Cogmind is a sci-fi roguelike epic in which you play a robot building yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Explore a living, breathing world through turn-based tactical combat, or sneak, hack, and fly your way to victory.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (11) - 90% of the 11 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (383) - 96% of the 383 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 16, 2017

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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?

“Cogmind is already a very complete experience, fully playable, balanced, and generally free of bugs. Thousands of players have been enjoying Cogmind since its pre-Steam alpha debut in 2015. But rather than a full release I've decided to use Early Access to indicate my intention to continue fleshing out the world even further with extra features and content.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Likely at least through 2019 because there are a good many fun extras I'd really like to add, though there is no strict deadline as it depends on how much support there is to continue with what has already exceeded five years of work.”

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

“With the main game essentially complete, there are a ton of optional features to explore, some specific confirmed plans including more ambient audio, lots more challenge modes, an even more expansive scoresheet system, and special one-time event-based content.

In addition there are plenty of secret potential extras, but I can't promise or talk about them here :)”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Many players have already logged hundreds of hours of play, as there's quite a lot to explore:
  • Nearly 1,000 different parts to attach, all with their own ASCII art
  • Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior in the ecosystem
  • Dozens of procedural map types, many embedded with hand-made areas
  • Extensive machine- and robot-hacking capabilities (over 150 hacks so far)
  • Hundreds of NPC encounters, thousands of lines of dialogue
  • Seven animated endings (lore and story are done!)
  • Everything has sounds--more SFX than any roguelike, ever

On the technical side Cogmind is extremely stable, with extensive automated testing and a team of testers keeping release builds almost entirely bug-free. (Even players running on Linux/OSX via Wine or Steam Play also report a flawless experience.)”

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

“No price change is currently planned on exiting Early Access.

However, if enough time is invested in extra content before full release, among other factors, an increase may be considered.”

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

“The open development process will remain the same as it has been since 2015, with frequent progress updates interspersed with release builds, and direct interaction with players to collect feedback and refine new features. Cogmind wouldn't be what it is today without the very community that enjoys it and aims to help make it an even better, smoother, more exciting experience.

A majority of feedback so far has come through the forums (, chat server ( and r/Cogmind (

I also stream runs about once per week on Twitch ( where I talk strategy and hang out with the community. (Runs are later uploaded to YouTube:”
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Recent updates View all (59)

January 11

SITREP Saturday #43: Pwning the Early Game

Welcome to a new year of Cogmind!

It's been so long in the making I've started to have visions of even grander major updates, and we end up getting Cogmind 2019, Cogmind 2020, and so on until my permadeath, ha.

In the New Year's spirit I streamed Holiday Mode last week on January 1st, building around a very specific weapon available that day (and on New Year's Eve), the RPDS. Some very potent fireworks were on display, including plenty of unnecessary carnage.

It was an interesting time with different challenges from a more regular run.

FYI an RPDS does... this :D

Or in ASCII:

Remember you can turn back your system clock to start a run on one of those days (or any of the other Holiday Mode days--potential drops are described here), and this feature will be available until the next release.

Note that even now that the event is over, the "ELF" variant bot is still in the regular game. That was an oversight while putting together the new build, in that the regular game picked up on that new bot and replaced the usual Saboteur class Imp with the ELF. Oops xD. They have the same loadout anyway, it's just a different name. Don't let their elfish charms disarm you--they're just as deadly and scary as Imps ever were!


For a long time now I've wanted to do a video that demonstrates how to reliably get through the early game, since it's not all that hard but some players have trouble figuring out how to overcome the various challenges there and end up either having to switch to another difficulty mode or playing the majority of their runs in the early game, which honestly is just the very tip of a much more varied Cogmind experience!

Once you're good at it the first few floors only take maybe ten minutes as you prep for the mid-game challenges, so I wanted to share some of the main tactics that ensure you'll make it through. We've had some other early-game tutorials on video before, but I wanted something of my own that I covered what I thought was most important.

Well we can check that off the list :D

I streamed "Pwning the Early Game" this week, and already a bunch of players have been finding it useful, so that's reassuring.

