The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: Tips & Tricks for Beginners

You'll be a pro in no time.
Leatherface crouching with his chainsaw
Image via Gun Media

If you consider yourself a master at Gun Media’s Friday the 13th: The Game, those tired techniques won’t get you very far in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a video game adaptation of Tobe Hooper’s classic 1974 film.

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It’s an entirely new, updated experience that introduces different gameplay mechanics, so don’t count your chickens just yet if you think you know Gun’s signature style. Thankfully, guides such as this one exist to lend a helping hand to newcomers.

Whether you prefer to play as the Victim or the Family, you might need some starting pointers to steer you in the right direction. Spawning in blindly can be very intimidating and there’s a lot to take in at once, so here are a few tips to get you situated.

The best tips and tricks for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre beginners

Tips for playing as the Victim

Julie sifting through a toolbox in the basement
Run for your life. Image via Gun Media

Feel free to make noise early

When you jump into a match at the beginning, it’s going to feel very disorienting. You won’t have your bearings, nor will you have much idea of what to do first. Before even worrying about all that, you’ll be hanging from the ceiling in the basement. The game encourages you to free yourself from your restraints quietly so as not to wake Grandpa, but in reality, you want to awaken Grandpa as early as possible to give yourself more flexibility when hiding and opening doors.

Awakening Grandpa too late might catch you off-guard mid-action. Additionally, don’t be afraid to make some noise as Leatherface is initially locked in an animation of killing the character who wasn’t chosen in the lobby, so he won’t immediately pursue you, and the rest of the Family spawns upstairs.

Close and latch doors behind you

When exploring the basement or the other areas of the map, it might seem counter-intuitive to precariously close and lock every door behind you, but it will actually have many benefits in the long run. Especially when navigating the basement for the first time, you don’t want Leatherface to sneak up on you before you’ve even opened your first toolbox.

Locking doors will also slow down the Family during a chase, allowing you to plan your escape wisely or take the opportunity to hide while they’re destroying or barging through the door. The more time you have to react, the more effective your escape plan. Keep this in mind throughout, not just in the basement.

Pay attention to Grandpa’s level

One of the easiest ways for the Family to flush out Victims is by leveling up Grandpa. When Grandpa reaches level five, or Maximum, he will reveal your exact location to the Family. However, there are a number of things you can do to prevent this. If you’re playing with friends, nominate someone to take the Family on a wild goose chase so they forget to retrieve blood and feed Grandpa.

Alternatively, gather some bone scrap and fashion a knife so you can attack Grandpa when no one is around and temporarily incapacitate him. This will not only disable the Family’s abilities for a short while, but it will also lower Grandpa’s level, so the Family will need to feed him again. Whenever a prompt appears that informs you of Grandpa’s level or hears a distinct crescendo, immediately stay still—Grandpa is about to detect you.

Don’t forget to use your abilities

Each Victim has a unique set of abilities as well as one specific skill. You’ll want to use these to your advantage and choose a Victim that matches your play style. For example, if you prefer a stealthy approach, choose Julie. If you prefer to fight your way out, select Leland.

Here’s a breakdown of every Victim’s most useful asset:

Connie — Focused Ability: This will allow Connie to instantly pick locks at the cost of stamina and Family proximity warnings, without consuming the unlock tool.

Sonny — Heightened Sense: Triggering Sonny’s Heightened Sense will allow him to detect noise made by anyone nearby, pinpointing their location and tracking their movements.

Julie — Ultimate Escape: When activated, Julie cannot be tracked by the Family while also getting significantly reduced stamina drain while sprinting for a short time.

Leland — Life Saver: Leland can use Life Saver to stun a Family member or interrupt a potentially fatal clash between a Family member and a fellow Victim.

Ana — Pain is Nothing: Activating this ability will significantly reduce the damage Ana takes from attacks and falls, like jumping out windows. She also becomes temporarily immune to the effects of poison.

Preserve your health and stamina

When you hear the sound of a revving chainsaw, the natural response is to run as fast and as far as possible. However, running for a long period of time drains stamina, which could lead to a sticky situation and an instant death. Running and hiding is always the best option to lose Family members; break the line of sight and duck behind doors, and walls, or blend in with the shadows, then allow your pursuer to pass.

Don’t forget, the Family have limited stamina too, so they can’t chase you forever. As for health, ensure to keep Victims topped up as frequently as possible for the best chance in a chase or struggle, or in the event of a last-ditch escape like falling down a well or jumping through a window.

