Hogwarts Legacy Best Controller Settings and Tips for Beginners
Hogwarts Legacy is the single player experience that we’ve been dreaming about since we saw the first Harry Potter movie as a child. Earlier games had the charm and nostalgia, but Hogwarts Legacy is a polished, expansive, and compelling RPG that delivers on every level, even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan. While the books, movies, and theme parks may have been originally for children, the controller settings, mechanics, and progression systems in Hogwarts Legacy are not entirely intuitive. In our many hours of binging this game so far, we’ve compiled these tips which we are going to break down in to 3 sections to help you find the information that will improve your experience without spoiling anything. To that end, we’re first going to go over settings you can adjust before you play, and this section will be free of all spoilers. After that, we’ll share some gameplay tips for beginners to help you get started and set you up for success, where we will discuss aspects of the game that were known to us before the game launched. Finally, we’re going to touch on some advanced gameplay tips around which quests, talents, gear, and creatures you should be prioritizing to make your witch or wizard as powerful as you can be!
When you start a new game, the first thing you have to do is customize your playable character. This has become a staple in story games, and you want to take your time with these decisions as many of them are final. You can change you haircut, hair color, voice tone, and clothes later on in the game but this is the only time you will be able to customize your face, complexion, and name so make sure you like your face and name as you will be seeing those a lot!
The other major factors in character creation will be decided as you progress through the first chapter of the game. When you arrive at Hogwarts, you will answer a few questions, and then be sorted into one of the 4 houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. If you have a Wizarding World account, you can import the house you got on the more comprehensive sorting hat quiz. For Hogwarts Legacy however, the sorting hat quiz boils down to one question where you will select a quality you sense inside yourself. The character trait you select for this question will determine the house the game selects for. The corresponding answers are:
Daring -> Gryffindor
Curiosity -> Ravenclaw
Loyalty -> Hufflepuff
Ambition -> Slytherin
Fans of the Harry Potter novels will know that the sorting hat does not decide for you though. So don’t worry if you answer this question wrong, because you can always ask the sorting hat to put you in to the house of your choice. Don’t stress too much about this decision. Truth be told, this decision will have very little impact on gameplay or companions. The biggest impacts we notice are, whenever a quest asks you to do something in your common room, you will obviously do that in the common room of your house, so you should like the general aesthetic of your dormitory, and maybe avoid Hufflepuff if you hate plants or Gryffindor if you are afraid of heights! Honestly, the biggest impact you will notice from this decision is the color of the gear that drops for you. A little under half of the gear you find will be specific to the colors of your house, so make sure your character looks good in your house colors. If you are all about green, you might want to pick Slytherin, even if you plan on being a good witch or wizard, because you will find a lot more green robes, cloaks and scarfs if you are in Slytherin house. Our character looks good in yellow and we are a loyal friend to animals, so we are Hufflepuff all day but to each their own.
Once you’ve finished creating and naming your character, you will go through an introductory quest which is a lot of cutscenes and some walking, but this is a good time to go through the settings and make sure everything looks good and your controller feels responsive and consistent for you. We’re running the graphics on Fidelity mode on PS5 and everything looks amazing. If you are having frame rate issues, you can try out Performance mode. We turn off Motion Blur wherever possible on TVs and in Video Games. We played with the Depth of Field on for a bit but didn’t notice any difference so we turned it off. Film Grain is another setting that we always turn off.
Before we talk about controller settings, let’s talk about difficulty. This is probably the most important setting that will affect your gameplay the most in any story game. Normal can be challenging for some players. We’re going to give you some tips later on to help with combat, healing, and survivability, but before we do that, it’s important to be aware that changing this setting can save your life and countless hours. If you are taking your time with this game and you like the challenge, we love that, and tell us about your triumphs if you beat the game on hard without using dark magic or something cool. For those who are playing for the story, if you are in the middle of a huge boss fight and you are at a sliver of health and you really want to beat this so you can go to bed, turn down the difficulty. You paid for this game, there’s no shame in playing it however you want to avoid frustration and eventually burnout. On Story difficulty, the game will give you prompts and slow down time to help you dodge and block attacks, which makes combat infinitely easier. Also, you have the option to auto-solve lock picking mini-games on story mode if you are struggling with those (tip for that later).