Although I normally talk a lot of strategy in my streams, this was quite different from the usual since it was focused purely on the essentials for the first floors. I first spent about half an hour describing most of the main UI and basic mechanics, essentially an intro to the game, then did a slow run through the first several floors, talking about strategy, combat tactics, and different robots, systems, and AI. After that I concluded with four more quick runs through the early game, putting everything learned into action to reliably reach Factory. (There are time stamps in the YouTube description.)

Not Spoilers

Well, speaking of the early game... let's talk a bit about Beta 8! Why? Because that's its biggest area of focus :D

I haven't really talked about it yet, and while I want to wait until the main announcement to go into details, it's relevant here so let's go.

With Beta 8, in the the early game you'll often have a way to find unique items, and these items can affect your entire play style, if not for an entire run then at least for a while. I mean I guess even regular items and prototypes (and especially artifacts) can already do that for you, but any time unique items are added this is a chance to provide opportunities like that.

For example, among the new items that are being added, there's the PSU Rigger. As per its name, it can be used to rig any power source to explode like a proximity mine. This one's going to be pretty fun to use :D

I can already smell the cheese connoisseurs approaching now...

(Aside: I've actually teased this item in a couple previous screenshots, that and other Beta 8 features, and it's fun to do this without talking about them to see if/who notices ;))

This kind of stuff has always been part of my long-term plan for Cogmind (because having worked on it for over five years now we're apparently not quite yet in the "long term" xD). Basically expanding the game with new ways to experience and interact with the same world, adding smaller amounts of content with outsized impacts on a run, ableit optional, of course. I have tons more item concepts and avenues for obtaining them in various parts of the world, but these things will be introduced over time, mostly after the actual 1.0 (assuming I can still afford it :P).

Now don't get too excited about the Beta 8 gear--you won't be able to pick and choose items, but I can guarantee there are going to be some fun and interesting new experiences coming.

Work on Beta 8 has been pretty smooth lately, just time-consuming as there are some rather complex additions for this update. Some random dev snapshots...

Visualizing the ambient sound from a new area:

Hm, a curious new UI animation, what could it mean? :)

Other News

I was chosen for the "Best Developer" award by Spitball Sessions! You can read about that here, and check out their GOTY 2018 podcast. I am honored, and will continue trying to do my best :D. Thanks to everyone for your support (and reviews! they really keep the game going in Steam's algorithms so that I can add more features rather than having to worry about wrapping it up sooner).

And if you're using Proton to play Cogmind, it'd be great if you could contribute to the database.

I guess this is also a notice for those of you who didn't already know: Although Cogmind isn't marked as supporting Linux on Steam, manually activating it for Steam Play does allow you to purchase and download and play normally! There shouldn't be any issues as I've fixed the few Wine-related bugs on Cogmind's side before it even came to Steam, and have added other QoL features specifically for Linux players. (If you do run into the no audio issue there's a workaround--not sure if they've fixed that in Proton itself yet.)

The biggest "Other News" we've got here is that we'll be going on our annual family vacation next week for winter/Chinese New Year. I really wanted to have Beta 8 out by now, but it's still not there yet. Being out of town for a few weeks I won't be streaming for the next month or so, and although it's a long "vacation," technically it's more of a workcation since I'll still be setting up office and doing a fair bit of regular work on Cogmind as well.

It feels really good to be caught up on all the personal and/or non-Cogmind things that were getting in the way these months, though, and to have the Roguelike Celebration behind us, since that trip and preparing for my talk and all the other related work really ate up a ton of time and resulted in the additional backlog of other chores I had to get out of the way xD

A note about SITREPs: These are regular progress updates where I often share features coming to the next release, but aren't actually in game yet. Public releases get their own dedicated news announcement and changelogs/release notes, for example with Beta 6 and Beta 7.

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on the GSG forums or r/Cogmind.
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December 28, 2018

SITREP Saturday #42: 5A-N7A Report

Hope you're all enjoying the latest special release! The timed event has been in progress for 9 days now, but there are still 4 more to go. Since the original announcement was cryptic to avoid spoiling it, today I thought I'd cover a bit of what's included.

