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Stuck on a difficult level on mario

Stuck on a Game? What Should You Do?

Stuck on a mundane level in a particular video game? Or can’t get through an impossible boss? We’ve all been there and I can understand your frustration.

As an avid gamer myself, I know there’s always a chance that one seemingly simple level (or opponent) can turn into a ‘hair pulling’ nightmare of a situation.

For some players it’s all about the challenge of elite difficulties, but what about when this just gets far too much, what exactly should you do next?

With my past experiences, I have compiled this guide in an attempt to open up the heavens and help bring some long awaited clarity to light.

You just might just be able to save yourself some valuable time and effort; better spent on enjoying the pleasures of gaming, with these eight essential options to re-evaluate.

8 Tips for when you’re stuck on a game

1. Change your Strategy:

Re-assessing your situation from a different perspective can ultimately lead to helping you out the most. I used this technique more recently when playing action-adventure game ‘Below’. For those of you who aren’t aware Below was in development for five years; long enough for the developers to get their thinking hats on, and while it is a beautiful game, it’s also notoriously tricky.


When playing ‘Below’, there seemed to be no way to progress to level three even after finding all the objects required for heading into the cave. The essence of the challenge was to find the required objects, take a lift, and reach the cave. However, it turned out to be quite different. Instead of just reaching the cave, I had to use a torch to burn down the concealed entrance of the cave. The only way I was able to achieve the goal, was by creating a strategy to use the objects at hand. What seemed like a simple strategy to head over to a spot turned out to be a logical puzzle.

Below video game, Picture of a cave.

‘The Walking Dead: The Final Season’

Another game in which changing the strategy helped me was ‘The Walking Dead: The Final Season’. I was stuck at the pier. If you haven’t played it, it involves getting to the pier (or does it?). I died like twenty times before finally figuring it out. The task was actually to survive until all the other walkers had been shot, and was more of a survival situation rather than getting to the pier in time. A simple change in strategy to just ‘holdout’ worked for me. Once I had survived the situation, the cut scene came, and the game progressed smoothly. Sometimes, the game does not do a great job of explaining the situation you are in, and therefore changing your strategy is the only solution.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season video game, pier level.

Truth be told, once you find a solution by changing your strategy, the game becomes even more entertaining. I for one like such unpredictable games. While the frustrations of being stuck on a game might overwhelm you in the short term, once you change your strategy and overpower the obstacle, you will love that game and remember it for a long time.

2. Power of Perseverance

Sometimes, it’s just good old perseverance that happens to work best, (while trying to learn from your failures). Before changing your entire strategy, this is probably what most players attempt first in an act to move ahead. In the majority of cases, it works as well. When you keep on trying, chances are you might just be able to hone your skills enough, and with a bit of luck, make it through the level. I used this strategy to get ahead in ‘Bloodborne’. For those of you who aren’t aware, Bloodborne is a another notoriously tricky game involving a character hunter who has to defeat many beasts and villains in a city plagued by illness.

While there are quite a few bottlenecks to the game where you might get stuck, the part in which I had to persevere was clearing the area involved in unlocking the ‘curtsy gesture’. The path ahead was simple to attain, but the game lacked the explanation or narrative for it. I had to look at an object on the altar from a specific side of the room leading to a cut-scene that provided the password for the cathedral, and the game was smooth after that. The only way I found this out was by trying to head to the cathedral again and again. I simply stuck to trial and error. When you finally clear an obstacle by persevering, the feeling of being stuck is replaced by the joy and thrill of what lies ahead.

Bloodborne video game, unlocking the curtsy gesture

When you’re playing a tricky game, it’s an excellent idea to persevere in the face of the obstacle in which you are facing, and the chances are you might stumble upon the solution.

3. Take a step back

While not everyone might agree with this association, it can certainly help. Taking a break away from the game for an extended period of time can sometimes be the best solution that any gamer can actually take; leaving you feeling fresh to approach the problem with a new mind-set. A break can mean many different things to different players which might involve:

  • Taking a break for a few hours.
  • Going out for a walk or doing a different activity to clear your head.
  • Switching over to another game before playing the same one again.
  • Having another go after a few days, weeks, months or even more!

When you have a rest from a game that you are stuck on, you can quickly get your creative juices flowing once again. Then after a some time has passed, chances are you might be able to understand it better with a bunch of new ideas. Having a break from a game will help you to identify the aspects of the gameplay that you might of possibly missed earlier on. Meanwhile, you can either enjoy another game or engross yourself in other day-to-day activities such as exercise to help elevate your mood.

