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.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (42) - 90% of the 42 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,083) - 97% of the 1,083 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 at least 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 (143)

July 20

Feature Friday - July 20, 2018

  • We added several new historic events that make village histories much more diverse. Examples include trait-based reasons for congregation, regime changes and new types of government, and new culinary developments.
  • Increased the diversity of village populations, particularly for the choice of warden.
  • There's now a menu option to fill empty liquid containers.
  • Fixed an issue with village item placement.
  • Fixed an issue with gyrocopter backpack.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some stat-boosting historic relics to incorrect require energy cells.
  • Fixed an issue with domination where the dominated creature moving offscreen and then dying caused the dominator to die too.
  • Fixed an issue that caused historic site visitation quests to not complete.
  • Fixed an issue with gaslight weapons not using charge.
  • Fixed an issue causing beguiled pets to stop following you.
  • Fixed some issues with article formatting.
  • Fixed a rare exception in beguiling.
  • Fixed a rare exception during village generation.
  • Fixed the copyright date.
4 comments Read more

July 10

The Generated Villages and Alternate Starts Feature Arc

"Joppa? Never heard of it." -Mehmet

Previously you began every game of Qud in Joppa, a starting village with handcrafted architecture, history, customs, NPCs, and player quests. Joppa’s consistency helps new players acclimatize to the strange world of Qud, both its unfamiliar, far-future setting and its hybrid handcrafted / generated approach to worldbuilding. But for veterans who’ve started dozens+ games of Caves of Qud, the opening can feel repetitive. So, as an alternative to Joppa, we added procedurally generated villages to start the game in. They have their own generated quests that’ll take you through the early game and link you back up to the trunk of the main quest. Or you can you use them as a launching point to explore the world on your own terms.

The two big cornerstones of this patch are village generation and dynamic quest generation.
In addition to the starting village, we added villages across the rest of Qud, too. Every aspect of these villages is generated, including their own unique histories that are discoverable through various storytelling traditions. They also include their own fully dynamic quests. In sum, generated villages are a culmination of all our generative systems work up until this point.

  • We added generated villages across Qud. Each village has its own generated faction, history, architecture, relationship with local resources, storytelling tradition, proverb, signature dish, signature skill, named & unnamed NPCs, and quests.
  • We added a fully dynamic quest generation system that produces unique quests for each village. This may have additional applications in the future.
  • In addition to Joppa, you now have the option to start the game in a generated village in one of four regions.
      Each option has its own benefits.
      • Random village in the salt marsh:
        • Village teaches Harvestry.
        • +50 reputation with insects and fish.
        • Start with a pair of croccasins.
      • Random village in the salt dunes:
        • Village teaches Fasting Way.
        • +100 reputation with reptiles.
        • Start with an Issachari banner.
      • Random village in the desert canyons:
        • Village teaches Wayfaring.
        • +50 reputation with equines, tortoises, and vines.
      • Random village in the hills:
        • Village teaches Butchery.
        • +100 reputation with hermits.
        • Start with a blood-stained neck-ring.
    • Starting villages are guaranteed to have two questgivers, a warden, and a merchant.
    • Starting villages are guaranteed to have a quest that gives you a recoiler reward and a follow-up quest that leads you to Grit Gate.
  • Added a new quest, A Signal in the Noise.
  • Added various types of monuments that depict village histories.
  • Added a whole slew of new furniture, including chairs, beds, floor cushions, dressers, tables, vessels, and high-tech furniture.
  • Added procedurally-generated wall types sourced from plant parts, animal parts, or metals.
  • Added a new static faction, the Farmers' Guild, and dozens of new generated factions.
  • Added procedurally generated stone and marble statues.
  • You can now pray at shrines and statues.
  • You can now desecrate shrines and statues.
  • Fixed many, many bugs and made many other small feature tweaks.
  • As with everything in Qud, villages will continue to grow.
25 comments Read more
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“There’s a sense of magnificent history to dredge from its depths.”
Kill Screen

“Caves of Qud is one of the best roguelikes in years, packed with evocative prose and featuring a captivating world of arcane secrets to explore.”

“Narratively, this is one of the most compelling game stories that I’ve seen in a long time.”

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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1+
    • Processor: 1GHz or faster. SSE2 instruction set support.
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.11+
    • Processor: 1GHz or faster. SSE2 instruction set support.
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card: OpenGL 3+ and DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+
    • Processor: 1GHz or faster. SSE2 instruction set support.
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card: OpenGL 3+ and DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
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