Hogwarts Legacy promises us the opportunity to return to the Wizarding World and explore the iconic school during a previously unseen period of Harry Potter history. Set in the late 1800s, the upcoming open-world action RPG lets us step into the shoes of a fifth-year student, mysteriously gifted with the ability of harnessing ancient magic.
From catching up on classes and combing every nook and cranny in the school grounds, to investigating a goblin rebellion brewing on the horizon, Hogwarts Legacy promises a dangerous term ahead. While we expect to find many more secrets tucked away in Hogwarts’ historic halls when the game launches on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S on February 10, here are nine magical details we spotted during our first hands-on session with the game.
Hogwarts’ Headmaster Canceled Quidditch
Quidditch, the brutal yet incredibly popular broomstick-based sport, is not playable in Hogwarts Legacy. However, it is possible to fly around Hogwarts’ familiar Quidditch pitch. While wandering around the castle, we overheard some Ravenclaw students discussing how Headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black decided to ban the sport from campus. So, it looks as though we have an explanation of why we won’t be batting off Bludgers in our spare time.
This also gives us an idea of what we can expect from Hogwarts’ headmaster. We’re already aware of Professor Black’s reputation as the least popular head teacher from the Harry Potter books, and the students have certainly noticed how little interest he takes in his job.
While Quidditch is off the cards, players can mount their brooms to fly around Hogwarts and its surrounding area. Alternatively, you can also take to the skies on mounts including Hippogriffs and Thestrals.
We overheard some Ravenclaw students discussing how Headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black decided to ban the sport from campus.
What Are the Goblins Up To?
Hogwarts Legacy’s story revolves around the threat of a mounting goblin rebellion, allegedly led by a goblin called Ranrok. The goblins we’ve encountered so far are referred to as ‘Loyalist Warriors’ and they’re fighting alongside a faction of wizards who practice dark magic, even though some of the goblins aren’t too keen on the idea of teaming up with wizards.
Ranrok is said to be working with Victor Rookwood, a wizard who appears to be looking for us specifically. While chatting to one of our companions about some poachers who have been hunting creatures in the area, we learned that Rookwood has ordered for us to be captured. The group is also producing goblin metal, something we’ll be actively investigating across the story.
The Centaurs Are Unhappy About Poachers
We’ve met our fair share of magical creatures and races over the years, and we’ll see a number of them in Hogwarts Legacy, too. Centaurs live in the forest and, as we already know, they’re not the biggest fans of wizardkind. They’re understandably annoyed about the number of humans venturing into their territory, which seems to be occurring more frequently of late.
Dragons Are Being Forced to Fight
Dragons are huge, majestic creatures that we’re used to seeing around Hogwarts, both as eggs smuggled in by friendly gamekeepers and as fully-grown foes in Triwizard tournaments. However, the dragons we saw in our hands-on look to be part of a secret dragon fighting ring called Horntail Hall. We can see this is a big operation as the fighting ring is buzzing with spectators, and we had the chance to help free a captive dragon.
The dragons we saw in our hands-on look to be part of a secret dragon fighting ring called Horntail Hall.
Something’s Wrong With the Wildlife
Magical creatures such as Dugbogs can be spotted out in the wild. While these beasts are known to attack other animals, and occasionally even humans, a fellow student called Poppy said that she had noticed them behaving more violently. In fact, other beasts have been acting more aggressively than usual, too. It’s still a mystery as to what is causing this exactly, but Poppy gave us a hint that there could be something in the water.
Peeves is Still a Pest
Hogwarts has played host to various ghosts for centuries, and we can expect to encounter familiar faces such as Nearly Headless Nick. However, Hogwarts Legacy also features pesky poltergeist Peeves, a character that featured in the Harry Potter books and video games but never made it into the movies. Peeves is a mischievous character that thrives on causing trouble, and we saw him bothering a poor Hufflepuff student.
Alohomora is a Lockpicking Minigame
Fans will remember Harry Potter characters frequently uttering the phrase “Alohomora” to unlock doors, windows, and more. This handy charm has been reimagined as a lockpicking minigame that requires you to turn two cogs slowly until the gears are perfectly aligned, demonstrated by colourful sparks. We spotted this once during our session but imagine it’ll feature more heavily across the full adventure.
Students Have All the Gossip
Hogwarts is a busy place, bustling with students from each of the four houses, so if you want to keep up with all the gossip we recommend pausing to listen in on what some of your classmates are talking about.
We overheard what some of the teachers had been up to, watched a student get in trouble for venturing into an area that was off-limits, and heard that there was some sort of altercation with a troll earlier in the game.
It looks as though there should be lots of additional lore to soak up just by being nosey. Speaking of which, wandering Hogwarts’ halls and exploring places where good students shouldn’t go will open up various side quests that you can embark upon around your compulsory classes and the main story.
Hogwarts is Teeming with Life and Secrets
This is the Wizarding World after all, so expect to see inanimate objects spring to life around you as you tour the castle and its grounds. It’s common to see books and parchment flapping around above your head in the corridors and watering cans pottering away in the Herbology greenhouses. While taking in Hogwarts’ impressive architecture you’ll find some things you can interact with, and with the countless paintings and other furniture adorning each passage, there are bound to be plenty more secrets waiting to be discovered.
Emma Matthews is IGN’s Junior Syndication Editor.