Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Until Dawn Tips, Tricks & Strategy Guide

Until Dawn is an interactive survival horror thriller video game developed by Sony, that is available exclusively for the Playstation 4. The concept of Until Dawn is that there are eight friends who are visiting a remote cabin and they are coming face to face with a killer. The difference between Until Dawn and other similar types of survival horror games is that there is a butterfly effect in this game. If you have ever seen the movie “Butterfly Effect” then you probably understand that concept and what that means. If you have not, then it is important to know the butterfly effect is when the choices that you make throughout an experience will determine multiple outcomes. In this game, you want to keep all eight of the people alive, but this is very hard to do, although you will find that there are certain tips and tricks that can help you make the right decisions to keep everyone alive and well.

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Collect the Totems and Clues- Collecting totems and clues in Until Dawn is very important, and it can help you avoid getting into trouble in the game. There are some situations where the totems and clues are required to enable you to save one of the characters in the game, and if you do not collect the totems and clues, your character could actually die.

Save Slots are Not an Option- In Until Dawn, you really have to make sure that you know there are no save slots within the game, anywhere in the game. This is because of the butterfly effect and the fact that the game is based on all decisions you make impacting several outcomes. Whatever you do on your first play is permanent, and how things turn out is completely up to you. Whether you have all of your characters living at the end or whether they all end up dying, the fact of the matter is, it is all up to you how things wind up.

Cut Scenes Are Also Important– Unlike a lot of other games, where you can let your guard down and just chill during the cut scenes, Until Dawn utilizes the cut scenes. This means that the cut scenes are just as important as other parts in the game, and there are a lot of QTEs that either could save your life or end up leading to your death. If you make just one mistake during this time, then you are basically done for, so it is not a time for you to sit back and let your guard down and hang out. Every part of this game is important and everything in this game, all of your choices and decisions, will forever impact all of your characters, whether it is in a bad way or a good way.

Never Wonder Off By Yourself- In Until Dawn, it is critical that you do not just go off somewhere by yourself, and this is because it can lead to some bad situations. Sometimes you might leave the group and wander off by yourself thinking it is all good, but in reality, it can lead to your death rather easily. On the contrary, staying with the group and not ever leaving any of the characters alone basically will never lead to your death or the death of any of your characters. So essentially, if you leave the group and wander off on your own, you have a pretty good chance of meeting death, but if you stay with the group, then you almost have a zero percent chance of dying.

Sometimes It is Best To Do Nothing- In Until Dawn, you have a lot of choices you have to make, as this game is all about making decisions to impact you and your group throughout the entire course of the game. The game will sometimes tell you to do nothing, and you should listen to the game when it tells you that, and indeed do nothing. On several different occasions, doing nothing in the game will actually save your life or the life of a character, and you will be surprised as just how often doing nothing actually helps you as opposed to hurts you. This is one game where sometimes your best bet is to just let something go, because doing something about a situation can lead to very serious and deadly outcomes, and you will find that this do nothing option actually comes up quite a bit.

Know What the Totems Do- There are a lot of totems in Until Dawn, and you will often find them all over the ground. You can inspect the totems by holding down the R2 button, which allows you to pick them up and turn them over. You need to know that there are five different types of totems, and each one of the totems plays a vital role in the game. If you try to find more of them, you will soon realize that the more you end up finding, the easier it becomes to avoid the maniac. There is a black butterfly totem, which is called death, and it foreshadows the death of the player. Keep this in mind because if you make a mistake with one item, it could very easily lead to your death or the death of another character in your group. There is also a red butterfly, which is the danger totem, and this foretells an event that is going to happen to this character. Although the red butterfly is not fatal, it does indicate something is upcoming and it could lead to quite a bit of trouble. The brown butterfly is known as loss, and it is showing that there will be a tragedy that will befall other friends of yours in the game. It is important to remember these totems because although you do not know who the tragedy will happen to, it is going to be happening sooner than later. The yellow butterfly is for guidance, and this offers you visions that can help your character and other characters in the game, and these are the least disturbing of all of the totems that you will find. The last totem is the white butterfly, which is fortune, and you will end up learning about your current character and the choices that she or he could make in various situations.

Do Not Shoot the Squirrel- A little tip for you when you get control of Chris, which can help you out a lot. Once you get control of Chris, you will find yourself at the target range, and you will be able to shoot some targets when you are at the range. One of the targets that will come up for you is a squirrel, but it is important that you do not shoot the squirrel. Obviously you can shoot the animal and see what happens once you do, but it is best for you and Chris that you do not shoot this animal, as it could lead to a dangerous situation for Chris.

Find Clues- In Until Dawn, you will find clues that are in various areas around the cabin, and clues are basically little pieces of information that will start to tell you who the killer in the game could be. The clues will also give you a backstory about a part of the game, which is about the disappearance of the two little twin sisters. Obviously, if you track down more clues, you will end up learning more about the backstory and you will learn more clues to help you figure out the killer. The clues are in every nook and cranny, and they will be highlighted by a light-up icon when you are walking nearby one or when you shine your flashlight into the right direction. You can also look at the clue page to see if there were any clues that you had missed during that chapter, and hunting for clues is definitely very detail oriented. You might think that looking for clues is such a cliche in horror films and video games, but it really does help you out because you will learn pieces of information with every clue you find, and that does help you in the game figure things out.

