Griftlands card battle switch

Need some tips for surviving in Griftlands? You’ll need to rethink your strategy if you’re killing everyone you meet.

Griftlands gets compared to Slay the Spire a lot because of the card-based deck-building gameplay – but the comparison isn’t a good one. While the main focus is resolving combat and negotiation with your card decks, Griftlands is much more of a slow burn, with a higher focus on narrative. Check out our full Griftlands review for our thoughts.

The story-rich game presents you with multiple opportunities to resolve conflicts in many different ways. It’s also a game that requires a lot of trial and error, which may be frustrating for beginners. These Griftlands tips and tricks will get you ready for surviving your first day in Murder Bay.

Negotiate Your Way – Nobody Likes a Bully

Griftlands negotiations

The Griftlands are a dangerous place and no one likes a bandit. If you go around fighting everyone, pretty soon the whole region will hate you. There’s a web of interconnected NPCs, all with best friends and a reason to hate you if you kill them. Even in duels, you should accept your enemy’s surrender rather than outright killing them.

Trying to get someone to bend the rules in your favor or ignore an indiscretion of yours? Negotiating will get you farther than fighting them. You need resolve to perform a successful negotiation, which can fail the task and present new outcomes. That’s preferable to losing all your hit points and dying in the dirt after you bite off more than you can chew by angering Admiralty goons.

Have Friends in High Places

Griftlands negotiation

When you start negotiating your way through the Griftlands, you make friends and enemies. For successful negotiations, you may win a character’s loyalty or convince them to help you out. In failures, you may lose help for a mission or be forced to resort to combat to survive the encounter.

Having friends grants boons that can be useful for both combat and negotiations. As in real life, it’s always better to have friends in high places who can grant you favors when needed. There are five stages of a relationship with characters in Griftlands. You can move between love, like, neutral, dislike, and hate. Each of these phases will affect how characters can interact with you – from discounts to extra health. Having more enemies than friends can really put you at a combat disadvantage.

Making friends in bars before fights will give you backup in tense situations. Drink with someone before a negotiation if you plan on friending them or their faction. Access to friends can bring unique dialog options, combat skips, and better negotiations with fellow faction members.

When You’re Notorious, They Come for the King

Rampaging across the Griftlands and killing everyone can feel great, winning battle after battle. But you’re also wracking up enemies who can destroy a good run. Being infamous can lower your stats and give your run increased difficulty. You’re also at an increased chance of being ambushed by another bounty hunter. Be careful when you fight and try not to kill very much, but do what you have to do to survive.

If you do end up in combat, try to resolve it by allowing the other party to surrender. Every opponent that isn’t a pet or a summons has a ‘cower’ point where they will throw in the white flag. The white flag state will last for three turns and every character needs to be in surrender state to be successful. Remember, killing brings personal consequences and factional consequences.

Rest Up at the Inn Frequently

end of the day review

You should always remember to rest at the inn by ending the day. Sleep allows you to regenerate your health and resolve. It also gives you a summary of that day, showing any new cards, grafts, and relationship changes that happened that day. Always look over new card details if you’re unfamiliar with a new card.

You can talk to Fssh who sells food items that will give you an advantage during combat. You can head to The Grog n’ Dog inn at night to talk to Fssh and sleep in your room. Always take advantage of this option if you’re low on health – some deadly groups of monsters roam around at night.

Keep Your Decks Trim for Success

a negotiation card deck

It’s easy to run through the game accepting every card that comes your way, but that will lead to a bloated deck. Try to keep your deck relatively trim with cards you’re comfortable with in battle. That may take a few runs of trial and error to learn mechanics and introduce yourself to the cards – so take every encounter as a learning opportunity.

Don’t be afraid to discard old cards (especially single use cards) to keep your deck manageable. Bleed decks can benefit from having multiple sources of damage, but combo decks that grow too large can become a burden to manage in late-game play.

Griftlands Tips – Managing Health & Resolve

If you are having trouble managing your health and resolve in fights, follow these tips and tricks.

  • Upgrade your grafts by using your HP before sleeping.
  • Try to avoid eating/drinking for resolve and HP, since that can drag out battles and negotiations.
  • Befriend the Heshen Cultists and you can visit their camp to heal resolve for free once per day.
  • Make the Heshen Cultists love you and you receive a boon in negotiations that restores resolve every turn.

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