Hogwarts Legacy title screen

Image source: Portkey Games

Harry Potter fans have waited years for a quality RPG set in the beloved universe, and Hogwarts Legacy certainly delivers. Nintendo Switch fans have waited even longer! Finally, the quintessential wizarding experience is available on all platforms, replete with deep role-playing mechanics and a vibrant open world brimming with places to explore and quests to complete. It’s so vast, actually, that it can be a little overwhelming. So, we’re providing a rundown of what you should do first, from classes and quests to items and gear. Think of this as a Hogwarts Legacy beginner handbook of tips and tricks to help you on your way.

Hogwarts Legacy is set in the late 1800s, a period significantly before the events of the renowned Harry Potter series. You’ll assume the role of a gifted 5th-year student at Hogwarts, entrusted with uncovering an ancient secret that holds the potential to unveil the hidden truths of the wizarding world.

Along your adventure, you’ll come across a plethora of missions, side quests, puzzles, and magic to discover across its enormous open world map. Speaking of which, don’t forget to bookmark our handy interactive map page that shows all the various points of interest, quests, challenges, and everything else to be found.

Choosing Your House

Hogwarts Legacy beginners will enjoy the sorting hat

The Hogwarts house you select plays a pivotal role in shaping your Hogwarts Legacy experience. Each house comes with distinctive traits, unique dialogues, common rooms, and a special quest leading up to your meeting with Richard Jackdaw.

During the Sorting Hat ceremony, you’ll be asked a question related to the traits of the four houses: Gryffindor (Bravery), Ravenclaw (Curiosity), Hufflepuff (Loyalty), and Slytherin (Ambition). Regardless of the Sorting Hat’s suggestion, you have the freedom to choose your preferred house so don’t worry too much about the questions. The sorting hat stuff is all about simply enjoying the role-playing experience.

Understanding Spells & Gear

Our Hogwarts Legacy starter guide highlights the best spells in the early game

As you’d expect, magic forms the essence of Hogwarts Legacy, with over 29 unique spells and charms at your disposal. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock various spells that can be used for different purposes, ranging from causing damage to enemies to solving puzzles.

Don’t forget to read our guide on wand cores and which to choose. Or how to get a broom, for that matter.

Here’s what we think are the best 8 spells to learn first in the game:

  1. Alohomora: Essential for unlocking doors and chests, allowing access to new areas and items. Full walkthrough on how to get it here.
  2. Revelio: Reveals hidden objects and is vital for uncovering secrets and collecting gear.
  3. Wingardium Leviosa: Famous for levitating objects, it aids in puzzle-solving and exploration.
  4. Reparo: Repairs almost anything, useful for accessing new areas and solving puzzles.
  5. Expelliarmus: Disarms enemies and causes minor damage, offering a strategic advantage in battles.
  6. Petrificus Totalus: Temporarily immobilizes targets, effective in and out of combat.
  7. Disillusionment: Acts like an invisibility cloak, enabling stealthy movements and access to restricted areas.
  8. Imperio: Turns enemies into temporary allies, changing the dynamics of battles.

To complement your magical prowess, you’ll need to equip high-quality gear. This gear can be found scattered throughout the game or purchased from stores. Each gear piece enhances your offense and defense stats, making it essential to regularly check your inventory and ensure you’re equipped with the best gear.

Mastering Talents

Talents in Hogwarts Legacy are akin to spell enhancements. Every time you level up, you earn Talent Points which can be used to unlock talents from five different categories: Spells, Dark Arts, Core, Stealth, and Room of Requirement. These talents play a crucial role in boosting your abilities and customizing your gameplay experience.

The Talent menu becomes accessible after a specific quest involving the ghost of Richard Jackdaw and the portrait of Professor Rackham.

Important early talents to learn include Spell Wheel Talents, which add extra spell hotkeys, and the Wiggenweld Potion talent, boosting the potion’s healing effect. These talents improve character functionality and combat efficiency. For combat, go for Talents like targeting multiple enemies with Accio or increasing hit targets with Diffindo. Stealth talents, beneficial for sneaky gameplay, include abilities like sprinting while sneaking and gaining more galleons from eye chests.

For Hogwarts Legacy beginners interested in dark magic, there are talents to enhance offensive and crowd-control spells, including the Unforgivable Curses. The Room of Requirement talents improve potion effectiveness and plant growth for combat use, such as duplicating the Chinese Chomping Cabbage.

Beating Challenges

beat challenges if you're a Hogwarts Legacy beginner

Challenges offer a unique way to earn rewards in Hogwarts Legacy. They are categorized into Combat, Quests, Exploration, Field Guide Pages, and Room of Requirement. Each challenge tier offers distinct rewards, including gear transmogs, upgrades, recipes, inventory slots, and more. Remember to manually claim your rewards to reap their benefits. Below you can read a more detailed breakdown of each Challenge. For Hogwarts Legacy beginners, we recommend putting a priority on Field Guide Challenges in the early game. They’re good for earning easy XP and getting you ahead:

  • Combat Challenges: Involve dueling, defeating various enemies, and performing specific spell combinations. Rewards include gear trait recipes and unique items like the Dragonhide Protector’s Cloak and Avenging masks.
  • Quest Challenges: Require completing main, side, and relationship quests, as well as assignments from professors. Rewards include various clothing items like the Legendary gloves and Lucky Leprechaun ensemble.
  • Exploration Challenges: Focus on exploring the game’s map, including collecting Ancient Magic traces, popping balloons, locating landing platforms, and completing Merlin Trials. Rewards include increased gear storage and special brooms like the Night Dancer.
  • Field Guide Pages Challenges: Involve collecting pages in different areas like Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, and the Highlands. Rewards include themed apparel like the Zonko’s Chief Prankster and Hogwarts Regalia sets.
  • Room of Requirement Challenges: Center around activities within the Room of Requirement, like rescuing beasts, breeding unique beasts, and upgrading gear. Rewards include spellcrafts like the Billywig Hive and Ancient Magic gear trait recipes.

