With so many hidden Artifacts that can be collected and activated to enable special modifiers for your runs, you might find yourself a little lost. If that is the case, here is how to unlock every Artifact in Risk of Rain Returns.
Tips for unlocking every Artifact in Risk of Rain Returns
Artifacts are permanent unlockables that add different variables to your runs. Before they can be used, they must be found somewhere in the world. Before you start looking for Artifacts, if you want an easier time, we recommend changing the intensity rules so that you deal more damage and take less.
Most levels in Risk of Rain Returns feature at least three layout variants of the map, and this is very important to keep in mind, because Artifacts are not available on every variant.
If you’re searching for a specific Artifact and your current map doesn’t look similar to our screenshots, you’re probably in the wrong variant. Unfortunately, there isn’t really any way to influence what map variants you get, so just keep replaying levels until you get what you’re looking for.
Lastly, many Artifacts are located in tricky and hard-to-reach sections of the map, usually requiring movement-enhancing abilities and items to get. Items like the Hopoo Feather and the Rusty Jetpack help out a lot.
Now that you know the tricks of Artifact hunting, let us guide you through getting all 14 Artifacts in Risk of Rain Returns.
How to unlock Cognition Artifact
The Artifact of Cognition creates temporary clones of enemies when they’re defeated. The clone can be killed to make it go away faster.
Cognition Artifact location
The Artifact of Cognition is located within the Desolate Forest. Head to the far east edge of the map, and look for the spot in the screenshot below. Stand exactly where the arrow is and climb down to find a hidden cave.
Inside the cave, look to the right to find two buttons on the wall. You have to hit both buttons in quick succession with your abilities. If you’re not fast enough, the buttons reset. Once you hit both of them successfully, the Artifact spawns on the altar.
How to unlock Enigma Artifact
The Artifact of Enigma gives you a random equipment slot item, and it morphs into a different one every time you use it.
Engima Artifact location
The Artifact of Enigma is located in the Sunken Tombs. Head to the southeast section of the map, and look for a seaweed vine that you can climb down. At first glance, it looks like the vine just drops into a pit, but go down anyway and hug the right wall.
There’s actually a geyser that’s hiding off-screen, so keep moving to the right and you should launch back up into the tunnel above. Go to the right to find the Artifact.
How to unlock Distortion Artifact
The Artifact of Distortion randomly locks one of your abilities, rendering it unusable for one minute. While an ability is locked, your other abilities have faster cooldowns. After the minute is up, another ability is locked at random.
Distortion Artifact location
Head to the Damp Caverns, and make your way to the northeast section of the map. If you’re in the right variant of the map, you should come across a platform with a singular vine going down to platform with an altar that looks very similar to a teleporter. Look to the right, and you should see a small floating platform with a gray box on it, topped with purple mushrooms.
You need to make it over to the box, which is probably going to require some movement items and abilities. We managed to make it across by using a Hopoo Feather and the Commando’s dive ability, but there are plenty of other ways too, like using the Loader’s grapple ability.
Once you make it over to the box, use an area of effect ability on it, and the Artifact of Distortion should appear on the altar to the left. Do note that your attack needs to be some sort of area attack, as we couldn’t hit the box with the Commando’s abilities. Equipment might do the trick, as well.
How to unlock Dissonance Artifact
The Artifact of Dissonance makes all enemies in the game spawn. Normally, each level has a specific set of enemies that can appear, but the Artifact of Dissonance allows the game to spawn in any kind, regardless of your current level.
Dissonance Artifact location
The Artifact of Dissonance is broken into four shards, each located on different maps, so it’s going to take multiple runs before you can get this Artifact.
Artifact of Dissonance shard #1
The first shard can be found in Ancient Valley. You can actually see the piece hidden inside the mountainside as soon as you enter the map. Climb up to the top of the mountain, until you reach a large building.
Stand exactly where the red arrow is pointing on our screenshot above, then move down to climb down a hidden rope. The rope should lead you all the way to the Artifact shard.
