SilverSliver's Guide to Ivan

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This article is a work in progress by SilverSliver. Please contact on forums if problems arise

Spoiler Warning: This page contains spoilers which may affect your IVAN experience negatively

Seriously, MASSIVE spoilers ahead. It would in your best interests only to read this when you reach a point where despite your best efforts, you cannot win. I did not spend hours writing this to ruin your IVAN experience before you began, I wrote it to enhance your current one with tips and general knowledge that I hope you might not know. Please, click away if you're new.

Still here? Alright, let's begin.

Many, many years after the creation IVAN, I have decided as to also add my 2 cents on the topic of how to progress through Ivan. Despite me being generally new around the community, I believe even the best of players can learn something from this. It also will be a compilation of several pages of other work, so if you're ever feeling too lazy to search up a specific page, you can take a look here. This is meant to be a generalist guide detailing my opinions on literally everything and tips/trick for progressing through stages. I will go through each topic with its corresponding subtopics, then add a unhelpful TL;DR for lazy people. This guide doesn't not contain save scumming and code modification, which I don't bother to link as it completely takes the fun out of the game (I consider exploits are addressed like this: If the devs knew about it, would they allow it?)

Many of these general tips are applicable through all versions. Remember, wiz mode is great for testing out all your odd ideas (note that wiz mode in later version may allow some rules that aren't possible normally, such as negating intelligence requirements for changing materials or cloning certain scrolls, so do be careful). There are other interesting but mostly useless tips labeled as Source Code Facts:, which hopefully teach people some things they don't know (and gives more reason to pore through this massive document hehe). Oh yeah, speaking of tips, a certain cerise Australian mammal would like remind everyone that in newer versions, the F1 key (located in the top left of the screen), provides a lot of helpful information, especially if you are new to a feature. You can use it at various moments to view detailed explanations.

Enjoy ;p (and mind the humor, I don't mind)


Literal Keys

Though many people may simply not mention them because of how simple they are and that they can be accessed simply by clicking the '?' button, I feel that certain keys need to be mentioned because not having the knowledge about one important one can hurt a run a lot.

Also, you can view most if not all of them here: Commands. I just tried to put some details in mine.

That said, let's go through the most important keys. These are the keys that's function might be unknown, or have some useful aspects that aren't commonly known/are often forgotten. They are organized in the same order as the keyboard layout descriptions in the game.

*Please message me in the forums If I get any key wrong, or I missed some vastly game changing key*

Home and End (Located in the top right corner of the keyboard), Page Up and Page Down (Located in the bottom right corner of the keyboard): These keys allow you to move diagonally. Homes moves you up and left, End moves you down and left, Page Up is up and right, and Page Down is down and right. Importantly, it's counted as a single move. Even more importantly, it allows you to interact with otherwise non-interactable objects, most notably being 2 of Haathbar's bookshelf. MOST IMPORTANTLY, and I cannot stress this enough because it makes your run so much safer, being at a diagonal greatly decreases damage from certain entities, including trapped door explosions, zaps from Wand of Fireballs and Wand of Lightning, and the Enner Beast scream.

Source Code Fact: Alternatively, you can use the keys 789uiojkl keys for movement (the directions being rather easy to figure out), which is good if you want to have all your movement in a single area. On a larger keyboard, the numpad can also be used for movement.

.: Wait. Similar to 's'earch, but takes a turn rather than a tick. Could be useful, but rather niche use. Still, scroll down to look at the 's'earch button to see how useful it is.

g: Go. Allows a player to quickly traverse terrain. I suppose if you want to speedrun IVAN, this is the key to keep track of. The way it works is after pressing g, you can choose a direction (including diagonals!) to continuously run in until you

>See a hostile enemy of any kind

>Discover a trap

>Reach a corner in which there is another possible path to take that leads in another direction.

>Hit a wall or an immovable object

These make sure that you won't take dumb damage while running, but be careful, as using 'g' too much will often lead to running unintentionally into traps or get the player too close to potentially lethal enemies. If you have ESP, use it to the fullest before you run ahead.

d: Drop. Self-explanatory, should be frequently used later on to not be burden or stressed. It is also good to leave your important scrolls and some backup wands in other floors so they won't go up in flames at the first trap you meet.

t: Throw. Throw an item. Very strong if you have plenty of weapons to throw, particularly daggers and short swords early game, and poisons and magical weapons late game. Throwing ability is based on arm strength though, so don't expect that adamantium halberd to go too far. Throwing wands will also often break them.

a: Apply. The game's interaction with wands, tools, and certain miscellaneous items (chests, traps, and keys). With wands, 'a' will not zap a wand and instead break, releasing all their stored energy onto the user, namely you. This is most useful for the wand of teleportation, but is also applicable with the wand of cloning and mirroring. Careful with offensive wands and prepare good resistance or good armor, as they hit you the hardest in their explosion radius. Apply can also be used with traps to activate them on the spot you are standing on. Do not activate a backpack of gunpowder without a very good reason, as it will instantly detonate on you. Can use with magical items or keys to activate their abilities or open chests and doors, respectively. Finally, use 'A' (capitalized) to repeat the last 'a'pply action, which can save time.

z: Zap, use a wand in a certain direction. Most common form of wand use.

r: Read. Uses scrolls, just so you know.

e: Eat. See nutrition

D: Drink. Consumes liquids. Some food that seem like you eat them are actually liquids, such as chicken soup and pea soup, so you might have a bit more food than you think.

C: Chat. What is used to sci-talk with various entities, but also to find some interesting lore. Holding down 'C' will let you chat to the entity you previously talked to, as long as they are still in the 1 block radius, very good for when surrounded by multiple creatures.

T: Taste. In a similar fashion to dip, taste allows you to consume only a small portion of one container. This makes potions of healing several times more effective especially in the early game, but later on when your health increases with your Endurance, drinking the whole potion is fine.

!: Dip. A supremely useful tool that enables a player to transfer liquids from one container to another. Given that cans cannot break, it's a prime target for moving healing liquids into. On the other hand, dousing flames requires only a tiny bit of liquid, so moving liquids to vials to cover your flaming scrolls in is sufficient to quickly extinguish the flames while saving much liquid.

c: Close. Closes doors. More useful that one would think, as only closed doors can be locked. Good for fleeing and gaining time. Many early game enemies will lose track of you if you r'u'n around a corner and close a door behind you.

s: Search. Top tier key that makes the player check their surroundings (a one block radius) for traps. The trap checking, while useful, is not the main benefit from searching, but instead the singular tick a search takes. For reference, IVAN is split into turns, with each turn having 10 ticks. Every entity in the game can only move so many ticks per turn, which is improved by agility. Since entities usually move at the same tick each turn, This can be somewhat exploited by the search key, as staying slightly far enough enables players to stay just out of range, search til an enemy moves in, attack them, and run to the next block. This method, known as kiting, is enough to kill most enemies in the game with enough time, though it falter against spellcasters or a certain queen.

l: look (with a lowercase l). Also self-explanatory, but people need to do it more. If you have the whole map unlocked, instead of running around looking for the way up or down, just look to remember places you've been to before, saving time and energy, literally. You can also see enemy equipment to make decisions about before fights by 'l'ooking at them and using certain keys, or what items are on a faraway block that you can see.

I: issue commands (with a capital i). Very useful and instantaneous command that enables a player to order allies around. The functions of who to command are relatively self-explanatory, but you can make allies run away, stop following you, prevent them from changing equipment, and enable them to consume valuable items. With proper managing of your team, you can effectively move your allies around to better synchronize their attacks.

O: Offer. When standing on an alter, you can offer items to the god of that alter. Better items make gods happier, or items associated with them (like lanterns for Legifer, very useful). You can see who is associated with what in List of Material Values

p: See gods sections.

h: Rest. Allows the player to heal up while staying in one place, very fast. Still takes in game time though. Also note that a player heals twice as fast on a couch and a whooping five times as fast on a bed.

k: Kick. Kicks stuff. While the damage from kicks falls off very quickly as the game continues due to the lack of damage, kicks can be used to knock enemies back in desperate situations, bust open locked doors (be careful that they aren't trapped), and open locked chests. If you have the strength to kick a chest at least a block, you can kick the chest up to and then against the wall, which greatly increases the changes of breaking the lock. This is particularly useful for the meteoric steel chest in the not so secret secret room.

V: Vomit. Removes some nutrients from your body in the form of a short range projectile vomit. Does poison enemies, but don't use this as a weapon unless you're at death's door with no options. Vomiting is mainly for getting rid of tape worms that can infest your body when you eat rotten food.

Figurative Keys

Haha, so I really didn't think this one out, and since keys can be literally defined as the 'key'board keys and the shaped keys, I've decided to just make another small section here, calling them figurative keys (despite being literal)

Common Keys

Along your journey, you may find Circular, Square, or Triangular shaped keys on the ground or in shops. They weigh little, so it doesn't hurt to pick them up. Their purpose is straightforward, being able to lock and unlock their corresponding locks, which come handy in two main scenarios. If you come across a locked door, unlocking them first with a key is much safer and prevent possible explosions that set your precious scrolls on fire. On the other hand, they also can be used to lock chests, making your wands much safer (at least when stored), your food hidden away from the hungry hungry hip- monsters, and your scrolls just a little more protected. See miscellaneous for more.

Uncommon Keys

Ironically, although these keys are rarer, unlike the common keys, they are guaranteed to spawn in a game, but end up being much harder to get because of how strong their wielders are.

Hexagonal and Octagonal Shaped Key:

These two specials keys may not be very helpful in opening normal dungeon doors, but instead provide much help in unlocking certain helpful items and areas. The hexagonal key can be used for all doors in the cathedral, which may help if you wish to start a rebellion. The octagonal key is more useful, being able to unlock the door to the infamous mage room and some certain certain hidden chests. In older versions, the keys can be found on Sir Haedlac Galladon VII and Ischaldirh respectively, which is kind of a yikes, but now they can be found much more easily in the cathedral in the possession of Moonrise Stealing Dark, who still provides a challenge, but much less so.

Heart Shaped Key: A rather obscure key located in the basement of Aslona in the inventory of a trapped angel. Is not used for anything important, and a hexagonal key is required to gain access to Aslona's basement unless you wish to anger Aslona by breaking down the door.

