Hell Architect Tips For Sinners

A game need not be hell to play, so here's some Hell Architect tips for those just starting out in their circles. Out now on Steam.

Another tips list, guide, ideas… this guide is my list of Hell Architect tips – a great management game out today (18th August 2021) on Steam – developed by Woodland Games and publisher by Leonardo Interactive.

Those are the facts.

Any simulation game in this mould will take hours to run through, and you don’t want to be wasting time if it’s not going your way. With that in mind, Hell Architect is more forgiving than its peers and has three difficulty settings.

Hell Architect Tips

You might want a few heads up before you play, or to perhaps speed up production, so here are some Hell Architect tips to help that 2% of you who may be looking for them.

Time Is Of The Essence

Like any good management game, you can speed up time to improve production and research times. It’s very tempting to play at full speed, and you aren’t going to miss any story elements this way as the dialogue will still pop up at regular speed.

Hell Architect Review - Sin City
Sin City. Source: Steam

However… your sinners will still have their needs, and while it appears that the sinners will forever come through that big ol’ door, they DO dry up. That doesn’t mean nobody is coming to Hell anymore, just your circle. There was one occasion I was left with two sinners for the remainder of a scenario, and without having the structure to resurrect those who’ve…passed… playing at normal speed is recommended by default.

Inflict Suffering Early

Build two iron maidens at the same time as mining as by the time you have ample resources, you’ll also have the required suffering to build the structures you need. 

Placing two side-by-side with decorations nearby will increase the modifier to produce more, but remember to look at your population tab and find the sinners with the blood traits to maximise production.

Food And Drink Chains

As you accumulate materials and build your first torture devices, your next Hell Architect tip is to build drink then food production lines. The drink line is my first preference, as you can manually top it up by having your sinners take a dump, whereas food is automated.

The setup is latrine, squeezer, bucker, and for the food line flesh farm, cauldron then trough. Ideally, you’ll want to have a minimum of two sinners earning suffering, at least one continuing to mine, and a further two on the squeezer and cauldron, respectively. You can manually ‘fill up’ the drink meter by dragging a sinner onto the latrine, but they usually open their bowels on their own accord.

No Rest For The Wicked

The cardboard boxes for sleeping in are useless, and it’s probably best to wing it a little and research the beds as one of your first projects. They fulfil the bar reasonably quick, unlikely to catch fire if placed near a torch, but more importantly, you can upgrade them to a bunk bed and have two sinners sleep at one station.

Forget about the armchairs and above, as the scenario is done by the time you research them. Save them for the achievement (everything researched) in the sandbox mode.

Stairway To Heaven

By far, the best thing at your disposal is the ladder. In the scenarios, you will need to access quest items that are often above you. As your circle increases, it’s hard to monitor everything, so you want to leave the sinners to get on with it.

Hell Architect Review - Sinners are all mine
These sinners are all mine. Source: Steam

Rather than dig a path manually then add the ladders, you can place ladders all through all materials (except crystals). If you have the sinners, one will chip away at the dirt while the other will build a ladder without the need of manually interjecting. 

Is That A Ladder, Or Are You Just Pleased To See… Ah.

Ladder and platform upgrades inflict some suffering, so if your sinners are going up and down a lot, you can increase your quota that way. The flaw with this method is you need suffering to build each one, and if it’s a big ladder or platform, you may not have the resources in the first place.

In my opinion, the standard ladder is perfectly adequate and only requires dirt to build. The sinners are competent enough to be able to make these without too much intervention.

Get Your Hands Dirty

This isn’t the best tip, but dirt is beneficial for ensuring your sinners get around without having them ‘build’ it. Dirt can be placed anywhere on the screen and doesn’t need a sinner and almost instant placement.

My motivation for this was mostly perfectionism and filling in the blanks, but as sinners can’t climb, placing them diagonally allows them to gain access somewhere without building a structure.

Get Your Greens

There are two types of crystal: green and blue. To mine the first, you need to have the Crystal Refinery built. The blue crystals aren’t as important as the green, other than for objectives, i.e. the artefacts. 

There’s no debate that the artefacts are beneficial, but they aren’t a requirement in the sandbox mode and only for a few sections in the scenarios. Still, you will need them at some point, so don’t forget to upgrade the Crystal Refinery as you can’t mine the blue without it (you don’t need any other equipment).

Tools Of The Trade

Torture devices are essential, but you’ll need to research the best ones. The problem is, they cost a fortune in suffering, so how do you raise that much in the first place?

Iron maidens are the starter device, and as mentioned, you should build two to begin with and upgrade and assign those with blood traits to get the maximum out of it.

Hell Architect Review
Source: Steam

However, the next device I recommend before the big boys is Loud Music. These don’t take up much space and easy to upgrade with a decent default amount of suffering. Best of all, there aren’t any traits for them, so anyone can be assigned.

