Hogwarts Legacy Tips: Hidden Mechanics The Game Doesn’t Teach You

There's so much to do in Hogwarts Legacy that the game doesn't even teach you about some incredibly useful hidden mechanics.

Hogwarts Legacy
Photo: Warner Bros. Games

Hogwarts Legacy is based on the Wizarding World universe created by J.K. Rowling. You can read more about Rowling’s history of transphobic remarks as well as find resources to support LGBTQ organizations here.

I’ve said it before, but Hogwarts Legacy really is a massive game. It’s not the biggest open-world game out there, but it’s certainly denser than some recent open-world experiences. While there’s quite a lot that you’ll learn throughout your Hogwarts Legacy adventure, I found myself surprised by the number of hidden mechanics in the game that you can easily miss even late into the game.

From arguably essential tips for beginners to mechanics that border on glitches, here are some of the things that Hogwarts Legacy doesn’t teach you.

Increase Inventory Space By Completing Trials of Merlin

You’re going to start running out of inventory space pretty early into your Hogwarts Legacy journey. Once you start destroying items just to free up space, you’ll probably start saying “There has to be a better way to do this.” Well, there is. 

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By completing the Trials of Merlin spread throughout the world, you gradually unlock additional inventory spaces. You get your first upgrade after completing two Trials, and more upgrades follow at increasingly larger progression intervals. All told, you can unlock up to 40 additional inventory spaces by completing every Trial of Merlin in the game.

Please note that you do need to claim your rewards from the “Challenges” menu in order to unlock your additional inventory spaces. Actually, that’s true of all Challenge rewards. If you just leave them sitting there, the rewards will not automatically be added to your character/inventory.

Additional Spell Slots Are Unlocked Via Talents

At the beginning of Hogwarts Legacy, you’ll be limited to four active spell slots. Once all of those slots are full (which doesn’t take long), you’ll need to swap out your current spells in order to use new ones. It gets very annoying, very fast. 

Thankfully, you can acquire additional spell slots by spending Talent points (once Talents are unlocked via the main quest). You can only quickly access four spells at a time, but you’ll at least be able to quickly swap between four sets of four selectable spells once you’ve unlocked additional slots.

The only catch is that you do need to spend available Talent Points in order to unlock those additional spots rather than using them to purchase character upgrades. That brings us to our next tip…

You Can Run Out of Talent Points

The moment you unlock Talent Points in Hogwarts Legacy is the moment your character-building options really start to open up. That moment is made that much better by the fact that you automatically receive additional Talent Points to spend (based on the level you’re at when you unlock that mechanic). 

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However, you’re going to want to be careful with how you spend your early Talent Points. You’re no longer able to level up your character once you hit Level 40, which also means you’re no longer able to earn Talent Points past Level 40. In other words, you can’t acquire every Talent in the game during a single playthrough.

Those eying certain high-level Talents will want to remember that they will only have access to 35 Talent Points in a single playthrough. Start doing a little budgeting early, and you’ll be able to ensure you get the ones you really want.

Your Choice of Wand Doesn’t Really Matter

Choosing your wand in Hogwarts Legacy certainly feels like a big moment. For fans of the Harry Potter series, it absolutely will be. As we learned in the Harry Potter books, though, it turns out that the individual Witch or Wizard is often more important than their wand. 

In fact, your wand is really just a cosmetic in Hogwarts Legacy. You can unlock wand handles to change a wand’s design slightly, but you can’t make it more powerful. Again, that’s lore-friendly, though it goes against common video game logic. 

Stealth Is Incredibly Overpowered In Combat

We’ll dive a little deeper into this at another time, but you should know that stealth is an incredibly powerful tool in Hogwarts Legacy’s combat system despite the fact that the game treats it as a somewhat situational ability. 

While you’re cloaked in stealth mode, you can one-shot otherwise troublesome enemies. It’s entirely possible to clear out the majority of camps and dungeons in Hogwarts Legacy without ever being seen. In fact, there are even some bosses and other “named enemies” that can’t be instantly killed while you’re in stealth but can be stealth attacked for massive damage. It’s not always the most enjoyable way to play the game, but it’s ridiculously powerful.  

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Don’t Explore the World Too Quickly

Once you open the “World” part of the Hogwarts Legacy map, you’re able to explore the entirety of the game’s map relatively freely. However, just because you can go almost anywhere early into the game doesn’t mean you should. 

Not only will you encounter high-level enemies in certain areas (even if your character is at a much lower level), but many of the activities in those higher-level areas won’t even be available to you until you’ve reached critical progression milestones in the game. Generally speaking, it’s best to explore each section of the map at its recommended level to get the most out of it. Even then, some of those areas hide secrets intended for advanced players.

