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5 vital tips and tricks to help you get through Cuphead

Cuphead is hard, but beatable.

Image: Windows Central

Cuphead is easily one of the most challenging games to come out this year. Some people have thrown their controllers, while others have braved through the suck. This game is rarely forgiving and will test your frustration levels as no other game has done before. It hurts, it’s torturous, but we can get through this together.

Here are some of the tips and tricks that got me through Cuphead, while keeping my insanity in tack.

Adjust controls for easier controlling

Cuphead controls

Image: AllGamers

The base controls for this game take advantage of the face buttons, making button presses slower and rough on the hands. Remap the controls to something that works for you. I changed my triggers and bumpers to my attacks and dashes, making rrrrying a ton easier.

Parrying is a huge part of this game, and it is virtually unbeatable without it. Making your controls easier will increase your reaction time along with making combos effortless. Once you master the parry, the game will be that must simpler.

Parrying rarely works from underneath enemies because the collision detection isn’t always the best. The only charm worth using is the smoke bomb. Everything else is worthless. The first Super is the only one you’ll ever use.

A side note on parrying, don’t bother buying the upgrade that auto-parries projectiles. It’s a waste of money for a skill you will already know and master. Save that money for other abilities.

Shop regularly

Cuphead Shop

Image: Tina Nawrocki

Cuphead has a shop that has weapons and ablities that will inevitable aide you in your quest. Some will make you more powerful, while others will give you a new weapon to play with. Once you buy an item, the shop will refresh with a new one in its place. In order to buy these things, you will need coins, and these are earned through each stage or NPCs. You can also use these upgrades as soon as you buy them.

Make sure to spread out your loadout with different ranges of weapons. For instance, don’t hang on to the beginning peashooter when you are dealing with a lot of close range enemies. Try going with the Spreader, which does more damage than the peashooter. Combine this with the EX that fires an 8-way spread, and you are a damage tank. Adapt with the game.

Finding the Charm

cuphead charm

Image: Hold to Reset

Along with your primary weapon and its upgrades, you also can unlock six charms which give you different effects. Use these in combination with your EX and weapon to charm your enemy into defeat. Buy these at your own expense, and use what will work. For instance, the Heart & Twin Heart buff adds one and two extra hit points, but it decreases your attack power. If you keep dying in boss fights, those might come in handy.

The most useful charm I found was the smoke bomb. This charm turns your dash invisible and allows you to ignore damage when teleporting past enemies. If you are feeling extra confident, then you should invest in the Whetstone. This grants you an ax attack while parrying enemies. You can use this to jump on enemies, avoid damage, and deal enemies all at once. This is an advanced technique, but when it is executed right, it is easily one of the most satisfying moves in the game.

Super moves

cuphead ghosts

Image: Polygon

As you manage your way through Cuphead, you will come across Mausoleums that will have pink ghosts. If you can parry all of them without taking damage, you will unlock one of three super moves. The first is the Energy Beam that shoots out a wide range of milk, Invincibility which gives you seconds of immunity, and Giant Ghost which releases a buff, ghost version of Cuphead that mimics his move. Giant Ghost can be challenging to control, but after some practice time, it was easier to control. I had the most success with the Energy Beam.

Patience is key


Image: GameRevolution

Nobody is going to deny that this game is hard. I can’t tell you how many times I have run through a level just to get to the end and die. Make calculated moves. Don’t go running and gunning through every level. Same goes for boss fights. I spent most of my time jumping and bouncing around levels, but after spending some time, I realized that some boss fights are best spent sitting in one place. Find safe spots and let loose. Working smarter, not harder will work every time.

Cuphead is one of those games that leaves the weak defeated and the strong invincible. Some players make the game look like a cakewalk, while others literally struggle with the first level. Play at your own pace, have fun, and remember that controllers can break.

Cuphead is now available for the Xbox One and PC and is currently on sale for $19.99. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our review, you can read it here.

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Amanda is a freelance journalist who enjoys naps way too much. I fell in love with video games when I bought my N64 and Goldeneye 007 with my birthday money... it's safe to say that birthday was epic. Let's chat!

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