Action Genre RSS Feed | Action on GameSkinny en Launch Media Network Spyro Reignited Tree Tops Guide Thu, 15 Nov 2018 10:14:55 -0500 Sergey_3847

Spyro the Dragon is back in a new remastered trilogy Spyro Reignited. If you've played the original games, then you should be well aware of one of the hardest levels in the entire series -- the Tree Tops level.

It can be accessed through the portal found at the foot of the tree in the Beast Maker Home. Then, you will have the chance to climb up the tree using special supercharge ramps that allow Spyro to cover huge distances between the platforms.

If you're playing this level for the first time, and can't figure out how to move through this remarkable maze, then follow our guide below.

Rescue Isaak

In the Tree Tops level you need to find and rescue the three great dragons and open the Strong Chest.

The first dragon named Isaak is the easiest to find. You will start the level by going up the stairs and jumping over to the first arc. Flame all the chimps on your way there and collect gems.

Go upstairs from the arc where you will find Isaak. He will explode in light and tell you about the supercharge ramps that will help you cover larger distances.

Rescue Lyle

After you talk to Isaak you can use your first supercharge ramp and jump to the next platform. Go downstairs and flame all enemies until you reach the next ramp.

Jump onto the platform that has a Return Home portal. But you don't want to use it yet. Instead you will see a whirlwind on the side of the platform that will send you upwards.

You will find yourself on the previous platform. Use it to return to the very first one where you started this level. On this first platform you will see another whirlwind that will send you up once again.

Go upstairs and take the golden key. Keep moving upstairs and jump over to the next platform where you will find dragon Lyle.

Rescue Jed

Lyle will give you a hint that you can chain several ramps together for a really quick traverse of all platforms.

Use this trick to make a circle and get to the platform with the last dragon Jed. Refer to the map below for exact directions.

Then, return to the platform where you've rescued Lyle using the whirlwind. Use the ramps to return to the second platform and open the Strong Chest using your golden key.

Lastly, get back to the platform with a Return Home portal and jump on it.


That is all on how to complete the hardest level in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the Tree Tops level, but be sure to come back soon for even more related guides here at GameSkinny!

Best Fallout 76 Memes to Survive the (Review) Bombs Wed, 14 Nov 2018 17:51:11 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Fallout 76 only released around 24 hours ago and the game is already getting heavily reviewed bombed on Metacritic. Players far and wide are roasting the latest entry in Bethesda's long-running post-apocalypse for everything under the mushroom cloud.

I'm not going to say these are the freshest Fallout 76 memes we could dig out of the internet oven, but they are some of the tastiest in the review-bomb wake.

Cheese is basically old milk, and almost everybody loves cheese.

Where words can't express the sheer joy or anger we feel when discovering a game is or isn't exactly what we feared or hoped it would be, memes are there to remind us that in the end, there's always something to laugh about. 

Da Best Fallout 76 Memes



Like Fallout 76, this list isn't complete. Unlike Fallout 76, it probably won't ever be. Such is life.

We'll be adding more to this list but if you've got something good, pop it in the comments below and share. Don't be greedy!

And stay tuned for our official review of Fallout 76 -- and the inevitable counter review from an office divided. 

Mobile Developer Jam City Signs Multi-Year Deal To Make Disney/Pixar Games Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:30:53 -0500 QuintLyn

A whole new roster of games based on Disney and Pixar movies are on the way thanks to a deal signed between the media giant and mobile game developer Jam City. The new, multi-year partnership not only grants Jam City the rights to make new games based on popular movie franchises but also tasks them with taking over development on the popular mobile title Disney Emoji Blitz in conjunction with Disney's Glendale Games Studio.

Among the many new projects based on Disney/Pixar franchises will be a new game inspired by Disney's Frozen sequel.

According to Kyle Laughlin, Senior Vice President of Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney, this partnership "represents a significant long-term opportunity for [Disney's] games business and for the future slate of Disney and Pixar games.

"We can’t wait to see how Jam City and the incredibly talented team behind Disney Emoji Blitz will grow the already successful game and franchise, and how Jam City will bring their global reach and expertise in developing successful, enduring mobile games to the upcoming titles."

For their part, Jam City co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe states the company is "proud to be teaming with Disney," adding that "Jam City's leadership in mobile entertainment based on iconic entertainment IP, make [the] company an ideal partner to develop a lineup of new mobile games with Disney's most popular franchises."

Disney Emoji Blitz is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Every Red Dead Redemption 2 Mission, Graded -- Chapter 5: Guarma Wed, 14 Nov 2018 15:33:24 -0500 William R. Parks

Red Dead Redemption 2 has put us through savage gunfights and hilarious nights in the saloon, and, with the end of Chapter 4, it has left us on a cliffhanger unlike any of the preceding chapters.

Some of the kindest and most thoughtful of our gang were put to rest in a disastrous robbery, and our attempts to evade the law reached entirely new heights.

While I had been loving my time in New Hanover and Lemoyne, the prospect of continuing my adventure in an entirely new locale had me excited, and I could not wait to dive in.

Let us see what the game had in store as we look at each mission of Chapter 5: Guarma.

Grading Scale

One more piece of upkeep for those that may be skipping the preceding articles -- our grading scale is as follows:

A: These are the missions that are as impressive as Red Dead 2's immense and nuanced world. Transcendent moments that validate video games as art.

B: Exceptional sequences, these missions create moments that leave a lasting impression.

C: *The bread-and-butter of Red Dead 2. Filled with straightforward action and character development that keeps the game moving forward and the player engaged.

D: Forgettable missions that serve just to introduce a character or mechanic without many frills.

F: Painful. The game would be better without these missions.

It is important to note that the "C" grading is not meant to imply that a mission is average compared to other games. Rather, "C" should be considered a baseline for Red Dead 2 relative to its exceptional "A's" and "B's" and its lackluster "D's" and "F's."

The primary goal of this investigation is to create a hierarchy within Red Dead 2's missions, not to provide a definitive stance on how the game stacks up against others.

Note: Mission descriptions and heavy spoilers follow.

Red Dead 2 Chapter 5: The Missions

Welcome to the New World

Grade: B

Beginning Chapter 5 with all of the gear I had accumulated missing and all of my cores drained was exhilarating.

This first mission is loaded to the gills with new information, establishing an adversary for the chapter (Fussar) and connecting him to Cornwall as well as setting up the conflict that will pervade your time on Guarma.

If I was to get off this tropical island safely, I needed to both recover Javier (who is captured in the mission) and intervene in a conflict occurring between Fussar and the Natives. While I had become a seasoned veteran at rescuing gang members, my previous experience with involving myself in established conflicts suggested that this was not going to go well, and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the paths that were opening before me in this new setting.

I was transported back to my time at the beginning of Chapter 2, feeling as though I might drown in the options available to me. Ultimately, Guarma turned out to be very compact and manageable, but this feeling of discombobulation served to nicely immerse me in what Arthur was likely experiencing. It is impressive that Rockstar is willing to throw players so off-kilter this late in the game.

Savagery Unleashed

Grade: C

As I wandered through the jungle for the first time, I came across a man hanged, and, soon enough, I was taken captive and beaten in a cellar.

After breaking free of my captor, and cutting loose two Natives that I had been asked to rescue in the preceding mission, I found myself in the midst of a fairly stock stealth mission with some gunplay to close it out.

As I quietly crept past my enemies, I was struck by how often Red Dead 2's stealth segments ask me to follow directly behind an NPC. While this follow-the-leader certainly creates some nice cinematic moments, it ultimately brings the game's overall difficulty down significantly. As long as I stick close to my lead, I never really feel like I am in danger of being discovered.

Similarly, so many of the game's gunfights provide companions to assist you, often causing them to feel quite easy. When I am engaged in one of these missions, selecting a load-out feels almost entirely like a cosmetic choice, as victory seems guaranteed regardless of the weapons I have equipped.

In general, there is a sense in Red Dead Redemption 2 that Rockstar gives preference to creating cinematic moments rather than providing challenging gameplay. While it is nice to watch the story unfold with minimal death and interference, I would really like to see an increased difficulty setting come to the game in a future update.

A Kind and Benevolent Despot

Grade: C

After saving the Natives in the preceding mission, Dutch and Arthur can now focus on rescuing Javier.

At this point, it is made clear that all of the money stolen in the Saint Denis bank robbery was lost in the shipwreck, and Dutch continues to come apart at the seams, strangling the guide that brings them close to Javier's location.

From there, this is a wrote stealth/combat mission with a slight flourish as you sabotage a warehouse filled with sugar and set it ablaze. What can I say? I have been charmed every time Red Dead 2 has let me burn something to the ground, and it holds true here.

Hell Hath No Fury

Grade: B

With the resistance assisted and Javier recovered, it is time to attack Fussar directly and make a clean get away.

What follows is the most unique mission located on Guarma, as Fussar has some truly big guns (a Navy warship) at his disposal.

Before using a cannon (for the first time) to sink it, we get a standout gunfight on the island's beaches. After being stripped of all of my gear, it feels good to have a powerful shotgun back in my hands, and I painted that sand red.

Paradise Mercifully Departed

Grade: B

Even with the Navy ship dispatched, there are still some problems - namely, the captain of the ship that is to return us to Saint Denis has been captured by Fussar and an array of artillery is certain to sink any of our attempts to leave by boat.

There is a lot going on in this mission. Explosions, a cannon shoot-out, some corridor-style gunplay, and a tense four-man standoff that feels like it could have been plucked right out of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Additionally, if Red Dead Redemption 2 has taught me anything it is that I am a sucker for gunfights in crop fields, as I loved blasting my way through Fussar's fields of sugarcane.