The Skeleton Key

If you end up lucky enough, you might find a glowing key with the shape of a skull on a dungeon floor. The skeleton key, as it's called, can open any lock mentioned above, even broken locks that not other key can open cannot. While this seems obvious enough from the name, it is important to note 2 things:

1. If you have the other types of keys, you can sell the Skeleton key for an amazing price, but the skeleton key is unbreakable while the others aren't

2. Never wish for the skeleton key, you'll get fish bones.


Weapons are an invaluable component in IVAN, dictating how much damage you are able to do to your enemies (unless for some reason you want to smack people with a frog head or wield 2 shields). That said, there is no single superior item, but certain items are better than others, and this section will dictate various weapon's pro and cons over the course of the game, and an artifact section with my personal opinion on weapons. The way I have grouped these is based on each weapon type's overall gameplay, and whether they can serve as late game items or not. This section will not take material quality into perspective, so it's up to you whether an octiron dagger is better than a pig iron sword, but otherwise will provide information on the weapon efficiency itself, in alphabetical order no less. The weapon descriptions will talk about wieldiness, roundness (how good an object is at blocking), and damage.

I am also considering letting other players from the wiki write their opinions on weapon, giving a more balanced perspective.

Read the page on Weapons for sure, it provides some tips that I might not have included here!

Alternative Weapons

An interesting little tidbit in this game is that you don't necessarily have to use your fists if you have no weapons. The two items below can serve as surprisingly decent stats training items.

Cloaks: Their incredibly high weight and roundness help to train arm strength while being very easy to block with.

Banana peels: Their incredibly low weight and whip category make training dexterity top tier.

Fallout Weapons

No weapon here is outright bad, but the farther you get into the game, their value trails off with better weapon availabilities.


A simple stat based weapon that unfortunately doesn't provide enough possible benefits. Axes are commonly made of metallic materials that can be hardened without too much difficulty to decent materials through scrolls or Loricatus. They are heavy, around 2000 grams, but have good early game attack that really help out. Low roundness doesn't help much with blocking though.


Bigger axes that aren't necessarily better. Lighter materials can be wielded uncomfortably in one hand, and the roundness is much better due to its size (about double), but the overall damage dealt is lower due to low accuracy and heaviness. This can be mitigated through enchantments, but there are better weapons to enchant.

Beast Claws:

Beast Claws almost makes me want to take my overshadowing statement back. It is better than using your fists, but it's better to get one of the alternative weapons to train with. Beast claws always spawn in pairs, with one going on each hand. They train the unarmed skill, used by no other weapon, have low stats even when made of valpurium (2-5 damage per claw). This is the type of weapon to use if you have absolutely nothing else.


A deceptive weapon. Their very small size allows many accurate attacks at the price of low damage. Their low roundness is countered by their maneuverability, making their blocking capabilities decent. They even usually come with enchantments to further improve their damage and accuracy. However, the later a player gets in a game, the damage of daggers falls far under other weapons, even when highly enchanted, and since they start so accurate, don't gain as much with further enchantments.


The jack of no trades, master of forges. Hammers are generally pointless weapons that are often ditched for an axe or an enchanted dagger. They are more round than daggers with slightly more damage (think 1-4 instead of 1-3), but blocking is bad nonetheless. Their main use is to be better for crafting and forging than some other weapons.

Non-magical Whips:

They come in either a completely normal variety or are runed, which increases their total damage without an enchantment. In older version of the game, whips could not break, making them overpowered when coated with poison or sulfuric acid, but now with low level material whips, break easily. They are too strong to train agility with, yet too weak to serve as good weapons without good materials. Technically they serve as fine weapons when highly enchanted, but the allure of a magic whip greatly overshadows normal whips.


Pick-axes should be used purely for digging with the exception of the artifact pick-axe mentioned below. They are heavy and hard to maneuver with low damage, and breaking a pick-axe prevents its many possible uses.


Similar to polearms, quarterstaffs are big chunks of usually wood meant to be wielded with 2 hands. Their size leads to very good blocking at decent maneuverability, but quickly fall off in their wooden forms from a lack of damage. However, if you are lucky enough to get quarterstaffs made of arcanite or other light, good quality materials, they can serve as a mid weapon, becoming surprising dexterous.


The worse short swords. Their lightness takes off a bit of damage in compensation for their better defending ability, but that lost damage hurts them a lot. They do have a 50% damage bonus to plants, but since most enemies are not plants (wait, they aren't????), are often outclassed.


Spears are alright damage on a stick. They have good roundness, but are too heavy for most early game players, forcing them to 2 handed weapons. When a player is strong enough to use just one hand for them, they become outclassed by other weapons.


Sure, wielding a scythe is cool. They have high roundness and alright damage, and their magical versions off terror (fearing enemies) and corroding (more easily destroying armors) aren't half bad (in fact, scythe of corroding is the closest weapon to mid tier). But, they are simply to unwieldy to use while providing low damage compared to other unwieldy weapons, and the magical variants are incredibly rare. At least they have a 50% damage bonus to plants, which helps in UT03.


Bigger hammers that are necessarily better. War hammers are larger, rounder, and more damaging hamemrs, and can be wielded relatively comfortable in one hand. The only reason they fall off is due to the lack of magical weapons and artifacts in their category.

Mid Weapons

The starting weapons you can carry for a long time if you don't find anything shockingly good. Many can and should be enchanted to +5 before you have found an end game weapon. This is the section where if you ended a game with these weapons, they are good, but could be better. These weapons don't necessarily have to be the ones you carry, but can also be the additional weapons that can be thrown or utilized in unique ways.


Maces are just a simple weapon that can be wielded uncomfortably in one hand with common materials (think iron and meteoric steel, not adamantium). Their high roundness combats their low attack speed, and are generally just a well rounded, balanced weapon.

Magical Axes:

There are 3 axes that fall into the magical category, all providing additional beneficial effects outside of their base damage. Funnily enough, these weapons are far more dangerous in an enemy's hands rather then yours.

The axe of sharpness: Will sometimes deal extra damage to an enemy, very beneficial if you have to go through long fights. Will also immediately sever limbs if the axe damages them, which is highly beneficial early game, but can fall off later on as enemies' dexterity dodge limb shots or don't require limbs. Avoid close combat with enemies carrying this. Are arguably the best throwing weapon when cloned in mass production, and can be used to derail an enemies' plans.

The chilling axe: Will sometimes slow an enemy, very beneficial late game, but damage falls off with several alternative method of slow. On the other hand, enemies getting this can be a lethal threat.

The dark axe: Will sometimes cover itself with liquid darkness, which drains the stats of the enemies it hits. The stat loss may seem nominal, but are very good for either hit and run strategies. On the other hand, any enemy equipped with it becomes a major pain because of permanent stat loss.

Magical Short swords:

There are also 3 shorts swords that fall into the magical category.

Banshee sickle: A sickle that occasionally does unblockable sound damage, much like a flaming sword. Slightly inferior due to the lower stats.

Dagger of venom: A dagger that covers itself in poison, good throwing weapon, but can cause daggers made of metal to easily rust.

Weeping blade: Dagger of venom's cooler cousin. A short sword that covers itself in sulfuric acid. Despite the low damage, the sulfuric acid is a very lethal weapon, and is arguably the best throwing weapon when cloned.

Non-magical long Swords and bastard swords:

Unlike hammers, swords are the real jack of all trades, balancing attack and maneuverability. Larger swords such as the bastard sword or come with more damage at the cost of higher weight, which can be offset with higher arm strength. Basically just an all rounder weapon, being the closest to potentially end game weapons.


Very comparable to halberds, except they fall into the sword section. However, due to their high prime material density, even when changed to light materials, they still weight much, causing them to be slightly inferior, but can be offset with high arm strength just like halberds.

Short Swords:

I should start by saying that I am very hesitantly putting short swords in the mid section. Truthfully short swords are a sort of trap that people fall into thinking that a light, strong, and fast weapon is the superior long term option. They are, kinda, but their damage greatly falls of in comparison to larger weapons, and they won't train arm strength much either, causing the player to fall further behind. If you must use short words, it would be best to use large weapons first to train arm strength and switch later to maximize dexterity.

Staff of wondrous smells:

Smells good for you, smells bad for them. Wondrous smells can do to things when fighting, spawn red clouds, which give negative effects, on enemies, or spawn blue clowns, which give positive effects, on you. This can heavily turn the tides of battle over the long run. However, they can backfire if you are pushed back, as the clouds are impartial and can both benefit enemies or hurt you. The staffs are also quite heavy anyways.


A polearm with much more versatility, also holding the power of a wand of striking that can be 'z'apped, more useful than both because a Taiaha won't release its energy on you when broken. Taiaha damage is subpar to other options, but they should always be carried for the striking charges that can save lives or blow up kamikaze dwarves.

Thunder Hammer:

A unique hammer that mimics the power of a wand of thunder. I say mimic because the hammer cannot be 'z'apped, but instead only proc randomly when attacking an enemy. This can be taken advantage of with the proper setting, especially knowing that a thunder hammer has infinite uses, but it cannot blow backpacks up, instead being able to destroy walls. The damage is low without the aid of thunder, so it's not a suitable long-term option, and the resulting thunder can bounce back and hit you, commonly in the groin.

High Tier Weapons

The good stuff. There is no shame if you don't finish your run chalk full of artifacts if you can land one of these weapons, because they are strong enough to be considered psuedo-artifacts. These weapons might start out weak, but with enchantments and enhancements to better materials, can turn the player into a powerhouse.

Chameleon Whip:

Wait, if whips are fallout weapons, why is there a whip in the high tier category? It's because the magical abilities they hold. The chameleon whip has the chance to polymorph most enemies it hits. Although this is initially considered a weapon to avoid despite its high stats (usually 3-6 when made of ommel hair), the value of turning a pesky veteran dark knight into a harmless spider in invaluable. When made into golden eagle feather, it packs a serious punch that can hit enemies multiple times before they have a chance to strike back. The incredible lightness helps blocking capabilities as well. Can be cloned too, theoretically doubling the chances of polymorphing your enemy when dual wielded.

Flaming Sword:

A jack of all trades sword-except it's on fire. What's not to like? Not only does it serve as a permanent light source, the sword will also burn enemies on contact, providing one of the few sources of unblockable, hardly resistible damage in the game. The roundness and the lightness are strong together, and they can easily be wielded in one hand, and since they aren't artifacts, can be cloned, meaning you only have to focus on one, then make another rocking flaming valpurium sword+10 (wait...)


Halberds are stronk despite their lack of magical variants. Their sole ability is high damage and roundness at the cost of extreme heaviness and low attack speed. Halberds provide very good damage on average while allowing the player to train their arm strength hard. However, most are far too heavy to use with one hand until arm strength in the 40-50s, but with socm to higher level materials, become far more manageable due to their secondary materials usually being a lightweight wood. Their pure power and highest damage overall of a weapon are a consistent threat.

Rune Sword:

A sword that does 0-1 damage on hit. Has no magical ability except that a scroll of enchant weapon will always work on it. That's it, but this has to infinite potential. With enough cloning of scrolls, the rune sword can become stronger than the justifier. However, use a bit of caution when pumping its level, as going to high will usually cause even the weakest of enemies to one shot you through any armor (see danger level for more). Getting the sword to around +50 or at most +60 is best. Also unfortunately cannot be cloned.

