Metroid Dread
Image: Nintendo

The Metroid series, by its very nature, can be a really challenging experience. These games are labyrinthian puzzle boxes of death and dead ends that require you to explore, use your map, backtrack and get very well acquainted with every nook and cranny of their worlds.

Metroid Dread has all of this and it brings plenty of tough boss fights and enemies to the table too. In order to ease you into this experience, especially if you're a newcomer to the franchise, we've come up with eight tips to remember as you play.

Tips for Getting Started in Metroid Dread

1. Don't Stress About Collectibles

Metroid Dread is jam-packed full of collectable Missile Tanks, Energy Parts, Energy Tanks and more. You'll see these things poking out from lots of little nook and crannies as you explore ZDR and, especially in the beginning, very few of them will actually be reachable. Don't get stressed about it, don't let it ruin your fun or slow down your adventure here.

The fact is that grabbing all of the upgrades and bits and pieces in Metroid Dread is something you'll only actually be able to fully do at a very late stage in the game, practically right at the end, and you are given the opportunity to go back and clear the whole world before finishing your playthrough.

With the constant backtracking that's inherent in this genre you'll constantly revisit earlier areas when Samus is more powered up and this is the time to take a little wander and see if you can't get your hands on a few things. Also note that this game's map highlights the position of every collectable you encounter, you don't need to remember where they are in order to go back and grab them later. Relax, enjoy the story and push forward, the collectables will be there when you're good and ready.

2. Use The Map

Metroid Dread's map is a fantastic thing in that it remembers everything you stumble upon, as we already noted, so all collectables will be highlighted automatically as you encounter them. But there's more! This map also shows you all door types, charge points, save rooms and obstacles in areas you've been in and it lets you zoom in and see exactly what kind of barriers are in your way so you know what abilities you need to move in any given direction.

You can use little coloured markers to highlight a specific place you want to get to so a waypoint shows up on your HUD map as you play. Even better, if you jump into the full map and hover over any door type, charge station or save room, you can choose to "highlight icons" which will automatically highlight every other icon of that type, making it super easy to plan out routes and help you navigate a path forward. Use this map to the full extent of its abilities!

Metroid Dread
Image: Nintendo Life

3. Shoot and Blow Up Everything

There will come a point in Metroid Dread where you'll be able to scan environments in order to uncover secret routes and destroyable terrain but, in these early days, the best advice we can give, advice that's been true since this series first started, is to shoot and bomb every wall and floor and ceiling as you run through areas. Wreck the place! You'll discover collectables doing this, but more importantly, it can be necessary at points in order to make progress in the story. If you get really stuck, backtrack and blow stuff up, you'll eventually find your way forward.

4. Listen To Adam and Check Your Log

Your ship's AI, ADAM, will pop up at points during the campaign and you need to listen up as he often provides little nuggets of information on what exactly you need to do next. We got ourselves unstuck a few times by re-reading his conversations in the menu's log and when you find yourself at a dead-end this can be a life-saver. He's not just a computer...thing.

Metroid Dread
Image: Nintendo Life

5. Counter The E.M.M.I.s

Yes, you're terrified, yes it's better to run away, but sometimes (millions of times) you're going to get cornered and attacked by an E.M.M.I as you sneak through its zone. When this happens you'll get two signposted chances to escape from the robot's clutches, stunning it momentarily so you can run off and hide. These chances are brutally hard to take as the timings change up randomly. However, don't just give up and resign yourself to your fate. Concentrate and try your best to nail these counter opportunities and you may just survive a brush with death and make it out of the zone you're in successfully!

6. Make Use Of Save Rooms and Recharge Stations

Every area in the game has save rooms and various coloured stations that give you ammo restocks, health refills and even full restocks of everything. Make use of them! Use the map to highlight every one in your area so you can get fixed up when necessary and please save at every opportunity, you don't want to have to re-run a bunch of tricky collectables because you forgot to save your game while treasure hunting (it was very painful).

7. Find The Map Room

Every area in the game has a map room where Samus will download great big chunks of the surrounding world. These regions will appear as featureless coloured area on your map once you do this and it's of vital importance in showing you where you should, or could, be headed next. Make finding map rooms a priority.

8. Control Units

If you want to take down an E.M.M.I you're going to have to find its associated Control Unit. The rooms containing these mini-bosses can be found by searching high and low around E.M.M.I zones. Find the Control Units, kill them, juice up your launcher and go kill yourself the local E.M.M.I so you can then freely explore their zone without fear.

Metroid Dread
Image: Nintendo Life

This guide is part of our Metroid Dread walkthrough and guide series, which includes all ability locations, all missile tank locations, all energy tank locations, all energy parts, all suit upgrades, all power bomb tanks, plus every compatible amiibo unlock, E.M.M.I. and boss battle tips, and other helpful tips to help you get through the game and get those post-game unlocks.