How abilities, runes, essences, and storage work in UNDECEMBER: Everything you need to know

There are a ton of customization options.

Image via LINE Games Corporation

This article is sponsored by UNDECEMBER.


UNDECEMBER is the newest ARPG that’ll be topping the charts in no time. LINE Games has created an extremely in-depth point-and-click title that brings in a superior amount of customization, whether it be for your character or all your potential abilities.

UNDECEMBER was released on Oct. 12, showcasing a massive amount of creativity with your abilities. The customization is almost endless.

Players will make their way, hacking and slashing through Dimps and bosses across the UNDECEMBER world, taking in all the jaw-dropping fighting and story along the way.

For those of you who are new to UNDECEMBER, the game works in acts like Path of Exile. Feel free to go through the acts and see where the game will take you on your journey. 

How does the skill system work in UNDECEMBER?

There are skills a-plenty in LINES’ newest title. UNDECEMBER takes a strong focus on providing skill trees that allow the user to create whatever character they desire and to play the game in a way that is satisfying depending on the playstyle they want to use.

The skill system is a skill tree or skill circle. Players will connect their runes on a hexagonal grid to create stronger skills and make their blows as strong as possible, leaving their enemy without hope. 

To access your skill circle, press “K.” This will open up your skill tree, and then you can select your rune by right-clicking it and then left-clicking the spot you want to put it in. You can further augment your skills with colored runes that add additional buffs, such as extra fire damage or wider area of effect reach. The devs clearly aimed to make this a seamless process as there are many abilities for players to enjoy.

Once equipped to a hotkey, your skills and attacks will show up at the bottom of your screen. In the introduction sequence, you had skills left, right, and center. But as you get thrown up the creek without a paddle, you’ve got nothing. You’ll have to learn and build along your journey by collecting skills and tinkering around with them.

To attack, push the corresponding skill hotkey, which (if you haven’t changed your binds) is Q, W, E, R, and right-mouse click. If you don’t have anything bound to these keys yet, then you’ll need to make sure you have your runes equipped correctly.

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

Go through your Zodiac to see the constellations that will help you on your leveling-up journey. You can improve things like your strength, dexterity, and intelligence. There are also discreet skill trees for passive augments that will help with particular builds. Melee users will want to focus on increasing damage output while mages will want more mana and defense.

Your strength will increase your health points and your armor, dexterity will increase your hit and dodge rates, and intelligence will increase your mana and barrier. You will gain points with each level to put into these stats. Since all three provide passive buffs, it makes sense to not focus entirely on one stat over the others.

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

How do health and mana work in UNDECEMBER?

Your health will show up in the bar in the top left-hand corner, next to your name and level. Players will use potions to heal themselves, with mana potions regenerating your mana so you can use it against your enemies as a mage.

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

Potions are an essential part of the game, with mana being an important part of keeping your abilities continuously at their peak. The cooldown for a minor mana recovery potion is 10 seconds, and this will be one of the first potions you receive. The duration of the mana potion is five seconds, giving you a total recovery of 96 mana.

The minor health potion is the other potion you’ll receive. This provides you with 168 health, the duration goes for five seconds, and the cooldown is 10 seconds.

You can customize your potion settings so you’ll use potions when you absolutely need them. UNDECEMBER gives players the opportunity to select the perfect time to use their potions. 

You can set your potion usage for when your mana drops below 30 percent if you desire, with the ability to change it to any percentage between one and 100.

The same goes for your other UNDECEMBER potions. 

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation
Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

For each mage attack, you’ll most likely be using mana, so you’ll need these potions to keep your mana up in case you’re in a sticky situation. 

Also, just a tip, break all the boxes you can see. You’ll be surprised how many potions you find hiding inside.

How does storage work in UNDECEMBER?

Storage is a big part of most games, with UNDECEMBER taking the time to make it easier for players who have terrible organizational skills. 

The storage is sortable, making it easier to not get lost in all the items you’ve collected during your playthrough. As you’re traversing the world of Undecember, you’ll encounter enemies and boxes that will drop all sorts of items. You’ll also complete quests and gather rewards for finishing missions. 

