7 things I wish I knew before playing Outlast 2

Learn enemy behaviors, where the damn batteries are hidden, and how to break the game.

First things first: breathe. Outlast 2’s intense chase scenes, disempowering stealth sequences, and gruesome imagery are built to make you anxious. But with a clearer idea of the smoke and mirrors Outlast 2 uses to get under your skin, it becomes a much easier mountain of corpses to climb. We can help. 

Outlast 2 review

In Outlast 2, the stealth and chase scenes haven't changed much, but it excels as a beautiful, brutal journey through extreme spiritual anxieties. Read the full review here

You can sneak closer to enemies than you think 

At least on the default difficulty, you can. They’re a pretty dull bunch that don’t operate on strict vision cones. Unless you’re standing under a spotlight screaming their name, they won’t know where you are. So long as you’re not in their line of sight and you’re crouched, they won’t see you. If you’re crouched in bushes, then you can walk right in front of them—just make sure not to get too close. Touching the enemy, as always, is bad.

Don’t worry about being spotted (too much)

You’re going to get spotted. Outlast 2 gives you pretty shoddy tools to keep track of enemy locations and that’s definitely on purpose. You’re meant to be left with only one option regularly: to run. And really, it’s a pretty reliable option. Unless you immediately hop into another barrel or beneath the nearest bed, enemies won’t have the easiest time finding you. Running off to find another hiding spot might mean taking a hit or two, but getting reckless can be the best way to move forward.

Not all enemies sprint directly toward you 

Some don’t even want to hurt you at all. This will become pretty obvious during the very first encounter in the game, which took me way more tries than I’d like to admit. It’s not the best way to kick off the game, in my opinion, but it’s designed to teach you that not every monster is going to make a beeline towards you, full sprint. You might need to kite some slower enemies around objects. Some may not even hurt you unless you get too close. Whether or not someone wants to kill you is a primary source of tension in Outlast 2, so keep your wits about you when meeting new ‘people’.

Use your camera functions in short bursts 

There’s no need to leave night vision and the microphone on the entire time you’re hiding in a barrel or creeping down a dark corridor. Unless you’re the type to leave no stone unturned, chances are you’ll run low or out of battery on a regular basis. Pop your mic or night vision on and off to verify an enemy’s location, then shore up your guts and run.

Looking behind you is usually a bad idea 

Pressing Alt to look behind you during a chase scene is a cool camera trick that makes Outlast 2’s most intense scenes feel directly out of a horror movie—if you’re the person in the horror movie who trips and dies early on. More often than not, pressing it means you’ll run into something when you’re not looking ahead. And really, it’s not a helpful tool at all. Glancing over your shoulder will only tell you what you already know: there’s a mob with machetes on your tail and they don’t look happy.

Get on your belly to find extra batteries and bandages

If you’ve ever dropped a quarter and had to retrieve it from beneath the fridge, then you know where to look for even more batteries and bandages than normal. Press C to crawl around like an animal, which is what you are, to find some extra (healing) power if you need it. The small crack between the wall and dressers isn’t a bad place to snoop either.