Okay let’s jump into controller settings. Now normally we don’t adjust camera and aiming sensitivity in story games too much, but the controls in Hogwarts Legacy are not very smooth and you can make them a lot better by messing with some of these settings. First up, we turned off camera relative targeting, meaning that we can lock on to targets that we aren’t directly looking at which can come in handy for quickly targeting an enemy that is outside your field of view. This next setting is probably the most important to be aware of after difficulty and that’s Camera Sensitivity. The camera sensitivity in this game feels clunky and inconsistent. For that reason, we turn the Camera Sensitivity up to 1.9 and we turn Camera Acceleration down to 0. This seems to have reduced the “dead zone” feel of the camera sensitivity. Also with the High Camera Sensitivity, we found that putting a KontrolFreek Precision Ring on our Right Stick helped a lot. The precision ring enables us to make precise small aiming adjustments on a high sensitivity without feeling jerky when making larger turns. Aiming Sensitivity, we left at 1 by default and Aiming Acceleration we reduced to 0.5. We also turned down the Follow Camera Speed to 0.5. We suggest playing with these settings to find what feels best for you. As a general rule of thumb, we try to adjust our Camera Sensitivity and Acceleration to the point where we can do a 180 degree turn consistently and quickly. Regarding Accessibility and User Interface options, these are largely going to be personal preference, but they are important to be aware of as you can tailor the look and feel of your game.
Tips for Beginners
Okay now that we got all those boring numbers out of the way, let’s jump into what you should do in your first 5-10 hours of the game.
Do the Main Story
This might seem obvious, but it is important in this game that you complete around 5-10 hours of main story before you start getting distracted by the incredible wizarding world. We recommend holding off on diving deep into your world exploration and collections journeys until you have done a good amount of the main story. In this section, we don’t want to give away any spoilers for what will happen in the game, but here are some key beats to keep an eye out for. At the very least, you should play the main story until you unlock the ability to use your skill points to purchase talents. We’ll talk more about what traits we recommend getting early in the next section, but that should be your first goal in Hogwarts Legacy, which will take you around 5 hours. Doing the main story will unlock additional collections side quests like the disillusionment chests, that are great for quick cash, Demiguise statues, which are how you learn Alohamora to unlock doors, The Room of Requirement, and Creature Vivariums. Having all of these quests unlocked before you explore the map and search for collectibles will reduce the amount of backtracking you have to do and make your journey a lot more enjoyable!
Revelio, Revelio, Revelio
This is one of the first spells you learn and it will likely be the spell that you cast more than any other. Revelio is similar to a “Detective Mode” or “Eagle Eye” from other titles. It will show you hidden field pages, puzzle pieces, collectibles, quest items and more. You should get into the habit of casting Revelio when you enter every room and whenever you start a new puzzle. Revelio can also be a bit of a double edged sword in the early stages of the game though. If you use Revelio in Hogwarts Castle, you will likely notice that there are collectibles, chests, and locked doors all around you. We spent several hours exploring the castle and picking up easy field pages before progressing in the main story. This was a mistake, because all those field pages made our level shoot up, but we weren’t unlocking talents each time we leveled up because we hadn’t completed the main story quest required to unlock talents. Thankfully you get that backlog of talents once you complete the quest, but it still felt like a little bit of a waste of our time and we ended up backtracking to a lot of those areas of the castle when we were able to unlock doors or looking for other collectibles.