The original plans for this mode were somewhat different, as I started imagining elaborate possibilities via scripting and new NPCs with dialogue and whatnot. But I didn't want it to siphon off too much time from Beta 8 development, so scaled it all back to something much more manageable--a bunch of new themed items in the starting area. In the end it took just a day and a half to set up Holiday Mode and add 17 new parts, some with completely new mechanics. (There was also a little visit by an NPC on 12/24, which some players apparently noticed ;))

When you wake, the Scrapyard is filled with Presents.

These essentially work like Scrap found in the caves, in that you can step on them to search through (open!) them and see what's inside.

Here's a list of possible unique presents that appear in various combinations on different days, along with their description:
  • Vacation Slip ~~ Everyone needs some time off occasionally.
  • Tree Searcher ~~ Ah, that feeling when you find the perfect tree... then hack it down.
  • Elven Gift Factory ~~ Unlimited surprises await your enemies.
  • Gaudy Lights ~~ They can't hit what blinds them!
  • 5A-N7A's Little Helpers ~~ Very helpful for you. Not so much for everyone else.
  • 5A-N7A's Bag of Holding ~~ Don't worry, everything gets bigger again when you take it out.
  • 5A-N7A's Eye ~~ Spot all those naughty bots from afar.
  • 5A-N7A's GPS ~~ 5A-N7A was using GPS before there was GPS.
  • 5A-N7A's Snowblower ~~ Ho ho ho!
  • RD-1PH's Nose Cone ~~ Being nosy is half the battle.
  • Winter Coat ~~ Warm and fuzzy. But more importantly, immune to all those pesky programmers who are most definitely not on vacation even though they should be.
  • Striped Cane ~~ Peppermint is good for making friends. Or with a huge amount you can also pound bots into scrap.
  • Black Coal ~~ Drop this to the ground and run. Don't look back. You have 10 turns to escape the blast radius (8). So naughty.
  • Propulsion/Utility/Weapon Slot Expander ~~ Yeah you'll get more slots later, but early presents are good presents.
There are other cool presents as well, but they're not unique to the holiday build so aren't listed above.

Various gifts in action...

I've arranged it so that during these final four days all the unique event-only items from the previous will also appear again at some point, in case you missed any.

That said, there is also one item which has not yet appeared on any day! It's also probably one of the greatest. This item will appear on both 12/31 and 1/1, to welcome the new year the only way we know how ;)

Although score data from the event is not being included in the leaderboards, since the lore and achievements you collect during the event do contribute to your player history, Holiday Mode can give you a leg up (or offer new strategies) going after some of the really hard achievements, or exploring more challenging areas of the world. So it's a good opportunity for that, in case you're not using it like this already :P

As stated before you can technically access this event later once Beta 8 is released by rolling back to a previous branch, but if the intent is to contribute to your player data you probably wouldn't want to that too far into the future since it could erase other gains you might've made. (On the other hand if the intent is pure fun then yeah, it'll always be accessible for that :D)

Earlier I mentioned the speed with which this release was put together, and there were some funny side effects of the haste... As a special event on a separate branch of the game without a need to future proof the work, adding content was much faster, but also meant that I wouldn't bother to extensively test all the potential related effects. Quality control was limited to testing individual items to make sure they at least performed as advertised.

Well, the game picked up on the ELF being a variety of Saboteur and began dispatching ELFs along with assaults instead of the usual Imps, which is kinda funny but appropriate (as appropriate as being attacked by an ELF during the holidays can be, anyway :P). Vacation Slips allow you to step outside the normal flow of time, but by doing that it turns out there's no energy generation or heat dissipation and you have to manage as best you can like that for 50 "turns" (they're still good, and at least it's interesting trying to take advantage of them with certain builds!)

These are the only two issues I know about, and are the kinds of things that normally would've been caught within a day of public testing, but I wanted to surprise even testers with this build, too :)

Channel Cogmind

This week I streamed Holiday Mode, and my normal stream time happened to fall on December 25th so we got to use a somewhat larger selection of Fun Stuff. I focused on the Elven Gift Factory, essentially creating a hovering "Christmas Trapper Build."

