Covers the majority of the game’s mechanics and how to use them to your advantage to become the ruler of your town. I won’t pretend to know everything, so feel free to leave a comment if you know more!
Slaughter Horse 2 provides you with lots of options and tools for completing your objective, and is not afraid to offer tips and advice, but is also very much content to let you make your own mistakes. Some of the actions you can take are more thematic than actually effective, or how they work best may not be clear at first. While I would say there are still elements of luck to actually winning a game, knowing how to approach each situation the game throws at you is helpful for actually making the town bow before you. I have won several games, and below are my findings for the various game mechanics and how to use them to deal with the ponies who call your town home.
As far as using the guide, I would say it is very much set up so that you can read up on a few key things you have questions about, or read the entire thing if you are newer to the game. I have tried to minimize overlap with the wiki, focusing more on how to use the resources, not as much about how they work.
Number of Ponies/Days until Thaw
The number of ponies is pretty much up to you, and is most dependent on which achievements you are going for, if any. It is easier to kill ponies in larger towns because more of them are townies, but I would say it is easier to get used to the various roles’ mechanics on a smaller town size because they represent a larger percentage of the population. You want around 1.5 days per pony (20-30, 30-45, 40-60).
Customization makes the game more enjoyable, but doesn’t affect game mechanics.
It is extremely hard to get rid of sus, so you want to do everything in your power to avoid becoming suspicious. It is easier to avoid suspicion if you stay as sane as possible. It may be too late if you get into the yellow.
The following can increase your Suspicion (several are preventable):
- Letting your sanity get too low
- Failing interviews by the Deputy, Sheriff, Alicorn, or Magician
- The Reporter finding remains in your house
- Being seen by the Lookout/Alicorn while attempting a murder
- Selecting the Interrogate option at your shop
- Getting blackmailed
- Failing to kill the Disciple before they turn on you
- Attempting to kill an on-guard Veteran
- Drawing the Death tarot card later in the game
- Participating in certain events
You can remove Sus by:
- Clicking the correct holy prayer(s) at church
- Drawing the Ace of Knives tarot card
- Participating in certain events
- Clicking a silver circle when being investigated
You can lose sanity for the reasons listed below. You want to minimize dings to sanity and keep it high, as high sanity helps with a variety of mechanics.
- Attempting to murder a pony and failing for any reason
- Allowing your bloodlust to stay imperative
- Clicking on a holy prayer at church
- Using the “Gossip” option at your shop
- Drawing the Moon tarot card
- Participating in certain events
You can gain sanity back by:
- Killing a pony
- Participating in certain events
- Drawing a certain tarot card (still figuring this out)
This indicates the number of days since you successfully killed a pony (Death by Chocolate cake counts). You NEVER want to let it get imperative, as a variety of things can prevent you from killing. Act like it is imperative at four, and try to kill when it’s at three. While not preferable, you may have to kill a townie to ensure it stays down. Do NOT invite a pony if your lust is at or near imperative.
Your luck based on your tarot card draw. Mainly affects certain events.
This indicates how well you’ve made friends with the townsponies, and you definitely want to keep this up. Friendliness helps the town trust you, and can help you avoid being lynched.
The amount of pony flesh you have in your basement. You can get flesh by killing a pony, or by sending your pet to the morgue. Flesh can be used to bake cakes, but should otherwise be disposed of daily.
Shows which ingredients you have, although you have to check the Recipe Book to know what you can bake.
I am sure that you have a chance of finding ingredients from the following actions:
- Killing a pony in their house
- Attempting to kill a pony in their house
- Having your pet investigate a house with an unknown occupant
As the town gets angrier and angrier, they work towards building a gallows, and the town will attempt to start hanging ponies once it is complete. The mayor can normally prevent lynchings, or at least reduce their frequency, so it is suggested to leave the mayor alive until you’re sure you are in a good spot to let the ponies lynch each other to death. Some other roles can prevent lynchings if the town is not out for blood, but it is too late once the town is out for blood (seen in news bulletin). This will always be part of the game if it goes on long enough for you to win, which is why keeping your Friendship and Sanity high, and your Sus low, are so critical.
These are available at all times, and you will want to be referencing these to determine who to kill when, and how.
Useful for seeing which roles are alive and generally active, or for ensuring you have the cutie marks of all dead ponies (14 in list plus the Changeling Spy for 15 total).
Details about each pony. Most information found in game is compiled here, but certain information, such as “X role is Y gender” or “X role is Z race” are NOT saved here, so it helps to take mental note of these.
This logs certain key information from each day such as your tarot card, what your disciple and pet told you, and the day of week. Some key information (especially your nightly actions) are left out.
Shows you the map of the town. There is some key information that can be seen at a glance from the town map. Most of these rely on you to gather intel from your Disciple or pet. You may need to go into free view to see it, but you can track the progress of the gallows by looking at the center of town.