I can feel quite dejected from being stuck on a game, and sometimes merely taking a break is not always just enough. Instead I like to try and occupy myself with another captivating or active activity, as I find this normally helps me in the best way to get over the stressful ‘hangover’ of being stuck.

4. Take the logical approach

If you’re an experienced player with a large vault of gaming knowledge in the back of your head, then it just might be possible to refer back to any other previous games you have played, that happened to contain a similarly sticky situation.. You can do this by asking the question; ‘what did I do before?’ And you are most likely to get an answer.

You probably wouldn’t even think about associating two games with a similar sticky situation at first, but there are plenty of such coincidences. Some developers even go a step ahead by basically creating a copy of another game that can play in a very similar way. This focus might be on exploration, puzzle solving, combat, character development or even gameplay elements.

A prime example being the older game ‘Dante’s Inferno’ which was pretty much a clone of ‘God of War’. If you have played both of them, then you would of realized that the combos and finishing moves are both very similar. If you did play God of War, then you would of found this game ridiculously easy. In these kinds of situations the experience you have already gained can help a great deal in surpassing a tricky level.

Taking the logical approach by remembering any difficulties you have faced in a similar situation is sometimes all you have to do to surpass mind-boggling obstacles or challenges much faster. Not only is this limited to video games, but you can also think back to real-life situations. You might have the knowledge in a particular skillset that the game is trying to replicate.  

5. Get help

Getting help when you’re stuck on a game is much easier for players these days, as there’s always a vast gaming community ready to tap into on the Internet. Some of these avenues include:

  • Forums – You can head over to a subreddit of a particular game and bring up your issues in there.
  • Search engines – You can query online gaming websites to try and gain some insights into the game.
  • Social media – You can join the dedicated Facebook group of your game to clear any doubts, or ask your gaming buddies online to help you out.
  • Youtube – You can check out player made videos.

Some of these methods may contain walkthroughs, and while walkthroughs can possibly kill of any fun in the game, they are a last-ditch solution which you can also hunt down and use.

If you need some help deciding if you should use a walkthrough, then click here!

The list is virtually endless. If you are just fed up with going around in circles and want to get back to making some progress in the game then you should think about getting some help!

6. Use the cheat codes, should you?

The next tip which I’m going to highlight is highly controversial, and while a handful of players may use them on a day-to-day basis, others might rightfully agree that using cheat codes for when you’re stuck on a game goes against all the unwritten rules of gaming.. Maybe for when you’ve completed the game and want some extra gameplay, but not just when you’re stuck!

Many games do still contain multiple codes, allowing you to gain an edge over your opponents by altering the entire gameplay in your advantage. However, they are an ethical dilemma.

The use of cheat codes can often make the entire game seem kind of pointless, which therefore brings us back to the question of whether you should use them or not when you’re stuck on a game. If you really want them, then you can perform a quick search on Google, and you will most likely find an entire list there. The question which crops up again happens to be ‘should I actually use cheat codes?’. I will leave the answer for you.

7. Change the rules of the game

No, I’m not talking about patching up the game. I’m talking about merely changing the difficulty level of the game. The prime example is the latest edition of God of War. Even before the launch of the game, Sony announced it would have four difficulty levels, being:

Difficulty settings for God of War video game

The levels are in chronological order of difficulty with the last one being the most difficult. However, God of War is not the lone example of a game having different difficulty levels. If you find the game too painstakingly difficult to progress, you should thinking about restarting it with a lower difficulty level to solve your problems.

8. Can you give up?

Another difficult question to deal with, and while I haven’t used this option (as I’m just that damn good), it always lingers in the back of my mind. What if a game is so tricky that you have no other choice but to give it up? However, this should only occur when there is no information about it on the Internet or you’ve really screwed it up. These days, such a game is pretty rare to find, but it is a possibility that you might one day encounter. I will leave you grappling with this question. Can a game be so challenging that you have to give up on it? Has this ever happened to you with you with a recent game? Leave a comment in the chat if it has.

So, if you are stuck on a game, these are the eight ways to get out of a tricky situation. While not all of them might be acceptable to every player, they just might come in handy the next time around, when you’re stuck in the game. I am confident that you will find a solution using this guidance.

Good luck!

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