When you get to the village where Resident Evil Village takes place with Ethan Winters, you will not be welcomed. Unless you consider that being attacked by werewolves defines a warm welcome, sure. In the sequel to Resident Evil 7 , you are once again involved in a harrowing and deadly quest, but now it’s through a European setting and in order to find your kidnapped daughter. There are many surprises in store for you in this new title, and most of them will be unpleasant. So here are 10 essential tips for playing Resident Evil Village .

Even to fans of the series, the threats they must face here  will seem unlike any other that has appeared in the franchise’s cast of demons, mutants, and beasts. In Resident Evil Village you will have some familiar tools and mechanics, but the game mixes all kinds of unexpected ways.

1. Explore each location thoroughly

The Resident Evil franchise pioneered the survival horror genre, basically from its very first entry, and Resident Evil Village retains those elements. Although this game is more focused on action than Resident Evil 7 , it still forces you to search for all the bullets, treasures and healing items you can get. This is not a title where you can run from point to point without stopping to search for supplies and just keep going. In fact, there are many items that are well hidden – there are even some on the ceiling that you must shoot to find them – so don’t limit yourself to what you see at eye level.

In addition to digging through all the places you pass by, you’re also going to want to go back to previously explored areas when you get the chance. The village area acts as a kind of hub that you return to between the segments of the game, and on each return trip you can surely pick up an item or key that allows you to access sectors that you could not before. But don’t feel too complacent during these quieter times. Sometimes exploration leads to dangerous encounters you didn’t expect.

Also note that you have only one chance to explore certain areas of the game. You won’t really miss the critical elements, of course, but it’s always better to be more than prepared rather than wanting to backtrack to find some extra bullets.

2. Use your map

If you’ve played the remake of Resident Evil 2 or 3 , then the mapping system used in Resident Evil Village will be a natural for you. If not, all you need to know is that your map will be your best friend while you play. In survival horror titles – not just the Resident Evil series – the map is probably more valuable than any weapon you get. This genre, more than any other, makes your map as useful as possible by updating as you progress through the game, marking closed doors, blocked paths, or points of interest that you will revisit later. In Resident Evil Village, the map does almost all of that, in addition to using a handy color system that lets you know when and where you lost sight of an item.

When you review your map, pay attention to the color of each room. If a room is blue, you can move on confident that you’ve collected everything inside. But if the room is red, you have more to discover. This is a great way to remind yourself to search above you for hidden treasures, especially when you know you’ve searched everywhere and the room is still red. Rooms can also stay red if there are closed chests or doors that you can’t open yet. But luckily the map will mark them for you with specific icons so you can easily remember where to go back.

3. Don’t waste your resources

Lastly, to tie in this resource-focused segment, we recommend not going crazy with your articles. If you can’t fire a clean shot, don’t dump all your ammo, and always do your best to heal only when your health is critically low. While you can buy more bullets and other items from the Duke, the in-game merchant, there are much more useful items that you can buy with your savings. In this case, it is convenient to play tight. If you hoard everything you can, you may get out alive.

A great example of how to conserve your resources is using your knife. Yes, it is the weakest weapon and it is almost never the best option in a fight, but that makes it perfect for destroying objects in your environment rather than wasting a bullet. It doesn’t always work, but at least the knives never run out of ammo, so feel free to cut whatever you want when playing the game.

4. Hide from Lady D and her daughters

Lady D has dominated the marketing of Resident Evil Village and acts like Mr. X or Nemesis in this game’s version, in the sense that he is a persistent enemy that stalks you in certain places. Unlike Nemesis, there is nothing to be gained during these segments by attempting to confront her or her daughters, who function in a similar way. You won’t be able to defeat her, but she can certainly end your life in an instant or waste valuable resources if you try to fight her. Save ammo, health, and time by running or hiding if you ever find yourself cornered.

5. Make use of the Duke

The Duke is the new merchant of Resident Evil Village , and you will meet him many times throughout your journey. Of course, its main function will be to buy, sell and improve items, but it will actually be useful for more than that. If you are interested in history, be sure to chat with him every time you meet him in a new location. Somehow, it will almost always have important information about the plot or story, and at least it will give you some clues as to what is going on with your daughter and Mia.

