Caves of Qud is a science fantasy roguelike epic steeped in retrofuturism, deep simulation, and swathes of sentient plants. Come inhabit an exotic world and chisel through layers of thousand-year-old civilizations.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (318 reviews) - 97% of the 318 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 15, 2015

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

Caves of Qud is a colossal project. We've weaved a rich, exotic, and well-researched culture around deeply simulated physical and political systems. The world is expansive, the gameplay is unpredictable, and the plants are sentient. For example, you can:
  • Play as a turtle-shelled gunslinger
  • Play as a telepath with amnesia
  • Dig a tunnel anywhere in the world
  • Swap stories with an albino ape mayor
  • Clone yourself, mind-control the clone, and then hack off your own limbs
Before calling it done, we want to watch the community play Caves of Qud, and as the strange, unexpected stories of their characters unfold, we want to use them to refine the systems and make the game better.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We don't have a strict timeline. At the very least, Caves of Qud will remain in Early Access until you can complete the main plot. In the mean time, we'll be adding all sorts of items, monsters, NPCs, quests, new regions, new systems, tweaks to old systems, and more sentient plants.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version will have:
  • A completed main plot
  • Tile art for every tile
  • Improved UI and graphical effects
  • Sound and Music
  • Less bugs
Additionally, it'll feature refinements to all the game's systems, more monsters and items, new sidequests and locations, and more lore.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

Caves of Qud already has a tremendous amount of game, amounting to 50-100 hours of play. There are:
  • Over 70 mutations and 24 player castes and kits
  • Hundreds of monsters
  • Dozens of overland regions with unique ecosystems
  • Scores of conversable hand-crafted NPCs and infinite procedural ones
  • Rich and varied sidequests
  • Hundreds of items and a tinkering system to craft them
  • Themed dungeons—ruined sectors of a fossilized arcology
  • Diseases, storied artifacts, history books, the poetic ramblings of a mad goatman, cryogenic chambers, and cybernetic implants
Most of the major systems are already in the game. The big missing piece is the resolution of the main plot, and that's our #1 development focus.

Also, while Caves of Qud is very stable considering the complexity of the engine, there are some late-game save corruption and crashing issues. We'd love your help identifying these bugs! If you encounter them, please give us the details so we can reproduce them.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We plan to increase the price by approximately 50% when we exit Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“You're going to teach us how to play Caves of Qud—from bizarre bug reports...

'I can walk even though a saw-handed robot cut off both my feet.'

—to emergent weirdness...

'Farmer Mehmet's procedurally generated backstory said he hates the Wardens for repeatedly beating him at dice, so he attacked Warden Ualraig, and Ualraig killed him.'

We can't possibly play through all the permutations ourselves, so we're asking for your help. We're active on the Steam forums, Twitter, and our website—tell us your story.”
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Recent updates View all (43)

August 19

Feature Friday - August 19, 2016

  • We did some work on the character generation screens for the new UI. You can enable the protoype UI by checking Overlay UI > "Enable overlay user interface elements" in the Options menu.
    • Added a character type selection screen.
    • Added a genotype selection screen.
    • Added a subtype selection screen.
    • Added a stat selection screen.
    • Fixed the brief flicker that occurred when you enabled or disabled the overlay UI.
  • Fixed Unstable Genome's display name.
  • Fixed a typo in the Select Arcology & Caste screen title.
  • Added a new liquid: wax.
  • Candles now drip wax.
  • Reduced the rates that soup sludges spawn.
  • Tweaked and added descriptions for some creatures and natural weapons.
    • brooding goldpuff and brooding azurepuff
    • slumberling
    • seed spit
    • spark tick
    • segmented mirthworm
    • scorpiock
  • We did some more prep work for the new Mechanimist library. Taking a page from librarians of the past, Mechanimist scholars are busy dusting off marble busts and casting globes from dawnglider eggs. Expect to see them soon.
  • [redacted main quest information coming out of the fungal jungle] Just listen to everything Pax Klanq says. He'll have a new request for you in a week or two.

