Acing a level during your first playthrough will be a tough challenge in Cuphead. Players will often focus on getting familiar with the terrain their first time on a level, and you may need to repeat a level to increase your rank.
During your first Cuphead playthrough, you won’t be able to complete levels by ranking S since you’ll need to complete the game’s first part and unlock The Delicious Last Course DLC first. After unlocking the DLC, complete the game to unlock the Expert difficulty, which will also unlock the S rank. Players will only be able to finish levels with an S rank while playing in the Expert mode.
If you unlocked the Expert difficulty mode, you’ll need to complete the following steps to get the S rank:
- Land six super attacks.
- Complete the level with three health and under two minutes.
- Perform three non-mandatory parries.
Completing the steps above will allow players to complete a level with the S rank. While performing the required actions will become easier as you play more, completing an Expert level in under two minutes can be a challenge. If you find it difficult to find the most optimized drill in a level, you can check out guides on YouTube that showcase the best and fastest ways to complete a level in Cuphead.