Ok, so if you're like me, you've been playing (and sometimes waiting) your way through AFK Arena, only to learn there's a lot more to it than there appears on the surface. There's guilds, a PvP arena, and all sorts of other systems and game modes to pay attention to, and–quite frankly–it can be confusing.
Today, I want to demystify one of the more unique game modes in AFK Arena, the Arcane Labyrinth. This is a quasi-roguelite mode where you take the units you've been powering up and try to battle your way through three floors of a dungeon. It just so happens that this dungeon is full of super powerful enemies, amazing loot, and permadeath. If you've been looking around for tips on how to navigate this labyrinth successfully, then look no further! We have everything you need here.
Take your time
As with everything in AFK Arena, good things come to those who wait. When you start the Arcane Labyrinth, you have 48 hours to complete it, and your heroes can grow a lot over that time span.
So, if you're ever working your way through a floor and see a big challenge coming up, it might be worth setting this mode aside for a while to get your team a few more levels under their belt before heading into the fight.
Get the right gear
The biggest game-changer in the Arcane Labyrinth is gear. After each fight you complete, you get to choose one of three random items, all of which can usually give you significant bonuses.
Considering the Arcane Labyrinth features permadeath (in the sense that if a hero falls in battle, you can't use them anymore until the dungeon refresh), prioritizing items that help your units sustain themselves is key. Specifically, look to pick up items like Nosferatu's Fang, which gives your party life leech. If nothing like that is available, think about any shortcomings you might have in your setup and try to acquire items that make up for them.
Exit battles when you’re going to lose
If you're struggling in the Arcane Labyrinth, you don't just have to take the L. There is a way to cheese this mode, at least for now.
When you start a fight and things aren't going well, you can always pause the game and hit the “Exit Battle” button and you'll be dumped back out without having lost any heroes. This won't save you from having to still fight that same battle, but it does let you experiment with team compositions or test your power level out without consequence.
Always be recruiting
The Arcane Labyrinth is mostly battles, but there are some tiles in its dungeons that offer rewards that you don't have to fight for. One of these is the Abandoned Wagon, which gives you the opportunity to recruit new heroes to use on your team.
Although these recruits only stay with you on your current run of the labyrinth, it's almost always a good idea to go for Abandoned Wagons when you see them. This will let you diversify your pool of units at your disposal, which gives you more flexibility in battle. Plus, it gives you plenty of backup heroes to use if you lose any on your way to the top floor.
Avoid the merchants
The non-battle tiles in the Arcane Labyrinth are nice, but there's one in particular that isn't really worth exploring, at least, until you're very far into the game. Every once in a while, a vendor tile may appear on the floor of the dungeon, and they sell discounted gear that you can take out of this mode and use in other parts of the game.
Sounds great, right? I agree, except for the fact that ever piece of gear sold by Arcane Labyrinth merchants must be purchased using diamonds. If you don't understand why this is a dealbreaker, I'll just link you back to our beginner's guide, which explains exactly how you should be using your diamonds.
To be clear, I'm not going to say you should never use these vendors. They could be quite handy for buying mythic gear once you have all the heroes you could possibly want and a surplus of diamonds to burn. But until you get to that point, you're better off avoiding these merchants entirely.