Last Year: The Nightmare Beginner's Survival Guide
It's been a long wait for Last Year: The Nightmare, a game we originally thought it was coming out in 2016. But now it's here, and we've got a proper '90s-themed high-school slasher full of asymmetric murder and horror.
The game is still in its infancy with only a handful of maps and a single mode, and unfortunately, it doesn't have a tutorial like in Dead By Daylight or Friday The 13th.
That means you've got to learn on your feet — or you could just read our guide for tips and tricks on getting started. Below, we'll cover how to enable push-to-talk so that you can strategize with your teammates, how to craft, how to survive as a survivor, and how to kill as a killer.
How to Enable Push to Talk
Last Year: The Nightmare is currently a Discord-only title, so there's a lot of confusion about how to turn on and off certain options that everyone knows how to use on Steam.
There is, in fact, a Push to Talk option that keeps other survivors from hearing every cough and fart, but it's weirdly hidden and not easy to find.
When the game is active, tap Shift and the ~ key (the squiggly next to the "1" key on most keyboards) to bring up the Discord overlay.
In the top-right corner of the screen, look for a tiny cog icon above your Discord username. Click that to bring up the voice settings, then choose Push to Talk at the bottom.
How to Pull Up the Crafting Wheel
Aside from Push to Talk, the most common question for new players right now is, "How do I pull up the crafting wheel?".
The keybindings page doesn't actually tell you this, but it's as simple as holding right-click.
Be careful, though, as there's a bug where it can get stuck on the screen, which is bad news if the killer is around. You have to spam the right click button to get it to go away.
Hopefully, this will get patched out soon.
Last Year: The Nightmare Survivor Basic Strategies
If you want to stay alive, ALWAYS STAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP.
Unlike other asymmetric horror games, it's easy for a well-coordinated group of survivors to defeat the killer (even the seemingly-unstoppable giant seen dead above) and force them into a re-spawn/cooldown period.
Between turrets, flashes, and assault-class survivors wielding pipes, a coordinated crew can keep a killer busy while the medic heals anyone injured. A good strategy is to manipulate the killer into chasing one person around library shelves, desks, and other obstacles while the rest of the team strategizes and/or heals.
If you scatter, it becomes much easier for the killer to take you down one by one.
Move as a herd and don't ever stray behind when finding the map's objectives, whether that's floppy disks for hacking the computer or finding torches for cutting through locked doors.
After the final objective is complete, it's important to remember that you have a limited amount of time to reach the final door, which is why it's important to stay together.
There are only three maps so far in the game, so learning them isn't as much of a chore as other survival horror games. In particular, be on the lookout for the small shortcut holes near the floors in the major hubs in the Library, Gym, and Tower levels. The killer can't pop through those, so it offers a quick way for a whole team to get out and then close the door to the room, slowing down the killer.
There's a major caveat here, though: always stay away from vents if the killer is the Strangler. He can hide in them and pop out for an instant kill. Ditto for skylights in the ceiling if the killer is the Slasher. It seems like most killer players haven't figured this out yet, but the Giant can also smash through certain solid walls.
Finally, don't forget that killed survivors will re-spawn in closets. Follow their shouts as a herd and open the closest so they'll respawn. You want a full crew for as long as possible to maximize your chances of survival.
Last Year: The Nightmare Killer Basic Tips
As any of the three killers, you can pop in and out of Predator mode as long as there isn't a survivor in your direct line of sight or a survivor looking at you. That means you can round a corner, drop a bear trap, and pop into existence as long as direct sight lines don't have other players in them.
However, when in Predator mode, you can't move through closed doors; eventually, you will be forced to spawn in and move slower in physical reality.
This will likely change as survivors get better, but for now, these are the best places to set bear traps:
- Directly in front of the main doors to objective areas, where computers or locked doors are found.
- At the very tops of stairs leading to important areas like the locked doors or the top of the Library.
- The edges of forks in hallways or at other blind spots.
- Directly outside the closets where dead Survivors respawn;
- These are great places to rack up kills.
Using the Strangler
The Strangler is the fastest and stealthiest killer, so if you prefer chasing survivors down quickly, they're the way to go. Note that their strangle move requires holding the survivor in place, rather than repeatedly hitting with a weapon.
Using the Slasher
The Slasher is the in-between killer, with decent speed and stamina for rushing in to get direct ax attacks. It's simpler to take down survivors with a few swings, but they don't have the same vent stealth abilities as the Strangler.
Using the Giant
Finally, the Giant is the slowest killer, but their rampage run is nearly unstoppable. Large doors and gates are the Giant's Achilles heel since they move more slowly. Survivors can run forward and shut the gate outside the Gym or Library behind them to stop a rampage charge, so keep that in mind, too. If you have a player engaging in this behavior, just leave to find easier prey.
No matter which killer you pick, with a little luck and an uncoordinated team of survivors, you'll get the image below as your ending shot.
Got any other strategies to win as the survivors or the killer? Let us know your best Last Year: The Nightmare tips in the comments below.
Stay tuned for our review of the game coming in a few days, where we'll let you know how Last Year: The Nightmare stacks up to other asymmetric horror titles, such as Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th.