Plan and Practice Talents
In this section, we aren’t going to tell you which talents we recommend you get, if you want to try them out for yourself, but it is important to be aware of the gameplay restrictions around talents so you set yourself up for no regrets. Hogwarts Legacy has 48 talents that you can unlock. You start earning points to spend on talents when you reach level 5 and the maximum level you can reach is 40. This means you will earn a total of 36 talent points throughout your journey and there’s currently no way to respec those talents. Therefore, you will not be able to acquire all the talents on any given play through. With this in mind, it’s important to select your talents with a plan and a purpose. If you want to be the ultimate dark wizard, you may want to forgo some of the talents in the Core, Spell or Room of Requirement trees. Dark magic is incredibly powerful, but we made a choice on our first play through that we are going to avoid unforgivable spells, curses, and other dark magic purely for role playing reasons. You can also make a manual save before you spend a talent point, practice that new spell or talent for a while, and then decide to keep it or go back to your previous save and spend that point on something else. The talents you unlock at level 22 are pretty powerful in all 5 trees, so it can be a good idea to save up some talent points early so that you can get a couple of those when you finally hit level 22 and you start leveling up slower.
Keep an Eye on Your Gear
Once you level up a few times, the gear you receive will start to have a Defense and Offense Stat. Whenever you get a new piece of gear in a chest or from a quest, it will pop up on your screen with a green upwards arrow or a red downwards arrow. These arrows are to let you know if that gear item is better or worse than the stat roll on the current gear you have in that slot. It’s important to always equip your highest stat gear, as this will increase the stats of future gear drops. If you’ve played any Destiny, this gear system will sound familiar and we can apply some of the gear leveling rules we have learned from that game to Hogwarts Legacy. First, if you get a few downgrade gear pieces in a row, check your gear pieces for weak link. If most of your gear is in the 60s but your glasses are a 40 stat roll, all of the gear dropping for you will be in the 50s and you will be wasting all of those gear drops that could have improved your stats. If you find yourself in this situation, go to Hogsmeade and purchase a piece of gear for the slot that is dragging your average stats down. This will ensure that future gear drops are at least moving your stats up and not being wasted.
The next big tip around gear is to sell it often. By default, you can hold 20 pieces of gear in this game across all 6 slots, including the gear you are wearing. This means you be full on gear before even acquiring 2 extra gear items in each slot. When your gear is full and you open a chest, you are essentially wasting that chest. The chest will be opened, and you won’t get anything. This can be a huge bummer if you are opening larger chests, so you really want to be aware of how much gear you have. Before you start any exploration or quest, you should equip your highest stat gear, make sure none of your pieces are over 7 stat levels below everything else, and then sell the rest of your gear to make room for loot you will find on your journey. You can increase your gear capacity by completing Merlin Challenges, which we will explain more later.
Last gear tip is fun one but really important. You can transmog any gear to look like anything else you have gathered in that slot. So while you should be wearing all of your highest stat gear, you can look like you are wearing whatever gear you want! For this reason, you may want to purchase a gear piece from the shop, even if it has a lower stat roll than your current piece, if you really like the way that it looks. You can chose to hide any of your gear slots if you don’t want to have glasses or a hat, and you can toggle your hood on and off by scrolling over your robes and pressing square.
Exploring the Map
Hogwarts and the surrounding Scottish Highlands are expansive and beautiful, but traversing the castle can be like trying to find your way in a maze with all the doors, staircases, and secret passageways. We recommend you always select a quest, so that you can follow the mini-map directions to your next waypoint. If the mini-map directions aren’t clear, you can press up on your d-pad, and your field guide will show you the gold path to your next objective. You can also manually select quests and locations in the map, which will show up as a purple waypoint.
Traveling by Floo Powder is the preferred way to get around, but finding the right Floo Fire for where you want to go can be tricky. We recommend using the left side list to navigate to different sections of the castle and select the name of the place you want to go, rather than trying to move the cursor over the right flame, which can be extremely hard if there are multiple flames next to each other or on top of each other on different levels.