5 comments Read more

August 12

Feature Friday - August 12, 2016

  • New piece of furniture: candelabra
  • You may now find the remnants of study alcoves in the caves of Qud. Who knows what fates befell their lettered occupants? Anyway, their valuable books are yours now.
  • You now get a warning popup when you try to sunder your own mind.
  • Inanimate objects can no longer spit slime.
  • You can no longer pick up fused security doors.
  • When you click on an object in a tile, you're no longer asked to clarify the direction.
  • Fixed some missing tooltips.
  • Removed some invalid objects from dynamic population generation.
  • Fixed the UI not dismissing some screens when you right-clicked.
  • Fixed an issue with the main menu logo size on very small screens.
  • Fixed an issue that occasionally prevented clicking on the left side of the screen.
  • Fixed some exceptions when creating game objects.
  • Fixed a rare exception when creating force bubbles.
  • Fixed an AI issue that occasionaly froze the game when descending into Bethesda Susa.
  • Fixed a rare issue caused by stairs appearing in graveyards.

2 comments Read more
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About This Game

Caves of Qud is a science fantasy roguelike epic steeped in retrofuturism, deep simulation, and swathes of sentient plants. Come inhabit an exotic world and chisel through layers of thousand-year-old civilizations. Decide: is it a dying earth, or is it on the verge of rebirth?

Who are you?

Play the role of a mutant indigenous to the salt-spangled dunes and jungles of Qud, or play a pure-strain descendant from one of the few remaining eco-domes—the toxic arboreta of Ekuemekiyye, the Holy City; the ice-sheathed arcology of Ibul; or the crustal mortars of Yawningmoon.


You arrive at the oasis-hamlet of Joppa, along the far rim of Moghra'yi, the Great Salt Desert. All around you, moisture farmers tend to groves of viridian watervine. There are huts wrought from rock salt and brinestalk. On the horizon, Qud's jungles strangle chrome steeples and rusted archways to the earth. Further and beyond, the fabled Spindle rises above the fray and pierces the cloud-ribboned sky.

You clutch your rifle, or your vibroblade, or your tattered scroll, or your poisonous stinger, or your hypnotized goat. You approach a watervine farmer—he lifts the brim of his straw hat and says, "Live and drink, friend."

What can you do?

Anything and everything. Caves of Qud is a deeply simulated, biologically diverse, richly cultured world.
  • Assemble your character from over 70 mutations and defects and 24 castes and kits—outfit yourself with wings, two heads, quills, four arms, flaming hands, or the power to clone yourself—it's all the character diversity you could want.
  • Explore procedurally-generated regions with some familiar locations—each world is nearly 1 million maps large.
  • Dig through everything—don't like the wall blocking your way? Dig through it with a pickaxe, or eat through it with your corrosive gas mutation, or melt it to lava. Yes, every wall has a melting point.
  • Hack the limbs off monsters—every monster and NPC is as fully simulated as the player. That means they have levels, skills, equipment, faction allegiances, and body parts. So if you have a mutation that lets you, say, psionically dominate a spider, you can traipse through the world as a spider, laying webs and eating things.
  • Pursue allegiances with over 60 factions—apes, crabs, robots, and highly entropic beings—just to name a few.
  • Follow the plot to Barathrum the Old, a sentient cave bear who leads a sect of tinkers intent on restoring technological splendor to Qud.
  • Learn the lore—there's a story in every nook, from legendary items with storied pasts to in-game history books written by plant historians.
  • Die—Caves of Qud is brutally difficult and deaths are permanent. Don't worry, though—you can always roll a new character.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® XP+
    • Processor: 1GHz or faster
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card: DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities; generally everything made since 2004 should work.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6+
    • Processor: 1GHz or faster
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card: DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities; generally everything made since 2004 should work.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10+
    • Processor: 1GHz or faster
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card: DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities; generally everything made since 2004 should work.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (318 reviews)
Recently Posted
Amateur Retrophrenologist
20.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 24
To say this game is a lot of fun doesn't scratch the surface. My one complaint would be that some deaths seem rather arbitrary, especially in the early game; the most egregious example I can offer is when I walked down some stairs and was met by an enemy who had just dropped a live grenade at his own feet, and blew us both to kingdom come before I even saw the map I'd entered.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Susivasara
4.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 20
Absolutely fantastic. Represents an art that seemed lost.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
yelo
7.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
I have not had time to play it super much yet, but so far it really scratches that roguelike itch I tend to get from time to time.

