[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.]
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales arrives on the PS4 and as a launch-day title for Sony’s PS5 tomorrow, but some lucky gamers already have a copy on hand. (We happen to be among those lucky few; you can check out Dorian Parks‘ review of the new Spidey title on the PS5 here, or read on for more.) If you’re one of the millions of fans looking to fight alongside Miles on his standalone adventure, you’re in good company. And we have some basic starter tips to make your gameplay as easy as swinging down the street.
Of course, we always recommend that you just jump into whatever game you’re playing and immerse yourself in the experience. It’s the best way, in our opinion, to really enjoy the game. But sometimes our mistakes can save you some pain along the way, so if we can help out in some fashion, we’d be happy to do so. The following tips and tricks might just save you some frustrating moments, help you clear that objective or nab that trophy a bit sooner, or prove to be the all important difference between life and death in Miles Morales.
Let’s start swingin’!
Play Marvel’s Spider-Man
Now technically you don’t have to have played 2018’s excellent title Marvel’s Spider-Man, but boy is it going to help you understand the story, the characters, the setting, the powers, the controls … pretty much everything. Luckily, Miles Morales has a video recap just for the folks who need a refresher even if they haven’t played through Peter Parker’s part of the story. It’s not going to give you a leg up on the controls of Miles — who are strikingly similar to those of Peter, with some important differences — but it will fill you in on the broad strokes of the all-important story.
However, watching the video recap alone means you miss out on the fantastic story of Spider-Man and its particulars in this world. It ties in perfectly well to Miles Morales, a standalone spinoff title that is worthy on its own but also feeds back into the larger Spider-Man story … it might even offer some hints as to what’s coming next in the Insomniac Games franchise. It suffices to say that only playing Miles Morales is certainly a fun option, but it’s only half the experience.
Complete Peter Parker’s Combat Training Challenges
Now that we’ve got that obvious one out of the way, here’s a more story-specific tip for you: Don’t ignore your mentor Peter Parker or his holographic training simulations. Since this is Miles’ story to experience, it shouldn’t be surprising that Pete’s out of the picture for the most part. However, he’s watching out for his protege in more ways than one. The most obvious one is a series of combat challenges that are scattered around the city. Completing them early on in the story unlocks melee, stealth, and specially powered skills that will make your life a lot easier down the road. Plus, since Miles’ abilities differ slightly from Peter’s, you’ll want to get a hang of them ealrier than later. And you don’t have to spend a token (in-game currency) to get them! Just beat the (relatively) easy challenges and move on.
But there’s a bonus here, too! Not only will Miles get a variety of skills to add to his repertoire (along with some cute chats with a hologram of Pete), you’ll get to relive a pivotal moment in the original Spider-Man’s early superhero life; I won’t ruin just what that is here. And like lots of other achievements in Miles Morales, you’ll be rewarded with both game trophies and a unique costume in which to style Miles. It’s worth it, and it’s pretty easy (minus the melee combat / dodge challenge …)
Clear That Map & Upgrade Your Tech
This one’s probably obvious to anyone who’s ever played a map-clearing action-adventure game, RPG, or otherwise, but clearing your map gives Miles the edge when it comes to combat. And there will be a lot of combat in your future. Some of the many missions available throughout the game will get a little tedious — base-clearing will do that — so the more tools you have in your kit, the more varied you can make your playstyle, and the more fun you’ll probably have overall. (Oh, and for the aforementioned base clearing: Stealth is your friend. You can go in all powered-up, but if you wipe, you’ll have to start all over!) But obviously there are other reasons to clear your map rather than just mopping up crime and making New York a safer place.
Map clearing is how you earn in-game currency, various tokens used to upgrade your equipment, unlock suits, and unlock and upgrade your gadgets. You’ll also earn experience while doing this, so it’ll raise your level and give you more skill points to use on powerful abilities along the way. And while practicing your many and varied moves (and combos combos combos!) on trash mobs (who get progressively more difficult) will help you survive the later stages, it’ll also unlock some surprising trophies for you along the way.
But there’s also a strong undercurrent of exploration in Miles Morales. Miles has moved from Brookyln to Harlem, so the setting is still the same in the broad sense but very different in the local community sense. And that makes all the difference when it comes to this game’s characters and story; get to know them by answering their calls for help, however silly they may seem at the time. Thankfully, the game has some wonderful side mission options throughout the telling of the story, often offered by important characters; these aren’t necessary for finishing the main plot but they are absolutely essential if you want to enjoy the full range of emotion and experience in Miles Morales. Exploring the map might just reveal some emotional touchstones as well, so keep an eye out!
Play Around With All Available Menu Options
Another obvious one here, along with one less obvious tip. The Miles Morales menu is a stripped-down version of the skill trees and gear menu from Spider-Man, though not by much. There are no “suit powers” in this one, but the mods remain. Once you’ve cleared the map and gotten your hands on as many tokens as you can, unlocking and upgrading everything at your fingertips, feel free to mix and match your mods to suit your style (there are some, shall we say, purely cosmetic options which are an absolute blast) or a specific mission (stealth vs style vs smash ’em up).
In addition to unlocking suits, mods, gadgets, skills, and special moves, you’ll also find your missions and collectibles in the menu system. But don’t ignore the social feed; you might just find something special if you keep an eye on that seemingly infinite scroller by the time you beat the game…
Again, another obvious one, but it’s easy to get bogged down in the technical achievements and objectives of Miles Morales. It’s more important to have fun, in my opinion, and Miles Morales actually makes this easier than even Spider-Man did. The story carries just as much emotional weight as before, but Miles carries it with an ease and charm that even Peter Parker struggles to match. The most obvious difference in the two titles can be seen in Miles’ style, everything from the way he dresses, to the way he swings, fights, emotes, and comments during combat and conversations. It’s an easier, breezier Spider-Man, even if his burdens are great and his responsibilities are, at times, too much for him to bear. That doesn’t mean that you, the player, has to shoulder them.
Miles Morales makes it easier than ever to be a superhero. Just take a breath, hit Retry, and go again. Before you know it, you’ll have cleared every inch of this super-fun game. (And we’ll have more specific notes on just how to do that in the days and weeks ahead, so stay tuned!)