Beginner’s guide to Neon White – Tips and tricks

The path to forgiveness starts here.

Neon White's cast

Image via Annapurna Interactive

With its combination of 3D platforming, first-person shooting, speedrunning, and relationship simulation, Neon White has plenty of different layers. Although it might be tempting to jump in and rush to beat your friends’ high scores on each level, you’ll most likely have a better time if you take a second to look at this multifaceted game from more than one angle. With that in mind, here are a few strategies to keep in mind as a new player, as well as some mechanics it might be easy to miss early on.

Don’t be afraid to start slow

It’s easy to overlook the benefits of learning a map by taking your first run or two more slowly, but a well-planned strategy really is better over the long term. Take note of all enemy placements, since areas without any are often open to skips. Also keep an eye out for opportunities to cut corners, since shortcuts will pay off much faster than simply trying to force your way through a standard route more quickly.

Take advantage of water

Screenshot by Gamepur

It isn’t made clear from the beginning of the game, but running on water increases your movement speed. As you’re shooting for a faster time, make sure to take advantage of the boost. This can be helpful even if the route becomes a little longer since the speed you gain from it is pretty significant.

Use quick resets

This is a simple tip that you might not be aware of at first. Instead of opening the menu and selecting the restart option from there, you can restart with one button press at any time in a run. To do this, press “-” on the Switch or “F” on PC.

A little Insight goes a long way

Screenshot by Gamepur

Insight is required for quite a few things in Neon White, whether it’s finding gifts for your friends, unlocking the global leaderboard for a stage, or even progressing to your next mission. It can also be your key to finding a faster path through a level that could cut down on your best time significantly. This is because getting enough Insight on a stage will unlock hints that show alternate routes you may have missed. These hints show up as a glowing hand on the level, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Avoid inefficient movement

Once you have a plan for your path through a stage, getting better scores mostly comes from cutting out any inefficiencies in a run. There is a multitude of things you can do to achieve this, and most of them will be different based on context, but there are a few best practices you should keep in mind.

  • Only jump when necessary, since your fall speed is incredibly slow, and you lose precise control of your movement while airborne.
  • Sometimes jumping for a platform earlier is better, as this can help you avoid stopping midair to land.
  • Avoid strafing from side to side unless necessary, since this slows you down. Moving your camera will usually be faster.
  • Always think a step or two ahead, especially when using discard abilities. Instead of only focusing on hitting your target, try to think in terms of setting up your next move with as little wasted movement as possible.

Related: How to use Discard Abilities in Neon White

Hoard cards while gift hunting

Screenshot by Gamepur

Tracking down gifts is a nice opportunity to look at each stage from a different perspective. There’s no need to go fast for these, and they often require using cards in creative ways. Because of this, try holding onto as many cards as possible during gift runs. You can do this by shooting enemies from afar, or better yet, by using your sword to chop them to bits.