If you like roguelikes you should probably give this a shot!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
repdetect0
7.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 7
Literally one of the most unique and dense worlds ever created. Nearly opaque in its lore.
To those younger players who may play it, this is exactly like the early, near forgotten days of computer RPGs. This game, in every way, is rocking it like it's 1981.
The developers deserve MASSIVE credit for creating this, and it's fanbase, so far into the mid 2010s. It speaks volumes as to its popularity, brushing shoulders with modern first-person ultra-high-definition triple-A titles, and standing just fine on it's own.
NOT FOR THE CASUAL!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
brx
342.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 2
YEAH+

Game is ridiculously fun and engrossing + the devs keep putting in new content and refining the old stuff

Shoot sleepy mutant bears with a rifle you learned to make from scrap metal!
Trade books with talking horses and read them!
Get a terrible disease and cure it or turn into plantlife!
Slap a skunk to release it's acid gas and burn into a treasure room!
Mutate yourself to hell and back!
Chop off someones face and wear it!

Don't be discouraged if you die early on, if you manage to get a couple of levels of xp by killing snapjaws, it's pretty smooth sailing from there :-)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Goutfoot
80.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 31

I've been playing roguelikes since Rogue came out, though around those days I mostly played Nethack.
The genre has exploded, and the term "roguelike" has been greatly deprecated to mean something like "a fantasy or sci-game with some randomization each game." Sometimes, for extra special authenticity, the devs will include "permadeath" as a feature.

This is so far from what makes these games so fun and why they endure almost 40 years (!!!) later. Roguelikes are not only vastly different each play, the sheer number of possible combinations and the infinite dynamic terrains make each game an immersive and often hilarious experience. Caves of Qud captures everything fun about classic roguelikes, such as the seemingly infinite variability in how the game can be played, the diversity of character classes that puts Skyrim to shame, the vastness of dynamically generated landscapes, but with fascinatingly original features, factions, items, and stories. This is obviously a labor of love for the developers, who patch the game with new features EVERY WEEK.

I love coming back to this game after letting it sit for a few months and seeing all this new stuff in it. It's already a classic in the genre and it's just going to get bigger and weirder as time goes on.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
ojntoothpaste
131.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 28
This gamer is wicked and weird.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sgt.Awesomeness
49.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 25
This game is amazing

All i can say is a slight lack of quests and places to go and some styles of gameplay are better than the others but 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Popcorn Colonel
22.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 24
Caves of Qud is the ultimate evolution of the roguelike. The quirky post-apocalyptic theme combines with unique mechanics and smooth presentation to create a player experience that is both engrossing and challenging. If you're tired of "push button to win" kiddie RPGs and snoozefest questhub MMOs, give this a spin. CoQ will pull your shirt over your head and beat you senseless when you're least expecting it -- and you'll come back for more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
icebergs can't cut steel hulls
21.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 20
>buy game
>play game
>rob my new friends blind
>wander around the swamp killing lilipads and dogs for xp
>get to level 5
>find a cave
>go in cave
>kill bugs made of lightning and fire breathing ants
>feel like a god
>see a beetle
>"free xp"
>oh how wrong i was
>hit beetle
>"you didn't penetrate the beetlebums armor with your steel battle axe"
>keep attacking
>finally penetrate
> 1 damage
>i'm on half health by now
ohno.help
>try to run back to exit
>run into a corner
wrongway.png
>try to breath fire
>beetle runs through it
>try to dig through the wall with claws
>beetles faster
>beetle shanks me with mandibles
>"beetle gained a level"
RIP best run
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
80.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 31

I've been playing roguelikes since Rogue came out, though around those days I mostly played Nethack.
The genre has exploded, and the term "roguelike" has been greatly deprecated to mean something like "a fantasy or sci-game with some randomization each game." Sometimes, for extra special authenticity, the devs will include "permadeath" as a feature.

