A Basic Guide to Wand Mechanics
This is a guide dedicated to teaching players how to customize Wands in Noita. In this article we'll cover some basic methods and concepts you can use as you play the game. If you have no idea why a wand does what it does, then this guide is for you.
If you have some programming experience you'll probably catch on very quickly, but if you don't then we've made sure to make this guide as simple to understand as possible.
The Casting Order for the two wand types
A non-shuffle wand picks its spells to cast from left to right, in its simplest form casting one spell at a time per click of the mouse until all spells have been cast and the wand resets itself (with a recharge time).
In this very basic example, a shuffle wand, would make a list with these 4 spells in a random order and go through it. To us who don't know the order, this will look like 1 of these 4 spells being cast, then 1 of the 3 remaining spells, 2 remaining spells and finally the last remaining spells.
Adding Spell Modifiers
Adding spell modifiers causes the spells to gain additional properties, as per the modifier descriptions. These effects only apply to the spell to the right of the modifier (this isn't always true, but it serves well as a rule of thumb for now).
In this example (for a non-shuffle wand):
- The wand would first cast an Energy Orb without any effects.
- Then it would fire a Bouncing Burst affected by the Speed Up modifier.
- Finally, it would cast a Spark Bolt with both Damage Plus and Fire Trail applied.
This part is a little more complicated, but should still be logical. Just read from left to right and stop when you encounter an actual spell. (Modifier + modifier + modifier + spell = spell with three modifiers)
Adding Multicast Modifiers
A Multicast is a modifier that instead of affecting how a spell behaves will affect how many spells are cast at once. This in and of itself is also a fairly simple effect.
In this example a normal non-shuffle wand will read (from left to right) a Triple Spell, and then add the following 3 spells to memory and cast them all at once. Then the wand resets. It will not cast three of the same spell unless (in this case) the next three spells after the Triple Spell are the same (three Energy Orbs, or three Spark Bolts).
A shuffle wand will follow these rules too, we just don't know how it'll follow it. As mentioned earlier, shuffle wands have random lists. Using the wand above as an example we'll get a random list containing these 4 spells.
If the first spell of the list happen to be the multicast, it'll be cast just like the non-shuffle wand would be cast. But if the multicast is the second spell instead however, the first click will shoot one of the 3 projectiles, then it would shoot all 3 of the projectiles. This is due to a mechanic called "wrapping" which says (in most cases) "if your wand requires more than 1 click to reset the wand, your multicasts will use spells from the previous click to complete the cast if they don't have enough spells to cast themselves". This phenomenon is not unique to shuffle wands and is describe more in the Advance Guide.
As a visual example of what was said above. We could randomly have the shuffle wand cast the list shown below.
If this happens, then the following events would happen in order.
- read slot 1 and cast sparkbolt
- read slot 2 and cast triple spell
- since triple spell is being cast, the next 3 spells available will be cast, bouncing burst, energy orb, the list ends here, but we are lacking 1 spell, so the wand goes back to the start and casts sparkbolt aswell.
- since the wand now has cast all spells in it, it'll reset.
Adding Triggers and Timers
For many spells in Noita it's useful to be able to cast a spell from a different location than where you are currently at, and sometimes it's downright suicidal not to. (Spells that, for example, explode will also damage you!) For this purpose the game has spells marked with the Trigger or the Timer effect (never both). Both these effects cast another spell, but differs in when they do it. They are otherwise mechanically identical (you will get the exact same casting behaviour with both), so for the purposes of this guide we will only cover Triggers. Timers do the same thing as Triggers but only after a certain amount of time has passed (as the name implies). Trigger and Timer spells are very similar to Multicast and Modifier spells in how they interact with the wand.
Here's our example wand for this topic:
First, the non-shuffle wand. This wand would cast its spells as follows:
- First, an Energy Sphere is fired
- Then a Spark Bolt with Trigger, carrying with it the ability to cast an Energy Orb once its condition is met: hitting an enemy or solid object.
