Karma is an overarching mechanic and important plot element of Rain World. Although the game appears at first to have no incentive against sheer trial-and-error exploration, the karma mechanic is the game's way of encouraging survival and careful play. When the player survives a cycle by hibernating, the player's karma will raise by one point, indicated by the wheel going upwards in the hibernation screen. Inversely, when the player is killed, their karma decreases by one point, down to a minimum of rank 1.
The player's karma level can be checked by tapping or holding the map button, where it will appear as a symbol to the left of their food meter. The player will also be able to see their karma level, as well as the symbols for karma levels above and below theirs, by waiting on the continue screen after hibernating or dying.
Karma Gates[edit | edit source]
Main Article: Karma Gate
The primary purpose of karma is to go through the gates between regions. Above each side of a gate will be the symbol of the requisite karma level. If the player is at or above this level, the gate will open to allow the player to pass through to a new region. Karma gates may have different levels for each direction. A few karma gates out of difficult regions are set at karma level one, and will allow the player to pass through even at minimum karma.
Karma Flowers[edit | edit source]
Yellow flowers can often be found in the place of the player's last death. These flowers, known as karma flowers, offer a sort of safety-net for the players karma when consumed. If a player consumes a karma flower, their next death will not result in any loss of karma, signified by a ring around the player's karma level. This protection does not stack, and eating a second karma flower will have no effect.
Maximum Karma (SPOILERS)[edit | edit source]
Initially, the player is only able to go up to karma level 5, but a few beings in the game are able to raise the player's maximum karma. The player is able to reach a karma level of up to 10 through two different methods.
The simplest method of raising the player's maximum karma is by visiting Five Pebbles at the top of his compound. In addition to guidance and other benefits, Five Pebbles will immediately raise the player's maximum karma up to 10.
The player's max karma may also be raised by visiting the Echoes scattered throughout the world. The first Echo will raise the player's maximum karma up to 7, and each additional Echo will raise the maximum by one. Once the player has visited 4 Echoes, their maximum karma will reach 10, and further echoes will not raise the maximum. These Echoes will also bring you up to your new maximum karma when visited. Since the player cannot go past a maximum karma of 10, visiting these echoes after Five Pebbles will have no effect on the player's maximum karma.