This guide includes a full, spoiler free walkthrough, maps to help you 100% the game and assorted tips to help you through the game including item descriptions and special “cheat” passcodes.
Table of Contents
Don’t play on hard mode first. This is probably the #1 reason I’ve heard of people not enjoying the game. Honestly, unless you are entirely sure a game is way too easy by default you shouldn’t be playing on hard mode your first time…but this isn’t a game to do that in. Hard mode will just slow you down and make exploration more frustrating when you don’t know where to go or where to get power ups.
Combine your abilities! Sometimes you’ll need to use more than one of your traversal/tool abilities in very rapid succession. If you can’t quite get there…maybe there’s a second step?
The tile-based nature of the game allows a lot of secrets to be hidden just by suspiciously neat/out of place tiles. Look for odd patterns and remember to drill them. There will be false walls as well.
Guns are guns for the most part. This is not Super Metroid where you are required to use certain guns on certain things. Use the guns you like. Very few puzzles force the use of certain guns.d
There’s usually a “trick” to the boss fights. If a boss feels impossible, you simply haven’t found its trick yet. If it’s not taking damage you haven’t found the weak point yet. There may be more than one. Sometimes a different gun can help, even though like I said most guns aren’t required.
There is nothing hidden in save rooms. Ever. Please stop drilling in them.
A one way does not mean you are stuck. Push forward instead of trying to run backwards if this happens. There is always a way.
A rare few optional items have extremely unorthodox methods to unlock.Try everything.
This is mostly just going to focus on the general places where to go and places you might get stuck in lieu of a room-by-room walkthrough. Scroll down paragraph by paragraph as you need hints, it’s as spoiler-free as possible, but don’t read until you’re stuck of course.
Explore Eribu at your own pace, not too far you can stray here. You should eventually come across a second gun, which will allow you to activate certain doors. The first boss himself is pretty easy, use the Axiom Disruption and use L1 to lock in place to easily hammer him several times as he moves across the room.
Now you’ve got the Drill, which breaks specific obvious (and not obvious) tiles.
You can use the drill to get a gun and a size node in the early upper areas of Eribu just outside the first save room. I recommend getting these now since backtracking later would be more of a pain.
Continue onward into Absu and poke around a bit. You’ll find dead ends, but sometimes maps lie. There’s a false wall in the first corridor to your right from the first big shaft. Keep following the path.
If you get stuck again, go down below the deep blue room and to the right and continue up. You’ll find another boss.
This boss is very easy, just stay on the non-destructible platform and jump over his shots, firing the Disruptor constantly.
Now you’ve got the Address Disruptor, one of the most iconic weapons of the game. Try and glitch every enemy or “glitchy” tile you see, you might see some surprising and useful results.
Keep moving down and right through Absu, you’ll eventually work your way over to the next map: Zi. Warning: This is temporarily a one-way trip after you make a certain jump early on in Zi. Do not worry, you don’t need to go back until you’re ready.
In Kur there’s only a few places to go. In the third door on the right from the top you can find a new power up. This will let you get to where you need to go.
Back to Zi, you’ll find you can make the jump immediately across from Kur. Keep going left, then up when you can’t go left anymore. There’s a save room a couple rooms left of the boss room, so if you missed it before seeing the “boss skull”, go save.
This boss is easier than it seems–it’s “parts” are destructible. Just shoot them off–only one will eventually remain, then you just take pot shots at him. You can also glitch some of the “missing” tiles back into existence to help block his laser. The Fire gun you might have found can be useful, but isn’t necessary. The Disruptor is once again all you really need.
You need to reconsider your environment due to the Labcoat. One tile wide things are no longer obstacles if you can stand right next to the column. Things that were dead ends are no longer dead ends.
No you can’t go back to Eribu or Absu. Stop that.
At the “peak” of Kur you’ll note such single-tile columns. Go through them and continue up and up. There are several items around here to gather. The first is in the second BIG open room in Kur, at the right side of the map. You should get something that lets you move through tight spaces.
With the Drone in your hands, make your way back to very low Kur, two doors above the save door. Note that you can shoot the drone in any direction, and “hatch” it early with triangle to get control over it’s movement in the air. Not important now but can be important for getting secrets or later things. Open the gate here with your drone and move on. You’ll find yet another little puzzle leading to another traversal item.
