Cuphead: How To Beat The Root Pack

Indie games have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. One indie that catapulted to fame thanks to the beautiful hand-drawn animations reminiscent of the 1930s. Studio MDHR meticulously crafted this game as an homage to cartoons of an early animation era. While the game is cute, its gameplay is anything but. Cuphead is one of the most challenging games released in the past generation, often taking players by surprise.

Only the most patient and dedicated players will have the wherewithal to see this gauntlet through to the end, as each boss ramps up in difficulty. The game’s first boss, The Root Pack, serves to introduce the challenge players can expect. Follow this guide to overcome the first hurdle Cuphead and Mugman must face on their adventure through Inkwell Isle.


Before taking on the Root Pack, make sure to complete the tutorial and talk to the apple sitting on the bridge on the way out of Elder Kettle’s house to get several coins. Head to the wagon across the bridge to meet Porkrind, the game’s vendor, and see his wares.

Purchase the Spread Shot from his shop for four coins and equip it from the hub world menu (the game will walk you through this process.) Once this is done, you’re ready to take on these three mean veggies.

Phase One: Sal Spudder

The Root Pack is broken down into three phases for players, each with another vegetable to beat. The first up is Sal Spudder, an irate potato. He’ll use Playing Dirty periodically, which shoots three dirt clumps before a worm follows.

Jump into the air to avoid these, and tap the jump button while triggering a parry on the worm, which builds the EX meter. Use your peashooter to do damage at range while evading his attacks. Keep pressing the button, even when jumping, as Cuphead will continue to launch bolts at Sal. Towards the end of this phase, Sal will speed up his shots, be prepared for some quick dodging, shooting until he slumps underground, ending this phase.

Phase Two: Ollie Bulb

The next phase introduces Ollie Bulb, an onion crybaby. Unlike Sal Spudder, players can get close to him with ease, as he makes no physical attacks. Use the Spread Shot up close to deal hefty amounts of damage to Ollie, but make sure to look out for his Tears of Fears that fall from above. Pink tears can be parried just like the worms can and will boost the EX Gauge.

Use the EX action button to fire off a special attack with increased damage if there’s a card in the bottom left corner. These cards build-up via parries and the amount of damage Cuphead deals. Once this boss falls, he’ll slump into the ground like his predecessor, leading to the final member of The Root Pack.

Final Phase: Chauncey Chantenay

The last member of The Root Pack is Chauncey Chantenay. This psychic carrot is the only member of the trio with multiple moves at his disposal. Make sure to be on the lookout for the following attacks:

  • Beta Carrot-Beams
  • Homing Carrockets

Unlike the other Root Pack members, Chauncey resides in the background, so players will have to aim up to hurt him. Chauncey will use the Homing Carrockets that target Cuphead no matter where he runs. Do your best to gun them down with the Spread Shot while aiming up and hitting Chauncey at the same time. When Chauncey is massaging his head, he’s charging up a Beta Carrot-Beams. A third eye will open on his head when it’s ready to be used. Keep moving to avoid this attack as it cannot change its trajectory. Keep the pressure on, and eventually, Chauncey will fall, signaling the end of the boss fight.

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Tai Hofmann is a gaming guide writer for TheGamer and list writer for GameRant. You can find him on Twitter @MI2_PICKLES

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