Set in the late 1800s, long before the books, Hogwarts Legacy places you in the world of Harry Potter as a wizard-in-training, tasked with rediscovering ancient magic, stopping a goblin rebellion and uncovering the secrets of the wizarding world.
The game world is vast, filled with missions, side quests and puzzles. There's enough to do that you won't run out of spells to fling, but it can get a bit complicated. We've sharpened our wands and gathered our owls to compile five key tips to get over any beginners' hurdles.
After the prologue, the first choice to make is which one of the four houses -- Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Gryffindor -- to join. Though most Harry Potter nerds already know which house they've wanted to join since they were 12, others may feel the need to pursue the house with more content or a gameplay advantage.
The sorting hat will ask two questions, and the latter will pick a house for you. But the answer doesn't really matter since you're able to override that and choose which house to join anyway.
Developer Avalanche Studios has designed the houses to be fairly equal, with each having the same number of missions, side quests, spells and bonuses. Your chosen house only changes the color of some outfits and access to your house's common room. Each house does get one exclusive quest, though it's fairly simple and comes in the early stages of the game.
Set your spells on the fly
Hogwarts Legacy has 34 spells to unlock over the course of the game. There are spells that deal massive damage or can control enemies, while others are needed to complete puzzles. Four skills can be equipped to one skill set, allowing you to cast each as long as it isn't on cooldown (a timer that prevents spamming an ability over and over again). You can press the right D-pad on consoles or "T" on PC to change your spells at any time during the game.
As the game progresses, you'll unlock more spells by completing side missions assigned by teachers. Two more spell sets will unlock after you hit level 5, finish the Jackdaw's Rest main mission and put two Talent points into the Core talent tree.
Practice your broom
After you complete Jackdaw's Rest, it'll unlock the Flying Class main mission located on the lawn at the Bell Tower Wing of Hogwarts. After completing a few aerial sequences, you'll be able to mount your broom by pressing LB+B on Xbox, 3 on PC, and L1+circle on PS5. Your broom moves less like a magical object and more like an airplane, with two different forms of acceleration and a whole lot of wiggly controls.
When on the broom, you can unequip it any time (just not in a room or space where you can't fly) but you can sustain fall damage from this game. This isn't Spider-Man.
Like most modern action RPGs, Hogwarts Legacy is full of loot to scavenge and upgrade. Gear can be one of five different colors, with black being the weakest and orange being Legendary, the strongest. Progressing through the game, you'll get more powerful gear from chests, missions, storefronts and fights.
It's very important while playing to keep replacing gear with stronger options, since that is the main form of stat progression. You'll also accumulate a lot of useless, older gear this way, so just sell whatever outdated clothing you want. Any vendor will be able to buy your discarded wares, but the easiest way is to just fast-travel to Hogsmeade and run into the nearest shop.
The strongest gear might not necessarily be the best looking. But you don't have to be stuck looking like a hipster or old-timey clown. Thankfully, each piece of gear can be transmogrified, allowing it to be transformed into a style you've already unlocked. Just go to the gear menu, hover over the piece you want to change, and click "customize the appearance."
Check often for unclaimed rewards
There are many different missions, items, spells and random nonsense to unlock while playing Hogwarts Legacy. The least obvious and most confusing part of the Field Guide (which doubles as the in-game menu) is Challenges, which unlocks exclusive transmogrified cosmetics, ability upgrades and increased storage.
You'll need to complete Challenges, such as slaying goblins, popping balloons, exploring the campus and other random activities. Once you finish a Challenge, go over to that menu option in your Field Guide and click on each Challenge you've already unlocked. The game will tell you which ones are completed by placing an exclamation mark over the icon. From there, you can claim the associated reward.
It's really easy to forget about Challenges, but you shouldn't miss out on all those free rewards just sitting there.