This mission showcases so many wonderful ideas and proves that, even after all of the preceding missions, the game's straightforward action sequences can still standout.

Dear Uncle Tacitus

Grade: A

Now back on the mainland, the Guarma crew splits up to locate the rest of the gang that was left behind.

While there is a short burst of action, this mission functions as a truly transcendent rejoinder, putting you on a long, lonesome horse ride set to a wonderfully surprising new song from D'Angelo.

It is hard to convey why this mission is so effective, as it relies so heavily on Red Dead 2's ability to create a breathtaking atmosphere, but to be alone with Arthur, quietly reflecting on where you have been and where you are headed, is powerful and marks one of the game's high points.

Fleeting Joy

Grade: C

As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I found myself back with my crew, and (surprise, surprise) Sadie has been the one to keep everyone together during our absence.

However, there is not much time for celebration, as another assault on camp cuts things short. This time around it is the Pinkertons, and they are not messing around, carting a gatling gun to make sure they leave no survivors.

Unfortunately for them, they did not plan for Sadie Adler, and again I found myself marveling at her ability to dish out death before I stepped behind the gatling and finished the lawmen off.

It is also revealed that Dutch is not planning to spring John from prison any time soon, but Arthur and Sadie seem to have other plans.

A Fork In the Road

Grade: D

While walking through the streets of Saint Denis, a coughing fit overcomes Arthur, and a trip to the doctor reveals that he has tuberculosis.

This mission feels like Red Dead 2's single greatest misstep.

This needs to be an extremely resonant moment, as it informs Arthur's character development for the rest of the game. Following "Dear Uncle Tacitus," it is clear that Rockstar is able to build powerful and impressionistic moments, however, this one simply does not land.

There is no foreshadowing that makes this mission the gut-punch it should be. Instead, we are blindsided by Arthur's illness, and it almost feels as though I missed a portion of the game that would build to this reveal.

Considering the methodical pacing used throughout the game, I am very surprised to see Rockstar not escalate this more gradually and effectively.

Icarus and Friends

Grade: A

Anyway, despite having TB, I am off to meet Sadie to solidify our plan for getting John out of prison.

As we saw in Chapter 4, Rockstar has begun to include different vehicles to keep the action missions feeling fresh, and we get a wonderful one in this mission: a hot air balloon. Additionally, Arturo, the balloon's owner, is a nicely rendered side character that gives this mission the Rockstar feel.

This airborne shoot-out is one of my favorite action sequences in the game, and while taking a tour is the cover used to get Arturo to take you up in the balloon, I really wish there was the opportunity to see more of Red Dead 2 from this vantage point.

That's Murfree Country

Grade: B

After the Pinkerton assault, it is clear that the gang cannot stay holed up where they are, and Arthur and Charles are sent up North to scout out an area that has an unfamiliar mystique to it.

On your ride, Charles mentions that no one would come to this part of the country to look for us, as people are known to go missing -- color me intrigued.

When you arrive, this bizarre and mysterious undertone remains. In the town of Butcher Creek, the citizens have bruised and sore-riddled faces, and, at the hideout of the Murfrees, you find ritual sacrifice and a woman locked in a cage.

Something so wonderful about exploring the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is encountering its dark and odd underbelly, and the prospect of the next chapter bringing this in to the main story had me very excited.

Additionally, the mission closes by raising the stakes yet again, demonstrating that the gang is willing to execute its own if they have acted out of line.

Chapter 5 Summary

Guarma gave us a breather, offering a temporary new setting and some good to great action sequences.

However, the true standouts of Chapter 5 all occur back on the mainland. "Dear Uncle Tacitus" provides a beautiful and poetic interlude while "Icarus and Friends" showcases some of the game's most thrilling action.

Unfortunately, we find a major pitfall, as the mishandling of an important dramatic beat renders it ineffectual.

Hopefully, Chapter 6 can convey just how important Arthur's sickness actually is, and I am champing at the bit to learn more about the oddballs in Butcher Creek and the horrible Murfrees.


If you want to know what we think of the game as a whole, be sure to check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 review. If you're looking for tips and tricks for the Wild West epic, be sure head over to our Red Dead Redemption 2 guides page.

And if you would like to see more of our Red Dead 2 mission gradings, those that are currently available can be found at these links:

Chapter 1: Colter
Chapter 2: Horseshoe Overlook
Chapter 3: Clemens Point
Chapter 4: Saint Denis

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Gets New Trailer, Brings Wizarding World to Life Wed, 14 Nov 2018 11:30:25 -0500 Jonathan Moore

If any IP could take advantage of the unique gameplay capabilities augmented reality provides, it's the wizarding world of Harry Potter

Today, fans of the series got a taste of what that might look like in a brand-new trailer for the augmented mobile game, Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite. Co-developed and co-published by WB Games and Niantic, which best known for the wildly popular Pokemon Go, the game will see players exploring "real-world surroundings to unravel a global mystery, cast spells, and encounter fantastic beasts and iconic characters along the way."

Announced earlier this month, the game was originally slated to release this year. However, the game has now been pushed back to sometime in 2019. A firm release date was not provided. 

You can pre-register for the game on the official website

While the official teaser trailer provides few details on actual gameplay aside from the immobilization spell shown, we can expect that players' mobile devices will act as wands for spellcasting. Players' "wands" which will be used in various quests, such as keeping magic away from Muggles. Players will also be able to leave signs for other witches and wizards using them.

There is no word on if Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite will have a PvP element like last year's Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. However, with "unite" in the name, one would guess that PvP might not be an option. 

It will be interesting to see how Wizards Unite uses augmented to reality to bring the wizarding world into the real one. And it will also be interesting to see what systems, if any outside of the obvious, migrate from Pokemon Go and Ingress Prime to the new HP IP. 

For more on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, stay tuned to GameSkinny. 

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is Coming to Xbox Game Pass Wed, 14 Nov 2018 09:55:17 -0500 William R. Parks

Fans of turn-based tactics delight -- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a tactical adventure game that our writers have described as a cross between Fallout and X-COM, is coming to Xbox Game Pass on December 4.

Mutant Year Zero is based on a Swedish tabletop RPG that goes back to 1984. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the Earth, players will assume the role of mutants (who have supplanted humans as the dominate biped). "A duck with an attitude problem" or "a boar with anger issues," Mutant Year Zero will offer players the chance to meet a cast of off-kilter characters as they explore this new world -- one filled with the ruins of human civilization.

At the center of Mutant Year Zero is a "tactical combat system inspired by the X-COM games." However, this game has its own unique approach, allowing players to explore (and use stealth) in real-time. This real-time aspect shirks the traditions established by most tactics games of the past and will hopefully serve to give Mutant Year Zero some added depth of play.

While we have been expecting a December 4 release of Mutant Year Zero on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, the addition of the game to Xbox Game Pass is an exciting new development. Last month, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption was released through Game Pass, and Mutant Year Zero looks to be another promising indie for subscribers to be excited about.

Along with this announcement, the game's publisher has also shared a new video that showcases the game's stealth and tactical combat systems in a never-before-seen area.

We are looking forward to Mutant Year Zero here at GameSkinny, and the developers are keeping us excited with these new details. If you are also in the market for mutant-helmed tactics, pre-orders of the PC version grant access to the game three days before release, and those that spring for the Deluxe Edition will get immediate access to a Beta version featuring the first hours of the game.

Stay tuned for more news on Mutant Year Zero as it develops.

Mutant: Year Zero: Indie Studio CEO Talks Tabletop Roots, Art Design, and Tactical Stealth Action Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:02:18 -0500 Tim White

Turn-based strategy games were everywhere in the '90s and 2000s, but they're almost more of a niche genre these days. Creating a TBS game that draws heavy inspiration from an equally niche hobby -- post-apocalyptic tabletop RPGs -- is a bold move in an era dominated by MOBAs and twitch shooters. If the pre-release demo of Mutant: Year Zero is anything to go by, that bold decision just might pay off when the full game releases next month.

Haraldur Thormundsson, CEO of The Bearded Ladies, the small but passionate indie team behind Mutant: Year Zero, briefly chatted with me and had some tantalizing tidbits to share about the game.

"Mutant is a tabletop RPG that was popular in the 80s and 90s here in Sweden," Thormundsson explained. "We wanted to make a turn-based game set in the Mutant universe and felt that Year Zero [in its timeline] was a good setting to explore... we felt that [a video game] RPG could never do the original tabletop game justice."

The world of Mutant is a blasted and ruined landscape created by a convergence of various cataclysms. Regular humans are fairly rare; most survivors are mutants, and there's a lot of variety in how their genetic abnormalities manifest.

Dux and Bormin, the first two party members players will meet, are far more animal than human. The characters are visually striking -- weird, but totally straight-faced. It works.

Thormundsson reminisced about the dev team's longstanding love for the original tabletop game when talking about Mutant's character design: "When we started looking at creating the characters, we got inspired by a number of things, including the characters some of the dev team members were playing back in the early days of the pen-and-paper RPG."

Post-apocalypse settings obviously invite dark and depressing stories, but there’s also an opportunity to say something about hope or to take a more optimistic view of humanity. Dux, Bormin, and a handful of other Stalkers recruited later in the game are on some sort of journey to preserve one of the last remaining cities -- an admirable goal -- but Thormundsson was tight-lipped about Mutant's ultimate narrative tone. He described its world as "gloomy and beautiful at the same time."

Still, humor plays a major role in offsetting some of the game's darker undertones.

"I hope the game will also make you laugh, because you'll see the world through the eyes of the mutants, who are interpreting artifacts from the past -- sometimes incorrectly." Thormundsson is undoubtedly referring to scenes like one in which the protagonists discover an '80s-era boombox and confidently identify it as a bomb -- it's got "boom" right in the name, after all.

