Achievement Tips

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Basic Achievement Tips[edit | edit source]

For achievements gained by getting a completion mark with a certain character, consult the relevant character and completion mark requirement for strategy tips.

For achievements gained by completing a challenge refer to the challenge's specific page.

Most other achievements involve doing a basic task repeatedly or having a lucky combination of items, and will be gained with natural play.

Super Meat Boy & Super Bandage[edit | edit source]

See Unlocking Super Meat Boy & Super Bandage Girl.

Obscure Challenge Achievements[edit | edit source]

These achievements involve performing a specific task without prompting.

Added in Afterbirth † 5 Nights at Mom's
Get a 5-win streak, using a different character for each win.

Earning the second will ensure earning the first. Win Streaks count all types of ending including Greed mode, but the achievements will not trigger if the final win is Greed or Greedier mode. Intentionally beating Isaac (Boss) or Satan without the item to continue to chapter 6 counts as a win. Beating Mom's Heart (before unlocking It Lives counts as a win. If enough characters have been unlocked, consider going for this achievement early on in a new save file. Resetting the run in any way will break the streak.

Added in Afterbirth † ZIP!
Defeat The Lamb in under 20 minutes.

The Dark Room can be quickly reached by hitting the Sacrifice Room spikes 12 times. Consider using Azazel for quickly clearing floors, Isaac with The D6 for maximizing chances of a winning item combination or Magdalene for a large source of hearts to sacrifice.

Added in Afterbirth † It's the Key
Defeat The Lamb without taking hearts, coins, and bombs through an entire run.

This challenge is only concerned with picking up hearts, coins, and bombs off the ground. Items that directly increase your inventory such as 2 of Clubs 2 of Clubs will not break the run. Be very careful around items that spawn pickups onto the ground, and chests. An alternative source of explosions such as Bob's Rotten Head is valuable in a run where bombs are rare. Magdalene is the only character with a certain source of healing, and is recommended for attempting this run with minimal difficulty. This can also be played as a slightly more challenging normal run for The Lost for more experienced players.

No Damage Achievements[edit | edit source]

No Damage achievements are some of the most difficult achievements in the game. There are five of these achievements included in Rebirth, with 4 new achievements with similar objectives added in Afterbirth † with Booster Pack 5. The achievements are as follows:

Objective Achievements
Beat chapter 1 without taking damage.
Beat chapter 2 without taking damage.
Beat chapter 3 without taking damage.
Beat chapter 4 without taking damage.
Beat chapter 6 without taking damage.
  • Dead Boy Dead Boy

Note that there is no achievement for completing Sheol Sheol or the Cathedral Cathedral this way.

What Doesn't Count as Taking Damage[edit | edit source]

What Counts as Taking Damage[edit | edit source]

  • Getting hit by:
    • Bombs
    • Enemies
    • Enemy projectiles
    • Spikes (except Sacrifice Room spikes)
    • Other hazards
  • Stepping on Curse Room spikes
  • Using a Bad Trip pill

Items[edit | edit source]

The lists below assume the player has not taken any damage that causes the player to miss out on the achievements.

Good Items[edit | edit source]

Neutral Items[edit | edit source]

  • Iron Bar Iron Bar's concussive tears cause enemies to move around unpredictably.
  • Thunder Thighs Thunder Thighs and Leo Leo can be used as an alternative to bombs to break Tinted Rocks (though they mostly drop Soul Hearts) and possibly find a Crawl Space or Black Market but should be used with great care, as stepping on a Bomb Rock or a bad Mushroom will damage the player and disqualify the achievement.
    • Thunder Thighs is also a speed down and a useless health up.
  • Fire Mind Fire Mind's explosions can damage you if you are too close.
  • Dark Bum Dark Bum usually drops useless Soul Hearts, but occasionally spawns Blue Spiders or Spiders instead.
  • Mom's Toenail Mom's Toenail can hurt you.
  • Teleporting items.
    • Teleporting into the I AM ERROR room can cause the player to miss out on a boss item, or even the achievement itself if it is the floor that they would have got it on.
  • The Wafer The Wafer generally won't help, as the player would be trying not to take any damage in the first place. However, it can be used in conjunction with self-damaging items, even in The Womb The Womb/Utero Utero and beyond.

Bad Items[edit | edit source]

  • Any items that only give health are useless.
    • Bucket of Lard Bucket of Lard gives 2 Red Heart containers and heals half a Red Heart but is also a speed down.
  • Strange Attractor Strange Attractor can cause unpredictable enemy movement, especially with enemies like Dips and Boom Flies.
  • Explosive items such as Anarchist Cookbook Anarchist Cookbook should be used with extreme care.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Isaac[edit | edit source]

  • Isaac is very advisable once The D6 The D6 is unlocked; an active item which can be extremely useful to reroll bad items into better items that makes the runs easier.
  • If you have not unlocked The D6 The D6, Isaac is less advisable than ???, who has slightly better base stats as Isaac.

