Once you get into Cuphead you’ll notice that there are a variety of weapons and abilities in the game. This article covers the best weapons in Cuphead, so you know which ones to buy from the shop and how to use them. We’ll also take a look at the best abilities in Cuphead so you can determine which charm you want to spend your hard-earned in-game cash on. Purists may opt to use the default weapon, but others will want any help they can get clearing the game, and that’s where the best weapons and best abilities in Cuphead can really help out.
- EX - Mega Blast
Your default weapon covers the entire length of the screen and inflicts average damage. However, if you’re looking to clear levels with ease, the Peashooter is only going to get you so far. It’s possible to clear every level with at least an A grade just using the Peashooter, and the range is ideal for many situations, but it doesn’t have much benefit other than the knowledge of knowing you beat the game without any additional help.
The EX version of the Peashooter is the Mega Blast, which is essentially a multi-hit, larger version of the Peashooter. There's a sligth delay before it shoots, which means you may have to be a bit pre-emptive with your aiming if you want it to hit. Damage is considerably higher than the normal Peashooter, and can be more beneficial than a Super Art depending on the circumstances. If you're just trying to clear a specific enemy or get through a boss phase quickly, a few shots from the Mega Blast can be more beneficial and meter-savvy than saving up for a Super Art.
- EX - Eight Way
The Spread is great if you need to cover a wide angle to take down enemies at close range. There are many situations in which you’ll be surrounded by a number of enemies during a boss fight. This is where the Spread comes into play and allows you to quickly and easily take down those enemies with a wide angle of attack. The only issue with the Spread is that it has very short range so you need to be right next to an enemy to hit with it.
The EX version of Spread is the Eight Way, which fires a damaging attack that moves away from your character in all eight directions. This is great if you're surrounded by enemies and need to clear them out quickly, and it has more range than the normal Spread attack, so you don't have to be right next to an enemy for it to hit. However, if you're just going for raw damage, you won't get as much out of Eight Way as you would some of the other EX attacks, unless you somehow manage to hit an enemy with all eight directional attacks.
- EX - Chaos Orbit
If all you want to do is clear levels, without caring much about your grade, the Chaser is probably your best bet. You don’t have to worry about aiming at all. The Chaser will automatically home in on the closest enemy. The main downfall of the weapon is that it doesn’t inflict very much damage. It will take you a few more shots to take down enemies compared to most of the other weapons in the game, but as long as you don’t care about time, this weapon makes many of the levels much easier.
The EX version of Chaser is the Chaos Orbit, which creates what is effectively a shield around your character. While this won't protect you from all attacks, it can help to protect your character from a group of weaker enemies. Enemies that would normall go down in a shot or two can be removed with the shield in combination with normal Chaser shots. Because this EX variant works in conjunction with the normal attack, you're getting more than just the shield. You will almost certainly be attacking with the normal Chaser while the shield is up, which means you also gain an extra attack from the shield if you're close enough to an enemy. Once again, this weapon si designed for novice players who need the extra protection and auto-aim, but other weapons are better for higher skilled players.
- EX - Radical Barrage
Arguably the best weapon in the game, the Charge inflicts massive damage and takes down bosses faster than almost any other method of attack, but you can only shoot one shot at a time to get that damage boost. To make the Charge work best, you need to hold the attack button until the weapon is fully charged (you’ll hear a ping), then release. This charged attack looks a lot like the Mega Blast EX attack of the default Peashooter weapon, and deals about the same amount of damage. The difference is that you can use it every few seconds instead of having to build up your super meter for an EX attack. If you don't charge the attack you get something that resembles the normal Peashooter, but there's no rapid fire. You have to manually hit the attack button for every shot you fire. The main use of the Charge shot is to use the charged version, otherwise you may as well stick to the Peashooter.
The EX version of the Charge shot doesn't have the same range as the standard or charged shot, but it packs quite a punch. You'll need to be moderately close to your target, but set this off and it inflicts a considerable amount of damage to any enemies in the nearby area. Just be careful when using it since you have to be relatively close to your target.
If you’re struggling getting through levels, the Heart charm is ideal. It gives you one extra hit you can take, but lowers your damage output a bit. It will take you a little longer to clear stages, but the extra health point will keep you alive longer so you can make it to the end.
Some bosses essentially require you to parry certain attacks or enemies in order to move on. This is where the P. Sugar really comes in handy, giving you to automatic parry the first time you come in contact with an object that can be parried. Obviously, if you have no trouble parrying, this item won’t help you, but for anyone else, it can be a life saver.
Most consider the Smoke Bomb to be the best ability in the game. It changes your normal dash into an invincible dash that causes your character to disappear for the duration of the dashing, appearing again at the end of the dash animation. The invincibility means that you can go through a lot of enemies or attacks without taking any damage, making it much easier to move around during boss battles or navigate run and gun stages.