Whip of Thievery:

Another casual whip with an incredible magical benefits. The whip of thievery, though it starts worse than the chameleon whip due to being made of nymph hair and being very fragile, has the ability to have a chance to steal an enemy's weapon. This is very powerful, as many late game enemies fully rely on their weapons to deal damage, and several named entities only have one weapon. Ur-khan? More like Ur-Gone. Golgher Dhan? more like Lolgher dhan. Petrus? More like... still a big threat with Attnam's backing, but you get the point. Even removing a singular weapon can make fights infinitely safer in comparison. Can be cloned too.

Two-handed swords:

Very big roundness with surprising light weight (for such a large weapon), providing strong attack and good defense. With light and strong metals like arcanite or better, they can be wielded with one hand, maximizing their potential. They can serve as endgame weapons because of their above average statistics, but their lack of magical capabilities do make them slightly inferior to other weapons here.



High Tier.

Bone of Ullr:

Mid Tier.

E-numa sa-am:

High Tier.


High Tier.


High Tier.

Gorovits' family weapons:


Grand Stollen knife of Attnam:



Meme Tier. Worst weapon in the game. Pre-enchanted to +16 so you can basically never enchant it. Made of Valpurium, which cannot be hardened, and since it's an artifact an socm cannot be used either. Cannot be cloned, disappears if mirrored. Cannot be sold. Ridiculously light which doesn't train arm strength much. Gives polycontrol, preventing fun rng factor of turning into a rabbit. Gives telecontrol, removing fun random teleport factor. Gives haste, infravision, and esp, making invisible enemies almost always visible, therefore removing possible fun from being bodied by that which one can't see. High roundness combined with low weight prevent hits to the body, decreasing the chance of improving endurance. Cannot be wielded in two hands without very low arm strength, preventing fun challenges.

On the positive side, the sword only appears in Petrus's hand, and you must defeat him somehow to obtain it. I'm sure you can do it.

Lost ruby flaming sword of Xinroch:

High Tier.


High Tier.

Neerc Se-ulb:

High Tier.


Mid Tier.

Pick-axe of Kharaz-arad:

High Tier.


Mid Tier.


High Tier.


Mid Tier.

Y'yter Durr:

Mid Tier.

Varient Weapons

Varient versions such as LIVAN and CLIVAN contain some items unique to just them. I have less knowledge about some of these weapons, but I'll provide what I can.

Great Axe:


Knight Sword:

Main Gauche:



Tip Sword:

Vacuum Blade:

Varient Artifacts


Bone of Ullr:







Rescue the Peasant:





Unadded Varient Artifacts


Hammer of Loricatuses' Smithwork


Armor in IVAN is

Danger Level

What is this? A challenger approaches! Cue story time:

You looked around, making sure nobody was watching you, then picked up the yellow ring off the ground and slid it onto your finger. Finders Keepers! Suddenly, an uncomfortable uncertainty of who you really are overwhelms you. Your body grows in a crimson light as you turn into-a valpurium golem!? Very cool. You flex your uber-powerful limbs and run amok, absolutely obliterating your enemies when suddenly, your body is hit by a spell of electricity. It barely hurts you, and you charge towards the source, full of confidence, when you turn back into yourself. Uh-oh. You body is annihilated out of existence by Ischaldirh, the dark archmage and his octiron quarterstaff +12. What just happened?

This unusual appearance of strong enemies despite your apparent weakness is known as Danger Level, which spawns enemies for you based on how strong the system thinks you are. The code behind it is very complicated, but it basically compares how long it would take for a monster to kill you compared to how long it would take you to kill them. The better your armor, weapons, and proficiency are, the more dangerous monsters are spawned. This does not mean you should avoid getting stronger, as enemies naturally get stronger over time, and once you get strong enough, you basically become invincible. Virtually all items are worth picking up, beside the ones listed below (most of which have to do with boosting your endurance), with the least danger-level increasing at the top and the most lethal at the bottom. Later in this guide, I will also include a section on how to beat the danger curve and what you can use when you do so (see miscellaneous).

Ommel Extracts

Along your journey (or by praying to Mellis and rarely Nefas), you may find containers holding various excrements of an ommel. These liquids or solid are in fact not harmful (so don't throw them at enemies for the love of god), but when consumed provide a boost in stats! Very powerful stuff, as it not only saves times but usually ends up giving more xp than grinding can. Ommel substances can be cloned also, which can lead to sky high stats (see miscellaneous). However, if you consume too much ommel snot before you're prepared, a kamikaze dwarf could easily end your game. Otherwise, feel free to binge on all the urine and sweat you want.


AOGH, short for the Armor of Great Health, is a special type of torso armor which enchantment corresponds with the stats to it's endurance, so if you had a phoenix feather armor of great health+2, your endurance would be boosted by 2 points. In the very early game when you have little health or alternative, it's a good idea to pick this up. But as you continue on, know that the AOGH not only dramatically increases the danger level, but also provides less AV and weighs more than normal armor. It's generally a meme in the IVAN community.

Mirrored Loot

Ahhh, the days when you found a FLAMING VALPURIUM SWORD+10! What a simply incredible weapon lying around. High attack, burn damage, top tier material, what's not to like? Wait... where did it go? This is a cruel trap of one of the Ivan developers, a mirrored item that temporarily shoots your danger level sky high and keeps it there when it disappears. While you might find other mirrored items in the game (See section 4.5 of traps), they are generally safe to use for the time being. It is highly recommended not to use unless you are very confident of your survival.

Source Code Fact: The mirrored items that can be spawned in have only a 5% chance spawn rate, and can spawn in any floor except for Oree's floor (because it might carry too hard otherwise), and even if it does spawn, can easily disappear before you find it.

Level 64 Skills

In older versions of IVAN (feel free to ignore this if you play a more current version), the devs forgot to patch improving weapon skills, so if you train with an item for long enough, your skill level with it will jump from 19 to 64! Of course, you've turned your effectiveness to +325%, tripling your damage, making enemies all the stronger.


As mentioned in the example, polymorphing into other creatures doesn't bode well. If by some chance you end up with a strong monster/golem, you've also artificially boosted your danger level greatly, but once your return to your true form, the danger stays high but your strength goes, leaving you in a lot of trouble. This can destroy runs if you end up spawning named enemies with your high health.

Artificial Limbs

Something more dangerous than polymorphing? Yes. With a rare Scroll of Change Material or a good prayer (see gods), you gain the ability to change a limb into another material. These materials usually have Astr/Lstr multiple times stronger than human flesh, are much harder to damage... and shoot your health sky high. Since the limb is so helpfully hard to remove, and since your life depends on individual body parts rather than your total health, this is a easy way to get screwed. Try not to go with anything stronger than phoenix feather if you want to go the artificial limb route.


So that you've read all these unfortunate traps. Is danger level something to be noted? Absolutely. Remember above all that health above 65 makes kamikaze dwarfs start to spawn, health above 78 starts spawning weak named enemies, and health in the hundreds is when you'd best be armed to the teeth. But fear not, see miscellaneous for how to beat the danger curve. Once you do, you can begin toying around with all sorts of power.


Enemies of note

Named Enemies


Outside of weapons, training abilities and weapon effectiveness is important to becoming the all-powerful Ivan player you were meant to be. Many of these stats can be trained without much difficulty, but beware it is also easy for them to drop. Do note that while you can train stats as much as you want, your gains will become nominally smaller over time, and they is only a shadow the power of cloning ommel liquids and artificial limbs bring.

Arm Strength

AStr, or the ability to wield heavier weapons and do damage, is important for maximizing attack power by being unburdened by weapon weight. They also allow you to dig faster and fatigue slower, but that is harder relevant in most scenarios. Many of the top tier weapons mentioned above require two handed usage, but if arm strength is high enough, one can wield them in one hand without any problems. Here is a chart of arm strength required to wield heavy weapons.

  • Chart- To be inserted*

To train arm strength, it's best to use heavy weapons to be able to use heavy weapons (See what I did there?). Halberds, Polearms, and Large swords all work wonders if made of heavy materials, particularly ones in the iron family. So don't throw away that large, inaccurate 2 handed iron sword just yet, it may kick up your level a notch. Outside of heavy weapons, digging also helps to train Astr, but it requires a constant and large food supply, and isn't necessary.

Leg Strength

LStr, or the ability to hold more items and buff up these scratches, allows you not only to hold more items, but also to escape from certain traps more easily (which won't be a problem if you are able to acquire a belt of levitation). Being burdened and stressed decrease your combat ability by a whooping 25% and 50% percent respectively, not even including being overloaded, so avoiding such unfortunate circumstances are life-saving. Surprising, this attribute does not matter as much as others, as it can be mitigated by carrying only essential equipment (see miscellaneous for more info). Despite that, it's still a good idea to keep LStr at a respectable level, enough so that losing use of one leg won't bother you too much.

To train leg strength, the simplest method is carry as items until you are stressed, and run around with them. Train leg strength before agility if you can, because running around stressed hurts your agility while the reverse is much less notable. You will require a steady stream of food for this too.


Dex, or the ability to attack accurately and quickly (arm agility), allows you to have a greater chance of hitting your enemies and being able to escape certain traps. Despite not having many applications, this is a vastly important ability as it ends fights much quicker, leaving you more likely to be alive.

To train dexterity, use fast attacking weapons to attack enemies, with the former being too weak to damage the latter, and the latter being to weak to hurt the wielder much. The perfect balance for this seems to be banana peels and greater carnivorous plants, both which can be easily found every game. Pick up the peels from Huang Ming Pong's hut, then take them to UT3 and let Jenny spawn the greater carnivorous plants. Whack on them as you please, but beware your Stamina<-- Seriously, I mean it


Agi, or the ability to do things faster (leg dexterity), speeds up your actions and allows you to chase or flee (but mostly flee) enemies. It can also increase your dodge chances.

To train agility, just run around. Even normal dungeon exploration will train agility, but remember that being burdened or worse hurts that training, and being satisfied or higher also hurts that training. For the greatest results, run around in the world map with little materials except for necessary food, which should only be used to raise you up to barely satisfied every once in a while


End, or the opposite of the beginning, the step after the middle, the... you know, is the ability to take a hit. It also increases your stamina and overall regeneration rate. This stat is easily the most controversial one, as having high health does make fights safer, but also dramatically increase your danger level to annoying enemies like dwarves(ugh), mages(eugh), and named enemies(aeiou) that can make fights for unprepared adventurers a nightmare. However if you do manage to break the danger curve (*See Danger Level above), leveling up endurance as high as possible is a great idea.