Artifact of Dissonance shard #2
The second shard is found in Sunken Tombs. Head to the bottom center section of the map to find a vine crawling down into a pit, with a small opening where the shard is. Climb down the vine, then immediately move left and keep moving left as you slide down the wall.
Eventually, you will move into a hidden opening in the wall that leads straight to the shard. Just keep moving left and don’t let go!
Artifact of Dissonance shard #3
The third shard is found in the Hive Cluster map. Head to the north center section of the map and look for the shard piece floating in a small cave.
Drop into the shaft and hug the left wall to go through a hidden opening. The exact location is where the red arrow is pointing in our screenshot above.
Artifact of Dissonance shard #4
The final shard is located in Magma Barracks. Head to the north center section of the map to find multiple narrow holes. Drop into the one indicated in the screenshot, and hold right to walk into a hidden passage.
Keep moving right to fall near where the shard is. Jump across the small gap and watch your timing—if you mess up the jump, you have to climb all the way back up.
How to unlock Honor Artifact
The Artifact of Honor always spawns in enemies as elite versions, making them tougher and deadlier. This Artifact is not for the faint of heart!
Honor Artifact location
The Honor Artifact is located in the Desolate Forest. Head to the west edge of the map, and if you’re in the correct map variant, you should see an alcove with a narrow path going under a waterfall.
If you don’t have the maneuverability to get into the cave yourself, go down a bit to find a geyser that launches you into the air. As soon as you start ascending, move left to reach the edge of the entrance.
Keep in mind that even if you get in this way, you probably need some movement items and abilities in order to traverse the rest of the cave. The first ledge isn’t even climbable without a double jump of some sort, like the Hopoo Feather. Once you’re in the cave, follow it through, and it should lead you down below into a room with the Artifact of Honor.
Note that this Artifact seems to appear on multiple variants of the Desolate Forest. The alternate version of the cave waterfall entrance looks pretty similar, but it leads into a narrow tunnel. Just follow the tunnel to reach the Artifact.
How to unlock Command Artifact
The Artifact of Command lets you choose items. Instead of random item drops, items now come in boxes, sorted by rarity. Opening boxes lets you choose specific items of the corresponding rarity.
Command Artifact location
The Artifact of Command is located in the Hive Cluster. Head to the northeast corner of the map, and climb up the giant pink slime rope. Head to the right to see the Artifact of Command resting near the wall.
You have to jump between the slime ropes to reach the Artifact of Command, but notice that they periodically vanish. The ropes are still there, they’re just invisible, so don’t worry about falling off. Watch the ropes carefully, memorize where they are, and make your way across.
How to unlock Tempus Artifact
The Artifact of Tempus turns all items into temporary items, and they’re worth multiple stacks. This Artifacts favors speedruns, as the faster you go, the more items you can take advantage of.
Tempus Artifact location
Fittingly, you need to be very quick to get the Artifact of Tempus. To be exact, you need to reach the Temple of the Elders, the fifth level of the game, in under 15 minutes for the Artifact to spawn somewhere on the map.
As long as you enter the Temple of the Elders before the 15-minute mark, you should be fine. The Artifact seems to spawn in random locations, so just look around until you find it.
How to unlock Glass Artifact
The Artifact of Glass bumps up your damage to a whopping 500%, but lowers your maximum health to 10%. True to its name, this Artifact turns you into the ultimate glass cannon!
Glass Artifact location
The Artifact of Glass is located within the Ancient Valley. Head to the western section of the map, and look for this conspicuous hole. Go into it to find a secret passage that leads down. By the way, you need movement abilities and items for this, namely Hopoo Feathers and Red Whips.
You will drop into a hidden valley, and your goal here is to hit five small buttons that are scattered throughout the valley. The buttons are on a timer, and you have to hit all five in quick succession to make the Artifact appear. If you’re too slow, you hear an audible click sound, and the buttons reset. Hit any of them to try again.
These buttons are very small, so keep an eye out. When you hit them, they turn red to signify they’re active. You will see the first one as soon as you drop into the valley passageway.
