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The Callisto Protocol beginner's guide: 8 spoiler-free tips I wish I knew before playing

If you want help climbing up Jacob's ladder, look no further than our The Callisto Protocol tips – they might just save your life.

The Callisto Protocol is hard. Well, it's kinda hard and kinda frustrating. Whilst you can just knock the difficulty down to easy if you're struggling (we won't think any less of you), we know how hard it is to swallow your pride when you're playing a game you've been looking forward to for years.

So, to save you some frustration and help you tackle the prisoners and mutants in the doomed space jail orbiting Jupiter, we've concoted a guide that'll help you understand how to make the most out of your limited resources and survive. For a bit longer, at least. It's OK to die, though; the game actually wants you to.

If you're eager to see what we thought of the game before you pick it up, you can take a look at our The Callisto Protocol review at the link, too.

The game isn't quite as pretty as this.

Make a point of breaking off the main path for Callisto Credits and weapon upgrades

Like many of its genre stablemates, The Callisto Protocol hides a lot of decent gear off the main path. If you just want to blast through the story as quickly as possible, that’s fine – and you’ll find enough stuff to keep you alive. Just about. But if you want to magpie all the Callisto Credits you can, upgrade your weapons to make surivivng in the hellish prison halls more viable, or simply want to eke out as much story as possible, break away from the main path.

The Callisto Protocol is pretty good at signalling when you’re going the right way – the little circular saving ident in the bottom right corner that denotes autosave is a good indicator that you’re being checkpointed. If you see it, and know there was another door or corridor you’ve not probed yet, turn back and have a look. Chances are there are credits, healing items, or horrible little worms that you’ve not found yet.

Bonus: you have a fresh checkpoint, too! So if there’s anything nasty waiting for you, you can try again quite easily.

...but don't grab all the resources you find right away

Very often, your inventory will fill up and you'll be asked to discard items in order to take other things you find in chests. But these items don't go away: if you go into a fight and come back, they'll all still be there. So sometimes it's better to clock that extra health syringe that won't fit in your inventory, go to a fight, use an older syringe up, then go top up your item afterwards. Nearby terminals can also be used to offload excess items for cash. TL;DR? Don't throw stuff away, ever.

If you wanna live, don't just hang around.

Don’t just focus on upgrading one weapon

Variety is the spice of life. And, indeed, death. You’re going to encounter a fair few different enemy types in The Callisto Protocol, and some are going to be harder to deal with than others. So you don’t want to be caught out with just your Stun Baton when you could have much more easily finished a brute with a quick death by flinging him into the abyss with your telekenetic-like GRP glove. Putting all your money into upgrading your pistol is going to bite you in the ass when the game won’t give you any ammo (or the AI learns you’re a gun-toting maniac and responds by blocking your shots). Make yourself a jack of all trades – keep your guns, melee weapons and GRP powered up – and you’ll be far better equipped to deal with enemies well into the game.

Practice blocks and dodges early...

You’ll need to master both if you want any chance of living through the game’s later sections. Simply dodging all the time will get you through some early encounters, but pretty quickly you’ll need to start blocking, too (crowd control can be a nightmare with that close camera, so sometimes just soaking up the punishment is the best way to roll). You can print a few early upgrades for the Stun Baton that’ll help you follow up on your blocks, too. You know what they say; sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

...and learn to prefer dodges

This is imperative if you want to avoid damage. Blocking mitigates the lion's share of trauma you'll suffer, but will still knock you back and harm you a bit. And there are many instances in the game where health is at a premium, so you're going to want to do everything you can to retain your life. As such, hold back on your pad sparingly – it's much better to learn to weave; duck left, then duck right. This will give you a better swing at your enemy and stop you soaking up damage.

Hm, good advice.

Be careful when opening things

There are little grubs squirreled away in chests and other interactive elements of the game that love to leap out at you and try to suck your blood. Don't let them; the longer they're attached to you, the more damage they will do. Mash the button prompt on-screen to get rid of them ASAP. The game has a nasty habit of scattering these little bastards in the levels just before tricky encounters – a snide way of draining your health beforea fight. It pays to be curious in this game, but sometimes that nose for extra resources can prove deadly.

Environmental kills don’t reward you with loot if you can't reach the bodies

Four enemies into a fight and worrying about the lack of health you’ve got? Don’t throw that mutated freak into the spikes – it won’t drop a little health boost. Killing enemies in regular combat (via shooting or smacking them about a bit) will let you stamp on the bodies to free up credits or health. Usually, the gel they drop heals you to the tune of 35% – not bad if you don’t want to use one of your precious injectors. Bear this in mind when the call of the GRP beckons; you might want to risk a melee encounter to win back some health at the end of the fight. Sometimes, as they say, discretion is the better part of valour.

Go for the legs

If you're getting further into the game and you're starting to realise that, actually, you have more ammo than you thought... go for the legs. Shooting an enemy in the shins and taking its legs away usually reduces its mobility and gives you an easier route to kill (whilst spending less resources). Just be mindful that some enemies are actually more deadly – or quciker, even – when they're crawling around on their bellies.

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