Clicker Heroes is a game that has undergone a lot of changes in the past years, and particularly when it comes to the rules of when to ascend in 2021, some things might be different from the early days. General rules of thumb have changed with the introduction of the new Transcendence system. Further balance changes have also made efficient ascension more confusing.
This guide will serve as a general guideline on when to ascend for the first time, for the other times, and also after transcending in Clicker Heroes. These rules apply to mobile and PC regardless.
What is Ascension in Clicker Heroes?
Ascension is the so-called prestige mechanic of Clicker Heroes. That means, you lose most of your progress and start from scratch, but you will get a new resource in return which will make you vastly more powerful. You keep your rubies, gilds, and your achievements, but all your heroes’ levels are reset to 0. In exchange, you gain Hero Souls which are then used to summon Ancients and give you powerful new bonuses.
How to ascend?
You unlock the ascension mechanic by leveling your hero Amenhotep to level 150 and buying the Ascension upgrade that is unlocked by reaching that level. Once you purchase the upgrade, you get an ascension button on the right side of your screen.
When to ascend for the first time?
The biggest and most impactful question is probably when to ascend for the first time. Since most of your time and energy will be spent on the first few floors, this first reset will have a huge influence on the future efficiency of your game. Ascend too soon, and you might spend too much time coming back. Ascend too late and you waste instead of using the earned Hero Souls.
The best zone to ascend for the first time is zone 130. The reason for this is, that there is a chance to fight a primal boss every 10 zones from zone 100 and onwards. This chance is 100% at 100, 110, 120, and 130. Primal bosses give guaranteed (extra) hero souls which makes the first 130 zones guaranteed hero soul reward zones.
There is an argument to be made for staying a little bit longer, up to zone 150 or even zone 200. The problem with that choice however is, that you are not guaranteed primal bosses anymore and you run the risk of wasting your time which could be used to ascend and level back to 130 more efficiently.
However, if you for example have reached a timing where you can blast all your cooldowns or it feels like you will reach the next 10 (or more) zones within a reasonable amount of time (which means not longer than 1h) it is probably not a big deal if you wait a little bit.
You should also consider that ascending and thus having your heroes reset to 0 means that the game will be much more micro-heavy for the first few minutes to hours. To be more efficient in the beginning, you will have to click and buy upgrades and heroes as fast as possible. This makes ascending later than 130 useful if you do not have the time to spend on the game immediately.
Ascending past the first time
The general rule of thumb for ascensions past the first one is to try to progress until you fail a boss for the first time, especially if it’s with all your skills activated. Sometimes it is good to then farm gold for that last boss, kill him and ascend after defeating him.
Another rule is to consider whether the next boss (or a boss that will follow soon) is a primal boss that has guaranteed hero souls. Every 100th level is a guaranteed primal boss, so grinding that last little bit might be useful sometimes.
Things to do before ascending
Save your game and create a backup! A backup is always a good idea, but especially if you ascend (and use your newly-gained hero souls) it is a good idea to have a save to come back to in case you mess up or miss click or something.
Max out the levels of all your heroes. This is especially important in your early game as every combined 2000 hero levels, give you one additional hero soul upon ascending.
Ascending when you have transcended
Once you have transcended for your first time, the rules become a little bit more straightforward. Since one of the main boons of transcending is (or should be) that your hero souls gain from primal bosses is extremely buffed, your first post-transcendence ascension needs to be at zone level 130. You take all the primal bosses with you and then ascend to quickly buy the ancients that are needed. The immense boost in hero souls gain will immediately outshine any potential gains from going deeper into the zones. Just go to 130 and ascend immediately.
After you have ascended the first time post-transcendence, the rules become similar to pre-transcendence. However, you are a little bit more flexible now that the transcendence powers have made you extremely strong. It is fine to just ascend as soon as you feel like you are stagnating. No need to grind out one more boss or level your hero levels for extra hero souls. All the bonuses are way weaker than just farming primal bosses so this is your new primary goal.
The only exception is being near to a primal boss, as those hero souls still can be significant.
Ascending is probably the most important aspect of gaining progress in Clicker Heroes. Even after you have unlocked the secondary prestige-mechanic transcendence, you will still spend most of your time optimizing your game around more transcensions and the gain of more and more hero souls. It is definitely advisable to have general rules of thumb in your mind when you play to not waste too much time.