Mutant's more amusing scenes serve as welcome breaks from the world's bleak past and unforgiving environment, which are reflected and reinforced in the gameplay. Mutant offers players a variety of tactical options and upgrade paths for the party, but stealth and caution are always essential to survival.

"You can play the game Rambo-style in the very beginning, but if you don't start scouting and using tactics to thin out big groups of enemies, the game will get a lot harder," Thormundsson noted.

He went on to offer a word of caution about grinding, clarifying that success in Mutant: Year Zero hinges on much more than your stats. 

"Thorough players who explore the map and do lots of side quests will be able to learn most skills for most of the party, but they'll never be superheroes. Enemies get stronger as you do. The biggest advantage of gaining more mutations is that they open up new tactical options; players still need to learn how to plan and use abilities effectively."

On normal difficulty, Mutant is challenging enough, but there are ways for players to make things even harder on themselves, including a permadeath Iron Man mode. Many side quests are high-risk/high-reward, offering tantalizing loot if you can fight through heavy resistance to get to it.

There's at least a little room for character customization throughout the main campaign's 20-ish hours. Each party member does have certain specializations and weaknesses, but players have some freedom to build the team differently.

"Each mutant can become especially good at certain things, but it is up to the player to pick mutations, weapons, and armor for each of the characters that change what they're able to do," Thormundsson said.

Buying skills and dividing gear between the party often comes down to a choice between shoring up a character's weaknesses or making them even better at their core skills. Both approaches have their pros and cons and will lead to very different scenarios in combat.


Bormin and his crew are set to venture into totally unknown lands, and with the full game still a few weeks away, we don't know much more about what they'll find than they do. The demo asks far more questions than it answers, teasing a dark and intriguing adventure story with tons of potential. If the story is half as solid as the gameplay, Mutant: Year Zero will surely be a can't-miss title for strategy fans.

Mutant: Year Zero releases for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on December 4. Keep an eye on our hub page for more news, previews, guides, and gameplay videos as we get closer to launch.

Interactive Entertainment Network Ripcord.TV Launched Today Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:23:54 -0500 QuintLyn

Today, a new venture headed by esports experts AlphaDraft and producers from Sony and Disney announced the launch of Interactive Mobile TV Network

Designed to create a more interactive experience for viewers, combines the social experiences found on most livestreaming sites with the professional production found in more traditional media.

The new network features a team made up of television professionals and esporst industry veterans to create an interactive media experience  where the viewers can be part of the show. Viewers can interact with live game show and their hosts during their regularly scheduled times.

The network's current lineup includes five shows: Fast Facts, The Hunt, In or Out, Raise the Bar, and Word Up. During any of these shows, viewers can compete for bragging rights and cash prizes.

The app is available via both the Apple App Store and Google Play. More information on the platform can be found on the official site.


Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun: How to Fight the Motion Controls & Almost Win Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:47:00 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Any rhythm game fan has heard of the Taiko no Tatsujin series, whether they've played it or not. Arcade cabinets with huge Japanese taiko drums, loud music, and more BOOM BOOM BOOM BASS than pretty much any other rhythm game. That's the one. 

Recently, the West got its second-ever taste of this long-running series, with Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun releasing on the Nintendo Switch and Drum Session! making its way to the PlayStation 4.

This is an exciting time for rhythm fans because both games have been minimally changed from their Japanese-release counterparts, unlike Taiko Drum Master on the PlayStation 2, which featured its very own tracklist of terrible covers of English songs... and the North American Dragon Ball Z theme. But hey, at least it came with a drum.

The Nintendo Switch's motion control option and the sheer nostalgia from the inclusion of Cha-la Head Cha-la from Dragon Ball Z pushed me toward purchasing Drum 'n' Fun over Drum Session! first.

This was probably a mistake.

The motion control issue

Drum 'n' Fun has three separate innate control options: pressing buttons on the Joy-Con, using the touchscreen, and using the Joy-Con motion controls. The first two are great, the third is almost torturous.

I've played a few Switch games that use motion controls before and it's gone fine, but not many titles -- or even genres -- require the sort of precise inputs and timing rhythm games demand. The Joy-Cons are not up to the task of accurately air drumming.

Three things happen on the regular with motion controls:

  • Phantom tapping, particularly after a drum roll or other rapid-note segments
  • The gyro not reading the direction the Joy-Cons are tilted when trying to hit Ka instead of Don
  • The Joy-Cons not reading an input even though you definitely made a motion

I do not know how some Japanese players are able to clear Extreme difficulty using the Joy-Cons, but after playing for a week or so, I'm fairly confident you either have to be in the top percentage bracket for wrist control worldwide or be some sort of Joy-Con wizard.

But enough complaining -- if you're like me, you may want to push forward with the Joy-Cons anyway, in part due to the challenge and perhaps, in part, because buying those drums costs over $100 and you don't have that kind of scratch right now.

Dealing with the Joy-Cons

So you're a masochist, huh? Cool.

Learning to play somewhat competently with the Joy-Cons takes form and practice. Drum 'n' Fun's built-in tutorials are basically useless, so you're somewhat on your own outside of this barebones text guide and some videos of players having at it.

Before I get to my personal tips, take a look at the tutorial video from the official Japanese website. You don't need to understand what's being said to get the gist.

If you're like most players, you're probably having a lot of trouble hitting Ka (blue) notes reliably. As you can see in the video above, to hit them on a regular basis you have to tilt/twist the Joy-Con to a 45-degree angle -- but, this isn't something you'll actually have to do in full once you're used to the Joy-Cons.

These bits of advice are supposed to help you acclimate yourself to drumming using the Joy-Cons, but in time, you will find your own methods that work.

When I first decided to learn to make the Joy-Cons bow before my will, I stuck hard to these rules. As I became more familiar with the overall wonkiness of the motion controls, I loosened up and found other methods and positions that worked better for me.

Here are some tips. 

Hold the Joy-Cons so they are fully in your hands to start

Don't grab half the Joy-Con, grab the whole thing like your life depends on it.

As you get better, you'll find holding positions that may work better for you but to start, grip the entirety of the Joy-Con to ensure there's no wobble to your hits.

Flick the wrist; don't move your whole arm

This gets painful if you've got the ol' carpal tunnel, but flicking your wrists is the quickest and easiest way to get the Joy-Cons to read your movement accurately.

The game will not ever accurately read wide, broad arm strokes, and on more difficult songs, you simply do not have the time for broad strokes. Stick to wrist flicking and move your way up to forearm motions as you become more comfortable.

Choose your resting angle

How do you hold your Joy-Cons when idle? One might say you can hold them in any position, but you have to think about how your wrists and arms are going to move and what angle they're coming from for semi-accurate motion readings.

After watching some videos, I started holding my Joy-Cons at a 90-degree upward angle. This did help, but over time, I've started being more relaxed and hold them tilted a little more forward. After all, your motions are what matter most.

You don't have to hold your Joy-Cons at a 90- or even 45-degree angle (you can hold them horizontally, even), but the goal is for you to learn to control your wrists and arms from a stationary position. Choose an angle and try to stick with it, but adjust if you don't feel you're getting accurate timings or are getting the wrong notes.

Ka woes, angle-swiping, and the game's newb-friendliness

As mentioned earlier, the only way to always get the game to recognize your Ka hits is to swipe the Joy-Cons at a 45-degree angle inward. You may have to do this particularly hard as you get used to hitting these notes but as with everything else mentioned here, your motions will become more fluid as you familiarize yourself with the control wonkiness.

There is one aspect the game fails to ever mention and may very well be a fun-killer: Drum 'n' Fun reads Don and Ka independently, but as one another.

What this means is, you can hit Dons for Kas and vice versa. You could theoretically play the game hitting nothing but Don notes and it will read them as Ka notes in the appropriate places.

I really dislike this "feature," but with the motion controls being what they are... I'll take it. If you don't believe me on this, go test it out. You'll find out pretty quickly the game does not care which note you are hitting, it only cares about timing. A bummer for sure.

Phantom notes, a.k.a. the drum roll plague, a.k.a. choose a character who will do them for you

If you have done a drum roll even once in Drum 'n' Fun, you've felt one or both of your Joy-Cons let off a phantom note. Clearly, they do not like being shaken.

In a game that requires such accuracy, these phantom notes are full combo killers. The only way to win versus these phantom notes is to cut out the middleman and not do them at all.

Luckily Drum 'n' Fun allows you to choose characters, each with their own skills. Currycutta is the first character you'll get who will take that burden off your shoulders as it will auto-drum roll and do balloons. That leaves only one rapid-drum variation left, and those are generally manageable.

This is kind of a crappy way to get around the game hitting phantom notes, but I will say that it has significantly increased my enjoyment of the game as phantom notes happen far less frequently if you just let the game do drum rolls for you. Again, this is kind of crappy because doing drum rolls is really fun and it's an integral part of the Taiko no Tatsujin experience.


I don't know if I'm crazy or I just hate myself, but I'm going to keep playing with the Joy-Cons until I either get Drum Session! with a PS4 drum and Switch adapter. I've never rage-played anything to this extent in my entire life.

Perhaps it's simply excitement or love for the Taiko no Tatsujin series, who knows. All I know is I can't stop playing regardless of the motion controls being less-than-desirable. Getting good enough to reliably play Hard or even Extreme with these things is going to require a lot more control than I have.

Hopefully, my advice will help you on your path to Taiko enlightenment, but let's be real: It's a lot easier and more fun to shell out $100+ for a drum than it is to even do halfway well in Drum 'n' Fun using the motion controls.

Fallout 76 Legendary Modifiers Guide Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:26:37 -0500 Ty Arthur

The wait is over -- Fallout 76 launched early, so you can get in on the post apocalyptic multiplayer mayhem right now!