It’s also important that you upgrade your inventory space with the Duke. Remembering the satisfactory system of the briefcase of objects of Resident Evil 4 , in Village you will have a grid with spaces in which you will have to manage most of your items, including weapons. If you don’t expand it as little as you can, you’ll be leaving out good elements simply because they won’t all fit, and the last thing you want is to be forced to put down a gun because it’s too big.

The last tip about the Duke is related to treasures. As if there weren’t enough references to Resident Evil 4 , the treasures you find in the Village can be sold as-is or combined with other treasures you collect to greatly increase their value. These treasures are described as is in your inventory, so never sell one that can be combined before it is complete. It is a good way to maximize your earnings; Plus, that extra money could save your life.

6. Upgrade your weapons

Your standard weapons will work fine for the first part of the game, but eventually you will need to add more power to your arsenal. The Duke lets you upgrade your favorite weapons, so you can add more ammo, make them do more damage, or make them reload faster, among other improvements. In addition to buying more space for your inventory, these weapon upgrades should be your main investment. Also try to reduce your upgrades to one or two weapons of your choice. There are too many weapons to max out in one game, but upgrading one to the limit will unlock a version of that weapon with infinite ammo, which you can use when starting a game in New Game +.

7. Hunt often and improve your stats

The Duke loves good food. The merchant may offer you permanent increases in your parameters, in exchange for you bringing him different meats so that he can turn them into special meals for himself. While in other games that may seem like a complete waste of time, here it is a good idea to hunt down local animals from time to time. Not only is it a break from the more intense action and horror of the main plot, but the buffs you get for it are pretty decent.

The upgrades you can get improve your speed, maximum health, and the effectiveness of your block. Neither buff is bad, but speed and max health seem a lot more valuable as you likely don’t use block much. Each recipe – which you can see on the Duke’s Kitchen tab when you talk to him – will list all the necessary ingredients, such as meat, poultry, and fish. You will also see icons on the map to help you find each type of food.

These meats take up space in your inventory as you collect them, but there is a little trick you can use so you don’t lose them. If you’re running out of space or just can’t finish a recipe, you can still deposit all the ingredients you have on that menu. The recipe will not complete, but the ingredients will leave your inventory and remain in the partially finished recipe until you return later with the rest of the items.

8. Don’t buy, do it yourself

We can appreciate the Duke for all the reasons mentioned above, but his stock of ammo and healing items is a complete waste of money. Any Resident Evil fan is familiar with crafting their own ammunition and healing tools or the ability to search for items in their environment, and it’s something that remains in the Village . You’ll be collecting components that you can use to craft your own ammo and health all the time, so don’t just stick with those materials without putting them to use. They aren’t really good for anything else, and crafting is as simple as combining the correct components on your inventory screen.

9. Destroy the brain

We couldn’t make a list of essential tips for a Resident Evil game without going over some combat tactics, right? While you won’t be facing zombies in Resident Evil Village , a headshot is still pretty effective against the werewolves you’ll encounter. However, unlike zombies, this type of enemy is usually much more mobile and agile than a brain-dead corpse clumsily advancing towards you. If you can’t head shot a fast approaching enemy, a leg shot is a great way to stop them for a moment while lining up a more damaging or deadly shot.

Making one more comparison to Resident Evil 4 , the enemies in the Village are also smart enough to attack you with weapons, just like the villagers in the previous game. To avoid getting an ax in the chest, you can shoot an enemy’s arm or the weapon itself, that way you can disarm it or cause it to stagger. This not only makes them less dangerous, it also serves to stop them for a while so you can hit them at their weak point.

10. Run for your life

While Resident Evil Village has a bit more action than the previous game, it is far from the levels seen in Resident 6 or even 5 . There are times here where the best option is to avoid combat altogether and just run. We already pointed out that there is no point in trying to fight Lady D and her daughters outside of boss encounters, but in reality, there are quite a few regular enemies that can drain your resources if you try to fight each of them. Enemies can be fast, but Ethan is not far behind either, and most of the time, you can take him out of sight or take him to a safe room without taking much damage.

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