Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery: Beginner's Guide

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a role-playing game that puts you into the role of a first-year student at Hogwarts. The timeline of this game takes place shortly after baby Harry's encounter with Voldemort. You'll meet a few characters straight out of the books, including some that are students at the same time as you!

You'll also make your own friends, join your favorite house, learn a variety of spells, and even duel against witches and wizards that don't want you at their school.

If you're just getting started with the game, here's everything you need to know to have the best time at Hogwarts.

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Make sure you're connected to the internet

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery requires an internet connection to play. Sorry kids, if your device isn't at least connected to local wi-fi, you can't play until you've got internet access.

Choose your character

Chose your character

As soon as you start your game, you'll be able to pick your character's gender, hairstyle and color, and a few additional features.

You can choose to be either a witch or wizard

You'll also be able to select your facial style including skin color, nose shape, eye shape, eye color, eyebrow thickness, and lip style.

You can pick a hairstyle and hair color.

Clothing options aren't available at first but you'll unlock them as you level up.

Link your Facebook account

I'm sure there are a lot of you thinking, "No way! I'm not going to link my Facebook account!" Unfortunately, right now, this is the only way to save your game.

I can't stress this enough. There are going to be dozens of times when something might happen that will wipe your game or make items you've purchased disappeared or any number of things. If you save your game by linking your Facebook account, it will be much easier for Jam City to help you restore your saved data.

Hopefully, Jam City will add the ability to save your game via Game Center, too. That way, players that don't have a Facebook account can secure their game data another way.

Choosing your name

Choose your name

Before you can even choose a name for yourself, you'll get started in Diagonally, looking for the things you need for your first year at Hogwarts.

Talk to Rowan (Don't worry, you can't do anything except talk to Rowan first, so it's going to be easy).

After you complete your first set of tasks, you'll be able to choose your character's name.

You can either type in a custom name by tapping the text field, or have a name chosen for you by tapping "Random."

If you decide you'd like to change your name, you'll be able to do so after the tutorial part of the game. Tap your profile, then tap the edit icon next to your name in the upper left corner. It looks like a pencil. Then, change your name.

Note: Some names are excluded from being able to be used in the game. If you want to use a specific name and think it should be allowed, you can contact Jam City support and ask to have it added.

Getting sorted

Get sorted

The real story begins when you get to Hogwarts. The first thing you'll do when you arrive is head to the Great Hall to be sorted. You can choose from one of the four Hogwarts houses:

  • Gryffindor - The brave a chivalrous
  • Hufflepuff - The kind and diligent
  • Ravenclaw - The witty and wise
  • Slytherin - The cunning and ambitious

Don't worry, you'll be able to choose which house to join. The Sorting Hat may be able to read your personality, but ultimately he leaves the decision up to you.

Completing tasks

Perform tasks

After the first chapter, which is the tutorial, you'll start your journey at Hogwarts. Each chapter has a certain number of parts to it. You'll need to complete tasks for each part before moving on to the next chapter.

You must complete actions to earn stars, which count toward finishing a task. You'll be able to fill your star meter by performing actions, which are usually very simple: just tap an item or person the specified number of times. These taps cost energy, which replenishes over time.

You'll earn rewards for completing activities, like an energy point, gem, or bunch of coins. You can choose which items you want as your reward. If you want to unlock new outfits for your character, I suggest choosing coins.

You'll also be asked questions that refer to something that was just taught in a lesson. If you've been paying attention, you'll get the answer right.

Lessons also teach you how to use your wand to perform magic. Using your wand requires you to draw symbols on your device. They're usually fairly simple, like an upside-down V or a circle. Remember these gestures, though. They'll be important later in the game.

After you've started learning magic, a new icon will appear on your screen. The Magic tab shows you all of the potions, charms, and broomstick tricks you'll learn at Hogwarts across all of your years in school.

A note about quests that cost gems

You're going to come across quests that look like they'll be expensive to start. They may cost a bundle of gems. Don't worry. That's not the actual cost to start the quest. You'll see on the summary page that, if you wait a certain amount of time, the quest will be playable for free. So, have patience and come back to the quest later.

You can earn more attributes, level up, and attend magic lessons while you wait.

Waiting for your energy to refill

Refill your energy

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is free to download and play, but it has quite a few reasons you may feel compelled to spend real cash. Refilling your energy stock is one of them.

You'll use energy to complete actions, like picking out books, practicing charms, or taking notes in class. Some actions only require a few energy points, while others will deplete your entire stock before you're even done with a task.

When you run out of energy, you've got two choices. You can either wait until you've replenished enough to complete the task or purchase a refill with gems.

It costs 30 gems to refill your energy stock. If you don't have enough, you can pay real money to purchase them, starting at $0.99 for 25.

Actions are limited by time, but whenever you're facing a task that requires a lot of energy, you'll be given a lot of extra time to earn it through waiting for points to replenish.

If you're impatient, you can buy a refill, but remember that you'll probably end up using up that energy again in a future task, so don't overdo it.

Note: Your energy stock will replenish every time you level up, which can be very useful if you level up in the middle of a task.