Just like in Fallout 4, special equipment can drop from enemies with a star next to their name that includes additional Legendary modifiers. These modifiers radically alter the equipment's base properties or give them huge advantages over standard weapons.

You'll know you've got a Legendary if you see a short word modifier before the weapon, like Acrobat's, Exterminator's, or Ghoul Hunter's. Below we cover all the effects current discovered.

It's entirely possible there are far more than these effects that just haven't been found yet, as the list is obviously much smaller than in Fallout 4 at the moment.

Have you seen any other Legendary modifiers not listed in the tables below? Let us know and we'll get them added!

Fallout 76 Legendary Armor Modifiers

Legendary Property Effect
 Acrobat  -50% falling damage
 Assassin  -15% damage from humans
 Auto Stim  Use stimpack automatically when below 40% health
 Bolstering  Increased damage resistance when at lower health
 Cavalier  -15% damage when sprinting or blocking
 Chameleon  Reduced enemy detection when stationary or sneaking
 Duelist  10% chance to disarm melee weapon from enemy
 Exterminator  -15% damage from bugs and mirelurks
 Ghoul Slayer  -15% damage from ghouls
 Hunter  -15% damage from animals
 Junky  Reduced damage when suffering from chem withdrawal
 Mutant Slayer  -15% damage from super mutants
 Sprinter  +10% movement speed
 Troubleshooter  -15% damage from robots
 Undying  50% chance to use stim pack while downed
 Weightless  -50% total weight
 Zealot  -15% damage from scorched


Fallout 76 Legendary Weapon Effects

Legendary Property Effect
Anti-Scorched   +25% damage vs scorched, -20% vs all others
 Anti-Armor  Ignore 50% armor
Assassin   +10% damage to other players
Berserker   Deal more damage if your Resistance is lower
 Bloodied  Deal more damage if your health is lower
Concussive   +33% hit chance in VATS
 Double  Double weapon magazine size
 Executioner  +50% damage if target is below 40$ health
 Explosive  Ammo explodes for 15 area damage
Exterminator   +50% damage against bugs and mirelurks
 Furious  Additional damage on subsequent hits against same target
Ghoul Slayer   +50% damage vs ghouls
 Hunter  +50% damage vs animals
  Instigating  Double damage when target is at 100% health
 Junky  Additional damage if you have chem withdrawal
 Medic  Heal your group when inflicting VATS crits
 Mutant  +10% damage if you have a mutation
 Mutant Slayer  +30% damage vs super mutants
Never Ending   Infinite ammo supply
 Nocturnal  Extra damage at night, less damage during day
 Quad  4X standard ammo capacity
Sacrificial Blade  Deals additional bleed and poison damage
 Stalker  +100% VATS accuracy at+50% AP cost if not in combat
 Suppressor  Target deals 20% less damage for 3 seconds after being hit
 Troubleshooter  +30% damage vs robots
 Two Shot  Fire one additional round per attack
 Vampiric  Heal after striking an enemy
 Zealot  +30% damage vs ghouls


Fallout 76 Unique Weapons

Weapon Special Effect
 All Rise (Super sledge)  -90% weight, +10 HP
Blade Of Bastet (Chinese officer sword)  Increased armor penetration
Black Diamond (Ski sword)  +1 Strength to wielder
Bunker Buster (Missile launcher)  +20% damage
 Guitar Sword (Sword)  Currently unknown -- let us know if you find this weapon!
 Makeshift Rifle (Assault rifle)  Bonus damage when HP below 40%
 Perfect Storm (10mm SMG)  Incendiary bullets deal damage over time
 Rose's Syringer (Syringe launcher)  Makes target extra powerful for 60 seconds, then extra weak for 60 seconds
 Voice Of Set (.44 pistol)  Bonus damage vs robots


Need more help getting started in the open world wasteland of this series spin off? Check out our other Fallout 76 guides here:

Spider-Man's Next DLC Features A New Story Mission, 3 More Suits Tue, 13 Nov 2018 14:38:46 -0500 William R. Parks

While there is no dearth of new titles to keep players occupied this fall, content continues to find its way to Insomniac Games' exceptional Spider-Man for PlayStation 4.

With the game's first DLC in the books, it is now time for the second chapter in the action-adventure game's three-part DLC (The City That Never Sleeps), and Insomniac has just given us a peek at what we can expect from Turf Wars, releasing next Tuesday, November 20.

As with October's DLC release, Turf Wars features a brand-new story mission. This time around, players will square-off against Hammerhead, a classic villain with a surgically reinforced skull, after he has let loose chaos on the streets of New York. You will not be alone, however, as Yuri Watanabe is along for the ride.

Additionally, Turf Wars will bring new bases, crimes, challenges, and trophies to Spider-Man, and, perhaps most importantly, three new suits as well.

Fans can now compliment the game's updated Iron Spider Armor with the classic version and complete their MK set with the Spider-Armor MK I.

Additionally, the Spider-Clan Suit is a manga-inspired take on Spidey's costume, pulled from the Marvel Mangaverse comic books. The Illustrated-style of this suit is in good company with the game's Vintage Comic Book Suit, and it is sure to be striking amidst Spider-Man's more realistic aesthetic.

As mentioned, Turf Wars will be available on November 20 for $9.99.

If you are interested in all three DLCs (Turf Wars, the previously released The Heist, and the upcoming Silver Lining), The City That Never Sleeps bundle is available for $24.99.

Will Turf Wars be enough to pull you away from Red Dead Redemption 2, Hitman 2, Fallout 76, or any of the other new games you may be playing?

Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our review of Spider-Man and The Heist.

The Three Best Beginner Builds in Fallout 76 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:42:44 -0500 Sergey_3847

Fallout 76 is finally coming out in its full form, and if you didn't have the chance to try the game out during the beta test, then you will probably have a hard time getting to know all the perk cards available in the game from the start.

Having a plan before playing such a complex game as Fallout 76 is essential for effective survival gameplay. Fortunately, you can use helpful resources, such as Nukes and Dragons to pre-construct your SPECIAL builds and figure out beforehand which cards you want to use in your builds.

If you need help figuring out a powerful build for your first playthrough of Fallout 76, then follow our guide below for the three best beginner builds.

Best Strength Build

The first most logical build you can go for in Fallout 76 is the Strength build, which will give you a lot of APs to play with and a decent number of defense mechanisms.

At the heart of this build you will find three main perks: Strength, Endurance, and Agility. Strength will give you power to weild and damage opponents with melee weapons, while Endurance will let you withstand damage. Lastly, Agility is needed to create enough stamina for you to use during combat.

Here is a complete breakdown of the Strength build for Fallout 76:

  • Strength (15)
    • Gladiator (3)
    • Slugger (3)
    • Shotgunner (3)
    • Pack Rat (3)
    • Basher (1)
    • Sturdy Frame (2)
  • Perception (3)
    • Skeet Shooter (3)
  • Endurance (15)
    • Iron Stomach (3)
    • Natural Resistance (3)
    • Vaccinated (3)
    • Professional Drinker (3)
    • Hydrofix (2)
    • Aquaboy/Aquagirl (1)
  • Charisma (5)
    • Bodyguards (4)
    • Team Medic (1)
  • Intelligence (3)
    • First Aid (3)
  • Agility (9)
    • Action Boy/Girl (3)
    • Born Survivor (3)
    • Dodgy (3)
  • Luck (6)
    • Serendipity (3)
    • Junk Shield (3)

Best Agility Build

Strength is a powerful perk, but having a ton of APs and Luck can also bring some amazing results in the form of this Agility-based build. It is focused mainly on giving a massive advantage to your VATS and reducing any harmful effects that may come from either physical damage or radiation.

This build requires you to carry a good weapon, as it will significantly increase both the targeting precision and the critical hit chance. You can choose to become a very effective sniper or a gunner with the help of this build, so be sure to invest in all these cards if you are interested in this playstyle.

Here is a complete breakdown of the Agility build for Fallout 76:

  • Strength (5)
    • Pack Rat (3)
    • Sturdy Frame (2)
  • Perception (6)
    • Concentrated Fire (3)
    • Crack Shot (3)
  • Endurance (6)
    • Radicool (1)
    • Ghoulish (1)
    • Iron Clad (4)
  • Charisma (4)
    • Lone Wanderer (4)
  • Intelligence (5)
    • Gunsmith (5)
  • Agility (15)
    • Action Boy/Girl (3)
    • Adrenaline (1)
    • Gun Fu (3)
    • Gunslinger (1)
    • Expert Gunslinger (1)
    • Master Gunslinger (1)
    • Evasive (3)
    • Gun Runner (2)
  • Luck (15)
    • Four Leaf Clover (3)
    • Grim Reaper's Sprint (3)
    • Critical Savvy (3)
    • Better Criticals (3)
    • Class Freak (3)

Best Charisma Build

Many players would argue why would they need to play a Charisma build. But this is the type of build that is perfect for players who want to play a support role in their team. So, if you like to play in co-op, then opt for this excellent Charisma build, which also has a huge pool of APs due to several well-chosen Agility perks.

The most important perk card in this entire list is Team Medic, which fully heals your other team members when using stimpaks. This is highly important when your team gets engaged in a PvP combat, and in case the opposing team doesn't have a support player, then it will surely lose.

