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Hotline Miami: 5 Best Tips for Beginners



With its radiant retro style and violent action, the Hotline Miami series has been providing gamers with one of the best top-down experiences over the last decade. And if you're just getting around to playing it, you're in for a treat. Hotline Miami will keep you engrossed in its gameplay, partly because of its entertainment value, and partly because of its humbling difficulty. It's not the simple run-and-gun that it appears to be. That's why we're bringing you the best Hotline Miami tips for beginners. Because this game is no walk in the park.

5. Trigger Happy or Trigger Ready?

Hotline Miami tips for beginners

At first glance, you may think you can run and gun through Hotline Miami's levels, acting as a trigger-happy hitman the entire time, but this will do you far more harm than good. Hotline Miami looks to punish players who believe they can outwit its AI and level design with trigger-happy gameplay. As a result, you must be significantly more tactical than most beginners anticipate. That's why the first of our Hotline Miami tips for beginners is to focus on being trigger ready rather than trigger-happy.

What exactly do we mean by that? Quite literally, we mean slow it down. Hotline Miami's entire atmosphere is designed to elicit excitement and, almost subconsciously makes you pick up your speed as you progress through its levels. That's why you always need to keep a cool head. Because as soon as you fire off a loud shot, every enemy in the stage will be rushing your way. As a result, you must slow down, organize your shots, and map out your route.

4. Map Your Route

As we said in the last section, Hotline Miami is far more tactical than beginners anticipate. In fact, there is a great deal of strategy needed to surpass each level. And, in order to develop the right strategy for a level, you're going to need to do it with trial by error. Yes, we mean you literally have to die over and over in order to map out your route for a level. But that's because you need to figure out the routes enemy AI are taking. Furthermore, what angles can they spot you at? What will they do if you fire a shot? These are questions that are constantly up for debate in every level of Hotline Miami.

You do have one advantage to mapping out your route, and that's scoping ahead with a weapon. When wielding a weapon and scoping you get extended vision, allowing you to see what awaits you ahead in the level. This is one of the best Hotline Miami tips for beginners because without it using it, you'll be progressing through the level blind, limiting your chances of success. As a result, when in doubt, scope it out.

3. Utilize Masks

Hotline Miami tips for beginners

Masks are the one feature in Hotline Miami that opens up the gameplay. You'll start with Richard, or otherwise, the Rooster mask which doesn't have any special abilities. However, as you progress through the game and get high scores, you will unlock more masks. Each mask has a unique effect that will aid you in combat.

For example, Tony, the Tiger mask, grants you faster executions and lethal punches. Perfect for players who prefer to silently melee their way through levels. Furthermore, it's an excellent effect for ensuring enemies are killed rather than knocked out. Because sometimes enemies in Hotline Miami will be knocked unconscious and come up and attack you from behind when you least expect it.

As a result, one of the best Hotline Miami tips for beginners is to utilize these masks. Figure out how they can help you in each level. Since some masks will work better for different levels. Therefore, you can get strategic with the masks you use for each level; you don't have to use the same one all the time.

2. Door Strat & Melee Weapons

Hotline Miami tips for beginners

One of the biggest aspects of Hotline Miami's gameplay is that once you shoot you will warn enemies of your presence. This will result in every enemy in the level rushing you. That's why sometimes you have no choice but to do a level stealthily and there is a concrete strategy for it.

The best way to go about levels stealthily is by slamming enemies when they line up with a door. This gives you an automatic safe entry – just make sure you finish them off because slamming doors open on enemies won't kill them. That is unless you equip Don Juna, the horse mask, which makes door slams lethal. See, masks do have far more strategy to the gameplay than you'd expect.

The second aspect of being stealthy is to primarily use melee weapons. At first, may find melee weapons inferior to guns, but when you used correctly, they can be your best friend. For example, you can throw weapons at enemies to knock them out, giving you a safe window to finish them off. Furthermore, you can bait enemies into corners to line them up for a home run swing with a bat.

1. Get Your Hands Dirty

Hotline Miami tips for beginners

Although we can fill your ear with beginner tips left, right, and center, the best way to improve Hotline Miami is to get your hands dirty. That is, you simply need to slog through the early levels until you find what works. The only way to do that, is by trial and error. As a result, the best Hotline Miami tips for beginners is to jump in, get your hands dirty, and sort out the variables as you go.

So, what's your take? Do you agree with our Hotline Miami tips for beginners? Have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Riley Fonger is a freelance writer, music lover, and gamer since adolescence. He loves anything video game-related and grew up with a passion for story games such as Bioshock and The Last of Us.