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Alan Wake 2: How to Heal

You need to keep your characters in tip-top condition in Alan Wake 2.

The enemies you face in Remedy’s survival-horror sequel are very dangerous, but numerous options exist to help you survive. From items to perks that boost effectiveness and heading to specific locations, here’s how to heal in Alan Wake 2.

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How Healing Works in Alan Wake 2

You can heal in Alan Wake 2 by making use of Safe Havens and curative items, as well as unlocking perks that offer boosts to health restoration. To fully understand the mechanic, we need to dive into the specifics.

Safe Havens Explained (Lampposts and Break Rooms)

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Safe Havens are brightly-lit areas, such as lampposts. Standing underneath a temporary Safe Haven prevents enemies from detecting you. But the light itself will get temporarily deactivated if you move away or attack a nearby hostile. Likewise, there are Break Rooms, which are enclosed areas that are permanently lit. These also have a Thermos that you can use to save your game.

What are the Different Healing Items in Alan Wake 2?

There are several items that can heal you in Alan Wake 2:

  • Painkillers: Restore a small amount of HP, and an extra amount over time.
  • Trauma Pads: Restore a moderate amount of HP.
  • First Aid Kits: Fully restore all your HP, though they take up two inventory slots.

Related: How to Get More Flashlight Charges

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Saga’s Perks and Charms That Help With Healing

When playing as Saga Anderson, you’ll have access to charms and weapon upgrades. The former comes from Nursery Rhymes that you solve, and the latter requires Manuscript Fragment materials from Alex Casey Lunchboxes. There are a few options that help you replenish your HP.

  • Sawed-off Shotgun perk: Ready For More: This upgrade costs 18 Manuscript Fragments, but it’s certainly worth it. Kills with the sawed-off shotgun replenish a bit of health based on how tough the enemy is.
  • Lighthouse Charm: This increases the maximum amount of health stored in Safe Havens. It’s a reward from the Nursery Rhyme in Watery’s Lighthouse.
  • Valhalla Nursing Home Charm: This increases the amount healed by Painkillers and Trauma Pads. You can find it after solving a Nursery Rhyme along the coast in Bright Falls.
  • Coffee Mug Charm: Saves you from death, but it shatters in the process. There are several of these obtained as you solve Nursery Rhyme puzzles.

I personally recommend the Ready For More upgrade for your Sawed-off Shotgun due to how useful it is. However, I would caution against the Coffee Mug Charm. Sure, it prevents a single death, but there are better options. Bear in mind that Saga only has three charm slots for most of the campaign, so you want to equip the right accessories.

Related: How to Get the Lighthouse Key in AW2

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Alan’s Perks That Help With Healing

There are also some perks that help you heal in Alan Wake 2 while playing as the titular character. These come from Words of Power glyphs that you discover as you advance further in Alan’s chapters:

  • Words of Fix: Wellness Retreat, God Rays, and Wheels Within Wheels: All of these perks grant hefty boosts for your survivability.
  • Words of Aid: ER and Prescription: These increase the effectiveness of your Trauma Pads and Painkillers.
  • Words of War: Goes Around: While it’s more combat-focused, it does grant extra healing when you land a direct hit with your Flare Gun.

I personally prefer Words of Aid: ER and Words of Fix: Wellness Retreat. I was able to survive most of Alan’s chapters thanks to increased survivability.

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That’s everything you need to know about how to heal more effectively in Alan Wake 2. If you’ve just started the game, be sure to check out our how to get more ammo guide. For other tips and tactics, you can visit our AW2 guides hub.

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Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez is a game reviewer and guides writer from the Philippines. With around 5,000 published articles, he's freelanced for numerous outlets, including GameSkinny, GameSpot, Polygon, IGN, PCGamesN, PC Invasion, and more.