Tier Lists

Dead Cells weapons tier list - every weapon ranked

Dead Cells weapons tier list - every weapon ranked

Not sure which melee weapon, ranged weapon, grenade, turret, or trap to bring? We've got you covered.

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Updated on November 27th, 2023 - Version 3.3.1

Dead Cells has a lot of weapons, making it perfect for a tier list ranking every weapon. Throughout the game, you'll come across melee weapons, ranged weapons, traps, turrets, and even grenades, each with different effects like damage over time, or freezing an enemy in their place. It can feel a little overwhelming, even though they're often slow or difficult to unlock and discover.

That's where a Dead Cells weapons tier list comes in. While we haven't gone into detail about most of the weapons here, we wanted to give you a quick overview of the best, the brightest, and (of course) the most destructive tools in your arsenal to help you survive this world.

Other Dead Cells guides:

Which weapons should you unlock in Dead Cells?

It's a tough question, isn't it? You only have limited cells to spend on unlocking blueprints, so picking the best weapons to unlock can be tricky and overwhelming. We recommend starting with our S-tier weapons and working your way down from there. Most are ranked by their base damage numbers, but where a weapon or skill does something special and interesting, we've made sure to note it.

Of course, it all comes down to personal preference. Make sure you read every weapon's description and decide if it would be useful for you. Some weapons have extra effects like applying a damage-over-time effect, like Bleed, or even combining with other weapons to create a one-two punch kind of effect. It's all personal.

Dead Cells weapons tier list

So, without further ado, let's get down to business. We've taken the time to break everything down by type for you: melee weapons, ranged weapons, shields (yes, they count), turrets and traps, and grenades. Each has its place in battle. Each will help you in some way to reach the end of the road.

If you disagree with anything on this list, then please be sure to let us know in the comments! These are a matter of opinion, after all, aside from their ranking on base damage. Critical damage is also important, so be sure to read the weapon description to take that into account.

Original article by Alexander Lockwood. Updated by Mihail Katsoris. 
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Melee Weapons

attacking with a melee weapon in Dead Cells

Melee weapons make up the bread and butter of your arsenal, comprising of everything from swords and axes to a spiked wrecking ball and a giant shark. Yes, a shark. We've gone through and listed every melee weapon, ranked according to base damage.

Some weapons stand out more than others, of course. The Ferryman's Lantern allows you to kill an enemy to gather its soul. Then, as a secondary attack, charge to shoot souls as projectiles, dealing critical hits if 3 souls are shot at the same time. With a base damage of 164 plus secondary damage of 107, then critical hits applying 429 damage, this is a monster of a weapon.

Others stand out for their usefulness and fun factor. With the Maw of the Deep, your third attack throws the shark, rooting the enemy and inflicting bleed. Rooted targets will then take critical damage - 158 base, and 270 critical.

The Rapier allows you to critical hit immediately after a roll or parry, and if you play the game like us, you'll be rolling around a lot anyway. With the Meat Skewer, your first attack places you behind the enemy, with your second hit applying critical damage. The Pure Nail comes courtesy of fellow Metroidvania Hollow Knight, allowing you to attack while moving left, right, and up. Drop down on an enemy and attack downwards to "bounce," just like in Hollow Knight, applying damage while in the air.

Finally, the Hard Light Sword is actually two weapons in one, along with the Hard Light Gun. A reference to the acclaimed Hyper Light Drifter, these weapons work in tandem. Fire the Hard Light Gun into enemies to damage and mark them. Then, the Hard Light Sword deals critical damage to those enemies based on the number of shots they received. Sword hits also recharge ammo for the gun, which (unlike other ranged weapons, more on those next) doesn't recharge over time. It's an elegant dance that might not be the most powerful, but is undoubtedly one of the most fun tools in the Dead Cells weapons arsenal.

Time for the first of our tier lists, then! Here we go.

Rank Weapon
S Ferryman's Lantern, Cursed Sword, War Spear, Tombstone, Flint, Oven Axe, Wrecking Ball, Giantkiller, Vampire Killer, Bible, Alucard's Sword, Death's Scythe
A Toothpick, Symmetrical Lance, Shrapnel Axes, Hattori's Katana, Meat Skewer, Broadsword, Impaler, Crowbar, Twin Daggers, Hayabusa Boots, Vorpan, Shovel, Maw of the Deep, Rapier, Baseball Bat, Nutcracker, Pure Nail, Morning Star, Whip Sword, Sewing Scissors
B Balanced Blade, Flashing Fans, Spite Sword, Rusty Sword, Bone, Swift Sword, Frantic Sword, Iron Staff, Assassin's Dagger, Rhythm n' Bouzouki, Seismic Strike, Wrenching Whip, Oiled Sword, Hayabusa Gauntlets, Blood Sword, Panchaku, Gold Digger, Machete and Pistol, Hard Light Sword, Giant Comb
C Flawless, Sadist's Stiletto, Valmont's Whip, Torch, Abyssal Trident, Hand Hook, Spiked Boots, Bladed Tonfas, Dagger of Profit, Snake Fangs, Scythe Claw, Tentacle, King Scepter, Queen's Rapier, Starfury, Spartan Sandals

Ranged Weapons

shooting a ranged weapon in Dead Cells Ranged weapons are extremely helpful in Dead Cells, especially when you don't want to get close to an enemy. Most use ammunition that regenerates over time, or that can be retrieved from enemies on death or a successful parry, in the case of arrows. Some, like the combined Hard Light Sword and Gun mentioned on the previous page, have a special function - in this case, ammo doesn't recharge passively and instead must be recharged by landing hits with the Hard Light Sword.