Upgrade To The Latest Model

It’s worth upgrading each structure as early as possible – first the torture devices, then the production lines. Your sinners can get by on the minimum when it comes to food and drink, but for the long term, the food won’t meet the demands, and in that case, you’ll want to research then invest in better quality structures. Before that, upgrade when you can.

Keep An Eye On The Population

The number of sinners is always detailed in the top left of the screen, but it’s easy to get sidetracked when they’re all over the place. It’s quite a good idea to ‘cull’ the population a bit – notably by sacrificing the happier ones in advance to have an available pool of essence. A minimum of five sinners is my recommendation – anything over is a bonus or essence!

But more importantly, don’t get to the stage where they’re on the brink of dying. As mentioned before, you can sacrifice them but for a piddly amount and not worth it. You can click on the individual to see where they’re unhappy, but monitor the population tab in intervals and keep an eye on their level of food, drink, toilet breaks and rest, then counter appropriately.


These Hell Architect tips aren’t in any particular order – they’re based on my play experience – but I should note that research is essential, and you’ll need a Research Stones building for this.

Research is conducted from the tab on the bottom left of the screen, and you’ll see a development tree. Structures have to be built in order of the tree, so if you’re researching based on a requirement, go to the build function and look at the production > manufacture > provide chain and make a note of the structures required.

By default, my first research would always be beds, the Loud Music device, broken glass platform (if there’s time) and then steadily invest in the food chain before drinks. If you’re playing the long game, it’s worth having one dedicated sinner to mining green crystals, then in the background research.

Legend Has It…

Keep an eye on some of the real-life characters occasionally introduced to the game as they can have a detrimental effect on your workers by making them happy. 

Hell Architect Review - Killer Driller
Killer Driller. Source: Steam

Some of these do-gooders will slow down production, affect morale, and not provide any suffering as they’re too content. The best thing to do? Sacrifice them early for a large amount of essence!

Straight To Their Stomach, Worms And All

Build the Smelly Goop line early on as it’s super cheap to do and only needs one person to operate it. However, if you are playing a bit of a long haul in the game, this won’t produce enough food. I left one sinner permanently running it, but food levels were minimal.

Instead, invest in better food chains. The Tasty Meal is particularly good but make sure to research all parts first. The Potato farm is quite expensive early on but produces a lot of food, and once you have the canteen, you can feed a good amount, focusing your attention on torturing your sinners elsewhere.

The Peasant Are Revolting

Eventually, you’re going to need essence – either for the final upgrade of a structure or to recruit a specialist. As essence can only be sourced through sacrifice, you need to do so at the right time for the largest amount.

It’s easy to kill off a sinner who’s about to die – especially as they don’t respond to tasks as they’re on their last legs, but they won’t give you the best rewards. Ideally, target one, then drag them onto the food, drink, toilet and bed, ensuring they’re in the best mood, then gouge their eyes out!

Unlock Your Inner Designer

I ignored the decorations until much later, but they do make an impact. They are split into two categories: decorations and lights. The first is best suited to place next to torture devices to allow for modifiers – thus more suffering.

Lights are best suited in areas you are mining, sleeping quarters and production lines. A tab on the left-hand side will show the decorations effectiveness, so be sure to place them everywhere for a bit of boost.

Learn Your Traits

Something I paid more attention to during sandbox (due to the sheer length of unlocking everything), you’ll need to look at the traits of each torture device and each sinners ‘speciality’. Placing someone with a weakness to fire in an electric-bound device won’t be the best thing to do. In many cases, you can even double production with the right configuration.

Hell Architect Review - Staycation
Staycation. Source: Steam

Also, remember to place away from lights and closer to decorations and these can also give you a buff.

I’ll Have The Special

The special structures in Hell Architect are pretty unique, but you don’t always need them, or at least have them active. It goes without saying – the Crystal Refinery and Research Stones are a given for every level. The next would be the Vault (for artefacts required for scenarios) and the Summoning Portal (also for scenarios and to unlock artefacts).

Note that the Vault will need blue crystals – the more you use, the longer you can use an artefact, and the Summoning Portal will always need essence for each specialist – usually a fair amount.

The Hell-ployment Center is good for fine-tuning skills, but you’ll likely be hands-on, so it’s not essential. The Wall of Legends is a good structure for adding a bonus to production, but not crucial, and the Limbo Gong is required if you want to bring back dead sinners. Do note that sinner supply can dry up the longer you play, so if you’re playing for a long time, invest in one of these as ‘backup’.

All other specials are only really needed for scenarios or preferences based on playstyle.

See You In Hell

Yep, another quick(ish) guide. Alas, no God mode (like you need that in Hell), or suffering cheats – just tried and tested Hell Architect tips for fellow sadists, in case you need a pointer here or there.

If you have any tips that should be on the list, give me a shout.

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