Getting Started

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Version 0.8.3: This article may not be up to date for the latest version of Isleward.

Getting Started[edit]

Isleward is a multiplayer roguelike currently in development by Big Bad Waffle. The game is based around creating a character, exploring different islands, fighting mobs (monsters), forming a party, and spelunking and completing dungeons in search of treasure. Strengthening your character through looting better equipment and leveling up by gaining experience is also an integral part of the process!

The game is open-source, and the code and other assets can be found on the Gitlab. Thus, players can help spot bugs or even write mods to improve the game.

Registering an Account[edit]

To make an account, navigate to, enter a username and password and press register.

Note: If your ISP blocks websocket access, try

Note: Your account name and password should be kept privately. Do not share them with others.

Note: Do not lose your password, as a password recovery mechanism has not been implemented yet. In the event that you forget your password, you will need to contact Big Bad Waffle on the Discord server (


The first step in creating a new character is choosing a "spirit". This is similar to a class or a race. As a general rule, focus on increasing your spirit's main stat (see below for ways to do this), as that is what your weapon's damage scales from.

Owl- The "mage" class

  • Main stat: Intelligence
  • Recommended weapons: Wands or Staffs
  • Recommended off-hand items: Brittle Tomes or Ancient Tomes

Bear- The "warrior" class

  • Main stat: Strength
  • Recommended weapons: Swords or Axes
  • Recommended off-hand items: Shields

Lynx- The "rogue" class

  • Main stat: Dexterity
  • Recommended weapons: Spears or Daggers
  • Recommended off-hand items: Shields

You will also see a box with different prophecies on the right. Prophecies are special and permanent modifications to characters chosen at character creation. Choosing a prophecy isn't recommended for beginners; ignore them at first.



Use WASD or arrow keys to move, or QEZC to move diagonally. Every move you do queues up on the server and every turn you move one square down the queue. Press ESC to clear your queue.


Click a monster or use tab to select one to attack.

Press space to activate your automatic attack with your main weapon. Note that you do not need to continue activating your weapon; it will keep going as long as you continue to fight the same monster.

Press 1, 2, 3 or 4 to activate the abilities that come from your runes (see below).

Controls List[edit]

Keystroke Function
WASD, QEZC, Arrows Movement
Left Click Select
Tab Cycle between targets
Space Activate auto-attack
1, 2, 3, 4 Use abilities from your Runes
G or U Fishing
I Open/close inventory
Escape Close windows
Cancel movement queue
V Show/hide nameplates
H Show/hide help
J Show/hide character stats and equipments
O List online players
P Open/close passive tree
Enter Open/close chat
Send a message (if chat is open)
R Use quickslot item

Character Info[edit]

Press J to open up your character sheet. On the first page you will see all your basic stats and the equipment your character is wearing/using. At the top you will see tabs that will allow you to access three more pages with additional info.

The info on your weapon damage and what abilities your runes give you can be found moving your mouse pointer over the boxes in the upper-right corner of the main screen (the one where you move, fight, etc.). There may be up to five boxes there depending upon how many runes you have equipped (see below). The box furthest to the left is your main weapon, which performs your auto-attack.

Equipping Items[edit]

Most of the time when you kill a mob/monster, you will see "loot" (treasure) appear where the monster was. Simply move into that space to pick it up. Most of the time the loot will be an item.

  • Press I to open up your inventory. Left-click the item to see its stats. To equip the item, right click the item you want to equip, and click equip on the dropdown menu
  • Also you can press J to open up character sheet. Then click on any equipment slot to see all items available to use in that slot. Click on the item you want to equip.

You can do the same with runes, except that in your inventory you need to select "learn" on the dropdown menu.

Choosing the right gear[edit]

As a rule of thumb, gear and runes of higher rarity are generally better. When deciding between two pieces of gear, take note of your spirit's main stat (intellect, dexterity or strength), and other stats you may find yourself needing. For example, if you find yourself dying too often, you might want to prioritize vitality, resistance, armor, dodge chance or HP regen. If you find yourself running out of mana, you may want to prioritize max mana or mana regen. To compare the stats of a piece of equipment with your currently equipped piece of gear of the same slot, hover over the piece of equipment and press shift.

Generally use runes that scale with your character's main stat (int, dex, str). This will allow you to increase your general damage output. You can find out which runes scale with what stat at the runes page.

For more detailed advice (subjective) in rune and stat choice for later on in the game, check out the Advanced Guide.

Where to farm and/or level up[edit]

Note: can be different depending on the stats you have on your gear.

