Guide: Wand Mechanics
A Basic Guide to Wand Mechanics
This is a guide on customizing Wands in Noita. In this article we'll cover some simple methods and concepts. If you have no idea why a wand does what it does, then this guide is for you.
If you have some programming experience you'll probably catch on very quickly.
The Casting Order for the two wand types
A non-shuffle wand casts spells in order from left to right, in its simplest form casting one spell at a time until all spells have been cast and the wand recharges and starts over.
This sequence would first cast an Energy Orb, then a Bouncing Burst, a Spark Bolt and lastly a Magic Bolt. Then the wand goes into recharge mode, and then starts over from the beginning. The sequence also resets to the beginning after equipping another item and re-equipping the wand; any recharge time can be avoided by performing such a switch before the last spell on the wand is cast. This can functionally increase the fire rate of a wand with high recharge time. (This can be made easier by rebinding the keys for switching to certain items and wands.)
A shuffle wand randomizes the order of spells before casting them. The shuffle wand behaves like a non-shuffle wand with a randomly ordered spell sequence.
In the above example, a shuffle wand would make a list with the same 4 spells in a random order, and cast in the randomized order. This will look like 1 of these 4 spells being cast, then 1 of the 3 remaining spells, then 1 of the 2 remaining spells, and finally the last remaining spell.
Adding Spell Modifiers
Adding spell modifiers causes the spells to gain additional properties. These effects only apply to the spell to the right of the modifier (with certain exceptions).
In this example (for a non-shuffle wand):
- The wand would first cast an Energy Orb without any effects.
- Then it would fire a Bouncing Burst affected by the Speed Up modifier.
- Finally, it would cast a Spark Bolt with both Damage Plus and Fire Trail applied.
Modifiers proceed left to right and stop when they reach an actual spell. (Modifier + modifier + modifier + spell = spell with three modifiers)
Adding Multicast Modifiers
A Multicast is a modifier that affects how many spells are cast at once.
In this example a normal non-shuffle wand will read (from left to right) a Triple Spell, and then cast the following 3 spells (Energy Orb, Bouncing Burst, and Spark Bolt) all at once. Then the wand recharges and starts over.
A shuffle wand follows the same rules, just with the spells randomly ordered first. Using the wand above as an example we'll get a random list containing these 4 spells.
If the first spell of the list happens to be the multicast, then it would cast just like the non-shuffle wand.
If the multicast is the second spell instead, the first cast will shoot one of the 3 projectiles (Spark Bolt, in this example), then it would shoot all 3 of the projectiles. Multicast modifiers can "wrap" around the end of the spell list if necessary to get enough spells to cast themselves, subject to certain conditions. This phenomenon is described more in the Advanced Guide.
If this happens, then the following events would happen in order.
- read slot 1 and cast Spark Bolt
- read slot 2 and cast Triple Spell
- since Triple Spell is being cast, the next 3 available spells will be cast: Bouncing Burst, Spark Bolt, the list ends here, but we are lacking 1 spell, so the wand wraps/loops to the start and casts Energy Orb as well.
- since the wand now has cast all spells in it, it'll reset.
Adding Triggers and Timers
For many spells in Noita it's useful to be able to cast spells from a distance, and sometimes it's downright suicidal not to. (Spells that explode will also damage you, for example.) For this purpose the game has spells marked with the Trigger or the Timer effect. Both cause another spell to be cast at the location of the projectile. Triggers cast another spell when the trigger projectile hits something, and timers cast another spell when the timer projectile has existed for a certain amount of time. Trigger and timer spells are similar to Multicast and Modifier spells in how they interact with the wand.
Triggers and timers behave the same aside from when they cast the next spell, so this guide will only cover triggers, though the same advice applies to timers.
Here's our example (non-shuffle) wand for this topic:
This wand casts its spells as follows:
- First, an Energy Sphere
- Then a Spark Bolt with Trigger, casting an Energy Orb at the spark bolt's location once its condition is met: hitting an enemy or solid object.
- Finally, a Spitter Bolt
- Recharge and start over
As seen above it takes 3 casts to reset the wand. When the Sparkbolt with Trigger is used, it brings with it the Energy Orb, in a similar manner to how a Double Cast would. The main difference between a Double Cast and the trigger is where (and when) the energy orb is being shot from. You can imagine it as if the Spark Bolt with Trigger creates its own little miniature wand (containing only the Energy Orb) which it uses when it hits something.
Now, for the shuffle wand, as always it'll make a list containing the spell in a random order. When the trigger spell is cast it'll bring the next spell in the list with it as described in the Non-shuffle example.
Using the same wand as above, the random list on it could become the following:
- Cast Spitter Bolt
- Cast Energy Orb
- Cast Energy Sphere
- Cast Spark Bolt with Trigger, wrap into the spitter bolt from before.
- Recharge and start over
Exercise caution when using dangerous close-ranged spells in a shuffle wand. A shuffle wand containing Spark Bolt with Trigger and Explosion, for example, might cast an explosive projectile, or it might cast the explosion at point blank range and cause damage to you.
Putting it all together
Here are a few examples of what you might actually want to build in-game.
Since this wand has frontloaded modifiers, it casts slightly differently than previous wands. The aim of this wand is to shoot something which will deal damage over a large area wherever it hits--a 'bomb' of sorts. This wand first fires a plain Magic Arrow with Trigger that, when hitting a target, bursts into 3 separate Bubble Sparks with a Fire Trail (this is different from a Burning Trail) pouring from them. The Triple Scatter modifier adds +10 degree to each bubble (which on their own have +23 degree spread already), causing all bubbles to fly wide, ensuring maximum area effect. The spells used have fairly low mana cost. This is a reasonable early game wand.
But decent non-shuffle wands can be hard to find early on, so you could also build something like this:
This wand has a few different ways its spell sequence can turn up. The wand itself will take 2-3 casts between each recharge. On the first cast, it has a chance of shooting a normal Spark Bolt, a burning Spark Bolt, two normal Spark Bolts, or two burning Spark Bolts. Shuffle wands are harder to work with, but they generally offer higher stats compared to non-shuffle wands. The golden wands frequently found in the Mines can be used to make some fast firing wands, for example.
An important note about shuffle wands: if the wands Spells per Cast stat is higher than the amount of projectile spells on the wand, it'll cast the same way as a non-shuffle wand (assuming no triggers) because it'll cast the entire list in one click.
This one gives Triplicate Bolt a chance being fired inside an enemy hit by putting Spark Bolt with Trigger on the wand. The regular Spark Bolts make the fire rate more consistent but reduce the chance of Triplicate Bolt being fired by the trigger.
In general, the way you deal with shuffle wands is to either increase the odds of getting the wand to do what you want (by for example putting multiple copies of the same spell on the wand) or by making it only have 1 option (by using less projectiles than the Spells per Cast stat or just using one projectile spell and no modifiers).
On wands with 1 spell per cast, you can add Multicasts to increase the chance of applying modifiers to your spell. As modifiers do not change the amount of casts per recharge, they can't be ignored for the purpose of probability calculations.
Critical hit stacking
Wand building is one of the best aspects of Noita, but can also be one of the most confusing until you figure out the system behind it. It is our hope that with this guide, every player will know how to make the most of the spells and wands they find in the game and utilize them to make some crazy god-wand that will carry them to the endgame.
If you read all this and want to know more, you can head on over to the Advanced Guide to Wand Mechanics, which goes into far more detail (covering topics like wand stats, machine-gun wand-building, and innate multicast and Always Cast spell interactions).