If you must train your Endurance, taking damage and healing it up generally will increase your health over time. Do not think this means you should chug sulfuric acid or take a fresh breathe of mustard gas, instead, take light damage from enemies and just heal it over time. School food is also useful increasing Endurance, but know that it only has about a 1/3 chance of success and will poison you regardless. At least it doesn't spoil...

Intelligence and Wisdom

Int and Wis, or how smart you are, have been grouped together because training Int almost always trains Wis at the same time. They do have different purposes though. Intelligence allows you to transformed items into a higher quality, see farther with ESP, read faster and teleport farther. Wisdom increase the rate at which your relationship will gods change. From reading, intelligence is obviously more helpful, but since both are trained at the same time, consider it a combined benefit.

To train the two, Science Talking will be the main method of slowly but surely upping your stats. reading scrolls and praying to gods will also help, if you have enough (See miscellaneous for maximizing scroll reading).


Cha, or the ability to scam the scammers, allows you to sell items in shops for higher prices and buy them at lower ones. That's it

To train Cha, sell and buy stuff, talk with Richel Decos when you reach 10 int and 15 cha, and issue commands to your allies. It's a waste of time though in general, just letting you know.

Prayers and Gods

Oh Mortifer... explaining gods are no easy task. Mysterious in their ways, and only known through the representatives sent to you, the abilities of gods will greatly benefit your run with resources, enchantments, and even powerful weapons. Yet learn to fear their divine wrath-just kidding, any god's anger can easily be mitigated if you understand cooldowns. This section will detail the various gifts of the gods and their tiers (imho), and will start from the most lawful to the most chaotic. This guide will not go over the punishments of most gods (you'll see), as it assumes you've read enough to understand when and how to pray.

Books and Alters:

Before we really explain gods, it's good to know to know gods in the first place. When you run around the world, you might find a yellow, red, or blue book lying on the ground, or if you're lucky, a room with a strange symbol on one of the tiles. These books and alters, respectively, are the path between you and a god. The owners of books are easy to recognize, and the owners of symbols might be tricky, but they will be explained below, and you'll learn them in due time. Once you have read a book or stood on an alter, you can 'p'ray to the respective god/goddess. Note that reading a book will shift your alignment, but simply discovering an alter will lead to minimal effects. You can also 'o'ffer stuff to gods (but only on alters) to increase your relationship to them.


As the last paragraph began insinuating, alignment and relation are critical in praying to gods. Each god has it's own alignment, and their relationship with you will be based on how lawful/chaotic you are yourself. You can usually pray safely with other gods of similar alignment. Obviously, the Kings of Gods and the Destroyer of Worlds will be pissed for having affairs with the other, but even if gods are the same alignment, they can become displeased with you. It is best to limit gods to at most 5 levels away from each other (for example L++ to N+,L- to C+ [a common situation amongst veterans], or N- to C--) to ensure positive relations with all of them, knowing that more is possible but risky. By positive relations, or a god's happiness, ranging from being 'A champion of the cause!' to extremely angry, dictate their rewards/punishments, the latter of which can be quite severe. Praying to a happy god will increase not only your relationship with them, but also closely aligned gods. As is such, this allows you to slowly change your alignment over time, shifting from lawful to chaotic and vice verse.

Your alignment will be displayed in the bottom left corner next to your name. Besides the two common ways mentioned earlier, you may also change alignment by doing evil deeds. Note that all alignment changes outside of the ones in the previous paragraph only shift your alignment towards chaotic, so you'll need some other method to gain lawfulness, especially if you want to attempt the high priest ending.


You've understood to pray to Gods only in close alignment. You've offered all your loot to your chosen god/goddess, and they declare they are extremely pleased with you. You pray to them and receive a game-changing powerup. You offer something small at the alter, and find they declare you 'A champion of the cause!'. Giddy, you pray once more... and the god is displeased? What's going on here?

This most common pitfall is known as cooldown, which all gods have. Like a puppy to its master, nagging to it too often will cause annoyance and eventually kicking. Cooldown for most gods is almost 3 hours, so after praying successfully to a god, wait for about that long before praying again. If your standing with a god is particularly good, you may pray to them more than one in the time interval, but decrease your relationship greatly (making it likelier to have punishments) and create anger, which is a timer based outside of relation, and is about double the normal waiting time between prayers. Also note that prayers to Valpurus, Mortifer, and Atavus after you receive their championship gifts take much longer before you can pray to them again safely, 50 hours to be precise.


Finally, we begin actually rating gods. Lawful gods generally award a boon that work instantly and tend to be more situational. All except Valpurus give limbs of their aligned materials.

Valpurus (L++):

The King of the Gods, the ruler of worlds, the one who carries the weight of the world on his back... he's pretty useless in the old version, but he's much better now. He requires Champion level to be prayed to, and gives an unenchanted valpurium sword and shield. The sword is good quality, but usually ends up outclassed by other special/unique weapons. The shield use to be pointless, but with the more recent versions of IVAN with shields giving AV, an easily acquirable AV 21 is very, very strong and great to use. You must become his champion to acquire the hardest victory, which doesn't help that killing Petrus decreases your standing with him. Any angels gifted to you by him are permanent, but note that Inlux cannot be summoned because they are used to defend Attnam. Future prayers in the current version give a Holy Handgrenade of Antioch, a nice light source and a big boom. Also keep in mind that receiving championship gifts from him mean you cannot receive Neerc Se-ulb from Mortifer

Legifer (L+):

The god of law and order, Legifer does nothing special but call upon Inlux to save you by surrounding you with an explosion of fire. The explosion power is proportional to your relationship with Legifer and will not damage you or anything you hold, but may end up breaking nearby equipment or worse, setting off traps. It is helpful for putting down weaker monsters and breaking down weak walls, but that's about it. Since glass is one of his aligned materials, it's easier to reach champion status with him compared to most other gods, as lanterns greatly please him. This strategy ends up being helpful for getting into good terms with Valpurus. He does give aligned materials for limbs are half decent, notably |illithium and orichalcum.

Atavus (L+):

The god of charity and munificence, Atavus use to be somewhat lackluster in older versions, giving out an Arcanite plate mail at Champion Level (Av 18, 3200 g since the wiki page for him doesn't mention it for some reason), a very strong early game armor that could also be sold for a great price once you got something better. But now, what makes him good is his constant enchanting of armor, easily buffing all your gear up to +3 if you have the patience. He can give random chests full of random goodies or very rarely a scroll of wishing, but don't count on it in a run. His aligned materials are unnoteworthy, but he usually will just give you a new limb of your original flesh.

Dulcis (L):

The goddess of love and art, Dulcis is good with people by making friends wherever [I] go. She will attempt to charm anyone with her music when you pray to her. The success rate is higher based on your relation with her, but don't try charming any named enemies stronger than Rondol, as the chance of failure is either extremely high or guaranteed. In later versions, she will also train your charisma a lot. The reason she's considered so good (at least by me) is because she essential offers an infinite army of allies (see allies for how to use them), and the strength that comes in numbers (or at least in cannon fodder) is worth a lot. She also offers a variety of musical instruments that will provide food, cure and inflict status effects, transport allies, and even heal you. Her aligned materials have also become very strong in the recent updates, notably angel hair and dream cloth.

Seges (L):

The goddess of health and nutrition, Seges can be a lifesaver, feeding you to almost bloated, curing diseases, and healing burns (which comes in handy a lot, since no other gods do this). However, her most useful perk is being able to heal you greatly in a single prayer. However, you must be injured or not hungry or diseased in any other way, otherwise she won't heal you. Her aligned materials are rather unnoteworthy, but she usually will just give you a new limb of your original flesh.

Sophos (L-):

The god of knowledge, magic, and handicrafts (so long OWO), Sophos is basically an emergency teleport. If you're ever surrounded by dangerous monsters, missing the arms to zap a wand and missing the time to read a scroll, his teleport can seriously save your day. The one downside to this is that his teleport cannot be controlled by telecontrol, so your destination is very luck based. Her aligned items for limbs are incredible. They notably compose of lightweight, unrustable metals such arcanite, mithril, and occultum or top tier cloths including spider silk, gossamer, and spirit cloth. And if you're really lucky, you might receive a large, scrumptious limb made of ommel cerumen to eat. Keep Danger level in mind though!


Neutral gods, the smallest category, do very different things each. All may give limbs of their aligned materials. Note that while they provide powerful general boons, it becomes very hard to get championship gifts from the extreme gods, so plan ahead.

Silva (N+): Silva provides earthquakes, wolves, and occasionally food. The earthquakes are useful for creating passageways in tight level or for taking down smaller enemies, and the wolves are fun to buff with Ommel bone and Ommel Tooth, but that's about it. Only notable limbs provides are of crystal, The least useful of the neutral gods.

Loricatus (N): Loricatus is a G. He's awesome. No questions asked. Don't pray to him while missing a limb, as although they boast insane strength, they also shoot your danger level through the roof while plummeting your dexterity. Otherwise, he's great. He'll repair anything broken on you for free, offer scrolls of repair, hardening, and sometimes even change material. But his real strength comes in occasionally hardening your weapons. If you hold an item in your hand of his alignment, Loricatus has a chance of hardening it proportional to your relationship with him. Simply put, you can eventually harden all your tin equipment to adamant, which is even stronger than Valpurium! (Yet heavier, less flexible, and prone to rusting, so don't get your hopes up that much. Really, it's a tradeoff for armor, high AV in exchange for high penalties, but hardening weapons like swords to adamant are a great idea). Another small thing is that he can harden your lead equipment to gold, so he provide a pretty decent chunk of money too. Even more, even when he's mad, he's great. He'll change whatever you're holding into banana flesh. Firstly, this can be easily mitigated if you have a socm, but if you hold something else in your hands, like a certain large meteoric steel chest with an octagonal lock, it can provide days worth of food. Very cool.

Mellis (N-): Mellis is a G2. He's also awesome. His limbs are also lackluster like Loricatus, but his boons are great. He can offer pocket money, allowing you to get infinite money with enough time. He can teach you about other gods, revealing information about them you don't yet know. Most importantly, he fills your bottles. Wait, what? That's all he does? Yep. When you pray to him with empty bottles and cans (or banana peels if you've got nothing else), he will fill them with any possible substances. He usually fills cans with food, and bottles with drinks, so plan accordingly based on your hunger. Usually, praying with bottes are far superior, as they provide healing, alcohol (for money and guards), poisons, and ommel excretements. The latter mentioned are huge, providing a theoretically infinite amount of stats, which can be easily cloned (see miscellaneous), making him a top-tier god.


Chaotic gods give more long lasting, but still temporary boon. All except Mortifer may give limbs of their aligned materials.

