6 Nier: Automata tips to help you survive

© Platinum Games / Square Enix
Our guide to survival will help you get the most out of Platinum's weird and wonderful PS4 game.
Written by Tom ReganPublished on
Nier: Automata is a weird and wonderful PlayStation 4 exclusive that's unlike anything else out there. A sequel to 2010’s Nier, this open-world action RPG sees players engaging in fast-paced combat as they embark on a bizarre journey through war-torn Earth.
Featuring genre-bending gameplay and a surprisingly unsettling story, it will have you and android protagonist 2B slowly getting to grips with its unique systems. Unfortunately, it’s not brilliant at explaining a lot of them, so in order to help you get the most out of this alluring world, we’ve put together six top tips.

1. Save as often as possible

With autosave becoming a reliable crutch for modern gamers, Nier: Automata’s more punishing approach to recording progress might come as a bit of a shock. As your make your way through Earth’s barren and hostile environments, you’ll need to activate access points in order to save your data.
While there’s a fairly solid narrative reason behind autosave’s omission, dying mid-mission can still result in some seriously frustrating repetition. Always try and search for access points in new areas, and whenever you’re in a place where saving is possible, make sure you do so. You’ll thank us later.

2. Stock up on healing items

With certain quests taking you deep into enemy territory without a save point in sight, you’ll also want to ensure that you have several healing items on hand. While combat in Nier: Automata is a lot of fun, as with other Platinum Games titles, it can also be incredibly challenging. With the game constantly trying to prise players out of their comfort zone, even areas that were once safe can soon become hostile. Don’t skimp out on buying restorative items when you can – you never know when you might need them.
A screenshot of Nier Automata
Combat can be tough in Nier Automata

3. Always upgrade your plug-in chips

In Nier: Automata, everything reflects the main character’s android nature – even its upgrade system. Instead of your bog-standard skill tree, upgrades work by inserting plug-in chips directly into 2B’s motherboard. While this is barely explained, ensuring that you have a good mix of attributes programmed into you is key to making it through the world intact.
HP chips are a must, enabling 2B to withstand more damage. Auto-heal is also incredibly handy, allowing you to automatically consume healing items when the going gets tough. Find a set-up that works for you, but be sure to swap out chips regularly to give yourself a fighting chance.

4. Save your money for motherboard storage upgrades

Speaking of chips, you’re going to want to save the bulk of your cash for those all-important motherboard upgrades. While exploring Nier’s post-apocalyptic world, you’ll find yourself slowly amassing a ton of money. Although you can also level up weapons and upgrade your POD companion at outposts, your earnings are best spent on chip storage.
With space on your circuit board limited, splashing out on more storage means you don’t have to make as many compromises when it comes to stats. While upgraded weapons are definitely handy, if you focus on equipping chips you’ll become a more balanced and deadly bot.
A screenshot of Nier Automata
You'll earn loads of money as you explore

5. Never leave a corpse behind

In a nod to Dark Souls, death in Nier: Automata sees you losing all your currently equipped plug-in chips. While it can often be a pain to have to track down your body if you died on the way to a quest, reclaiming those precious chips saves you from having to start your chipset again from scratch.
Turning on the online mode in the settings menu also lets you see the bodies of other players throughout your journey. Taking the time to either claim their chips or summon them to fight with you can be invaluable – so always keep an eye out for corpses.

6. Once the credits roll you’ve only just begun

Unlike most games, Nier Automata has a weird and wonderful approach to storytelling. As it features a different ending for every letter of the alphabet, putting the controller down after reaching the credits means missing out on half the story. 
With the world drastically changing on your second playthrough, new cut-scenes, quests and even types of gameplay open up to the player. As you keep your level and equipment, the second playthrough still feels like an appropriate challenge, too. While you’ll certainly enjoy the game if you only play it once, many of its mysteries are revealed when you come back for more.
Nie:r Automata is out now, exclusively on PlayStation 4
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