Resident Evil 3 players are gearing up for their first playthrough in Raccoon City now that the game’s out – or perhaps you’ve already beaten it and are returning for another run – and while the game’s pretty good about helping players out with tutorials, there are some things you can only learn through experience. That is, of course, unless you have someone helping you out who’s already beaten the game numerous times and come away with some tips for surviving Raccoon City. We’ve compiled eight of our best tips for exploring and conquering Raccoon City that’ll help out first-timers and should be remembered once you take it up a notch and start playing on more difficult modes.
The opening of Resident Evil 3 will tell players what they need to know about the game in terms of the basics: Dodging, crafting, reloading, and shooting zombies in the head are all things which are covered in the game’s opening segments. The tutorial tapers off as players get more familiar with the game though, so you’ll eventually find yourself on your own with the game emphasizing experience and learned tricks instead of in-game tutorials.
If it’s your first time playing through a Resident Evil game or if you feel like you might be a bit rusty, consider starting in the game’s Assisted mode. It starts players off with an assault rifle and makes it so that enemies deal less damage. Regardless of what mode you’re playing on, be sure to check out our tips for playing through Resident Evil 3 that are found below and look for more how-tos and guides throughout the weekend.
Fight Nemesis Early
If you played through the demo or the original game, it’s no surprise that you’re going to encounter Nemesis pretty early on in Resident Evil 3. He’s a force to be reckoned with and seems pretty imposing at first, but it’s actually best to go toe-to-toe with him in the beginning of Resident Evil 3 to both familiarize yourself with dealing with zombies up-close and to also earn some important early-game rewards.
When you first encounter Nemesis out in the open areas of Raccoon City, he’s going to be quite aggressive. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to use things around you like electrical generators and explosive barrels since you’ll need to be quick to stop his advances. It’s actually easier to practice the imperative Perfect Dodge mechanic on him than it is on a normal zombie since his swings are more predictable, so get some practice in while you can.
By stunning Nemesis twice with explosive weapons, you can also cause him to drop some Umbrella boxes that contain upgrades for your handgun. You’ll be using that weapon most often throughout Resident Evil 3, so don’t skip out on those attachments.
Perfect the Perfect Dodge
If there’s one mechanic in Resident Evil 3 that’s the most important above all others, it’s the Perfect Dodge. The game teaches you how to do it early on when you’re navigating the alleyways of Raccoon City shortly after everything starts falling apart, but it’ll take some time to master it. Doing so sooner rather than later will make the rest of the game much easier.
You can use the Dodge command at anytime to avoid an enemy, but there’s a sort of cooldown on it if you use it too many times in a row to prevent players from sidestepping their way through the entire game. If you press the command at exactly the right moment, however, you won’t have to worry about that cooldown, and you’ll instead pull off an evasive maneuver that slows down time and automatically targets the head of the enemy that you dodged away from. Resident Evil 3 has a variety of enemies to encounter, but pretty much all of them are weak to shots to the head, so the Perfect Dodge will put you in an excellent position to counterattack.
Use Map to Find Missed Items
This one seems like something that’d be obvious, but it’s worth saying over and over so that players don’t miss out on anything they could’ve had. Things like weapons that players are supposed to acquire like the shotgun and the grenade launcher will be given to players later in the game if they miss them when they’re supposed to be found, but other items like weapon attachments, ammo, healing items, and more are lost if players progress through an area and onto the next without picking them up.
To make sure you don’t miss out on anything you could’ve had in your inventory, be sure to check your map often to see if there’s anything you’ve left behind. A blue area of the map means you’ve explored it as much as you can, so feel free to move on from those and onto the next place to explore. If an area is red, it means there’s either something you didn’t pick up or something you haven’t located yet. Some players may be able to pass by these areas undeterred while others won’t feel like they can move on until the whole map is blue, but just to be on the safe side, check your map often so you don’t end up backtracking across a level just for some handgun ammo.
Only Take What You Need
The old adage “take only what you need” is perfectly applicable to Resident Evil 3, though we’re definitely not suggesting that you leave resources behind if you don’t think you need them at the time. Instead, be sure that you take stock of what you have in your inventory whenever you encounter Safe Rooms so that you’re both prepared for fights and for any resources you might come across.