Cleptia (C+):

Cleptia is just a chill goddess. She mainly exists to just give you haste. This doesn't seem like a lot, but once you get farther into the game, almost every strong enemy has some form of haste available, and having a constant source of it is very, very good. Otherwise, if you already have haste, she'll give you invisibility. If you have that too, infravision. If even that, she trains your agility and dexterity, all of which serve as a nice boost. For limbs, she only has two aligned materials, Moon Silver and Shadow Cloth, both of which are a consistent and strong choice.

Nefas (C):

Nefas is a somewhat of an exception to chaotic gods, as she is the only one that provides allies outside of angels and archangels: mistresses! At the beginning, she only offers bottles of vodka, which are provide a small but good source of income, or just an infinite supply of bottles for Mellis, but later on she gifts a mistress, or when very happy a mistress torturing chief, which can provide for the armor you lack, or just serve as strong temporary allies. Her aligned materials are unnoteworthy, with the exception of white jade.

Scabies (C):

My least favorite god due to her general uselessness. Absolutely avoid praying to her if you don't have either some type of disease, gas immunity, or a safe location, as she can polymorph you into a random creature, which often ends up with you deader than a dead zombie that's dead. If you have a diseases such as leprosy or poisoned, she will grant temporary disease immunity (basically a worse alternative to Seges), and her aligned materials are awful. Her only saving grace (which pretty decent, to be honest) is a chance of giving every other creature on the level leprosy provided you have disease immunity, so if you get the amulet or the Gorovits Family Gas Mask, Sherarax and some other enemies can become a lot easier to take down.

Infuscor (C-):

Similar to Cleptia, Infuscor mainly provides effects in the forms of ESP, then TeleControl, then polycontrol. If you have all of those, she drops 3 scroll of teleportation, which combined with TeleControl prove helpful in getting to secret rooms. She has few aligned materials, but the most notable, Octiron and Star Metal, are pretty dang strong.

Cruentus (C-):

Cruentus is a strong god that just keeps getting buffed. It's crazy. His main purpose now is providing an infinite source of troll blood, occasional rain, to put out fires (don't count on that though), and weapon enchants. However, he has a somewhat hidden buff compared to other gods, which lies in his archangel, Gladius. For some strange reason, while other angels only carry a book of their respective god or little else (Salubris has some rather pointless food and Leguluis has 50 million roubles worth 2 units) for you to take, Gladius holds a PERMANENT RUBY TWO-HANDED SCIMITAR + 4 (10-17 DAMAGE)!?! Outrageous. It's likely an unbalanced oversight, but a it's a strong weapon of good quality material that can be wielded even in one hand without too much trouble. His aligned materials are bone related, so it's possible for you to get a bone limb early on, wait for it to rot, then replace it later on.

Mortifer (C--):

The Destroyer of Worlds is just as picky as the king of Gods, but his championship weapon is no joke. Neerc Se'ulb is a mithril mace with a mithril handle with the unique effect of life steal. In a game with only one life and easily damaged body parts, it can save you many times over. However, you'll likely have to wield it with both hands until far into the game (See Weapons Chart above for more info), but since it does 12-22 damage, it's more than good enough for the time. Subsequent prayers in the current version give temporary ethereal, which only helps for escaping or find those very secret rooms. Also keep in mind that receiving championship gifts from him mean you cannot receive valpurium arms from Valpurus.

Scrolls and Wands


Yet another fun portion of IVAN comes from the traps hidden around the map. Most early player who feel elated to have gotten past the underwater tunnels will likely die in GC to the errant mine (or rondol, ugh). This section will give some tips on how to avoid death by mines and even how to take advantage of the extremely potential they can hold.

How to avoid

It is by far more important to stay alive and weak then dead and strong. Here are some different types of traps and how to minimize the damage taken. The ones listed here are what I would consider the most dangerous, but you can also pull up this page on traps right here for more, less dangerous, traps.

As a general note, the superior method of avoid traps is the levitation effect, which makes it impossible to step on traps, the only way to activate them then being other entities stepping on them. The searching effect, which can be acquired through various means, can help find mines, but provides no protection against them.


The most common form of death, mines are embedded in the ground and hidden from the player's view. If you can see a mine, it might have a explanation mark on the bottom right (meaning it's active and dangerous), or if not, is harmless and even able to be picked up. Mine explode with massive fire damage, so the most common defense is a ring of fire resistance. A single ring will let you survive (albeit very hurt) while 2 rings can survive most damage. However, for the big mines, even 2 rings isn't enough, even assuming your armor is around phoenix feather/meteoric steel level. A cloak of fire resistance is sufficient enough for small mines, and the cloak and 2 rings makes you virtually impervious to all explosive mines. Unfortunately, there are few to no alternatives to surviving mines, with the exception of really good armor. There are only a few guaranteed rings of fire resistance in the game, and they can be found on Ikiros and Petrus, which are mostly a moot point to get. If you truly want to be cautious around a space, 's'earching with the 's' key 16 times will near guarantee there are no mines right next to you, but this is very time consuming. The most obscure method I know is with Dulcis and a horn of fear, where you get allies, betray them, and make them run away into possible mines.


A different kind of danger from mines, gas traps are also undetectable mines on the ground that release not fire, but various vicious vapors, explained below increasing danger. All types of gas traps can be avoided with an amulet of gas immunity, and avoid walking into spaces with clear swirl effects around them.

Mysterious Blue Gas: Gives random positive effects.

Ectoplasm: Makes the player temporarily ethereal.

Brown Gas: No negative effects, most enemies will not follow a player through brown gas.

Smoke: Does literally nothing, midpoint between good and bad results.

Raw Vaporized Magic: Gives random effects.

Warp Gas: Teleports the player if they don't have telecontrol.

Laughing Gas: Gives the hiccups effect.

Skunk Smell: Poisons entities that walk through it.

Mysterious Red Gas: Gives random negative effects. Certain ones like teleporting and polymorphitis can be beneficial if used correctly.

Sleeping Gas: Puts entities in it to sleep. Stepping on the mine is usually not to dangerous, as with the 3x3 radius the gas is in, other creatures usually also fall asleep instantly, but do not step in the edge of one, as it mimics the effects of a floating eye and is likely lethal. I hope this gives you an idea of the consequences, even if you can't see the pictures.

Mustard Gas. Troublesome gas that acts like poison, hurting the player with differing severities depending how long they stayed in the gas. If you trigger such a trap and have a spare teleport wand/prayer (not scroll, as without really high intelligence it will take too long), use it. Otherwise, 'r'un out of the gas as fast as possible. Cannot be cured with antidote liquid or panacea. 'T'aste healing liquid to survive.

Burning Vapors. Literal fire except as a gas. Will not likely kill you if you get out quickly, but will set many things like your scrolls and limbs on fire. Use vials to put out the fire with various liquids (see misc for a short passage), as get out asap like mentioned in Mustard Gas.

Caustic Fumes: Gaseous sulfuric acid. Might kill you if very unlucky with acid dissolving your head, but survival is likely. However, the acid destroys a lot of armors instantly and rusts metal based ones hard. Metals like the arcanite family are best in these situations, though you can't exactly expect these situations. Get out as fast as humanly possible.

Bear Traps

Bear Traps are yet another type of undetectable trap hidden within the ground, yet thankful are usually far more tame then mines. They can be found as early as UT1, and are comprised of various metals, with the strength of the beartrap being dependent on the strength of the material. The danger of a bear trap comes from it snapping shut on your limbs, preventing movement much like a spider web. Stronger traps can hurt limbs and even directly sever limbs off, though only usually your legs, as your head hardly walks onto a bear trap. Most of the time, simply trying to move around will free you from the bear trap, but with low dexterity, you may also end up trapping other limbs onto the bear trap. If you can see a bear trap, you can 'k'ick it out of the way to harmless deactivate it (don't try this with mines, they'll immediately activate). If you end up in one, don't immediately try to break out and consider the following options:

Low Danger/Risk:

No enemies around, a weak to mid strength material (If when the trap activated, a limb turned bright red with black stripes or worse, or if the material is top tier like Octiron, that's a strong material in relationship to you, see mid or high danger), you can just keep struggling against the material until you break free. As long as no enemies are nearby, you can constantly rest and 'h'eal until you escpae. See Mid danger if you trap more limbs

Mid Danger/Risk:

An enemy nearby, a mid strength to high strength material, or your head stuck in a trap. Consider both the danger of the enemy (can it kill you in very few turns? Do you sense danger?) and the strength of the material (can I break out of it before the enemy can get to me?) before struggling your way out.

High Danger/Risk:

Multiple enemies/a strong enemy nearby and a top tier material trap. The latter is not necessarily dangerous with high tier armor, but valpurium bear traps and similar materials can just be nearly impossible to remove, even with dexterity in the mid 30 (this is coming from experience). If multiple limbs are unusable, teleport away if possible with wand, or scrolls/Sophos if both arms are binded. On an unrelated note, if even if your stats are double Sherarax's, an unusable arm or leg will easily result in your defeat.

Additional Scenarios

There are a few special locations that house these traps, all of which will appear in every game, and are a high risk high reward game (unless you acquire the levitation, which just goes to show how strong the effect is).

The dwarven minefield:

The single largest room in the game, found between GC2 and GC4 filled with loot and a lot of mines, both big and small. Some backpacks full of gunpowder may appear also. The loot is usually pretty good in comparison to what you have, so you'll definitely want to get to it. As always, levitation or searching are best. It is in fact not advised to try to tank the mines with high fire resistance because many mines can set off chain reactions that blow up other mines, you, and much of the loot. Since there is only 1 door to the minefield, it can be a good idea to simply lock the door and come back later when prepared.

Source Code Fact: The dwarven mindfield is has randomly generated material with a set chance to spawn, with a maximum of 24 items, each with a 50% spawn rate, a maximum of 40 mines with a 25% spawn rate, and a maximum of 20 big mines with a 25% spawn rate. This mean that theoretically a minefield could spawn in with all mines and no items, and vice versa a minefield with all items and no mines.

Secret Rooms:

Secret room are far smaller in comparison, but their loot becomes much more valuable (unless you get a bunch of useless gemstones, which arguably could be sold). In comparison however, the traps can become stronger, with mithril bear traps in the secret room and octiron beartraps in the super secret room. Due to their far smaller size, you can just 's'earch a lot until you find beartraps, then 'k'ick them shut. It's also possible for the secret rooms to have no traps, but that's about a 1/16 chance.

Aslona Route:

There's not much to say about Aslona other than the frequency of gas traps is much higher, so having gas immunity can be a higher priority.

How to use

Let's be honest, you probably knew all how to avoid the traps already, and blatantly ignored the advice to see if you could learn something from here instead (and I know you're here to see if I post any good tips here, because why would you read this otherwise _-_). Anyways, here I will discuss some possible uses of the traps you've expertly disabled and gathered over your travels.