Earning attributes

Earn attribute points

It's important that you become a well-rounded witch or wizard. As you play, you'll encounter times when you're asked a question by a professor or classmate. The answer you give might increase a specific attribute, which improves your interaction with other non-player characters in the game. These attributes are:

  • Courage - Represented by a green shield
  • Empathy - Represented by a pink heart
  • Knowledge - Represented by a purple book

Try to maintain a balance of these attributes. You'll come across many different witches and wizards in your journey and you'll want to have the right attributes so you can choose options that work best in any situation.

If your attribute level is too low, you may not be able to select a particular option during an interaction.

Strengthening friendships

You'll be able to interact with non-player characters throughout the game. When a character wants to hang out with you (like to play Gobstones or have lunch with you), you'll see a handshake icon. Tap the icon to begin the interaction.

Interactions will cost you a nominal fee of coins.

Some friends are harder to please than others. When you start an interaction with a character, you'll see the recommended attributes for a successful interaction. If you don't meet those minimum attributes, you might want to consider holding off your bonding time until you do.

Attributes aren't the only thing you'll need to have a good time with a friend. You'll also need to make the correct choices during the interaction.

You'll want to base your choices on your friend's current mood. You can find out what that is by tapping the friend's profile picture in the upper left corner while you're in the interaction. Your friend will express one of the three attributes.

When it comes time to selecting the answer or action you want to take in the interaction, choose the option that most closely fits the friend's mood. If your attributes are too low, you won't be able to choose the right option, so make sure you've got a balanced set of attributes as you play.

Dueling with another character

You're not exactly beloved in Hogwarts, especially by members of rival houses. There will be times when you're confronted with the option to duel. Similar to strengthening friendships, you'll want to meet certain minimum attributes before entering into a duel.

A character that wants to duel will have an icon next to them that looks like two wands crossing.

During a duel, you'll be given the option to sneak attack your opponent, aggressively attack your opponent, or defend an attack.

Similar to a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, you'll want to choose an action to counter your opponent's.

  • Sneaky beats Defensive
  • Aggressive beats Sneaky
  • Defensive beats Aggressive

Remember these traits to help you succeed.

Changing your outfit

Change your outfit

As you level up, you'll unlock new clothing items and hairstyles that you can purchase and wear. During Chapter 2, you'll have reached a level when you can access these items.

Each clothing category has only one free item in it. If you want to change your outfit, you'll have to spend coins or gems to upgrade. Save up your earnings to get those lavish outfits and hairstyles!

Adding pets

Getting a pet

You don't have to travel the corridors of Hogwarts alone. Bring along your pet to help with your adventure. Though your pet doesn't actually do anything in the game, other than accompanying you through the halls, it will provide a bonus energy point, which you can collect whether the pet is sleeping in your dorm or right by your side. So be sure to select a pet to accompany you at all times so you can collect that energy point when you need it most.

How to get a pet

Getting a pet

Pets were added to version 1.7.0 of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, so you won't even see them if you're not on the latest version. Make sure your game is updated, then head to your dormitory. It's actually one of your new side quests.

In your dorm room, you'll see four spots with a paw print icon. Tap any one of those icons to see the pet purchase window. You can purchase up to four pets, but can only equip one at a time.

I recommend getting all four pets if you have the gems because they all replenish your energy by one point. Four pets equals four points (they replenish at different times).

Once you buy a pet, it will start its life with you asleep on its bed. You can immediately tap it to earn one energy point. Don't worry if you already have a full bar. You'll just get one extra point in your coffers.

How to equip a pet

Getting a pet

Once you have a pet (or four), you can select it as your current companion. You can do so from your profile settings. Tap your avatar in the top left corner, then tap the hanger icon in the bottom right.

Tap the paw icon to view your pets, then tap a pet to equip it. Tap Done to save the changes.

How to collect energy points from pets

Getting a pet

Giving your pet a pat on the head makes them happy and gives you an energy boost of one point. Whether it's sleeping soundly in your dorm or following along with you, you can earn an energy point just by tapping the pet.

You can tell when a pet is ready to give an energy point because it will have a blue glow around it.

Each pet replenishes its energy stores at different times.

  • Owl gives energy every 3 hours
  • Cat gives energy every 5 hours
  • Rat gives energy every 6 hours
  • Toad gives energy every 6 hours

Earning points for your house

Earn points for your house

In case you forgot, Hogwarts rewards the house with the most points for doing good deeds all year long the House Cup. Though much of the point rewards are given as part of the game's storyline, you can earn points for correctly answering questions when a teacher asks.

The key here is to recall information you've learned from reading the Harry Potter series of books (or at least from watching the movies). Your professors will ask you questions that you don't learn in the game. You'll have to know the answers by being knowledgeable about the Harry Potter series.

Tips for completing Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

There are a few things I've learned from playing Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery that I'd like to share with you. I'll update this section as I play more and learn more about the best way to complete the game in the fastest possible way.

  • Whenever you see a house elf, tap it. You'll replenish a point of energy stock.
  • Choose coins or gems as your reward for completing tasks if you want to quickly unlock new items for your character (like new hairstyles or outfits).
  • Choose gems as your reward for completing tasks if you want to be able to refill your energy stock faster and continue on with the game's story without having to wait for your energy to replenish on its own.
  • Choose an attribute as your reward for completing tasks if you want to raise its level higher.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to play Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery? Put them in the comments and I'll help you out.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).