- White house number = No information
- Blue house number = Name known, but not role
- Green house number = Ponies on your hit list (besides Disciple)
- Yellow house number = Townie (no role or hidden role)
- Red house number = Pony is dead
- Red X near house number = You have attempted to murder at this address and were unsuccessful
- Magical forcefield around a house = Magician is actively protecting themselves
- Rubble instead of a house = house of dead changeling
This shows how to make each of the 6 cakes (recipes are randomized). You can bake a cake if both non-flesh ingredients are in blue, and cakes you have made are crossed out.
You get several free kills early in the game, and managing to kill one or more crucial roles is very helpful. The longer you can delay a full investigation, the easier the rest of the game should be. The more information you can gather during this phase, the better. All roles can be killed freely in this phase, except the Naturist and Preacher (who is out looking for the Changeling). Killing the Lookout or Magician during this phase is very helpful. I have definitely won games both by playing the first few days slow, and also by blindly killing as many ponies as possible before the Investigation.
Full Investigation (Mid Game)
Killing the Noble, Mayor, Deputy, Detective, or Sheriff will trigger a full investigation, which causes several roles to become active, and it means you will be subject to investigations that can raise your Suspicion. You usually have to be more careful with who you choose to kill, and may have to forego killing on account of the Lookout. You may start to be able to bake cakes, and can do so between trying to kill roles strategically. It is during this phase that you need to find and attempt to kill the Magician, Disciple, and Veteran so that none of them can screw you over later in the game.
Late Game (Regular Lynch Mobs
It reaches a point where lynchings happen almost every day, and your main priority is to keep your Sanity high and your Suspicion low, as the town is out for blood. At some point, you should know the role and address of all ponies in the town, and this will allow you to kill only as needed to kill your targets or curb your Bloodlust. You should save most of your cakes, all your Death Letters, and potentially your Invitations for this phase, as it is when the first two are most effective. If you run out of Letters and know all the information, you should just be checking ponies that tend to work to catch a day when they are home.
Balancing Kills and Intel
It takes time to collect information on the ponies of the town, so whenever it is feasible, it is best to kill blindly to minimize the amount of research you need to do to know the roles and addresses of all other ponies. Killing a key target when the timing and opportunity are correct will always be preferred, but killing blindly is rather effective as long as you don’t hit the Veteran. If you are in the mid to late game and don’t know where the Veteran is, stick to safe targets, killing a known Townie if no other options are available. Once the Veteran is known, you can go right back to killing blindly.
Aside from collecting cutie marks and sending cakes or letters, your pet should be gathering info most of the time. I tend to alternate Investigate House and Investigate Pony to try to make sure I’m getting to know both the role and address of ponies consistently, as knowing just one or the other is not helpful for most of the game’s mechanics surrounding methods of killing.
You want to save these until the town has started lynching ponies, as a single letter can encourage the town to lynch the recipient. Good for roles that are hard to kill directly, not compatible with Veteran. As far as writing Death Letters, the game is pretty good at detecting what would normally be considered threatening. It seems to be helpful to talk about killing or dying, mention their role or something related to it, and definitely to use the majority of the available space. I personally like using words like “pathetic” or “useless” or “inconsequential,” or even “Night Mare” somewhere in there.
Discover who lives at an address; or, if known, find out if they will be home or working. Default option if the roles of all ponies with known full addresses are known.
Discover the role of a pony and additional info; or, if role is known, find out if they will be home or working tonight. Default option if a pony’s full address is known but not their role, or if some intel narrows a key role down to just a couple of ponies. Also the default if all ponies have known addresses and roles.
Not particularly effective, as the chances of the Reporter finding planted evidence are slim. Gathering intel is much more useful. I’d only recommend it if the town population is 1/4 or less, and the reporter is alive and active.
Be sure about who you are sending each cake, ESPECIALLY Death by Chocolate, as it will trigger a cake ban. Generally a later-game mechanic.
Your pet will always grab a set of remains, and has about a 50% chance of grabbing the cutie mark of an important pony as well (if applicable). Can be useful just to grab remains for baking, if you want to bake and lack remains.
Nearly useless, as there is almost always something useful your pet can do.
Praising or Scolding your Pet
I don’t think this makes any difference mechanically, but I suggest praising your pet, if anything.
You can interact with ponies who come to your shop each day. The better your Sus, Sanity, and Friendship stats are, the more consistently you will have four ponies in the shop. You will always have at least one visitor, regardless of your reputation, but a bad reputation limits your customers and options.
Chat has a chance to raise friendship, and always gets you minor information. This can be used earlier in the game, but I still tend to prefer Frienship.
Better information at the risk of reducing sanity. Generally not advisable.
Best information at the risk of adding suspicion. Only advisable in the early to mid game when the Star tarot card is active.
