There are so many reasons to love animated run-and-gun platformer Cuphead – the hand-drawn animations are stunning to look at, the music is beyond amazing (seriously, go have a listen to King Dice’s theme song), and the concept is beautifully quirky.
Don’t expect this platformer to be a walk in the park, but it’s definitely not impossible (though maybe it might feel like it at times). Our five handy tips are here to help you hop, skip, and jump your way through your crockery-themed adventure as if you’ve been dealing with the Devil all your life.
Drumroll please… it’s time for our top 5 tips to help you take on Cuphead!
1. Parrying is your friend
This tip is so important, it goes right in the number one spot on our list. Certain incoming attacks in Cuphead glow pink, and you can parry these to both destroy the missile in question and also charge up your Super Meter for a devastating special attack. Everything else needs to be dodged, and there are some levels which will absolutely rely on you parrying to perfection.
But don’t worry if you can’t get the hang of it immediately, because the first few levels will give you plenty of opportunity to practice.
2. Look for safe spots
With so many powerful bosses to take on, and knowing that their attacks are going to get bigger and bolder the longer you fight, it’s very tempting to rush right into the bullet hailstorm and try to inflict as much damage as you can, as quickly as you can.
Actually, there are often spots in the environment where attacks will land less frequently, so if you can, try to find one of those and focus on making every hit count without losing health or having to worry about constantly dodging. An auto-targeting attack like the Chaser Weapon comes in very handy in situations like these. Sometimes, cowardice saves lives.
3. Explore the map very, very thoroughly
The overworld map is cute and full of Easter eggs, and it’s definitely worth having a good poke around, even if it’s just to see all the secrets hidden in the gorgeous artwork. While you explore, you’ll find shortcuts that will get you across the islands more quickly, and there are hidden items lying around too, like coins which you can spend on upgrades in the shop.
Depending on your searching skills, you might even be able to unlock an adorable barbershop quartet song (containing some very solid life advice) written just for you…
4. Not all upgrades are created equal
With just 3 HP to see you through the dangers of Cuphead’s adventure, you’ll need to pick your upgrades carefully if you want to survive. Eyepatch-wearing pig Porkrind has a variety of Charms and Weapons for sale in his shop, and you want to be very selective about the Charms in particular.
Some of them, like the auto-parry Charm, are tempting early on, but you’re actually better off focusing on items that increase your HP or let you unleash your powerful Super Arts more frequently. One absolutely essential Charm is the Smoke Bomb, which lets you dash forwards without taking any damage. Meanwhile, get as many Weapons as you can, because you’ll definitely need to switch between them to make certain boss battles easier.
5. Switch up your Super Arts
Remember what we said about parrying? Every successful parry builds up your Super Meter, and when that little stack of playing cards is full, you’ll be able to unleash a devastating attack.
If you complete the Mausoleum levels in each area of Inkwell Isle, the Legendary Chalice will grant you a brand new Super Art by way of a thank you. Some of these will be more useful than others against certain bosses, so remember that you can change your selected Super Art as well as your equipped upgrades.
So there you have it – five handy tips to help you conquer Cuphead.
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