by shiftBacktick

Welcome to the Arena

Amass an arsenal of medieval gear cards, duel opponents of increasing skill in fierce melee combat, level up to customize your build, and spend your winnings in the shop. How long will you survive?

System Requirements

Bladius is best experienced with a gamepad and headphones.

Real-time synthesis is an extremely CPU-intensive process. Bladius will attempt to run on any machine that meets its minimum requirements; however, pilots may experience stuttering or drop-outs when running below the recommended requirements.

Minimum System Requirements

CPU SSE2 capable (64-bit)

Recommended System Requirements

CPU 3.5 GHz Quad-Core (64-bit)

Browser Support

The HTML5 build of Bladius is intended to be played in a recent version of a Chromium-based browser, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. Browser extensions that alter page behavior are not recommended. Other browsers must support modern JavaScript features and the current Web Audio API specification.

How to Play

Bladius is a game of gladiatory combat with deckbuilding elements. Between bouts of first-person melee combat, players train their gladiators and collect a variety of cards to bring into their next battle.

There are five main card types:

Getting Started

Gladiators begin their careers with a Starter Pack, including:

Between regular winning streaks, they earn Booster Packs containing:

Gladiators are expected to grow their decks efficiently to ensure optimal performance. Beware that with too few weapons in their decks, they will often fight unarmed without the ability to block or parry!

Drawing a Hand

Before every battle, gladiators draw three cards to determine their equipment. They will automatically discard and redraw for invalid hands, like three weapons or two shields. Undesirable hands can be redrawn indefinitely for just one gold each. Typically the strongest weapon will be equipped in the main hand, with shields delegated to the offhand.

Once satisfied with their hands, gladiators enter battle.


Strike, block, parry, and dodge! Inside the arena, gladiators test their equipment and reflexes in melee combat against up to three opponents.

Gladiators can swing both arms with their respective controls. Whenever weapons strike a fighter they are dealt damage relative to the length of the swing. When two weapons connect, the attacks are parried without dealing damage. When attacks are blocked by shields, the defender receives only half the base damage. Beware that unarmed swings will block weapons and can only parry each other.

During battle, gladiators must manage their resources. Health is drained when attacked and will cause death when it reaches zero. Potions restore health to its maximum value over time. Stamina is drained by attacking, dodging, and sprinting, and slowly regenerates over time.

With the Targeting System gladiators can toggle between opponents to track their positions with audio and visual cues. Cycling through all targets will toggle it off. Use of the targeting system is optional yet recommended.

Only the last gladiator standing wins in the arena. Good luck!

Leveling Up

Gladiators earn one experience point for every foe slain in battle. Occasionally they will earn enough experience to gain a new level. When leveling up, gladiators select one of four attributes to increase by one point:

As gladiators level up, they face opponents of comparable skill level and deck composition. Beware that at higher levels they may even face multiple opponents at once!

Arena Shop

Gladiators earn one gold in salary for every victorious battle. They have the privilege to spend their winnings at the Arena Shop between battles. Here they may choose from a rotating selection of new cards, or stock up on more potions for one gold each.


Beware that death in Bladius is permanent! Upon death, gladiators lose all cards and progression. They may begin a new career at any time by opening a new Starter Pack.


Bladius supports a variety of input devices. Its controls are comparable to standard first-person games with strafing and turning. Although remapping of controls is currently not available, alternate control schemes have been provided where appropriate.

Keyboard Controls

Action Key 1 Key 2 Key 3
Move Forward W Up Arrow Numpad 8
Move Backward S Down Arrow Numpad 5
Strafe Left A Z Numpad 4
Strafe Right D X Numpad 6
Turn Left Q Left Arrow Numpad 7
Turn Right E Right Arrow Numpad 9
Use Left Arm Left Control Right Alt
Use Right Arm Left Alt Right Control
Sprint Left Shift Right Shift
Dodge Space
Use Potion F Z /
Target Next R X .
Target Previous T R ,
UI Confirm Enter Space Numpad Enter
UI Cancel Backspace
Quit to Desktop Escape

Mouse Controls

Bladius can be played with a keyboard and mouse for an immersive first-person experience:

Action Button
Turn Mouse X-Axis
Use Left Arm Mouse 1 (Primary)
Use Right Arm Mouse 3 (Secondary)
Use Potion Mouse 4
Dodge Mouse 5
Target Next Mouse Wheel Down
Target Previous Mouse Wheel Up

Gamepad Controls

Bladius supports standard gamepads such as an Xbox One controller. Other controllers can be configured with a utility like x360ce:

Action Button 1 Button 2
Move Forward Any Stick D-Pad Up
Move Backward Any Stick D-Pad Down
Strafe Left Left Stick
Strafe Right Left Stick
Turn Left Right Stick D-Pad Left
Turn Right Right Stick D-Pad Right
Use Left Arm Left Trigger
Use Right Arm Right Trigger
Sprint Hold Left Stick
Dodge A
Use Potion B
Target Next Right Bumper
Target Previous Left Bumper
UI Confirm A Start
UI Cancel B Select


Bladius is developed in accordance with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 at Level AA conformance. Its menus are fully operable with a keyboard and screen readers such as NVDA.

Bladius can be played entirely with audio, video, or both. Every action, from footsteps and dodges to swings and hits, emits a sound synthesized in real-time for a dynamic and retro feel. These sounds produce explosions of colorful particles that surround a first-person view against a black screen. Beware that your heart rate increases and vision blurs as damage is taken.


Please direct all support requests though your preferred platform:


The following typefaces belong to their respective owners:

Thanks for playing!