Vampire Survivors Upgrades Guide

Vampire Survivors Upgrades Guide: Every Passive Ranked

Vampire Survivors is full of awesome weapons to suit any occasion. Whether you want to whip your enemies into submission Castlevania style or summon bolts of lightning that crash into the ground, there’s something for everyone.

In Vampire Survivors, these weapons are only half the battle and can’t reach their full potential without support. That’s where Passive Items come in!

Passive Items offer powerful perks and range from minor stat upgrades to the power of resurrection. If you want to amp up your runs with the best passive items in the game, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started with our Vampire Survivors Upgrades guide.

Bottom Line Up Front

Every passive item brings something to the table, but there’s a massive power difference between the best and worst.

If you’re looking for a quick power injection for your runs, you can’t go wrong with Spinach and Armor, which offer great offensive and defensive buffs. Many passive items complement specific weapons, and learning these synergies is a skill that will net you plenty of wins.

What Are Passive Items?

Vampire Survivors passive items
Image by Anthony

Passive items occupy the slots underneath weapons in your Inventory and can be chosen as rewards when you level up. You can also find them in the wild. You’re (mostly) limited to 6, and they offer strong offensive and defensive perks.

Some are universal buffs, but many have niche uses and synergize with specific weapons. You’ll stop being offered Passive Items as leveling rewards once you have all 6 of your slots filled.

However, if you find additional passives on the map, you can still collect them, and they function as normal. In this case, they are added just beneath your Inventory on-screen.

What Makes A Passive Item Good?

The best passive items in Vampire Survivors offer great utility no matter what weapons you use. Most passive items are helpful, but those that benefit specific builds will have a lower ranking on this list.

Naturally, these niche items may rank much higher if you’re trying to build towards something particular (like a 31min survival build).

Every Passive Item Ranked

Vampire Survivors passive items
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Every Passive Item has its uses, but some are much better at keeping you alive than others which should be your ultimate goal.

I’ve ranked each Passive Item from worst to best, providing you want to survive to the very end. Some of these are interchangeable if you’ve got a specific build in mind, but the best items will have a massive impact on your runs no matter what you’re doing.

#19 Skull O’Maniac

  • Effect: Increases Curse stat.
  • Unlock: Survive for 30mins as Lama Ladonna

Starting this list off, we have Skull O’Maniac. One of the only Passive Items that actively makes the game harder.

This item increases enemy speed, health, quantity, and frequency (spawn rate) by 50% at max rank. This is a massive upgrade for your foes, and nothing stings more than losing a run because you overestimated your build.

It’s not all bad. Technically, you earn more gems if there are more enemies, but as you’ll see, plenty of items are far better suited to granting EXP without the dangerous drawbacks.

#18 Stone Mask

  • Effect: Increases coin value.
  • Unlock: Find and collect Stone Mask in the Inlaid Library.

Stone Mask is alright, but it does nothing to help you survive, hence the low rating. Stone Mask increases the value of coins by 50%, so if you’re hunting for gold, it’s an attractive item.

Sadly, filling up a valuable slot in your Inventory on this without a solid build can be fatal, and I often find my most lucrative runs don’t involve the Stone Mask whatsoever.

#17 Metaglio Left and Right

  • Effect: Ingredients in the Laurel Evo
  • Unlock: Obtain the Yellow Sign

The Metaglio items are unique and combine with the Laurel to make the Crimson Shroud. Without diving too deep into spoilers, if you wonder how players survive beyond 30mins, this is what they use.

These items need to be level 9 to Evo and must be found on the map. Metaglio Left provides health recovery and an increased health pool. Metaglio Right curses the player and makes enemies stronger.

Because of their niche use, the Metaglio items find a home in the lower ranks. You can place these rare items much higher if you’re already at the Vampire Survivors end game.

Vampire Survivors passive items
Image by Anthony

#16 Gold/Silver Rings

  • Effect: Ingredients in the Clock Lancet Evo
  • Unlock: Obtain the Yellow Sign

Much like the Metaglio items, the rings have a specific but powerful niche to fill. The Rings are the only items in the game that combine with the Clock Lancet. They combine for end-game content that I won’t spoil here.

Ultimately, you don’t need these in a regular run, and once they are unlocked, one usually spawns to the far north of the map. The other, to the far south. Like the Metaglio items, the rings are powerful but only serve one purpose.

#15 Torrona’s Box

  • Effect: Increase several base stats before cursing the player.
  • Unlock: Have 6 Evo’s active simultaneously.

Torrona’s Box is bizarre as it offers decent stat increases until its final upgrade, where it can outright kill a run! Torrona’s Box can be upgraded all the way to level 9. Levels 1-8 increase your Might, Projectile Speed, Duration, and AoE up to 25%.

Upgrading to Level 9 increases your Curse stat and grants your enemies huge stat boosts, including double health. By the time you’ve unlocked Torrona’s Box, you probably know what you’re doing in Vampire Survivors, but this is an item you should approach with caution.