The remaining four are in the actual valley. Here are their exact locations:
Hitting all five buttons in time makes a unique sound, signaling that the Artifact has spawned. Drop into the vertical shaft to reach the Artifact of Glass. If you mess up, do NOT drop into the shaft, as that will require you to go all around the mountainside to get back into the valley.
How to unlock Spirit Artifact
The Artifact of Spirit increases both players’ and enemies’ movement speed when they’re low on health. This Artifact has the ability to hurt and help you, so be careful.
Spirit Artifact location
The Artifact of Spirit is located in the Temple of the Elders. Head to the far east side of the map to find a cliff. Jump off the cliff to find a hidden set of platforms going to the left.
Carefully make your way across this obstacle course to reach the Artifact of Spirit at the end. Needless to say, movement abilities and items help a lot here.
How to unlock Spite Artifact
The Artifact of Spite causes enemies to violently explode when they’re defeated, damaging anything nearby. Be sure to keep your distance if this Artifact is in play.
Spite Artifact location
The Artifact of Spite can be found in the Sky Meadow, one of the potential second levels. Near the center of the map, there’s a hard-to-spot crack in the ground. You can break through the crack using attacks that hit the ground, like the Engineer or HAN-D’s attacks.
Drop into the hole to reach a small platforming section. Make your way across the platforms to find the Artifact of Spite.
How to unlock Kin Artifact
The Artifact of Kin spawns only one enemy type per level when active. If you really like fighting the same enemy over and over again, this is the Artifact for you.
Kin Artifact location
The Artifact of Kin is located in the Dried Lake. Head over to the far east section of the map to find this cracked wall. Attack it to break through.
You will find yourself inside a small chamber with the Artifact altar, but no Artifact. You need to hit the three buttons scattered around the chamber, just like the Artifact of Glass. These buttons are also timed, so hit them in quick succession to make the Artifact appear. Here is where you can find all three buttons.
The timer on these buttons is even faster than the ones in the Artifact of Glass chamber, so you have to move quick. Use your movement abilities and attacks to help you get the job done.
How to unlock Sacrifice Artifact
The Artifact of Sacrifice removes chests from the game, and makes enemies drop items when you defeat them.
Sacrifice Artifact location
The Artifact of Sacrifice is located in the Magma Barracks. You need to hit three buttons, but they’re all located behind walls. That means you need an ability that can either pierce through objects or use AoE abilities, such as HAN-D’s hammer, Huntress’ cluster bombs, and so forth.
The first button is near the center of the map, below a pool of lava.
Go west and a little bit south from the first button to find the second button.
The final button is located in the northwest corner of the map. You will need some movement abilities and items to climb up the walls.
Thankfully, unlike the other button puzzles, this one isn’t timed, so you can take as much time as you need. Once you activate all three buttons, head to the southwest corner of the map to find the Artifact of Sacrifice.
How to unlock Prestige Artifact
The Artifact of Prestige guarantees at least one Shrine of the Mountain to spawn per level. Additionally, Shrine of the Mountain effects now persist between levels.
Prestige Artifact location
After defeating Providence and beat the game for the first time, you unlock a challenge mode called Providence Trials. These trials are challenging scenarios that require a lot of skill to beat, and your performance is graded, with gold ranks being the best grade.
Unlocking the Artifact of Prestige requires you to get at least 15 gold ranks on the Providence Trials. It doesn’t matter which trials, you just need to accumulate 15 gold ranks in total.
How to unlock Origin Artifact
The Artifact of Origin spawns powerful imp enemies periodically.
Origin Artifact location
Once you have unlocked every other Artifact, you must enable them all and defeat Providence, the final boss of the game. After you deal the finishing blow to Providence, the Artifact of Origin spawns near the UES Contact Light’s controls. Don’t forget to pick it up before initiating the ending.
Congratulations, you’ve officially unlocked all 14 Artifacts in Risk of Rain Returns! You can now spice up your future runs with all kinds of modifiers. If you have any other questions about the Artifacts, let us know in the comments below.
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