The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is every bit as unforgiving and brutal as its 1974 inspiration, so whether you’re on the family team comprised of several sadistic killers or the victim team made up of a few young adults bleeding all over the place, it pays to have a plan and stick to it. We’ve already put in dozens of hours with the asymmetrical multiplayer horror game, so we come offering tips for either side of a match. Use these pointers to either make it out alive or finish preparing your dinner.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre tips for playing as the family

Use these tips when you’re on the killers’ side of a match to round up all victims and prevent any Final Girls or Guys from making it to the sequel.

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Have either the Hitchhiker or Sissy in a match

Every round as the killers is made a little easier if one person plays as either Sissy or the Hitckhiker. The reason for this is they are the only two killers who can crouch and enter small spaces like the victims can. While victims may use a crawlspace or crack in the wall to gain distance on Leatherface, Johnny, or the Cook, these more slender sadists can follow right behind them.

Don’t waste time using your consumable items

Several killers have a finite number of items, like the Cook’s padlocks or the Hitchhiker’s traps. Don’t waste time using these, as you can move them later if you want to, and in the meantime, they will ensure the property is made much more deadly right as a match begins.

Green lights are bad, so make them red

Some objects, like electrified cattle traps, display their status with green and red lights. If you’re on the family team, green lights are bad, as they mean the trap isn’t activated. Make sure to follow the yellow cord from trap to battery or generator and take the time to turn it on.

Communication is key

If you’ve seen the movie, you know the Slaughter family does well to communicate. You should too. Telling your allies when you’ve spotted someone, or that one of your traps has been set off can be very valuable information and be the difference between life and death for Ana and her friends. Frankly, this tip works both ways. Victims should also stay in voice chat if they can and help keep each other upright with intel.

Listen for survivors at all times

The Cook has a unique listening ability on a cooldown, but the sound design in this game is so strong that anyone can benefit from a well-tuned ear. Listen for survivors rummaging through tall grass, talking to each other, or messing with objects like a locked door. You’d be surprised how much you can infer from the environment even without the use of any fancy abilities.

As Leatherface, let it rip

Leatherface has the option to roam without his chainsaw activated. In theory, this allows you to be a bit stealthier. But in practice, revving it to a usable state takes too long to help, so you may as well keep it on at all times. Sure you won’t get the drop on anyone, but honestly the sound of a coming chainsaw is effectively terrifying anyway.

Open a door? Lock it behind you!

If ever you do need to open a locked door, be sure not to leave it that way. I’ve seen some killers look for me in a particular place, but forget to lock the door behind them, which gives me an easier path toward an exit. Picking locks takes time and stealthy effort. If you’re going to do the hard part for the victims, maybe you don’t have the killer instinct this family expects of you.

Play with your food

One of my favorite things to do as the killer is, when I spot someone hiding, not to make it obvious that I did so. It’s easy to walk right past a survivor in the dark or the tall grass, so they may think you’ve done just that, but remember that they can’t hear your communications with your team. Rather than give chase right away, act like you’re still looking around for them, while you’re really gathering your team in voice chat. Then descend on the hapless victim as a family unit.

Prioritize feeding Grandpa

He’s older than dirt but the man is hungry. Manually collecting blood from around the map or automatically from doing melee damage is hugely important, as you feed it to Grandpa, who then pings for any moving survivors on the entire map. As Grandpa takes in more blood, his level increases, which hastens the ping rate, eventually culminating in Level 5, which allows him to ping even immobile victims. If you can get him to Level 5 quickly, you are basically damning any survivor who hasn’t made good use of their time to that point.

Bonus tip: shush!
Bonus tip: shush!

Texas Chain Saw Massacre tips for playing as the victims

When you’re hurt, lost, and afraid, the odds are stacked against you. Start to turn them back to your favor with these tips.