#14 Spellbinder

  • Effect: Increases weapon effect duration.
  • Unlock: Have a level 7 Runetracer for the first time.

Spellbinder finds a home in the bottom half of the list because of its niche uses, but it’s fantastic if you have the weapons to go with it. Spellbinder increases the duration of Weapon effects. The problem is most weapons don’t have effects, to begin with.

Weapons like the Clock Lancet, which freezes enemies, are excellent with the Spellbinder, as even the toughest enemies will usually be dead before they start to thaw. The Spellbinder’s lack of synergies holds it back, and in most cases, you’d prefer something more general, like the Empty Tome or Duplicator.

#13 Tiragisu

  • Effect: Upon death, revives character with 50% health.
  • Unlock: Survive for 20 mins as Krochi Freetto.

This may be a hot take, but I’m not a big fan of Tiragisu, as it only delays the inevitable. Tiragisu gives you 2 extra revives at max rank. The issue is, if you die because you lack damage, you usually respawn and die again a few seconds later.

There’s an argument to be made that Tiragisu is good for clumsy players, but even then, I recommend Wings instead. The better survivability items in this list stop you from dying in the first place, which is far more valuable.

Vampire Survivors Tiragisu
Image by Anthony

#12 Crown

  • Effect: Increases EXP gain.
  • Unlock: Reach level 10 with any character.

EXP is essential in Vampire Survivors, but I usually ignore the Crown in my runs. The Crown increases your EXP gain by up to 40%. My issue is it offers no benefit in combat, and it’s completely outclassed by the Attractorb, a passive item enjoying the high life near the top of the list.

Increasing the value of EXP is worthless if you can’t get to the gems, and this happens late into runs when hordes of enemies engulf the screen. Of course, you could have both the Crown and the Attractorb simultaneously, but that’s a massive hit to your potential damage.

#11 Hollow Heart

  • Effect: Increases maximum health.
  • Unlock: Survive 1min with any character.

Hollow Heart increases your health pool by a whopping 150% at Max Rank. Having 250% health is lovely, but there’s one big catch. Hollow Heart doesn’t replenish your health bar and leaves an empty void for you to fill.

This isn’t a deal breaker, as Floor Chickens exist, but it’s a shame the Hollow Heart won’t save you in a pinch. It’s worth taking at least one survivability passive each run, but Hollow Heart feels outclassed compared to great items like the Clover or Armor and earns a much lower ranking.

#10 Pummarola

  • Effect: Grants regenerative health.
  • Unlock: Survive 5 mins as Gennaro Belpaese.

Pummarola gives the player regenerative health and is a powerful answer to weak damage sources like projectiles. Even at max rank, the amount of health you regenerate is minimal, so Pummerola feels more like a ‘Quality of Life’ item than a survival one.

Pummarola would climb the ranks if the health gained was more substantial. As it stands, Pummarola is serviceable, not essential.

Vampire Survivors Pummarola
Image by Anthony

#9 Candelabrador

  • Effect: Increases area of attacks.
  • Unlock: Have level 4 Santa Water for the first time.

Candelabrador increases the size of your projectiles by up to 50%. You’ll notice this increase with weapons that hit a large area, like the Axe and Lightning Ring. Bigger projectiles mean bigger damage numbers! At least most of the time.

The King Bibles, for example, spin around the player offering close-range protection. For some reason, Candelabrador makes the Bibles orbit further away, which isn’t always something the player wants. These odd interactions keep Candelabrador from climbing further up the ranks.

#8 Bracer

  • Effect: Increases projectile speed.
  • Unlock: Have a level 4 King Bible for the first time.

Bracer increases projectile speed by up to 50%, which sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t always do much in practice. The speed increase makes projectiles reach their targets faster but doesn’t reduce the cooldown between shots like the Empty Tome, which is more valuable.

Fortunately, Bracer also affects weapons that rotate around the player, like Ebony Wings and Vandalier. This helps these weapons hit more targets and offers a decent damage boost. Bracer can make your attacks feel snappy and accurate with the right build, but you’re tied to specific gear to reap the benefits.

#7 Clover

  • Effect: Increase the Character’s luck.
  • Unlock: Pick up a ‘Little Clover’ (found in Light Sources).

Clover is an odd item to rank because, unlike many on this list, you can’t see its benefits. The Clover increases your Luck stat, which governs many things, from crit chance to the value of Treasure Chests.

Weapons like the Pentagram are much better with a decent luck stat, and plenty of powerful Evos rely on luck for their critical hits.

We all know Vampire Survivors loves to play dirty and will deny you the tools to survive when you dearly need them. The Clover can tip those scales back in your favor and is the only Passive Item to fill this niche.

It’s a good idea to have an established build before you grab the Clover, hence its placement.

#6 Wings

  • Effect: Increases Character move speed.
  • Unlock: Reach level 5 as any character.

