Coffins are generally seen in the form of a wooden casket. Opening one by damaging it in any fashion will release a singular Skull along with one of the following:
Spelunkers released from Coffins have identical AI to Hired Hands.
The person who comes out of the Coffin will get a brief period of invulnerability to most sources of damage, so if the Coffin is shot with the Shotgun, additional pellets may not harm the person who comes out, although it is possible for the Coffin to be lifted slightly upwards by the buckshot, hitting whoever was inside on its way down for 1 damage. Hitting the bottom portion of a Coffin with the Freeze Ray will have the previously trapped victim come out frozen.
Coffins have four different variations; the standard wooden coffin is seen in most levels, while Temple of Anubis coffins have a "sarcophagus" skin, akin to one used in Ancient Egypt. This sarcophagus is colored gold in The City of Gold and colored black in the Duat. In The Mothership, a pod full of green liquid is used in place of a coffin, with the victim seen inside connected to numerous wires.
In Singleplayer, coffins are generated in rooms adjacent to the main path or in specific locations throughout the game. If the coffin still contains a Spelunker, it will produce a loud shimmering sound. Otherwise, it will contain a Hired Hand.
- At the bottom of 1-4, on a wooden platform beside the entrance to either Jungle or Volcana (Alto Singh).
- Within the Jungle, in an alcove made of stone brick with a climbable vine allowing the player access inside (Liz Mutton).
- At the top of The Black Market on either the left or right side (Nekka the Eagle).
- In Volcana, in an alcove made of rock with a climbable chain allowing the player access inside (LISE Project).
- Four Coffins are found in the center of Vlad's Castle, with two on each end (One contains Coco Von Diamonds).
- In the top left of the sub-area of Olmec's Lair, just beside the Ankh (Manfred Tunnel).
- In a small building found in 4-1 or 4-2 of Tide Pool, accessed via a climbable pole (Little Jay).
- Within the waters of Abzu, on a small coral structure (Tina Flan).
- Atop a small pyramid in 4-1 or 4-2 of Temple of Anubis (Valerie Crump).
- On a similar pyramid in The City of Gold, albeit surrounded by four Pots of Gold (Au).
- In a small wooden alcove seen at the top of the Wet Fur cave containing the Yeti Queen (Demi Von Diamonds).
- Within a green pod beside Lahamu in The Mothership (Pilot).
- In 6-1 of Neo Babylon, accessed by an Elevator (Princess Airyn).
- Inside of a deceased Goliath Frog in the Sunken City (Dirk Yamaoka).
In Co-op and Online Multiplayer, Coffins containing unlockable Spelunkers or Hired Hands do not spawn, and instead Coffins will only spawn in a level if a player is currently dead. In which case, one or more Coffins will spawn along the main path containing the dead player(s). This causes coffins to spawn in locations that normally do not contain any, such as the Duat or the Eggplant World.
Some areas in multiplayer cannot spawn Coffins, or have a limit to the amount of Player Coffins they contain; Abzu can only contain one Player Coffin regardless of how many players are dead, and Olmec's Lair, Tiamat's Throne, and Hundun's Hideaway will never contain a Coffin.
Coffins in the Cosmic Ocean will only spawn on levels 7-10, 7-50, and 7-90.
Cloning a Player Coffin will simply produce one containing a Hired Hand.
- In previous versions of the game, the singleplayer-only coffins found in The City of Gold, The Mothership, and the Sunken City containing Au, Pilot, and Dirk Yamaoka respectively would only spawn if the player had not yet unlocked the character. This was fixed in version 1.20.3a, with the coffins now spawning regardless and containing Hired Hands if the spelunker inside was already unlocked.
- This rule still applies to the Daily Challenge, and the three aforementioned coffins will never spawn.
- It was previously possible to kill a player on the same level as a multiplayer-coffin, then cloning the player coffin and duplicate the items that the killed player was carrying. This was known as the "Coffin Dupe", and was an incredibly powerful exploit. This was fixed in version 1.20.1c.
- Coffins in the Cosmic Ocean appearing in level 7-10, 7-50, and 7-90 were added in version 1.20.1c.