Lastly, we recommend you hold off on exploring the vast Scottish Highlands until you unlock your broom. You will unlock a broom through the main story at around 10 hours, and then you will have to purchase your own in Hogsmeade for 600 Galleons. While in the map, you can use left and right on the D-pad to rotate between the map of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and the Highlands. In the map of the Highlands, you can press L2 a few times to zoom out and view the whole map, which is huge!
Check your Challenges and Mail Often
Throughout your Hogwarts Legacy journey, certain characters will send you mail. Often this is to kick off or continue a quest line, so you want to check new mail whenever it’s available. There are some instances where you will have no main quest in your log because you need to check your mail to start the next quest.
Our last spoiler-free tip for beginners is to check your challenge page often for rewards. You will see a prompt on screen when you’ve unlocked or completed a new challenge, but the rewards aren’t automatically added to your inventory. Instead, you need to go into the challenges menu, scroll to any completed challenges, and claim the rewards. Some of the best rewards in the game are earned through these challenges, like increasing your gear slots and Ancient Magic meters and unlocking awesome armor sets, so don’t let those rewards build up without claiming them!
Advanced Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Hogwarts Journey
In this section we are going to talk about gameplay features you unlock a little later in the game, quests you should do early, and talents we recommend. We still will not be giving away any story spoilers, but we will talk about things you unlock throughout the game so if you don’t want any of those features spoiled for you, then you can stop reading now and go enjoy the game. If you have any issues or questions about the game, feel free to drop them in the comments and we can address those in a later blog.
Disillusionment chests are the ones with the eyeball on them that you see around the map. To unlock the disillusionment spell, you will need to complete the main story until you unlock Talents, which is the Jackdaw’s Tomb quest. You should then speak with Sebastion Sallow, who will offer you a quest to learn this incredibly useful spell. You can use this spell to sneak up on groups of enemies and then press square to use Petrificus Totalus on them, which will permanently stun them, quietly removing them from the fight permanently.
More importantly in the early game, you can use this spell to sneak up on disillusionment chests around Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, and each of these chests will reward you will 500 galleons, making this the best way to score some quick and easy currency in the early game. In the later half of the game, you will unlock the ability to capture and sell magical creatures, which is by far the best way to make money. You will also make a good amount of money if you sell your excess gear regularly.
What to Spend Your Galleons On
Now that we know how to make galleons, what should you be saving it for. There are a lot of spells, tomes, plants, and potions you should be buying in Hogsmeade to set yourself up for success in this game. As previously mentioned, you are going to need 600 galleons to buy a broom, so keep that in mind. You will unlock the Room of Requirement as you start Chapter 2, which is what we will be spending a lot of money to upgrade. You are going to want to buy a planting station with at least 1 large pot. You can purchase the table with 2 large pots for 3,000 Galleons or the table with 1 large pot for 1,000 Galleons. With large planting tables, you can plant any large, medium, or small plant. You should buy all the seeds from Dogweed and Deathcap and The Magic Neep. You should also buy all the potion recipes from J. Pippins Potions. You will need all of these plants and potions for certain quests throughout the story, and buy purchasing the recipes and seed packets, you enable yourself to grow/brew the things you need for yourself, rather than spending money on a single plant or potion, thus saving you lots of money down the line. There are a lot of other upgrades to the room of requirement you are going to want to get but you should prioritize being able to grow all plants and brew all potions first.
As we also mentioned in a previous section, if you have a gear piece that is vastly lower than the others, you should purchase a piece of gear to increase your stat roll in that slot, which will increase the stat drops you get on future gear.
Once you purchase your broom from Albie Weekes at Spintwitches Sporting Goods, he will give you a quest to complete some races with Imelda Reyes. Winning these time trials will unlock upgrades for your broom that can be expensive. We haven’t unlocked the final upgrade but we think they cost 1k, 3k, and 6k galleons for each of those upgrades, so you will need to spend a total of 10,600 galleons to buy and fully upgrade a broom.