This is so far from what makes these games so fun and why they endure almost 40 years (!!!) later. Roguelikes are not only vastly different each play, the sheer number of possible combinations and the infinite dynamic terrains make each game an immersive and often hilarious experience. Caves of Qud captures everything fun about classic roguelikes, such as the seemingly infinite variability in how the game can be played, the diversity of character classes that puts Skyrim to shame, the vastness of dynamically generated landscapes, but with fascinatingly original features, factions, items, and stories. This is obviously a labor of love for the developers, who patch the game with new features EVERY WEEK.

I love coming back to this game after letting it sit for a few months and seeing all this new stuff in it. It's already a classic in the genre and it's just going to get bigger and weirder as time goes on.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
342.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 2
YEAH+

Game is ridiculously fun and engrossing + the devs keep putting in new content and refining the old stuff

Shoot sleepy mutant bears with a rifle you learned to make from scrap metal!
Trade books with talking horses and read them!
Get a terrible disease and cure it or turn into plantlife!
Slap a skunk to release it's acid gas and burn into a treasure room!
Mutate yourself to hell and back!
Chop off someones face and wear it!

Don't be discouraged if you die early on, if you manage to get a couple of levels of xp by killing snapjaws, it's pretty smooth sailing from there :-)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 7
Literally one of the most unique and dense worlds ever created. Nearly opaque in its lore.
To those younger players who may play it, this is exactly like the early, near forgotten days of computer RPGs. This game, in every way, is rocking it like it's 1981.
The developers deserve MASSIVE credit for creating this, and it's fanbase, so far into the mid 2010s. It speaks volumes as to its popularity, brushing shoulders with modern first-person ultra-high-definition triple-A titles, and standing just fine on it's own.
NOT FOR THE CASUAL!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
I have not had time to play it super much yet, but so far it really scratches that roguelike itch I tend to get from time to time.

If you like roguelikes you should probably give this a shot!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 20
Absolutely fantastic. Represents an art that seemed lost.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
131.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 28
This gamer is wicked and weird.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
144 of 169 people (85%) found this review helpful
119 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 15, 2015
Get killed by ANGRY MUTANT PLANTS. Get killed by ANGRY MUTANT ANIMALS. Get killed by ANGRY MUTANT BUGS. Kill a bear and EAT IT, just EAT AN ENTIRE BEAR. KILL EVERYTHING. Descend into the DEPTHS OF THE WORLD and retrieve ANCIENT TECHNOLOGICAL ARTIFACTS. KNIFE-FIGHT a GIANT DRILL ROBOT and WIN. Be a COOL WASTELAND KNIGHT. Be a TWO-FISTED COWBOY. Be a HOMICIDAL NINJA TURTLE with an AXE and a SHOTGUN. SPONTANEOUSLY BURST INTO FLAMES. Get into a GUNFIGHT with a HYENA-MONSTER and accidentally anger a HERD OF MAJESTIC HULKING DEMON HORSES with your crossfire. Fly into the air like a BEAUTIFUL EAGLE and then SWORD-FIGHT a GIANT DRAGONFLY. MIND CONTROL a TWO-HEADED BOAR and MAKE IT WEAR CHAIN MAIL and KILL YOUR ENEMIES. Encounter a LEGENDARY PLANT with an INTIMIDATING SKULL MASK and the ability to THROW FIERY DEATH FROM ITS HANDS. CONTRACT HORRIFYING DISEASES. Go to THE DEATHLANDS and discover that THE DEATHLANDS are called THE DEATHLANDS because they will KILL YOU DEAD. HACK OFF A ROBOT’S HEAD AND EAT IT. Get into a SLEDGEHAMMER DUEL with a ‘ROIDED-OUT SUPERCANNIBAL. Be SO TECHNOLOGICALLY ILLITERATE that you BREAK A BOX OF CRAYONS attempting to figure out what it is. Be SO TECHNOLOGICALLY GIFTED that you can make an ACID GRENADE out of a PLASTIC TREE and a FOLDING CHAIR. Build your own FLAMETHROWER. Build your own LASER GUN. Build your own HANDHELD NUCLEAR BOMB and BLOW YOURSELF UP WITH IT. Collect MAGMA in a CANTEEN. Pour MAGMA into a pool of ACID to see what happens. DRINK MAGMA. TELEPATHICALLY LOCATE an enemy and HATE IT TO DEATH with your TERRIFYING BRAIN SORCERY. Have your LEGS CUT OFF and then REGROW YOUR LEGS and pick up your previous legs and EAT YOUR OWN LEGS. Encounter your EVIL TWIN and then summon six of your own GOOD TWINS to fight your evil twin’s SIX EVIL TWIN TWINS in a FOURTEEN-WAY PSYCHIC LASER DEATH RAVE and then BURN TO DEATH when all of the combined PYROKINETIC MIND FIRE from all of the TIME CLONES causes the ENTIRE MAP TO COMBUST AND MELT.

