The best Vampire Survivors build

Learn which items and weapons you need to make the best Vampire Survivors build, plus the best Arcana to choose to last the full 30 minutes and win

Best Vampire Survivors build: a mage is surrounded by gems dropped by enemies she killed with her evolved Garlic and her Magic Wand.

There’s a lot that goes into making the best Vampire Survivors build. In every run in the roguelike game, you defeat hordes of enemies, amassing new weapons and items to help you survive until the end. You can upgrade your items or take new ones at regular intervals, which helps you bolster your build each time you level up. However, in the heat of the moment, it can be hard to know which items give you the best buffs and which combos you should stack together.

When making the best Vampire Survivors build, you need to make two key decisions: which of the best Vampire Survivor characters to play as and which powerful Vampire Survivors weapon evolutions you want to aim for as you’re collecting items.

In this guide, we’ll focus on weapons and items you should grab to help you win the run in one of the best PC games in 2022. You have a fair amount of flexibility in finding what you need to make each build, but you only get one free choice of Arcana, so we’ll list which one to choose at the start of your run. You get at least two more opportunities to acquire additional Arcana, but this is dictated by the ones you didn’t pick, so you need to get that first call spot on.

Best Vampire Survivors builds

To give you plenty of wiggle room, here are our picks for the best Vampire Survivors build:

  • Soul Eater, Unholy Vespers, Phierragi build
  • Holy Wand, Hellfire, Thousand Edge, Death Spiral build
  • Vandalier, No Future, La Borra build

Best Vampire Survivors builds - the Arcana selection menu at the beginning of a run. IV - Awake is currently selected.

Soul Eater, Unholy Vespers, Phierragi build

  • Characters: Poe, Pugnala, Red Death, or Dommaria
  • Basic weapons: Garlic, King Bible, Phiera Der Tuphello, Eight the Sparrow, Axe, Magic Wand, Lightning Ring
  • Items: Pummarola, Spellbinder, Tiragisú, Candelabrador, Empty Tome, Duplicator
  • Weapon evolutions: Soul Eater, Unholy Vespers, Phieraggi, Death Spiral, Holy Wand
  • Arcana: IV – Awake

The idea behind this Vampire Survivors build is to have a huge amount of AoE damage, ensuring that enemies simply can’t get close enough to kill you. Prioritise getting the two pistols, as all weapons here will eventually evolve. Once the pistols evolve, you get a devastating AoE weapon that does more damage depending on the number of revives you have left. This is why you’ll want the IV – Awake Arcana, as it gives you three additional revives. Evolving the pistols also gives you a spare weapon slot, so you can take an extra weapon to bolster your offensive options.

All the weapons we’ve listed above have an AoE effect except for the Holy Wand. Its inclusion here is to take advantage of the evolved weapon’s ability to keep firing at the closest enemy – this is handy for killing strong enemies that somehow make it through the rest of your defences.

Best Vampire Survivors builds - an old man is attacking a horde of enemies with magic spells, while several circles are protecting him from the enemies behind him.

Holy Wand, Hellfire, Thousand Edge, Death Spiral build

  • Characters: Gennaro, Pugnala, Imelda, Arca, or Red Death
  • Basic weapons: Phiera Der Tuphello, Eight the Sparrow, Magic Wand, Fire Wand, Knife, Axe
  • Items: Empty Tome, Spinach, Bracer, Candelabrador, Duplicator, Tirigisú
  • Weapon evolutions: Holy Wand, Hellfire, Thousand Edge, Death Spiral
  • Arcana: VII – Iron Blue Will (priority for Pugnala, Red Death, and Gennaro), or XI – Waltz of Pearls (priority for Imelda and Arca)

Contrary to how you’d usually play Vampire Survivors, you shouldn’t evolve the two pistols when playing this build. Instead, you’re going to maximise the number of projectiles on screen by taking a character like Gennaro, who has additional shots for every equipped weapon.

The rest of this build is relatively self-explanatory: get weapons that fire as many projectiles as possible. From this point onwards, the only significant decision is which Arcana to prioritise when you get your second and third choices. You should choose the one in the list above you didn’t get at the start of your run, and one of either XIX – Heart of Fire or IV – Awake. The former makes projectiles from fire-based weapons explode on impact, while the latter provides a few additional revives.

Best Vampire Survivors builds - a hunter attacking mermen in a Dairy Factory with pistols as a bird shoots dark projectiles.

Vandalier, No Future, La Borra build

  • Characters: Pasqualina, Imelda, or Clerici
  • Basic weapons: Peachone, Ebony Wings, Runetracer, Santa Water, Axe, King Bible, Magic Wand
  • Items: Attractorb, Armor, Duplicator, Spellbinder, Candleabrador, Empty Tome
  • Weapon evolutions: Vandalier, No Future, La Borra, Unholy Vespers, Holy Wand
  • Arcana: IV – Awake

This Vampire Survivor build takes a while to get going and leaves you somewhat vulnerable at the beginning of the run, thanks to the imprecise nature of the two avian weapons. However, other weapons, items, and weapon evolutions can help you survive until you reach level eight for both birds, then you need to grab a chest to evolve it into the Vandalier.

Once you merge Peachone and Ebony Wings, the two birds that infrequently attacked specific spots become the Vandalier that consistently sprays the area around you with a hail of bullets. Provided you have the Spellbinder, Candelabrador, Duplicator, and Empty Tome maxed out, this new bird will quickly annihilate everything in the local vicinity. Unfortunately, there is no Arcana choice at the beginning that helps you a great deal with your weapons, so our pick here is IV – Awake, as it gives you a few more bites at the proverbial apple.

No matter your choice for the best Vampire Survivors build, it should keep you alive, even during the Vampire Survivors Ender boss fight, and help you unlock Vampire Survivors characters. Still, if you need that extra help with the popular indie game, we have some instructions on using Vampire Survivors cheats and a cheat engine mod to unlock Red Death.