Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR


Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Featured Image

The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR is the spiritual successor to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Which is to say that it is a thrilling, engaging, on-rails shooter. However, while you are more than capable of fighting back while you ride this twisted, terror-infused rollercoaster, you will still be met with a number of genuine threats.

Related: Greatest Rail-Shooter Games Of All Time, Ranked

Indeed, Switchback is more than happy to flood the screen with baddies, coming at you from every angle, and lobbing projectiles at you from afar. It is a great time, but it can also be a genuine challenge. On the plus side, we have compiled a number of tips and tricks that will help you have the very best experience possible.


Play Seated, But Select Standing

Maybe you furrowed your brow a little after reading the title of this section. That’s understandable. But here is the thing, the parameters for the seated VR setting are, at the time of writing, not large enough for most adults. This means that when you fully extend your arms, you are going to run up against that virtual wire-frame cage. Which is SUPER immersion-breaking.

Since you cannot currently alter the seated VR parameters, you are far better off customizing your own play area. Just sit down, select the standing play area option, and when you adjust the play area, push the boundaries so that your zone reaches behind your couch. It is a touch janky, but the end result is a much smoother play experience.

We didn’t want to give more setup stuff another entry, so we’ll just add this tip here… Make sure you can fully extend both arms outward. You don’t want to backhand a piece of furniture during gameplay. It sucks.

On a related note, if you have children, you need to explain to them that you can’t see anything, and that you are going to swing your arms around. Make sure they know that “pranks” would be ill-advised, as they may accidentally end up in the “danger zone”. You don’t want your seven-year-old catching a straight right.

Stabilize And Squint

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Stabilizing your shots with your other arm

You know when you watch an action film and the hero has their gun arm resting on their forearm as they aim? Well, guess what? That actually hugely helps to stabilize your shots. So, when you need to make a distant shot, stabilize your gun by resting the arm holding the gun you are aiming with on your other forearm. Similarly, closing one eye so that you can better line up your shots with the iron sights of your pistol will dramatically improve your accuracy.

Now, you have two guns, and the game is going to make sure you use them, but when you aren’t being swarmed, you are far better off sacrificing one of them to help line your shots up better. This is especially true for when you see those glowing pentagrams in the distance. Improving your stability will help you hit those more consistently.

You Don’t Have To Look Where You Shoot!

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Shooting behind you

Do you want to talk about a game-changer? It is this piece of advice right here. If you are playing a traditional game, you need to look where you are shooting. The two actions are synonymous. That is not true in VR. You can look in one direction while firing in the other.

Have you noticed that you are getting surrounded by new enemies while you are still trying to take care of the last one? Are baddies frequently getting the jump on you? Well, next time you are unloading into an abomination, instead of making loving eye contact with them, keep firing, but also glance to your right and your left. This will instantly improve your ability to control the waves of enemies.

Destroy Everything

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Shooting bottles

Obviously, you are going to be aiming for the stuff that has those glowing pentagram markers on them, but while all the other items strewn about may be worth fewer points, they are still worth points. So, if you see something can be destroyed, then you should destroy it.

However, one thing you should keep in mind is that while the game doesn’t give you a score based on your accuracy, your score multiplier will drop if you miss too many shots. However, you still shouldn’t be afraid to unload. You are going to be zipping around the track sometimes. You aren’t going to be able to snipe every item when you are going a hundred miles per hour. It is all about picking your moments to unload wisely.

Headphones Really Help

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, PSVR2 with headphones

Look, we get it, maybe you have obligations at home that make it irresponsible to block out everything in your environment. If that is the case, Switchback being a seated game will at least make it easier for a surround sound system to be relatively effective. You can select those settings in the options menu. However, wearing headphones while you play gives you a greatly enhanced sense of presence, it will also make it significantly easier to tell when enemies are approaching you from the side.

Another thing to consider is that there are sections in the game where you need to be quiet. If you are playing without headphones, then the PSVR2 helmet is going to pick up those sounds on the mic, and it is going to blow your cover. However, you can choose to mute the mic, so if headphones aren’t an option, that is a workaround.

Weapons Stack

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Collecting a new weapon

You may find yourself in a situation where you already have two special weapons, and there is another weapon box available. If you shoot said weapon box with a weapon of the same type, it will just refill your ammo supply. However, if you have a weapon of another type, it will replace your current weapon, but you won’t lose it!

When your current special gun runs out of ammo if you had another special weapon in the same hand before you picked that one up, it will be returned to you. So, you never have to be afraid of “losing” your current special weapon. There is no reason to not shoot open those crates!

Give ‘Em The Ol’ One Two

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Smacking A Zombie

So, don’t get us wrong, you want to use your guns whenever possible, but if an enemy is already in your face, then you can push them off and then unload into them. You’re not Rocky, this isn’t an on rails boxing title, but this is a useful tactic for getting a little distance. Especially when you are in need of an ammo refill.

So, if you ever have a two-headed ghoul pop up in front of you and you smack you silly, and you are wondering what you are supposed to do, pushing them off can be a viable solution.

Fight To Your Weapon’s Strengths

Dark Pictures Switchback VR, Shredding a two-headed zombie with uzis

One of the biggest mistakes players are likely to make early on is getting two fully-automatic pistols and squeezing both triggers as they fumble their favorite Scarface quotes. Which, undeniably, is a lot of fun. But hey, guess what? Only, like, twenty percent of those bullets hit, and now the undead are getting unsettlingly close to your coaster.

For guns like the uzis, you are far better off letting enemies get close before you unload into them. That way all the bullets will actually land, shredding enemies. This won’t always be possible—such as in the first boss battle—but when it is, this approach will allow you to get more bang for your buck.

Since the special weapons are limited use, if you end up in a scenario where you have a standard pistol in the other hand, you should try to use that for most of your scenery-destroying shenanigans.

Next: The Best First-Person Shooters On The PlayStation VR

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