Magdalene[edit | edit source]

  • Magdalene is not a very good choice since she starts with 4 health and the Yum Heart Yum Heart. She also has a low base speed, which makes it hard to avoid enemies that run into you.
  • Added in Afterbirth † Upon completion of the Aprils Fool challenge, Magdalene starts each run holding a Speed Up pill, allowing her speed to be set to 1.0 from the beginning of the run, allowing for easier dodging.

Judas[edit | edit source]

  • Judas is a very advisable character, since he starts with a higher damage multiplier than most characters, and The Book of Belial The Book of Belial. Being able to deal more damage means less time dealing with enemies and bosses, and clearing rooms faster. His low health is not a drawback in this case, as long as the player is skilled enough to avoid damage.

Samson[edit | edit source]

  • Samson is less advisable than Isaac, as Bloody Lust Bloody Lust only increases his damage whenever he takes damage. This leads to a dilemma; Samson must either avoid damage for a higher Devil Room or Angel Room chance, or take damage to take advantage of Bloody Lust Bloody Lust.

Azazel[edit | edit source]

  • Azazel is extremely advisable, as he starts with flight and a short-ranged version of Brimstone Brimstone. Azazel's flight allows Azazel to have increased mobility and hide behind obstacles, which helps counteract his lack of range with Brimstone Brimstone on early floors. Azazel's short-ranged Brimstone Brimstone deals significantly more damage than any other character; allowing Azazel to quickly get through early floors.

???[edit | edit source]

  • ??? has slightly better stats than Isaac, making him an advisable character to play.
  •  ??? has some advantages over other characters when picking up certain items, since he cannot gain Red Heart containers. For example, Whore of Babylon Whore of Babylon is permanently active for ??? once picked up.

Lazarus[edit | edit source]

  • Lazarus is not advisable, as he has low range and starts with a random pill; this makes him slightly worse than non-The D6 The D6 Isaac.
  • If Lazarus dies, he resurrects as Lazarus Risen - starting with increased stats and the effect of Anemic Anemic, which negates his low range. However, Lazarus cannot get the current chapter's achievement if he takes damage to kill himself.
  • Added in Afterbirth † After beating the Backasswards challenge, Lazarus now begins with Anemic Anemic, making his stats roughly equal to Isaac's.

Eden[edit | edit source]

  • Eden is inadvisable due to his randomness and the fact that Mom's Heart/It Lives need to be killed several times to play as Eden for several runs; if Eden starts with a poor set of items, then the player will have to waste another Eden Token.

The Lost[edit | edit source]

  • The Lost has no health (although internally he has half a Soul Heart), which can be used to encourage the player to get these achievements, as he can't take damage without dying. He also has flight and can take any Devil deals for free. However, strategies such as using Blood Donation Machines won't work with him unless he has extra lives.
  • Added in Afterbirth The Lost begins with Holy Mantle Holy Mantle after donating 879 coins to the Greed Donation Machine, allowing him to take one hit on rooms without dying.

Added in Afterbirth Lilith[edit | edit source]

  • Lilith is not recommended for these achievements, as she relies on Incubus Incubus to deal damage, and is Blindfolded, which can leave her open to damage if the player isn't careful.

Added in Afterbirth Keeper[edit | edit source]

  • Keeper is not recommended for these achievements, as he is the slowest character in the game (tied with Magdalene), and has a tear delay of 28, the slowest fire rate besides Azazel. The combination of these two factors will have Keeper open to attack much of the time, which is made worse by his slow speed, making it harder to dodge.

Added in Afterbirth † Apollyon[edit | edit source]

  • Apollyon is recommended for these achievements, as he starts with average stats and Void Void, an item which absorbs other items. Void gives stat increases to Apollyon when passive items are absorbed, and uses the effects of any absorbed active items every time Void is used.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

  • If possible, maximize the number of times you get to use The D6 The D6.
  • Use bombs to escape rooms that you don't think you can handle.
  • Do not risk going over spikes, if you don't have flight.
  • A very easy way to achieve the Dark Boy/Mama's Boy is to obtain The Bible while holding IV the Emperor. This can be used to skip the final floor of the Depths/Womb entirely.
    • This is even more effective if the floor is affected by Curse of the Labyrinth.
    • Picking up Starter Deck Starter Deck and holding the Ehwaz rune and IV - The Emperor card in combination with the Bible is also a viable strategy, although Ehwaz has a small chance of spawning a door to a Crawl Space instead.
  • Note that you gain the achievement after you defeat the second boss of a chapter, not after you go down to the next floor. This means, after getting the related achievement, you can go visit the rest of the floor (including the curse room if you have enough health) and obtain pickups that could help you get the later achievements.