As you explore the world you will see a ton of locked doors that you aren’t able to unlock yet. If these doors are driving you crazy and you want to know how to unlock them, first you need to complete the main story until unlock the Man Behind the Moons quest offered by the Hogwarts Gamekeeper. Once you unlock the unlocking spell, you can upgrade it twice by gathering hidden Demiguise statues around the map. We recommend prioritizing this collection quest after you get it, as having level 3 Alohomora opens up so much of the map to you and it makes it easier to get all of the collectibles in a location while you are on a quest there, rather than having to return to all of those locations 20 hours later to unlock those level 3 locked doors.
Now when you are using Alohomora to unlock doors, here’s a big tip. The mini game has you line up the left and right stick to a certain degree in a circle to unlock the lock. But there aren’t 360 degrees of solutions for each stick, there are only 8. The solution will ALWAYS be one of the 8 cardinal directions: N, NW, W, SW, S, SE, E, NE. This means that you only need to check 8 stick locations to find the right location for each lock. This makes unlocking considerably easier, and remember, if you really hate these minigames, you can change the difficulty to story and auto-solve any of them.
If you open all the locked doors in the game yourself without auto-solve, you will find yourself rotating your thumbsticks a lot to find that sweet spot. This can be extra annoying if your thumbsticks are worn down, greasy, or lacking grip. If this is the case for you, then check out our KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks. Our proprietary rubber has more grip for better control and comfort, and an increase arc distance, which reduces the amount of force needed to rotate those thumbsticks. Cracking locks with Alohomora will feel so much better with a pair of these babies on your controller.
After you progress through the story a bit, you will unlock Merlin puzzles around the map, which are marked by the leaf symbol, because you need to spread Mallowsweet leaves on the stone to activate the challenge. Completing these challenges will unlock additional gear slots. Having more gear slots is essential to not hitting capacity while you are questing. After completing your first trial, you only need to complete one additional trial to unlock 4 more gear slots.
Knowing how many spells there are in the world of Harry Potter, we were at first underwhelmed by the list of spells we saw in the pre-launch materials. After playing the game, the spells feel like they are balanced and every spell has it’s purpose and place in the game. The spells in the game are broken down into 4 categories: Damage, Control, Force, and Utility.
Pressing R2 will cast your Basic Cast, which does a small amount of damage and is great for building combos. Pressing triangle when an attack is incoming will cast Protego, which projects a protective shield around you, and holding triangle after Protego will cast Stupefy, which is like a counter spell that stuns your enemy for a moment. Along with these 3 spells, Damage (Red) spells are your primary dueling spells. Expelliarmus is a classic dueling spell that will disarm your enemy. With the Ancient Magic Throw skill, you can press R1 to throw a disarmed weapon at an enemy to do massive damage. Diffindo is a classic damage slashing spell. Confringo and Incendio can be used in puzzles to blow up or light something ablaze, and in combat to similar effect.
Control Spells are similar to Crow Control spells in other games. Spells like Arresto Momentum, Levioso, and Glacius will prevent your enemies from moving and set them up for combos, such as Glacius to Incendio for a massive explosion.
Force spells move your target in a certain way. Accio is essential for gathering collectibles like flying field guide pages. Flipendo will send your enemies flipping through the air, which you can combo with a Descendo to slam them to the ground.
Lastly, we have utilities spells, which are used exclusively in puzzles and world exploration. Reparo will restore broken objects, Lumos will provide a light to guide you and complete certain mini-games, and Wingardium Leviosa is great for manipulating objects in puzzles.
There are also spells you will use to conjure, remove, and edit items in your Room of Requirement, as well as Beast Taming Spells you will use to capture and care for magical bests.