Go back to Kur in the first big room, make your way all the way to the right.
This boss needs to be hit from behind for the most part, and is really time consuming to beat the right way. The right way is to shoot the Nova under it while crouching, then trigger the Nova just under the part you can hurt. You can also use the Hypo-Atomizer gun if you got it, but this is erratic. More Range nodes will make this tactic easier, and it’s far safer than the fast way.
The fast way is to just use the Kilver and bum-rush it, shooting it in the–well, in the bum. With enough health and damage you’ll hopefully kill it before it kills you.
Note that while crouching none of it’s shots will hit you unless it is also crouched down. Try to keep your distance minimal when using the Nova method to reduce time to kill.
Continue up and to the right of the boss’s room. You’ll find a blue orb, shoot it to trigger a cutscene. Continue past the orb and go up–you’ll notice the room map isn’t complete here, don’t worry about it.
In the snowy place you need to work your way up and over, and you’ll find your next traversal item item.
With the Grappling Hook in tow, you can make your way to the item you should have seen on the way down, then leave this area entirely. You can finally backtrack to Absu from Zi and make it through Indi from Kur.
Work your way to Ukkin Na from Eribu using the grapple and you’ll quickly find yourself “trapped”. Only one way to go now, so carry on! After beating the boss, re-explore this area to find a new traversal item before moving on. It’s in the middle of the map, you need to enter the area from below, or you can fire a Drone through a one tile wide wall to get it a few seconds early.
Now that you can teleport 2 tiles in any direction, you can leave Ukkin Na. Make your way to Edin, immediately to the right of Ukkin Na. If you want an easier time, you can actually go into Edin from Indi as well. Note you can even teleport to diagonals with a precise input, in addition to left/right/up/down.
Stop once you find a nice big glitch blocking your path to the right, and a laser wall above. Dash on top of it and keep on moving. You’ll find another boss and a new ability.
Go back left to the big outside room in Edin and use your glitchbombs–you can get a new gun and access a tower above you. The tower is pretty simple, inside you’ll find a pretty tough boss, depending on your gear. The Shards and Lightning Gun weapons work pretty well. Move aggressively towards the boss and it should back off, you’ll have to back up a bit too. Don’t let it get too close. Dash backwards if you see it preparing to sting–this is a tough one to dodge.
A tricky but fast way to defeat this boss is to “glitch” it’s minions, then destroy them right over the boss’s mouth–it will take extreme damage.
Continue past the boss and find one more traversal ability. This will let you reach great new heights!
Head over to the very top of Kur, you can get into the big pyramid now. Jump, dash up and toss the drone up and you can reach the cliff there. If you didn’t get it earlier, there’s a drone launch upgrade immediately below the temple too. It’s optional but fun.
E Kur Mah is pretty straightforward. You’ll quickly need a key, head up and around and you’ll get it buried in a ton of blocks. Keep exploring this area and you’ll find your last required traversal item!
With the red coat you’re ready to reach the final area, and also ready to collect every item in the game (note that a few still require passwords so some items may still be out of your reach if you didn’t find the password).
Head up to the top of Ukkin Na once you’re done collecting stuff. Use your drone launch, teleport and damaging-dash to rise up through the shaft right above the two upper save areas.
Mar Uru is again, pretty straightforward. You’ll want to glitch enemies often as they’re high damage, high health, hard to dodge bruisers. Use every save room you come across.
This boss is a bit of a pain, stand under it and shoot all you can using high damage guns like Kilver. Time your jumps to evade the purple pulses, they shouldn’t be a big deal. Once it closes, hide in a corner and crouch–the random shots probably won’t hit you there, they’re pretty annoying to try and dodge otherwise.
Just keep climbing, keep an eye out for some goodies here and there. Absolutely save in every save room, there’s not much left.
You’ll bump into a boss and Trace will note that the doors aren’t barred. Hint. Hint.
The final boss is honestly a bit of a DPS race. Dodging the first form’s satellites is near impossible. Instead, use a glitch bomb to weaken them and hammer on them and the blue square as hard as you can. Ideal weapons are Flamethrower (by far), data bomb, even the Kilver works. Absolutely kill the satellites in the downtime between phases, they can drop a lot of health and the second and third waves aren’t nearly as hard to dodge.