- Finally, the Spitter Bolt
- Reset and recharge
As seen above it takes 3 clicks to reset the wand. When the Sparkbolt with Trigger is used, it brings with it the Energy Orb, in a similar manner to how a Double Cast would. The main difference being where the energy orb is being shot from. You can sorta imagine it as if the Spark Bolt with Trigger creates its own little miniature wand (containing only the Energy Orb) which it uses when it hits something.
Now, for the shuffle wand, as always it'll make a list containing the spell in a random order. When the trigger spell is cast it'll bring the next spell in the list with it as described in the Non-shuffle example.
Using the same wand as above, the random list on it could become the following:
- cast Spitter Bolt
- cast Energy Orb
- cast Energy Sphere
- cast Spark Bolt with Trigger, wrap into the spitter bolt from before.
- Reset and recharge
As you can imagine, using a dangerous melee spell (like Explosion) in a shuffle wand is basically playing russian roulette (with worse odds). Sure, the shuffle wand MIGHT cast the Spark bolt with Trigger first and pop the explosion at a distance like you want it to, but it could explode in your face too. Not good.
Putting it all together
Right, so now that we know how each element works, let's look at a few concrete examples of what you might actually want to build in the game.
Wand Type: non-shuffle
Since this wand has its modifiers frontloaded, it casts slightly differently than previous wands. The aim of this wand is to shoot something which will deal damage over a large area wherever it hits--a 'bomb' of sorts. This wand first fires a plain Magic Arrow with Trigger that, when hitting a target, bursts into 3 separate Bubble Sparks with a Fire Trail (this is different from a Burning Trail) pouring from them. The Triple Scatter modifier adds +10 degree to each bubble (which on their own have +23 degree spread already), causing all bubbles to fly wide, ensuring maximum area effect. This is a nice early game wand. Due to the fairly low mana cost of the spells used, it's spammable.
But decent non-shufflers can be hard to find early on, so you could also build something like this.
Wand type: Shuffle
This wand has a few different ways its list can turn up. The wand itself will take 2-3 click between each reset. On the first click, it has a chance of shooting 1 normal sparkbolt, a burning sparkbolt, 2 normal sparkbolt or 2 burning sparkbolts. Shuffle wands are harder to make do what you want, but since they always come with elevated stats compared to their non-shuffle brethren you can usually make some really fast firing wands with them, for example using one of the golden wands frequently found in the Mines.
An important note about shuffle wands, if the wands Spells per Cast stat is higher than the amount of projectile spells on the wand, it'll cast the same way as a non-shuffle wand (assuming no triggers) because it'll cast the entire list in one click.
Wand type: Shuffle
This one gives Triplicate Bolt a chance being fired inside an enemy hit by putting Spark Bolt with Trigger on the wand. The regular sparkbolts makes the fire rate more consistent but reduces the chance of triplicate bolt being fired from the trigger.
In general, the way you deal with shuffle wands is to either increase the odds of getting the wand to do what you want (by for example putting multiple copies of the same spell on the wand) or by making it only have 1 option (by using less projectiles than the Spells per Cast stat or just using one projectile spell and no modifiers).
On wands with 1 spell per cast, you can add Multicasts to increase the chance of applying modifiers to your spell. As modifiers doesn't change the amount of clicks per reset, they can't be ignored for the purpose of probability calculations.
Wand building is one of the best aspects of Noita, but can also be one of the most confusing until you figure out the system behind it. It is our hope that with this guide, every player will know how to make the most of the spells and wands they find in the game and utilize them to make some crazy god-wand that will carry them to the endgame.
If you read all this and want to know more, you can head on over to the advanced guide where we discuss the nitty gritty details as to how stats really affect the spells in wands, how you can exploit certain spells to make wands fire so fast you essentially create a laser machinegun, and how specific wand quirks like innate multicast or always cast spells interact with everything else.