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20 Tips for Saints Row IV

By Jeff Buckland, 8/21/2013

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Saints Row IV is finally here, and it's a big game with a lot of things to do. We'll try and give you some tips to help you get on-task early, as well as some info on how to beat a few of the game's tougher activities as well as how to get some good firepower going.

Grab Clusters: As soon as you finish the primary quest to get super powers, tons of Data Clusters will appear all around the map. While it might be tempting to drive everywhere early on, I can promise you that super powers will move you around much more quickly overall. I recommend you start grabbing clusters early by taking the rooftops - you'll need them for upgrades pretty soon! Just, don't go too crazy - many power upgrades aren't attainable until you reach a certain level or point in the story, so you might as well get only as many clusters as you need, then go for more clusters when your upgraded powers make it even easier to reach the next set you need.

Which Clusters Can I Get?: You might be wondering why you can't get all available clusters near the beginning of the game, so here's what you can get and when. The floating clusters can be gotten without any powers and appear early in the story after you get Super Jump and Super Sprint. The ones that are inside walls (not in the ground!) can be gotten with your Blast power. You'll have to wait until you get Telekinesis for the clusters in the floating balls, and finally, you need the Stomp power to grab the ones that are stuck inside the ground or floors.

Play How You Want, but Superpowers Rule: Super Sprint and Jump are pretty much objectively the best overall way to move around the Steelport simulation. They render vehicles nearly obsolete. And while you'll still need guns to take down a lot of enemies, combining them with your active powers should be something you're almost constantly doing. With that said, it's important to at least know how to aim your guns properly, because some missions later on in the game will take away your powers.

Active Powers: You'll eventually get four active superpowers: Blast, Telekinesis, Stomp, and Buff. What's important to note about them is that their cooldowns regenerate independently, so you can quickly swap back and forth after using them in order to get more use out of your powers. This is especially useful against Wardens, whose shields can regenerate before some of your powers actually refresh.

Superpowered Melee: If you want some flashy and useful one-hit kills on cops and aliens, try charging with super sprint and mashing your melee attack button (or if you are on Unarmed in weapon selection, your fire button works too) to get some superpowered melee beatdowns going. You'll need to get used to how it works since you have to sprint a couple of steps before it works, but you can chain super-melee attacks together to take out groups of enemies (one at a time) with almost no danger. Why? Because generally, you're invincible during the melee attack animation, and you can grab health from enemies while doing it.

Upgrade Conventional Guns: Some story missions will leave you without superpowers with only guns like an assault rifle, pistol, or SMG in your hands. In this case, it's important to put at least a few upgrades into these guns to make these missions easier.

Getting the Dubstep Gun: Here's a quick rundown of how to get the Dubstep Gun as quickly as possible. Complete the game's full prologue, get into Steelport, and do primary missions until you leave the Steelport simulation and come back. Keith David will then have optional quests for you to complete; the first group of them will reward you with the Dubstep Gun when you return to the ship to complete it with Keith. It's a great gun, so put some cash in to upgrade it and you'll have a gun you can rely on pretty heavily throughout the entire game!

Blast & Dubstep Gun: You can fire your Blast superpower while firing your Dubstep Gun and not actually interrupt the firing of the gun. You can use them together constantly - this is especially useful against Wardens with shields, as you can hold the fire button to warm up the Dubstep Gun, and just as it's about to start firing, hit the Warden with a Blast to pop his shield.

Charging Super Jump: When you use a super jump, remember that you can hold down your jump button in mid air to pre-charge your next super jump for essentially a 15-story bunny hop. This is especially handy early in the game when super sprint eats up a ton of stamina.

Movement is King: If you find yourself surrounded by enemies, use your superior movement to reset the fight. Super sprint away (you almost always have enough room to get onto a roof or around a corner) and you can restore health, figure out a better active power to use, or just get a breather. Plus, the enemies that were surrounding you will now slowly come towards you one or two at a time. This is a great tactic in case you get overwhelmed during Virus Injection, Flashpoint, or Hotspot events.

