Resident Evil 7 survival guide: 13 tips to keep you ticking

CapcomThere’s a lot to be scared of in Resident Evil 7. After all, If you aren’t scared of an immortal psycho hillbilly family, you’re probably a member of one. In which case no need for a guide, you know exactly what you’re doing. If, however, you’re like most RE7 players and simply the victim of an immortal psycho hillbilly family, read on for the best ways to survive in the gloriously twisted Resident Evil 7.

Use your ears

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Resident Evil 7 has picked up some tricks from other modern horror games, including the terrifying indie series, Amnesia.  Like in the Amnesia games, RE7 features sequences where you’re being stalked by enemies you can’t defeat and your only hope is to hide from and avoid them. Whenever that happens crank up the volume. The best way to track your foes is to listen for their footsteps and/or insane, homicidal mutterings.

Check every corner

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Like a classic Resident Evil game, RE7 gives you limited resources with which to survive. For longtime fans, that will likely be counted among the game’s strengths — but it may be frustrating to modern RE fans, who may be used moving the games a quicker pace. In this game, slow and steady wins the race: You should really take the time to comb over every terrifying inch of each new room you find. That is, when there’s not a murderous redneck following you around.

Abuse your saves

The earlier Resident Evil games limited how many times you could save by requiring a special item to do so. That restriction has been lifted, so go ahead and “save scum” (saving frequently and restarting if you screw something up) all you want. This is especially useful for item scavenging: Save and reload multiple times to decide which containers to use your limited lockpicks on, or use the “psychostimulants” item to reveal hidden item locations, note their locations, then reload and collect them while saving a valuable resource gathering tool.

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Use the map

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Like a true Resident Evil game, RE7 features several labyrinthine, befuddling environments, including the sprawling bayou mansion at the game’s heart. Luckily the developers included a handy map you can access with the press of a button. Even before you find each area map (remember to keep scavenging!) the map will fill in as you go, so it’s always useful to be thorough.

Block sometimes

It may seem counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t always turn tail and run or desperately keep shooting when an enemy is bearing down on you or getting in your face. Sometimes the best option is to hit the block button and throw up your arms in defense. It’s not perfect — you’ll usually still take some damage — but it’s something.

Get the shotgun ASAP

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In the game’s first real big area (unlocked after the garage fight) there’s a shotgun in the main room. Picking it up locks you in the room, but there’s a way to get it before the next big boss fight. To get it, find the scorpion key, which you find in the basement “processing area”, then go to Grandma’s room, located off the rec room on the second floor. Grab the broken shotgun there and exchange it for the working one to secure the weapon. Just don’t let Papa zombie see you rummaging around in nana’s unmentionables.

Close the door behind you

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Some enemies are too dumb to open doors (as the game itself will tell you sometimes on loading screens). It doesn’t always work, but closing doors behind you as a habit will at least make you feel secure, and sometimes that’s enough.

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Take advantage of storage

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Most places where you find a tape recorder save station will also have a big green box for you to store items. Put anything you won’t immediately use — from chem fluid to extraneous ammo — into storage. When you start running low you can backtrack and resupply (and save your game), but you’ll be unhappy if your inventory fills up in the middle of a boss fight or if you can’t pick up a key item while spooky Colonel Sanders is chasing you.

Use what you have

Although Resident Evil 7’s ammo, health items, and other resources are limited, the game tends to give you enough to get by (at least on easy and normal difficulties). Don’t walk around all bloodied up or reload a previous save every time you miss a shot and waste a bullet; You’ll have plenty of supplies when you need them (i.e. leading up to a boss fight), and save scumming every last variable will take the fun out of it.

Combine items

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Throughout Resident Evil 7 you’ll find items like “chem fluid” and “gunpowder.” You can combine these in your inventory to make handgun bullets. There are plenty of combinations: Chem fluid and green herbs make first aid meds, and later you’ll find stronger chem fluid that can make better first aid and bullets. There are many more combos after that (you can see the possibilities in the “combine” tab of your inventory), so keep trying new things as you go.

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Hoard “Antique Coins”

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The antique coins you find lying around seem pointless for the first few hours, but once you escape the main house and progress into the yard you’ll want as many as you can find. Grab as many as you can find and stash them in storage.

Save your steroids

If you happen to find some steroids on this hellish journey you can use them to permanently increase your health (don’t think about it too hard). However using the steroids will also heal you, so don’t use them right away if your health is full when you find them; Save the steroids for a pinch and save a health tonic in the process.

Keep your friends close

Resident Evil 7 is gloriously scary at times, but the developers seemingly also knew when to not take it too seriously. Either way, bringing a friend along for the ride can make the times you jump out of your seat a little funny, and the times when you laugh even funnier.

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