What’s that sound? Oh, it’s an envelope falling through your letterbox. You open it to find a Hogwarts acceptance letter. The Wizarding World awaits and your magical potential is soon to be unleashed! We’ve all had that dream, right? And now it’s coming true, in gaming form!
Warner Bros Games, working with Avalanche Software under the Portkey Games label, is now launching Hogwarts Legacy on PS4 and Xbox One, after a hugely successful release on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC earlier in the year. And Nintendo Switch fans will be next to board the Hogwarts Express!
This game, which we praised highly in our four-star review, is basically a dream come true for fans of Harry Potter. You can finally enrol in Hogwarts in a AAA game with great graphics, killer music and an original story.
Below, we’ve compiled absolutely everything you need to know about the experience. Read on for our full Hogwarts Legacy walkthrough guide, your complete companion to the hit game!
- Before you get started
- Get your expectations in check
- Learning the basics
- Top tips to maximise the fun
- Unravel the story or indulge in side quests
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Collectables explained
- The end is nigh
- Overdue homework assignments
- Behind the scenes
The fun starts long before you arrive at Hogwarts! In fact, there are things you can do before you’ve even installed the game. Iron your uniform, shine your shoes, sharpen your pencils – you know the drill!
Jokes aside, thanks to some official websites, you can take the Hogwarts house test and even choose your witch or wizard name before you get the game. You can import your web-selected house preference into the game at launch, if you like to have everything connected, or you can always decide later in the game itself. The Sorting Hat, as ever, will take your wishes into account.
How about some revision, too? You can scrub up on wand customisation and character customisation before you boot up the game. Although you can change some elements of your appearance later, some features are locked in after your initial decisions. So think carefully and get everything just the way you want it!
It’s also important to get your expectations aligned with reality before you start playing. You’ll want to know roughly how long the game is, what the age rating is, and whether you can be evil in any meaningful way.
In terms of what not to expect, you’ll also want to be aware that the game does not currently offer multiplayer or romance options. There’s no Quidditch, either, with Warner Bros instead working on a standalone sporting game with different developers.
You should also know when the game is set. It’s in the 1800s, basically, which means you won’t see characters like Harry Potter showing up. Heck, even the Whomping Willow hasn’t been planted yet at this point in the Wizarding World timeline.
As much as Hogwarts Legacy is an action-packed adventure game, it is also a school simulator to some extent. Throughout the game, you’ll attend classes and pick up skills that enhance your wider gameplay experience.
Early on, you’ll learn how to brew a whole load of potions. We’d recommend that you invest in pots as soon as possible, fill your Room of Requirement with bubbling cauldrons, and head to Dogweed and Deathcap in Hogsmeade if you’re ever short of ingredients. Imbibing potions can replenish your health and make you stronger in all sorts of ways, so it’s definitely worth doing!
On a similar note, you’ll also learn in Herbology how to grow your own plants, including the fan-favourite noisy Mandrakes. Plants come in very handy in combat, distracting enemies as well as dishing out low levels of damage to help you along. You can grow plants in the Room of Requirement, too, which is unlocked during a main story mission.
You’ll also take flying lessons, where you’ll be taught the basics of brooms. Once you’ve had this lesson, you can buy a broom in Hogsmeade at Spintwitch's Sporting Needs. This will make getting around much faster!
Throughout the game, you’ll learn a number of spells as well, and you even have the option to learn the Unforgivable Curses – including Avada Kedavra, the killing curse – if you follow the side mission chain involving a student named Sebastian. We’d really recommend following that quest line, as it’s arguably more thrilling than the main story!
So, you’ve learned the basics of the main systems in Hogwarts Legacy. Now what are you supposed to do? Once the game opens up its sizeable open world for your perusal, the choice is yours!
One thing you’ll need to know is how to get money in the game. On that front, we’d recommend learning about the eyeball chests littered around the map. They each contain 500 gold, so they're well worth hunting down.
One thing to spend money on is new outfits, but your relationship with this clobber shouldn’t stop once you put it on. Learn how to upgrade gear and you’ll be able to boost your stats even further! We’d also recommend getting more gear slots as soon as possible, so you can carry more stuff and never have to throw things away (it’s much better to sell your unwanted gear, which most retailers in the game will happily take off your hands).
Our other top tip relates to the talents system in the game. You’ll notice there are several skill trees, but it’s worth knowing that there is a level cap in the game. Once you hit that max level, you won’t earn any more skill points, so you’ll want to pick the best skills to suit your play-style.
