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Alan Wake 2 tips and tricks to help you survive the night

Use these Alan Wake 2 tips to help get you through Remedy's latest survival horror game.

Alan Wake 2 is finally here — a sequel that felt impossible for a long time, that fans have been waiting thirteen years for, but is now available for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.

As you may know, Alan Wake 2 shifted from the action adventure focus of the first game to strictly survival horror gameplay. This means that, compared to the original, Alan Wake 2 is less driven than in the past, and you may need some help moving forward in the story.

To guide you through this spooky new chapter in the Alan Wake franchise, we put together some tips and tricks to help you escape the darkness in Alan Wake 2.

For more coverage read our Alan Wake 2 review.

Difficulty settings

Alan Wake 2 features three difficulty levels: Story, Normal, and Hard. Each of the three offers a challenge rate suitable for different audiences, starting with Story, which allows you to focus only on case solving and exploration — here combat poses no challenge and the Possessed can seemingly be damaged even when shadowy, without charging the flashlight with R1/RB.

Normal is the perfect balance for those who also want to fight, while Difficult is a pure survival horror experience: tough fighting and strict item management (ammo and healing) are required to make it through. An even harder Nightmare difficulty will be added after launch.

You don't always have to fight

Alan Wake 2's combat mechanics – largely inherited from the first Alan Wake game – are quite fun, and ammunition is available in spades on the initial two difficulties. Because of this you might find yourself often fighting with the Possessed. That's not always the best approach, though. As in any good survival horror, in many cases the best solution is to run away from a possible firefight, thus preserving health, flashlight batteries, and ammunition for the obligatory battles.

Seek the light

Just like the first game, Alan Wake 2 is based on the fantasy that nothing bad can happen to us in the light. In fact, by finding the various well-lit street lamps or safe rooms scattered around the maps, you'll be able to stay safe from enemies. Whoever is chasing you will leave you be and return to their original respawn point, or just wander away as if you'd never existed. You'll also recover a portion of health, which you can increase with the appropriate charm.

Switch to the mind palace often

Caught up in the flow of the game, which is still action-packed, you may forget to check Saga's mind palace from time to time. You shouldn't neglect this part of the game, though, because there are puzzles in the real world that you cannot solve until you've completed sections of the mind palace, and objects in the world that you cannot find unless you join all the dots there. We'd suggest you visit the mind palace whenever you find a safe room or brightly lit place, where no one can attack you — just remember, the game does not pause when you switch to the mind palace. The same goes for Alan and his writer's room.

Use the flares

For some reason, Alan Wake 2 throws an immense amount of flares at you, to the point that your box in the break rooms and beyond will soon end up filled only with these items. This is another reason why you should use them more often: they are more useful and less wasteful than the flashlight, and they allow you to bring more than one Possessed out of their shadow state at a time, so that you can hit them directly with the weapon of your choice.

Don't be afraid to switch characters

Alan Wake 2's innovative two-player system allows you to switch from Saga to Alan and vice versa. You won't be able to do this at will, however: you'll have to find the Janitor closets and interact with the special Janitor's Bucket to switch between the two. Don't be afraid to switch often — you can continue either of the two stories whenever you like, and the narrative is designed to fit no matter how much or how little time you spend in each side of the story. You won't miss anything by switching, and sometimes a change of scenery from time to time can be nice — the Dark Place can be a bit overwhelming.

Save. Always.

As in any good survival horror, saves are the most important resource you have at your disposal. As a rule, you will always want to have recent saves just in case you want to change your approach a little bit (see the section: you don't always have to fight) and thus save cures or ammunition. On the other hand, not every game is perfect, and some early reviews have pointed out a number of bugs in Alan Wake 2, some of which can halt your progress. And we all know how nerve-wracking it is to have to repeat sections of a game like this because of a bug....