(Stolen from the SA roguelike thread)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
95 of 113 people (84%) found this review helpful
94 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 23, 2015
First I made a strong man who punched. He died.

Then I made a smart man who tricked. He died.

But then I made a fire controlling wizard mutant thing.

He died as he lived: On fire.

11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
66 of 72 people (92%) found this review helpful
53 people found this review funny
Recommended
52.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 16, 2015
There are not many games where you can mind control a passing goat, gain levels with it, then spend your accrued points to create a mutant psionic laser goat.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
52 of 53 people (98%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
36.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 6, 2015
If I could take one game with me to a desert island, it'd be Caves of Qud.

**DIFFICULTY**
Is it hard? Yes.
Is it too hard? No.
Even for somebody who's never played a roguelike before? Totally do-able.
You will die. A lot. The game is designed to be hard, but not tear-your-hair-out frustrating. The way that it manages to be very difficult and yet wholly enjoyable despite death after death is a masterpiece of gaming.

**INTRIGUE**
There is deep political simulation, effecting every last mob in the game. Gain enough reputation with certain types of creatures or people (arachnids, farmers, tortoises) and they will rush to your aid in battle. Lose enough, and they'll attack you on sight. The landmarks in the game--like the starting village, Joppa--are always the same, but the wilderness and caves are procedurally-generated. That means that as you try to reach the deepest depths of, say, Red Rock, you could find the next staircase down mere feet away or on the other side of the map. What's more, there are very in-depth and extremely interesting crafting and trade systems that you can master in time.

**COMBAT**
Deceptively simple. Like any proper roguelike, you have to come up with creative ways to deal with certain situations. Choosing whether to shoot your rifle or swing your sword could be a life or death decision. It's easy to learn, hard to master.

**CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION**
Oh, boy. Wanna be a beguilin', time-dilatin', flame-throwin', photosynthesizin', gunslingin' cowboy-snake called Grassy Jones? You got it.
Want to be one of just a few remaining true men, an aristocrat as well versed in ways of the trigger as he is in the way of the blade? You got it.
Wanna get a few more points to put into useful mutations by taking a debuff that puts an evil twin somewhere in the world, an exact clone of your character who may one day find you and kill you? Yep. You can do that too.

**LORE**
Just play it, man. It's awesome.

**CONS**
Sometimes, you get attached to your beguilin', time-dilatin', flame-throwin', photosynthesizin', gunslingin' cowboy-snake called Grassy Jones. While after he dies you can click 'replay most recent character' on the new game screen and get Grassy Jones back, you won't get his successes back. Half the time, that's fine and it's just as fun to do it all over again. There's actually a disable permadeath button, but for now it doesn't work. There are other little cons, but they're too small to mention.

**THE BEST PART**
It ain't even finished yet, cowboy.
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