While Studio MDHR demands near flawless performance to defeat the Devil’s foes, we hope these tips and tricks from those of us who have actually beaten Cuphead can help new and intermediate players get the upper hand as you wipe away your debt.
Map Your Gun to a Trigger
If you map your gunfire to a trigger you’ll have more freedom to jump and hit the other face buttons without every letting up on your stream of fire.
Don’t Buy Health Upgrades
Buying more health makes your attacks weaker. It’s not worth your money.
Don’t Skip the Run & Gun Levels
While Cuphead only needs to kill the bosses to advance the game, partaking in the side scrolling levels will allow you to collect five coins per level (two levels per world). These coins can be used at Porkrind’s Emporium to buy new guns and skills, which are called charms.
No Kill Run & Gun Levels
You don’t have to kill anything in the six non-boss levels. You can safely make it through each level without firing a shot, but you’ll need Smoke Bomb to make it easier. Beating all 6 Run & Gun levels will give unlock a special olde tymey mode!
Talk to All Characters
Sometimes the overworld characters will give you coins just for talking to them.
Spend those Coins!
At Porkrind’s Emporium, there are six different guns that vary in power, range, and speed. Combined with the charms that provide skills like an invincibility dodge or extra hearts.
Equip two guns
Cuphead starts out with a little gun called “peashooter.” It’s called that for a reason. After spending your coins at Porkrind’s Emporium, Hit Y on the Xbox controller on the map screen to adjust your loadout. If you are stuck on a boss, try shaking up your weapons.
Use LB on the Xbox controller in fights to swap between them — or whatever you’ve mapped to the swap button.
Smoke Bombs are your Best Friend
Cuphead is not as forgiving as his promo art would lead one to believe. One item in particular is quiet handy though–the Smoke Bomb Charm. This makes you invincible while dodging and is, quite frankly, invaluable. Make sure to buy it ASAP!
Practice Your Parries at the Mausoleum
Parrying is an essential skill. Tapping A during a jump on a pink object gives you extra airtime while filling your super meter. The tutorial lets you briefly practice, but the mausoleums are the best place to practice with their all pink ghost enemies. If you parry them all and save the jar in the middle, a trophy ghost lady will grant you a super move. Max out your super meter to use them! This is a great way to sharpen your parry skills and power up!
Parrying isn’t just an escape maneuver – you need to parry at least three times to get the highest grade in any level.
Bullet Hell Dodging
In flight-based battles, don’t forget you have the ability to miniaturize (Y on the Xbox controller, or your Dash button) and move faster — it’s close to essential for bullet hell attacks.
Super Art Bomb
In flight-based battles, your Super Art — turning into a giant bomb — is a huge damage dealer, and probably more valuable than your regular special attacks. Try an activate it directly next your target so you don’t get hit and waste it.
Best Ammo For Bosses
- “Fiery Frolic” – Make sure you bring in the Roundabout ammo so you can shoot backwards while still running away in phases 2 and 3.
- “Honeycomb Herald” – Chaser ammo helps you hit the boss’ third phase constantly while still negotiating moving platforms.
- “Dramatic Fanatic” – The Smoke Bomb upgrade makes dodging Sally Stageplay’s most difficult third phase attack, the Big Wave, absolutely no problem.
Phase Change Weakness
Some bosses keep taking damage during phase change animations, meaning you can make their next phase a little shorter by continuing to pummel them.
Use Audio Cues in the Music to your Benefit
Some enemies appear after an audio cue during a battle. If you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear the audio cue and attack accordingly.
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