For budding witches and wizards, the combat systems in Hogwarts Legacy are simple enough. Learn spells and cast magic that’ll damage enemies, and so on. Thing is, there’s a broad range of spell types each with specific uses that can be tailored into unique witch or wizard builds for any playstyle or combat situation. The possibilities appear endless too, especially when engaging in Hogwarts Legacy’s combo system whereby contrasting spells can be equipped and combined in one ruthless attack. Different spells work best when combined with each other too, with Hogwarts Legacy actively encouraging players to experiment to find the best spell combinations.
Four equippable spell types
In Hogwarts Legacy, budding witches and wizards can learn spells from four different categories to use in battle, each with their own strengths which players can swap and blend to control the flow of combat. The four types, denoted by specific colour, are yellow control spells, used to control or manipulate an enemy’s movements, purple force spells which will force or move a target, red damage spells which are more harmful attacks to defeat an enemy, and grey essential spells which are spells learned to progress Hogwarts Legacy’s story but are still useful in battle. There’re four slots in which players can equip any spells they’ve learned, with a large collection of spells conjuring unique combinations which players can match to the encounter or to suit their playstyle.
Combining spells with basic attacks isn’t only crucial to delivering ever more punishing damage to enemies, but – once mastered – chaining spells and attacks together is fluid and exhilarating. Equipping the perfect blend of learned spells into the four spell slots to combine in battle is ultra-satisfying too. For instance, control spells such as Levioso can hoist and suspend an enemy airborne before combining with Glacius to freeze them in place, leaving them vulnerable to a vicious damage spell such as Confringo which causes targets to explode. Learned spells have cooldown periods, but crucially the spell combo, and thus the flow of battle, won’t be broken if the player continues to fire basic attacks.
This extremely rare form of magic is only available to a select few wizards who’ll need to be able to see traces in order to wield ancient magic’s power. As it happens, Hogwarts Legacy’s protagonist is one of those wizards and as such ancient magic abilities are unlockable for the player. Once the ancient magic meter is filled during gameplay, players can unleash a super powerful spell that deals a huge amount of damage to an enemy. It’s unpredictable too though, with other random effects like causing trolls to smack themselves with their clubs. Most eye catching though is the ancient magic throw which grants ability to grab and launch any random objects dotted around the battlefield – barrels, enemy weapons, or even a troll’s own boulders can be hauled right back at the target. These spells are ultra-powerful, so it’s up to the player to use wisely.
Talents modify spells
Levelling up spells is crucial to gaining the edge in battle, and thankfully Hogwarts Legacy’s talents system provides the tools for wizards to do just that. In Hogwarts Legacy, boosting spells doesn’t just make them more powerful but adds intriguing and powerful effects too. For instance, upgrading the Levioso mastery talent means enemies in the vicinity of a target levitated by Levioso will also be hoisted airwards, whilst the fire spewing Incendio spell’s mastery talent creates a ring of fire around the player with an area of effect that’s great for dealing with multiple hostiles.
Protego and Stupefy
One of the most useful spells in Hogwarts Legacy is Protego. If timed correctly, Protego generates a defensive bubble which shields the player from enemy attacks. Because this defensive manoeuvre is heavily reliant on perfect timing to pull off, it’s super satisfying when mastered. There are, thankfully, a number of prompts provided by the game to indicate best time to deploy Protego, meaning any player can get to grips with this spell too. On easier difficulties, an on-screen QTE-style button prompt will appear, whereas otherwise a yellow circle will appear over the player character to represent the most opportune time to launch Protego. Hold the Protego button down when the Stupefy charm is equipped and players will counter by staggering enemies, leaving them vulnerable to increased damage.
With the sheer number of unique spells and talents that can be equipped in Hogwarts Legacy there’s conceivably numerous approaches and wizard builds to suit every player and playstyle. For instance, there’re a multitude of stealth-type spells and talents to encourage a sneakier style of play. Of course, using invisibility potions is useful to creep up on creatures before capture or to sneak into illicit areas in Hogwarts. This approach can be extended to combat too with the Petrificus Totalus spell which curses enemy bodies to being temporarily paralysed. Furthermore, once the spell knowledge talent is learned, different magic loadouts can be created and swapped out on the fly, allowing wizards to quickly switch to an offensive set of spells if their stealth cover is blown.
New strategies discoverable in the enemy collection menu
Hogwarts Legacy comes with a rolodex of enemies, complete with important information on their strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. The enemy collection menu will highlight the best spells and techniques to utilise to best exploit these weaknesses, whilst visiting the menu can also yield new battle techniques that players might not have come up with themselves such as utilising Protego to block a troll’s boulder before harnessing ancient magic throw to hurl it right back at them.
Hogwarts Legacy doesn’t have a morality system inbuilt into its gameplay loop. However, players can shape the kind of witch or wizard they want to be based on certain quest lines they take or spells they learn. There are, of course, opportunities for those who want it to play as a dark wizard too, and with zero morality system players are free to wield powerful dark arts and unforgivable curses consequence free. This means that, once players are far enough along into Hogwarts Legacy’s narrative, they can opt to discover three unforgiveable curses: Crucio, Imperio, and the killing curse itself, Avada Kedavra. Any wizard wielding these powers should technically find themselves banged up in Azkaban but in Hogwarts Legacy players are free to explore their dark side with impunity.
All the awesome gear that can be equipped throughout Hogwarts Legacy can be upgraded via traits too. These special attributes can boost defensive capabilities from enemy attacks or maximise the damage from certain spells, meaning traits are another option to deeply personalise the feel and playstyle of your witch or wizard. There are 75 traits discoverable throughout Hogwarts Legacy, each split into attack and defensive categories, with enough flexibility to really tailor a wizard’s build.
Ways to dispel enemy barriers
Throughout Hogwarts Legacy, there’ll oftentimes be enemies who’re surrounded by a coloured bubble shield which can only be broken by hitting it with a spell that matches its colour. So, for instance a yellow shield must be dispelled by firing a control spell. As normal magic casts are ineffective against enemy shields, and learned magic casts have cooldown periods associated with them, efficiently removing enemy shield protection is a priority which adds an extra layer of tension and strategy to encounters. Of course, brute forcing an enemy barrier with ancient magic is also an option, but that requires a charged combo meter to unleash.