Lies of P is finally out for everyone. It’s a tough game – it’s a Soulslike, after all – and will test your skills in various ways. Bosses will enrage you, hidden secrets will delight you, and even the weakest puppet enemies will get the best of you sometimes. But we’ve beaten the game with more than 40 hours in it and have some tips we think will help you, Pinocchio, Geppetto, and everyone else survive the nightmare city that is Krat and its surrounding areas.
Perfect The Perfect Guard
On paper, Lies of P is very much going for a Bloodborne style, and while that’s true mechanically and narratively, there’s a lot of Sekiro in it, too, specifically with guarding. To guard against an enemy attack, press the left bumper. If you simply hold guard, you will take a little damage from enemy attacks, but still less than you would if you weren’t guarding. However, the damage you take will be a lighter hue of red in your health bar – by quickly attacking enemies after taking this damage, you can regain that health with the different shade of red.
But you can avoid worrying about that with the most essential component of Lies of P’s arsenal: the perfect guard. To perfect guard, hit the guard button right before an enemy’s attack lands, like you would with a parry. You’ll know you’ve perfectly guarded because there will be orange feedback at the point of contact, like a quick and bright flash. You won’t take any damage from a perfect guard; you’ll increase their stagger bar (which is invisible to you the entire game) and potentially break their weapon.
You Can Break Enemy Weapons
Speaking of breaking weapons, most enemies carrying a weapon can have that weapon destroyed by Pinocchio. You can do this by perfectly guarding their attacks. If you see orange feedback at the point of contact, like a quick and bright flash, you’ve successfully perfectly guarded an attack. Do this enough and the weapon will break. You’ll know when it happens because their blade will be visibly snapped and you’ll hear a distinctive sound we never got tired of hearing. Enemies will still attack you with their broken weapons but do significantly less damage. Depending on the weapon, the enemy might now have a much smaller range of attack with their weapon broken.
Stagger, Stagger, Stagger
You need to learn how to successfully perfect guard enemy attacks because of Lies of P’s stagger system. Every enemy has an invisible stagger bar that you will never see, but when the stagger bar is full, the enemy will be staggered and a white outline will appear. Their health bar will turn white, too. When you see this, use a charged attack (hold the right trigger down) to break their stagger, at which point, they’ll usually dip over for a few seconds. Look for the spot around them where the three orange-red slash marks on their body light up and press the right bumper to perform a fatal attack, which will deal a ton of damage.
For most enemies, that fatal attack spot is on their back or directly in front of them. For bosses, though, be careful – sometimes they perform several attacks before dipping over. And when dipped over, an orange-red circle on the ground will light up often. That’s where you need to stand to perform a fatal attack.
Be Prepared For Aggressiveness
Lies of P is an aggressive game. Enemies are aggressive, and various fights will demand aggression from you. Don’t think you’re safe with enemies because you’ve guarded one of their hits. Often, almost as if they’re in your head, enemies will slash at you multiple times in succession out of nowhere when you put your guard down. Stay aggressive in fights to prevent this (or stay highly defensive). But you must also be aggressive often to refill your Guard Regain health.
As we discussed above, when you block an attack without perfectly guarding it, you’ll take damage, but it will be represented by a lighter hue of red on your health bar. You can regain that health by damaging enemies, so when you have Guard Regain health to gain, go on the offense. Using a Pulse Cell charge (your healing item) will take your Guard Regain health into account and heal it, but overall, you’ll regain less health. Instead, get that Guard Regain health back first and use a Pulse Cell charge after to maximize your healing capability.
Search Out Optional Bosses
There are a handful of optional bosses in Lies of P. While you won’t get special cutscenes like you do with the main bosses, these are still challenges worth taking on. You’ll know you’re fighting an optional boss because, like main bosses, a giant health bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. You should seek out as many of these bosses as possible. Sometimes, you’ll earn costumes; other times, great consumable and throwable items, occasionally a weapon, and a Quartz almost every time. Quartz will allow you to upgrade Pinocchio in special ways, and you will want as much Quartz as possible.
Don’t Consume Ergo Chunks From Bosses
When you defeat the main bosses in Lies of P, you’ll receive special Ergo Chunks. You’ll know they’re special because of their name and because they are categorized into a separate area in your inventory (not with the regular Ergo Chunks you receive). Using these to get Ergo needed can be tempting, especially with how much Ergo they yield, but don’t do it. You will eventually meet an NPC wearing a hound mask who sells a lot of weapons and amulets. These are often weapons from bosses you’ve defeated and the only way to get a specific weapon or amulet is by trading him a specific Ergo Chunk. If you want to pick up some really unique weapons and amulets, save your Ergo Chunks from bosses for him.
Don’t Ignore Your Grindstone
The Grindstone is a device on Pinocchio’s left forearm. While at first it’s used to repair a weapon’s durability, it eventually becomes a way to imbue your weapon with an element like fire, acid, electricity, or even easier blocking capabilities. It rules and it’s not to be ignored.
Help Krat’s Citizens (Doing So Is Usually Pretty Easy)
There are various NPCs around Krat and its surrounding areas who need help. It might be a woman behind a window looking for a special bottle of wine or a performer who wants an apple. Regardless of what it is, make a point to get them the item they request. Usually, doing so won’t take much time and the rewards are always worth it.
Visit Hotel Krat Often
The Krat Hotel is your central hub in Lies of P. It’s where you level up, upgrade weapons, purchase new items, and more. It’s an expansive hub and more and more people call it home as you play through the game. You will likely visit it often to level up but do your rounds each time you’re there to talk to NPCs, check on new items in shops, and more. Lies of P makes it easy to see who you should talk to. When using the Stargazer to teleport to a new location, the menu will show you NPC heads next to “Hotel Krat” to indicate who has something new for you. Stop in whenever you can to talk to them.
