SteamWorld Quest, the latest game in the SteamWorld series is out for Nintendo Switch today, and it’s a Fantasy Card Battle RPG! I made this guide to help players find all the items, secrets, and handle all the bosses! It’s still slightly a work in progress (the game came out today) but I’ll keep updating it. You can help me finish by helping out with the cards spreadsheet!
If you have any particularly good decks or strategies you like to use, let everyone know in the comments! Also see my Video Content on SteamWorld Quest . Also feel free to stop by my Discord Server.
SteamWorld Quest Quick Start Guide
You might think grinding wouldn’t matter much for a card battle game, only letting you get new cards. However, cards’ affects are based on your characters’ base stats, which grow significantly each level. If you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to grind, even one level can make a large difference.
Don’t worry about missing things; you can replay chapters later on, getting the opportunity to fully revisit the story, treasure, and enemy formations even if you miss something.
Difficulty can be changed at any time; feel free to adjust it up or down at will!
There’s no real penalty for losing; you’re shot back to the last Gilgamech statue you healed at but you’ll have to try again of course.
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Don’t be afraid to swap cards with X! Unlike most card battle games, there is no downside to swapping out cards, as there is no discard pile and all cards are sorted right back into the deck. If you can’t or don’t want to use a card, it’s often best to switch it out.
For the first several seconds after you enter a map, enemies won’t detect you unless you physically touch them. You can use this to run straight by certain formations you shouldn’t otherwise be able to.
Press Y to end your turn if you can’t place any more cards; make sure you’ve used up your card swaps for the turn! You won’t get any new cards just by passing the turn
Don’t neglect the gear and cards of any one player in your team; due to the random nature of draws, you’re likely to need to rely at least partially on all three party members in any serious fight.
Experience works on a relative scale, so going back and beating up super low level monsters will give little experience (but the same gold and items as before)
You can check immunities mid-battle quickly by using the L button; this also lets you check status effects and stats!
Almost all bosses are immune to Paralysis, Sleep, Confuse, Stop, Despair, and Berserk. Notably, this leaves them still completely vulnerable to Poison, Burn, Blind, Flinch, and any other unlisted effect.
If you die to a boss, you should almost always try changing up your deck. It makes a huge difference especially if you bump into a boss’s immunities or status effects.
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Grinding experience should always be done on the highest level enemies you can fight.
Grinding materials can be done on super weak enemies (less drops, but very fast) or recent enemies (if you want the experience and gold too)
Before you grind too much, be sure to go back and collect 100% of treasure from prior levels! It will include some fights to help you grind and can result in Card or Item rewards that can help you a lot
You don’t need to buy everything from the shop, especially early on. Consider forgoing an expensive and minor upgrade if you can buy something more significant instead.
Enemies can only drop specific Materials and amounts of gold; check the Bestiary in the Compendium to see which enemies have what you want.
When upgrading cards, straight damage upgrades are usually very weak, while upgrades that add or improve status are usually very worthwhile.
Cards are never lost, only gained, and the same card will always be unlocked in the same way; there’s no randomness involved in acquiring cards.
Each character’s deck is only 8 cards at a time, so it’s super easy to adjust; tinker often!
Skill cards often cost SP, but don’t generate SP even if their cost is 0.
To balance your skill cards, I find it’s best to have 3-5 Strike or Upgrade cards to build Steam Pressure and more consistently allow you to play three cards in a row from a hero (to keep up Heroic Combos).
Enemies have their own unique cards! View them in the Compendium.
Quick Look Review
She’s your standard meathead Fighter/Knight. Lots of direct attacks, all based on her Strength stat, and some of her skills heal or buff her own attack as well. Later on she’ll start getting Flame skills.
She’s the simplest character to use and quite easy to replace as well; she deals solid single target damage and buffs herself up well, but has somewhat less interesting and complex strategy options. But this also means she depends less on setups from other characters.
Your standard Mage, she needs SP to use most of her powerful skills but midgame she gets some good Strike/Upgrade skills. She the most elements for one character (Frost, Shock, Fire), and you might need to shuffle your deck based on local enemies’ weaknesses to get the most use out of her. All in all, she’s a worthwhile and not too complicated fighter.
Notably, she can create lots of Overhealing shields that can add nearly unlimited extra HP that is depleted first when struck by an enemy. This can be useful in lieu of healing to soak up damage. Even better she can do this without Steam Pressure with some cards.
