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Don't want to be the first to get hacked apart? We show you how to navigate Camp Crystal Lake and stay alive a little bit longer than your friends.

Friday The 13th: The Game — Camp Counselor Survival Guide

Don't want to be the first to get hacked apart? We show you how to navigate Camp Crystal Lake and stay alive a little bit longer than your friends.
This article is over 7 years old and may contain outdated information

It may (sadly) not be in VR, but Friday The 13th: The Game still lets you experience a slasher horror movie from the perspective of the terrified counselors desperately seeking to escape an unstoppable killer.

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With seven counselors battling against one player in the role of Jason, it would seem like you have a huge advantage against the serial killer in this asymmetrical horror game, but there isn’t actually much safety in your numbers.

If you want to stay alive and make it to the end of the match, you’ll need to follow our Friday The 13th counselor tips and tricks below.

The Basics of Staying Alive and Surviving as a Counselor

Jason gets visual and auditory cues on his screen that alert him to the direction of counselors based on their speed and fear levels. To remain hidden, don’t ever run until Jason is right on top of you and there’s no other option.

Jogging with the X key is a good middle of the road option for when you need to cover a long distance but don’t want to attract a lot of attention. But slow motion walking is still the best way to go.

When your fear level is up, you get gripped easier and Jason gets various perks that let him notice you more quickly. There are several ways to reduce fear:

  • Don’t run at full speed
  • Crouch down and stay hidden for a few seconds
  • Enter a lit building (watch out for Jason’s ability to destroy power boxes!)
  • Keep a weapon in hand at all times
  • Stay near other counselors

That final bullet point is important, but even if you are spread across the map, be sure to stay in communication with rest of the team throughout the match so that each of you endures to the end. If you’ve got the car keys or found a vehicle repair part, let your other counselors know so you can formulate a strategy on how to get away and how to distract Jason.

Finally, when confronted by Jason with no immediate means of escape, there’s an extra mode that’s easy to forget: switch to the combat stance by pressing the C key! 

In this mode, you can dodge left, right, and back to avoid attacks that are normally deadly. If you are armed, a well-timed strike will slow Jason down so you can get to a window or look for a good place to hide.

Who will live and who will die?

Exploration Is Key in Friday The 13th: The Game

Always explore any cabin you come across, but use windows as entrances instead of doors. Leaving a door open for Jason is just lazy and practically asking to be hacked to death.

In fact, beyond not opening doors, always barricade doorways when you have time, as Jason must spend valuable time breaking them down, alerting everyone to his presence — possibly keeping more members of your group alive. This is the most reliable way to keep Jason away from you and your group while you pick up equipment. Don’t forget, though — Jason can still throw knives through open windows, so they aren’t fool proof protection.

If you come across a functioning phone while exploring, be sure to use it immediately! Before a phone will function, other players must first repair the phone boxes located outside randomized cabins.

The police distract Jason with noise pings and can keep him stunned for long periods with sustained gunfire. It takes 5 minutes for the police to arrive, however, so continue trying out other methods of escape in the mean time, such as repairing the car or boat.

When the countdown timer is nearing 40 seconds or so, make a beeline toward the bridge exit where the police arrive.

Calling for backup from the boys in blue

While exploring cabins, always pick up anything you find. You absolutely always want something in your hand, whether it’s a pocket knife or screwdriver for a surprise escape after Jason grabs you, or a baseball bat or wrench for slowing Jason down while your fellow counselors repair a vehicle.

Other horror movie staples can be found in out of the way places. For instance, the incredibly useful flare gun can fire a shot to keep Jason stunned for a set amount of time. A handful of healing items can also be found for bandaging wounds if you’ve been injured by a machete swing.

When searching through a cabin, always be on the lookout for keys that are frequently found in drawers. These are in randomized locations, so keep looking through everything. When the time comes to flee, you want to be the one controlling when the car or boat leaves.

Boo Yah!

Besides weapons, there are environmental factors to activate while exploring, such as the boom box. Turning it on creates a permanent sound ping on Jason’s HUD that is indistinguishable from the noise of a normal counselor — until he gets directly on top of the sound.

This adds some confusion for the player who is Jason and sends him chasing his own tail for a while. Besides the boom box, you can really turn the tide by using the CB radio to call in Tommy Jarvis, who brings back a previously dead or escaped character, which has high stamina and a powerful shotgun.

The shotgun only has a single shot, but knocks Jason down for a significant amount of time. Just don’t miss! You can hit your fellow counselors with friendly fire.

Choosing A Counselor Load Out in Friday The 13th: The Game

A new player immediately starts off with a free 500 CP for your counselor build, so go ahead and roll a random perk before starting your first match. You never know what you might get. 

Perks that give access to starting items should be prioritized, as these are typically more useful than minor boosts to stats. In particular, fireworks are your friend, as they give a quick and easy way to stun Jason while you flee.

Rolling a first randomized perk

Although some counselors don’t become available until leveling up significantly, there’s still several solid choices at level 1, so you want a gameplan ahead of time for who to pick.

First and foremost: Vanessa exists solely as bait. She has a Speed of 10, a Stamina of 10, and a Stealth of 1. Literally just walking normally alerts Jason to her presence, but she can keep running for long periods of time. This is not the character you want to play as a newbie unless you are really keen on being the sacrificial lamb that lets the other counselors escape.

To first learn the ropes, Kenny isn’t a bad way to go, since he has a perfect medium 5 in every stat. Playing Kenny gives a good baseline of how the game works, and from there, you can try out characters with uneven stat distribution to find how you best like to play a counselor (focusing on repairing objects, staying stealthy, etc.).

Any character with Composure 10, like Jenny Myers, can escape Jason’s grabs much more easily — and stay alive longer. If the current Jason player is fond of specialty grab kills and not standard machete swings, this can be a huge boon.

With the right stats and items, you can even escape this

Killing Jason in Friday The 13th: The Game

The big question, of course, is — can you kill Jason in Friday The 13th? The answer is a frustrating “we don’t know yet!” The developers have been and continue to be very coy as to whether it’s actually possible or not.

Players have theorized Jason’s mask must be knocked off and then he must be bear trapped and axed in the shack with his mother’s head, but this strategy hasn’t actually worked yet in any of the pre-release matches.

When we have a definitive answer to that question, we’ll update this article with the process!

 If movie lore is followed, surely this room will be involved

Those are all the basic strategies you need to know to get started surviving as a counselor in Friday The 13th! What other tips and hints would you recommend we try out in our next match at Crystal Lake?

Make sure to check out our review of Friday The 13th: The Game if you want to learn more about the game. And if you’re looking for more tips, tricks, strategies, and walkthroughs for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, make sure to check out our Friday The 13th guides

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Ty Arthur
Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.