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 pick any of these 4 spells at random and cast it. Then select one of the 3 remaining, 2 remaining and then the last one left over. Then it recharges and starts over.
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 technically 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 modifer 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 Glowing Orbs, or three Spark Bolts).
A shuffle wand, however, both follows and violates this rule. Look at the wand above again; now... what a shuffle wand would normally do is:
- select a random slot in the wand that has not been previously selected, cast that spell and mark it as spent/cast so that it will not be cast again.
- look for then select an unspent slot and cast it.
- repeat until no uncast slots remain, then reset/reload.
But what happens when it hits a slot with a multicast modifer in it?
When that occurs, the shuffle wand will cast 3 randomly selected spells. Spells are first selected from those which haven't been cast in the current reload cycle. If there aren't enough such spells to complete the multicast, a process known as "spell wrap" occurs (not unique to shuffle wands), and spells which have already been used during the current reload cycle but are not part of the current multicast are randomly selected.
So, as an example, the wand could do this (using the same wand as pictured above):
- select slot 4, cast Spark Bolt (spark bolt is marked as cast)
- select slot 2, cast Energy Orb (energy orb is marked as cast)
- select slot 1, cast all 3 spells at once. (the multicast and the bouncing burst are marked as spent but are cast regardless)
- check for uncast slots; finding none, reset and recharge
So, despite there being only 1 single instance of each spell in the wand, in this example the shuffle wand would've cast both the Spark Bolt and Energy Orb TWICE in the same reset.
However, it might have ended up much simpler. For example:
- select slot 1, cast all 3 spells and mark all 4 slots as spent
- reset and recharge (no unspent slots remain)
Exactly like a non-shuffler.
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).
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
So, from a mechanical standpoint, the Energy Orb isn't even part of the wand rotation at all! The wand used the Spark Bolt only and skipped the orb. You can fire the whole wand, and if it's fast enough you'll hit the recharge before the Energy Orb has ever even appeared in the world. You can imagine it as 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 it treats the Trigger in similar manner to the Multicast modifiers. It can select the spell after a trigger to fire before the trigger itself, just like before. An example as how a shuffle wand could play this out:
- Select slot 4, cast Spitter Bolt (mark slot 4 as spent)
- Select slot 3, cast Energy Orb (mark slot 3 as spent)
- Select slot 1, cast Energy Sphere (mark slot 1 as spent)
- Select slot 2, cast Spark Bolt with Trigger (mark slot 2 as spent)
- Reset and recharge (no unspent slots left)
- The flying spark bolt would then cast another Spitter Bolt, Energy Orb, or Energy Sphere when it hits the wall/enemy (because all spells were cast before the trigger, spell wrap occurs and any spell could be chosen to be triggered).
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 seperate 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 would fire two burning Spark Bolts at once with some normal unmodified Spark Bolts mixed in, even sometimes getting TWO doubles every reset, one burning, one not. 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.
Wand type: Shuffle
This one minimizes the chance of the Triplicate Bolt being fired from melee range by putting both the Spark Bolt with Trigger and Burning Trail in front of it, giving the shuffle two chances to make the shotgun pellet spell to go off as intended (at range from the trigger) as well as mixing in some regular Spark Bolts for consistency. Granted, it's not foolproof, but that's how you have to deal with shufflers. You have to play the odds or nullify them by using only 1 spell (type or amount) in the wand.
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.