Slay the Spire’s next character arrives this week

Slay the Spire Defect

Update, April 27: The third Slay the Spire character, the Defect, is now playable.

You can now play the third Slay the Spire character. The Defect, which became available earlier today, can be accessed via the game’s beta version.

Slay the Spire takes as many cues from Pokémon as it does from Hearthstone.

The Defect is a combat robot that has become self-aware. I’ve been playing as it over my lunch break today, and while it’s complicated, it’s easily the most interesting of the three characters so far. It works by channeling ‘Orbs’ which you can summon with your cards (although you start with one orb at the beginning of each run). You cna operate three orbs at once, and each one offers passive bonuses, such as providing Block or dealing damage to random enemies. If you want to activate a fourth orb, you’ll ‘Evoke’ the orb in the first of your three slots, consuming it and triggering a powerful effect.

To access the Defect, you’ll need to access the game’s beta version. You can do that by right-clicking on the game in your library, selecting the ‘beta’ tab, and then selecting the beta version from the drop-down menu. If you want to carry over your progress from the main game, you’ll need to go into the local files and make a beta copy of the game’s preferences folder. There are instructions on how to do that here.

Original story, April 25:The third Slay the Spire character will release this week. In an interview withPCGamer, lead designer Anthony Giovannetti explained the new character, as well as future plans for the game.

Giovannetti says “the new character is going to be a robot.” Quite how that’ll fit in with the game’s more traditional style is yet to be seen, but Giannovetti says the character “is going to play very differently to both the Ironclad and the Silent.” Apparently, it’ll channel magic orbs to power itself up throughout the run.

If that sounds complicated, it’s because it is. Giannovetti says there’s something of a difficulty increase between the two current characters – the Ironclad is generally considered easier to play thanks to its healing ability – and the next character will be a further step up. The reasoning behind that is that many players have already played a lot with the available characters, so they should be “ready to handle something more complex.”

While the suggestion so far has been that there will only be three characters, Giannovetti says this new character won’t be the final update. There will definitely be more than three characters, but no more will be released before the 1.0 update – “after that we’ll put out more characters but they won’t be in the Early Access frame.”

The game’s most recent major update added a daily challenge mode, which I’ve been enjoying a lot over the past few weeks thanks to the ease at which it allows you to combo cards together. While the new character will arrive this week, there’s no set date for the game to leave Early Access – expect it later this summer, though.