Stacks of items, particularly ammo, allow for players to bring a lot with them during their adventures, so you probably don’t need as much as you think you when you’re leaving a Safe Room. A full stack of ammo for whatever main weapons you use, maybe two healing items, and a grenade or two will have players in business for pretty much anything they’ll end up encountering. It’s easy to feel like you need to overprepare when you leave a Safe Room, but you’ll find so much during your adventures that you’ll have enough to get you through a level and then some extra. Throw whatever excess you have into the Storage Box next time you find one and you’ll eventually have a nice stockpile of items for whenever you really get into trouble.
Learn to Run
It’s tempting to use all the ammo you’ve acquired and your stylish Perfect Dodge to fight every enemy you come across, but that’s not always the best option. Sometimes, your best bet is just to skip out on a pack of zombies and run by them if it looks like they’re not hiding any attractive loot around them.
As noted in our Resident Evil 3 review, a big part of the game is fighting packs of zombies as opposed to one-on-one surprise attacks. This means that you’ll often find that running and dodging is the optimal solution to surviving some encounters. You’ll waste a lot of ammo and resources if you start panicking and going for headshots when you encounter a swarm and get backed into a corner, but these encounters will of course be much easier if you’ve been practicing your Perfect Dodge like we suggested.
Try to "Reset" Zombies
If you do find yourself getting overwhelmed by enemies and need to run away, look for doorways and similar obstructions to put between yourself and enemies to make it harder for them to pursue. Zombies can bust down doors to keep after Jill and Carlos in Resident Evil 3, but once you start exploring the different settings, you’ll find that there are certain areas zombies won’t follow players through.
What this means is that if you can cross a certain threshold and put something between the zombies and yourself, they’ll sometimes lose interest and go back to what they were doing. Doorways are the most common example of this happening and can prove to be quite useful if you accidently wander into a pack of zombies and need to take a moment to reset and reorganize your thoughts. Find a doorway or similar area and see if it “resets” the zombies, and if not, you’ll at least be able to funnel the zombies through one place as they pursue you through the doorway.
Check Enemies With Your Knife
For players who played through the remake of Resident Evil 2 or other games from the franchise, you’ll probably be well aware of the fact that a zombie looking like it’s dead doesn’t always mean that it’s actually dead. Many zombies prefer to lay waiting on the ground for their chance to strike when you turn your back on them or step over them which creates a constantly tense experience.
To avoid any surprises, make sure to use your knife or weapons with more forgiving supplies of ammo like the handgun to test whether or not a zombie is truly dead or not. Give a zombie a poke with your knife if you either come across one for the first time or have shot it enough to where it collapses. If nothing happens and you just get the stabbing animation without any movement, you’re good to go. If the zombie jerks around when you prod it, it’s still kicking and is probably about to get back up.
The knife is pretty weak as far as finishing zombies goes, so don’t stand there slashing them for too long once you realize what you’re dealing with. It’s also best to check them at their feet when possible since they’ll be much more likely to surprise players before they have time to react if you approach them headfirst.
Use Moments of Invincibility
Similar to the trick with doorways that throws zombies off your trail, there are certain moments that players can capitalize on to escape attacks that’d otherwise hit them. These moments of invincibility are granted through triggering cutscenes, of course, but there are other actions players have more control of that they can use to dodge attacks.
Ladders and crawlspaces are some of the best examples of this tactic that players will find most often throughout Resident Evil 3. Once you approach one of these areas of the maps, Jill will automatically start interacting with them to crawl or climb depending on what the situation calls for. When these moments are triggered, any attack that was coming your way – including everything from normal zombie attacks to punches from Nemesis and everything in between – will completely miss the player. This doesn’t work for everything with pulling levers and interacting with other objects necessary to advance through the level not granting players the same invincibility, but when you find out what works, it’s a helpful tool for dodging damage.
As a bonus tip, try combining this trick with the Perfect Dodge mechanic. Using the Perfect Dodge even when you’re not trying to perfectly evade someone will give you a quick burst of movement which triggers cutscenes and animations immediately when you come in contact with something, so if you’re just inches away from a moment of invulnerability, Perfect Dodge your way to safety.