How to upgrade the Altar of Ashes and Arcana Cards in Hades 2


The Altar of Ashes in Hades 2 takes the place of the Mirror of Night from the original game, allowing you to strengthen Melinoë for the fight ahead. Doing so may require empowering your Arcana Cards, which you can do after you upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2.

To upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2 you need, once more (with feeling), to unlock the Incantation to do so. Unlike with weapon Aspects, however, it doesn’t get handed over by Hecate. Instead, you’ll need to get through a couple of hoops before it joins the list of incantations in the menu.

Hades 2: How to upgrade the Altar of Ashes and Arcana Cards

To upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2, you should first expand your Arcana selection. Head down to the Altar that sits between the upper and lower levels of the Crossroads. To unlock more Arcana Cards, you need to spend Ashes on cards near the edges of the board. As you unlock those cards, more rows and columns of new cards appear until you get the maximum of 25. Learn more about Arana Cards by following our guide here.

How to upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2 - getting to the edge of the list
Screenshot by Destructoid

Keep unlocking cards and making progress until you see the Incantation ‘Consecration of Ashes’ appear in the Cauldron menu at the Crossroads. The Incantation is what’s needed to upgrade the Altar of Ashes, but you’ll need to gather the reagents first.

How to upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2 - the incantation needed for upgrades
Screenshot by Destructoid

What Reagents do you need to upgrade the Altar of Ashes?

  • 6 Ash
  • 1 Cinder
  • 6 Fate Fabric

As you can see, the incantation isn’t too expensive. After casting it, you unlock a new resource: Moon Dust. Now, things are getting expensive!

Moon Dust is used to upgrade Arcana Cards. To do so, head to the Altar of Ashes. You now have the option to enter ‘Insights’ mode, in which Melinoë believes in the heart of the cards to view what you need to get them upgraded. Most take a certain amount of Moon Dust, while others take the Dust in combination with another Reagent.

Upgrading cards makes them more powerful, helping you reach your end goal. The Eternity card, for example, will go from offering 1 Death Defiance to 2 Death Defiance per run after you spend 6 Moon Dust. Some of the upgrades are minor, but become significant as you power them up. You can upgrade each card twice.

How to upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2 - upgrade path for the cards
Screenshot by Destructoid

The number of upgrades is shown at the top-left corner of the card. The first upgrade adds two blue arrows pointing up at the top-left corner of the card, while three pink arrows indicate the card has reached its maximum upgrade.

How to upgrade the Altar of Ashes in Hades 2 - wretched broker selling moon dust
Screenshot by Destructoid

You can get more Moon Dust in several ways. One option is to get the recipe and create it via the Alchemy tab at the Crossroads cauldron. You can also earn it by completing tasks on the Fated List, exchanging 80 Bones for one at the Wretched Broker’s shop, or buying some from Charon before the final fight with Chronos. It is one of the rarer materials in the game, so don’t expect to have a ton right away.

If you want to equip more Arcana Cards in Hades 2, be sure to give our guide a look.


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