Shovel Knight Dig - Relic Keys

In Shovel Knight Dig, there are several categories of items that you’ll unlock through the course of the game (such as Shovel Blade Techniques, which I’ve talked about in a separate guide). Relics are alternative weapons that you can equip on top of your Shovel. If you’re using an Xbox controller, Relics are mapped to the Y button by default.

These can be picked up inside the mines, but know that they’re temporary — when your run ends, your equipped Relic goes away. You can only have one Relic equipped at a time, so if you have one equipped and you find another one, you’ll just swap your equipped Relic for the other one.

In the beginning of the game, you’ll have five Relics unlocked by default, but you can add more to your pool by unlocking additional Relics.

How to unlock more Relics

Shovel Knight Dig - Hoofman's Shop

You’ll want to head over to Hoofman’s shop, which is to the right of where you enter the mine. If Hoofman is not at the desk, you can ring the bell and they’ll appear. Hoofman will sell you an item called a Relic Key. Note that this is a one-time-use item, and if you lose it in the mines, it’s gone for good.

Just like other types of keys, it will follow you automatically, but if you take damage, you’ll break the link between you and the Relic Key. If this happens, simply walk over to the item to re-establish your link with it. It should start following you again.

Now, what you’re looking for is a Relic Door. Those are gold doors with the relic symbol on them and a horse head that you can talk to. These show up randomly, so it’s quite possible you’ll buy a Relic Key and then never find a Relic Door in that run. It kind of sucks, but them’s the breaks, I guess.

Shovel Knight Dig - Relic Door

When you unlock a Relic Door, you’ll be presented with a challenge. That challenge will ask you to use a new Relic to make it to the bottom of the challenge section. If you can do that, you will unlock the Relic permanently, and it will now be in the pool of available Relics that might spawn in a run.

Again, I need to emphasize that Relics are found and equipped during a run, but the pool of Relics that are available simply grows as you unlock new ones.

Another thing I should point out is that Hoofman’s prices will increase as you unlock more Relics. Here are the prices:

  • First Key – 250 gemstones
  • Second Key – 500 gemstones
  • Third Key – 750 gemstones
  • Fourth Key – 1,000 gemstones
  • Fifth Key – 1,000 gemstones
  • Sixth Key – 1,000 gemstones
  • Seventh Key – 1,000 gemstones

Oh, and you can actually buy multiple keys at a time, but there’s not really a purpose to doing that. I’ve done it accidentally a few times.

Hoofman also sells Follow Slot Upgrades, which increases the number of items that can simultaneously follow you. The first upgrade costs 3,000 gemstones, while the second costs a whopping 10,000. I do recommend purchasing these, as they are permanent upgrades and they’re super useful.

One final note is that you don’t necessarily need to visit Hoofman’s shop between runs. When you die, you can press the Y button to start a new run with your previous loadout. So if you bought a Relic Key and died, you can simply start a new run with the Relic Key. You will have to pay for it again though. (The option is called “Rebuy Loadout.”)

Relic Doors are random

Shovel Knight Dig - Relic Door

One thing that I think some players are confused by is the fact that Relic Doors are random. At first, you might assume that you can only obtain one relic in each “World” (for example, Mushroom Mines), but that’s not the case. You could earn multiple Relics on Mushroom Mines if you keep getting Relic Doors to appear in that world. And you might! It’s random!

However, it does seem that Relic Doors get rarer in a world as you earn more Relics, and as far as I can tell, Relic Doors will stop appearing in Mushroom Mines once you’ve collected three Relics.

Also, after testing this across multiple save files, it’s clear that the order in which you unlock these is also at least somewhat random, and that the stage layouts of challenges seem to be slightly random as well. So when you unlock that Relic Door, you can never be sure what will lie on the other side until you actually go through it and see for yourself.

Default Relics

Shovel Knight Dig - Relics

Here are the five Relics that are unlocked when you start the game:

  • Flameo Wand – Lob a fiery orb at foes.
  • Throwing Trowel – Toss a ricocheting trowel.
  • Reverse Exa – Toss a projectile that travels in an arc above you.
  • War Horn – Clear space around you with a powerful blow!
  • Rising Dagger – Rise high into the air, skewering enemies in your way.

Unlockable Relics

Here are the seven Relics that must be unlocked:

  • Gusteo Wand – Cast a miniature tornado that climbs walls.
  • Morph Lance – A melee lance. Gains strength with consecutive hits.
  • Mobile Gear Drill – Ride over hazards and drill to deeper places!
  • Shadow Locket – Send forth a ghostly projection, then warp to it.
  • Bubble Frog – Hide in a bubble and float to safety or secrets.
  • Blizzeo Wand – Fire this projectile to freeze enemies.
  • ???
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