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Challenges are unique runs in the game. Isaac typically starts each challenge with one or more specific items which make normal play more difficult. With few exceptions, Treasure Rooms are not available during challenges. Each challenge unlocks new content for the game, such as runes when completed.

General Strategy

Most challenges are designed to increase the difficulty of the game in a unique fashion. This doesn't mean all challenges are difficult, however; challenges like Computer Savvy are quite easy to beat. Some challenges do compensate for this by being especially punishing; Solar System is a good example of this. Each challenge has certain strategies that can be employed to make the run easier. However, there are a few strategies that can apply to all challenges.

  • Challenges can be played in co-op, allowing a second player to contribute to the run without being hindered in the same way Isaac is. This is especially useful in any challenge where Isaac is Blindfolded, as the second player will be allowed to fire tears normally.
  • Due to the lack of Treasure Rooms, Devil Rooms become much more valuable. Some challenges can be made much easier by making just one deal, but it is worth noting that other challenges reduce Isaac's health to the extent that Devil Deals become too risky.
    • Some rooms (including Crawl Spaces) may have Treasure Room items by default. Since these items are random, results can vary from run to run.
    • Because locked Treasure Rooms won't spawn, keys can be used far more liberally. Also, trinkets and items that generate more coins, along with upgraded Shops, can help Isaac acquire a greater range of powerful items.
  •   The Bible instantly kills Mom and Mom's Heart / It Lives. All challenges require defeating Mom, and most require defeating Mom's Heart or It Lives, making this an extremely powerful item, especially in challenges where Mom or Mom's Heart / It Lives is the final boss.
    •   Pandora's Box will spawn The Bible if used in Womb II, Utero II, or   Scarred Womb II, making it a reliable way to acquire The Bible.
  • Curse Rooms can spawn items, making them valuable.
  •   In some challenges, Dice Rooms and the   D4 are very useful, allowing that challenge's starting items to be rerolled, thus removing most of the difficulty. NOTE: This changes depending on the challenge. Most challenge pages contain details on the results of rerolling.
  • Blindfolded challenges are arguably the most difficult challenges due to Isaac's inability to fire tears. There are several methods to work around this.
  •    Chaos is a powerful item in challenges, as it can allow powerful items to be found more commonly, such as in the Shop or after defeating bosses.
  • Defeating a boss beyond the specified end of the challenge (e.g. defeating Mom's Heart when the goal is to defeat Mom) will still spawn the trophy.
    •   In some longer challenges (e.g. XXXXXXXXL), using a Sacrifice Room until it teleports Isaac to the Dark Room is a viable strategy. Once in the Dark Room, the trophy can be spawned by defeating The Lamb.

Notes

  • Apart from the achievement related to beating the challenge, all achievements are locked. Also, no Donation Machines will appear in any challenge.
  • The challenge reward will not be unlocked unless the trophy is picked up. If a Devil Room or Angel Room appears allowing Isaac to go to Sheol or the Cathedral, the unlock will be forfeited.
  • Isaac will not start any challenge with   The D6.

Challenges List

Name Conditions Goal Unlocked by Unlocks


1. Pitch Black
 
   
Curse of Darkness
Curse of the Unknown
 : yes
 : no
  Default   Rune of Hagalaz
2. High Brow
 
   
Starts with:
  Number One
  E Coli
  Butt Bombs
  Flush!
  Petrified Poop
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Rune of Jera
3. Head Trauma
 
   
Starts with:
  Tiny Planet
  Soy Milk
  The Small Rock
  Iron Bar
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Rune of Ehwaz
4. Darkness Falls
 
  
Starts with:
  Pentagram
  Dead Bird
  Whore of Babylon
  Razor Blade
  Sacrificial Dagger
  Dark Matter
 : no
 : yes
    Defeat Mom's Heart 11 times   Rune of Dagaz
5. The Tank
 
    
Starts with:
  Infamy
  Bucket of Lard
  Thunder Thighs
  Yum Heart
 : no
 : yes
    Have 7 or more Red Heart containers at one time   Rune of Ansuz
6. Solar System
 
