether your Slugcat lives or dies is movement and being able to slip away from predators.
The tutorial teaches you how to leap, which is pretty vital, but there’s lots more that your slippery Slugcat can do. You can roll, wall jump, boost yourself through tunnels, grip onto surfaces to descend slower, and even backflip, which is a handy tool for jumping over the heads of any lizards chasing you. When running in one direction, just press Z and the opposite direction together, though it may take a few tries to master. It’s also worth noting that you can stick spears into surfaces and use them to climb in order to access hard-to-reach pipes or platforms.
Slugcats are right-handed
Your Slugcat can carry one object in either hand, but it will always throw the object in its right hand first (which is left from your perspective). If you tap shift twice you can swap the objects in each hand, ensuring that you don’t accidentally throw food at a predator instead of that spear you’ve been lugging around. It doesn’t matter which hand an edible item is in when eating, though the Gourmand Slugcat can also combine food in both hands to create hearty meals.
It’s worth noting that after you’ve stuck a spear into a creature, you can pick it back up and throw it again, so at close range this means you can repeatedly stab bigger predators until they ain’t a threat no more. The new Saint Slugcat won’t use spears at all, making for more of an evasive playstyle.
Store stuff in shelters
Food is an ever-present problem in Rain World, and you’ll often find yourself taking risks and narrowly avoiding predators in order to get enough to eat. One thing that lightens the load is bringing food into your shelter for the next cycle. While those little bats won’t stick around, you can store the blue berries, and larger prey such as the little orange centipedes.
These items stick around after you hibernate, so you can eat them in the next cycle and worry less about food. You can also stow useful items in shelters such as lanterns, pearls, or weapons like bombs and bomb spears. Some items will even change between cycles if stored, such as noodlefly eggs, which will hatch during hibernation.
Pass predators using pipes
Predators in Rain World have an annoying tendency of getting in the way, but rather than face them head-on, you can often bypass them by using the pipes that transport you as a white dotted line. If a creature is moving through one of these, you can go through it at the same time and safely pass it by. If a creature is entering your room, the three white lines on the pipe entrance will flash the colour of the creature when it’s about to enter, i.e green for a green lizard. This is your sign to immediately jump in so you can safely swap rooms or positions without encountering it.
Those random symbols are quite important
While your Slugcat hibernates in Rain World you may have noticed that you go up a tier and gain a new symbol. While it’s not clear what these do at first glance, they are actually important for traversing between regions of the world. Each region in Rain World has symbol gates that attach it to others, and you are unable to unlock them unless you have that symbol or a better one.
Think of them like your survival streak; the better the symbol you have, the more you’ve proven your ability to survive. It’s the game’s way of making sure you are ready for areas with tougher predators and less food. If you die you’ll lose a symbol, but you can prevent any losses if you find a glowing yellow flower and eat it. If you survive all the way to the top symbol and keep going, you’ll start to earn the Survivor achievement, which is listed alongside other achievements-in-progress as an offshoot of the main symbol.
Swallow handy objects for later use
Slug Cats can only hold two items, but they have a secret third storage option; they can swallow stuff. One non-edible item can be stored and regurgitated at will. Simply hold shift for a few seconds to consume the object and the same to spit it back up. I usually store a lantern in my Slug Cat’s belly, since you never know when a dark area might come up. You could also store a grenade for some extra firepower in a bad spot, or even a pearl, so you’ll be able to trade with Scavengers and pass their tolls no matter what.
Turn predators into pals
Speaking of Scavengers, these loveable albeit erratic rodents make for great allies if they don’t murder you for looking at them the wrong way. To say Scavengers are twitchy would be an understatement, and they are especially dangerous when predators are nearby, since this is when they start hurling explosive spears in every direction. Luckily, they work on a global reputation system, where giving them pearls at Scavenger stores, tolls, or just for fun, makes them like you more. If you encounter a lone Scavenger in the wild, they might even join up with you for a while and hibernate alongside you. On the flipside, don’t harm them or steal their shit unless you want a harder playthrough, since this will make them actively hunt you down.
If you fancy forming an even tougher bond, why not try taming a lizard? Feed one of these scaly boys enough prey and they’ll follow you around, even going so far as to hibernate with you. The amount of food required depends on the type of lizard in question, but it isn’t too hard with the smaller ones at the start of the game. The trouble is that they can’t follow you between regions and often fall off stuff. I recommend taming one of the small climbing lizards, since this won’t take too much food, and it’ll actually be able to keep up with you to some degree. Alternatively, Downpour does feature a four-player local co-op mode, so if you have some nearby friends they can lend a hand.
Learn to use other creatures
Not every creature is out to eat you in Rain World, but most of them are jerks. Still, with some smarts, you can use their unique adaptations to your advantage. See that flying squid? Grab a hold of it and use it to boost your jumping height. See that jetfish? Hold on for dear life and use it to speed across the water. Lacking a light source? Kidnap that lantern mouse and drag it into the dark with you. And if a giant spider tries to eat you? Feed it the lantern mouse instead. Despite Slug Cat’s cute appearance, Rain World is a pretty dark survival game, and that survival is often achieved by taking advantage of other creatures. Better letting a big bad predator eat them rather than you, right?
Look out for camouflaged baddies
The deadliest predator in Rain World isn’t the one you can see; it’s the hidden Dropwig on the ceiling poised to strike, the Chameleon Lizard lying in wait by a pipe entrance, or the Pole Plant that looks like a perfectly climbable object. Most camouflage predators do have a tell or can be baited though. For example, you can foil a Dropwig by throwing an item in front of it, and Pole Plants will shiver occasionally, showing you that they aren’t actually just a regular old climbing pole. Even vultures cast a shadow on the background right before they drop into view. It’s also worth being cautious when moving between camera views in the same area, since a predator could be waiting just off-screen. Listen out for the sounds of a predator or for the music changing due to their proximity.
Always bring a lantern
Trust me on this. You can also throw blue orbs to stun every spider in a dark room.