Always Use Your Gut- You will have to make a lot of decisions in this game, both that will be good decisions, and others will be bad decisions. Some decisions can lead to the death of your character or other characters, but other times the decision you makes will end up saving the life of you or someone else. There are multiple endings in the game, such as one where everyone lives and one where everyone dies, and just about everything in between. It is important that you always go with your gut and your instincts when making these decisions, because your gut is likely the best way to make a decision. You might have to make a decision such as whether you should fight a character for flirting with your girlfriend or whether you just should let it go. You have to think about what you think would be the best outcome for you in the game, and often times, thinking about what you would do in real life can help you make this decision. It is basically like you have to pick your battles so to speak, meaning, you need to know when to just let it go and move on or when to make a big deal about the situation. You also might have to make a decision about whether you try to hide under the bed or you try to get out through a door near you. Until Dawn is unique in this way because not every decision you make will be the right decision, even if you think in your gut or your heart that it is. This game is special because it puts everything on you in terms of how you play the game, and it all goes back to the choices you make for all of the situations you get yourself into, sometimes through no fault of your own.

The Counselor Requires Gut Decisions Too- There are in-between episodes in Until Dawn that are outside of what happens in the cabin. You will have to visit a counselor, and he will have you choose pictures that you fear or that make you happy, and he breaks down the feelings you have associated with each one. While you might not really think about it, all of these decisions that you make with the counselor and the tone of the visits, actually carry into the other parts of the game, and will impact the decisions you make rather subconsciously. You want to just go with your gut on these pictures too, and do not think too much about the pictures and what you should be choosing to make you sad or happy. You just need to go instantly with the feelings it gives you as soon as you see the pictures, and going with your gut will help you more naturally make your choices. Of course, the decisions that you make in this part also affects other parts of the game, and yes your choices might end up being wrong, even if you go with your gut, but that is what makes this game unique and fun.

There are Traps- It is important that in Until Dawn, you know there are traps, and you could easily get caught up in a trap. A lot of Hollywood horror film gurus are involved in the writing of this game, which means that they more than anyone else know how to get you right into the middle of a trap. There are a lot of jump scares you might see in the game, and certain points in the game will feel obviously like a trap. The key in this game is to think of it like this, if something really looks like it might be a trap, it probably is a trap, and you should avoid such a trap at all costs if you can. The trap might end up causing your character to die or one of the other characters, so just keep your eyes open for these situations and avoid them.

Facial Expressions are Important– When you are playing Until Dawn, it is crucial that you look at the facial expressions of the characters, because you can read a lot of information off of these expressions. If you think a character is hiding something or being sneaky, then it is a good idea to read that expression and it is not just a coincidence that there is a look of hiding on their face. Instead of just paying attention to what the characters are saying, you need to look at the facial expressions and body language, because watching how the character behaves is going to be one of the best ways to read what the intent of that person might be, and it might also foreshadow an event. You also want to be careful though because sometimes you will not have all of the information to make the right decision, and sometimes you have to make the decision in a second. So while you need to pay attention to facial expressions and body language, you can’t spend too long thinking about it or trying to read into it because sometimes you might be reading something out of nothing.

Stay Still When Required- There are quick-time events in Until Dawn that you will have to pay attention to, and during these events you will need to keep completely still. There are situations where you have to remain completely still because someone might notice you even if you move an inch, and it is vital that you make sure you do not get noticed. After a really brutal segment, you might be shaking and be scared, and during these times it is a good idea to have your legs support you if you are in the middle of sitting down and are worried that you will end up moving. You also can lean on something to keep still if you need to just so you can get through that intense segment of the game, and this could end up saving your life or the life of another character.

Pay Attention to Small Things- In this game, it is hard to really pay attention to all of the details because there are so many. The trick though is that you need to try to pay attention to the minor details, because the minor details are probably the best way to figure out what is going on in the game, and what might be happening next. The premise of the game is the butterfly effect, which in theory, means that all decisions you make even though they seem like nothing at the time, will have a huge impact on you and on the things around you. It might take a while to understand how to pay attention to the small details, but pretty soon into the game you will find out what to look for when it comes to the things you should be paying attention to.

Go Through the Game More Than Once- Until Dawn is a very detail-oriented game, and it will likely lead to you having a hard time making all of the right decisions. Since everything goes off the butterfly effect, it is more than likely that you will only end up saving one or two characters the first time through the game. Do not be too hard on yourself because it is hard to save everyone the first time through the game, especially if you have a hard time knowing what is right or wrong. It might take you going through the game four or five times before you end up saving everyone in the game, and the more you go through the game, the more of the small details you will find and remember which can help you make the right decisions as you progress in the game.


Jeanne Rose
Jeanne Rose lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a freelance writer since 2010. She took Allied Health in vocational school where she earned her CNA/PCA, and worked in a hospital for 3 years. Jeanne enjoys writing about science, health, politics, business, and other topics as well.


  1. Choosing to avoid wandering off by oneself is not really possible in Until Dawn. The structure of the game is such that the game determines whether you’re alone or not. The fact that the writer gets this so wrong leads me to suspect she has not actually played the game.

    • Actually there are certain scenes where you can choose whether or not a character leaves the group or not. An example is that when Sam and Whoever could be left (Emily, Ashley, Chris) are going down to the sewers and Chris says that his leg hurts and that he should stay behind. You, as Ashley can either leave him or make him come with the group. Also, when they’re in the sewers, Ashley will trail behind and find a different path down the tunnel from which she’ll hear what she believes to be Jess calling for help. You can choose whether or not she goes back to the group or not. (Sidenote: If Ashley DOES choose to investigate, you find out that it’s actually a Wendigo that was imitating Jess and it proceeds to rip her head of.) If you chose to leave Chris behind, then he’ll also have the choice of going down the tunnel or not.


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