‘Resident Evil 7’ Madhouse guide: Try to survive in game’s hardest mode

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Tips for playing on Madhouse

Resident Evil VII

Given all the changes and how much more difficult it is to play RE7 on Madhouse, it can be pretty intimidating even to players who’ve already beaten the game on lower settings. Thankfully, the tips below should help.

Get the dirty coin from the Beginning Hour demo

You can start Resident Evil 7 with an extra antique coin if you complete a highly specific sequence of events in the game’s free downloadable demo, Beginning Hour. Follow these instructions on Reddit to the letter and you should have no issues. The one confusing part is Step 8 — when the instructions say to point the finger “at the pile of rubble at the foot of the stairs” they mean the debris directly under the clock on the wall.

Use a guide to find more antique coins

Madhouse difficulty is not messing around, so there’s no shame in using a guide like this one to find more antique coins, especially if you’ve already beat the game once without a guide. Take all the help you can get.

Play the game on Normal first

Play it twice, even, and the second time use a guide to find collectibles like the files and Mr. Everywhere bobbleheads. Doing so will unlock all kinds of extras that are designed to ease some of Madhouse’s pain, including shoes that let you walk more quickly and the powerful Albert-01R handgun, a crucial item that increase your defense while guarding.

Block often

Especially if you have the items “Essence of Defense” or “Secrets of Defense.” Keeping these in your inventory will negate almost all, if not all, the damage you take while blocking. This is crucial — especially during moments like the Marguerite boss fight — but even against normal enemies on Madhouse.

Do practice runs

Given how infrequently you’ll be able to save on Madhouse, one thing you might find helpful is doing practice runs. There’s a powerful feeling of relief when you do finally save your progress, especially given there are basically no checkpoints. Take the opportunity to go explore what’s coming next without the pressure of losing progress if you die. You can get surprised by enemies or use up all your ammo and then reload your most recent save.

Get headshots

Don’t waste ammo shooting enemies anywhere but their weak points, which for normal enemies is in their big, dumb, gnarly heads. Ammo is too scarce to do otherwise. Keep practicing until you rarely miss. And it helps if you’ve already beat the game once and have access to the Albert-01R handgun.

Seriously, conserve ammo

Marguerite is not going to die from your pitiful knife swipes. Use weaker ammo, like regular handguns bullets, before expending the more powerful stuff, such as enhanced bullets and shotgun shells, except in emergencies when that’s not possible. And the only thing that qualifies as an emergency on Madhouse is when a crawler blasts out of the wall directly in front of you and you haven’t saved in two hours.

Never feel safe because you are never safe

Except in safe rooms, you’re never safe in Resident Evil 7, especially on Madhouse. Were you expecting an enemy to pop out where none did? Well, that’s probably because the game is trying to lull you into a false sense of security so it can throw two enemies at you in the next room instead and cause you to panic and waste all your ammo.

Resident Evil VII

Stop hoarding lockpicks

You might have a habit of saving lockpicks for a time when you “need” them on earlier difficulties. Stop doing that. Madhouse is stingy enough with ammo and chem fluids for crafting that you should use all the resources available to you whenever you can.

Save some of that chem fluid for the Old House

Seriously, you don’t want to take on Marge’s bugs without burner fuel. Given that the items scattered around the environment are somewhat randomized, you might find yourself picking up lots of handgun and shotgun ammo and running low on sweet, sweet flames. Save some chem fluid and solid fuel for these moments.

Hold out for the better shotgun

You can get the first repair kit as soon as you escape the main house; it’s in a slightly different spot on Madhouse than on Normal mode, but it’s still in the yard. Use it to fix the broken shotgun, which is also in a different spot. Until you do that, don’t waste precious shotgun shells using the less powerful M37.

Just get past the first boss

Possibly the most difficult part of Resident Evil 7’s Madhouse difficulty is the first boss fight in the attic of the Guest House. Your health is low, you have hardly any supplies, and even if you scrounge up every bullet and get 95 percent headshots, this boss seemingly won’t die. There are some tricks that make it easier, however. If you head back into the room where you found the handgun, for example, she’ll knock out a wall and make a loop you can run around. And when you run out of ammo (and you surely will), try to whack her in the head with your axe and guard when she swings at you.

It may be frustrating, but, luckily, that’s actually one of the hardest fights in the game on Madhouse. Everything else seems doable by comparison.

Keep your eye on the prize

Remember why you’re doing this: Not just to prove what a badass you are and how you’re not scared of vicious fungus monsters and murderous bog people, but to unlock infinite ammo for every subsequent time you play the game. Is it worth it to finally be able to use the Magnum? That’s up to you.


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