Note that while her melee range might look shorter outside of battle, the range for initiating preemptive attacks is fixed. You can only start a preemptive attack when the A button prompt appears over a target, and it appears no later even when Copernica is leading. The party leader is cosmetic.
Galleo is a Healer/Tank/Status Magic kinda guy, and doesn’t easily fall in one niche until you start sorting his deck. He starts with some very expensive skills, but he has some useful zero cost stuff later on as well. He fits in well as a versatile character.
Something like a Stance character in a Fighting game, Orik gets special bonuses based on which Mask he’s currently wearing, which can be changed by special Skill cards in his deck. You get his current and previous effect’s bonus on the turn of a change, so frequent swapping is encouraged.
Tarah & Thayne
Surprisingly flexible and strong, the Twins can steal stats, health, and gold from enemies, as well as deal formidable Physical and Arcane damage with significant side effects.
The downside of the Twins is their bad HP and frequently high cost of their skills. I find them very effective and almost always have them tag along.
Stats in SteamWorld Quest are a lot different from usual Card Battle games; Your characters have base stats, and the damage for all cards is actually based on either your Strength or Magic stat. This means cards stay useful throughout the whole game, and level grinding is a significant part of improving your characters.
The numbers listed on a card are reflective of your character’s current stats, after applying any current buffs on that card, but before applying any specific enemies’ weakness or resistence. Of note, some cards may use the Strength or Magic stat even though at first blush you may assume them to be the opposite. If your character is lacking in a stat a critical card needs, consider rejiggering their Accessories.
Status effects in SteamWorld Quest are much more reliable than in many RPGs; infliction rate is written explicitly on the card (often 50% or 100%), and almost all enemies are vulnerable to almost all statuses.
Do note that almost all Boss units in SteamWorld Quest have the same status immunities: Paralysis, Sleep, Confuse, Stop, Despair, and Berserk. There’s plenty to work with outside of those however, so go nuts hamstringing bosses!
Applied by enemy units to your party. The unit will automatically use a special Strike card on a random target on it’s turn and you cannot manually add or remove cards for them for the duration of the effect.
Deals a percentage of the target’s HP in damage each time they act. For players, this can be avoided by not using cards of Bleeding members.
50% of attacks will miss.
Unit may target incorrect unit when attacking.
Adds a high (maybe 50%?) chance of preventing a target from acting on an affected turn. Severely debilitating, great to apply early to allow your team to build up SP and buffs. Paralysis can even interrupt counter attacks.
Using 3 cards of the same character in one turn activates a Heroic Chain; a special card (determine by their currently equipped weapon) will be played after the card that activates the chain. Heroic Chain cards are often very useful or unique in their effects.
Swapping cards out with X can be a great way to finish a combo if you don’t have enough non-Skill cards or cards for the hero you wish to use. A Heroic Chain is usually worth swapping out a card or two for someone else.
Tag Team Combo
Certain cards in SteamWorld Quest have a Tag Team effect; an extra effect (often more damage or a status effect) will only be applied if you play a card of the matching character after the card listing the Tag Team effect.
Notably, if you use Haste or another card that allows playing more than 3 cards, you can use both a Tag Team and a Heroic Chain in the same turn!
SteamWorld Quest Walkthrough
More maps coming soon, and I’ll be marking them up with the hidden rooms shortly.
Chapter 1: The Knight and the Alchemist
Nothing should be too hard here; try practicing different tactics and if anything is really too much for you, try lowering the difficulty for a bit.
Chapter 2: The Village of Goosebucket
This is likely the first fight you’ll have some difficulty on. Captain Canary takes two turns and can deal a lot of damage.
Save up Skill Points for healing and you might want to keep a Mend card for some emergency healing. With consistent Barriers from Copernica you can stay pretty safe. Remember she can over-heal characters with her shields too!
Heroic Chains from Galleo and Copernica can help mitigate the incoming damage as well. All in all, unless you neglect healing, there’s not too much of a problem here.
Chapter 3: Off to See the Heroes
Defeating her drones only saves 10-20 damage per turn, which isn’t really worth the wasted damage. Instead, make sure Coperica or Galleo get a Heoric Chain to keep your shields and health high.
The queen and drones are weak to Ice, so Creeping Cold is great to clear away the drones while still hitting the queen.
