Resident Evil 2 Beginners Guide: 10 Things You Need to Know

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Surviving the dangers of the Raccoon Police Department can be a challenge for newcomers. With monsters and limited resources to scavenge, you’ll need to use all of your tools to make it through. We’ve compiled a list of essential tips to help you conquer the outbreak.

1. Combine Herbs

Combine Herbs

As one of the primary means of healing, along with first aid sprays, herbs can serve several functions. Green herbs heal a small amount of health, taking you from danger to caution. You can combine up to three green herbs to give you a full heal.

  • Blue herbs can cure poison.
  • Red herbs do nothing on their own, but when combined with a single green herb, they can provide a full heal.
  • Combining a blue and red herb gives a massive defensive buff that lasts for a good amount of time.

If you’re at full health and know you will be walking through a dangerous area, it’s a good idea to use the blue and red combo if you expect to tank a hit.

2. Conserve Ammunition

Like most survival horror games, ammunition is scarce, and you’ll need to make the most out of every shot. While you can try to take down every monster you encounter, you’ll eventually run out. One way to save ammo is to focus on headshots, as they have a chance of scoring a critical hit that can knock out a zombie immediately. Alternatively, some areas give you plenty of room to move around in, such as the RPD central hall, so don’t hesitate to walk around rather than fight.

3. Explore As Your Life Depends on It

Unless it’s a key item given to you in one of the few story moments, you’re going to need to find any and all supplies throughout your journey. Many of the notes within the RPD allude to some helpful upgrades, such as side packs which increase inventory, as well as gun upgrades. Sometimes you’ll also find helpful self-defense items which can save you from getting bitten as well. The golden rule is that, more often than not, you’re rewarded for exploring every nook and cranny.

4. Use The Right Weapon on Each Enemy

Use the Right Weapon on Each Enemy

While it’s easy to want to use some of the strongest weapons as soon as you get them, you may want to think twice before you do so. Ammunition for guns like the magnum or spark shot is much rarer than pistol bullets. Enemies such as zombies or dogs are best dealt with a handgun or, in the case of multiple, a shotgun or machinegun. Tougher enemies like the licker are best dealt with with heavy firearms such as shotguns or grenade launchers.

5. Upgrade Your Guns

It goes without saying that you’re going to want to upgrade your weapons as soon as you can, but what if I told you to reconsider? One of the cons for certain weapon upgrades is that they’ll make your weapon take up two inventory slots due to their increase in strength or precision. Another hidden benefit to waiting to upgrade at the right time is that weapon parts will immediately refill your gun back up to max capacity, which can function as a free reload once the magazine hits 0.

6. Manage Your Inventory

Unlike Silent Hill protagonists, Leon and Claire have limited inventory space that can be upgraded with an item called “sidepacks.” These items give two additional slots, which are found in various safes and lockers in the RPD. That said, you won’t have access to these immediately, which means that you’ll need to be sharp about what you have on hand. You won’t necessarily want to grab every item you see as you won’t have enough room for progression items such as keys. Another tip is that when a key item can’t be used anymore, there will be a red checkmark on it. Make sure to click “discard,” so it won’t take up any more inventory space.

7. Know When to Run

Know When to Run

Pick and choose your battles wisely! Just because you can fight doesn’t mean you should, and that’s not just the case for normal zombies either. Enemies like lickers are highly attracted to sound, and running will immediately alert them to your presence. Some foes, like Mr. X, are completely immune to gunfire which will force you to run from them. Monsters like the dogs can quickly catch up to you if not dealt with quickly. There’s a cadence to each encounter and knowing when to run, along with dodging, is half the battle.

8. Movement Speed is Different For Leon and Claire

Aside from the weapons they use, Leon and Claire handle differently when it comes to movement. The health indicator is the main component when it comes to this. When Leon is close to full health, otherwise known as “fine,” he’ll move at maximum speed. If he goes below that, he’ll begin to move slower. However, Claire moves fastest when her health is in “caution.” For her, there’s a bit of a risk/reward to being lower as the faster movement speed can be just enough to avoid an oncoming zombie bite.

9. The Item Box is Your Safety Net

Given how important resource management is, it’s only natural that players are given a reprieve from the limited item space. Item boxes and safe rooms are your haven from the dangers of the RPD and allow the player to store the bulk of what they find. Any spare ammo can be stored in the boxes for future encounters, which is sure to help the endgame. We recommend saving any magnum or sparkshot ammo for the final sequences, along with several herb combos.

10. Use The Knife on the Bosses

Quite possibly the most counterintuitive sounding piece of advice given the possibility for error, the knife is easily one of the strongest tools within a player’s arsenal. The knife damages enemies based on how many frames it is in them, which means that the higher your fps, the stronger the knife is. It can easily take down the first boss quickly while also allowing you to save ammunition for future fights. If given the choice between using the knife as a self-defense item versus using it normally, we highly recommend saving it.

Fear Can’t Kill You But…

Being inexperienced certainly can! These tips should help give players a better understanding of what to expect, along with being able to appreciate the awesome mechanics Resident Evil 2 provides.