Here is a complete breakdown of the Charisma build for Fallout 76:

  • Strength (3)
    • Sturdy Frame (2)
    • Strong Back (1)
  • Perception (7)
    • Crack Shot (3)
    • Sniper (1)
    • Concentrated Fire (3)
  • Endurance (5)
    • Ironclad (5)
  • Charisma (15)
    • Team Medic (3)
    • Suppressor (3)
    • Tenderizer (3)
    • Quack Surgeon (1)
    • Squad Maneuvers (2)
    • Rad Sponge (1)
    • Magnetic Personality (2)
  • Intelligence (10)
    • Gunsmith (5)
    • Scrapper (1)
    • First Aid (3)
    • Pharmacist (1)
  • Agility (14)
    • Adrenaline (5)
    • Gunslinger (1)
    • Expert Gunslinger (1)
    • Master Gunslinger (1)
    • White Knight (3)
    • Gun Runner (2)
    • Marathoner (1)
  • Luck (2)
    • Luck of the Draw (2)


With the help of each of these three excellent Fallout 76 beginner builds, you will be able to explore the vast map of West Virginia either in solo mode or provide a real support for your teammates in co-op. Also, be sure to come back soon for even more Fallout 76 guides here at GameSkinny!

Crusader Kings II Holy Fury: How To Use The New Shattered World Rules Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:22:34 -0500 Fox Doucette

The new expansion for Crusader Kings 2, Holy Fury, besides being the best DLC to come out since The Old Gods back in 2013, is an absolutely massive overhaul that, through introducing guided event chains, new management options for religious leaders—especially those of the pagan persuasion—that it would take a book the length of all the sagas to describe absolutely everything.

So instead of trying to cover the whole DLC in one shot, let's focus in on the one mechanic that is absolutely the most literally world-changing one in the whole package: the Shattered World rules.

Let's start by making like a god and creating a world.

One Caveat!

Shattered and Random Worlds will not allow you to circumvent DLC restrictions that lock playable pagans behind the Old Gods DLC, Muslims behind Sword of Islam, and nomads behind Horse Lords, for example. Please bear this in mind if you're shattering the world (especially if you're randomizing the religions in the game) since you might just end up with nothing but unplayable factions all over the map.

Put simply, this game mode richly rewards the completionist above all. Luckily, these DLCs go on sale a lot. I have almost all of them myself (even bought The Reaper's Due just because it was there when I got back into the game recently), and I'll be writing with that assumption in mind. If you can't use something I suggest here, and you really want it, buy the DLC. You'll be generally glad you did.

Shattered Vs. Random

The biggest difference between a shattered world and a random one is the scope and scale of the duchies and empires that start the game. That is to say, simply generating a random world means you can make it a lot like the base game, only... different.

Three of the first four settings are for “number of dukes”, “number of kings”, and “number of emperors”, after all. The point here isn't necessarily to change the fundamental flavor of a traditional CK2 game, where vassals can break free of lieges or scheme to gain the crown for themselves and where one-province minors are limited to places like Ireland if they want to grow powerful extremely early in the game.

Sure, you can turn all of those settings way down or even off, but if you're going to do that, that's where the fourth setting, the one at the very top, comes in. You can assign a maximum number of counties for counts to own.

Put that number at 8 and the game will tend to generate multi-county realms more or less exactly at the maximum demesne size that the rulers of those counties can hold.

Put it down at 1 and every count starts as a one-province minor.

In-between, of course, generates results that lead to decent-sized realms to start. This is nice if you don't want to twiddle your thumbs before you start warmongering; you can pick a county that's a bit bigger than its neighbors and get to putting together those de jure duchies and kingdoms that allow you to play “the Irish strategy” anywhere on the map.

Shattered World, meanwhile, is a lot more balanced.

Set it to “counties only” (the setting on the left at the top of the menu) and everyone's a one-province minor.

Set it to “duchies only” (the setting on the right) and every duke will start with their own complete de jure realm, ready to start vying for power to see which of those petty warlords will become the king (this is absolutely ideal for a “Bretwalda”-like game in the British Isles.)

Set it in the middle and there will be dukes with count vassals, a bit more of a headache rulership-wise but which does tend to slow down the pace of advancing “blobs” ever so slightly.

If all you did was use these options to break up an early start, it would be a fine way to go about it. But there is so much more available to you, so let's dig deeper.

Let's start with the three game settings unique to the Shattered World.

How Fast Do You Like Your Blobs?

The “Consolidation” casus belli, available for a designated amount of time from the start of the game, essentially opens the “Become King of Norway” decision from Norse pagans up to the entire game world.

During that limited time, you'll have an all-you-can-eat right to use the “county conquest” casus belli when starting a war. This has the net effect of saving you a lot of time and trouble as a non-Germanic-pagan faction in getting rid of a pesky neighbor, since you won't have to fabricate any claims.

Settings include Disabled as well as Enabled for 25 years, 100 years, or Permanent. Permanent is... well, it's way too powerful in the midgame and beyond for warmongers. Doing this for longer than a century makes the game an absolute cakewalk.

Beware the Fallen Empires

If you've played Paradox's sister game Stellaris, you know what happens when the Awakened Empires and the event-generated conquerors start showing up to screw the galaxy with a light show of space lasers.

Well, put that on Earth (minus the space lasers) and you have the Great Conquerors, of which up to 12 can be designated. These will periodically spawn with large armies, a special Invasion casus belli, and a tendency to show up nowhere near the player so they can do the maximum amount of damage and consolidation before the player eventually has to fight them. This is the check on player power from all that free consolidation in the early game that a human can do.

The more of these you spawn in, the harder the game gets.

My Son, All This Shall Be Yours

There's an option to change the succession laws, but it's either bugged or just doesn't work with tribes. It's hard to tell with Paradox what's a bug and what's a feature since their games are so complex, and I did my test playthrough for this guide as the County of Agder with a 769 historical start in a counties-only Shattered World. After 20 hours, I've only scratched the surface.

If indeed it's a bug and Paradox meant to allow feudal succession for tribes, this massively curbs the frustration factor that is getting locked to Elective Gavelkind until you can warmonger enough Moral Authority and religious holy sites to reform your religion and adopt feudalism or merchant republics.

Setting Primogeniture early is a huge buff to unreformed pagans, nomads, and tribals.

Demographics Or: How To Game Over In Year One

The next group of settings: Female Ruler Percentage, Marriage Percentage, Age Span, and Number of Children (0-10), are all self-explanatory.

The temptation is to go hog wild here, but it is real easy to accidentally trigger a game over when you make a world full of small dynasties ruled by women and find you can't keep your family line going past the first generation.

Granted, there are always ways around this (a matrilinear marriage to a lowborn courtier is every countess's in-case-of-fire-break-glass option if you can live with the prestige hit, as is the Present Debutante option to magic a wife out of thin air for a male ruler.)

But do be careful with these sliders.

How Historical Do You Like Your History?

You can, in any kind of world, keep the cultures and religions as they are and where they are in the world. Norse stay in Norway and follow the Old Gods, Italians live in Italy and are Catholic, and so on.

You can also decide to randomize historical cultures so Norse people live in the deepest, darkest parts of sub-Saharan Africa if you like. The map does extend all the way to the Sahel region, from Mali in the west to Somalia in the east.

Or those same men of the north could find themselves on the western fringes of China! If you've got the Jade Dragon DLC, that means Vikings on the Silk Road getting chummy with the Cathay emperors in Nanjing, and the idea of a bearded, axe-wielding Genghis Khan in a helmet out of a Wagner opera? Sure, why not?

But if you really want to break your brain and make yourself feel like you're playing in a world that is not our own, try randomizing the culture and religion names. Half the fun then becomes just trying to suss out what it is your neighbors believe so that you can try and formulate a strategy against it.

The Gods Must Be Crazy

And, of course, Paradox provided a cheat sheet. As soon as you randomize religions, a little green arrow lights up in the interface allowing you to look at and alter the belief systems of every religion in the game. You can't do it with historical religions (Catholics are still Catholic, Germanic pagans still worship Odin and Thor, and whatnot), but anything goes with random religions.

Want to make the “Wienkeic Rites” (the version of Norse paganism the game whipped up for me when I pressed the button just now as I'm writing this guide) a peace-loving, non-aggressive religion rooted in meritocracy and stability? Go nuts!

Want to make historically Buddhist or Hindu lands fall under the sway of a warmongering religion with bloodthirsty gods and a faithful who believe that death in battle brings eternal rewards in the hereafter? Gandhi wants his nukes!

You can choose anything in between and modify the AI as well, giving you (pun fully intended) god-like powers over belief.

Imagine No Possessions, I Wonder If You Can

The next key piece in our world-building puzzle is how fleshed out (or not) the individual holdings are.

You can keep this historical, so counties that are rich in the base game will remain so, you can randomize it so you get an unequal world with obvious strategic targets, or you can ensure that every single province in the game gets the same number of holdings in it.

You can have as few as one available holding slot or as many as seven, assigned to every province, or as mentioned you can make it random. The choice is yours.

The next section of the menu, “Holding Types”, determines whether you have fully feudal holdings everywhere on the map, fully tribal ones, fully nomadic camps, or any mixing and matching to suit the flavor of your game.

Tribalism does tend to nerf looting for pagans pretty badly, but at the same time, tribal holdings are easier to conquer the old-fashioned way.

The next slider, technology, gives you three choices: Historical (tends to concentrate early game tech in traditional “civilized” centers of learning), Flat (everyone's on the same footing, based mainly around the historical start year you choose for your game), and Random (although it won't slide too far off the start year's level of tech, advances will be randomly distributed rather than concentrated historically.)

I Dub Thee Emir of Groove-Funkistan

The last set of sliders relate to de jure duchies and kingdoms. Do you want the Kingdom of Arabia to be in... well... Arabia? Or would you rather have something much wackier?

Note that if you randomize the de jure realms, you can choose how big they are, and therefore how much conquering you'll have to do before you can form one. Fewer is better if you don't want to rely too heavily on vassals; more is better if you want a challenge of keeping a realm from disintegrating while you vie for the crown.