If you’re on Hard mode and having trouble, you might want to backtrack and get that Flamethrower, it really makes this fight a cakewalk. I warn you, it’s a doozy to find on your own but my spoilerful guide is always there for you.
You’re done! If your completion % numbers weren’t both green, I’m sorry but you didn’t see the full ending. Head on back and get some more items/map to see the real deal (I believe the cutoff is 80%?)
Please try and play at your own pace and finish the game normally before reading. The game is very good at teaching you what to do to get around, and until you start hunting for 100% you really should never be that lost. Go back, explore areas you couldn’t before, look for incomplete map segments. You can do this.
…but if you can’t or are just going for 100%, here’s a ton of spoilers! Not quite a step-by-step walkthrough but should help a lot.
I think the map is complete now, but let me know of any corrections! I’ve got three types of maps for you. I’ve left the most basic map embedded for the types who scroll past without reading (shame!)
- No items, all rooms marked
- All items shown with white dots (Metroid style)
- Full map with all items marked with descriptive icons
If you’re stuck at the 4 laser wall in Mar Uru (I know you are), you can glitch the purple robots from the prior room and bring them with you–they’ll appear in the same position in the next room. Try and drag them from the mid upper-right quadrant of the prior room. You can also try and shoot the Hypo Atomizer through the laser wall, at certain distances it will glitch through and trigger the orb.
If you’re missing 100% but all maps show a yellow dot (all items get), you need to glitch this lil guy, he’ll then pop into a health node fragment when you approach. You can get multiple nodes by glitching multiple of these guys in the same room, but only one is “real” and counts towards your stats in any way. There are some in a long cooridor in the lower bits of Ukkin Na, and some in the very far left of Eribu.
Low %: The drone launch upgrade and grappling hook are NOT required. Be careful though, if you enter the rooms to unlock these you may be trapped and forced to get them, but they’re not needed to beat the game. You have enough leeway to pick up ALL large health/power notes with room to spare, as well as a few weapons and some extra power ups of your choice. Vornaj is a good way to beat the wasp boss, as is Shards but Shards might need a range up, I haven’t tested it. Data Bomb is a good way to beat the final boss. Otherwise just take your time and save and quit if you want to check your completion %. Stop once you hit 39% of course.
Hard Mode: The final boss is the real problem here, otherwise just take it slow and collect all items. Once again, Data Bomb is pretty great on the final boss, also use Glitch Bombs to immediately weaken the first form. The final boss’s waves actually get easier to dodge as the battle progresses.
Speedrun: Do this last, it’s really not THAT hard once you have the route down. I’ll try and write up a route later. The important thing is time paused or at the home screen keeps the game timer ticking, so you really need to either do it in one sitting or immediately save and quit before taking a break.
General note: Weapons in Axiom Verge are highly interchangeable. There are no “damage types” like wave/plasma/ice in Metroid. A gun is a gun. Guns may be more effective on certain enemies due to certain properties like range, but generally a gun is a gun.
Axiom Disruptor: Old faithful, surprisingly useful for a surprisingly long time. Nothing fancy, just decent ROF, Range and standard damage.
Nova: Explodes into 6 shots in all directions. Used mainly for unlocking doors early on, useful on the giant scorpion boss to hit him from underneath.
Kilver: Round attack area that pierces all. Very useful at short range, should probably be on your quick select for a good while.
Hypo-Atomizer: Smaller, harder to aim long range semiauto attack just like the Axiom Disruptor, except secondary shots go up and down from the main projectile every once in a while. Of surprisingly little use without size upgrades, which make it slightly more useful. Whether the “branches” hit is basically luck.
Reflector: High damage, low rate of fire shots that bounce at straight angles. With some Size Nodes the shots become huge. The collision is super weird, allowing them to go through walls at angles sometimes. Certain switches can be hit early to get some minor power ups with this gun.
Multi-Disruptor: Another shotgun-ish thing, 3 shots fanning out. Hard to use without range/size upgrades, Kilver is usually a better option. Eventually becomes longish range.