Optional Missions: If you plan on getting 100% completion in this game, that involves doing every single activity on the map. The side quests given by your crew members later in the game involve cleaning up these optional missions, and if the optional missions they're about to assign are already complete, you can pick up a quest from them and then turn it in instantly. What might be better, though, is to do the optional missions normally rather than as post-finale cleanup, as the upgrades your crew members give you can be made use of earlier than if you wait until the end of the game to clean up the objectives and side quests.

Cache Transfer: Get the Cache Transfer and Extra Cache upgrades early, as they will pay off before you even get four or five hours into the game. The thing you'll be short of the most is money for upgrades for yourself and your weapons, so maximizing your Cache as much as possible is important - especially if you want to keep playing the game after the story's done.

Which Guns to Use?: Some guns are better for certain tougher enemies than others. For example, the Singularity Gun or any kind of RPG can wreck a tank (or an aircraft if, in the case of the Singularity Gun, you can reach it) very quickly, and the Abduction Gun can take out the Marauders (the rolling walkers) without you having to get around behind them first. The Dubstep Gun (especially with the Explosive Wubs upgrade) can lay waste to cars and troops very quickly. Oh, and if you are having trouble getting behind the rolling walkers to hit the back of their "heads", try hitting them with a Freeze Blast first.

TK Mayhem: Some events are harder than others. There will be tricks for beating each one, I'm sure, but here are a few I found. For Telekinesis Mayhem events, the game has you grab one of many balls placed around the world and throw them around, but what I found was a better choice was to grab a ball, hold it in front of you, and then just super sprint directly into cars. You'll probably get set on fire a few times, but I found much more success getting Gold like this than trying to throw the balls around.

Stomp Mayhem: For on-foot Mayhem where you are supposed to Stomp, I found it much easier to do one Stomp to start a combo, and then just use the upgraded Sprint Tornado ability to just dash down sidewalks, breaking stuff and cars as you go. It's very easy to get a 100+ combo this way, and it's these combos that add up huge bonuses to make getting Gold easy in these Mayhem missions.

Genki's Mind over Murder: There's one cute little trick you can use in Genki's Mind over Murder: when you use your telekinesis to throw something through a goal, try getting close and tapping the button twice - you will throw the person, vehicle, or Genki head, and then pull it back and re-catch it immediately. If you need to throw things through two nearby goals of the same type, this is a quick way to get two of them out of the way quickly. Also, keep in mind that you can hold onto something while super jumping and sprinting around, so you might take something with you from one set of goals to the next.

Toggle Sprint: If you're on PC and using keyboard/mouse controls, it might be tempting to bind a Toggle Sprint key rather than a Hold Sprint key. Unfortunately, it also forces you to continue to use Glide after using an air dash, and sometimes that super-slow landing can cost you - especially in things like Platforming Rift missions. (Sometimes double-tapping the sprint key will cancel it, but I found it to be a little unreliable.) Even if you're used to Toggle Sprint in other games, I don't recommend it here. And if you're playing on console or using a gamepad on PC, don't worry about it because there's no Toggle Sprint binding to use anyway!

Speaking of Gamepad: The PC version of Saints Row IV is one of relative few games that will seamlessly switch from gamepad controls to mouse-and-keyboard controls at any time, even in the middle of play. If you think you might be more comfortable doing the platforming, running, and jumping with a controller, go for it - and if you want to switch to a mouse for precision aiming, the game will let you. People have strong feelings for one control scheme or another - and on PC most will favor a mouse and keyboard - but if you're one of the rare types like me that are comfortable with either scheme, this game will accommodate you.

Saints Control: You'll notice that nearly every activity icon on the minimap is somewhat evenly-placed throughout the city. Completing them - yes, even store hacks count - puts that small area of the Steelport simulation back into Saints control, which you can see on your big world map. These Saint-controlled areas will have your own gang members in them, and these guys can help you with future missions that run through those areas. Plus, it seems that some areas overlap, so you can actually get automatic (without having to call homies!) gang help even while you're still finishing all of the game's events.

Collection: Unlike most games, it's very possible to do 100% collection in Saints Row IV without a ridiculous amount of frustration, so if you often hate trying to do 100% in some games, do give it a shot here. But if you are going for 100% collection, I highly recommend waiting until you get an upgrade that will show uncollected items on your minimap. But what's even better is that once you get this, you can also see missing collectibles on your world map too, if you select it from the menu when in the world map.



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