The same warning applies here as applies to religion. If you want to spend more time playing and less time sorting out the Tower of Babel story you just inflicted on the world by randomizing all the names, it might behoove you to change the flavor of the game mechanics without necessarily changing so much that the world is too foreign for you to understand while you're already playing one of the most complex games this side of Dwarf Fortress.

But if you do become the Emir of Groove-Funkistan, don't forget the burnoose.

Actually Playing This Weird World You've Built

At the end of the day? This is still Crusader Kings 2. Absolutely everything in the game functions according to the same rules (including the new rules the DLC adds that will present themselves over the course of your playthroughs, which we'll cover elsewhere or which you can read about on the CK2 Wiki or the Paradox forums) as it always has.

The difference is that if you've just thrown yourself into a world of petty fiefdoms vying to become the emperor of the known world, you're going to actually have to formulate a fresh strategy that may have nothing at all to do with how a “normal” person plays the game wherever it is you've spawned.

That, ultimately, is the most fun and challenging part of Shattered and Random Worlds. The history books all burned. It's up to you to write a new one.

Top 11 Most Anticipated VR Games of 2019 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:35:37 -0500 Ty Arthur


There are undoubtedly many, many more games set to hit the virtual reality market in the coming months, but these are the ones we're most excited to try out.


What did you think of our picks for the top 11 VR games slated to land in 2019? Did we miss any that should have made this list? Sound off in the comments below!




Population: One

  • Release date: 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: Crossplay between Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows MR
  • \n

If you aren't sick of Battle Royale mania yet, you should be excited by the prospect of this growing genre finally coming to VR.


Yep, you'll be falling from the battle bus, building structures, plundering empty buildings, and struggling to survive to the #1 spot as the circle shrinks all in glorious virtual reality. 


If this catches on, I'd expect to see Fortnite add on a VR mode next year as well!


Ghost Giant

  • Release date: Unknown (maybe 2019?)
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

VR is tailor-made for this kind of experience, where you are just a pair of giant disembodied hands looking down on a virtual world and deciding how you are going to interact with it.


This seems like an excellent attempt to embrace the standard tropes of virtual reality games and expand on them, rather than try to hide them. With any luck, Ghost Giant will show all the other games how it's meant to be done.


Trover Saves the Universe 

  • Release date: 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR, with PC likely down the line
  • \n

Speaking of over the top, hoo boy, Trover Saves The Universe is going to strain the patience of anyone not fully onboard with the Interdimensional Cable episodes of Rick And Morty.


This is going to be pure, grade-A, weapons-grade nutso that will put all other attempts at bizarre gaming to shame by several orders of magnitude.


I still can't decide if this will be the best thing ever or if I'll be rolling my eyes and pulling my own hair out, but either way expect this game to make a splash.


Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot 

  • Release date: Expected sometime 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC, PSVR
  • \n

VR has pretty consistently shown an affinity for spin offs offering new ways to experience a well known franchise.


With Cyberpilot, we'll get to saddle up in giant mechanical doggos to light Nazis on fire. What's not to love?


I do have to wonder how much of the over-the-top grisly imagery from Wolfenstein 2 will make it over in the translation, as that might become a bit much to handle in VR mode.



  • Release date: Early 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC
  • \n

While plenty of VR games these days are become ever more ambitious and working in fully movement, there are still plenty of great games where you remain more stationary and just interact with the environment.


That's what's on display with Gagdeteer (previously going by the code name Ruberg), which has you setting up and knocking down intricate chain reaction puzzles. I would expect this one to be a party hit like Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes.



  • Release date: Unknown 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: Oculus Rift exclusive
  • \n

This is probably the one big VR release of 2019 that's getting the most buzz right now and its being developed by Insomniac Games and Oculus Studios.


Some of VR's biggest triumphs so far are games that change your perspective and offer a different kind of experience, and that's what it seems like we'll get as a broken down robot (the Short Circuit comparisons are coming strong and fast).


The combat here looks like a more fully realized version of Blasters Of The Universe, and that's a very good thing, and the visuals will make you think of Horizon: Zero Dawn, but minus the humans.


Ace Combat 7 

  • Release date: January 18, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

Surprisingly, the number of air combat simulations in VR are pretty sparse on the PlayStation 4 right now. There's that super short Call Of Duty Jackal entry, and not a whole lot else.


Rather than a full VR game, Ace Combat 7 will include a series of VR-specific missions, but what we've seen so far looks very slick. Hopefully this is just the start of the virtual reality dog fights headed to Sony's flagship console.


Age Of Wushu 2 

  • Release date: TBA 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC
  • \n

This upcoming Chinese action MMO will include something you haven't seen in the massively multiplayer realm before.... a VR element for exploration (although sadly not for combat).


There's not a ton of info yet on exactly how the VR sections will work and how you will switch back to non-VR during combat, but you can officially color me intrigued.


Seeing virtual reality aspects worked into more games will go a long way towards see VR get adopted on a wider scale.


The Mage's Tale 

  • Release date: Very up in the air
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR (already out on PC)
  • \n

This full VR RPG set between The Bard's Tale 3 and 4 is actually already out now on Steam, but it was actively in development for a PSVR port in early 2019.


Sadly, the fate of this one is now very up in the air sadly, with InXile just being bought out by Microsoft.


We can't imagine they'll be keen on letting their new acquisition release a game on a rival console, but there's been no official word yet on whether this is actually cancelled or not, since it had already been announced and was deep in development.


Borderlands 2 VR

  • Release date: December 14th, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

OK, OK, we're cheating even more with Borderlands 2 VR! This one comes out December 14th, a half month before its officially 2019, but that's not going to stop us from putting it here.


This is easily my own most anticipated title as it provides another opportunity to face off against awful dad Handsome Jack and interact with the amazingly psychotic Tiny Tina yet again.


Who else absolutely cannot wait to joy puke your face off in virtual reality? Of course, with this version of the game arriving soon, it leads to a more important question... where the hell is Borderlands 3 already?


Star Child 

  • Release date: December 31st, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

Yes, Star Child does in fact arrive one single day before it officially becomes 2019, but you'll forgive us, right?


This looks like the new unexpected VR game that's going to provide a totally different experience than you'd expect, much like Moss did for PSVR at the beginning of the year.


Based on the trailer, it seems like we're in for some crazy platforming and giant boss-dodging action in a unique alien landscape.


Any given trailer for a VR title these days still gets hit with the running gag about how 5 people will love the game when it releases, but the notion of VR remaining firmly underground is about to be strongly challenged in 2019.


A whole lotta killer games have already arrived since our article earlier in the year looking at whether PSVR in particular is worth investing in at this point.


Between horror games like The Persistence, shooters like Firewall Zero Hour, and platformers like Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, there's just no reason not to jump into the VR fray anymore.


There's plenty more slated to land in the next month before the year's over as well, such as Arca's Path coming soon and two Persona dancing games arriving in early December.


That's just the beginning though, as 2019 is unquestionably going to be the year VR breaks out into the mainstream. In the slides ahead we round up the 11 most anticipated tiles in every possible genre!


While many of the upcoming games in our top 11 picks will be available for the PSVR, we've broadened out our search across the entire VR lineup, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality.

Marvel Visionary, Stan Lee, Passes Away at 95 Mon, 12 Nov 2018 17:52:29 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Stan Lee, the brilliant mind that turned Marvel Comics into a household name and forever changed the pop culture landscape, has passed away at 95. 

He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday. His death has been confirmed by family representatives Dawn Miller and Kirk Schenck. 

The cause of death was not released. 

Lee, a plucky writer and fastidious editor, took the Marvel Comics brand to new heights in the early 1960s by infusing his superheroes with relatable human foibles. Eschewing the infallible, archetypal luminaries that dominated the 1940s and 1950s, Lee set about to create heroes that inspired generations through complex emotion and gripping personality. 

Actor Chris Evans, who played Johnny Storm in 2007's Fantastic Four and has played Captain America since 2011, said on Twitter following news of Lee's death: 

There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!

Alongside legendary artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee created a tableau of characters that would redefine not just comic books, but pop culture as a whole. Through his work and under his leadership and guidance, Marvel would go from humble publisher to multi-media powerhouse, one that would see the brand grow into movies, television, and video games. 

Across social media, fans, friends, and colleagues remembered Lee for his unfading contributions to entertainment, as well as his extraordinary character and kindness.






Lee made dozens of appearances in various Marvel media properties over the years, most notably in many of the Marvel films dating back to the 1989 T.V. movie, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

Later in his career, Lee also worked with DC Comics, contributing to re-imaginings of several high-profile DC characters, such as Batman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman. 

Lee will live on not only in the characters he created and co-created, but also the millions of fans who found solace and companionship in his words. 

Excelsior, Stan. Excelsior! 

Amazon Reveals Release Date for Sunset Overdrive on PC Mon, 12 Nov 2018 13:24:49 -0500 William R. Parks

While Microsoft has remained quiet about a PC version of 2014's Sunset Overdrive, a SteamDB listing and an ESRB rating for a PC release have fueled fan excitement over the last weeks.

Now, Amazon has further confirmed Sunset Overdrive's desktop arrival, launching a pre-order page that gives the game a November 16 release date.

Amazon indicates that the release will include both of the game's DLCs, Mystery of Mooil Rig and Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machine, as well as the post-release Weapon Pack that added four new guns to the game.

All of this will be available for $19.99.

Overdrive is an action-packed third-person shooter focused on keeping the player moving. Do not expect a quiet stroll through the park here -- if you plan on surviving, you will need to hit top speeds as you zip line, parkour, and grind your way through Sunset City.

Developed by Insomniac Games, fans of their recent Spider-Man will find a lot to love in the high-speed thrills Overdrive has to offer. And, if you have been waiting for something to take you back to the classic Jet Set Radio, this may be the perfect game for you.

