If you’ve finished Solar Ash and unlocked Hardcore Mode, then you’re ready to take on the game’s hardest difficulty level. Each one ramps up the challenge by further shortening the timer for boss fights and clearing anomalies. On lower difficulty levels, there’s some room for error — you can usually recover from a small fumble.
That’s not the case at all with Hardcore Mode. The timer is essentially only the exact amount of time needed to perfectly execute a boss strategy or black ooze run, so you’re going to need to be on point all the time. With that in mind, here are a few tips to hopefully make the hardest difficulty setting just a touch easier.
Know your route. Some trial and error is expected in Solar Ash, and although the weak points are different for every anomaly and boss fight, they aren’t random. Knowing exactly what point you need to hit next will help you better angle your jumps and boost to get there in time. The only penalty is having to try again.
Never stop skating. This should go without saying, but Rei should always be skating. Her regular movement isn’t even enough to maneuver around the regular map. Hold down that skate button at all times so that you’re never wasting a second.
Spam those boosters. Likewise, it’s best to always hammer on the boosters. The quick burst of extra speed they give is required on Hardcore Mode — you won’t hit every point with skating alone, even if you never let off. Similarly, remember that you can hit the booster button while climbing for a quick leap upward. This is much faster than normal climbing and will help you clear quite a few challenges.
Equip Verse’s Suit. Collecting all Voidrunner caches in Ironroot Basin unlocks Verse’s Suit, and it’s the most important of the standard suits for Hardcore Mode, as it shortens the cooldown on your boosters. With it, you can spam those speed boosts more frequently. Change suits by visiting Cyd if you don’t already have it equipped.
Remember to Timeslip. Finally, don’t forget to Timeslip. While it’s required to reach certain grapple points, it can also help you out other times by extending the reach of your grappling hook. This can zip you much further, much faster and will help you clinch certain boss fights and anomalies. Plus, you can realign yourself for a better angle to the next weak point while time is slowed.
With these tips, you should have a better chance at finishing Solar Ash on Hardcore Mode. We’re not going to pretend it’s easy even with all this in mind — it is the ultimate challenge in the game, after all — but it’s the best chance we can give you.