The end part is spoilery since the run headed into part of the extended game, but there's no spoilers elsewhere, mostly just fun and games :)

Actually, the stream even started out with some fooling around in the Scrapyard. You don't normally get such powerful scanning gear in the starting area, so it was interesting to watch the tunnelers at work, then lay a bunch of traps for our uninvited guests...

I'll be doing another Holiday Mode stream next week at the usual time, this one with a dedicated "RPDS build" :)

Last week the Gunslinger run came to its epic conclusion. The final day was super spoilery, but it was by far my highest scoring run ever (115k!). Many robots were harmed in the making of that video.

It was so epic I ended up doing a full writeup anyway (with images).

In People Who Aren't Me Streaming Cogmind, check out this great clip from one of MTF's runs xD. So perfect.

And in the last SITREP I mentioned Gold Plated Games' first playthrough of Cogmind. Audish does an annual review series of various roguelikes called "Roguemas," and he selected Cogmind to try among this year's batch, so it was cool to finally be a part of that. His review is here.

While on the subject of reviews, I should mention that POYLBOT-7, the free Cogmind-like I released earlier this year, made a Best Free Games of 2018 list on PC Gamer, so that was pretty cool :D

Road to Beta 8

There's not as much progress to show now, since I'm working on the main plot of Beta 8 (i.e., spoilers :P), though here are a couple things...

I needed to debug a new mapgen feature, and that required having a visual way to quickly tell one cave from another as far as the generator was concerned (for some special cases where logically separate caves might be directly attached to one another), so I added that in real quick.

I've never done a visualization like this but always wanted to after seeing so many other devs produce pretty color-based ID systems. Doing this is pretty easy: Just use HSV coloring and start with a low hue, then increase the hue for each subsequent object by some static amount for each one. Knowing the number of objects in advance also makes it possible to prevent colors from overlapping, since the hue interval can be set based on that known.

For something else I was working on recently I had to look into historical bug reporting figures, and came up with some stats:

There's the Top 10 earners of "bug points," based on some macros run on changelog data. Since the first release in 2015 there have been 460 total reports (including duplicates and simple things like typos, but also of course some major stuff as well) submitted by 118 unique players. These figures exclude the outstanding issues to resolve for Beta 8, which aren't in the changelog yet but I'll be getting to them all at the end of this dev cycle, as usual. Thanks everyone for helping making Cogmind be the best it can be!

The next SITREP will be on 1/12, when I hope to bring to you... I don't know what since I'm working on secret stuff in the meantime, but I guess I'll have to just do some non-secret stuff so I have at least something to show :P

A note about SITREPs: These are regular progress updates where I often share features coming to the next release, but aren't actually in game yet. Public releases get their own dedicated news announcement and changelogs/release notes, for example with Beta 6 and Beta 7.

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on the GSG forums or r/Cogmind.
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“Cogmind is an impressive merging of old and new school game design.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Cogmind is a wonderful thing, carefully and intelligently constructed, and with a gorgeous ASCII aesthetic.”

“Cogmind swaps the traditional fantasy setting of most turn-based adventurers in favour of science-fiction, and finds plenty of interesting features in the mix.”

About This Game

Experience sci-fi tactical combat and exploration in a procedural world that combines traditional roguelikes with an immersive modern interface like no other. Build yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find. The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains. You are the Cogmind. Discover what that means as you explore a living, breathing world ruled by robots.


  • Build and modify a unique robot from parts found, or enemies defeated
  • Dynamic character development without XP/grinding
  • Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior within the ecosystem
  • Procedurally generated world combined with hand-crafted content
  • Seven different animated endings to uncover
  • ASCII evolved: Most advanced terminal interface ever
  • Thousands of particle effects and SFX
  • Fully destructible environment


Although currently in Early Access, Cogmind is mostly complete. There are over two-dozen map types, nearly a thousand items, thousands of sound and particle effects, multiple plot lines, hundreds of hand-made locations and encounters, thousands of lines of dialogue, and seven different animated endings to discover. That said, there are many plans to continue expanding the world with features and content, so for now we'll just call it EA :D

(Cogmind has been in full-time development for over five years.)