Watch out for chickens or noisemakers

Another easy way for Family members to track Victims is by listening out for noisemakers or chickens. Running through noisemakers or getting too close to chickens will give the Family an alert and inform them of your location, so be sure to carry some bone scrap to silence the chickens or crouch carefully through/around any obstacles so as to keep your location hidden.

The very last thing you need is to pick a lock and give yourself away by startling a chicken. What a way to go.

Tips for playing as the Family

Leatherface standing in front of Connie in a doorway
Sometimes it’s good to be bad. Image via Gun Media

Feed Grandpa as much and as fast as possible

If your job as a Victim is to incapacitate Grandpa, your job as a Family member is to feed him until he’s full. Leatherface will primarily flush the Victims out of the basement or catch them for an early kill, so it’s up to the remaining Family members on the surface to gather blood and feed Grandpa as soon as possible.

Once Grandpa reaches level five the Victims have a major disadvantage, so it’s a no-brainer that feeding Grandpa is one of the quickest ways to end a match. Increasing your blood harvesting capabilities in the skill tree will allow you to collect more blood from blood buckets per fill.

Ensure generators are on at all times

Thankfully, Gun patched the game so that the generator and car battery start on automatically. Before, you would need to manually lock the gate and turn on the electric gate, so count your lucky stars that Gun made the Family’s lives a lot easier. It’s still good practice to double-check beforehand, but it’s no longer a necessity.

Just be sure to check the generator and car battery from time to time. If one or the other is turned off, there’s a Victim nearby, so scout the area and find them. If you can’t find them, turn the generator/battery back on and patrol the surrounding areas. They can’t have gone far.

Close exits even if Victims escape

Sometimes, Victims are just too good at their jobs. You’re bound to struggle at first and suffer a few losses but don’t get disheartened. Even if Victims manage to turn off the generator or open the basement exit, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll escape.

Head to the fuse or the generator and turn it off. If one Victim escapes, turn the exit off anyway to prevent further escapees. One Victim escaping doesn’t mean every other Victim will get out.

Get good at playing Leatherface

Leatherface isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. He’s slow, sluggish, and isn’t as flexible as some other Family members—such as Sissy or Hitchhiker. He can’t squeeze through gaps in the walls or go through crawl spaces, but he can destroy obstacles and make it much harder for Victims to utilize them. If you prefer to master Cook or Johnny, go ahead, but there’s no harm in mastering Leatherface.

If you get good at him, not only can you kill victims instantly or prevent them from even leaving the basement, but you can also stay two steps ahead to cut off their escape routes.

Divide and conquer depending on the Family’s strengths

In horror movies, the characters have a lapse of judgment and decide that splitting up is the best option. As viewers, we criticize them for making that choice. And for Victims, it is a bad choice. For Family members, however, splitting up is the best thing you can do.

All three killers scouting one area won’t cover a lot of ground and leave exits vulnerable for Victims to turn off the generator or even attack Grandpa if they’re feeling bold.

Leatherface should eventually come out of the basement to tag-team Victims on the surface, whereas the two other Family members should patrol exits periodically and keep Grandpa fed. It’s easier to communicate with friends, so perhaps it’s worth assembling a squad for your Family matches.

Make sure to lock doors

It sounds simple, but Family members are constantly going through doors and leaving them unlocked. When playing in the Family House, leaving the front door unlocked grants Victims easy access to the road, where the generator awaits. Likewise, leaving the back door unlocked will give them a straight shot to the car battery.

If playing as Cook, it’s a safe bet to padlock the main doors to make the Victims’ lives harder. As for the others, make a habit of locking every door once you pass throughout, even if it takes a little extra time. It could save you from an easy defeat.

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Chynna Wilkinson
For over 7 years, Chynna has been a noteworthy presence within creative media. As a self- proclaimed geek and driven by a passion for horror, comic books, video games, and modern cinema, she takes pride in providing only the best publications. She likes to label herself as an innovative writer doing what she loves, especially when it concerns her favorite interests. Aside from personal written projects, she can be credited as an award-winning screenwriter, published poet, and accomplished academic writer. She has taken the media industry by storm, producing short stories, screenplays, articles, features, and poetry that thoroughly engage, excite and thrill those fortunate enough to read them. She enjoys watching anime, horror movies, and animated shows; her life revolves around cinema, video games, and tasteful literature.