General usage:

To use traps, 'a'pply them and chose the one you want to use. It will be placed on the ground, and you will be able to see it activated with a explanation in the bottom right corner. 'A'pplying backpacks full of gunpowder will instantly detonate them on yourself.

The later you get into the game, the more effective bear traps become, with the exception of levitating enemies. Most high stat enemies are too strong to be impacted by mines (though mines still have uses, see below), while the ability to change the material of bear traps dramatically increases their strength. Valpurium bear traps are strong enough to trap all enemies, and if lucky can even sever limbs. Levitating enemies are on both sides of the spectrum, either too weak to waste explosives or hardly damaged by explosives. However, using kamikaze dwarves as allies allows you to attack floating enemies with less chance of hurting yourself. Just make sure it doesn't backfire on you.

Stacking: The simplest method is often the most effective one. Dropping all your traps onto one square greatly increases their firepower. Keep your whites and your colored shirts separate though, as mines and other explosives can break bear traps before they have a chance to activate. If placing mines, you'll also want a decently high dexterity, as a backfiring mine will blow up your whole pile.

Stacking V2: There is no need to stop at just traps, as they are a host of other materials that can buff up your explosive power. This is where the power of mines come from, as they can activate and explode other items. Useful tools to explode include used wands (wand of fireballs, lightning, striking, acid rain, polymorph, slow, webbing, and soften material) , the Holy banana of Oily Orpiv (assuming you don't want to eat it and haven't zapped it 6 times already), and harmful liquids (mustard gas, sulphuric acid, poison, acidous blood, frog blood, liquid fear, and liquid darkness).

Bait: A slight extension of stacking. Many have noticed that no bombs can be placed in the catherdral because they get automatically get teleported into the kamikaze dwarf corner of the building. This can be useful for exploding the dwarves, but Petrus and his cronies will all be unharmed and very annoyed as a result. However, you or an ally can hold explosives without any issues. Therefore you can stack enough equipment onto an ally next to Petrus to mimic the thaumic bomb and watch the world light on fire. It is best to chose a weak ally, as they become overloaded more easily and won't try to kill you if they survive (which would be terrifying, who did you tame?). In fact, with enough explosives and weak allies, you can chain reaction and kill everyone with the possible exception of Inlux. A master necromancer is your best bet, as they give tons of weak fodder that you can use to hold your bombs.


Nutrition, or how full you are, is a surprisingly important yet often overlooked aspect of IVAN. While this often becomes negligible if you have a happy Seges to pray to, it's important to know certain things about being too hungry or too full.

Hunger States

Most know about this, but it's actually not optimal to be at a satiated state. Instead, you don't want any state at all. Being at satiated, bloated, or overfed will lead to losses in agility, and overfed even causing constant vomiting that can lower all stats. On the other hand, being hungry, very hungry, and starving will lead to a loss in arm and leg strength, and starving leading to fainting spells that speed up your death and leave you vulnerable to attacks. It is okay to be satiated (and bloated in the scenario of fighting Huang Ming Pong, but avoid staying in these states for too long. This means that it's okay to let food rot away. In fact, leaving food at entrances to levels will preserve them indefinitely in time to be eaten later.

Where to get more food

Usually runs have enough food to not be an issue. However, if you find yourself low on food, here are some options:

- Shops: all shops, with the possible incredibly unlucky exception of Merka, will provide some amount of food. Sell some stuff to buy more food.

- Gods: Seges obviously provides food, but 4 other gods also provide a sustainable method of acquiring food. Silva and Nefas will feed you if you are very hungry, but you have to be very hungry or starving, just being hungry won't prompt their attention. The mistresses a happy Nefas gives you also can hold a banana (I wonder what they use it for?) or rarely the Holy Banana of Oily Orpiv (I wonder what they use that for????????). Mellis will constantly fill your cans and bottle with possible foodstuffs (and can replace banana peels with uneaten bananas!), and Cruentus's constant bottle of troll blood serve as nutrients.

- Levels: certain levels have a higher amount of creatures that can serve as food. The carnivorous plants of UT03 drop kiwis to eat, and Jenny drops 3 pineapples. UT04, a.k.a. the crystal caves, hold some bears and lions than can easily satiate you. The wolf room, found randomly from GC2 to GC4, provides a lot of food.

What to avoid

I considered putting this section at the end of this topic, but knowing how people are, I need to say this first. Do not eat poisonous creatures (unless you're abusing some exploit somehow) like spiders, snakes, and skunks. These will not only give little to no nutrition, but also badly poison you, and even with poison immunity you will constantly throw up, losing much more nutrients than you gain. Frogs are an absolute last resort, as they offer little nutrition while also decreasing all your stats and making all gods angry with you. Also, just because there is a liquid in a bottle doesn't mean you should drink it. Remember to look for the keep away from children tag in size 18 gullible font in the corner, and avoid acidic drinks like vinegar, sulfuric acid, napalm, and liquid mustard gas.

What to normally eat

As you run around in the world, eat the food that are either heavy or rot quickly, like fruits or corpses. Most normal sounding creatures are safe to eat, including all dog variants, lions, bears, meese (wait, the plural of moose is moose? and the plural of sheep is sheep? not shoop?), buffalo, magpies, hedgehogs, cats, rats, bats, mammoths (though they usually serve better pets), and ostriches. Goblins and Gibberlings are also safe to eat, but be careful that you don't eat the zombie of one. If there isn't a scrumptious corpse nearby, meats and breads provide great nutrition while being long lasting. Finally, eat the food in cans last (pun intended?), as they last forever. Troll blood also gives great nutrition, but since it also heals the user and gives regeneration in future versions, you'll probably want to use it at a more vital time.

For foods that increase stats or give effects, such as ommel excrements, carrots, blink dog flesh, and Floating eye, you may consume it whenever you want, or you might want to save it to clone/mirror to increase the overall stat gains or gain effects permanently

What to unnormally eat

Occasionally, you might be getting desperate from the lack of food, so what should you eat/do? Besides making sure you're not burdened or stressed, here are the unfortunate options you may end up deciding on if you can't do any of the above.

-Rotten food: As time goes on, your food will rot away if it's not in a can or isn't holy. Eating slightly spoiled food is a non-issue, since it at worse will give you confusion for a short while, but carefully consider if terribly spoiled food is worth it, because it can cause poisoning that vomits out the nutrients you just acquired. If its a fruit, bread, or meat, you can risk it, but corpses also carry the added risk of giving you a parasite, which you will have the vomit multiple times to get rid of, otherwise risk it sapping constant nutrition from you.

-Odd Creatures: This entails most of the other creatures in the game you can eat, many of which conifer negative effects. Antidote liquid is a great drink for any meal, but since it's a rarity, here are your options for a meal.

Funny Tasting mobs
  Mushroom, gives random effects
  Humans, triggers DoEvilDeed
Siren, gives confusion
  Werewolf, gives lycanthropy
  Carnivorous Mutant Bunny, gives polymorphitis
  Chameleon, gives polymorphitis
  Mutant Ass, gives polymorphitis
  Kobold, causes fainting
  Zombie, gives leprosy
  Orc, gives leprosy


If you don't have any of those mobs around, at least we'll always have Paris- and yourself. If you have a method to chop off your limbs, preferably a bear trap, you can snip off your limbs to provide a meal. As you're eating human flesh, it's considered a DoEvilDeed, but also wastes possible precious healing or gives an artificial limb that many older members of the community dislikes.


Unlike normal praying, this type of praying is much riskier. Praying to an angry Loricatus will turn your handheld item into banana flesh, which with large objects like chests can provide a ton of food. Nefas spawns mistresses which you can kill and eat, but they are not easy opponents early on, and they're considered a DoEvilDeed.

Alternatively, attacking a town and stealing as much food as possible is another praying possibility, because you really hope you can get away ;p


An important aspect in IVAN to recognize is that the game only cares if you die. However, non-neutral enemies don't target you specifically, instead attacking whatever is closest to them at the time, sometimes switching what they consider to be the closest target using some type of formula. Therefore, having other meatshields (though not necessarily made of meat) can distract opponents to enable you to take the kill. It also helps that if an ally of yours kills an enemy, it's worth the same as if you killed that enemy. Having said that, here is a general list of good allies to have, from weaker to stronger.

Early Game

When you first start out, any ally is good honestly, but you won't likely need it. Kenny the puppy (did you know that you can change his default name in the settings? Try it!) helps to fend off the occasional zombie and hedgehog, and distracts the nearsighted enemies so you can skedaddle. The single best thing you can get early on is a permanent angel from offering up sacrifices to alters, but even temporary angels are good, even better than archangels at this stage since they'll last for so much longer. You can also 't'hrow bones to the Canis lupus familiaris like puppies, blink dogs, and jackels to instantly tame them. If you get a lyre of charm or Dulcis, feel free to use it however you want, but save scrolls of taming for later.

Mid Game

I'd assume midgame is around the time that you're getting into the Gloomy Caves and are approaching the Enner Beast. Here, you might have found Rondol already. He's worth taming, and isn't too hard to anyways. You can also feed the wolves with bones for better dogs (or feed on the wolves if desperate). Angels can and will be helpful for the Enner, but an archangel for that specific level makes it a cakewalk. Otherwise, you might just want to charm some okay allies to serve as bait for kamikaze dwarves.

Late Game

You've past the Enner with a couple of nasty scratches (or not, what do I know?) and are preparing to fight the infamous Elpuri. Resurrecting the mystic dark frog on G7 makes for a great long range ally than can eventually perma-haste and perma-invis you. Take any named enemies along with you if you want, and tame necromancers, both apprentice and master, if you can not just possible int and wis gains, but also endless fodder to serve as a good distraction. Snag Ivan and Vladimir too, they can really help. You may also be charismatic/smart enough to get good neutral allies in Attnam or in laters version the Black Market, notably the elite guards, mystic light frogs, golems, and mistresses if possible.

End Game

Elipuri is down but you keep going? Kudos, but you shouldn't make this journey along (or not, but then what exploit did you use?). Most enemies in the lower gloomy caves get nasty, so you'll want some nasty allies yourself or a lot, and I do mean a lot, of fodder. Tame anything you can and resurrect what you can. If you have a limited taming supply, follow this list. Named Creatures that are stronger than Guugzamesh, mages, necromancers, mystic frogs, golems, other. Remember that while it's about who's on your team, it's also about who you don't want on their team. Outside of taming, you should have your own supply of allies beforehand, namely angels being the most useful.

