Tips and Tricks – Dead Space Wiki Guide

The eerie corridors of Dead Space’s USG Ishimura are far from inviting. Whether it’s the ravenous undead abominations lurking in the ventilation system or the growing fleshy mass that appears to be seeping into every sector of the ship, there’s very little in this morbid science fiction world that isn’t hellbent on ripping you limb from limb.


To combat such a hostile world, it’s a good idea to have a few key tips and tricks handy to help even the odds. Below, you’ll find a range of early to late-game pointers that will help you take the fight to the necromorphs and escape in one piece. So, without further ado, here are 21 tips and tricks for conquering Dead Space’s world of nightmarish horrors.

Tips and Tricks

Looking for a specific tip or trick? Jump between each of our entries using the links below:

Cut Off The Limbs

Starting off with one the game’s not shy telling you about. As the iconic, spooky wall graffiti says, the most important technique for killing necromorphs isn’t shooting in the general direction of their head or body, but instead focusing fire exclusively on severing their limbs. This will do far more damage, but it’s not just a useful tip for finishing foes off fast.

Severing legs will knock enemies to the ground, slowing them and giving you time to land that perfect final blow. Meanwhile, removing arms will prevent them from attacking as ruthlessly, negating damage. Tearing necromorphs apart will generally buy you the breathing room you need to escape fights in one piece, making it key to Isaac’s survival.

All your weapons will be able to dismember in different ways, whether that’s the Ripper’s close-quarters joint shredding or the Plasma Cutter’s ability to shift between horizontal or vertical projectiles, so learning how your weapons can be used to remove limbs efficiently and precisely is key.

Aim For The Legs

An extension of the previous point, Dead Space’s combat encounters can be intense. Enemies will rush you any chance they can get, overwhelming you by closing the distance and attacking fast. Your best way to defend against this is to immobilise them and inflict huge damage.

When a necromorph approaches you, aim for its legs. Once either limb is detached, it’ll fall to the ground, slowing the monster down significantly and giving you time to adjust your aim and detach its other limbs. This is especially helpful if you’re dealing with multiple foes at once, preventing them from crowding you and giving you time to back away and rethink your strategy.

Fight Off The Back Foot & Be Aware of What’s Behind You


An essential one for being successful in combat encounters, your best chance of taking down necromorphs is to fight off the backfoot rather than attempting to push forward. Necromorphs are aggressive and won’t be stunned by much. You can remove a leg, an arm or even a head and they’ll keep coming for you.

By moving backwards, you’ll be able to avoid this momentum, firing shots while making sure you’re not in pincer range. Better yet, you can actually sprint backwards, allowing you to dash out of a scenario when an enemy attempts to close the distance.

Be warned though, necromorphs will try to catch you out on this. When fighting a foe in front of you, make sure to swivel around every so often to see what’s directly behind you. Your enemies might attempt a pincer manoeuvre, with a second foe approaching from behind. If you do get flanked, reposition so both enemies are in front of you, and then return to fighting off the back foot.

Use Secondary Fire

Aside from the Plasma Cutter, every weapon you’ll come across has a unique alternate firing mode. Whether that’s launching proximity mines, shooting saw blades or firing death lasers, these secondary fire types are often far more powerful (albeit less ammo-efficient).

Although it’s a bad idea to rely on these exclusively, in a pinch, they’re incredibly useful ways to even the odds. Whether it’s using proximity mines to take down three enemies in one shot or launching a ripper blade through both of an enemy’s legs, these alternate firing modes are worth learning and using in high-stakes combat encounters, especially when you’re overwhelmed.

Use The Guidance Feature

Not sure where to go next? Luckily, Dead Space’s Guidance feature has you covered. If you’re ever lost while navigating the Ishimura, hit the RIGHT STICK and a blue line will form below you. This line will guide you towards whichever objective you’re currently pursuing.

