How to unlock and upgrade Familiars in Hades 2

Hades 2 Familiars Frinos and Toula with Melinoe
(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Befriending Hades 2 Familiars allows you to bring them along with you on your nightly runs, with each Familiar offering unique benefits for Melinoe. These passive buffs range from extra health and free tool uses to Death Defiance uses and blocking attacks, and some of them can be improved with treats! That means having a Familiar with you in Hades 2 is incredibly helpful, but you need to perform a particular Incantation to even unlock them in the first place. Here's what you need to know about getting Familiars in Hades 2 and how to upgrade them with Witch's Delights.

How to unlock Hades 2 Familiars

Hades 2 Familiars Faith of Familiar Spirits Incantation

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

You can unlock the ability to befriend Familiars in Hades 2 by casting the Faith of Familiar Spirits Incantation. However, revealing this Incantation at the Cauldron can be a real sticking point to getting Familiars as it seems to have two hidden requirements: you need to use the Tablet of Peace tool to compel a Lone Shade on at least two different runs, and you must beat Hecate with the Tablet equipped.

Speaking from experience, I did not get the Faith of Familiar Spirits Incantation after about 60 runs, but after using the Tablet of Peace a couple of times and beating the Hades 2 Hecate boss fight, she gave me the Incantation. I can't confirm that the Tablet of Peace was definitely the cause of this, but it seems highly likely – thanks to the various users in the Supergiant Games Discord! Once Hecate has given you the Incantation, you can end your run and head to the Cauldron to cast it. It's an easy Incantation, requiring only:

  • 2 Nectar: Getting Nectar in Hades 2 is quite easy as it can be earned after Encounters and traded.  
  • 1 Lotus: Collected by hand in Oceanus, appearing randomly in locations across the region.

With the Incantation cast and a Witch's Delight treat in your inventory, you can hand it over to Frinos the Frog and take him on a run with you. When you return to the Crossroads, the Beast-Loved Morsel alchemy recipe for crafting Witch's Delights (which I've explained further down) will be revealed, letting you craft more of them to unlock more Familiars and upgrade them. Note that you can have only one Familiar follower at a time, all Familiars are completely invincible and do not get attacked by enemies, and that you receive a Familiar's benefits only when it is your active Familiar.

All Hades 2 Familiars

Hades 2 Familiar unlocked Frinos the frog

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Currently, there are only two Familiars in Hades 2. While it hasn't been specified in the Hades 2 roadmap, it's possible that more Familiars will be added in future updates to round out the pet selection:

  • Frinos the frog: Melinoe's amiable amphibian is the first face you see upon returning to the Crossroads. As a Familiar, Frinos hops around, potentially absorbing certain ranged attacks from enemies. Frinos also increases Melinoe's maximum health by 10 and ups the chances of Lost Soul Shades appearing during a run. Frinos can hypnotize these Shades, getting you Psyche as though you used the Tablet of Peace.
  • Toula the cat: You'll first see Toula in the Erebus glade that can appear after casting the Woodsy Lifespring Incantation, but if you've got to the Surface in Hades 2, she moves to the first Rift of Thessaly location. Toula grants one Death Defiance that restores only 10 health and increases the chances of you finding fishing spots during a run. She can also catch fish for you as though you used the Rod of Fishing tool. Toula curls up and naps during Encounters but sprinting near her causes her to attack the closest enemy, dealing 99 damage, though this can hit multiple enemies at once.

You can find all your Familiars at the training area of the Crossroads (though Frinos can also be found in his usual spot near Melinoe's tent) where you can also change your Hades 2 weapons and even apply weapon Aspects. While in the training area, you can invite a Familiar to join you and upgrade the buffs they provide to Melinoe.

How to upgrade Hades 2 Familiars

Hades 2 Familiars Witch's Delight alchemy recipe at cauldron

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Once you've got a Familiar on your side, you can boost some of the benefits they provide by giving them more Witch's Delights. You can craft two Witch's Delight treats at a time with the Beast-Loved Morsel alchemy recipe from the Crossroads Cauldron, which takes 14 Encounter's worth of time to brew with the following ingredients:

  • 1 Star Dust: Obtained by completing Chaos Trials from the Pitch-Black Stone in the Crossroads training area. Can later be acquired by trading 800 Bones for 1 Star Dust with the Wretched Broker.
  • 2 Lotuses: Collected in Oceanus.

Hades 2 Familiars Frinos upgrades

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

If you've got one or more Witch's Delights in your inventory, go over to a Familiar, follow the 'Treat' button prompt, and give them another Witch's Delight. Your pet will gobble the treat and then the Familiar Bonds upgrade menu will appear with a list of three possible upgrades, letting you pick one to permanently apply to your Familiar. It doesn't matter which upgrade you pick either, as they all have no additional resource costs, including subsequent Rank II and III upgrades. Here are all the Familiar Bond upgrades available for Frinos and Toula:

  • Frinos:
    • Life Bond: Frinos now provides 20 extra maximum health to Melinoe instead of 10
      • Rank II: Melinoe's Maximum health increases by 30
      • Rank III: Melinoe's Maximum health increases by 40
    • Soul Bond: Frinos increases the likelihood of a Lost Soul manifesting by 25%
      • Rank II: The chance for Frinos to manifest a Lost Soul increases by another 25%
      • Rank III: The chance for Frinos to manifest a Lost Soul increases by another 25%
    • Strength Bond: Frinos now deals 10 damage when he hops on an enemy
      • Rank II: Hop damage increases to 20
      • Rank III: Hop damage increases to 30
  • Toula:
    • Heart Bond: Toula’s Death Defiance now restores 20 health to Melinoe instead of 10
      • Rank II: Health restored to Melinoe increases to 30
      • Rank III: Health restored to Melinoe increases to 40
    • Soul Bond: Toula increases the likelihood of a fishing spot appearing by 25%
      • Rank II: The chance for Toula to make a fishing spot appear increases by another 25%
      • Rank III: The chance for Toula to make a fishing spot appear increases by another 25%
    • Claw Bond: Toula attacks two times before losing interest instead of once
      • Rank II: Attacks three times before losing interest
      • Rank III: Attacks four times before losing interest

Once you've picked an upgrade, the menu will close, and you'll have to attempt another run before you can offer another Witch's Delight for a Familiar Bond upgrade.

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.