Status Effects

The whole point of IVAN is not just boosting your stats through the roof, but also getting as many special effects as possible. Even with hundreds of points worth of stats, certain enemies can stuff you harder than that bald guy with 10 jobs. Your abilities play an incredibly important role, and here's stuff that you really should have, permanently (or period, I suppose). These are the most important ones, and are not ranked by importance, but instead ease of access. Despite that, it should be generally clear which ones are best. With enough special effect, the game will be much more relaxed.

Telecontrol: Provides the simple ability of being able to choose where to teleport when you get teleported, and the range is based on the user's current intelligence. This sounds simple, but can be innumerably helpful later on (see RUN AWAY). To get it permanently, a ring of telecontrol would do the trick, but it is much easier to remember the phrase "friends, and food". By making blink dogs teleport around either as a friend or foe, they generate more of their kind. Killing and eating three of them in quick succession will give you telecontrol permanently.

ESP: Enables the user to detect intelligent enemies, no matter their location or current visibility status. However, if their int is below 5, they cannot be detected (including veteran kamikaze dwarves, golems, and invisible stalkers). Killing and eating three floating eyes will grant permanent ESP, though it might be difficult to find three at once. consider leaving their bodies on other floors to prevent rot.

Levitation: In contrast to haste, nearly no strong enemy has levitation except for One-eyed Sam, but it practically serves as it's own psuedo-aols (see wishes for a larger rant). You could get unbelievably lucky on a fountain, but it's often not worth the risk, so you are forced to either get a belt of levitation or a cloak of flying, both rare, rare items.

Polycontrol/Unchanging: The former enables the user to choose what they want to polymorph into. At a certain point, your strength will attract named enemies. One in particular has survived a night with a god herself. Yep, it's Sherarax. If you choose to take Sherarax head on, have some form of polycontrol, as her chameleon whip could end you despite having all the top-tier items. You could waste a ring on polycontrol, but my preferred method is to pray to Infuscor, who will eventually make you end up with permanent polycontrol. Besides fending off Sherarax, polycontrol is helpful in situations where you need to have high intelligence for a short while or need to quickly run away or overpower an enemy, in which polymorphing into an appropriate unit can be lifesaving. It also serves as a counter to lycanthropy.

The latter prevents the users from polymorphing. It's similar to polycontrol when in human form, but its benefits truly come from staying in a polymorphed form. You will retain the polymorphed form's stats for as long as you are unchanging, and will even increase your stats based off theirs. For top-tier entities such as the dark knight or mistress, their stats triple or even quadruple the default player. Unlike polycontrol, the ring of unchanging is absolutely worth the wish- not that you can wish for one anyways due to its awesome power, but you can sometimes find it for a high price in One-eyed Sam's market or rarely receive it from a prayer to Seges.

Fearless: Prevents panic. A new ability, and also the least needed one, assuming you get strong enough. However, if you don't, or if somehow Petrus chops off 3 limbs, it helps to deal just a little more damage, or to run away. Can only be acquired permanently with a ring of bravery or the Filthy tunic of martyr Bessica, but a horn of bravery usually works better and doesn't take up a ring/armor space.

Invisibility: If they can't see you, that's good. It decreases their accuracy against you, and increases your accuracy against them. About 50 zaps of wands of invisibility are required for permanent invisibility, but be careful that it, as its own drawback to go with it. I personally would just go with a ring of invisibility off an elite guard (which can be acquired with a prayer to Dulcis, having fun figuring out how to do that). You could also choose to tame a mage or light frog and have them cast invisibility on you until it becomes permanent.

Haste: Haste will speed up everything you do, from combat to reading, so acquiring it is a top-tier priority. Every strong enemy in the game has some form of haste. Petrus has the Justifier, Ischaldirh can haste himself, Sherarax has inherent haste, the rulers of Aslona have mystic frogs, One-eyed Sam has the ring of ludicrous speed, etc. Again, you could get lucky on a fountain, but you could also get permanent slow, so forget that. With approximately 70 zaps with wands of haste will do the trick, or a bit less with 'a'pplying wands or prayers to Cleptia. Also, mages and light frogs can once again come in to help you. This buff has no drawbacks, so get it.

Regeneration: A recent and decent ability added that greatly speeds up your healing rate and even eventually grows back limbs. Concurrently the only source of permanent regeneration is found in a belt of regeneration, but the help it provides is decently strong.

Life Saved: There are only 3 ways to acquire this power: Body swap to an archangel, the Blessed Shield of the Phoenix, and an Amulet of Life Saving. While the first one is just meme tier, the other two provide the ability to survive death itself and regenerate to full health instantly. If your character gets really strong, you want this.

Victory and values

Eventually, thanks to the help of a brilliant and talented guide creator, I hope you'll eventually win a game. Take that time to appreciate JoKe, then look at your score. Unless you've been really thorough, your score will probably be under a million. This isn't to say that such a score is bad. In fact, it's already leagues ahead of hundreds of other players that have never beat the game despite repeated attempts. But of course, you'll probably want more. You want to beat Gardien, Rauder, and Arcarion, crushing their scores in a blaze of glory. Here are some tips.


Your score at the end is based on 2 things, the enemies you or an ally killed and the ending you got. Your stats and equipment at the end have no bearing whatsoever. Concurrently, all the highest scores utilize the highest multiplier ending- becoming the High Priest of the Grand Frog, a 5x score multiplier. Easier said than done, of course, but necessary at this point. That leaves just the enemies killed. The way that enemies points are scored by their attributes, where each attribute is taken, squared, added up, and finally weighted to give the total number of points for that entity. For example:

Additionally, each entity you kill of a certain type gives less points than the previous one. This is calculated by the square root of the number of that exact enemy you killed multiplied by the point value of that enemy. Let's take the X again. If you killed the poor thing once, you'd get the full X points. But killing it again only gives 0.414*X more points. This logarithmic scaling ensures you always get points, but scaled down accordingly, otherwise killing infinite greater carnivorous plants would be the way to go.

How to take advantage of scoring:

Knowing how score works means that some enemies are far better to target than others. The best example of this are golems, in which their materials cause them to have ludicrous arm and leg strength and exceedingly high point values. Unfortunately, the ones you find commonly in the dungeons aren't worth too many point, with the exception of the golem room and the acidous blood golems found deep in the gloomy caves. But, you probably are realizing while reading this that there's another way to get golems, the scroll of golem creation. These scroll have the potential to boost your score by several thousand points for each one utilized. Simply create a golem, betray it, and take it apart. Note that valpurium golems cannot be created, but many high quality materials such as Orichalcum and Titanite serve as alternatives. Remember to switch materials after a while or risk depreciating point values (see above).

If you want the highest possible score, you also unfortunately should kill everything. You cannot cheese Attnam with sulphuric acid, the Enner Beast, or mustard gas, you have to do it yourself. For the killing, of course named monsters come to mind, but also the innocent but high intelligence creatures and your allies of old. After killing Petrus, those dolphins frolicking around in Attnam need to go, as do the children, the harem, the librarian. You must do an Anakin. Dungeons will continuously spawn monsters, but the more you kill the less will spawn. Make sure to clear as much of everything as possible, including the Crystal Cave (UT04 and UT05). If you're decent. kill Merka and his guards. If you are strong, clear the first floor of the black market. If you are busted, try to kill One-eyed Sam.

Other factors to consider.

Here are some other possibilities you might consider if you truly want to maximize your score. These all have advantages and risks, so use whatever might benefit the most

Angels/Archangels: While strong, they both can offer up a decent amount of points. You get them by praying, and can go down 2 paths; praying to happy gods or praying to unhappy gods. With the former, you have a 3 hour cooldown in game and aren't guaranteed to get one, but can consistently pray to multiple gods for tribute. With the latter, you can constantly pray, but have to be careful about your stats and health of your head (I would recommend praying to Nefas, as when angry she only drops a bottle on your head, which is quite harmless

Fighting Petrus: he will continuously spawn angels to help him take you down. If you can afford it, keep him alive to farm as many angels as possible.

Kamikaze dwarves: They have surprisingly good stats, especially the veteran ones. however, upon explosion they provide you no points, since they killed themselves. The classic wand of striking or wand of fireballs doesn't count either. That means you've got to throw stuff or kite them.

Source Code Fact: Also note that after day 30, they have a chance to spawn with permanent invisibility, which after day 50 is guaranteed, so farming as early as possible. Funnily enough, the danger level adjusts the intelligence stats of dwarves, making them visible with ESP, but it might be fixed in a future version. They can be seen with infravision regardless.

Gleipnir: (definitely one of my favorite weapons) Sadly, is not a viable weapon for highscores. The damage and flexibility it provides is incredible, but the sulfuric acid pouring off of it won't be considered your kill and therefore not your points. You will lose a lot of potential points this way. As an extension of this, covering your mithril weapons with sulfuric acid and even just poison will lose points. Somewhat obscurely, allies with poison killing enemies through poison will not count towards points, so consider not making snakes your allies.

Spawn rates: As mentioned earlier, monster spawns decrease over time, so after you kill a certain amount, you really just won't see any more. If you clear dungeon after dungeon with weak monsters, you just won't get too many points. Instead, keeping monsters alive as long as possible and raising your danger level will ensure the most points. This is pretty hard to do though, so just continuously killing monsters is fine.

Magic Mushroom: Monsters spawns decrease over time, except when they don't. Much laugh very funny except it can become a nightmare. In the case of magic mushrooms, alive magic mushrooms can spawn in more of their type, which can leader to infinite farming that's not plants. However, at high danger levels, the mushrooms can spew clouds that polymorph other mushrooms into entities such as the elder mage, a sudden, terrifyingly powerful presence. Careful that your highscore run doesn't suddenly fall to mere mushroom made mages making many meager minded moods mad. See this (Not a plug I swear)

Meme point: This last point is so obscure and potentially dangerous that I mention it more as a meme of an idea rather than an idea itself. There are traps scattered around the dungeons that I covered in the "Traps" section, which naive monsters may fall into. You should go disable them. Bear traps aren't to bad, just kicking active ones will take care of them. But mines... yeah... if a run is truly optimized... you gotta walk on mines to prevent monsters from doing so...


This section contains various non-cheating tips that will just make your life 27% or more less frustrating, guaranteed.

