Metroid Dread is finally out (read our review here!) and like most Metroid games, survival isn’t as easy as other games. Metroid Dread is easier when compared to most other Metroid games but that doesn’t mean you won’t need help here and there. That’s why these tips to survive Metroid Dread should prove useful!

1 – Counter.

One of the most important tips to survive Metroid Dread. Countering finishes most enemies (not bosses or mini-bosses) in ONE hit plus it nets you a ton of health and missiles (sometimes even Power Bomb refills). Pretty much every enemy in the game has a tell before they execute their attack so learn them all and counter! You can counter in the air and while hanging onto walls (and magnetic strips) so don’t be afraid to do it while climbing!

2 – Charge your beam.

You might be tempted to button mash Samus’ blaster. Don’t. A charged beam does more than than a regular shot and it’s MUCH more powerful later on, when Samus’ blaster’s upgraded with beam upgrades. Charging is also the only way to defeat some enemies in the game (at least until you get an upgrade later), so get used to it sooner, rather than later.

3 – Flash Shift everywhere.

Once you get the Flash Shift, the ONLY time you shouldn’t be using it is when you’re fighting. Its short dash (which also works in the air) not only allows you to close the distance between gaps, it also allows you to get in range of enemies quicker. A couple of things to remember about it though; Flash Shift won’t work in water, it won’t go through enemies (even if you Flash Shift right in front of them) and it won’t dash you off an edge if you’re using it on the ground.

4 – Bombs allow you to access unreachable places.

There are a ton of secrets in Metroid Dread that can only be reached by mastering the ancient art of bomb jumping. To make sure you get a ton of height, make sure to mash the jump and bomb button when you’re in Morph Ball form. You want most of your bombs to go off while you’re in the air, so that the explosion can propel you upwards. Never try to move while you’re bomb jumping (unless you’re at the apex of the jump and are trying to catch a ledge) though, as the explosion will just throw you off course. You don’t really need to wait till you get the Cross Bomb upgrade till late in the game for some secrets. Do it the old school way!

5 – Delay backtracking till you have the Space Jump.

The Space Jump allows you to jump infinite times in the air provided you don’t get hit while you’re jumping and you time your jumps properly. You’ll need to be at the apex of your jump to jump again and any momentum you have will always be carried over. By the time you get the Space Jump, you’ll also have most of the other important gear; the Grapple Beam, the Storm Missiles, Pulse Radar, Morph Ball and Bomb. With those equipment, you can easily access most of the locked or hidden rooms on the maps. Yes, you’ll still need the Power Bomb and a few other skills to get the rest of the stuff, but those items are in the minority.

6 – Get in the face of X Parasites.

tips to survive Metroid Dread

About 3/4s into the game, the X Parasites will be released. These shapeshifters assume the forms of all the organic enemies you’ve encountered in the game and also bring a few new moves to their repertoire. Though intimidating at first, you should quickly get the hang of their counter timings. Once you finish them off, don’t go far! The X Parasite WILL assume the form of another enemy if given the time to recuperate. Make sure to stay on top of them so Samus can absorb them to replenish her health and missiles. Flash Shift is invaluable in these instances.

7 – Don’t use the Storm Missiles’ lock-on function.

tips to survive Metroid Dread

Mobility is king in Metroid Dread and using the Storm Missiles’ lock-on mode means you have to stay still as the missiles lock on. Don’t waste your time. Just use the regular missiles to kill your enemies instead. The lock-on version of the Storm Missiles are also weaker than the regular ones due to the fact that they don’t freeze your enemies, unlike the regular missiles. So why settle for something inferior when the regular missiles do a better job? The ONLY time you’ll want to sure the Storm Missiles’ lock-on is when your path is blocked by the Storm Missile targets you to need to shoot.

8 – Don’t count on surviving the E.M.M.I.s if you’re caught.

tips to survive Metroid Dread

The E.M.M.I.s are some of the hardest enemies in the game. Until you get an Omega Cannon upgrade, you can’t even damage them. If you’re caught, it’s instant game over. There is a chance you can survive if you can counter their attacks, but the timing is random and the counter window so small that it’s unlikely that you’re going succeed reliably. A better strategy for tangling with them without an Omega Cannon ready? Run and don’t look back. Don’t bother with the Phantom Cloak or hiding (unlike what the game says), your best bet is speed, not stealth.

9 – Don’t be afraid to spam missiles.

tips to survive Metroid Dread

Unlike most Metroid games, missiles in Metroid Dread are easily replenished. Enemies aren’t shy about dropping them (especially if killed via counters) and there are a ton of recharge stations that’ll refill your arsenal. That’s why you shouldn’t be shy about unloading them whenever you can. That’s especially true when you have the enhanced missiles (with the Ice and Storm Missile upgrades), as you can freeze enemies and use them as platforms if you need to!

10 – Use a Pro Controller.

There aren’t any motion controls in Metroid Dread so you won’t even need the joypads. Thank God for small mercies. If you have a Pro Controller, use that instead of the joycons! It’s more comfy to hold for long periods, the triggers and analog sticks are better and vibration is much more pronounced! Why cramp up your hand when you can play in comfort?

The end?

Hopefully, with all these tips to survive Metroid Dread, you can keep yourself from seeing this screen too much.

tips to survive Metroid Dread

Remember! Never hit that B button! Never quit, never surrender!

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.