Inertial Pulse: Low rate of fire shots that pierce enemies (not walls or armor). Not actually very useful.
Voranj: Weird fairly long range attack that branches randomly, slow rate of fire. Covers a very wide area with proper range upgrades. Nice to hit without aiming but it’s low damage so it’s not always the best choice.
Shards: Fully automatic, extremely high rate of fire, low damage per hit. Kills things a little slower than most semi-auto guns will, but it’s very easy to use. Very short range before upgrades, good range after them.
Turbine Pulse: Weird. It’s a melee and a long range gun, not entirely amazing at being either. Hold the button for a VERY short range attack, or mash for a wide pattern of shots at an okay but not amazing pace.
Quantum Variegator: High ROF fully automatic gun with random bullet trajectories. While funny it is not particularly useful.
Tethered Charge: One of the best melee weapons. Extremely easy to use and aim. Good against the final boss. Ends up with very good range/size for a melee weapon with upgrades.
Data Bomb: Low ROF, moderately sized AOE. Pretty hard to use, not usually recommended, but oddly effective against the final boss due to the explosions. Can hit armored foes if the explosion hits the non-armored bits.
Lightning Gun: Fully automatic homing lightning “chain” that will arc to the nearest target and do constant damage. An extremely good “melee” weapon, though certain armored enemies are a pain to kill with it.
Heat Seeker: Just after you think the Lightning Gun is OP, Heat Seeker overtakes it in most situations. Long range, fully automatic, good damage, homing, good projectile size (upgraded), there are few enemies that can’t be handled quickly with this.
Reverse Slicer: Just a boomerang. Moderate ROF, short range, flips back. Pierces walls, though I’m not sure this property is ever useful by the time you can find this. Not recommended.
Firewall: Clever name, right? Lobs short range fire mortars that explode upward into flames, piercing walls. Looks neat, but isn’t very useful except against the third boss, as it lets you bombard his lower bits from a safe location.
Ion Beam: Continuous fire laser beam with a highly satisfying BEWWWWWWWWWMMMM. Good substitute for any straight-fire weapon though it’s not really a gamechanger. due to being narrow and fussy to aim against flying targets.
Distortion Field: Basically the Kilver with a very slightly smaller field and continuous damage and a sweet distortion effect. I find well timed Kilver shots to be more effective DPS wise but this will clear lots of easy enemies with no effort.
Flamethrower: High ROF, Fully automatic, pierces walls and enemies, does pretty great damage. Only limited by range and lack of homing. Amazing on the final boss, but not necessarily the best choice for normal enemies.
Orbital Discharge: Semiautomatic, high ROF, fires shots that turn into “cartwheel” things after hitting a wall then continue crawling up or down (random direction if they hit straight on). Weird but pretty cool.
Scissor Beam: Another gun found in Secret Worlds. Medium range non-projectile beam, pierces all. Haven’t gotten it so I don’t know much about it.
Giant Orange Beam:???? Probably a Secret World weapon?
Drill: Breaks blocks. You might have noticed. Anyway, instead of shooting walls in Axiom Verge you drill walls. Any hidden block will need to be hit with the Drill.
Security Drone: Will not hug your face. This thing has it’s own HP (determined by your Damage power ups, oddly) which regenerates when not in use. Can be used to scout ahead and suicide attack enemies if your health is low. It’s laser acts the same as the drill and breaks certain blocks. The Drone can also be fired through a single tile, letting you access certain areas early.
Space Jump: Jump Higher! Yeah. That’s about it.
Claw: I hope you like Bionic Commando. Hold forward while swinging to swing all the way then let go, this can be used to continuously swing forward, detach automatically, then manually send out the claw again to keep moving forward easily. Press up and down to change the length while tethered. You can combine the swinging with the teledash. Optional item, though it’s needed (I think) to get a few optional items.
When perfectly horizontal mid-swing, you can actually teledash straight up through two/three tiles combined with the trench/red coat, as if you were only one tile high. This is never necessary but occasionally useful.
Lab Coat: No special tricks here. Can go through a single tile of wall left or right. Keep an eye for walls with gaps behind them.
Trench Coat: Dash through 2 tiles instantly by double tapping any direction. You can go up ceilings/down floors of ONE tile thick because your head/feet count as a tile. Can also be used diagonally.