Wings is a superb Passive Item that increases your movement speed by an impressive 50% at max rank. This makes you more evasive, and you can get away with risky plays that would otherwise get you killed.

Movement feels great when you have Wings, but as it doesn’t increase your damage, it narrowly misses a place in the top 5.

When you die in Vampire Survivors, it’s usually because you aren’t dealing enough damage, and Wings won’t fix that.

Still, if you have your damage under control and want to zip around the map like a maniac, this is the Passive Item for you. If you’re looking for a survivability item and Armor isn’t showing up, this is a great alternative.

#5 Empty Tome

  • Effect: Reduced weapon cooldowns.
  • Unlock: Have six different weapons simultaneously.

Empty Tome reduces the cooldown of your weapons by up to 40%. This cuts the downtime between your weapons firing and provides a massive damage boost, primarily to slow attacks like the Axe.

This faster rate of fire offers a decent damage increase to many weapons, but it’s not a blanket increase in power like some of the stronger items on this list.

This passive can be a ‘must pick’ under the right circumstances but is weapon dependent. Fortunately, Empty Tome positively impacts so many different loadouts it’s almost always worth grabbing.

Vampire Survivors Empty Tomea
Image by Anthony

#4 Duplicator

  • Effect: Weapons fire more projectiles
  • Unlock: Have a level 7 Magic Wand for the first time.

Duplicator is a great damage booster as it increases the number of projectiles fired by +2 at max rank. Weapons that launch very few projectiles, like the Axe, get a tremendous damage increase from the Duplicator, and it offers a chunky upgrade to almost everything else.

Duplicator is also part of the Thunder Loop Evo, one of the hardest-hitting Evos in the game. High damage output is your best friend towards the end of any run, and as this item affects so many weapons, it’s a solid choice.

#3 Armor

  • Effect: Reduces incoming damage
  • Unlock: N/A

I strongly recommend taking at least one defensive Passive per run, and nothing answers that call like Armor. At max rank, Armor reduces damage taken by 5. That doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge difference, especially when you take multiple hits or run through hordes of enemies.

On top of the survivability, Armor is part of the NO FUTURE Evo, an absolutely devastating weapon and arguably one of the best.

Unless you’re making a specific build, no other Passive Item offers such an instant boost in defense. Armor is more impactful than Passives like the Pummarolla and Hollow Heart in almost every situation and is the best defensive item in the game.

#2 Attractorb

  • Effect: Increases item pickup range.
  • Unlock: Find a Vacuum pickup in a Light Source.

Attractorb is a superb ‘quality of life’ passive that quickly pays for itself. Seriously, I take it on almost all of my runs and feel lost without it. Attractorb affects your pickup range (Magnet stat), so you grab floor loot from further away.

At max rank, Attractorb sucks up gems from a ridiculous distance and lets you steadily level up without putting yourself at risk.

The only downside of the Attractorb is how much you’ll miss it when you don’t have it! It’s an almost essential pickup and is part of the powerful La Borra Evo.

It may seem odd to rate the Magnet stat so highly, but the EXP gain from Attractorb is so fantastic it completely outclasses the Crown. With this item, you’ll level up quickly, get your Evos faster and survive more runs.

#1 Spinach

Effect: Increases damage dealt.
Unlock: N/A

Spinach is a phenomenal passive item and offers a tremendous damage boost regardless of your arsenal. Spinach increases your base damage by 10% per rank, up to 50%! As this item affects your ‘Might’ stat, this is a global buff and works in tandem with every damage source.

There’s not much else to say about Spinach. It does what it says on the tin and is the best at it. A 50% damage increase is enormous and makes Spinach a near-mandatory pick. You need a good reason not to take it, and it’s well deserving of the number 1 spot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vampire Survivors
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Question: Why did you rank Attractorb so much higher than the Crown?

Answer: Both items are decent for increasing your EXP gain, but the Attractorb outclasses the Crown to the point where it’s almost redundant.

You can collect mountains of gems with the Attractorb from a safe distance. You’ll have to risk life and limb to do the same with the Crown.

Question: How do I Unlock Torrona’s Box?

Answer: You need to have 6 Evo’s at the same time to unlock Torrona’s Box. This is easier than it sounds if you’re being thoughtful with your weapon and item choices.

Pasqualina Belpaese is a good character to attempt this with, thanks to her powerful starting weapon (which only needs Armor to Evo) and her great passive bonus.

Question: Is it Better to Get Lots of Passive Items or Focus on a Couple?

Answer: One or two max-rank passives will always be better than six basic ones. If you do the same with your Weapons, you can get Evos much earlier during your runs and become powerful enough to stay ahead of your enemies.

Useful Resources:

  • The Luck stat is incredibly nuanced in Vampire Survivors and governs much more than the game tells you. If you want to check out everything Luck does, along with the maths associated with it, you can check out the in-depth Wiki page
  • Every Passive Item is part of a powerful Evo combination. If you want to learn about those, you can check out my Evo guide