Hi-Fi Rush: Starter Guide

Estimated read time 7 min read

Quick Links

  • Some Non-Combat Related Tips

Key Takeaways

  • Hi-Fi Rush is an action rhythm game with over-the-top gameplay.
  • Chai always hit on beat. Missing a beat only affects the stage score, but will not affect actual gameplay.
  • Use rest beats for creative combo attacks, utilize the practice area to learn different ways you can combo all of your attacks.

Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm-action game developed by Tango Gameworks. While the game has been out for a little more than a year, it’s finally made its way over to PlayStation 5. So, in the spirit of helping out those hearing about it for the first time, or even just giving some reminders to folks going through the game again, here are some tips for Hi-Fi Rush!

What to Expect

To get started and excel at how to play the game, you should know that Hi-Fi Rush plays a little like if Devil May Cry 5 ended up being a rhythm game. You gain better stage scores by hitting your combos to the beat of the music, and by doing anything and everything that is over the top. It is reminiscent of the GameCube era of games where you collect items and do challenges for in-game rewards. Costumes and other cosmetics are earned from specific challenges, and you can also snag a few extra goodies for Chai if you purchase the Deluxe Edition.

Getting Started

Don’t worry about getting your timing right for attacks right away. At first, you want to learn the game and what’s going on visually before you fine-tune the rhythm aspect of the game. Chai will always hit on beats, so you won’t ever be penalized in the game for missing any beats. The only thing that is affected by rhythm timing is the stage score, but you can always go back to repeat stages after you finish the main story. The world around Chai also moves to the beat, keeping an eye out on the environment while going through his adventure. The stages around Chai are just as much of a character as he is. It’ll continue to give you hints about the beat of the song and overall help with the flow of staying on beat once you have the rhythm down.

Some General Tips

There are actually some really nice accessibility options available to make your time in Hi-Fi Rush a little more hand tailored to you. For example; 808 is functionally a metronome next to Chai at all times. But if you are struggling with keeping track of her, you can activate another one that will be on the bottom of your screen by pushing the touchpad on the controller. There are also three other visual options for 808 to make it, so her own metronome is easier to see while in combat.

Just like in music pieces, there are rest beats to utilize in Hi-Fi Rush. Some of the best combo attacks in the game require a rest beat to be used in order for it to be executed properly. As it turns out Chai has a special animation for when you do a successful rest beat. Along with taking his rest beat stance briefly, you’ll also see the word “Rest” pop up beside him. Allowing you to have a physical notification to confirm your timing along with the music and metronome. You can use his change of stance, the “rest” text, and metronome timing all in tandem for even more intense combos for higher scores.

After a little bit of time in the game, a new feature is available for use. The practice area will unlock fairly early on, around the same time as you are able to buy your first set of new attacks. If you are having trouble pulling off a certain combo, or you would even like to experiment with coming up with new ones, I’d recommend giving this a shot. It’s a great tool for learning the game and will help out immensely if you play the harder difficulties the game has to offer. Additionally, you can always view the attacks in the pause menu of the game while in the middle of a stage if you need a quick refresher on the various attacks you can use.

Also make sure to call in your allies as often as you can. As you progress through the game, your crew is going to grow and change. You can call your friends to aid you in battle and the only limit is a cooldown based on the last skill you have used. Call them in regularly and learn which ones can help with combos you start creating in the game.

Metronome UI

Each stage has a bunch of items available for Chai to find. They range from something to increase his health to a chip to go towards augmenting Chai’s combat skills. Picking up as many of these as you can will ensure that you can beat up enemies to the… Well, the beat!

Personally, one of my favorite things about Hi-Fi Rush is that the world says so much with very little. You can talk to the various robots scattered around each stage for some extra dialogue about how these guys all feel about their jobs. If you feel the need to, you can even give them a couple of smacks for some extra dialogue from them. Certain stages also have robots that will give Chai some side objective for rewards. So, I’d say it’s totally worth it to talk to these bots and get to know what life for them is like.

Just like the robots speaking about the world they live in, there are text logs scattered around stages that give you even more information. I highly suggest giving the logs a look in a first playthrough. There are so many that have got a laugh out of me and some have jokes that will pay off in later logs and even in cutscenes. A good thing to note about the logs is that they are short and to the point, none of them over-stay their welcome, and it makes them very easy to digest.

Scattered throughout the game there are these little vacuum cleaner robots. If you take pity on them and let them live or if you feel the need to collect their gears for attack skills. Well, that’s up to you as the player. They don’t offer a ton of gears, but you can still harvest these poor guys so that Chai can be the best rocker and fighter that he can possibly be.

Each stage has some special entrances and doors that I was really bugged about when I first started playing. I assumed I would need to beat most of the stage and then come back to the doors. These are actually available after the story and are very much worth going through the game again just for these little interactions.

vacuum bot

Even a year after release, Hi-Fi Rush is still a breath of fresh air. It’s unique and has an amazing cast of characters that are fun to watch, and just feels like a callback to a lot of the games many of us grew up with. The PS5 version runs very well and has the same post-game content updates that were added to the PC and Xbox versions after its release. It’s so nice to see such a well-made and loved game go to another part of the gaming community. I hope this helps those who are new to Hi-Fi Rush get started and move forward on this fast-paced musical adventure.

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