Red Coat: Dash through 3 tiles, breaking blocks that require a drill. Also breaks ANY breakable block, including the ones that you used to need to glitch enemies to break. 100% chasers will be mashing this dash into walls for days looking for goodies.
You’re going to want to look for suspicious things beyond walls. Not just gaps beyond 3 tiles, but potentially breakable stuff beyond 1 or more walls, as you can now dash through that.
Due to the range increase, it’s ability to dash diagonally is even more useful.
Drone Teleport: Awwww yiss. Lets you teleport into nooks and cranies your drone can reach but not you. Don’t be timid, anywhere you can get into you can get out of. Note this is also effective as a jump-extender, shoot a drone at the apex of your jump including a tele-dash if necessary, press Triangle at the apex of the egg’s arc, then press triangle again to teleport farther than you could otherwise jump. No, you can’t gain infinite height. Lordy I tried.
Teleporting is also faster than killing your drone so if you’re going in the same direction of your drone anyway, just teleport. You’ll probably find yourself teleporting way more than you think, as it’s a great way to get around very precisely and quickly.
Drone shot length: This sounds so boring but is extremely useful and liberating. Teleport to your hearts content. With this it’s very often faster to shoot your drone and teleport than it is to fuss with moving your own stupid legs and jumping around. Entirely optional to complete the game but it helps a lot in getting to certain optional items.
Bioflux Accelerator: Totally optional and not very useful, there’s two of these that give you tentacles that auto-fire while pressing the fire button, but only at full health. It’s a nice bonus I guess but they rarely make a difference. On the plus side they look super cool.
Key: You though the space jump was the most boring tool. You were wrong.
Passcode tool: You can enter passcodes, much like a certain game. Interesting.
Note that passcode that open passages need to be used in the right room; they can not simply be left on. You will hear the Item Get sound when used properly.
- JUSTIN BAILEY: Just guess. Yeah. Also…it works on the final boss.
- REVEAL SUDRAN: Translates notes written in Sudran.
- REVEAL VYKHYA: Translates notes written in Vykhyan.
- ISKART EHANZU: Opens a passage in E KUR MAH for the Quantum Variegator, in the big room with the bush enemies.
- IKKIBU LABIRU: Lets you get past the 4 laser wall in the top left of Eribu: use it in the dead-end 2-high room to the right and up from the laser wall. You discover it by glitching the column inside that room, the code is in the “garbage” characters that show up while using the glitch gun.
- DALKHU SUBTUM: Opens a secret passage in the bottommost left of Eribu to get you the Orbital Discharge. You’ll see Sudran writing in the top left of the room–you need to manually translate it to discover the code, REVEAL SUDRAN doesn’t work. Or just enter it like a cheater.
- DINGER GISBAR: Opens the path to the Flamethrower weapon at the leftmost peak of Eribu.
- AXIOJY TSLSXC: Sets gravity very low allowing trace to jump high. This is part of the parametrized passcodes detailed below.
Discovered by @TehMillhouse via reverse engineering, there’s a bunch of passcodes that use parameters for certain (mostly unknown at present) effects. Head over here to see the full current info, the above gravity changing code is probably the most interesting found so far. If you find more info on what they do, bug me or @TehMillhouse via twitter or other means.
You can input part of the Konami Code (up up down down left right left right) at the main menu screen to unlock the Passcode tool at the start of a new game. Just input the code, hear the sound that plays, then start a new game. Combine with the passcode generator above to completely break the game from the start!
The names are meaningless but they’re in story order so just count how many bosses you’ve beaten.
Xedur Variant: Should be very easy, if you’re having trouble it’s probably because you’re not using the movement lock (L1 by default) to sit still and shoot at an angle.
Telal variant: Just stay on the non-breakable platform, jump and shoot.
Uruku variant: The first you’re likely to have issues with; break his parts to make the fight manageable instead of focusing on his face. The laser needs to go ASAP, then the less predictable mortars launchers at the base, finally the canons at the top. One canon is invincible, when it’s all that’s left just shoot at the face and dodge the lone shots.
If you get stuck AFTER this boss, look for glitches.
