10 Ori and the Will of the Wisps tips to know before you play

Ori and the Will of the Wisps tips
(Image credit: Moon Studios)

A few Ori and the Will of the Wisps tips can go a long way, because Moon Studio's latest action-platformer is every bit as difficult as Ori and the Blind Forest. Its platforming challenges are as demanding as you remember, and full-fledged combat has been added into the mix as well. When the two combine, things can get dicey quick. And like many Metroidvania-style games, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is loaded with useful secrets and collectibles that are easy to miss. With all that in mind, we've rounded up 10 tips, strategies, and pointers which will make your journey through the forest much easier. Note that there are minor ability spoilers ahead, but no story spoilers.  

1. Get Spirit Smash immediately 

This is the number-one, primo tip for Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Shortly after you acquire your basic melee attack, you'll be able to purchase one new ability at a discounted price. You should always purchase Spirit Smash here. This hammer of light acts as Ori's heavy attack, and you'll need it to break enemy shells and shields, not to mention crack open some secret walls later on. 

2. Triple-jump is a game-changer 

Not long after you buy your first ability, you'll meet a merchant who sells Spirit Shards. One of those Shards grants triple-jump, a strict upgrade to your double-jump, and buying this should be your next priority. It costs a lot of light orbs, but it's worth saving up for it. You can clear virtually every part of Ori and the Will of the Wisps without triple-jump, but having it makes countless segments considerably easier, and it will let you access several areas and secrets early by overriding the need for certain abilities.  

3. The Ultra Grapple and Ultra Bash Spirit Shards are incredible  

Speaking of Spirit Shards: we've got a few recommendations. First up, the low-key best combat Shards are Ultra Grapple and Ultra Bash. Ultra Grapple lets you grapple directly to enemies, dealing damage and unlocking new routes. Ultra Bash, meanwhile, makes launching off enemies deal damage, and it makes launched enemies fly further. These two Shards turn Ori into an aerial master, and they turn every enemy into a platform which you can use to bridge otherwise impassable paths.  

4. The Magnet and Sticky Spirit Shards are essential  

For non-combat Spirit Shards, Magnet and Sticky should be your go-tos. Magnet allows Ori to collect health, mana, and light orbs from a distance, and Sticky lets Ori cling to walls. You might be tempted to sacrifice these in exchange for more damage or defense, but trust us, you will miss these abilities the moment they're gone. Ori will slide down walls if you don't have Sticky equipped, and being able to chill on a wall, either to observe the puzzle ahead or wait for the opportune moment to jump, makes platforming much safer. Magnet, meanwhile, is one of those quality-of-life features that shouldn't be underestimated. It will save you health, mana, and experience in the long-run, and it'll make exploration much smoother.  

5. You can change Spirit Shards at any time  

We've laid out some of the best Spirit Shards available to you, but you should always remember that you can change Spirit Shards at any time. You don't need to sit at a checkpoint like you do for the charms in Hollow Knight, for example. So if you come to a Combat Shrine or a boss fight that's kicking your butt, and you know you aren't going to need Sticky or Ultra Grapple or what-have-you in this instance, don't be afraid to throw on more combat Shards just for that fight. You can put on your normal Shards as soon as you're done.  

6. You can upgrade the Spirit Shards you find out in the world  

(Image credit: Moon Studios)

One last Spirit Shards tip. The same merchant that sells Spirit Shards can also upgrade them, and his upgrades aren't limited to the Shards he sells. Whenever you find a Shard out in the world, check and see if it has a plus sign on it in your inventory. If it does, it can be upgraded, so be sure to visit the merchant and level up your favorite Shards. 

7. You can reveal all missing Energy Cells, Life Cells, and Spirit Shards by buying maps  

Perfectionistic collectors won't want to miss a single Energy Cell, Life Cell, or Spirit Shard. Fortunately, like the first game, Ori and the Will of the Wisps makes spot-cleaning easy. A bit deeper into the game, you'll be able to purchase special maps from Lupo at his home in the hub area. He sells three maps: one for Energy Cells, one for Life Cells, and one for Spirit Shards. Purchasing one will show all the collectibles you've yet to snag, which is well worth the price.  

8. There's an upgrade that lets you breathe underwater 

One of the most important abilities in the game is extremely easy to miss. You can unlock the ability to breathe underwater from your normal combat tutor, and as you can imagine, this is a huge deal for water levels. It makes undersea exploration much less stressful and safer, and it's totally worth the light orbs.  

9. Watching time trial spirits will help you master paths 

Whenever you start a time trial, you'll see an overview of the path ahead. But if you're stuck on a particular trial, you can also watch another player complete it just by selecting their name from the online leaderboards and hitting the watch prompt. Not sure how someone managed to run a trial so quickly? Watch them do it, learn from their run, and make their techniques your own. Even if you aren't trying to top the leaderboards, watching someone run a trial will make it much easier for you to beat the default spirit and earn those light orbs.  

10. Portal paths are shown on the map  

(Image credit: Moon Studios)

A few late-game levels use Portal-style light tunnels. When you fall into one tunnel, you shoot out of another light tunnel. The connections between these tunnels aren't always clear, and it's easy to forget what leads where. Luckily, you can confirm where tunnels lead just by looking at your map. This will take the guesswork out of several levels, save you some needless deaths, and maybe reveal a secret or two in the process.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.