Speaking of which…

Try Not to Open Legendary Chests Right Away

Not long into your Hogwarts Legacy adventure, you’ll encounter a large, ornate treasure chest commonly known as a “Legendary Chest.” As the name suggests, these chests contain Legendary items. You’ll probably want to open the first few you find, but be wary of how many more you open from there. 

Because the gear you receive from those chests scales with your level in Hogwarts Legacy, it’s better to open Legendary Chests a little later in the game whenever possible. That way, you can be certain you’re getting the absolute best items out of them. If you’re able to do so, try saving some chests for Level 20 or so when you may need better gear to survive certain challenges. 

While we’re on that subject…

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You Can “Save Scum” Legendary Chests To Get the Items You Want

If you’re feeling a bit wicked, be sure to save your game before you open a Legendary Chest. If you don’t like the item you receive when you open that chest, simply load that recent save and open it again. This time, you should receive a separate item. 

This trick works because “item drops” in Hogwarts Legacy are based on item pools. The item you receive during those drops is random, but the pool should stay the same. As such, you should eventually be able to get your preferred piece of gear via this refresh method. 

Use Revelio While Flying to Reveal More Secrets

Revelio will likely be your most used spell in Hogwarts Legacy. That handy ability allows you to quickly scan an area in order to reveal secrets and other objects that can be interacted with. Even if you upgrade Revelio, though, you’ll find that its range tends to be disappointingly short. 

However, if you use Revelio while flying, you can actually scan a massive area around you and receive information on numerous points of interest from far across the map. I’m not sure why this works the way it does (or if it is working as intended), but it’s an incredibly useful trick for the entire game.

Vendors Have an Inventory Refresh Timer

Buying items from vendors is an expensive, but necessary, part of the Hogwarts Legacy experience. Purchasing items is made all the more complicated/difficult by the fact that vendors in the world often carry painfully little stock of the most valuable items. Thankfully, Hogwarts Legacy features an inventory refresh timer. 

Vendors refresh their initially available stock once every two-and-a-half days. If you don’t feel like waiting that long, you can speed up that process by using the game’s “Wait” feature to turn day into night (and vice versa). That will allow you to buy as many items as you need at any given time. 

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Lockpicking Made Easy

No story spoilers here, but you don’t actually unlock the ability to…err…open locks until pretty late in Hogwarts Legacy. Once you do unlock that spell, you may find that the game doesn’t make much of an effort to tell you how to pass the lockpicking minigame. 

However, it turns out that lockpicking minigame is a bit easier than it may initially seem. Simply use the Left Stick (or another compatible control option) to move the green light into one of the available slots on the lock’s outer green circle. From there, move the outer green circle in a circular motion until you see the small gears on the bottom right start to move. Once you’ve found the sweet spot for that part of the lock, use the Right Stick to manipulate the inner red part of the lock. This time, though, keep an eye on the smaller gears at the center of the lock. Once they start moving, you’ve found the next sweet spot. Once the inner and outer gears are moving, you will open the door. 

The big “secret” to this minigame is that those sweet spots will always be exactly to the North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, or Northwest. Just try to point your chosen slot in one of those directions, and you’ll unlock even the trickiest locks in no time.  

Always Check Your Owl Post Mail

You’ll actually receive mail throughout your Hogwarts Legacy adventure, but don’t be surprised if you quickly forget that mechanic exists. In fact, comes a point in the game when you’ll probably think that people have stopped sending you letters altogether. 

However, it turns out that you just need to occasionally check one of the available Owl Post centers in order to see if you have new mail. While I think there might be a glitch that prevents you from receiving new mail automatically as you are sometimes supposed to, it’s still best to periodically check your Owl Post inbox for updates. That way, you can be sure you don’t miss out on anything. 

There Are Many, Many Things You Can Not do Right Away

One of the things I like most about Hogwarts Legacy is the almost Metroidvania-esque nature of its design. That is to say that there are many aspects of the world that you’ll know you’re able to interact with somehow but won’t be able to actually interact with right away.

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While there are times when you’ll just need to experiment a bit in order to solve certain secrets, you should know that many aspects of the game (including major mechanics) are not entirely available to you the first time you become aware of them. That category includes (but is not limited to) gear upgrades, flying, collecting beasts, and destroying certain environmental objects. 

Basically, you shouldn’t assume that you’re able to use everything the moment you become aware of it. Oftentimes, you’ll actually need to proceed through the main quest until every mechanic and spell is officially available to you.