Hogwarts Legacy – Everything You Need To Know Before You Purchase

Set a century before Harry Potter, the action RPG sees players joining Hogwarts. Here's what you need to know before it's release in February.

Posted By | On 09th, Jan. 2023

Hogwarts Legacy – Everything You Need To Know Before You Purchase

After years in development, Hogwarts Legacy from Portkey Games and Avalanche Software launches on February 10th, 2023, for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC, having recently gone gold. The Xbox One and PS4 versions arrive in April, while the Nintendo Switch version is out in July, but what can current-gen players expect with the magical action RPG? Let’s look at 18 things you should know before jumping in.

Story

Set in the 1890s, about a century before the first Harry Potter book, Hogwarts Legacy focuses on the player character as they enter the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There’s something strange about them, and not just because they enter as a fifth-year student. In addition to holding the key to an “ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart,” they can also use ancient magic. Harnessing this magic, and finding out why it suddenly appeared, is key.

Villains

Of course, they’ll also go up against opposing forces like Victor Rookwood, who leads a group of Dark Wizards, and Ranrok, leader of a Goblin Rebellion. The latter is sick of Goblins being mistreated by the Wizarding World, and you’ll often go up against them throughout the story. As for Rookwood, he might be related to Augustus Rookwood, a Death Eater and follower of Voldemort. The Dark Wizards and Goblins have an “uneasy alliance” of sorts, but we’ve yet to see how this influences the story’s direction. Other threats you’ll encounter include massive Trolls, giant spiders, and even dragons.

Setting and Locations

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts is a pretty large location, with various classrooms, dormitories, and even some dungeons to explore, with many of these new to the series. The areas surrounding the school are also pretty extensive, from the Forbidden Forest to the village of Hogsmeade. It’s massive in scope, from plains and rivers to mountains, and offers different activities and characters to interact with.

Character Creation

There is a suite of options for creating and customizing your character, starting with multiple presets. From there, you can adjust the face shape, skin color, glasses (and their type), hair color, hairstyle, complexion, scars and markings, eye color, eyebrow shape and color, voice, and even choose a dormitory. Finally, you can bring your Harry Potter OC to life (for better or worse).

Houses

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts consists of Four Houses – Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Gryffindor – and the player can choose theirs from the outset. Each House gets a unique dormitory and Common Room, from Slytherin being in the dungeons of Black Lake, Gryfindor in a high tower of the castle, and much more. It adds to the immersion when choosing a House, though earning points for it is out of the player’s control.

Activities

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There is a lot to do in Hogwarts Legacy, from attending classes (which play a part in developing the plot) to completing quests, challenges, and the Wizards Field Guide. You can also brew potions, craft items and gear, grow plants, tame and ride beasts, find collectibles, and engage in Duels. Bonding with NPCs will see them accompanying you and lending a hand, besides offering unique dialogue.

Combat

Hogwarts Legacy

Magic is pretty devastating in Hogwarts Legacy and forms the core of combat. You can equip up to four spells at a time, and they go on cooldown once used. In terms of spells, all the classics are here, like Accio and Levioso, with the latter suspending an enemy in mid-air. You can also deflect with Protego, counter with Stupefy, and more. Basic attacks are also available, helping to combo enemies.

As you progress, you’ll need to break through shields with spells corresponding to that color (like Force spells for purple shields). However, enemies can just as easily break your shield and levitate you for free damage.

Flying

Hogwarts Legacy

It wouldn’t be a game about Hogwarts or wizards without flying. By using brooms, players can fly through the world, dipping through trees and adjusting altitude. There are other options, though. Creatures like the Hippogriff serve as mounts, traversing on the ground or taking to the skies. Certain race challenges and classes require your broom, so brush up on those skills.

No Playable Quidditch

Hogwarts Legacy

Despite broom flying and the presence of each House, there’s no way to play Quidditch. There’s no reason for this, but that doesn’t mean the sport won’t make any appearances in-game. And who knows, it may be added down the line if there’s enough demand and development resources.

Dark Arts

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As one plays through the story, they’ll unlock Dark Arts spells, aka the unforgivable curses. These include Imperio, Crucio, and the forbidden Avada Kedavra. You can even use certain Talents to commit to that path, perhaps hinting at an alternate story path. Perhaps there will be a Dark Arts path to follow and an ending for players to unlock.

Dark Arts Battle Arena

What if you don’t want to go all Voldemort on the general populace? The Dark Arts Battle Arena is for you. One is accessible in the Forbidden Forest and provides all the unforgivable curses in an arena where you battle various enemies and undertake challenges. You can also bring potions and tools from the Room of Requirement to provide a boost. During a recent livestream, the developer confirmed two combat arenas in the base game (which could hint at more coming later). Completing them grants new cosmetics for your character.

Room of Requirement

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The Room of Requirement is famous in the Harry Potter series, appearing when the person has a great need for it and containing exactly what they need. In Hogwarts Legacy, it’s a customizable space for the player, which they can decorate with different objects, grow plants and brew potions (with their respective stations also customizable), and upgrade gear using the Loom. The Loom also helps add Traits to gear, like five percent reduced damage against certain enemies, with upgrades increasing its stats and rarity.

Vivarium

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The Room of Requirement is also home to the Vivarium, where players can care for different beasts like the Graphorn, Niffler, Kneazle, and Mooncalf, which you can also name. Petting and feeding them provides ingredients for customizing and upgrading gear, but it also looks nice to hang out and play with them (with a chest full of toys available). Like the Room, the Vivarium is customizable, whether it’s different structures and vegetation like trees or statues.

PC Requirements

Based on everything we’ve seen thus far, it’s interesting how low the system requirements are on the PC. Minimum requirements include an Intel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 2600, 8 GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56. That is all you need to run the game at 1080p/60 FPS, though it’s Low Quality with the Upscale Performance setting.

The recommended requirements for playing at 1080p/60 FPS at High Quality and with the Upscale Quality setting include a Core i7-8700 or Ryzen 5 3600, 16 GB RAM, and a GTX 1080 Ti or Radeon RX 5700 XT. You’ll need 85 GB in both cases, with a solid-state drive preferred in the minimum requirements and mandatory for the recommended settings.

Graphics Modes

Hogwarts Legacy

On PS5 and Xbox Series X, Hogwarts Legacy offers Fidelity and Performance modes. Avalanche Software and Portkey Games haven’t gone into full detail on the resolution and frame rate for each graphics mode, but there is support for 4K resolution and HDR10, along with faster loading times. Expect more details in the weeks leading up to release.

PlayStation-Exclusive Quest

Hogwarts Legacy

PS4 and PS5 players rejoice – you get an exclusive quest. Set in Hogsmeade, it sees players meeting Madam Mason, who has a shop to sell. However, the shop is haunted (because, of course), and you’ll be fighting threats like animated dolls. The shop looks more like a dungeon in scale, and the quest has extensive cutscenes and dialogue.

DualSense Support

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In addition to an exclusive quest, features on PS5 like Activity Cards and Game Help are supported. The DualSense’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback also come into play, like the triggers providing some resistance based on the spells, or feedback on one side of the controller based on which hand is holding the wand. 3D audio is supported, and the controller’s speaker can play additional sound effects.

No Microtransactions

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Yes, Hogwarts Legacy offers cosmetics as pre-order bonuses and in the Digital Deluxe Edition, along with the PlayStation-exclusive quest. But it doesn’t have any microtransactions. While DLC may be added at some point, you won’t have to pay additional money for cosmetics and whatnot.


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