Best Tips For Nightmare Mode In Alan Wake 2


  • Save often to avoid losing progress and repeating cleared sections.
  • Avoid unnecessary combat to conserve ammo, batteries, and health items.
  • Use light sources strategically to remain hidden from enemies and heal/reload weapons.



Similar to the first Alan Wake game, Alan Wake 2 receives a new Nightmare difficulty mode with its New Game Plus ‘Final Draft’ update. This is the ultimate challenge you can give yourself if you’ve already gotten all the hardest trophies, and it’s sure to make things even more interesting for Alan and Saga’s journeys.


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Getting through Nightmare Mode means you have to be ready for even more intense enemy encounters and develop good strategies. So, if you don’t want to make the Old Gods of Asgard’s lyrics come true by continuing to get “lost in a never-ending night,” you should probably heed the following tips.

10 Save Like Your Life Depends On It

This probably goes without saying, but keep in mind to save your progress often because there will be many moments when you die and may set yourself back farther than you originally got. It’s quite easy to ignore the break rooms and continue progressing until a brutally hard section comes up, and then you see that your last save was 30 minutes ago.

Since Nightmare Mode is all that more difficult, you don’t want to be repeating sections you’ve already cleared, so run back to save rooms after every little objective you complete. Acquired the heart in Return 2? Save. Got the trailer park key? Save. And, in the Dark Place, after each new echo, save.

9 Avoid Combat When You Can

You don’t have to fight every Taken that comes in your path, especially when not in the main story missions, as this will conserve ammo, flashlight batteries, and potentially health items. You can always dodge Taken and run away from them to move to a safe area.


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For example, when returning to the trailer park after completing Return 3, a pack of wolves waits for you after you continue exploring; their attacks are erratic and will make you waste ammo, so you should not engage and will be ignored when you make it onto the main road. In Alan’s case, turning off the flashlight is a pro way to keep hidden from potentially hostile shadowy enemies.

If you’ve opened an Overlap and there’s a Taken enemy in your path, avoid them by running straight into the Overlap to escape them.

8 Use Light Sources Wisely

Don’t disregard the power of light sources when playing Nightmare Mode, because if you’re low on battery or health, these will save your life. You don’t want to apply a trauma pad or first aid kit in the middle of combat since holding to heal is not a great suggestion, and a follow-up attack from a Taken will quickly undo things.

Light sources allow you to remain hidden from enemies, so this is the perfect time to heal up and reload all your weapons. If you’re low on batteries, which you’ll also need a lot of for darkness nodes, light sources offer a perfect opportunity under their cover to shoot some Taken that have already had their darkness shields removed.

7 Always Target The Taken’s Weak Points

This is where Alan Wake 2 differs from the first game in terms of combat. Most of the time, headshots won’t matter in defeating Taken, and once darkness shields are removed by your flashlight, there’s usually a red orb for a weak spot visible on certain enemies, which you’ll want to target.

This ensures you expend fewer bullets, and quick blasts with a more powerful shotgun rifle straight into the weak spot should take care of things quicker. Not all enemies will have a weak point, but always keep an eye out for those.

6 Forgo The Crossbow Unless You Have To

While the crossbow may be a great one-shot weapon, the reload time is excruciatingly long compared to the other weapons you receive in the game, and the animation locks you from moving. With more intense enemies in Nightmare Mode, it may not be a good idea to rely on it, as they won’t give you a chance to reload a new bolt.


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Bolt recovery is also very strange in Alan Wake 2, and sometimes you won’t be able to recover any of them from the bodies of Taken and will lose them fast. Store the crossbow in the shoebox to make room for other items and more powerful weapons like the hunting rifle, pump action shotgun, and explosive throwables, and only equip it back if it’s your last resort.

There is a weapon upgrade for the crossbow called ‘Two Shots,’ which will increase the capacity from one arrow to two, which will make using it a shred less worrisome.

5 Stock Up On Flares And Throwables

Your best friends for dealing with tough hordes in Nightmare Mode, especially in Alan’s chapters with the police car alarm in Initiation 2, the Taken during Initiation 4, or the ones inside the movie theater in Initiation 8, are flares and throwables like flashbang grenades, propane tanks, and rocket flares.

When you get grabbed by a Taken, you can quickly get them to let go by using your flare gun or throwing down flares to repel enemies, which is incredibly useful here to get out of a bind. In Saga’s case, propane tanks are equally perfect to get the job done, but they do require one extra step to shoot them.

4 Leave Items In Shoeboxes And Keep Your Inventory Tidy

Clearing up your inventory space is essential for any difficulty in Alan Wake 2, let alone Nightmare. There will be points where you may only have one slot or no slots left and be restricted from taking on more pistol or shotgun ammo or first aid kits when you need them most.

The great thing about break rooms, other than acting as safe havens, save rooms, and character-switching locations, is they have shoeboxes with plenty more space than your inventory for you to put away items you don’t see yourself using in the next couple of sections. They’re excellent for strategizing your essentials.

You can always manually discard items from your inventory if there are no break rooms nearby to store them in a shoebox.

3 Quick Slot Everything

Don’t forget that everything in your inventory, whether it’s weapons, health items, flares, or explosives can and should get quick-slotted for convenience to be equipped instantly with the hit of the D-Pad control. This way, you won’t need to dig through your inventory and select to use the item from there, especially in life-or-death situations.


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Quick-slotting is very generous space-wise in Alan Wake 2. There’s sufficient space to store each of your main guns, health items, and other vital throwables, as you’re given two squares for each of the four D-Pad slots, so fill those all up as you see fit.

2 Search Environments In The Dark Place Carefully

Even in Nightmare Mode, don’t be scared off from investigating the area around you. There are many hidden ones you can miss in Alan Wake 2, and sometimes they can have a Word of Power essential to Alan’s health and weapon upgrades or a toolbox or briefcase of supplies hiding behind an obstructed object.

For example, in the small area with the police car light source in Initiation 2 alone, there is a ladder taking you behind a billboard that will have a Word of War and a toolbox. Then, hiding in front of one of the parked cars is another briefcase filled with tons of helpful resources.

1 Go Straight For The Health Charms

If you’re playing Nightmare in a regular new game and not New Game Plus, or if you’re on Nightmare Mode in The Final Draft and are missing charms for Saga, find out which charms are tied to your health, and look up location guides so you can get them early on.

There are only three charm slots available in your inventory, and choosing to fill them up with health options is wise since it will be a very big issue at this difficulty level. You start with Logan’s Charm, which already increases Saga’s health, but you might also want some help from the effects of the Mr. Drippy Charm, Lighthouse Charm, and Valhalla Nursing Home Charm.


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