After 16 years of waiting, Psychonauts 2 finally here. Razputin Aquato has been promoted from ambitious Psychonaut to Trainee – and the stakes are higher than ever. Tim Schafer and the team at Double Fine somehow managed to surpass the high expectations of the community and create a game that many have called game of the year.
However, anyone new to the series – or veterans returning from a 16-year hiatus – may need a few pointers to successfully navigate the messy brains they’ll be joining as a Psychonaut during training. If you’re looking to make the most of your time with the quirky platformer, Psychonauts 2 Tips to get you off to a good start.
Within minutes of launching Psychonauts 2, you will notice radical changes from the original. More skills are immediately available to use, enemies are tougher, and its overall level design has been radically improved and supplemented. Anyone who’s played the original will find a lot of similarities between the two – but it’s best to approach the sequel as a whole new experience.
However, one thing that has not changed from the original is the importance of Figments. These collectibles are randomly arranged on every level – collect enough of them and you’ll level up. Upgrade skills and unlock new areas that are directly related to your level, so you should make an effort to collect every Image you come across.
Psychonauts 2 has made major changes over its predecessor, and nowhere is that more obvious than in combat. In particular, you’ll want to use the dodge mechanic freely, as enemies are much more deadly now than they were before. Forget dodging, and your battles will be short-lived.
Speaking of combat, make sure you’re using every available ability to knock out your target. Psi Blast, Pyrokinesis, Telekinesis, and even Levitation can all be used to your advantage. You can certainly choose melee-only gameplay, though you’ll be making things harder than it really needs to be.
While its main purpose is to help you glide through vast abysses and avoid electrified floors, your Levitation skill can also be used to move at breakneck speeds. Simply assign it to one of your four skill slots, activate it while standing on the ground, and prepare to spin around at almost twice your normal speed. You will cover a lot of things in Psychonauts 2, and you’ll be grateful for this Levitation trick when the fast travel system doesn’t connect to your next destination.
With such a gripping story and hundreds of collections, it’s entirely possible to forget that you have upgradable skills in Psychonauts 2. Every time you level up, make sure to drill down into your menu and see what upgrades are available. If nothing catches your attention, you can save your points for larger purchases.
When you’re just starting out, we recommend upgrading your Psi Blast and Melee skills – these will make combat much easier and help you progress quickly through the early parts of the game.
In addition to the numbers, Psychonauts 2 gives you many other reasons to keep an eye on your surroundings. From Emotional Luggage and Nuggets of Wisdom to Memory Vault and Half Soul, you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny you stumble across. Each is worth the effort, as they will either help you reach your next Intern Rank or fill your pocket with psitanium.
While most of your upgrades will be done via the pause screen, don’t forget Otto Matic at Psychonauts HQ. This quirky vending machine is equipped with unique ways to make your brainstorming time a little easier. Pins are one of the main reasons you’ll want to play under Otto Matic, as they’ll give you plenty of improvements to your current skill list – or give Raz the ability to jump when you’re free.
Otto Matic is also where you’ll buy PSI Challenge Tokens and combine them with PSI Challenge Cards. So if you have a pack of cards with a hole in your pocket, be sure to visit Otto’s vending machine.
Early in your Psychonauts career, you’ll have access to the Collective Unconscious. This function acts as a central hub where you can revisit past locations and quests. And – if you don’t find every collection the first time – it’s well worth the time to come back a second time. Not only does this give you a chance to explore secret areas you might have missed, but it’s also likely that a new skill you’ve picked up on subsequent quests will provide access to previously locked locations.
If you feel like you don’t know what to do next, consider talking to NPCs in the area. Psychologist It’s a narrative game, and the people around you can often give you hints as to where you need to go next.
Even if they don’t impart any practical wisdom, the characters floating around Motherlobe have some of the best dialogue you’ll find in any game released in 2021. Take some time out of your day to chat with Psychonauts 2Quirky cast – there’s little chance you’ll regret it.