Chapter 4: In Pursuit of an Evil Army
Keymaster Kleidon & Puppy
This chapter feels like a tutorial for the shop; the shop weapons, accessories, and cards are extremely useful for this fight. In particular I’d recommend buying all 3 weapons, and both Poison and Bleed null.
Take out Keymaster first as he’ll quickly show you how dangerous status effects are. If you can inflict bleed on him it’s an extra bonus, as he acts twice for each turn Puppy takes. The Super Soaker cards you should find for Galleo will also prove a wonderful combo with the weapon skills for Galleo and Copernica.
Puppy isn’t completely free once he’s alone; he’ll regenerate a lot of health and outputs okay damage. But no special strategy is required, though status effects can help. Keep your HP up and wale on him with your strongest attacks and he should go down.
Chapter 5: To The Rescue
No boss here, but the next stage is boss-only. Enemies shouldn’t be too tricky, there’s just a lot of them. Try learning to weave around enemies if necessary to reduce your damage burden.
Chapter 6: Canary in a Coal Mine
Captain Canary & Narcassian Dragon
Recommended level: 17
Easily the hardest fight you’ve ever had; and nowhere to grind before it in this chapter! If you’re overwhelmed, peruse the shop, change cards, and grind by using System> Change Chapter. It’s a good time to go back and 100% prior chapters. Resisting Arcane is also useful for this fight.
The dragon’s a meat shield mostly, it won’t do tons of damage on it’s own and resists many major status ailments, and takes less physical and Arcane damage. It’s weak to Ice, but save it for after Canary is down.
The key to the fight is to afflict both targets with Poison and Blind; conveniently both sold in the shop for Galleo! Poison greatly reduces the amount of damage you’ll need to deal, and blind will reduce their damage output drastically.
Pummel Captain Canary after he or both of them are afflicted status effects to clear him first. With Canary down just wale on the dragon and heal anyone that gets too low. Flinch can cancel a surprising amount of his attacks and prevent him from charging up.
Chapter 7 At The College Gate
You can now upgrade your cards at the shop! Pretty useful especially for the cards you use the most. A pretty simple Lost Woods puzzle, just follow the butterfly if it wasn’t obvious.
To get the secret chest in the forest, once you get into the 4 ways puzzle, go down (following the butterfly) then back up into the same door you come from (up). There’s a chest with 1000 coins.
Same tactics as the last Captain Canary fight really; poison, blind, and flinch will keep it from really getting the upper hand. Poison in particular puts it’s high health to work against it. Don’t bother killing the Gooplings unless you have good AOE skills to use anyway. It’s better to status attack them or ignore them, since the Slime King will waste turns trying to Split either way.
No boss here, but be on the lookout for several secrets throughout this area hidden behind walls. Watch for the A prompt to open chests that appear behind vision obstructions.
Chapter 9: Back to School
Another Dragon; Ice dragon this time. Very weak to fire, immune to ice and most status effects other than Poison, Flinch and Provoke. No longer resistant to physical however.
With proper status moves this should prove fairly simple as well.
New party member: Tarah & Thayne! They can steal money and stats from enemies. Watch for secrets to get the Magnum Opus book for Copernica.
Chapter 10: The Misguided Mentor
Boss: Headmistress Hyapathia
Nothing super difficult here; she’ll disable one of your characters frequently with Stop and uses Frost, Shock, and Fire damage at random. She can also equal out your characters’ health, so keep everyone high, pile on the usual status effects for bosses, and do your best.
Chapter 11: A Blooming Corruption
Watch for enemies immune to physical damage!
Boss: Captain Canary
Yep, him again. Stame tactics really, poison, any status effects really.
Chapter 12: Into Ruins
There’s a puzzle here but it’s pretty easy, just remember the 3 symbols. Not sure if they’re randomly generated or not yet.
Boss: Morghanan Dragon
Another dragon! Same basic blind/poison setup will help a lot, but this one has an annoying twist; it counters physical strikes with Storm damage. And a fair amount of it. It’s immune to Storm damage too, so leave your Electric cards behind. It is not weak to Ice however.
Copernica is a must for magic spam, Galleo is great to bring for healing, and the Rabbit Twins can deal some elemental damage as well. Armilly is probably best not to bring.
Chapter 13: Bread and Circus
An ol’ fashioned Coliseum style match! Bring some method of healing the party (Copernica’s shields, Galleo’s various skills, and the Twins’ Drain Life all work well) because you don’t get to pause between fights.