   
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
  Distant Admiration
  Forever Alone
  Halo of Flies
  Transcendence
 : no
 : yes
  /     Defeat Mom's Heart 3 times   Rune of Perthro
7. Suicide King
 
   
Starts with:
  Ipecac
  Mr. Mega
  My Reflection
1 random pill
 : no
 : yes
    Defeat Mom's Heart 11 times   Suicide King
8. Cat Got Your Tongue
 
         
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
  Guppy's Hair Ball
  Guppy's Head
  Guppy's Tail
 : no
 : yes
    Become Guppy   Rune of Algiz
9. Demo Man
 
   
Starts with:
  Dr. Fetus
  Remote Detonator
  Match Stick
 : no
 : yes
  /     Defeat Mom's Heart 9 times   Chaos Card
10. Cursed!
 
    
Starts with:
  Blue Map
  The Compass
  Raw Liver
  Treasure Map
  Yum Heart
  Child's Heart
Curse of the Cursed
 : yes
 : yes
    Have 7 or more Red Heart Containers at one time   Credit Card
11. Glass Cannon
 
 
Starts with:
  Epic Fetus
  Loki's Horns
 : no
 : yes
    Beat The Family Man (challenge #19) and defeat Lokii   Rules Card
12. When Life Gives You Lemons
 
   
Starts with:
  9 Volt
  Habit
  Lemon Mishap
1 Lemon Party pill
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Card Against Humanity
13. Beans!
 
   
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
  9 Volt
  The Bean
  The Black Bean
  Butt Bombs
  Pyro
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Burnt Penny
14. It's in the Cards
 
   
Starts with:
  9 Volt
  The Battery
  Deck of Cards
  Starter Deck
2 random tarot cards
 : no
 : yes
  Default   SMB Super Fan
15. Slow Roll
 
   
Starts with:
  Cupid's Arrow
  My Reflection
  Polyphemus
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Swallowed Penny
16. Computer Savvy
 
   
Starts with:
  Spoon Bender
  Technology
  Technology 2
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Robo-Baby 2.0
17. Waka Waka
 
   
Starts with:
  Anti-Gravity
  Strange Attractor
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Death's Touch
18. The Host
 
   
Starts with:
  The Mulligan
  Spider Baby
  Tick
 : no
 : yes
  Default   Technology .5
19. The Family Man
 
   
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
  BFFS!
  Brother Bobby
  Dad's Key
  Rotten Baby
  Sister Maggy
 : no
 : yes
    Pick up both Key Pieces from the Angels in one run   Epic Fetus
20. Purist
 
   
 : no
 : yes
  /     Defeat Mom   Rune of Berkano
  21. XXXXXXXXL
 
   
 : yes
 : yes
Every floor is the size of an XL Womb floor, but does not combine the floors of each chapter.
  /      Defeat Mom    Gold Heart
  22. SPEED!
 
   
 : yes
 : yes
Everything is sped up like the Broken Watch effect.
  /  
within 16 minutes, otherwise under constant periodic damage every 10 seconds.
   Defeat Mom    Get out of Jail Free Card
  23. Blue Bomber
 
    
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
  Brother Bobby
  Kamikaze!
  Pyromaniac
  Mr. Mega
 : no
 : yes
     Destroy 10 Tinted Rocks and defeat Mom's Heart 11 times    Gold Bomb
  24. PAY TO PLAY
 
   
Starts with:
  Money = Power
  Sack of Pennies
50 coins
 : no
 : yes
Every door costs 1 cent to enter. Isaac drops money when hit. Isaac dies if he run out of money.
     Defeat Isaac as Cain    2 new pills
  25. Have a Heart
 
 
Starts with:
  Charm of the Vampire
 : yes
 : yes
Pennies drop instead of Red Hearts. Many items that restore Red Hearts have no effect.
  /      Defeat Mom    2 new pills
  26. I RULE!
 
   
Starts with:
  The Boomerang
  Key Piece 1
  Key Piece 2
  The Ladder
  Mom's Knife
  Trinity Shield
 : no
 : yes
     Defeat ??? or The Lamb, and defeat Satan as Isaac    Poker Chip
  27. BRAINS!
 
