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Resident Evil 4’s full remake is finally here, and this modern iteration of the influential game is sharper than ever, with some key features that both experienced and completely new players need to be aware of.

There are new moves, new attacks, new weapons, and even more to sink your teeth into as you play through the game, and to make the most of all of those, you need our tips. In this guide, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to get started with Resident Evil 4 and take down your enemies in style.

Melee attacks


Leon isn’t just great with a gun and a knife, he’s also a mixed martial arts master, but he needs the right set ups in order to nail Ganados with a big hit. A good headshot will usually stagger enemies, which is a great opportunity for a spinning kick, but there are a variety of attacks available, depending on the enemy’s stun state. For example, kneecapping an enemy to have them kneel, and then using a melee attack from behind will result in a tasty suplex. Some enemies even spin around when hit to the knee just to set this move up.

Knife parry


The knife’s usefulness has been greatly expanded, and now you can parry pretty much any incoming attack, as long as your timing is right. In Normal mode the timing window for a parry is pretty wide, so you should feel comfortable just tapping it in the heat of battle – it’ll probably save your life. In Professional mode though, only perfectly timed parrys work.

Merchant trades


The game’s iconic merchant will now offer you a variety of requests that you can pick around the world in the form of blue parchment papers. These will often task you with killing enemies, breaking blue medallions, or selling specific items. You’ll be rewarded with Spinels, which are a currency only for trades now. Collect them up and make sure to spend them wisely in the Trade menu.

Treasure maps


Speaking of the Trade menu, one of the most important items you can Trade for are the Treasure Maps. There’s a Treasure Map for each of the game’s three main areas, and it literally marks the locations of all treasures on your map. Very handy, since you can always use more cash in this game. Make sure to watch for hanging lanterns and bird nests throughout the game world.

Cash for jewels


Jewels are common in this game, but you shouldn’t simply sell them. Jewels can be inserted into a variety of treasures, and the combination of jewels you use can actually boost the value of both the item, and the attached jewels. This means you can boost a single treasure’s value to 100k, as indicated by one of the in-game achievements. Check the treasure bonus list carefully before selling each item, and consider holding onto valuable items until you have a better set of jewels to insert.

Tune Up


The Merchant can still tune up your weapons, and it’s more worthwhile than ever. If you sell a weapon that you’ve upgraded, you will get a full refund of the cost of tune-ups you’ve bought over time. This is great, however, some weapons you will permanently lose access to if you sell them. That’s what the Storage box is for, which can be accessed from a Typewriter.

Working with Ashley


Ashley is better than ever in tight situations. Tapping R3 will tell Ashley to jump in lockers or use levers when you’re nearby them, but when not it’ll tell her to either make space and back off, or follow you closely. This is very handy when you’re under siege and need space to use explosives and let loose.

Flash grenades


Flash grenades are more useful than ever in tough encounters. They do, admittedly, act pretty much the same as ever, but some enemies have a truly absurd amount of health when a plaga spawns from their heads. On top of that, a new enemy has been added which can force Ganados to spawn plaga. In these situations, flash grenades are like gold dust.

Attache case customization


You can now customize the attache case, giving it different bonuses. For example, a Red Leather coating will boost the drop rate of Red Herbs. But in addition to that, the Firing Range now rewards you with keyrings that you can clip onto the case. The case can attach three keychains at a time, and each will give you unique bonuses, such as boosted recovery from green herbs, boosted sell values, extra ammo from crafting, and more. While we’re here, you can now auto-sort your case contents by tapping L3. Nice.

Weapon bonuses


Weapons also have unique bonuses. Yes, there are the Exclusive upgrades, and those are still incredibly powerful, but now weapons like rifles do boosted damage to enemy weakpoints, in exchange for being overall weaker than they were in the original game. You can see the full list of individual weapon bonuses in the menu, and it should inform how you use each of them in battle.

If you’re looking for more help, we have a full guide and walkthrough for the Resident Evil 4 remake.