DOOM Eternal: The Best Runes To Unlock & Equip First | Upgrades Guide

Runes are a new type of upgrade your Doomguy can equip in DOOM Eternal — it’s just one of many new enhancements and collectibles that infest every aspect of the gameplay experience. Thankfully, they’re super easy to manage. There are nine total runes, but you’ll only be able to equip three of them at any given time. You can unlock them in any order, and here we’re going to talk about which Runes you should grab first.

All the runes are handy, but only a few of them change your combat experience significantly. Most of them are just a nice boost. If you’re looking to upgrade your fighting prowess, there are specific runes you’ll want to grab (and equip) before the rest. Runes that increase your Glory Kill range, give you special mid-air slow-mo, or generate health from Blood Punch — those are the best possible picks. I’ll explain why in the full guide below.

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Runes are rare collectibles you’ll find as you progress through missions. Some of them are practically impossible to miss. You can only equip a maximum of three runes at any given time. Here, you’ll find a full list of runes. Below that, I’ll offer my recommendations for the best runes to select first.

SavageryPerform glory kills faster.
Seek And DestroyLaunch into a Glory Kill from much further away.
Blood FueledGain a speed boost after performing a Glory Kill.
Air ControlGreatly increase movement control while in the air.
Dazed And ConfusedIncrease how long enemies remain in a stagger state.
Saving ThrowSurvive one death blow and briefly slow down time, giving you a chance to recover. The Rune recharges on death.
Chrono StrikeHold [LT] in mid-air to temporarily slow down time. Once the Rune is fully drained, you’ll need to wait for it to recharge.
Equipment FiendEnemies killed by equipment or while under the influence of equipment will decrease the recharge time.
Punch And ReaveEnemies killed by Blood Punch shockwave drop health.

The Best Runes To Pick First

Every rune is useful — but some runes are head-and-shoulders above the rest. My favorite runes have instant combat utility. They’ll help you survive encounters and make battles easier.

  • Saving Throw: This ability is both incredibly useful, and almost useless — incredibly useful if you die a lot and don’t have Extra Lives, and almost useless if you have plenty. Saving Throw is only activated if you don’t have any Extra Lives left.
  • Punch And Reave: It’s like a Glory Kill that splatters multiple enemies at once. This upgrade makes Blood Punch’d enemies drop health on defeat. It’s shockingly helpful when you’re on the run and just want to instantly splatter fodder enemies for extra HP.
  • Chrono Strike: This one is plain cool. You can slow-down time while mid-air, making some of the Weapon Mods incredibly accurate. You can carefully line-up Sticky Bombs, take aim with Precision Shots while zipping across the sky, and charge up a Lock-On with your Rocket Launcher. It’s really great.

I recommend these three Runes first, but there are other handy runes you might want to experiment with. Seek And Destroy extends your Glory Kill range — always helpful to get those Glory Kills. Equipment Fiend is also very, very useful; if you’ve upgraded your Grenade or Flame Belch, you can use them again and again faster with that rune equipped.

Despite my recommendations, Runes are all about personal preference. Whatever your combat style, there’s a Rune to match it.