    
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
3   Bob's Brain
  Thunder Thighs
 : no
 : yes
     Defeat Isaac 5 times    Stud Finder
  28. PRIDE DAY!
 
   
Starts with:
  3 Dollar Bill
  Rainbow Baby
   Rainbow Worm
 : no
 : yes
Cannot drop or replace Rainbow Worm.
  /      Defeat Mom    D8
  29. Onan's Streak
 
 
Starts with:
  The Book of Belial
  Chocolate Milk
 : yes
 : yes
Missing a shot deals damage to Judas.
     Defeat Mom    Kidney Stone
  30. The Guardian
 
   
  Blindfolded
Starts with:
  Holy Grail
  Isaac's Heart
  Punching Bag
   Spear of Destiny
 : no
 : yes
Isaac's Heart will follow   Punching Bag instead of Isaac.
  /      Defeat Mom    Blank Rune
  31. Backasswards
 
   
Starts with:
8-10 random items
 : no
 : yes
All chapters progress in reverse order, losing 1 item and 1 Red Heart container each floor ascended.
  The Basement/  The Cellar/  Burning Basement I    Defeat ??? or The Lamb    Laz Bleeds More!
  32. Aprils Fool
 
   
 : yes
 : yes
The minimap displays the floor's layout accurately, but displays Isaac's position inaccurately. Pedestal items and pickups are not what they appear to be. Active items, pills, cards, and rune effects are randomized upon each use, making them very unreliable or deadly (for example Suicide King). Items with no charge time (i.e. How To Jump, IV Bag, etc) can be used repeatedly for random effects. Stoneys have a chance of being replaced by Cross Stonies. Every boss is The Bloat. Isaac's health is not what it appears to be. Key and bomb numbers are accurate.
  /      Defeat Mom    Maggy Now Holds a Pill!
  33. Pokey Mans
 
   
Starts with:
   Friendly Ball
  Mom's Eyeshadow
 : no
 : yes
Each use of Friendly Ball causes a random monster to be spawned. Friendly Ball instantly charges once the spawned monster is killed.
     Defeat Mom's Heart 11 times    Charged Key
  34. Ultra Hard
 
   
Starts with:
  Key Piece 1
  Key Piece 2
Curse of the Labyrinth
Curse of the Blind
Curse of the Lost
Curse of the Maze
 : yes
 : yes
All enemies spawn as champions if possible. Boss fights will be double trouble if possible. No heart pickups drop.
     Defeat ??? or The Lamb. Possession of   The Polaroid/  The Negative is required, prohibiting getting to   Dark Room through a Sacrifice Room.    Samson Feels Healthy!
  35. Pong
 
   
Starts with:
  Cupid's Arrow
  Rubber Cement
 : no
 : yes
Damage fixed at 100, tear delay fixed at 150.
     Defeat Isaac 5 times    Greed's Gullet


  Challenges  

Rebirth
1. Pitch Black 2. High Brow 3. Head Trauma 4. Darkness Falls 5. The Tank 6. Solar System 7. Suicide King 8. Cat Got Your Tongue
9. Demo Man 10. Cursed! 11. Glass Cannon 12. When Life Gives You Lemons 13. Beans! 14. It's in the Cards 15. Slow Roll 16. Computer Savvy
17. Waka Waka 18. The Host 19. The Family Man 20. Purist
Afterbirth
21. XXXXXXXXL 22. SPEED! 23. Blue Bomber 24. PAY TO PLAY 25. Have a Heart 26. I RULE! 27. BRAINS! 28. PRIDE DAY!
29. Onan's Streak 30. The Guardian
Afterbirth †
31. Backasswards 32. Aprils Fool 33. Pokey Mans 34. Ultra Hard 35. Pong
  The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth  
  Achievements   Attributes   Bosses   Cards and Runes   Challenges   Chapters
  Characters   Co-op   Items   Item pools   Monsters   Objects
  Pickups   Pills   Rooms   Seeds   Transformations   Trinkets