What Do Inscryption Map Symbols Mean in Act 1?

What Do Inscryption Map Symbols Mean in Act 1?

The first act of Inscryption tends to be fairly memorable. It plays out akin to a rogue-lite collectible card game, but there are a few surprises along the way. Still, you might wonder what’s the meaning behind each icon on the map. Here’s our Inscryption guide to help you with the map symbols in Act 1.

Note: For more information, check out our Inscryption guides and features hub.


Inscryption Act 1 guide – What does each map symbol mean

To be clear, you’ll notice branching and interconnected paths as you progress. However, you can only select one option as you move from the bottom of the map to the top. As such, you’ll want to choose the ideal map symbol during Act 1 of Inscryption if you wish to obtain the cards or bonuses you need.

Inscryption Act 1 Map Symbols Guide Act 1 Npcs Events Encounters 1

Combat encounters

Regular combat:

  • Symbol – Skulls
  • This is a normal card battle against Leshy.

Special/totem combat:

  • Symbol – Raven with horns
  • This is similar to normal battles, except a totem will be active that buffs your opponent’s cards.

Boss fight:

  • Symbol – Large, unique icons at the top of the map
  • You can’t miss these since these are located at the top of the map, usually at the end of a particular run/segment. You can expect to battle the Prospector, Angler, Trapper and Trader Duo, and, finally Leshy. You can learn more in our Act 1 bosses guide.

Inscryption Act 1 Map Symbols Guide Act 1 Npcs Events Encounters 2

Card/item-acquisition events

Choose a random card:

  • Symbol – Question mark
  • Three cards appear at random, and you’ll be able to choose one.

Choose a card based on blood cost:

  • Symbol – Droplets of blood
  • Select a blood cost value and you’ll obtain a card that has that cost.

Choose a card based on type:

  • Symbol – Dog/wolf
  • This lets you choose a random card that belongs to a specific category of creatures (i.e., beasts, insects, birds, and more).

Inscryption Act 1 Map Symbols Guide Act 1 Npcs Events Encounters 3a

Choose a Deathcard:

  • Symbol – Skull
  • Allows you to pick a Deathcard. This map symbol in Act 1 of Inscryption may only appear if you’ve died at least five times.

Choose an item or gain a Pack Rat:

  • Symbol – Backpack
  • You’ll obtain a consumable item. If you have more than three on the board, you’ll receive a Pack Rat card instead.

Inscryption Act 1 Map Symbols Guide Act 1 Npcs Events Encounters 3b

Card-boosting events


  • Symbol – Uh, a campfire…
  • You can boost a card’s HP or ATK depending on what appears in the event area. The first action has no risk at all. However, the more you redo it, there’s a chance that the card will be destroyed completely.

Sigil Altar

  • Symbol – It looks a bit like the Taurus zodiac sign and a bar with gashes
  • Choose two cards (one at the top and one at the bottom). The one at the bottom will be sacrificed, but the remaining card will acquire its sigils or perks. This allows you to craft ridiculous effects and procs. You can learn more in our best sigils guide.

Inscry A1 Gd Sym 1a

Bone Lord Altar

  • Symbol – “X” mark
  • Select a card that will be destroyed, granting you bones instead. Bones are a type of currency that let you draw cards with that particular cost.

Cave Dweller Trial

  • Symbol – Cave entrance with a creature’s eyes
  • A trial is presented to you whereupon three randomly chosen cards must exceed a particular value or characteristic. Examples include having a total of more than X amount of HP, having more than Y number of sigils, or cards that must be kin/similar types. If you pass this trial, you’ll be rewarded with a new card that tends to be rarer than others.

Inscry A1 Gd Sym 1b

NPC-related events


  • Symbol – Beartrap
  • Spend the teeth you’ve acquired from overkills in exchange for pelts.


  • Symbol – A “CPU-like” object with a question mark
  • The pelts from the Trapper can be exchanged for rarer cards.


  • Symbol – Mushrooms
  • Be on the lookout for the Mycologists’ map symbol during Act 1 of Inscryption. These NPCs let you combine two similar cards to double their stats.

Inscry A1 Gd Sym 2a


  • Symbol – Mining pick and ore
  • Choose a boulder to destroy and receive the reward (i.e., card or pelt).


  • Symbol – Bird and object slashed with a knife
  • Visiting the Woodcutter is also a good idea if you want the best sigils for your run. This encounter lets you select among different heads and bodies for a totem. The heads represent the types of animals that some cards belong to, whereas the bodies have sigil effects.

Inscry A1 Gd Sym 2b

Inscryption is available on Steam. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

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