Again, Field Guide Pages are the hot ticket in the early game. These pages, found all over Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and the Highlands open world, contribute to your Hogwarts Field Guide. They are categorized into Collection Pages, Moth Frame Paintings, Flying Pages, Orb Statues, and Dragon Braziers, each requiring a specific spell to reveal.

Don’t Skip Side Quests & Activities

Side quests are an integral part of Hogwarts Legacy, unlocking new spells and charms. In addition, side activities such as Broom Racing Events and Crossed Wands Dueling Club are crucial for learning optimal spell combinations and unlocking broom upgrades. Prioritizing these activities and quests as they become available is highly recommended.

Here are five side quests you should do as soon as possible:

  1. The Ghost of Our Love: Initiated after finding a map, this quest involves following candles to a destination. Rewards include XP, Galleons, and the Treasure-Seeker’s Scarf.
  2. Well Well Well: Discovered southeast of Aranshire, players interact with a magical well, leading them to secret loot and rewarding XP, Gold, and a Treasure-Seeker’s Bicorne Hat.
  3. The Man Behind The Moon: Involves finding 30 Demiguise statues across the map, enabling players to upgrade the Alohomora spell for higher-level lockpicking.
  4. In The Shadow of Time: Part of Sebastian’s quest line, this quest unlocks the Imperio curse, allowing players to control enemies’ minds in combat.
  5. In The Shadow of The Study: Another quest in Sebastian’s series, it unlocks the Crucio curse for inflicting intense pain and prolonged damage on enemies.

Collection Chests & Puzzle Doors

don't skip door puzzles as a Hogwarts Legacy beginner

Hogwarts Legacy is filled with chests and containers, each containing unique rewards. Collection Chests, in particular, contain random wand-handle cosmetics or conjuration recipes. These chests are scattered throughout Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade, and the Highlands open world.

Solving the door puzzles involves assigning numbers from 0 to 9 to the creatures positioned around the door, in a left-to-right sequence. This numbering system enables you to solve the two arithmetic problems displayed on the door. You can then input the missing values into the interactable mechanisms to complete the puzzle.

Shopping and Vendors

Hogwarts legacy pro tip: don't waste money at shops

As you explore Hogsmeade and The Highlands, you’ll encounter various shops and vendors selling valuable items and services. These include Ollivanders for wands, Tomes and Scrolls for Conjuration Recipes, Spintwitches Sporting Needs for broom upgrades, and Dogsweed and Deathcap for plants and seeds.

Just keep in mind that there’s not much point in going crazy buying items in the early game. Most of the items and tools you need to progress can be found — either as loot in chests or dropped by enemies. For example, Seed Packets are unnecessary since you can reuse seeds from grown plants; new Brooms are only cosmetic upgrades and aren’t needed to upgrade their ability; clothing can be found across the map in abundance; potions are better crafted than purchased, etc.

You can actually get your own shop in Hogsmeade, but it’s a PlayStation-exclusive quest until early 2024.

Increase Inventory by Doing Merlin Trials

When you start Hogwarts Legacy, you have 20 gear slots. As you progress and collect more gear, these slots might quickly fill up so it’s recommended to increase your gear inventory slots. This means finding and completing Merlin Trials across the map.

There are 85 Merlin Trials, but they essentially boil down to 9 variations of puzzles, often involving magic for solutions. These trials can be found all over the game’s map and require Mallowsweet in the inventory to activate.

Players unlock Merlin Trials after completing a quest from Nora Treadwell, who can be found near Hogsfield following the completion of Natty’s “The Girl from Uagadou” quest. Her mission, aptly named “Trials of Merlin,” is straightforward to locate. Once unlocked, players can start the trials wherever they find them, thereby gaining more gear slots.

To effectively tackle these trials, players should have access to broomsticks or mounts, as trials are spread across the map and are often in hard-to-reach places. The trials are indicated by leaf icons on the map and stone circles on the ground. A variety of spells, including Basic Cast, Depulso, Accio, Confringo, Incendio, Lumio, Reparo, and Flipendo, are needed to solve these trials. The solutions are always near the marker and highlighted in blue when Revelio is cast, guiding players on what to interact with. However, having the right spell is key to solving the trials, so players might need to acquire certain spells before being able to complete specific trials.

Hogwarts Legacy Beginner F.A.Qs

  • Q. What Date is Hogwarts Set?
    • A. The game is set in the 1800s, long before the events of the Harry Potter books.
  • Q. Is There Romance in the game?
    • No, there are no romance options in the game. You will have opportunities to befriend NPCs and build unique relationships, but there are no romantic options.
  • Q. How do You Get on a Broom?
    • Open the Tool Wheel holding down Tab (PC) / L1 (PS) / LB (Xbox)
      • Mount your broom by pressing 3 (PC) / O (PS) / B (Xbox)
  • Q. Can you become an Animagus in Hogwarts Legacy?
    • No, you can not make your character become an Animagus in Hogwarts Legacy.

So there you have it, our definitive Hogwarts Legacy beginners guide for those just starting out. Hopefully, this has proved useful. Be sure to check out all the links we’ve embedded here to more complex guide topics for the game, as well as quality-of-life improvements like adjusting the camera angle.