• Stick to mainline games to avoid getting overwhelmed by extensive lore and focus on key plot points.
  • Embrace tank controls and fixed camera angles as part of the classic RE gaming experience.
  • Alternatively, consider playing remakes for a more modernized gameplay experience with improved controls and quality-of-life upgrades.

Capcom has officially been around for a long forty years now, and on that long journey, it birthed one of survival horror’s most iconic series: Resident Evil. Despite first debuting twenty-eight years ago, the RE franchise is still going strong and is just as beloved by its fans as the day it first came out in 1996.


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Few game franchises match the sheer awe and horror exhibited in the chilling Resident Evil titles. But which in the series were the scariest?

With years of lore behind it, RE can seem like a rather intimidating franchise to get into for newer players. However, it’s never too late to get into a series, no matter how much of a long-time cult classic it is; there’s always room for new fans! Here are some tips and tricks for any gamers who are interested in dipping their toes into the vast (and bloody) universe of RE.

1 Start With The Mainline Games

Don’t Get Distracted By The Spinoffs!

Resident Evil Mainline Game Timeline

At the moment, there are a total of thirty games in the RE franchise. However, this running total includes all spin-off games and remakes. Don’t be intimidated! The only thing scary about the RE series is the zombies, not the extensive lore players need to catch up on.

Newcomers can stick to the mainline games, meaning installments one to eight, and they’ll be just fine. All of the most important plot points and characters appear in the numbered games, so it won’t be a problem skipping some of the side games at the beginning.

2 Get Used To Tank Controls

Take A Walk (With Fixed Camera Angles)

Resident Evil Shotgun

One of the biggest barriers new fans may run into when trying to get into the franchise starts (and perhaps stops) with the use of tank controls. The general opinion on tank controls is rather split and while some modern games do implement tank controls every once in a while, it’s generally thought of as a gaming element of the past and is often associated with retro titles.


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Although tank controls are antiquated by this point, these modern horror games still use them to great effect.

Tank controls can be difficult to get the hang of at the beginning and the stress of fiddling with the controls can add to the overall fear that the earlier RE titles had to offer. Don’t get discouraged if this layout doesn’t feel natural right away. It may take a few hits or even a “game over” or two before being able to fully master the fixed camera angles of the Spencer Mansion or the Raccoon City Police Department.

3 Don’t Be Afraid To Reach For The Remakes

Tank Controls Aren’t For Everyone

Resident Evil 2 Original & Remake Comparison

Although it’s important not to get so easily discouraged by the archaic tank controls of the earlier titles, newcomers shouldn’t be ashamed to reach for the remakes if worse comes to worst. If new fans are interested in the lore, characters, and world-building over the actual gameplay, then opting for the remakes may just be the right option.

The controls utilized in the remakes have been modernized and have implemented many quality-of-life improvements that may make gameplay feel much more comfortable for newer players. Many games of the older generation were unforgiving and thus, weren’t welcoming to players of different skill levels. With the RE remakes, this issue is solved, and offers a much more flexible/intuitive gameplay experience for just about anyone.

4 Learn The Herb System

Eat Your Greens (And Reds And Yellows!)

Herbs From Resident Evil

Of course, there are files or tutorial sections that will come up to help the player with each game’s mechanics and rules, but by far the most important mechanic new players must keep in mind is the prolific herb system. Aside from the occasional egg or first aid spray, there is always a large supply of herbs scattered around in any RE environment, ripe for players to pick and use to heal their wounds.

There are a total of five different herbs: green, red, yellow, blue, and purple. The most common herbs (and the ones that are present in all mainline games) are the red and green herbs. A total of three herbs can be combined to either enhance its healing properties or to give its user an added effect. Knowing which herbs can be mixed, which combinations will give the best healing output, and which herbs can’t be used on their own (and only in a mixture of two or more) is imperative to having a seamless RE run.

5 Watch The CGI Films

Get To Know The Cast

Resident Evil Death Island Front Cover

While not entirely necessary, the CGI films can add a lot to the experience of exploring the world of RE. While the American live-action films were loosely based on the mainline games of RE, the CGI films feature interpretations of the main cast that are much more true to their appearances in the source material.


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Watching a few of the CGI films alongside the games will help new players understand more of the background and more about the remains of the world that Umbrella almost destroyed. Not only will the films help with added lore, but they also help in terms of character building, giving new fans a better look into the lives of their favorite characters.

6 Make A Habit Of Reading All Files

Don’t Skip The Flavor Text

Resident Evil File

It may seem a bit tedious to thoroughly go through each written file in every game, but it’s a must-do for those who want a truly immersive experience!

One of the most charming (or rather terrifying) aspects of RE is its world-building. Reading up on the horrendous experiments Umbrella or the Los Illuminados conducted on poor, unwilling human subjects truly adds depth to the horrific visuals the game has to offer.

Not only are files and notes good for world-building, they often contain hints or clues about nearby puzzles, and can even contain secret codes that aren’t attainable anywhere else.

7 Don’t Be Afraid To Run Away!

Conserve Your Supplies

resident evil 2 remake leon knife zombie

At the end of the day, RE is a survival horror franchise and that means playing it safe. Of course, there will be unavoidable boss battles, but whenever possible, running away should be option number one.

There are always going to be more than enough zombies to keep players on their toes and sometimes the best route of action is to save the bullets for when they absolutely matter. The earlier titles in particular put the player in situations where killing all enemies in a certain area wouldn’t be the best use of time or supplies, expecting players to leave a few stragglers. Resources are often low in survival horror games, so don’t be afraid to ignore all the hungry zombies when trying to get from point A to point B.


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