Resident Evil 7: Guide and tips to surviving the horror adventure
Safe rooms can be used as refuge and a way to bypass enemies
Safe rooms are a familiar feature in Resident Evil games; they’re a location where you can save your progress and swap out your inventory in Item Boxes. Anywhere in the game that has a cassette player save point is a safe room, and a place where enemies cannot get to you.
An interesting trick with safe rooms in Resident Evil 7 is if an enemy is chasing you, or has simply spawned nearby, it’ll disappear as soon as you enter. You can see this happening by walking through a safe room door backwards, with enemies literally melting into the ground (or in the case of invincible enemies, becoming temporarily disinterested).
You can turn this quirk to your advantage. If you’re aware of a safe room you can retreat to, or if you follow our walkthrough to know where one is about to come up, you can avoid combat altogether and simply sprint to the nearest one. This is useful because…
Be conservative with the items you use
One constant with Resident Evil games is one of item scarcity, where curatives such as Herbs and Ammo is of limited supply. The same applies here, so it’s wise to only use items whenever you can. Use the above trick to avoid enemy encounters, learn enemy weak points and where possible, combine Herbs with Chem Fluids to increase their potency and then use them when you’re health is at its lowest to stretch them out as much as you can. Additionally, while the Knife isn’t of much use in combat, it can save you using ammo when smashing Mr Everywhere statues and opening crates.
Watch out behind you and cover your tracks
While Resident Evil 7 firmly sits in the mould of a more traditional old school Resident Evil game, something new to the series is the introduction of a first-person camera. An obvious (but nonetheless enjoyable) repercussion of this is you can no longer see enemies behind you.
The game’s sound design will always notify you when something is near, but where possible always face your adversaries during combat, to be aware of their approximate position when fleeing, and be prepared to spin around on the spot with a quick turn when exploring any seemingly empty areas.
Another thing that helps is learning to close doors behind you between areas, as the majority of the game’s enemies will no longer follow you. You can do this by pressing X on PlayStation or A on Xbox as you walk backwards through a door. As mentioned in the first tip on this page, you won’t have to do this with safe rooms, as they’ll instantly protect you as you cross the boundary.
Learn the tricks and nuances of combat
Combat has a few little tricks that are worth knowing to help you survive a little better:
- With the exception of boss battles, the weakspot of all enemies is the head, so aim there for maximum damage.
- You can shoot off the limbs of standard Molded enemies to slow their progress, but we’d only recommend it in a pinch – again, aim for the head for the fastest way to take anything down.
- There will be times when you’re going to be hit by an enemy – if so, hold the left bumper / L1 to guard, which will decrease the amount of damage you take.
- Press down and B on Xbox / Circle on PlayStation to do a 180 degree quick turn, which is perfect for fleeing enemies.
- You can reload while your sprint, which is particularly useful during boss encounters.
- There is no splash damage in the game, so feel free to fire Grenade Launcher rounds upclose or lay Remote Bombs at your feet if you need to.
- Again, to repeat the first point at the top of this tips section because it is incredibly useful – use safe rooms wherever possible to bypass enemies entirely. You can do this more often than you think, especially as you enter or leave the B1 Processing Area.
VHS tapes are optional, but you should play them at least once
Throughout the game you’ll pick up VHS Tapes, which you can use on a VHS player to play special scenes. With the exception of one late in the game, these are mostly optional. While we’d highly recommend playing them all as soon as you can – they both flesh out the story and provide hints for puzzles and areas to come – feel free to gloss over them during future playthroughs.
Don’t worry about missing anything (up to a certain point)
As you play through the Main House section, there will be many items and doors you cannot open yet. Don’t sweat it too much, as you’ll have the chance to access almost everything on the critical path. There are of course additional secrets you could miss – such as Files, Mr Everywhere statues and Antique Coins – and there is a point of no return to be aware. Without spoiling specifics, the area which will take you away from the house requires two Key Cards, so make sure you get everything you need before they are used and you move on.
Resident Evil 7 features permanent upgrades
There is the chance to permanently increase your maximum health, inventory size and other abilities – at least for that playthrough – by collecting certain items. Some of these are locked behind Antique Coin purchases (which you can spend from the Trailer at around a third of the way through the adventure) while others can be found in certain locations. Our walkthrough will describe where you can get these as soon as you can. But if you miss out on one or two, don’t sweat it – the game is perfectly completable without them.
There is an incentive to replay
If you do miss anything, then there is an incentive to play the adventure once more. You’ll unlock a harder ‘Madhouse’ difficulty upon clearing the game, and for those who want a tougher challenge, there are Trophies and Achievements for completing the game in under four hours, as well as by only using curatives and Item Boxes are certain number of times in a single playthrough. Also, there are two slightly different endings, based on a choice mid-game. In short, this is a game that encourages you to learn its puzzles, areas and systems if you want to get that Platinum or 1000 Gamerscore, and we’ll be delving into the best way to approach them for these challenges in the coming days.
Play the demo before starting the main game
If you can, it’s worth playing the free Beginning Hour teaser and getting the best possible Resident Evil 7 demo ending to receive a Dirty Coin, which carries over into the full game. This behaves the same as an Antique Coin, essentially giving you a head start with unlocking certain items on each playthrough.
While the demo retreads familiar ground, mechanically it’s somewhat different to the main game, so is worth exploring to get a different taste of what the Old House has in store.