Gir-Tab variant: A very slow fight if you play it right, you need to hit his rear whenever his face isn’t open–which is most of the fight. You can rush it with Kilver with enough health/damage and just quick kill it. Nova or Hypo Atomizer can be used to hit it’s behind from the front, but it’s very slow for Nova and very fiddly for Hypo Atomizer. I’ve heard Vornaj can be effective on it but I’m not sure of the details. You can dodge all his shots by crouching and keeping your distance until he crouches, then just jump over the volleys.
Hallucination: I don’t think you can “win” this one. Just sit down low and get shot a lot to end it as fast as possible. You can fire bombs and shots with different buttons but it’s only for fun/immersion.
Aborted Clone: Not much of a boss, but if you let it die on it’s own you’ll get an achievement. Killing it manually is faster for speedruns.
Ukhu Variant: Shards or the lightning gun can be used to damage it easily without worrying too much about aiming, just dodge instead. He follows your movement loosely, keep rushing towards him then backing off and he’ll back up, if you sit still he’ll keep moving forward. Glitch Bombs help take care of his spawn.
For a quick kill, glitch his spawned minions and detonate/kill them right near his mouth–if done right he’ll take extreme damage.
Sentinel: Stand directly under it and hammer it with things like Kilver, Flame Thrower, Tethered Charge. You can jump over most of the purple homing shots and move slightly left/right. When it closes up, run into a corner and crouch. It’s pretty hard to avoid all of the non-homing wiggly fish shot things, but if you crouch in the lower corner most will miss you. You can leave the room if you need to for some reason but the boss won’t despawn, unsure if this is useful yet.
Xedur Hul: This fight is entirely optional, just run past it. You actually get an achievement for not killing the poor wretch.
Final Boss: The Flamethrower helps a ton here. Glitch Bombs will help make the drones less dangerous. The drone was are decreasingly dangerous as the fight goes on, so use your glitch bombs early. With the flamethrower this should provide no real challenge. Data Bomb and Tethered Charge are also valid options but not nearly as fast or safe.
Not the deliberate glitches, but there are a few “real” glitches and oversights in the game that are very useful for speedrunning or sequence breaking.
Save Egg exploit: Not really a bug but highly exploitable; dying brings you back to a save point. This is extremely exploitable as part of the game’s progression keeps you out of Eribu after entering Zi and won’t let you back in until much later. You can immediately enter Ukkin Na and get the Trenchcoat if you die and return to an Eribu save egg after getting the Lab Coat. I haven’t tested this one, but I don’t think it’s possible to get stuck for good and it’s a great way to “fast travel”.
You can die or just save and quit to get back to your last save egg. Which is faster depends on how quickly you can die at that exact moment.
Shards Glitch (fixed in latest version): If you quick select to another gun while firing Shards, the Shards spray keeps going even if you use another gun, stop firing, or even fire a Drone. Extremely useful against bosses as it’s basically free damage from a fixed position. Ukhu, Sentinel and the Final Boss can be made much easier with this. Does not appear to work with other autofire weapons.
Drone Climbing: You can (slowly) climb infinite heights by shooting the drone up, teleporting to it, shooting the glitch gun to reset the drone timer, then shooting the drone up again and repeating. It’s rather slow and even slower without the Enhanced Drone Launch, but it is possible (thanks to MakiiShingetsu for confirming).
Drone Through Walls (fixed in latest version): The drone spawns a full tile away from Trace, and can be shot through a single wall to the left, right, or above Trace but not below. This can be used in a few rare instances to get collectables early, but not to sequence break that I’m aware. You can use it to get the Trenchcoat a few seconds early though.
Fire Though Laser Walls: Collision with these is a bit weird (Tom Happ confirmed this was left in deliberately because it’s cool). At certain exact pixel distances certain gun types shoot through these laser walls. Gun types include Hypo Atomizer, Nova, Reflector and Data Bomb. This can be used to collect a few items early or in a different way than intended, such as getting past a 4 laser wall in Mar Uru without glitching enemies. The Reflector’s collision is all kinds of screwy and at certain angles and pixel distances it breaks into walls. This lets you hit some switches behind walls. Nova can also be used early on to hit switches that are meant for Kilver for a minor sequence break.