Resident Evil Village: 10 Tips For Playing Mercenaries Mode
Survival horror and action are two great styles of video games that are very hard to fit together. A game that overemphasizes its action will undercut the tension of its survival horror, but a game that leans too hard into survival horror will inevitably limit its action. If there was ever a series that embodied this combination better than any other, it would easily be Resident Evil, and it arguably balances these two styles best in its classic Mercenaries mode.
This arcade-style zombie-slaughtering minigame has been a major fixture for the series ever since its third entry. It’s become so big it practically seems disingenuous to call it a minigame, even getting a standalone release a while back. With Mercenaries returning in Resident Evil: Village, players will once again have the chance to impress their friends with frighteningly high scores, especially if they follow a few simple tips.
10 Start By Beating Each Stage
As with any score-based game mode, you may be tempted to go for the maximum rating on each stage before trying the next one, but don’t waste your time. You’ll start each game with more money after having finished each stage, so you’ll be able to start earlier stages with better abilities on earlier stages when returning.
The scoring system appears to be balanced with fatter wallets in mind too, so you’ll have an easier time getting those SSS ranks with this advantage.
9 Line Your Pockets
Once again, it all comes down to money. Not just because it’s what lets you expand and upgrade your arsenal, but your total earnings are calculated into your final score, so there’s never a good reason to pass up on some extra coin if you have time to grab it.
If you’ve killed an enemy from far away, it may not always be easy to run to its corpse and help yourself to its loose change, but if your combo meter can take the extra time without resetting, it’s always the right decision.
8 Don’t Be A Hoarder
Another great way to make money is to sell the items you don’t need. So many players tend to hold onto loads of ammo and healing meds that they know they won’t use and it’s probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to raise your score.
It bears repeating that money is a huge deciding factor in Mercenaries so anything you don’t explicitly need is better off sold than sitting in your inventory. This isn’t an RPG, so don’t manage your inventory as if it were.
7 The Mercenary’s Mercy
One of your first instincts when playing Mercenaries for the first time will inevitably be to kill everything with a pulse and then keep moving until you see more prey, but this strategy’s biggest casualty could be your score.
This game mode will often have you going back through previous areas and if these areas have no fresh blood, you have a recipe for a lost combo. If you know you’re going to have to go back to an area later and no more enemies will spawn when you do so, plan ahead by leaving an enemy or two alive so you can minimize the time between your kills on your return trip.
6 Perk Up
Unless you’re doing some sort of specialized no-perk run, you should be investing in skills and weapon upgrades as often as you can. Which ones you want exactly will depend on the stage, but you should generally stick with speed and range.
Mercenaries mode will give you a better score the faster you can kill the enemies, so if your kit is built around close range or slow speed you’ll be depriving your SSS attempts of some much-needed points.
5 Know The Map
This may seem obvious at first, but maximizing your Mercenaries score will take a lot more than simply not getting lost. As mentioned before, you need to be quick on your feet if you want to go for gold, and that means recognizing which corners to cut at what time.
Plus, the game relies on fixed spawn points for enemies, so be sure to take mental notes of their patterns so you can spend as little time as possible between kills. Your run through any Mercenaries level will ideally look like a well-choreographed dance with a steady rhythm of kills to keep your combo up.
4 Try Removing The Head Or Destroying The Brain
Just because you’re playing a horror game and not a first-person shooter doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to give your enemies a healthy de-braining. Headshots are arguably the most central fixture of modern FPS action, so of course, a first-person horror game with gunplay will incentivize them.
In Mercenaries the main incentives in question are a chunky score bonus and a much higher damage output (especially with the No Brainer perk) meaning shots to the head (or other weak points) will give you faster kills and more score per kill. If your aim isn’t good enough to get these shots consistently practicing it should be your priority, as even a slight improvement in this regard will take you far.
3 Multi Kills Can Hurt Your Flow
You get a score bonus for lining enemies up and killing multiples of them in one blow just like you do for headshots, so you may think that you should go for that just as often. But you would be dead wrong. Multi kills aren’t without their uses and no one can deny that they look cool, but they can also hurt the flow of your game.
Your main objective when trying to master Mercenaries should always be to have as little time between kills as possible, which you can’t do if you kill too many enemies without thinking about how quickly you can get to your next target. Multi kills just generally aren’t worth the trouble.
2 Mind Your Ammo
This is still a survival horror game after all, so it’s no surprise that you’ll have to manage your ammo like one. Granted, that doesn’t mean you should be running up to lycans with a knife so that you can save on shotgun shells.
But you should probably find yourself a good workhorse weapon with lots of ammo you can use for the bulk of the game and save your revolver, explosives, and other high-damage options for only the strongest enemies.
1 Practice Makes Perfect
Your road to becoming a SSS-ranked mercenary on every map will be paved with failure, so the most important thing you can do for yourself is to have the patience to see it through until the end. Getting a top score requires more than just knowing what upgrades to get and what enemies to kill.
You will have to make constant improvements and optimizations to skills like movement, shooting, and reactions, but if you keep working at it you’ll learn that even the biggest monsters can be defeated with enough practice.
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