Hades now offers a test branch with early access to updates and fixes

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Hades players who want to get an early look at what’s coming next can now sign up for a test branch on Steam and the Epic Store that will grant access to the latest updates before they officially go live. Developer Supergiant said the test branch isn’t for everyone, warning that you should only sign up if you’re struggling with “some rare technical issue” or just want to help out with testing, but if that’s your thing, now’s your chance.

“The Hades Test Branch is a version of Hades containing bug fixes and other work-in-progress we’re preparing for an official patch,” the test branch readme on the Hades Discord server says. “Having completed the Early Access development of Hades, we want to be especially sure our follow-up patches launch in a problem-free state. Having enough players opting to play on our Test Branch will give us the confidence that our changes have been thoroughly tested before launching an official patch.”

There will be no specific schedule test branch updates, nor will there necessarily be patch notes released outside of official updates. Supergiant also said that the existence of the test branch should not be taken as a sign that more content is coming, because it isn’t.

“We put everything we’ve got into v1.0 of Hades,” the FAQ says. “The Hades Test Branch is to ensure our follow-up patches in the coming days are as problem-free as possible. Once we’re sure things have settled with our launch, our small team will be taking a break to recharge, and plan what’s next. The Hades Test Branch will likely be functionally discontinued during that time (i.e., we will not be making updates).”

If all of that hasn’t put you off, this is how to sign up for the test branch on Steam:

  • Right-click Hades in your Steam Library
  • Select Properties
  • Go to the Betas tab
  • Type HadesTestBranchAccess in the code field
  • Click Check Code
  • Select testbranch – Test Branch from the dropdown menu

And this is how you do it on the Epic Games Store:

  • Open your Library
  • Locate or search for “Hades Test Branch” (it should have its own entry)
  • Select “Install”

As for switching between the two branches, Supergiant said the test branch and main branch of Hades on Steam “will be one and the same” once an official update goes out. On Epic, the test branch will be an entirely separate library entry, so you can just uninstall it and go back to playing the main Hades game.

A channel for discussing test branch issues, as well as a running list of some of the changes, are also available on the Hades Discord server. Here’s what’s currently in the pipe:

General:

  • Added two more Themes 

Balance:

  • Aspect of Talos (Fist): increased damage bonus
  •  Aspect of Hera (Bow): further updates to interactions with Crush Shot
  • Sniper Shot (Bow): made trigger area larger
  • Bow: reduced Special damage
  • Charged Volley (Bow): increased effectiveness
  • Flaring Spin (Spear): increased pulse damage
  • Dash Nova (Blade): increased Sturdy duration
  • Huge Catch (Poseidon): pre-requisite can include Conch Shell
  • Hydraulic Might (Poseidon): increased Heroic rarity scaling
  • Lightning Reflex (Zeus): improved pom scaling
  • Clean Kill (Artemis): improved pom scaling
  • Fiery Presence (Mirror): damage increase now functions (& is reduced)
  • Trial of the Gods: increase difficulty in Elysium
  • Wringer: made slightly more common in Tartarus
  • Fixed erroneous Boon pre-requisities

Events:

  • Fixed issues preventing certain story events and voice lines from playing for some characters
  • Fixed Nyx’s greetings not playing as expected when approaching her
  • Fixed Dusa’s ‘surprised’ greetings having less variety than intended
  • Added Charon voice line variety when interacting with him
  • Added Minotaur voice line variety when entering his chamber
  • Added some new Zagreus voice lines in some contexts
  • Added a new Inspect Point after the epilogue
  • Added updated translations in all languages

Bugs:

  • Several stability fixes
  • Fixed Mouse Lock setting failing with multiple monitors
  • Fixed an issue where Deadly Flourish would reduce the critical chance of Vicious Skewer
  • Fixed issues with Well Stocked achievement not unlocking
  • Fixed an issue where the Sundial cosmetic could be unavailable
  • Fixed an issue where Themes caused erroneous Contractor notifications
  • Fixed issues with Orpheus’ singing playing incorrectly when switching chambers
  • Fixed an issue where Dusa could get stuck while trying to fly away