Last year the wizarding world magicked its way onto mobile with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery for Android and iOS devices. The RPG adventure is available from the Play Store and has amassed over 10 million downloads since its launch from us mere muggles.
While we’ve seen plenty of games set in the Harry Potter universe over the years — which, bar the excellent Lego series, have usually been rubbish — but Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is the first game to release under Warner Bros’ Portkey Games banner, with Pokémon Go developer Niantic’s Wizards Unite expected later this year.
With the franchises’ eponymous Boy Who Lived brushed aside, it’s time for you, a new student at the legendary school of witchcraft and wizardry, to grab your study books, take hold of your wand, and don the sorting hat.
In this guide, you’ll find essential tips and tricks for excelling in classes, leveling up your attributes, and gaining points for winning the House Cup in Jam City’s latest title.
How to get more energy without spending gems
One thing you’ll notice within just a few minutes of playing Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is that it’s unashamedly a free-to-play experience where every important action tied to progress through the story will drain your character’s energy (indicated by the blue bar in the top right with a lightning symbol).
Whenever you run out of energy you’re given the option of refilling the meter by spending 10, 55, or a 100 gems — ostensibly the game’s premium currency. Unfortunately for players looking to hang onto their cash, those pink crystals are pretty rare and are required to buy the best clothes and accessories for your avatar.
The simplest way to regain energy is by putting the game down and waiting. You start the game with a 24 maximum Energy cap, and if you’ve kept up with the game – which is currently at Year 5 Chapter 26) you will have a cap of 40 units. A single unit takes a full four minutes to recharge even if you close the app. That means it’ll take 2 hours and 20 minutes to fully refill your energy bar.
Instead of just twiddling your thumbs, however, there are a few ways of regaining energy while still playing. The first is by hitting a new level, which completely refills your energy bar. Take advantage of this if you ever see the level bar about to tick over (shown inside your profile menu in the top left) by burning all of your energy first. This becomes much harder to do as you advance through the years and your level continues to increase though.
You’ll also receive energy refills from finishing certain tasks early on in your adventure. You will also occasionally see energy show up as an optional activity reward. Only pick energy in this scenario if you’re absolutely desperate as there are usually far better rewards on offer — we’ll come back to why a little later on.
The final way of refilling your energy bar requires a bit of sleuthing. On your travels around Hogwarts, you’ll see plenty of decorations adorning the school halls and characters milling around doing magic stuff. What you might not know is that tapping on certain objects will give a minor energy boost.
Keep an eye out for portraits, books, torches, statues, and anything that looks out of place and give it a tap just in case. The same goes for House Elves which will randomly appear throughout the castle and will always reward a handful of Energy. It’s worth noting that all of these objects reset every six hours, so be sure to keep visiting them throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a list of all the specific locations where an extra energy unit is available, we’ve got you covered. This may change as the game continues to progress though, with more places likely to be added further down the road.
- East Towers
- The blank portrait to the left of the Charms classroom. The painting is occupied by a girl when the energy unit is claimed.
- An extra unit is also available by tapping on Peeves, who can be found hanging out by the entrance ladder of the Divination classroom.
- West Towers – The painting of flowers found in between the Gryffindor common room and the Prefect’s bathroom. Oranges appear in the painting when the energy is claimed.
- Lower floor – West
- Tap on the unlit torch to the right of the Great Hall. The torch lights up to indicate a claimed energy unit.
- To the right of the Great Hall are three statues of knights. Tapping on the middle one gives you additional energy.
- Dungeons – Tap on the house elf that is standing to the left of the Potions classroom.
- Castle Grounds – Scroll to the left towards Hagrid’s Hut and you will see a stick on the ground. Tap on the stick and Fang will arrive to retrieve it.
- Lower floor – East (available in Year 2) – Tap on the books that are scattered on the bench between the Library and the History of Magic classroom.
- Hogsmeade (available in Year 3) – Scroll to the right till you get to the first alley that’s to the right of the Three Broomsticks. Tap on the person standing at the end of the alley.
- Forbidden Forest (available in Year 4) – Tap on the animated triangular spider web to the left of the Spider’s Lair. The animation stops until the extra energy is available again.
- Magical Creatures Reserve – Tap on Borf to get some extra energy. It can be found between the Grasslands and the Forest.
- Diagon Alley (available in Year 5) – Tap on the bag of coins in the alleyway that leads to Gringotts.
You can also get a bump in energy by increasing friendship levels. Between levels 3 and 8, the reward for leveling up a friendship is up to 15 energy units. Another easy way to get additional energy is by getting a pet. Tapping on your pet when it falls asleep gives you the extra unit. You can have up to four pets and tap on them three or four times a day. However, a pretty hefty amount of gems are required to buy pets.
Finally, extra energy is also available by winning duels in the Dueling Room (at the end of the Dungeons). Winning a fight gives you one energy unit and you can start a new duel after 6 hours (without using gems).
You can increase your max energy by completing Flying lessons. When a Flying lesson appears in a chapter, try and complete that lesson first so you can take advantage of the bump in energy for the rest of the chapter as well. If you’ve kept up with the game, you’ll have 40 units of energy at your disposal.
How to earn House Points and win the House Cup
So you’ve stuck the grumpy old sorting hat on your head and chosen which House you want to represent (which isn’t how that works in the Harry Potter universe, but go with it). Now, as a fresh member of House Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, your goal is to win House Points and bring glory to your housemates by helping bring home the coveted House Cup.
There are a few ways of claiming those precious points, but most will come from progressing through the main story and completing lessons. Make sure you always nail your demonstrations — which we’ll come to shortly — and try to get as many bonus stars as possible during lessons.
