Sheer Cold is a gauge that appears in very cold areas, such as in open-world areas and domains affected by Subzero Climate and during certain challenges.
Similar to Stamina, Sheer Cold is shared between characters for each player.
When Sheer Cold begins to accumulate, a sound effect plays and a gauge appears over the active character's HP bar. When the gauge is 70% full, it begins to beep every 2 seconds and pulse with a red glow. In addition, the edges of the screen become frosty, reducing the player's peripheral vision. When the gauge is full, the gauge takes on a steady red glow, the beeping stops, the edges of the screen frost over more to further reduce the player's peripheral vision, and the player begins to lose HP.
Sheer Cold's accumulation and health loss from Sheer Cold pause while the player is engaged in dialogue with an NPC or an object. They are not paused during Photo Mode, during which time passes normally.
The Sheer Cold gauge depletes quickly over time when leaving a Subzero Climate.
The rate at which Sheer Cold accumulates depends on what the active character is doing and where they are.
|Conditions||Accumulation rate||Time to fill an empty Sheer Cold gauge|
|Default||1% per second||100 seconds|
(1 minute and 40 seconds)
|Slow swimming||2% per second||50 seconds|
|Colder surfaces and environments||2.5% per second||40 seconds|
|Sprint swimming||2.85% per second||35 seconds|
|Taking Cryo DMG from Signora's attacks||up to 10% per second||10 seconds|
Note that the Wet status and standing in water do not change the Sheer Cold accumulation rate.
Consuming Goulash slows the rate of Sheer Cold accumulation. Goulash only reduces the default accumulation rate and has no effect on the increased accumulation rates. It is unknown if this is intentional or an error.
|Food||Reduction to accumulation rate||New accumulation rate||Time to fill an empty Sheer Cold gauge|
|Delicious Goulash||-0.5% per second||0.5% per second||200 seconds|
(3 minutes and 20 seconds)
|Normal Goulash||-0.4% per second||0.6% per second||167 seconds|
(2 minutes and 47 seconds)
|Suspicious Goulash||-0.3% per second||0.7% per second||143 seconds|
(2 minutes and 23 seconds)
In Dragonspine, Sheer Cold accumulation can be halted and reversed with sources of warmth. In Narukami Island: Tenshukaku, it can be slowly reversed by standing next to a Heart of Flame, or quickly reset to zero by destroying a Heart of Flame.
When the Sheer Cold gauge is full, the active character will lose HP at a rate of 1% max HP + 150 HP per second. If not mitigated, then the active character will die to Sheer Cold in roughly one minute, give or take as much as half a minute depending on how much HP a character has.
HP loss from Sheer Cold is unaffected by the conditions that increase and decrease the Sheer Cold accumulation rate if the Sheer Cold gauge remains full. HP loss only stops once the Sheer Cold gauge is no longer full.
Some max HP thresholds and how long it takes for all HP to be depleted by Sheer Cold:
- 30 seconds - 6,428 HP
- 40 seconds - 10,000 HP
- 50 seconds - 15,000 HP
- 60 seconds - 22,500 HP
- 70 seconds - 35,000 HP
- 80 seconds - 60,000 HP
Some surfaces and locations are especially cold. These include cold platforms (such as the ones found in Peak of Vindagnyr), Snowstorms, and the Cryo Hypostasis arena. The base accumulation rate of Sheer Cold in these locations is higher.
Sources of Warmth
Sources of warmth include:
Characters who are near one of the above sources of warmth will have their Sheer Cold gauge reduced at a rate of 20% per second (5 seconds to completely deplete a full gauge).
When player stay outside of Subzero Climates, their Sheer Cold gauge reduces at a rate of 5% per second (20 seconds to completely deplete a full gauge).
Scarlet Quartz reduces 5% of the Sheer Cold gauge and then pauses Sheer Cold accumulation. Additional Scarlet Quartz that are picked up will refresh the duration and reduce another 5% of the Sheer Cold gauge. Scarlet Quartz has no effect until it is picked up.
- The frosty edges that appear when affected by Sheer Cold show up in pictures taken with the Kamera or Special Kamera but do not show up in pictures taken in Photo Mode.
- When a character falls to Sheer Cold, the player will be granted the Wonders of the World achievement "The Bleak Midwinter".