Resident Evil 4 Tips - Beginner's Guide To Survival, Combat, And More
We've got some tips to keep you alive in Resident Evil 4.
Resident Evil 4 sees Leon Kennedy and Ashley Graham fighting to stay alive. Trapped in the middle of nowhere, your skills and wits will be tested, as you face countless hordes infected by Las Plagas. Here's our Resident Evil 4 beginner's guide to help you with 12 survival tips.
Resident Evil 4 beginner's guide
Our Resident Evil 4 beginner's guide takes a look at several concepts related to combat and survival. Some will feel familiar to those who've played the original game, which released in 2005. However, there are a few new tweaks, and some tricks that can keep you alive throughout the campaign.
Healing tips and crafting herbs
From time to time, you might spot a Green Herb or two. Perhaps you might want to use them immediately for quick healing. However, it's more advisable to wait until you've got a Red Herb and a Yellow Herb as well. Combining a Green Herb with a Red Herb triples the amount of HP that's healed. Meanwhile, adding a Yellow Herb into the mix will also increase Leon's max HP.
If you do run out of herbs, don't forget that are other items that can heal you. These include First Aid Kits, Chicken Eggs, Vipers, and Bass. In any case, you can learn more in our Yellow Herb locations guide.
Knife parrying and stealth kills
Resident Evil 4 is a remake, which means a few tweaks make it more approachable to new audiences, in line with a more modern take on the old formula. In turn, combat will feel more fluid and dynamic, especially when it comes to your knife kills and melee attacks. Here's the gist:
- Leon starts out with a Combat Knife, which can be upgraded and repaired. Along the way, you can pick up other variants, such as Kitchen Knives and Boot Knives.
- If you stealthily approach an enemy without being detected, you can perform a stealth kill by pressing the right trigger button (R2/RT).
- Alternatively, you can parry melee hits and even some projectiles by pressing the left shoulder button (L1/LB).
- It's also possible to bring out your knife and start slashing (L1/LB followed by R2/RT, or just by pressing R2/RT).
Bear in mind that your knives have limited durability. If you use them too often, they'll break. Only the combat knife can be upgraded and repaired, which means other looted blades are gone for good.
Aim for weakspots and perform melee strikes
The corrupted villagers in Resident Evil 4 aren't zombies, per se, but are known as Ganados. Since they're still human, they've got the usual weakspots. A headshot will often stun them, whereas a kneecap will slow them down. If an enemy is stunned, an icon will appear over their head, allowing you to rush up and press the button prompt (X on the PlayStation and A on the Xbox), which will cause Leon to do a roundhouse kick. This can save your life, as the move itself will also knock back nearby hostiles.
In some cases, enemies that have been knocked down will attempt to get back up. If an icon appears over them, you can also perform a knife kill (R2/RT).
Cheese encounters when the opportunity arises
The classic cheesing method has been around since the original Resident Evil 4. Basically, many encounters in the game are divided into areas or sections. That means the enemies will only follow you up to a certain point. You can use this to your advantage by attracting several mobs before running back the way you came and using the exit. While they're milling about, you can take potshots to eliminate them. It's even possible to trigger an autosave checkpoint, which can be useful in case you're further away from a typewriter. Of course, this trick won't work in certain areas where the gates/doors have been barred.
Funnel enemies into a kill zone
Sometimes, you really can't cheese or there are too many enemies around you. In these situations, you'll want to look for ideal defensive positions, spots where you can funnel enemies so that they'll only come at you one at a time. With kill zones, you'll be able to take out several opponents in quick succession. Even better, if you're using any type of shotgun or frag grenade, the spread/area-of-effect explosion would hit multiple foes.
Trick hostiles into killing their comrades
Similarly, there are also moments where you'll face special infected, such as the Chainsaw Villager, the Pighead (i.e., sledgehammer-wielding infected), and Garradors (i.e., muscled brutes with claws; blind but will use sound to find you). In these instances, you can position yourself so that other enemy mobs are between you and the special infected. Due to their berserking attacks, they'll end up attacking their own comrades, making your job a lot easier.
Upgrade your trusty weapons
While Resident Evil 4 does have a dozen or so weapons, it's unlikely that you'll use all of them. As such, the idea is to stick to a few that you're comfortable with and upgrade them accordingly. Leon starts out with the Knife, which should get its durability upgraded to maximum. There's also the default Handgun, followed by a Pump Shotgun and a Rifle. From there, more options will be sold by the Merchant, while others can be found while exploring.
You can learn more about weapons in our related guides, such as the weapons hub, Red9, Bolt Thrower, CQBR Assault Rifle, Rocket Launcher, and Shooting Gallery.
Manage your inventory
Likewise, it goes without saying that you need to have enough space left in your inventory (which can also be upgraded via the Merchant during certain chapters). In general, here's what you need to take note of:
- Keys, treasures, and gems don't take up any inventory space as they're part of another panel.
- Weapons, weapon parts, and First Aid Kits can be sent to your storage when you interact with a Typewriter.
- The rest, such as herbs, gunpowder, supplies, and the like can't be sent to your inventory.
- If you're in need of space, you can press the left thumbstick to automatically sort and reposition items. Manual sorting can also be done manually by pressing Square on a PlayStation gamepad and X on an Xbox gamepad, followed by the shoulder buttons to rotate items.
- If all else fails and you need the space, you might have no choice but to discard some stuff you don't need. Alternatively, you can craft something that can be used later. At least that material is consumed instead of being thrown away.
Be on the lookout for purple flames and yellow paint markers
Speaking of the Merchant, you'll want to look out for purple flames in the distance. These denote a Merchant's shop, which, oftentimes, tends to be a safe area with a Typewriter save point (there are exceptions to this rule, of course). Moreover, you might see yellow paint, markings, or scribbles. These denote objects or sections that you can interact with, shoot, or traverse. For example, yellow paint on the ground could mean that you can jump down a ledge.
Sell treasures and whatever you don't need for extra pesetas
A lot of items in Resident Evil 4 can be sold for pesetas (i.e., gold or the game's basic currency). These include:
- Treasures and gemstones.
- Combat items you don't need.
- Keys that have already been used.
- Weapons, including the full amount that you've spent on upgrades. This means you can boost something like the Red9, and then sell it later to receive all the pesetas you've spent.
You can learn more in our Treasures guide hub, Locked Drawers/Small Keys guide, and Wayshrines guide.
Complete Merchant Requests for Spinels
In addition to the above, you'll want to complete Merchant Requests, shown as blue notes pinned on walls or tables. These are short tasks that, once done, will reward you with Spinels. The Spinels are a special type of currency that can be exchanged for other items found in the Merchant's Trade tab.
You can learn more in our Merchant Requests guides for the Blue Medallions, Gold Chicken Egg, Viper Hunt, Savage Mutt, and Merciless Knight.
Keep your friends alive
Last but not least, it's not just Leon that you want to keep alive in Resident Evil 4. A few hours into the game, you'll meet Ashley Graham, the president's daughter, and the person that Leon has to save. Her mechanics have been significantly improved in the remake, though you still need to learn some quirks. Additionally, there's a friendly dog (or is it a wolf) that you can save early in the campaign. If you do just that, it will help you in an upcoming boss fight.
You can learn more in our Ashley survival guide, Ashley puzzles guide, and El Gigante boss guide.
Resident Evil 4 has more mechanics and secrets for you to discover. You can learn more in our guides hub.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email email@example.com
Join the conversation