Now, if only Microsoft would get behind Insomniac's desire to put out a sequel, we would have something to really be excited about.

How Will Artifact Perform in a CCG World Dominated by Hearthstone and MtG? Tue, 13 Nov 2018 11:23:37 -0500 Sergey_3847

Artifact, a brand-new CCG from Valve and Richard Garfield, will enter its beta testing stage on November 19, and it will get a full release on November 28. Invariably, these two dates will mark the beginning of a new CCG era, one that has the potential to dethrone the two CCG mammoths on the market: Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.

Artifact offers innovative card game mechanics that combine the best elements of Hearthstone and Magic, which makes its gameplay highly engaging and never boring. But more importantly, Valve's new CCG will provide a unique card trading system that will prevent pay-to-win schemes that cripple games like Hearthstone and Magic

However, an obvious hurdle getting Artifact's way right out of the gate is that the base game will cost $20, and later, when the new expansions come out, players will have to buy each pack for $2 each. While free-to-play can often hide pay-to-win on the backside, a priced CCG can alienate potential players before they've even had a chance to play it. 

But pricing is not the only concern CCG players have when it comes to Artifact -- there are always concerns regarding systems, economies, and more. Let's take a look at what other surprises Valve's new card game might have and if players should be concerned. 

Artifact: The Rules of the Game

Artifact's three lanes show cards being played

Before discussing Artifact's future and comparing it to other card games, it's important to understand the mechanics of the game, as they are quite complex. This should come as no surprise since Artifact's lead designer is Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering.

If you thought that one board was not enough for a card game, then how about three? These correspond to the three lanes found in games like DoTA 2, where there are three towers at the end of each lane. 

Each turn in Artifact includes four phases; we'll take a look at them below. 

Action Phase

At the beginning of each turn, both players are able to start playing their cards (using mana) on each of the three lanes. Mana count starts at three and grows by one each turn. Hero and item cards don't cost any mana and can be played for free each turn.

When players use all of their mana, they can pass their turns. Then, the Combat phase begins -- for both players at the same time.

Combat Phase

Cards that have been placed on the board in the previous phase can now attack each of their opponent's towers simultaneously. If there is a card blocking an opponent's card, then the damage goes to the defending card instead of the tower.

When the Combat phase on one lane has been resolved, the game automatically resolves combat on the rest of the lanes.

Shopping Phase

After combat comes the Shopping phase, which serves as a sort of a "break" in the match. 

If during the Combat phase players manage to destroy some of the enemy cards or cast spells, they earn gold coins, which can then be spent to buy special items that are either generated by A.I. or manually put in the shop by the players themselves prior to the match-up.

These item cards cost no mana to cast and can enhance the performance of the players for the remainder of the match.

Deployment Phase

During this phase, players can also add two creeps on each lane. What's more, hero cards are immortal in Artifact, and during the deployment phase, players can replay them on lanes even if they've already played them on prior turns. 

This phase also begins the card drawing phase, but instead of one card, each player draws two cards. There is no limit on the amount of cards players can hold in their hands.

That is how complex one turn is in Artifact. It includes a vast number of decisions that need to be made on each of the three lanes, as well as devising quick strategies for placement and use. 

In the end, a winning player will have to destroy at least two of the three towers in order to claim victory.

How Artifact Fares Against Hearthstone and MtG

The Tinker card is shown with a cyberpunk robot on its face

Will Hearthstone and/or MtG players see any interest in Artifact?

First of all, it's already clear that Magic players will have a blast playing Artifact because of its complex gameplay. Richard Garfield is a genius game designer and he knows how to engage players with all kinds of mechanics, including the infamous RNG.

Hearthstone players, on the other hand, will most likely find it difficult to keep up with three boards at the same time. Some of the more experienced HS players do grind on several servers at the same time, but most casual players just want a quick rush of adrenaline.

The time required to finish a game in Hearthstone can be as short as a few minutes, while it's already obvious one match-up in Artifact may take up to an hour. This fits better with the MtG world, where players tend to spend long turns, pouring over possibilities and strategies.

But time consumption and complex decision-making aren't the only two factors that will influence how Artifact connects with CCG players. There is one more factor, which is probably the most important one -- the game's monetization system.

Artifact Economics vs. Hearthstone and MtG

The Artifact shop shows the cards players can buy

Monetization schemes in all three games are very different. Magic and Artifact are tradable card games, meaning that you can buy and sell cards on the open market. Hearthstone, on the other hand, is a collectible card game that requires players to buy packs and craft cards using dust. 

Hearthstone also stands out from the other two games because it's free-to-play. Artifact will cost $20 for the game client, two pre-constructed decks and 120 cards.

Magic Online will cost you $10 for a game client, but you pay nothing if you decide to play Magic Arena instead, which is a far more limited experience.

Artifact cards will be available for purchase on the Steam market and will range from $0.15 to $1. In comparison to Hearthstone, this is decent pricing, as one HS card also costs around $0.30, taking into account the cost of one pack.

MtG in this regard follows a completely different pattern, where cards sell on an extremely volatile market and can reach $1,000+.

This means that if you are ready to spend some cash in Hearthstone, you will be ready to spend the same amount of cash in Artifact -- and get a decent amount of good cards. However, if you've never spent a single cent in HS, then Artifact might not be your cup of tea as Gabe Newell told PC Gamer in an interview that:

"If time is free, or an account is free, or cards are free, then anything that has a mathematical relationship to those things ends up becoming devalued over time, whether it's the player's time and you just make people grind for thousands of hours for minor, trivial improvements, or the asset values of the cards, or whatever. That's a consequence. So you don't want to create that flood of free stuff that destroys the economy and the value of people's time."

Although it doesn't look like Artifact will ever have any free components, Newell also said in the same interview that Valve will make sure Artifact will be protected from malicious pay-to-win schemes: 

"There are plenty of very common cards that are going to be super powerful. The whole point is to steer away from pay-to-win and that kind of approach. We always want to reward investment. You always want to feel like, as a player, that the more time you spend on it, you're getting better and you're enjoying it more."

This is a good sign and shows that Valve really wants to create something valuable for their fans and not just another clone of Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering.

Final Thoughts

We can now say for sure that the economics in Artifact is far better in many respects when compared to both Hearthstone, which promotes a shameless pay-to-win system, and MtG, which exploits card markets with its insane prices.

In the case of Artifact, Valve (or the market) will regulate the prices and will not allow the most powerful cards to soar in prices. In this way, everyone who is ready to pay will get the chance to play the game at the highest competitive level.

This is a really smart system that should make many players satisfied. And all of those CCG fans who want to play for free can keep grinding for gold in Hearthstone or Magic Arena.

So, taking all this into account, will Artifact gain any traction after release? The answer is most likely "Yes", even for the simple fact that it's a Valve game -- the name alone will draw players from far and wide. 

It will be interesting to see what niche it carves for itself in the CCG space, and if players are willing to move away from Hearthstone and MtG to play it -- or at least give it some space at the table. 


What do you think about Artifact's gameplay mechanics? Do you find them too difficult to understand? What do you think about Valve's monetization system? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crusader Kings 2 Holy Fury DLC Review: High Praise Mon, 12 Nov 2018 15:06:38 -0500 Fox Doucette

Some of the highest praise I can give a game is when it blows me away with how good it is that only the little “due in 24 hours” reminder email I get sent to me ahead of my deadline can drag me away from it for long enough to do my job.

And while Crusader Kings 2 is usually like that, the new Holy Fury DLC goes above and beyond even that lofty standard.

Put simply, this is the best DLC for Paradox's six-year-old, ever-evolving grand strategy masterpiece since The Old Gods came out back in 2013.

For one thing, pagans are back with a holy fury. After being effectively nerfed in Sons of Abraham and Charlemagne, and by getting stripped of feudal government by the tribal system introduced with Horse Lords, the men of the north get a big dose of power with the Swedish pagans, forged in Valhalla by the hammer of Thor.

For example, new “warrior lodges” give pagans what essentially amounts to the Companions from Skyrim, which in turn grant questlines that allow a ruler to massively improve his or her military skill, army morale, and all that other fun statistical stuff that makes the gods of the random number generator favor their generals in battle.

A ruler can duel other characters for honor and glory (governed by a brand-new Personal Combat modifier), and as they rise up the ranks, they get all kinds of other fun toys to play with like gaining a commander trait of the player's choice, choosing to turn into a berserker (which, keeping up the Skyrim analogy, is only slightly less overpowered than turning into a werewolf), and appointing a shieldmaiden to lead armies. You'll be first to the battle, first to the feast.

Great warrior heroes of all faiths get to found legendary bloodlines. Some of them are included in the historical rulers in-game like Charlemagne, Ragnar Lothbrok, El Cid, and their ilk; others can come from that nobody you built in the Ruler Designer, starting a no-name dynasty in some far-off corner of the map.

Want to spend way too much time, money, and effort getting your spouse to love you? In-game, I mean.

Well, that's where the new “Sway” and “Antagonize” mechanics come in, perfect for making friends and enemies to shape the diplomatic landscape in your part of the world.

There are even new sainthood rules and coronation rules for the Christians, giving them that much more historical flavor when they're getting knocked around all over Europe by the newly-beefy Vikings.

Oh, and the game even takes names so your berserker king can keep a list of every single one of his kills.

And did I mention that it's not just the Norsemen who get to have a lot of good pagan fun at the expense of the Christians in this DLC? If you want to not just revive the Roman Empire (which has been an option for years in CK2) but really bring the Classical era back, there's an entire event chain for Hellenism.