Here's how we ranged the Dead Cells tier list for ranged weapons.

Rank Weapon
S Money Shooter, Ice Crossbow, Throwable Objects, Heavy Crossbow, Multiple-nocks Bow, Sonic Carbine, Barrel Launcher, Fire Blast, Magic Missiles, Medusa's Head
A The Boy's Axe, Peril Glyphs, Boomerang, Explosive Crossbow, Bow and Endless Quiver, Repeater Crossbow, Quick Bow, Laser Glaive, Gilded Yumi, Blowgun, Marksman's Bow, Ice Shards, Cross, Throwing Axe
B Electric Whip, Lightning Bolt, War Javelin, Pyrotechnics, Nerves of Steel, Infantry Bow, Killing Deck, Hemorrhage
C Beginner's Bow, Frost Blast, Ice Bow Firebrands, Hokuto's Bow, Magic Bow, Throwing Knife, Alchemic Carbine


parrying with a shield in Dead Cells Shields might be an obvious choice for your adventure through Dead Cells, but don't sleep on them. Hold down a shield's assigned button to hold it up after 0.37 seconds. Attacks that hit the front are reduced by the shield's damage absorption percentage - typically around 75% - while also dealing damage to the enemy by the damage number listed on the shield.

Shields can also be used to parry attacks. Tap the button rather than hold it down, and it attempts a parry. If no attack hits during that window, you can't block or parry again for a little under a second. If your parry is successful, then a few things can happen: you can parry or block again immediately and cause an additional effect, depending on the attack.

  • Melee attackers take parry damage (indicated by the critical damage number on the shield)
  • Ranged attacks are reflected for 80 base damage
  • Bombs are reflected for 90 base damage
  • Explosions are absorbed
  • Festering zombie eggs are turned into biters which attack enemies
  • Arrows stuck in the parried enemy will be returned.

Carrying a shield also passively creates a force field for 0.5 seconds after players take damage, absorbing most damage except damage-over-time effects like poison and some enemy attacks.

Here, we've ranked shields in Dead Cells by their base block damage, meaning the damage the enemy takes after you block an attack. As always, read the shield's in-game description for any interesting effects, like AOE damage.

Rank Weapon
S Spiked Shield, Greed Shield, Punishment, Knockback Shield, Alucard's Shield
A Force Shield, Thunder Shield, Assault Shield, Front Line Shield, Ice Shield
B Rampart, Bloodthirsty Shield
C Old Wooden Shield, Cudgel, Parry Shield

Turrets and Traps

automated turrets in Dead Cells Deployable skills in Dead Cells come in three forms: traps and turrets, grenades, and various miscellaneous powers. It isn't possible to start with these skills without the Recycling Tubes upgrade.

First, let's cover deployable skills like traps and turrets. These come in powered and unpowered forms. Powered skills, such as turrets, need the player to remain within their proximity for them to function. Line of sight is best, with the effective radius decreased if blocked by terrain. As long as you're within proximity, though, you'll notice a line of electricity connecting you to the deployed skill, allowing it to function.

Unpowered deployable skills are typically traps that don't actively attack on your behalf, such as traps that activate when the enemy steps onto them.

Let's rank the various types of deployable skills. First up, turrets. The Sinew Slicer is particularly worth noting. You'll come across it early, and it makes short work of early enemies without placing you in danger.

Rank Skill
S Barnacle, Scavenged Bombard, Heavy Turret, Cleaver
A Double Crossb-o-matic, Sinew Slicer
B Tesla Coil
C Flamethrower Turret

Next up, traps and miscellaneous powers. The Emergency Door skill simply spawns a door in front of the player which acts like a regular door, meaning it can be destroyed to stun enemies on the other side. The Night Light is extremely situational and can be deployed in the Forgotten Sepulcher to help with the Darkness. Requiring 120 seconds to recharge, it can be thrown to a location to create a temporary light at that location. Touch it to replenish your light aura.

Rank Skill
S Crusher
A Explosive Decoy
B Wolf Trap
C Night Light, Emergency Door


Grenades in Dead Cells do exactly what you expect: they explode. What more could you want? Simply throw, and enjoy! Some have added effects, of course, and can be paired with other skills or weapons for greater use. The Ice Grenade freezes enemies, for example, and the Root Grenade roots enemies causing damage over time and keeping them rooted. The Magnetic Grenade is useful in crowded rooms. After a few moments, it attracts enemies in a large area, then explodes to deal electrical damage over time.

Grenades, like other skills, aren't exactly consumables as you would expect in other games. Rather they each have a set cooldown, meaning they can be reused over and over again.

The Hunter's Grenade is situational, which is why it's ranked C, but it's quite useful at the same time. Throw it to "annoy" a monster. When its health drops to 40% or less, use "Blueprint Extractor" to grab a blueprint.

Rank Skill
S Powerful Grenade
A Infantry Grenade, Cluster Grenade, Magnetic Grenade
B Stun Grenade, Ice Grenade, Fire Grenade, Root Grenade, Oil Grenade, Swarm
C Hunter's Grenade

Need more Metroidvanias to play? Check out our list of the best Metroidvania games for iOS and the best Metroidvania games for Android.

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Alexander  Lockwood
Alexander Lockwood
Alexander is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for gaming in all its forms, but he gets particularly nerdy about Destiny, Final Fantasy, and Pokemon. When he isn't gaming, Alexander is a fiction writer working on his first novel, and a mental health advocate. Follow him on Twitter @lockwoodwrites.
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