Before You Start… Tips For Playing Resident Evil 6 The Best Way

Are you going to play Resident Evil 6? Get your button mashing fingers ready, prepare yourself to twirl some analog sticks, and tape the following advice to your fridge. It may (hopefully!) help you get the most out of Resident Evil 6.

There are no spoilers forthcoming. Just some advice...

1. Play The Campaigns In Any Order, But You Might Want to Start With Jake's

All three main campaigns in Resident Evil 6 hop through the game's one lengthy timeline. The game's main menu has a "special features" option that leads to a "cutscenes" screen. In this section, you'll see icons for all of the game's cutscenes (once you've encountered them in the game), laid out across the game's proper timeline. You'll be able to see which scenes occur when, relative to everything else. The timeline will show you that Jake and Chris' campaigns involve the earliest events in the game, but the game won't play those out in that order. Here's the best advice we can give for going through the campaigns in their narrative order:

  1. Start with Jake's first two chapters.
  2. Then play two chapters of Leon.
  3. Play Chris' first two, next, which will bounce you around a bit but...
  4. You'll then be at the moments when the three main campaigns begin to intersect a lot.

You can't juggle two mid-chapter save files at once, so you'll need to complete each chapter before hopping to something else.

2. Take Note of When The Game Is Actually Saving

The classic typerwriter-based save point system is long gone. Resident Evil 6 now auto-saves, but it doesn't do it as often as you might think. The game will frequently flash a notice that it has checkpointed your progress, but it is not saving your progress when it does that. If you quit the game after most of its checkpoints, you will lose a lot of your progress. Make sure you actually see a notification that the game is saving. It'll be accompanied by a little typewriter.

3. Play as Piers

Each of the game's three main campaigns stars a pair of heroes. You can play solo or co-op, and, either way, will have a chance to choose who you want to control. RE stand-by Leon Kennedy? Or newcomer Helena Harper? Well, there's not much of a difference between them. Jake or Sherry? He can reach some places she can't thanks to an acrobatic leaping move and he has a special hand-to-hand fighting style. He's cool. But she's got an electro-shock baton, so it's a wash. Chris and Piers? There's a difference. Chris is our machine gun guy. Piers is more of a sniper. But more importantly, if you play as Piers, you just mind find the narrative of the Chris and Piers campaign more satisfying. Without going into spoilers, please trust us. We're professionals.

4. Stay Online And Let Players Join

If you're playing solo and you leave your online options open, someone may join your campaign. They might take on the role of your partner, but they also might just be dropping in as characters from one of the other campaigns, in one of the numerous moments when the game's campaigns intersect. More importantly, by keeping your game open, you'll be able to be invaded by players who are using Agent Hunt mode to take control of enemy monsters and make your Resident Evil 6 adventures more difficult but also more interesting.

5, Learn to use your melee attacks

Ammo isn't that scarce in Resident Evil 6, but you'd still be wise to learn the art of running up to an enemy zombie or J'Avo and smacking him with a strong melee attack. Your moves will be strongest if your stamina bar is high. This is the one limitation on the series' otherwise total abandonment of run-and-gun restrictions (meaning, yes, you can shoot while running). Your stamina bar will drop if you spam your melee attack button. So move in close, then strike. Alternately, pull both your aiming trigger and your shooting trigger at once when an enemy is nearby. This will drain a lot of your stamina gauge, but it will also stun the enemy, leaving them open to a fatal melee move.

6. Do a barrel roll!

Well, learn how to roll out of the way of enemy attacks. Mess around with it a few times. And then learn how to dive away from an attack. It may take you a few tries to realize that you must let go of your left trigger in order to get up after diving away. This will make more sense as you play; so just find some space and train yourself to roll, dive and get up.

7. Use both sticks during QTEs

Resident Evil 6 is chock-full of Quick Time Events—cinematic sequences that you can fail if you don't follow the button input prompts that pop up on screen. Some of these prompts appear to be asking you to twirl one analog stick. Don't fall for that! Twirl both. It usually helps.

8. Learn the dial-a-combo to restore your health

You will often be low on health in this game. Don't panic. Learn to use your inventory to your advantage. You can access the inventory on the fly, but the game will not pause when you open it up. If you have two health items—two green herbs or a green and a red—you can and should combine them. You need to do this fast, while you're probably near death. And then you need to consume them. How in the world do you do that? Well, on the PS3, the quick combo is this: Triangle, X, X, X, X, Circle, R3, R3, R3. This opens the inventory, mashes two health items together, puts them in your health-pack slot, closes the inventory and then lets you consume the tablets. Press R3 six times if you've combined a green and a red.

9. Sure, play Mercenaries, but also try Agent Hunt

The Agent Hunt mode that unlocks after you finish any one of the game's main three campaigns is the coolest thing in all of RE6.

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If you have useful tips of your own, please share them below.