Hyper Light Drifter: “One Shot” Achievement Guide

This guide is intended for players who have beaten the game at least twice before, or are otherwise very familiar with the game and its contents. There are spoilers ahead involving all the bosses in the game.

Note: This guide was created by Punkster. which help those who don’t want to cheat. but still want help in figuring out how to claim Hyper Light Drifter’s least common achievement.



The key to a successful One Shot run is optimization. Skill and familiarization with the world is important, of course, but if you’re seriously trying to attempt a One Shot run, you should already be at least competent in world traversal and combat. With that said, what exactly do I mean when I say optimization?

If you hope to finally snatch this achievement from the leaderboards, you need to minmax; find the shortest path to the finish, the one that gets you to the end the quickest, with the least resistance. This guide will help you to find that path.

I will also be going over some useful glitches and exploits/advanced combat techniques as well as tips that will be integral to your successful run.


Before you begin your runs, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with these two advanced combat exploits techniques:



You may already be aware of this technique, it’s a staple in the HLD speedrunning scene. It’s only natural that a speedrunning exploit be used in a run about minimizing mistakes. Plinking involves doubling damage output by cancelling a shooting animation by swinging your sword. It’s simple, and easy to get the hang of. Using the pistol you obtain at the beginning of the game, fire it, and immediately swing your sword, this is plinking. There is a certain rhythm to it, so find a spot in the western area to practice, refill your ammo with the regenerating crystals there. You can, in fact, plink with the shotgun, and crystal gun (I don’t recommend bothering with this one), although, unlocking the true potential of shotgun plinking will take some more practice, and some familiarization with the next technique:

Cooldown Cancelling

The cooldown time on certain guns can be skipped by quickly swapping between equipped guns. This makes the shotgun, a gun with a long cooldown for the sake of keeping its damage output from being too high, one of the most, if not the most powerful damage dealer in the game. With an upgraded shotgun, and some help from the charged melee attack, which gives a bunch more charge than normal strikes, you’ll be capable of dealing up to twenty-five damage in less than 3 seconds, that’s half the total health of any of the first three bosses! (Eat your heart out, railgun!) This is especially effective against bosses who don’t move much; the boss that gives me the most trouble, the hierophant (north), can be dropped in under 20 seconds or less using this technique.

Note: you can technically do even more damage by cooldown cancelling with the shotgun as well as plinking, but unless you’ve got robot hands, it’s probably too difficult to warrant practicing, you’ll do just fine without using both at the same time.

Other Useful Exploits and Tips
  • The east boss can be easily cheesed by putting him in an attack loop by walking up to him and hitting him twice, and quickly dashing down to repeat. An easier, and even more effective method is to quickly dash to his side once the fight begins, I prefer his right (your left) side, and nuzzling yourself into that corner, melee (or plink) him until he’s dead. He’ll just keep smacking the ground, to no avail, you’re too skilled for him.
  • Before fighting a boss, use the boss rush mode to practice the boss you’re about to fight, without fear of dying. In the case of Judgement (the final boss,) use your main file, or any file where you’re right outside the chamber, to practice fighting it. Practice your cooldown cancelling with the shotgun! Effective use of this technique will allow you skip entire volleys of attacks. You can also plink the starting pistol to quickly kill those little floating module things he summons when he disappears.
  • I recommend creating a save where you’ve gone past the opening, and you have the pistol and map. Purists would tell you that you’re technically not beating the game in one shot if you’re skipping a part of the game where it is still feasible to die, but ♥♥♥♥ that ♥♥♥♥, the opening is just a poorly veiled tutorial. You can find the file in your “Local” folder in “AppData,” it should be under the name: “HyperLight_RecordOfTheDrifter_[save number].” Copy it, and keep it somewhere so you can replace your failed attempt saves easily.
  • You could also be a cheeky bastard and use a macro to get the purple cloak for extra stamina, I did this, and justified it because I had already done it legit in the past, but you didn’t hear it from me.
  • Get gud at chaindashing. It allows you to be highly aggressive and to better position yourself quicker. Not only that, but it has some interesting utility in a few encounters.
  • Don’t overthink the sliding block patterns in the north, and stay away from crystal traps and exploding barrels whenever you can.
  • Memorize where the health packs are, and heal often, even if you have 3 hit points left.
  • Try making notes on your mistakes, writing something down increases the chance you’ll remember it.


You’ll want to create a path/routine that you’ll be taking on each of your runs. Really, you can go in whichever order you like, but you’ll be making things unnecessarily harder for yourself if you don’t figure out a good path.

The East is your First Boss

The east is the best first area, not just for one shot runs, but for regular runs as well, because of two big reasons: 1) The boss is the easiest in the game, even without using an exploit, and 2) The shotgun paired with cooldown cancelling is overpowered, and it is imperative that you get it as soon as possible.