This has to be the most inconsistent and/or difficult to use mechanic in the game. For a successful invitation, you usually have to invite a pony who is at least friends with you, and who is not working that night, or already being visited that night. It is most consistent to try to invite Townies, but certain important roles can sometimes be successful (I know I’ve gotten the Reporter, Deputy, and Preacher). Ponies can even choose to decline for seemingly no reason, and will decline if working. Do not rely on this mechanic; if anything, try to use it and appreciate it when it does work, but don’t send the letters on a whim.
Completely safe when available, but generally only useful in the late game when lynchings are more frequent. The default option when the number of ponies left is around a quarter of the population or less.
Friendship really is magic, and it is truly the default option most of the time. Having at least decent friendship with the town offers many benefits, and this is one of the best ways to keep the bar up. It is worth noting that the investigative roles, and even guarded roles like the Magician and Veteran, may not warm up to you much, if at all. Because of this, it is best to focus on Townies and the friendlier targets like the Visitor, Reporter, Mayor, and Preacher (if roles are known) You can actually take a refusal of friendship as a sign you should have your pet check out the pony’s role.
Assuming you aren’t immediately blocked by an investigative role, you can do something. I find it helps to check your Bloodlust and see if you can bake a cake. Unless you are baking a cake, you ALWAYS want to destroy your remains. Most players are trying to complete the cloak, so make sure to check that you have the cutie marks of all the roles from the Hit List who are dead (plus the Changeling, if applicable). Then, see if you can commit a murder.
In the early game, you are going to want to kill blindly for the first few, unless you have already discovered the address and role of a role worth killing early (Lookout, Magician, etc). Later in the game, try to kill roles on your hit list if possible and advisable. You have to be a bit more careful once a full investigation is in effect, and ESPECIALLY if you don’t know where the Veteran is later in the game. Attempting to kill the Veteran later in the game when you don’t know they’re standing down is usually a game over. Later in the game, you may not feasibly be able to get away with a kill, and may not need to to help your Bloodlust. Try not to target a house with a red X unless you know the role and know you can kill them this time around. If being killed directly, some roles MUST be killed at the right time, or else you risk your sanity or suspicion.
You want to do this right away if the Reporter is alive; otherwise, you can choose to do it on a later day. They will die of neglect after a few days, but I’m not sure this resets your Bloodlust.
Good to do as soon as you can bake a cake you think will be useful, but not if your Bloodlust is near imperative. Note: you cannot go back if you put any ingredients in the pot, so don’t add any unless you intend to and are able to bake a cake.
This should be done anytime you have remains unless you are using them to bake a cake that night, regardless of if the Reporter is alive. It is a good habit to get into.
Mainly useful if you are actually trying to complete the cloak (which gets you a new knife).
While you should kill if it is feasible, you want to try and be sure you can kill successfully (to avoid any Suspicion or dings to Sanity). Pick this if you’re not sure you can commit a murder successfully. You will probably pick this option at least a few times per game.
Below I’ve included when and how each role should be killed, and what you generally need to watch out for. Many of these can be killed with patience and tact, or a bit of luck, but you also have the option of trying to get them lynched by arousing suspicion and dislike through Death Letters, Gaslighting, and certain cakes. The Magician is your #1 target, but beware the Veteran and the Alicorn.
Extremely dangerous, usually home but can only be killed early in the game or while the Magician tarot card is active. Recommend killing once able by any means necessary (failing the Magician’s mini game can be a near-instant game over).
Mostly harmless as Noble, but recommend killing once able if reasonable, normally home and unprotected. If killed, the Guard will become depressed and will either get lynched or commit suicide. If the Noble is left alive too long, they transform into the Alicorn, which is a combination Lookout and Sheriff. The Alicorn can be a bit annoying but can be left alive for a bit. Can only be killed directly if the Princess tarot card is active; alternately, recommend Death Letters or a cake.
Mostly harmless, sometimes home, feasible to kill directly, especially early in the game. Kill whenever. Don’t worry about them too much, as they will die at some point if you kill the Noble/Alicorn.
Extremely dangerous, always home, can only be killed directly very early in the game, or when they are known to be standing down. You should be scared of killing blindly in the mid to late game if you don’t know where the Veteran is (as getting shot usually leads to a game over). Kill by throwing suspicion if you cannot confirm they are standing down. Killing them is less important than avoiding them.
Somewhat harmful, rarely home, difficult to kill directly, recommend killing if able. They will regularly thwart your plans if your luck is not high enough. The lookout can sometimes be invited to a private party, but otherwise you must throw suspicion their way later in the game.
Harmless, always, home, cannot be killed directly under any circumstances. You must throw suspicion at them with letters or a cake to have them lynched (Death by Chocolate is unnecessary, cannot recommend).