Veer Off The Beaten Path
Sometimes, games reward you nicely for veering off the beaten path or the main path in this instance, and sometimes they don’t. Fortunately, Lies of P falls into the former party. Veering off the main path in Lies of P is how you find many things: additional costumes, chests, NPCs, secret bosses, and more. It’s pretty much always worth your time to explore that side alley or go down that ladder.
Talk To NPCs Until They Repeat Themselves
This is a Soulslike mainstay, but if Lies of P is your first time dabbling in this action subgenre, talk to NPCs multiple times until they repeat themselves. When you speak to an NPC, their dialogue will end, giving you the illusion that they’ve said everything. But that’s seldom the case. Try talking to them again; they’ll usually have more to say. Keep talking to them until they repeat themselves, which is your indicator they’ve said all they have to say.
Experiment With Weapons (And Be Patient With Weapon Upgrades)
There are a lot of weapons in Lies of P, and on top of that, most weapons can be broken down into a blade and a handle. This gives you the opportunity to craft new weapons by attaching this blade to that handle, and the result is a totally new type of weapon. Maybe you like a fire dagger but find it’s too short for the kind of attack range you prefer – try putting that fire dagger blade on a different handle that’s longer. You can do this with every weapon you pick up except for special weapons, which are categorized separately.
You should experiment with different weapon builds often and take your time doing so. You will get a lot of weapon upgrade material, but after 40 hours, I could only fully upgrade a regular weapon and a special weapon. Be patient with weapon upgrades and don’t commit to upgrading one until you really feel like it’s the one, because there’s a good chance you’ll only be able to upgrade one weapon fully and you want to make sure it’s the one you plan on using for the rest of your journey through Krat.
If You’re Feeling Confident, Give A Technique Build A Try
After talking with several others who have beaten the game, the general consensus is that a Technique build for Pinocchio is like playing the game on hard mode. I usually roll with Strength builds as I like the cushion of having a lot of HP that generally comes with these kinds of builds. But for whatever reason, I went Technique (before players had collectively agreed Technique was a challenging but rewarding build). Technique builds make Pinocchio fast and agile but quick to die due to lower HP, although you can always just spec your HP up. However, it’s an excellent build for critical hits and staggering, which benefitted me greatly during my 40 hours with Lies of P. Try a Technique build if you feel confident as a Soulslike player or want something more complex.
You Can Respec Pinocchio, But Not Until Way Later
You can respec Pinocchio in Lies of P, but be warned – this system won’t be available until later. I actually beat the game without discovering how to do this, but now that I know how, I can say you unlock the ability to respec about 60% of the way through the game. I mention this because pretty early on, you’ll have an idea of the direction your build is going in and you’ll want to commit to it because you won’t be able to fix build mistakes until you’re much farther along in Lies of P.
Use Consumables And Throwables Liberally
It’s easy to forget how useful consumables and throwables can be in a Soulslike – the fun is whacking enemies with your hammers, slashing them with swords, and more. But do not sleep on these items in Lies of P. On the consumables side, you will be forced to use them as you fight enemies that can quickly inflict Overheat, Shock, Corruption, and more, all effects you’ll want to get rid of ASAP. Some items do just that, and some items make it harder for enemies to inflict these statuses on you. Use them.
And on the throwables side, you’ll pick up various items that inflict those same status effects on enemies. Your Legion Arm and Grindstone can do the same thing, but those require a little more time and effort, whereas tossing the equivalent of an electric grenade to inflict Electric Shock on an enemy is quick (and you can do it from far away, too).
Don’t hoard these items – you’ll get many and should use them.
If You Feel Like A Boss Is Impossible, You’re Not Perfect Guarding Enough
There are a lot of easy bosses in Lies of P; there are also a lot of hard ones, too. Something I noticed about halfway through my first playthrough, during a boss absolutely meant to be a skill check for players, is that I wasn’t focusing enough on perfect guarding, which is essentially the game’s parry mechanic (discussed further above on this list). There is a boss halfway through Lies of P that effectively serves to say, “Hey, have you nailed perfect guarding? Because if not, I will beat you repeatedly, and so will all the bosses after me.”
If a boss feels impossible, it’s probably because you aren’t using perfect guard enough. Perfect guarding prevents you from losing health and leads to quick staggers against enemies, and various boss fights can be finished quickly with a few staggers-to-fatal-attack combos.
Use Elemental Weaknesses
Use elemental weaknesses to your advantage. There’s electricity, fire, acid, and more. Most enemies can be hit with one of these kinds of elemental weaknesses and doing so will lead to prolonged (and constant) damage, easy staggering, and quick takedowns. To keep it simple, use electricity if it’s a puppet or looks like one. Use fire if it’s not a puppet or something more human-like. And acid works well on pretty much anyone and anything, especially bosses.
Listen To Every Record You Get, In Full
This mechanic is better off learned on your own, but I’ll say this: when you listen to a record, listen to it in full. Don’t leave Krat Hotel until the record is done playing (but feel free to explore the hotel while it plays – you don’t have to stay near the record player).
Left Is Lie
Throughout Lies of P, you can tell the truth or lie when asked specific questions. Your answers will change some things. To keep it simple for you, the answer that appears on the left is almost always the lie. If you want to stay truthful the entire time, stick to the answer on the right.
Solve Cryptic Vessels
Throughout your Lies of P journey, you’ll find various Cryptic Vessels. These clues lead to specific locations in Krat and once you reach those locations, there’s a unique item or chest to find. Solve all of the Cryptic Vessels you receive – they’re quick and easy, and the reward is worth it.
Full Story Via Game Informer