Some enemies you encounter will have colored shields. A shielded enemy can’t be damaged until that shield is broken by a spell of the corresponding color. An enemy with a purple shield needs to be hit with a force spell before they can be damaged by anything. There are also special enemies like Inferi, that a basically zombies that need to be hit with Incendio, Confringo, or Bombarda before they can be damaged by any other spell.
This is why we recommend balancing your spell set with at least one damage, control, and force spell on each page. This will ensure you can break any shields that you need to in combat without having to swap out spells or switch spell sets.
We’re going to close out this guide with our recommendations for which talents you should get earlier. Remember that there are 48 talents, and you will get 36 points, so you will have to forgo getting 12 of the talents. For our first playthrough, we are not prioritizing dark magic, but you may want to focus on the dark arts, because those spells and curses are very powerful. Rather than tell you which spells you should use and upgrade, we’re going to focus on talents that will help everyone, regardless of play style or spell preferences.
Spell knowledge 1, 2, and 3 will each unlock an additional spell set. With all 3 of these, you will have 4 spell sets and can slot a total of 16 spells. This will be enough to slot every spell you could want to use in combat, and enable you to rotate through your sets, activating spells quickly, rather than having to go into the spell list and select your spell every time you want to use something other than the 4 spells your have slotted in your main set. This mechanic is essential for a smooth combat experience.
Swift enables you to hold down Dodge to vanish and quickly reappear nearby. This talent is incredibly versatile in combat and exploration. We use it all the time to walk quicker, but you can also use it to dodge attacks and quickly get out of water without walking slow.
Basic Cast Mastery, Basic Cast Airborne Absorption will increase the amount of ancient magic gained from using Basic Cast.
Protego Absorption and Evasion Absorption will give you ancient magic energy by blocking and dodging attacks in combat, both of which you will do a lot.
Stupefy Expertise will make Stupefy deal damage on impact which makes this counter spell even more useful in combat.
Incendio Mastery will unleash a ring of fire around you, great for dealing with hordes of inferi.
Glacius Mastery will create a freezing blast that sends out damaging shards in blast wave from the target.
Confringo Mastery creates 2 more fiery bolts that split off from the impact and seek additional targets.
Bombarda Mastery causes an explosive blast with a massive area of effect.
The Mastery versions of Accio, Levioso, and Depulso will make those spells into area of effect spells.
DARK ARTS TREE
There’s a lot in this tree that can be good and overpowered. We haven’t explored all of them on this play through but check back for a later blog on these talents.
We bought all 4 talents in this tree. These talents make it harder for enemies to spot us while we are disillusioned, we can run while disillusioned, and gives Petrificus Totalus an area of effect, so you can stealthily take out a whole group of enemies at once.
ROOM OF REQUIREMENT TREE
When we first started playing, we thought this was going to be the tree that we would forgo for more spell mastery and dark arts. However, some of the talents in the Level 22 tier of this tree are just too good to not get in later game content, especially since we decided we aren’t going to use dark arts on this playthrough. Also, once you start upgrading your Room of Requirement, you will have a steady supply of potions and plants that you can use and these talents will help you get the most out of those.
Noxious makes your Venomous Tentacula attacks deal additional damage and break shields. This is so useful as a utility item in combat, enabling you to use more damage spells on enemies rather than using control and force spells to break their shields.
Focus Potions reduce the cooldowns of your spells and Focus Potion Potency extends the duration of your Focus Potion by using any spells in the current set, which means you can cast spells with pretty much no cooldown indefinitely as long as you have a Focus Potion.
Endurus Potion Potency makes you invulnerable and deflects projectiles back at your enemies.
If you are wondering which Talents to get first, we recommend the Stealth and Core Talents first and then branch out into the Dark Arts and Room of Requirement Talents as you progress through the story and unlock the ability to take advantage of those skills.
This is a lot of information to take in; we know. But this game is a lot of fun and we want you all to have a great time with it as well. If you made it to the end, we love you! Please drop a comment down below and let us know which house you are in and how you are playing this game!
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