Cogmind is a turn-based roguelike, very traditional in many ways (permadeath procedural dungeon crawler built with ASCII in mind...), but at the same time innovates on the genre in terms of both design and accessibility features.
  • Within you have full mouse control--and full keyboard control! Use only one or the other, or both, and all common roguelike movement methods (mouse, numpad, vi, arrows) are enabled out of the box, no configuration required. Mouse users get drag-and-drop inventory management, and the keyboard is even faster with its multiple command schemes and built-in automation features.
  • Stealth play is just as viable as straightforward combat, using hacking and information warfare to outsmart the Complex. The lack of an XP system means you only have to use whatever means you can to reach new areas and find new gear to advance.
  • The world is alive with many types of robots, most of which are actually not hostile to you and have their own duties to carry out.
  • Map objects are labeled as they come into view, making for less tedious play and allowing you to instead focus on tactics and survival. A large number of other options and useful features are available to customize the UI.
  • While the most skilled players can reliably win the default mode, easier difficulty settings are available for those with less experience, or less time on their hands :) (advanced players can also attempt to take on the extended end-game!)
  • Accumulate knowledge across multiple plays, collecting info about previously used items in the ASCII art gallery (over 800 pieces of art!), and collecting lore about the world as you discover its inhabitants and guess at their potential motives, and true capabilities. While there's a rich story to uncover over many runs, know that it doesn't get in the way if you prefer to just strategize and min-max through your roguelikes.
  • Take on built-in Challenge Modes for a different kind of experience, or to prove just how good you really are.


Not every game is for everyone, so there are a few things to point out that may affect your interest in Cogmind.
  • No Hand-holding: Although very accessible and there's both context help and a quick tutorial to teach all the fundamentals, Cogmind invites you to explore a completely unfamiliar world. Observant players will come to internalize many of that world's rules naturally, and as you reach new areas you'll also discover in-theme explanations for everything, seamlessly integrated with the lore. As part of that process you'll often be faced with the post-death challenge of figuring out where things went wrong and why, until you eventually reach a point where you can see danger before it even materializes.
  • Rampant Item Destruction: Every item in Cogmind can be destroyed, and many of your items will be destroyed. At first this may be discouraging, but once you figure out the basics you'll generally be replacing old and broken parts with much better loot even before you lose it anyway. Building and, more importantly, rebuilding, is a vital part of the experience and what keeps the game dynamic and interesting throughout. Adaptability is key, and amazing comebacks are commonplace.
  • No Classes, Skills, Etc.: Unlike many other roguelikes and CRPGs in which you may form a sort of attachment to your character class and the levels, stats, skills, and equipment they've acquired over time, Cogmind is defined almost purely by items. And as mentioned those items will be destroyed, so there's not much chance to form that kind of attachment. However, this also leaves room for great flexibility during a single playthrough, flexibility you might want or need to rely on to maximize your chances for survival depending on what locations you visit.
  • A Different Kind of Game: As a whole Cogmind is quite different from pretty much everything out there, a fact that turns some people off, but others rather enjoy it for that same reason. It can also take a little while to get into, but once past learning the basics and how to reliably overcome early-game areas, the world and its opportunities really open up.
  • Not Suitable for Small Screens: Due to the game design, the screen is always divided into a minimum of 80x60 spaces that make up the "terminal grid." This means when played on a physically small screen, such as that of a laptop, each space will be relatively small and some players could have trouble comfortably seeing the details. Zooming is not supported by the engine. You can test what Cogmind will look like on your screen of choice here: (Note that ASCII mode is easier to see at smaller sizes, but it's understandable that three-quarters of players prefer the default tiles mode anyway :P)

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP3+
    • Processor: 1.8Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Anything
    • Storage: 30 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum resolution: 1272x720. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO first check how Cogmind will look on your screen of choice here: (there is no zooming!)

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