The next area is up to you, I recommend next fighting the boss that you have the most trouble with. I prefer the Hierophant in the north, because the sliding blocks ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ suck, and the boss gives me me the most trouble out of all of them (even more than judgement.) Fighting the boss that gives you the most trouble first will allow you to get it over with quicker and have that “dammit, not again” moment less often. Don’t forget to practice in boss rush mode just before you fight them!

Upgrades and Items

You’ll want to prioritize upgrades. Any upgrade that isn’t the greatsword, chain dash, absorb dash, health, roller mines, or shotgun/pistol upgrades isn’t worth the effort to unlock, don’t bother with them. I prefer to get chain dash as soon as I possibly can, mostly because I can’t stand trying to get around the world without it, but also because it’s just really useful. Next, I’ll either get health or the shotgun/pistol upgrades. Then great sword, absorb, and mines. This is just my preferred order, the order you take completely depends on your playstyle.

Don’t bother with any collectibles that won’t help you in your runs. You’re not going to get all the monoliths/tablets, and it’s not even optimal to do so. Familiarize yourself with where the gearbits in your path are going to be and collect as many as you can to get those sweet upgrades, and once you have all the upgrades you need, don’t bother going out of your way to get any more gearbits.

Boss Tips

Here are my tips for each particular boss. Note that this guide is not a guide for bosses, it is a guide for fighting bosses without dying, so if you find yourself still struggling with the bosses, I recommend you check guides dedicated to bosses.


You know the drill


Cooldown cancel as much as you can, familiarize yourself with the tile patterns, they can be a real ♥♥♥♥♥. You can also use the great sword to get ammo back quickly and do some serious damage. He only ever stands still, so if you’re good at avoiding the tiles, you should have no problem burning through his health.


This guy likes to move, so it can be difficult to cooldown cancel him. If you’re not having any luck with that strategy, just plink him. Success will be determined by your ability to take advantage of the short seconds between his attack volleys, and knowing how to effectively position yourself. Unfortunately, there’s no “tricks” for this guy.


For the first mini boss, which should be the “false-module” guy, it’s really as simple as just rushing him down with the chain dash and shotgun, and charge slashing (greatsword) or plinking his little minions. He’s a serious pushover as long as you don’t give him any space.

Next you’ll probably be taking on the scythe guy. If this guy was a Smash Bros. fighter, he’d be a rusher who thinks he’s a zoner but gets bodied by Belmont. The key is to quickly dip in and out of close quarters to get two or three shotgun blasts in between his attacks. When he rushes you down, don’t bother trying to get an attack in, just bait his attack out and, depending on which move he telegraphs, go in for some shotgun blasts or get as far away as you can. Knowing how to chain dash is imperative.

Next is the floating sphere dude. I really hate this guy because there’s really no way to be aggressive with him. If you try to deflect the spheres while they’re orbiting him, they just shred through your health, and I really can’t recommend that strategy on a one shot run. You could try deflecting them once he fires them at you, but it’s not that great of a strategy without the purple cloak. My favorite way to fight him is to cooldown cancel in the first phase, and utilize the pistol and a some deflection in the second phase, since the absent platforms make positioning yourself with the shotgun difficult.

The archer is last. This guy moves a lot, but at the same time, he stands still a lot. Again, learn to chain dash, you can quickly dash over the mines he drops in order to clear them out, giving you much more breathing room. I really do not recommend ignoring the mines, as they will quickly build up. Use the shotgun on him when he goes to fire his mines, you can normally get three shots on him if you’re fast enough.


Cooldown cancel with shotgun as quick as you can, use the charge slash to quickly refill ammo. Get familiar with his patterns and learn where he reappears after attacks. He likes to allow you to get lots of free hits in, and you can completely skip entire attack volleys with good positioning and shotgun technique. Plink his little minion guys and unload your shotgun into him when reappears. DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN HIS LASER CANNON ATTACK.
Good luck, no pressure 🙂


BONUS – The Notes I Made for My Runs

You only need 3 mods to finish the east, there is one more mod directly after beating the boss, sure to be a big time saver

Stay away from crystal traps and barrels at all costs

Don’t overthink sliding block patterns

Death 1 (West): Got greedy trying to refill my ammo by attacking some imprisoned dirks, stood on crystal trap, got knocked back,
landed on second crystal trap. *Heal often, stay away from crystal traps*

Death 2 (East): Went for a dirk, swung sword and accidentally hit explosive barrels, got knocked back into stationary fire.
Had only 3 health. *Heal often, stay away from barrels*.

Death 3 (North): Crushed by sliding block

Death 4 (Judgement): Got overzealous, got caught in the laser thing, ♥♥♥♥♥♥ RIP dude

Death 5 (North): ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ sliding blocks


Thanks to Punkster for his great guide, all credit to his effort. you can also read the original guide from Steam Community. enjoy the game.

Post Author: Robins Chew

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