Button-mash off the initial meat hook

As a match begins, killers will see Leatherface kill the one victim character not chosen for that match. But while that’s happening in a cutscene for the family, the victims already have control and awaken in one of several cells in the basement. Though the game suggests you quietly wriggle off this meat hook, I’ve taken to just button-mashing, because Leatherface can’t yet see you get pinged by making the noise anyway. The only consequence is it seems to awaken Grandpa sooner, but it’s been worth it in my experience.

Latch the door in front of you right after that

Right after you get off the hook, there will be a wooden door in front of you. Approach it and press the button to “latch” it, which locks it from the inside. It can’t keep killers out for good, but it buys you time while you start the match. Just know that if you later find yourself on the other side of that door and it’s still intact, you’ll need to noisily slam through it yourself to get on the other side.

Open all shortcuts whenever it’s safe to do so

Still in the starting cell, after you’ve jumped off the hook and locked the door, open every shortcut in the room. There could be anywhere from none to two of them, so quietly open them, as they will give you options when navigating the hellish basement. This is especially useful if the other team didn’t use Hitchhiker or Sissy, as then they can’t get through those spots themselves–though Leatherface can destroy them, don’t forget.

Manage your cooldowns wisely

Each survivor has a unique ability on a cooldown, and it pays to know whose is slow to recharge and whose can be used more liberally. For example, Sonny’s listening ability, much like that in The Last of Us, recharges quickly and need not be saved for only the most dire moments. Connie’s Focus ability, on the other hand, is amazingly helpful, as it bypasses one lockpicking mini-game, but it’s slow to recharge. Therefore, you shouldn’t use it unless you’re really in a bind for time. In most matches, you’ll only have enough time to use it twice at most, and if you do it in the middle of a match, maybe just once.

Close doors to mask your route

It might sound counterintuitive since victims usually want to open doors, not close them, but closing doors can mask your escape path. If a killer sees an open door, they may become more keenly aware of their surroundings or start looking for additional clues as to your location. They may even re-lock it. But if you shut a door behind you, they may be left with no reason to think anything is awry at all, which could even leave the door unlocked for your allies.

Treat unlock tools like gold

Bone scraps and health are nice to have, but if all else is equal, unlock tools reign supreme as the go-to inventory item. This is because they will be required to unlock most exits on a map. There are other methods of escape, but unlock tools will get you out of the basement and off the property in multiple spots.

Bone scrap can be used on multiple noise traps, or one chicken

If you are holding bone scrap, it has a few handy uses. For one, you can perform a back-facing sneak attack on a killer which will momentarily stun them. You can also enter into a button-mash-off with killers by using it for a front-facing attack. But one of the best uses is in disabling noise traps. A single bone scrap can be reused several times over, eventually clearing the area of all noise traps if you commit to doing so. Just know that if you come across those chickens that startle when you move near them, you can quiet them too, but that’ll use up the bone scrap for good.

Focus on attribute points in skill trees

The metagame is surprisingly deep in this game, and though you can respec at will and for free, it’s just as handy to not need to in the first place. With that in mind, make sure to unlock lots of attribute points in each skill tree. You can apply these to a victim’s build to fortify weaknesses and enhance strengths, like strength, toughness, and stealth. In my case, I enjoyed making Connie, already quite stealthy, now tougher and faster to pick a lock.

Move when killers are locked into animations, as the camera may hide you

When killers perform certain actions like feeding Grandpa, disabling a generator, or turning off a pressure valve, the camera has a way of pulling in close on them for the player. Use this time wisely and sneak past them, as it’s likely you won’t appear in their field of view. When you do play as the killers, it also helps to familiarize yourself with these camera angles so you can better sneak through the blind spots when back on the victim side.

Don’t worry about the score so much, just have fun!

There’s scorekeeping in this game, but don’t stress it. There are no declared winners or losers. Though more score means more XP, this isn’t meant to be a competitive game like Dead By Daylight. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is first and foremost a faithful adaptation of a horror classic. There’s not a ton of room for wins and losses in that scenario. Just let yourself absorb the punishing heat of the Texas sun and soak in the terrorizing vibes.

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