For example, if you want to play stealthily, invest your skill points in sneaky skills rather than bombastic attacks. Think about your Hogwarts Legacy build before you splurge all your skill points, because there's no way to re-spec later.
As with many games these days, there are essentially two different paths you can follow: you can either rush through the main story, rinsing through every chapter until the credits roll, or you can take your time and explore the world with painstaking thoroughness.
If you’re more of a main story person, follow the quests marked in yellow and the game will guide you through the ‘Keeper Trials’, four fiendishly tricky challenges left behind by the teachers of yore. The hardest of these is Charles Rookwood’s Trial, and the most memorable is probably Niamh Fitzgerald’s Trial, which we won’t spoil here!
In terms of side missions, the Herodiana Hall puzzles are probably the most challenging, but the Musical map mission is a particularly fun one. The aforementioned Sebastian side missions are really emotionally charged, while animal lovers will get a kick from Poppy’s equivalent quest line. Also, look out for mini quests like the door puzzles dotted about!
Speaking of animal lovers, it’s worth noting that there are all sorts of magical creatures in the game. Some of these beasts can be ridden around on, while others can be used for breeding, and it’s also just fun to rescue these cute critters and keep them safe in your Vivariums (you’ll unlock these by following the main story).
In terms of legendary creatures, you will get the opportunity to catch a Phoenix if you follow Deek’s side quests. And if you do Poppy’s quests, you’ll come pretty close to a Dragon (but you can’t keep it).
If you play as a Hufflepuff, you’ll briefly see a Patronus during a house-specific quest that takes you to Azkaban. Whichever house you choose, though, you can’t actually cast your own Patronus charm. Maybe if they make a sequel!
Magical creatures aren’t the only things you can collect, either! The game is rich with collectables, most of which are tied to helpful gameplay upgrades:
Completing Merlin Trials will add more slots to your inventory, allowing you to carry more stuff.
Following Daedelian Keys will help you earn House Tokens to unlock some rare gear.
Visiting Ancient Magic Hotspots will increase your Ancient Magic meter, allowing you to use those powerful attacks more often.
Following the Butterflies will lead you to treasure chests containing conjuration items for the Room of Requirement.
There are also loads of Collection Chests to be found around the map. Collecting them all will take you ages, but they always contain handy loot of one kind or another.
If you’ve only got time for a couple of collectables, we’d recommend prioritising the Demiguise Moons and the Merlin Trials. But if you want to get every trophy/achievement in the game, you’ll need to max out all of the collections!
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As you near the end of the story, with the villains Rookwood and Ranrok putting up a fight, you’ll start to wonder if the game has multiple endings. There are three endings, to be precise, but the differences between them are quite subtle.
When you reach this point in the game, check out our ending explained article to see our analysis of all the big twists and turns. We’ve also got a guide on whether you should turn Sebastian in when his quest line comes to an end.
Beyond that, it’s only natural to start wondering about New Game Plus, DLC plans or perhaps even sequels! Nothing has been confirmed on those fronts, though, so you’ve probably got time to jump back into the game after the ending – you can carry on hunting for collectables in your orginal save, if you wish, or you can start again with a new Hogwarts house.
There are a few bits of unfinished business that you might want to stick around and complete after the credits have rolled. If you’re hungry for another fight, seek out the Infamous Foes and the Battle Arenas.
There is even a trophy/achievement called Finishing Touches that encourages you to try and use Ancient Magic attacks on every enemy in the game. That’ll take you a while! So will trying to collect all the lore-stuffed Field Guide Pages.
You can also search the map for Astronomy Tables (find them all to unlock some special cosmetics), and there are some Hogwarts Legacy secrets to uncover as well. Unless you were a real perfectionist on your initial play-through, then, you will probably still have loads of homework to finish!
It’s also worth reading up on the game’s memorable soundtrack, as well as all the Easter eggs that were hidden throughout Hogwarts Legacy by the developers. You can tell that a lot of love went into making this game.
If you’re a PC player, you can also make your own fun with Hogwarts Legacy mods! Some of these are really helpful, while others are pure silliness. For example, the internet modded Shrek into the game almost immediately just for giggles. There’s so much to enjoy in Hogwarts Legacy, but that’s not an addition we expected!
So, after all that, do you think you know everything there is to know about Hogwarts Legacy? Pit your wits against our quiz below to prove it.