  • Level 1-10: Fjolarok and Fjolgard
  • Level 10-15: Sewers
  • Level 15-20: Crystal Caves (Be very careful, since the smoke from whelks can deal high amounts of damage in a short time)

Complete Quests[edit]

Quests are great sources of experience, so make sure to complete as many as you can. Quests are available in Fjolarok, Fjolgard, the Sewers, the Crystal Caves, and the Temple.

Quests give different amounts of experience based on its "type" and region. Increased experience will generally be given as you progress to more challenging regions. You can hover your mouse over an uncompleted quest to see how much experience it will reward you for completion.

XP (Experience Points)[edit]

If you aren't doing quests, make sure you fight against mobs at your level. This will give the maximum experience output. Fighting mobs of a level that is much higher or much lower than your own will result in receiving very little or no xp at all.

Excess Gear and Runes[edit]

  • If you have excess gear, salvage it by right-clicking and selecting salvage, or right-clicking and pressing F. Make sure to keep the materials you receive for later on in the game when they will be more useful. You can use the material you salvage to augment (improve) your gear, or trade it with players for better gear.
  • If you have excess runes, make sure to sell them. Runes bring in lots of money, which you will be happy to have later when you are buying gear from the Akarei and the Priest.
  • Alternatively, salvaging runes will provide Essence of the same rarity of the rune, which can be used to buy a Mounts and augment trinket slot items.
  • Do be very careful when salvaging items, as it is permanent.

How to Survive[edit]

  • Do not AFK where auto-aggro mobs spawn. You will die when they respawn and start attacking you.
  • Make a party with other players. Don't worry, you will get full XP and loot as long as you successfully hit the enemy at least once.
  • Don't bite off more than you can chew. Make sure you can survive farming in the next higher-level area if you want to move on.
  • Make consumables to quickly restore your health in the middle of a fight.
    • Fish for Sun Carps and cook them at the Hermit's fire. (Make sure to buy sticks from the hermit to cook them on)
    • Craft minor healing potions in the city at Estrid's shop using the Alchemy Workbench. (Buy vials from Estrid). Each potion heals half your health.
      • To craft a minor potion you need 3 Skyblossoms and one empty vial. Skyblossoms can be found randomly around the map, to collect one stand on it and press G.
      • Be cautious when using healing potions, as they have a cooldown.

Card Sets[edit]

If you obtain a full set of cards you can turn them in to the Shady Dealer in the sewers for a reward. The reward depends on which cards are turned in.


Throughout Isleward there are multiple vendors. You can buy different things from each one of them.

  • The Hermit sells flimsy fishing rods, sticks, and random equipment for new players.
  • Asvald sells basic starting runes.
  • Estrid sells empty vials.
  • Thaumaturge Yala sells Akarei necklaces if you are honored with the Akarei. (Give her digested crystals that drop from Crystal Snails and Crystal Whelks to gain reputation with the Akarei)
  • The Gaekatla Priest sells Gaekatla gear, but you must have a certain reputation with Gaekatla to buy gear from him. (Gain reputation with Gaekatla by killing monsters in the Estuary)

Additionally, you can sell anything to any one of the vendors, and buy the sold item back if you change your mind or accidentally sold something.


Fishing is a great way to pass time, get some minor exp (25 exp per catch), and get some nice healing consumables. To fish, you need to be next to a school of fish and press G or U. After a few seconds you will either catch nothing, a cerulean pearl (used to augment fishing rods), or a fish.

  • Note: you can only catch one type of fish for now - Sun Carp - but depending on the weight of the fish, the fish will have a specific name and will restore different amounts of health when cooked and consumed.

General Community information[edit]

Chat Color / Prefix[edit]

  • Color
    • Gray : Default chat color for everyone
    • White : Patron / Moderator color
    • Light blue : Developer color

Ask for Help[edit]

The Isleward community is very friendly. If you have a question or need help, just type it in the chat.

Do not Beg[edit]

The chat is not your personal begging grounds, so do not use it as such. Nobody likes a beggar in the chat; work for loot, trade for loot, but don't beg for it.

Don’t Flood the Main Chat[edit]

  • If you are in a party, type % to switch to the party chat, or manually do it by selecting the chat options at the bottom left of the chat.
  • You can also whisper in the following ways:
    • Typing @<player’s name> <message>
    • Pressing O and right clicking a name
  • Create or join a custom channel by typing /join <channel name> and leave using /leave <channel name>. Chat in the channel using $<channel name> <message>
  • You can switch back to global chat by typing !, or manually do it by selecting the chat options at the bottom left of the chat.

It is also advisable to read the Glossary before asking questions related to abbreviations in the chat.

Going Forward[edit]

For additional (though subjective) advice, you may check out the Advanced Guide. (Note: It may confuse you, so consult it preferably after reaching level 20 on your first character.

Useful Links[edit]