Chapter 14: Never Trust a Druid
Another mazey map with tough enemies, but no boss. Don’t forget to explore every room and fight the Duck Truck to get the Pandora’s Box accessory.
Chapter 15: The Root of the Curse
Boss: Teras Koloss
As an evil tree, it’s got weak resistance to Arcane and Frost damage, but a minor weakness to Fire. It summons branches.
If you have decent group healing you can ignore the branches and clear them as you’re able with AOE attacks; like prior trash mob spawning bosses, it won’t stop spawning them. He’ll eat his spawn every few turns anyway, healing significantly less HP than the trash units have.
I used the Twins (Twin Combo is just too good, plus their leech from Heroic Chain), Copernica (shields plus fire damage), and Galleo (can’t say no to status ailments).
Chapter 16: Into The Mountains
Chapter 17: On the Threshold of Fate
Things are going to start getting really hard here, especially the bosses, and especially on the highest difficulty! It’s a good time to grind, make sure you’ve 100%’d treasures before this map, and maybe check out the Colosseum. By this point I had bought every available card from the Store.
Some great (and expensive!) weapons just got added to the store too. Get grinded, geared up, and get ready for the Boss Rush!
Boss: Shadow Dragon
Like the other dragons you already fought, but this one’s immune to physical and uses Arcane magic. Use plenty of status effects and elemental attacks, and otherwise you know how to handle dragons by now, right? It’s extreme HP makes it more of a target than ever for Burn and Poison. It can also poison the whole party.
The Mystic Gift card in this area can be useful, turning the Twins’ physical attacks into Arcane, letting you use them as normal for this fight.
Boss: Shadow Headmistress
Nothing too special here, just a two-turn taking, all-allies-hitting, single-target-stopping evil bird thing.
Anything you can do to reduce the damage her elemental spam or prevent her from taking turns will help a lot, as will Poison/Burn/Bleed/Blind like all bosses. Focus on full-team heals, she always hits the whole party.
I’ve started a spreadsheet of all cards in SteamWorld Quest, which is currently publicly editable! Please feel free to either edit directly or inform me of missing info in the comments (I have most cards, it’s just a lot of data entry!).
The Table below will be updated as the spreadsheet is filled in.
ArmillyAspiring HeroUpgradeNoneBuffs Strength by one grade for three turns.
Two grades if below 50% of her max HP
Three grades below 25%
ArmillyHeroic StrikeStrikeNoneStarting Card
ArmillyBrave BusterSkill2Starting Card
GalleoAbs of SteelUpgradeNone
GalleoInsult to InjuryStrikeNone
OrikOne With The WindUpgradeNone
OrikWinds of MadnessSkill3
OrikRain of BladesChainNone
Tarah & ThanyeAgainst all OddsUpgradeNone
Tarah & ThanyeEnvenomUpgradeNone
Tarah & ThanyeSiphon MindUpgradeNone
Tarah & ThanyeSteal StrengthUpgradeNone
Tarah & ThanyeAxe ChopStrikeNone
Tarah & ThanyeCulling AxeStrikeNone
Tarah & ThanyeCutpurseStrikeNone
Tarah & ThanyeArcane ShockSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeDagger TossSkill1
Tarah & ThanyeDark MatterSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeDeath PulseSkill3
Tarah & ThanyeDoomSkill1
Tarah & ThanyeDouble SwingSkill3
Tarah & ThanyeDrain CurseSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeDrain LifeSkill3
Tarah & ThanyeEpidemicSkill1
Tarah & ThanyeExposeSkill0
Tarah & ThanyeFool’s GoldSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeHidden BladeSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeNightmareSkill3
Tarah & ThanyePatch UpSkill3
Tarah & ThanyeRaven StrikeSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeSlight of HandSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeSpike TrapSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeTerrorSkill0
Tarah & ThanyeThornsSkill0
Tarah & ThanyeTwin ComboSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeUncontrolled RageSkill2
Tarah & ThanyeLeechChainNone
Tarah & ThanyeEclipseChainNone
Tarah & ThanyeSkunk SprayChainNone
WIP, will probably do a table instead.
Here’s a Longplay of SteamWorld Quest by me going through every level and showing all the secret rooms I can. It’s currently up through Act 1, more chapters coming in the next days!
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