Days alone on the road in UNDECEMBER can get lonely, but don’t worry, LINE Games has you covered. Players can get pets that will pick up items in the game for them. You can also make sure they pick up the items you want in the game.

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

If you’re looking to add more sections to your storage, there is the option to buy more through the game’s store.

UNDECEMBER is looking to leave its competitors in the dust. This ARPG has thought of everything and undoubtedly provides an excellent time.

UNDECEMBER beginner build guide

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how UNDECEMBER works, let’s dive into something a bit more challenging for some: your build. Unlike traditional hack-and-slash RPGs where users select their character class before playing the game, UNDECEMBER is making the options essentially endless, a theory-crafter’s dream. There are no traditional class selections in this game. Rather, a player can customize their rune hunter in a variety of ways using unes and Zodiacs.

What are runes in UNDECEMBER?

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

There are two types of runes you will be using in the game to build out your rune hunter: skill runes and link runes. Skill runes are, well, your skills. These can be achieved throughout the game in a variety of ways. Basic skill runes can be bought from town shops, be given as quest rewards, or get dropped from killing monsters.

Link runes are used to increase the effectiveness of your skill runes by adding unique effects. There are restrictions on what you’re able to link, though. You can only combine a link rune with a skill rune if the tags match one another as well as the link colors. 

For example, if you’re using the “Fire Ball” skill rune, it has the tags of “Spell,” “Area of Effect,” “Strike,” “Fire,” and “Projectile.” If your link rune doesn’t have a tag listed, it can’t be combined.

But it doesn’t end there. You will also need to match the colors. Each skill rune in the game has six sides called a slot, which can be assigned either Red, Green, or Blue. The Mystic Pauline NPC will not only randomly assign colors to the slots but also the number of slots the skill rune will have. So if your skill rune and link rune share the same tag and color, the two can be linked. 

What are essences in UNDECEMBER?

So you’ve found the perfect link runes that you want to add to your skills, but you weren’t quite lucky in getting the slots you needed? Don’t worry. That’s where essences come into play. There are three basic essences in the game: Rune Birth, Rune Link, and Rune Color. Back to Pauline you go (which can be found in any town) to test your luck. 

The Birth Essence rolls one to six skill slots on your skill rune. The Rune Color essence changes the colors of your activated slots. And the Rune Link essence changes the location of the activated slots. This essence will not change the color, just the location of the slots.

It can take a bit of luck to get the exact slot and color combination you’re after, but once you do, you can become unstoppable. 

How to level your runes in UNDECEMBER

But wait, there’s more. Once you’ve locked down your perfect skill and link rune combination, you can make them even stronger by upgrading them. Runes can go from level one to 30 before they switch to a different grade. Grades go from normal, magic, rare, to legendary.

As you progress through the game, you’ll get elements as rewards from quests and dropped from monsters. These will be what’s used to level your runes. You guessed it, our favorite NPC Pauline will be the one helping us do that. 

To upgrade to a different rune grade, you’ll need to use “upgrade essence.” But how do you obtain that essence you ask? Well, it wouldn’t be a hack-and-slash if you didn’t need to obliterate monsters to find what you need. Or if you’re more of a pacifist, you can disassemble grown runes. 

What are Zodiacs in UNDECEMBER?

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

Zodiacs, also known as the “talent tree,” are the other core aspect of your build in the game. When you open up your Zodiac tree, it might be a little daunting, but fear not, you’ll be adding different Zodiacs and unlocking different trees over time as you level.

The three you will start with are strength, dexterity, and intelligence. But what you decide to put points into is going to be up to you and how you like to play the game. Some people like allocating most of their points into one, while others split them up more evenly.

Screengrab via LINE Games Corporation

The strength Zodiac increases your health and your defense rating, which is typically great if you prefer going for more of a tankier build.

Dexterity offers evasion but also has you hit stronger. Evasion simply gives you better odds of dodging an attack.

And lastly, intelligence increases your mana and barrier. If you’re a caster that uses a lot of abilities, this will be the Zodiac you put some love into.

As you progress and unlock more talent trees, you’ll be given even more opportunities to dictate your playstyle.