The goal

A common question is this: how do you become as overpowered as possible? Of course, on of the very nice things about IVAN is that no matter how strong you are, somebody out there can whoop you, but there is an acceptable general equipment. While weapons are too much of a hot topic to argue about, A perfect loadout will probably have the following (excluding the obvious idea of high stats and highly enchanted valpurium/GEF/psypher gear):

Multiple Permanent Status Effects, especially ESP, Infravision, Polycontrol, Telecontrol, and Haste (see status effects for how to get them), A method of flight (Cloak of Flying/Belt of Levitation), An Amulet of Life Saving (or as many as you fancy), A Belt of Regeneration (Inferior to the belt of levitation, but useful otherwise), Gauntlets of strength/dexterity (the latter more preferable), Boots of strength/agility (the latter more preferable), A copy of all your gear (or at least a decent backup), some form of teleportation and a lot of it (wands preferred), Some forms of fire, electricity, and magic resistance (can be your rings), Antidote Liquid/Panacea/A happy Seges, Scrolls of repair/ A happy Loriacatus, Some form of bravery (horn of bravery preferable), quick healing (Horn of Healing/Happy Seges preferable), some form of invisibility (Happy Cleptia/Wands Preferable), food (Troll Blood preferable), good allies (think permanent angels, Ivan, Vladimir, elite guards, necromancers, mages, mystic frogs, mistresses, resurrected named enemies, kamikaze dwarves [careful!]), and an overall unburdened status (really high stats or sol stones)

Basically, you wanna look like One-eyed Sam, but have more stuff.


You'll thank me for this. No matter how strong you think you are, if you sense danger, probably run. If the strong allies you receive from prayers or the journey are dying, unless you're much stronger than them or much more prepared (and you have to be very late game to do that), run. The point of the game, despite the title, is about surviving and earning glory.

The best methods to live and fight another day are listed below.

1. The most effective method of escape is a wand of teleportation with telecontrol to get yourself out.

2. If not telecontrol, still use a wand of teleport to get yourself away, not the enemy (many later enemies have telecontrol and its far better for you to know where the enemies are and not vice versa). If you don't have any charges left on your wand, it's still a good idea to break the wand using the 'a'pply key to teleport both you and the enemy. Another alternative of equal value is a prayer to Sophos.

3. If not a wand of teleport, read a scroll. Hopefully you have enough Intelligence to read it in time.

4. If you can't teleport... don't panic. As long as the enemy isn't too strong, you can still get away. Use a wand of invisibility on enemies without infravision and esp. Use a wand of polymorph with very hopefully polycontrol to turn into something that's fast/invisible/hard to hit. R'u'n with 'u' key to gain extra speed for a short while. Move diagonally around corners for a tiny boost. If the enemy starts hacking off limbs, pray to happy gods to hopefully get flexible limbs to help you run away.

5. If you can't do any of that... at least you lived up to the game title...

Your Stash

Eventually, you'll start getting a lot of pretty decent loot that you might want to save in case you can clone it, or just hold in reserve for a rainy, bloody, night. The problem is that you can't hold that much, and leaving it behind to constantly organize is a waste of time and food. This is compounded by the fact that even if you can hold onto items, the fragile ones often break from screams and mainly explosions later on, which is quite the nuisance.

The solution to this is to create a stash, or a safe location to store your most precious items (mainly scrolls and wands). The most common application of this is chests, which cost a bit of extra weight but a lot of protection. If you can lock said chests, you can even leave them on the ground at the start, because enemies won't go them. However if you want to keep the heavy chests with you, a sol stone is the best thing to hold with it, as its indestructible and has negative weight. With a socm, sol stones become even more useful, become insanely large negative weight to the point of being practically weightless. The best materials for this in order with their respective required intelligence are Neutronium (requiring 45 int), Slade (23 int), and Solarium (35 int, which hardens into neutronium at 40 int).You can find a neutronium Sol Stone on Nihil if you're powerful enough, and clone sol stones for the maximum results.

The better alternative to chests are lockboxes, which are nigh indestructible compared to chests. However, this comes at the drawback that they can hold much less material.

Regardless of the material, unless it's at least the quite good (such as orichalcum), it will be broken with relative ease by mages. Ischaldirh will destroy anything with enough luck, and the Enner Beast can break all locks.

Money, Merka, and Murder

An important factor in the game is being able to sell trashy material for less trashy material. However, with most shops scamming people, you want to make the most of the small things. There are 2 main paths to take here, either minimize loss through thrifty spending or maximize gain through murder.

For the former, this is done by increasing charisma and pawning off duplicate items. Even a single point of charisma, if it were to increase the selling price of that horrible bronze dagger by 1 gold, and you had several of those daggers, would make quite the profit when taking into consideration that charisma (henceforth referred to as charm) also lowers the prices of shop goods. Praying to Dulcis is currently the most effective method of this, as she can shoot your charm up permanently to about 29, but you can also utilize ommel tears well. An obscure method is to polymorph into a siren, giving you 75 charm temporarily, but don't waste a wand of polymorph on this. You may also consider the recently added wand of alchemy, which turns materials into pure currency regardless of charm, which can be game breaking with the right materials (namely gold, which can be found without too much difficulty).

For the latter, it's easier said than done, really. Killing the well armed guards and the honestly very strong shopkeepers are a challenge regardless of who they are. If you have an archangel of any type (with the possible unlucky exception of Amatrix), Merka and the rest of the shopkeepers can be killed with ease. However, they have a backer that can absolutely whoop you hard than a fart cushion. If you so choose to kill Merka or another dungeon shopkeeper, do not dare venture into the Black Market without an army or a will (I'll make an exception for the one man army, but that man better be Petrus or stronger). The guards there are strong and fast enough to rip through just about any armor you might be wearing. As for Hulbo, the attnam shopkeeper, he's well spoken for. This may seem discouraging, but I promise you, unless you can seek to gain from that pick-axe all shopkeepers hold, accept their scams instead.


Scars are a unique feature added to the game in I believe 0.50.9 (Don't quote me) which are caused when you take a strong attack that doesn't outright destroy your limbs. It will reduce that limb's health, and also may reduces attributes depending where it hit (see this for more details). Scars are annoying because they are basically permanent stat downs, but worry less. All you need to to is lose a limb, then regrow it using different means. This is easiest by wearing armor around all limbs but the one you want to lose and fighting. Be careful of panicking tho, and have an escape plan if SHTF.

Sometimes, it may even be beneficial to become scarred because it lowers your danger level, preventing stronger enemies from spawning. However, trying to abuse this can often lead bad situation. Take scars as just an interesting addition, and play as if they don't exist.


Pretty short section here. Just small tidbits on the different healing you can get and which is most effective in the short and long term. Before than though, even with it being mentioned in the keys section, to 'T'aste a bit of liquid in newer updates. Compared to drinking the whole thing, this is supremely useful. You may also dip with the '!' key to split liquid 50/50 in older updates, which required at least one other empty bottle.

Troll Blood:: Lesser healing than healing liquid, but high amount of nutrition. (About nutrition, see miscellaneous)

Belt of Regeneration:: Gives the user regeneration, in which they will heal much more quickly and even possibly regrow limbs, unique type of armor.

Healing Liquid: Generalist healing, just brings hp up with small amount of nutrition.

Antidote liquid: Doesn't regenerate health, but instead has a decent chance of removing negative effects.

White Unicorn Flesh: Removes all negative debuffs and gives decent nutrition at the price of DoEvilDeed. Can only be acquired by killing a white unicorn or rarely in a can.

Panacea: The elixir of immortality, at least metaphorically, heals and removes negative effects with high efficiency.

Horns of Healing: A heavy object that instantly heals the user when 'a'pplied and has a cooldown of several ingame hours. The superior choice of healing late and end game. Cons can be mitigated with sol stones/socm for weight and higher mana stat for cooldown.

Seges: The only god to provide healing to the player. Only effective when really hurt, otherwise might feed player or remove negative debuffs.


Fire is another unique feature added by Fejoa (chill guy) that causes flammable materials to burn away over time, most notably scrolls and your own limbs. It is heavily advised to have a chest/strongbox (see your stash above) to protect your items, as an unlucky explosion may outright instantly destroy your precious socm. If you don't have such protection and your stuff get lit on fire, a top tip is to use a vial, not a bottle, to dip ('!' button) the burning object into. For the love of the Holy Handgrenade of Antioch , do not dip your scrolls into napalm or sulfuric acid, as these will instantly destroy said scrolls. Alternatively, a few liquids don't extinguish flames well, such as vodka. Experiment with this, but most common sense liquids will work effectively.

On the other hand, if your limbs are set on fire by a pyromaniac or an incendiary device, you cannot dip your limbs into liquids (to prevent limb removal exploitations). In fact, it is impossible to pull out flames on your limbs, much to the chagrin of many, so you will have to left the fire burn your limbs off or let the fire go out. During this process, you may talk with a priest to put out burns while on fire, or to heal burn wound. Note that these two treatments have to be payed separately. You may also pray to Seges for a chance to heal your burns for free.


No freaking way. You just rubbed one ou-ahem, an oil lamp and got a friendly genie, who offers you a wish (of course, you could wish for his servitude and receive a nice belt and scimitar, but wishes are far, far more powerful), to which you giddily accept. But... what do you wish for? Here are my preferred wishes:

Belt of Levitation/Cloak of Flying: Levitation has literally no negative effects. It allows you to dodge basically all traps, avoid enemy attacks more easily, and cross terrain like the ocean easily. But, currently the only way to get levitation is fighting Huang Ming Pong, which wastes valuable time, or attempt to kill One-eyed Sam, which is just stupid. Wishing for the cloak gives pretty random materials, with the Mantle of Al-Khan usually being a superior alternative early on, but wishing for the belt is guaranteed to give a phoenix feather belt, AV 7, 0g, an great amount of protection compared to most other belts you'll find. This is usually my go to wish because I'm lazy.

Wand of Cloning/Wand of Mirroring: One of the biggest challenges of IVAN is the simple lack of items you can find. No matter how much you explore, there is an eventual limit to the amount of loot you can get. The aforementioned wands help to provide a method around that. Managed to get a rare SOCM? Make more. The only real question is which one do you wish for when. If you have excess of what you want to duplicate (over 5 being the magic number), wish for a wand of mirroring, as it will get you more items (see below). If not, or if you want to duplicate that sweet phoenix feather whip of thievery + 6, go for a wand of cloning and get to that excess of items.

Amulet of Lifesaving: The fabled AOLS, need I say more?


So you got a bunch of loot you plan cloning. How do you do it. First, read this. This is to help bolster your intelligence through Sci-Talk. No, you wanted to duplicate items? Well, that's pretty simple:

If you have a wand of cloning, place a stack of 5 items next to you, then zap the wand. Artifacts, Scrolls of Wishing, Scrolls of Charging, Scrolls of Body Swap, and other game breaking items cannot be cloned. Special weapons that are not artifacts such as a whip of thievery or a scythe of terror can be clone. Feel free to 'a'pply the wand with 4 items underneath you for just a little more loot.

If you have a wand of mirroring, place a stack of 4 items underneath you and hold 2 more items in your hands. Zap the wand on yourself and take the two items in your clone's hand, leaving you with 6 temporary items. Virtually everything can be mirrored, but as the name implies, they won't last. Like the wand of cloning, you can 'a'pply the wand for a final 5 more items.