Things this game didn’t tell you (or you forgot) about navigation, game mechanics, and accessing some secrets. A comprehensive guide to the little things this game does, and all the things it taught you in conversations that you skipped.
Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You
This game is pretty light on tutorialization – this works fine for most of the game since it’s pretty intuitive, but if you were wondering how the hell you get through that mesh glass, I’ll cover that (and similar things) here.
These are going to be short and sweet so you can quickly answer the question “what am I doing wrong?”
- You can only enter small areas by sliding on your feet, no matter how large it looks.
- You will only get a boost to your combo by leaning into a corner if you are NOT doing a trick at that time.
- You can slow down on a grind by pulling back on your movement stick/keys.
- When jumping from a grind you can do a longer jump with less height by holding the button you use to manual as you press jump.
- You will get a boost to a combo’s multiplier by wallriding on a new spot.
- You will only get a boost to a combo multiplier ONCE per CHALLENGE from a given spot – this applies to corners and wallride spots. Even if you drop your combo, you can’t get a combo boost from that same spot until you restart the challenge.
- If you end a grind on a vertical object, your character will do a pose at the top – this counts as a trick and you can hold it forever to extend your combo until you find a spot you’d like to go.
- The amount of time you can manual/wheelie/slide depends on your speed. All of these will extend when you’re travelling downhill. It will reset if you do a new trick in the air/on a wall/on a rail.
- Sliding on foot can also be used to extend combos, similar to doing a manual, and there are carpets/tracks in some areas that allow you to slide forever – even uphill!
- The game will almost always try to spawn you on the last flat ground you were on. This becomes especially handy in late game areas where you’ll be chaining together long sequences of grinds, jumps, and wall-runs.
- Each borough has a “mixtape” that it plays, a mashup of other songs you can find out in the world. It will always play this unless you choose a song in your phone, at which point it will keep playing songs straight down the list.
- If you enter a “secret” area and can’t find anything, try hitting vending machines/dumpsters in the area.
- May be obvious, but a friendly reminder: those little mascots that unlock the mail boxes do not have a time limit on them – take as long as you need to get them as long as you can keep your combo going.
This is the whole reason I made this guide – there were a bunch of things I had to Google about how to get to that last tag in a particular area.
There are three modes of transportation that I’m just going to call “movesets” from now on: bikes, skates, and skateboards. Initially, you’ll be using Red, who uses a skateboard. As you unlock new movesets for Red in your hideout, you can change the movesets for other characters, too. For example, if you switch to Tryce (who normally uses a bike) on a dancefloor out in the world and return to your hideout, you can go to the hideout spots for the skates/skateboard and have him use something else instead.
Each moveset has a unique obstacle that no other moveset can clear.
For bikes, there are unique bike-only doors on each map. Just sit on the gray pad in front of the door until it opens.
For skates/rollerblades, there’s the horizontal mesh glass. Manual/slide on the glass to break it.
For skateboards, there are these little fire hydrants. Jump on it as if you were going to grind, then mash any trick button to rotate your character and extend the height of the fire hydrant.
All characters can break vertical mesh glass by boosting, and ALL CHARACTERS can get a little extra height on their jumps by removing their wheels, doing a trick – one of the kicks that damages cops – and jumping immediately after it ends. You don’t need to time this, you can just mash jump as your character does a kick and they’ll do a boosted jump afterward. There’s at least one graffiti spot in the game that is only accessible by doing this jump.
In order to tag every graffiti spot, you will need to explore. Some spots are locked behind companion missions, a LOT are locked behind the Oldheads and their speaker walls, and a few spots require that you get really creative – using things like turrets or vending machines to get extra height. Each zone has a map that you can pick up that will mark graffiti spots – opening the map on your phone will mark nearby spots with waypoints as you pass by, but the pause menu will show the dots at unlimited range – good for the secret spots.
There is no dancefloor in the hideout – you’ll have to change characters elsewhere.
Every map has things that will let you grind on them vertically: the mall has palm trees, and Mataan has lampposts, for example.
The mall also has unique bathrooms, located in the hallways – if the door is open, you can use it to lose some heat.
Pyramid Island has one particularly wild section that is mostly useful for getting the achievement for taking pictures of 17 penguins. If exploring the available doorways doesn’t help you access a new area, try referring back to the section of this guide with navigation tips. You can get to any part of this bonus area with the information contained there.
Combat and Heat
Cops only care about graffiti and hurting other cops, so you’re welcome to skate as much as you like without picking up any heat. The first time you enter a new area, you won’t get any heat until the gang associated with that area tells you that the cops are on the way.
Heat never decreases with time, so you’ll need to find a bathroom or find someone in the area to give you a challenge – completing a mission from a recruitable companion will reduce your heat to zero afterward.
You do not need to change your character’s outfit to reduce your heat, you can simply walk into the bathroom and pick the outfit that they’re currently wearing if you want to keep the same clothes.
Double-jumping into vehicles has the same effect as doing a trick/attack, and is especially useful for jumping off turrets to access some platforms.
You do not need to grind on the tank walkers’ arms to paint their shoulders. Similarly, once you’ve painted their shoulders, you don’t need to do anything special other than get close enough to their head – if you’re in an area with a lot of verticality, you can just jump and mash your paint button to take them out.
Unlockable Characters/Companion Missions (Spoiler-Free)
As you move through the world, dancing characters and characters that skate around will often provide you missions. If they’re from a rival gang, they’re likely there to help you with the story. If they’re not in a gang (or if you’ve already beaten the story) these people will join your gang provided you can complete their missions.
As with the rest of the game, pay attention to the highlighted text when they speak. Most of the time the mission will be clear, but sometimes you’ll be asked to imitate a dance, speak to them with a certain type of character, or do something else. A couple of these missions will unlock new areas of the map, and some can only be completed late into the game due to their requirements. No companion will ever leave their main region of the map – for example, a character that you meet in Versum Hill will stay there until you’ve finished the quest, but they may move to different parts of Versum Hill.
After you beat the game, you can unlock a member of each gang by beating a score attack mission in that zone. They’ll be skating around their old area until you talk to them, at which point they’ll move to a fixed spot and won’t move again until you beat their mission.
Some prominent story characters can also be recruited. Other guides exist for this, but if you’re looking for a spoiler free experience – try looking for characters in places that you met them during the story. One of them will be at the highest point in Millennium Square.