But all of the above would just relegate this DLC to another case of “depends on your playstyle” but for one mighty, overwhelmingly awesome feature that makes it an absolute must-buy:

Shattered Worlds

Want every county in the game to start under the independent rule of a one-province minor in a massive free-for-all where nothing is predetermined except the religion and culture of certain parts of the map? Buckle up, buttercup;  that's exactly what you get. And it's awesome.

If you like an aggressive game where you have lots to do in terms of claiming titles and building up your power at the expense of your neighbors in the earlygame, this is the game mode for you.

Want to raid your Christian neighbors but don't want to wait for the Viking Age event in 793 when you're playing the Charlemagne early start? Norse culture coastal provinces start with shipyards so you can make with the looting and start in on your ambitious building projects sooner than you normally would in the basegame.

Tired of having Europe bottlenecked by you being a vassal of the real movers and shakers in the world, waiting for a big realm divide before you can take advantage of the chaos? This is the game mode for you.

And if all one-province minors isn't your thing, there are even game options that create a randomized world. Same basic flavor as a historical start, but with a wildly different setup of counts, dukes, and kings than you'd normally expect to see, giving you a truly different start every single time you play.

I want this in Europa Universalis IV without having to use the Shattered Europa mod. Hopefully Paradox learns a thing or two from trying it out in CK2.

But Shattered Worlds? That's why only the unpleasant reminder that I actually have to earn the free review copy of the DLC that Paradox sent me by writing this review could drag me away from playing it.

That's some of the highest praise I can give a game. If you play Crusader Kings 2, buy this DLC. I can't make it any simpler than that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go spend every free moment I have for.. oh, about the next week or so.. playing it.

[Note: Writer was granted a review copy of the game from the publisher.]

New Game Releases: Week of November 11, 2018 Mon, 12 Nov 2018 10:59:27 -0500 William R. Parks

Following a relatively quiet week for new AAA releases, studios are coming out swinging with some major titles this week.

On Tuesday, IO Interactive is back with Hitman 2 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, the seventh title in the series and a direct sequel to 2016's Hitman.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise (and who cannot glean the premise from the game's vague title), Hitman 2 puts players in the shoes of Agent 47, a killer-for-hire. As with Hitman, the sequel functions as a sandbox game, setting players loose in six unique (and massive) locales as they decide how they will reach and execute their targets.

If you have been hankering for more stealth murder, Hitman 2 promises an updated and expanded Hitman experience. And if you have never dipped your toes into the series, this new releases looks to be an excellent entry point.

On Wednesday, Bethesda's multiplayer RPG Fallout 76 comes to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Set in a fictionalized West Virginia, 76 is an online-only open-world entry, and it boasts a map four times larger than Fallout 4. While many aspect of the game may prove familiar to fans of the franchise, the emphasis on multiplayer, the absence of NPCs, and alterations to the series' notable SPECIAL and VATS systems means this going to be a title not quite like any other from the series.

While reactions to 76's B.E.T.A. appear mixed, it is difficult to have a full understanding of exactly how the game will function until the general public is let loose on its servers. I am certainly curious to see how things will unfold.

And on Friday, Pokemon comes to Nintendo's newest console with Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! for Switch.

Let's Go is an updated version of 1998's Pokemon Yellow with modernized gameplay. For instance, Pokemon will now be visible on the game's map, allowing players to approach them directly rather than engage them through random encounters.

Additionally, Let's Go has integration with Pokemon Go, allowing trainers to transfer first gen Pokemon from the mobile game to their Switch. While this integration is optional, if you are looking to catch Meltan, a new mythic, in Let's Go, you will need to transfer at least one Pokemon from Go first.

What are you looking at for this week? Let us know in the comments below, and here is a more complete list of this week's releases.

Tuesday, November 13
  • Hitman 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  • The Room 3 (PC)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider - The Forge DLC (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  • SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (Switch)
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PS4, Xbox One)
Wednesday, November 14
  • Fallout 76 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Thursday, November 15
  • Underworld Ascendant (PC)
Friday, November 16
  • Civilization 6 (Switch)
  • Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! & Let's Go, Eevee! (Switch)
From Mechanical to Membrane: Best Gaming Keyboards for 2018 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:28:08 -0500 ElConquistadork


It's easy to get excited about all the brilliant gaming keyboards we're seeing coming in week after week: so excited in fact, that certain pieces might get missed! 


What do you think: what's your keyboard of choice? Did we miss it? 


Are you a devotee to the affordability of the ROCCAT, or will nothing less than the staggering power of Razer's Huntsman Elite do it for you? We want to know!


And for that matter: what else is on your shopping list that we should make a list for? Do you need a new gaming headset? Or is your mouse on the fritz? Let us have it in the comments!


Razer Huntsman Elite


Price: $199.99
Buy it on: Amazon


Equipped with Razer's new optomechanical switches, a key stabilizer bar, hybrid on-board memory and cloud storage, and a multi-function digital dial, the Huntsman Elite is a beast.


It is, however, a beast that requires two USB ports for power, and a price tag that would make any of us flinch. However, if you've got the $200 to spend, there's no question that the unreal speed and performance you get from this keyboard would be worth the small dent in your wallet.


Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile


Price: $169.99
Buy it on: Amazon


As we've mentioned recently, Corsair's K70 Mk.2 Low Profile design is something brilliant. The original keyboard was already impressive enough with its speedy handling and Cherry MX keyswitches. But add in the new low profile key design, along with some of the quietest keystrokes you can get in a mechanical gaming keyboard, and you've just added a huge cherry to the top of an already-spectacular sundae.


With 8MBs on on-board memory, brilliant lighting options, and some seriously user-friendly software to boot, the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile stands out as the best keyboard on the market right now.


Logitech G513 RGB


Price: $129.99
Buy it on: Amazon


When it comes to gaming keyboards that function equally well for writing papers or fighting across the virtual battlefield, Logitech knows what it's doing. The G513's Romer-G Linear mechanical switches make for a smooth, responsive feel, and the feature of plugging in your mouse or phone directly into its USB 2.0 passthrough port is a lovely bit of convenience that, frankly, I'm surprised to see so infrequently on some of these other high-end keyboards. 


Individual keys can be switched on and off with ease, and the inclusion of gaming-specific keycaps is a terrific touch. You can read our full review of the keyboard here.


SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB


Price: $109.99
Buy it on: Amazon


When it comes to pure durability and user-friendly lighting effects, it's difficult not to recommend the SteelSeries Apex M750. Its QX2 key switches are not only responsive, but they're also surprisingly quiet for a mechanical keyboard, which can appeal to those of us who want to get in a late-night gaming session that won't wake up the neighbors.


As far as first gaming keyboards are concerned, the Apex M750 is ideal, as its software is complex and beautiful without requiring an in-depth knowledge of hardware programming. And that lighting effect is as reactive as it is pretty, with different options to make the colors respond to in-game interaction, such as a health damage or timers.


Read our full review


HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard 


Price: $109.99
Buy it on: Amazon


With a compact frame that belies some serious durability, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard definitely got some love from those of us at GameSkinny who got to witness it firsthand.


Equipped with Kailh Silver Speed switches and an impressive RGB light display, the FPS not only looks good to play with, it feels good as well. And its durability, size, and removable braided cable input make it the ideal keyboard to take with you anytime you're on the go.




Price: $79.99
Buy it on: Amazon


On the outside, the ROCCAT Horde AIMO doesn't initially look too special, particularly compared to some of the flashier RGB-lit keyboards on this list. But what the Horde AIMO lacks in flash, it more than makes up for in reliability.


Prominently featured are its membranical keys: a style that lives somewhere between membrane and mechanical functionality, providing real speed and precision. The Horde AIMO also features advanced anti-ghosting technology and a series of useful low profile macro keys. That, and it's another impressive keyboard that's easy on the bank account.


Corsair K63 Wireless


Price: $89.99
Buy it on: Amazon


Wireless keyboards have no business being this fast, responsive, and affordable. Coming out swinging in January, the Corsair K63 Wireless left an impression that just wouldn't go away.


Featuring 1ms 2.4GHz wireless for incredible speed, and the same Cherry MX keyswitches featured in some of Corsair's wired gaming keyboards, this compact keyboard features up to 15 hours of battery life and is ready for living rooms all over the world.


Razer Cynosa Chroma


Price: $56.99
Buy it on: Amazon


Leave it to Razer to create both the most over-the-top and expensive keyboard on this list -- as well as the most impressive, bang-for-your-buck entry. At under $60, the Cynosa Chroma is far too solid a gaming keyboard for anyone to ignore. 


With macro options, key re-bindings, and anti-ghosting technology, this mechanical easily holds its own with the big boys. Add in truly brilliant lighting customization and you've got something really special for those of us who are into gaming on a budget. Oh, and it's spill-resistant, meaning less stress if your marathon gaming sessions require the occasional caffeinated beverage.


2018 has been a great year for games, and an amazing year for gaming peripherals. Teams like SteelSeries, Razer, Logitech, and Corsair have been expanding their catalogs with amazing additions in their gaming headset, mice, and, of course, gaming keyboard lines.


It doesn't matter if your gaming PC is top of the line and tricked out with the most awe-inspiring video cards in the world: if your keyboard doesn't stack up, you're in for a world of hurt when PvP kicks in. 


Heck, even PvE can be a pain if your keyboard doesn't fit your style. 


With Black Friday on its way, we know that plenty of you are looking for just the right tech for yourself and the gamers you love, so here are some of our favorite gaming keyboards of 2018.


Everything from mechanical keyboards to membranical keyboards to RGB to dark and mysterious makes an appearance here: so get started!


Disclaimer: this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on the links provided and buy any of the products listed here, GameSkinny will receive a small commission on the products sold. These microtransactions do not affect you in any way.