Mostly harmless, usually home, can normally be killed directly. Recommend killing later in the game, as they keep lynch mobs in check.
Mostly harmless, rarely home, difficult to kill directly, and can mostly be ignored. The visitor usually gets lynched, or you they visit your house and you can kill them then. Rarely necessary to use any resources to kill.
Mostly harmless, usually home while Changeling Spy is dead, and vice versa. Recommend killing later in the game, as having church as an option can be helpful.
Minor threat, rarely home, tricky to kill directly. Recommend killing once other investigative roles are dead.
Moderate threat, rarely home, tricky to kill directly. Home more than other investigators. Worth expending some resources to kill (constantly checking up on, throwing suspicion).
Moderate threat, rarely home, tricky to kill directly. Worth expending some resources to kill.
Mostly harmless if you consistently destroy evidence, sometimes home, somewhat tricky to kill directly. Don’t worry too much about killing them, unless given good opportunity, as they will usually get lynched.
These roles will appear as Townies, but are revealed once they die.
Major threat if left alive too long, always home, easy to kill directly, but near impossible to identify. Once half the town is dead, you want to start killing some Townies to try and kill the Disciple, if alive. Their rumors can be game-ending.
Harmless, always home, easy to kill directly, but difficult to identify (can be identified with the Knave tarot card, but this process is a bit tedious). The Preacher will kill them eventually, but killing them gets you full info on two ponies, so it’s great if you get lucky and kill them, but it truly is luck.
Harmless, no effect if killed directly. The mule is always an earth pony Townie. If hanged, they will unleash a curse that will kill another pony. You are unaffected. Just good to know it exists, as the curse can kill one of your targets that is difficult to kill.
Cakes are generally most useful later in the game when the lynch mobs are consistent, but not always.
Best used for roles that tend to be away from home, although there is some luck involved in being able to follow up with the kill that night. I bake and use other cakes before this one, if given the option. Does NOT work with Naturist or Magician.
Best sent to a role that visits other ponies at night, such as the Sheriff, Deputy or Alicorn (Visitor technically, but usually the Visitor can be killed other ways).
Great for most roles that are difficult to kill, but it should only be used during the late game (active lynch mobs).
Basically used the same as Fruit Cake.
Red Velvet Cake
The Veteran special. I’m actually not sure if it works with any other roles, and I’m not sure I can recommend trying it with other roles.
Death by Chocolate
This tends to be a last resort, as you cannot make or send any other cakes after this one is used. I usually save this for the Magician (or Alicorn to a lesser extent, but they’re easier to kill).
These can happen multiple times per game.
It’s in your best interest to attend church every time. You can click through without clicking any holy prayers, and I would suggest only clicking prayers if you have Sus, and not if your sanity is already damaged.
Interrogated by the Sheriff, Detective, or Alicorn
You must click several circles. It seems like you have a better chance of getting a green or silver option if you have low Sus and high Sanity/Friendship. The circles are randomized, so don’t feel bad if you click wrong.
Interrogated by the Deputy.
You only have to click once. I almost always succeed by clicking the one in the upper right corner.
The Lookout/Alicorn Patrol
I suggest only trusting your luck if it is 9-12, or if you desperately need to kill that night for bloodlust, or for an opportunity at a key target like the Magician/Alicorn.
Probed by the Magician
You must attempt to match the symbols blindly. This one frequently results in a game over, which is why the Magician is so dangerous.
These only happen once per game, at most. I’m only covering events that actually require you to make a choice, as the others just happen and are what they are. Some of them are listed as the actual names, and some are just summaries of the events, as I’ve only seen them once or twice and forgot to jot down the in-game name.
Pony entering your house alone (2 separate events)
It is almost always safe to kill a pony that enters your house, whether that is the Visitor, or another pony rummaging through your cupboards. While there is a small chance somepony saw them, it is only ever that they were last seen on your street, not necessarily with you.
Don’t ask who the ponies are talking about. The most you get is who is a certain role, which is only so useful, and not worth risking your Sus.
Say you will attend church. As aforementioned, you can attend without any risk, and it helps your case.
Do not sneak up on the Veteran.
Do not promise a pony a cake. You may only make 1-2 cakes, and you want to use those to your utmost advantage, not send them to whoever is asking.
If two ponies tell you they think they know who the butcher of the town is, agree with them.
If a pony asks you to get together with them sometime, say yes. I haven’t noticed any negative effects from this option, and it may actually trigger the pony visiting your house alone, which is quite beneficial.
If a pony has a breakdown in the streets and is in need of comfort, comfort them. I think this option reduces your Sus by one.
It seems like either option works fine. This will trigger if enough Knave tarot cards are drawn after the Changeling Spy dies.
Crime of Passion
If you attempt to kill the Mayor on Canterday night and he is in bed with another pony, kill them both.