Be aware, however, that it’s far easier to lose House Points than it is to earn them. While it may be tempting to start a lesson while waiting for the next story quest to unlock, you should never attend class unless you know you can finish it.
Lessons come in one, three, or eight-hour increments, with increasing rewards. To complete each lesson, you’ll need to use up energy to fill up the experience bar and hit the required number of stars. While it may be tempting to go for the bigger rewards, if you fail to hit the minimum requirement you’ll be docked House Points.
Failing demonstrations and answering questions incorrectly can drop you a few points here and there too, but as a general rule, don’t upset your tutors by bailing on your classes!
Nail demonstrations and become a dueling master
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a story-driven adventure where you’ll spend most of your time chatting, exploring, and uncovering secrets, but there some parts of gameplay that require a bit of action and skill from the player.
The first you’ll come across is demonstrations. These will crop up during lessons when casting spells, mixing potions, and more, and come in two main flavors. One is a simple game of tracing a specific pattern without going outside the lines. These are incredibly simple and shouldn’t cause many players any problems.
Some demonstrations will mix it up a bit with a reflex challenge where you have to hit the screen when one circle matches another. Again, these are fairly easy, but the game does a fairly poor job of telling you what to do. Take your time and you’ll be fine.
Recent additions include matching and sorting different shapes, and a press and hold game where you have to tap and hold a moving cursor at a certain point for a few seconds to successfully complete the challenge. None of these mini-games are particularly difficult, but it’s still nice to see a little bit of variety being added to the game.
The other main gameplay feature is dueling, which is essentially just rock-paper-scissors with wands. Aggressive beats Sneaky, Defensive beats Aggressive, Sneaky beats Defensive. Watch for a pattern of sorts to emerge if you’re running into trouble when dueling. Once again, it’s pretty simple stuff.
Be a good, rounded pupil
No RPG is complete without character traits, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is no exception.
Your character has three attributes: courage, empathy, and knowledge. Each will level up as you progress through the game as rewards for completing story quests and other side tasks.
Now, If you’ve picked, say, Gryffindor, as your House, you may be tempted to pool all of your stats into courage like the heroic Harry Potter himself. Unfortunately, if you do that you’ll also be missing out on some tasty bonus rewards.
As you play through the story, you’ll encounter brainiacs, scaredy cats, and a sneaky Slytherin who constantly conspires against you, each of which will need to be handled in different ways. In some cases, you’ll see optional dialogue lines that are gated behind an attribute level.
These responses will give you the best rewards, but you’ll need to have leveled up that specific attribute beforehand. Put simply, make sure you level up every attribute or you’ll be stuck picking boring responses and missing out on crucial bonuses.
Speaking of bonuses, those attributes will also help you tighten those bonds of friendship with your fellow witches and wizards.
When you’re not trying to uncover the mystery behind your brother’s disappearance or attending classes, you can drop in on a select bunch of characters, with more unlocking as you progress through the story.
From time to time these characters will have a handshake icon above their heads, which indicates they’re ready to hang out. This will cost you a small number of coins. Aside from buying certain new robes, outfits, and accessories those coins are fairly useless otherwise so spend away!
These interactions hinge on those aforementioned attributes. If your stats don’t match the requirements shown before starting the activity then just come back later. You’ll also get bonus points towards leveling up your friendships if you have higher attributes.
Gameplay-wise, you’ll need to listen closely to what your buddy is saying and pick an appropriate response from a choice of three answers. One of these will be outright wrong. The other two are technically both correct, but the one which most fits the scenario will reward you with more points.
You can guess which response is the best by taking account of the character’s mood, which will fit into one of the three attributes.
For example, when you’re talking to Ben, Hogwarts’ resident worrier, you’ll want to avoid “courage” responses or you’ll scare him off. Likewise, for your nerdy friend Rowan, you can get away with “Knowledge” answers because she’s a smarty pants.
The interactions that are a part of the main story become few and far between as the game progresses. Luckily, baked into the game are three different ways you can continue to increase your friendship levels. You can have a meal in the Great Hall (Lower Floor West), play Gobstones in the Courtyard (Lower Floor West), or have a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks (Hogsmeade).
All three options reset at different times and offer varying levels of points. Drinking butterbeer with a friend (available in Year 3) gives you the most points but takes the longest to reset as well.
Having to do this all the time can start to get very repetitive but is certainly worth it. Certain key parts of the game depend on what your friendship level with a person is. Asking them to the dance, having them help you with a prank, or who you generally get in trouble with all depends on the friendship level. Of course, other options if you don’t meet the level requirements are available, but I don’t think anyone wants to get stuck with Merula all the time.
Always pick gems (or attributes) as a reward
When you successfully complete a quest or hit a bonus star during an activity, you’ll be given the option of choosing between three rewards, which can be either coins, gems, energy, or attribute boosts.
Bluntly, always pick gems.
Gems can be an absolute lifesaver if you need a last minute energy refill and unless you’re happy to start spending real-world money, the best way of gathering more is saving those bonus rewards.
If gems aren’t available, my advice is to go for attribute boosts. Energy and coins are fairly common rewards throughout the game and you’ll get more with attribute bonuses anyway. Unless you really, really need a few more coins to grab that swanky robe you’ve been coveting, start hoarding those gems and attribute boosts!
Do you have any tips and tricks to share with your Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery loving peers? Then cast a spell in the comments!
“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” coverage:
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery review
- Pets added in new Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery update
- Pricing varies wildly in Hogwarts Mystery microtransactions