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Control tips and tricks

Remedy Entertainment is a studio that keeps getting better, following the excellent Quantum Break with the even more excellent Control. Control’s combination of gunplay and telekinetic abilities makes for some of the best action gameplay of recent memory, and the game builds on that combat system with Metroidvania-like exploration.

Control plays a lot differently than most third-person shooters, though. To get you started on the right foot, we’ve rounded up the top 10 tips and tricks for getting started in Control. 

Further reading

Stay aggressive

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Above all else, it’s important to stay aggressive in Control. Instead of automatically regenerating health or health packs, enemies will drop small blue shards when you kill them, and those replenish your health. It’s simple, then: Killing enemies quickly allows you to more quickly replenish your health.

That’s important because Control usually doesn’t give you enough health to finish a fight. Although using your various abilities and crouching behind cover is important, it’s more important to keep the battle flowing. Look at weaker enemies as health packs. Instead of focusing on the strongest enemy first, focus on the weakest. Once they’re down, take note of where they fell, and circle back there when you need some extra health.

Keep moving

You have the ability to crouch and take cover in Control, but you will find yourself completely overpowered if you hunker down and try to stay in one place as you battle the horde of Hiss in your way. Instead, crouch behind an object and attack one or two enemies before shifting locations. This tactic will keep most enemies from closing in on your position. Make sure you click the sprint button to maximize your speed. Once you unlock the Evade ability, you can also use this to make yourself harder to hit.

Use the Launch ability

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Very early in Control, you unlock the Launch ability. This lets you pick up objects or pieces of rubble and throw them at enemies using telekinesis. Despite having a shape-shifting gun at your disposal, Launch is actually your most powerful attack. Thrown objects decimate enemy shields and are capable of seriously damaging larger Hiss monsters. You have a limited amount of rechargeable energy for telekinesis, so make sure not to waste it all at once — but throwing a few boxes at the beginning of a fight can make it much easier.

Beyond just using Launch, focus on upgrading it (maybe with the materials you earn from deconstructing mods). You can make it more powerful, which is good for taking out late-game enemies, but you can reduce the amount of energy it costs to use Launch. Launch will serve you from the moment you get it through completing Exhibitions, so make sure to get used to using it and upgrading it during your playthrough.

Get familiar with mods

You can pick up character and weapon mods throughout The Oldest House, and it’s important to actually use them. If you’re following the main story path and run into an area you can’t beat, you can usually solve the problem by equipping the best mods you have at your disposal. That’s because Control dishes out mods liberally, so much so that you may end up with an entirely different roster of mods after playing for a couple of hours.

You can deconstruct mods, too. Instead of unique abilities, there are only a few different types of mods (damage, reload boost, etc.). There are several different levels for mods, though, so it’s not uncommon to find yourself with a level one and level four reload speed mod, for example. Instead of holding out, deconstruct old, underpowered mods.

Doing so will give you materials, which you can use to upgrade Jesse and the service weapon. You’ll end up with way more mods than you can actually use, so don’t get too attached.

Find Objects of Power

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Among the major items you will find in Control are Objects of Power. These are seemingly normal household objects that possess paranormal abilities. You’ll encounter a few early in the game, giving you the service weapon, Launch ability, and Levitate ability. However, there are three additional abilities you can unlock: Seize, Shield, and Evade.

You can earn those from the “A Captive Audience,” “A Good Defense,” and “A Merry Chase” missions (very fitting mission names). After your introduction to The Oldest House, track down these missions to earn your other paranormal abilities. Evade, in particular, is essential for making it through some battles, and Shield can be very good against projectile-lobbing enemies.

Swap between Service Weapon types

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You begin the story by finding the Service Weapon, a firearm that will carry you through the entirety of the game. It takes on different forms, beginning with the revolver-like Grip form. By using resources and special control points scattered across the map, you can create additional forms that turn it into a shotgun, machine gun, and more.

All of the forms are powerful, but you can only have two equipped at once. It depends on how you want to play Control, of course, but we’d recommend equipping the Charge form, at least. Charge allows you to store up to three rockets and launch them at your enemies. The rockets have impact damage before exploding into a large area, dealing even more damage. In addition to covering a lot of ground with damage, Charge breaks up different objects in the environment, giving you plenty of fodder for Launch.

Avoid getting lost

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You do a lot of backtracking and exploration in Control, which can lead to situations where you can’t figure out how to get to your next objective. Pressing the directional pad on your controller will bring up the map, and you can continue walking while it’s on the screen. Darker and lighter areas denote if one room is above or below another, and you will see little elevator symbols scattered throughout, as well. These don’t always lead to a separate level. Instead, they are often the only way you can reach your goal. If you see a door blocked off with red energy, you can also look around for nearby red blocks. Destroy them all quickly, and the passage will open up.

Stay aware of your surroundings

The only thing more embarrassing than getting killed by a low-level enemy in Control is getting killed because you fell off a ledge. This can happen easily when you’re battling in the Oldest House because it can shift the floors so that you fall into a never-ending hole. During intense fights, you should still have a look at your immediate surroundings before you start running or backpedaling because you’re very likely to accidentally die otherwise.

Feel too weak for an area? You probably are!

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Control has an odd approach to handing out their side content. It sometimes gives out missions based on where you are in the building rather than how far you are in the story. Because of this method, you might end up trying to fight enemies that are higher than your current skill level, which means the side mission you encountered was only location-based, not based on your character’s merit. If you run into a situation where you’re struggling to kill more than one or two enemies before dying, you aren’t supposed to be there yet. Come back after you’ve upgraded your abilities and give it another go later.

Puzzle solutions are often hidden in plain sight

Especially as you approach later sections of the story, there will be several puzzles you have to complete involving things like computer programs or information cards. The solution to these puzzles involves producing a particular image or putting cards in their correct terminals, and though it seems obtuse at first, the answers are often right around you. You’ll find hints if you take time to look around at some of the drawings near your location. It will spare you many headaches and stop you from getting stuck.

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Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
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