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How To Survive The Night In Resident Evil 2

by Ben Reeves on Jan 25, 2019 at 03:30 PM

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Resident Evil 2 is a traditional survival-horror game, which means ammo and healing items are a limited resource. If you’re struggling to survive your march through Racoon City’s infested streets, here are some spoiler-free tips and tricks that you might not be using.

Aim High – Everyone knows that you need to shoot zombies in the head to take them out. However, this is extra challenging in Resident Evil 2 because the undead stumble around. If your headshots aren’t producing the juicy head splatters you expect, that might be because you’re not aiming for the brainpan. You do the most damage if you hit a zombie in the brain, so shots to the nose, mouth, and neck aren’t really going to cut it. Ammo is precious, and you don’t want to waste it by shooting zombies where it doesn’t count.

Plan your route – You probably won’t be able to take out every enemy in the game, which means that you need to pick your battles. But don't forget where you leave lickers (or regular enemies) because they will still be there when you come back. Fortunately, when you kick down the door to a room, you will often hear those enemies immediately. Another thing to remember is that once you pick up all the items in a room, it turns blue on the map, so you won’t need to go back there. Ultimately, you should figure out which rooms you will travel through again and then clean up the enemies in those areas so you can safely (and quickly) travel through them. This is especially important for hallways; you can largely ignore enemies in less frequented areas.

Use wooden boards immediately – Wooden boards are great for boarding up windows and preventing additional zombies from tumbling into the Police station. Don’t horde these items. You won’t need them once you leave the police station, and the longer you wait to use them, the more time zombies have to ruin your day. You don’t want to waste ammo on extra enemies. Ideally, you should throw them on windows in high-traffic areas, especially near save rooms.

Save rooms are safe rooms – Lickers tend to stick to their homes, but other enemies can follow you into nearby rooms. Fortunately, they can’t enter rooms with typewriters, so if you ever need a break to center yourself, make a break for a save room. You can also pop in and out of a safe room, using it like a shield, to slowly take out enemies.


Gunpowder your face off – A single package of gunpowder is practically worthless, but gunpowder can be combined with other gunpowder to make ammo. The game does a good job of explaining how that works, but you might not realize that if you combine two large packages of gunpowder together they give you 50 handgun bullets, which can last you a long time. You won’t find large packages of gunpowder until late in the game, but take advantage of them once you do.  

Use ammo defensively – You might feel like you’re wasting ammo if you shoot at a zombie and fail to kill it. Don’t. Sometimes one or two shots will stagger a creature long enough that you can rush past them unscathed. If you don’t plan on returning to that room anytime soon, you don’t need to spend ammo on them. Use just as much ammo as you need to get out of the room alive. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to unleash your full fury later.

Sacrifice health for ammo – Health is also in short supply, but if you ever end up in a position where you have more healing items than ammo, make a run for your next objective and try not to shoot anything. You’ll probably take some damage in the process, but you have the herbs to spare and you’ll likely pick up a few extra bullets along the way.

If you see Mr X. run … and then don’t – Mr. X is the hat-wearing, wrinkle-faced monstrosity who will chase you down at points in the game. You will not be able to survive a one-on-one battle with him, so the second you see him, run. However, he is also more likely to show back up if you make a lot of noise, so don’t spend too much time running around slamming doors or blowing off steam with the shotgun.

If you're not playing Resident Evil 2 yet, you're missing out. Read our review to find out why.

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Resident Evil 2cover

Resident Evil 2

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, iOS
Release Date:
January 25, 2019 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), 
June 13, 2022 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S), 
November 11, 2022 (Switch), 
TBA (Mac, iOS)