Force Quit and File Manipulation[edit | edit source]

As a last resort, force quitting the game may help net achievements that remain elusive due to lack of skills and/or luck. A save game is generated whenever one exits a game to the menu or at the start of a new level. If one wishes to go back to the last save game, force quit the game (Force Quit on OS X, End Task on Windows, home button and then close the app on consoles) and then restart the game. The continue option will light up and then your last save game will be restored. Aside from helping with Achievements, this is useful if you want to reverse negative pill effects, exploit coin donation, find the quickest way through the level after doing a "test run", etc...

  • The method is also capable of reversing a player's death. After death, the game will erase the save game. However, if you pause the game right after you are killed and before the next menu pops up, you may then force quit and restore your last save game in the run. This was the only way less skilled players were able to finish the game with The Lost.
  • Of course, this method when abused does take away the charm and fun from the game, not to mention significantly extending the real-time it takes to get through a run. A half-hour game may easily extend to several hours if one tries to Force Quit repeatedly.

Added in Afterbirth In Afterbirth, the Force Quit method has been partially patched. It still works as in Rebirth except after a player's death. If you attempt to Force Quit after death, the continue option is not selectable, and you have to start a new game.

  • Having extra lives used to allow the Force Quit method to work after death. There was no need to immediately pause the game after a death in this case. Force quitting after the extra life starts would still restore the last save game. This has since also been patched.

Alternatively on OS X and Windows, one may disable cloud saving and copy / restore certain save files after quitting the game. This is capable of reversing a player death and allow less skilled players to finish The Lost and Added in Afterbirth Keeper runs. However, this is risky and careless copy and pasting may result in permanently lost in-game achievements and secrets. One does not need to force quit either and may close the app normally. BACK UP YOUR SAVE FILES before attempting the following.

  • Go to The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth folder. Find options.ini and open in a text editor. Change the SteamCloud value from 1 to 0. Save the change to options.ini.
  • When SteamCloud is disabled, the local save file will not reflect your latest cloud save file. The game will look like you're starting from scratch. You can use your last local copy of the cloud save file as the new local save file. The cloud save has format [YearMonthDate].ab_persistentgamedata[Slot#].dat. Rename this file (and overwrite) to persistentgamedata[Slot#].dat. For example, if using slot 1, rename 20160331.ab_persistentgamedata1.dat (and overwrite) to persistentgamedata1.dat. Now your local save file will reflect your last cloud save file.
  • Play the game and reach a point where you want to save. Pause and exit to the menu to generate a save file (alternatively, starting a new level will generate one). Look in the Binding of Isaac Afterbirth folder for 2 specific files with the following formats: gamestate[Slot#].dat and persistentgamedata[Slot#].dat. Copy these files to another folder on your hard drive. For example, if using slot 1, copy gamestate1.dat and persistentgamedata1.dat to another folder.
  • Since you are using this method and are going to screw up, you may exit the app normally after your character dies instead of force quitting. You'll notice that gamestate[Slot#].dat has disappeared from the Isaac folder. Restore the gamestate[Slot#].dat and (overwrite) persistentgamedata[Slot#].dat files from your other folder.
  • Restart the app. You'll notice that the continue option is now available. You may resume your failed run.
  • In-game and Steam achievements will still unlock with this method.
  • Once you are done manipulating files and want to go back to Steam cloud saving, go back to options.ini in the Isaac folder and change SteamCloud value back to 1.
  • However, once you do this, your cloud save is the old one. To update your cloud save with your current local save, copy the persistentgamedata[Slot#].dat file from the Isaac folder to the remote folder. Rename (and overwrite) to ab_persistentgamedata[Slot#].dat. For example, if using slot 1, copy persistentgamedata1.dat from the Isaac folder and rename/overwrite to ab_persistentgamedata1.dat in the Remote folder.

This can also work on the 3DS by pausing just as you die and pressing the home button, then closing The Binding of Isaac. Reopening the game and hitting continue will respawn you on the floor you died on. This will reset your progress for that floor. This can be repeated as much as needed; however, there is a bug. If used on the first floor, and the character that dies spawned with any active items - such as Isaac's D6, The Lost's D4, or Judas' Book of Belial - the items will be removed. This can be fixed simply by quitting and continuing whilst still alive.


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