The full version of stealth puzzle game/breaking-and-entering simulator Hello Neighbor finally saw official release after a host of fun alpha releases polishing off the mechanics.
Even with all that fan input over the last year, some new players have struggled to make it past the neighbor and successfully explore the interior of his mysterious abode.
There was hope for those who couldn’t overcome the diabolical neighbor and his nefarious traps, as a patch was just released adding in a new toggle option titled Friendly Mode.
As with most of the game’s mechanics, there’s no description of what exactly this toggle changes or how Friendly Mode is different from a standard run through. Here’s what one member of the development crew had to say about the new option:
Easy Mode … or Not
If you were having problems constantly getting caught or even just making it into the house, you can toggle this option during an existing game and don’t even have to restart.
Sadly, Hello Neighbor‘s Friendly Mode doesn’t actually seem to do what the developers intended at this point! There’s been no noticeable change in standard detection or chasing behavior.
In fact, in my run through, he seemed to get more aggressive, jumping through windows to reach me when he didn’t normally do that before. He still throws pots or other objects, still chases, still drops bear traps or turns on cameras and lights, etc. In some cases, the neighbor seems to notice you through a wall even if you are sneaking and have closed everything behind you.
More than a few players are baffled by what exactly this option tweaks in the AI, with several Steam threads that can basically be boiled down to “What the hell does Friendly Mode mode even do?!?!?!?” now at the top of the discussions page.
Hello Neighbor Friendly Mode AI Modifications
There was one verifiable change I was able to discover, and it seems to be more a bug than a new feature released on purpose.
Apparently, now the neighbor can get stuck doing calisthenics in odd locations where he wouldn’t normally engage in that behavior. Yes, you can absolutely use this to your advantage if you’ve gotten frustrated trying to reach a certain item or room.
In the first act, for instance, I lured the neighbor out into the street and slightly away from the house. For some reason, he chased me down the street past the point in his yard where he doesn’t normally run, and then engaged in his typical AI routines like he was in his living room, but never left.
I was able to complete the entire basement segment — normally extremely challenging with the neighbor chasing you the whole time — without him ever even returning to the house.
It seems like a pretty good bet that this is not the AI behavior change the developers had intended, taking it from “too hard” to “the neighbor literally doesn’t even enter the house,” so expect a patch changing this up in the near future.
Whenever a new version of Hello Neighbor’s Friendly option arrives, or when there’s an update from TinyBuild about the odd AI behavior situation, we’ll update this article with additional info on the game’s new mode.
Have you noticed any other changes with Friendly Mode? Let us know in the comments below!
For those who haven’t managed to find all the secrets and reach the basement yet, be sure to check out our full guide to completing Hello Neighbor Act I and learn the ropes on how to break into the house undetected.