Not only is this a player-friendly way to keep you on track, but it’s also a very handy indicator of which rooms are imperative to the story and which likely contain loot or secrets. If you find yourself in a room with several paths to choose from, use Guidance and see which door the blue line guides you through. Now, search every other room before heading through that door to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Return With Higher Clearance

A new feature added in EA Motive’s 2023 reimagining of Dead Space, players now have a clearance level that is upgraded throughout the events of the story. You can use your clearance to open locked doorways, lockers and cabinets, although not all of these will be accessible the first time you head through an area.


If you notice a door with a clearance level too high for you, make a mental note of it and come back once you’re sporting the necessary clearance level. These rooms usually feature some very useful goodies, including ammo, credits, conductors, schematics and more. Just be warned that areas you visited earlier in the game aren’t going to be devoid of enemies…

Stomp Enemies For Extra Loot

One that’s easy to forget in the heat of battle, you’ll be able to ensure yourself a consistent stream of additional goodies by remembering to use the stomp feature. By hitting R2 / RT while not aiming, Isaac will stomp on the ground, allowing him to break open crates and find additional resources.

However, every necromorph you kill will act as a crate of its own. Stomp on a dead necromorph and you’ll find some nice surprises within, whether that’s additional ammo, credits, health kits or stasis packs. It’s an easy way to keep topped up on key resources (and also get your own back for the countless jumpscares).

Know Your Arsenal

As you begin to burn through Dead Space’s chapters, you’ll amass quite the arsenal. From the exceedingly powerful Contact Beam to the rapid-fire Pulse Rifle, every weapon is useful in a certain scenario. If you want to ensure you’re escaping situations unscathed, it’s wise to understand how they work and which scenarios to use them in.

For example, the Flamethrower’s wide range is great at taking on groups of smaller enemies, including swarmers and lurkers. Meanwhile, the Ripper is a great close-quarters weapon that can keep quick enemies like leapers at bay. Keep your most versatile weapons close and know when to use them to make every combat encounter as efficient as possible.

Upgrade The Plasma Cutter

Dead Space adds a lot of fancier, more powerful weapons to Isaac’s roster throughout his time exploring the Ishimura, but few guns are as reliable and easy to scrounge ammo for as the Plasma Cutter. Discovered at the very beginning of the adventure, this is Isaac’s primary weapon, acting as a versatile handgun that can surgically sever limbs with horizontal or vertical projectiles.

Although there’s a lot of good equipment to upgrade at the workbench, it’s worth focusing a lot of your stored nodes on making the Plasma Cutter the best it can possibly be, whether that’s boosting the amount of power it packs or adding special upgrades purchasable from stores. It’s the most reliable weapon in the entire game and an essential tool, so make sure you invest in it.

Utilise Kinesis For Free Kills

One of the most powerful weapons Isaac acquires during his time on the Ishimura is the Kinesis Module, which allows him to pick up and move objects using a magnetic wrist brace.


While it’s used as a puzzle-solving tool, it’s also very good at murdering necromorphs. When exploring environments, look for explosive barrels and metal rods. Picking these up and launching them at most necromorphs is an instant kill, allowing you to wipe out enemies without wasting your precious ammo supply.

Remember To Use Stasis

Much like with Kinesis, Stasis is a key skill that Isaac will acquire early in the game, quickly becoming a core part of his arsenal. It allows the steel-clad hero to slow enemies down, giving him time to execute difficult shots, get out of range or reload.

With Stasis being a finite resource that has to be recharged at Stasis Stations or with Stasis kits, it’s easy to avoid using it until you come against tougher enemies. However, Stasis is a key resource and should be used often to avoid expending tons of ammo and losing health. If you’re up against nimble enemies that can climb, it’s much easier to freeze them in place and pick your shots rather than blindly fire until you connect.

Death is A Learning Experience

As with a lot of survival horror games, knowledge is power in Dead Space. Whether it’s enemy placement, enemy weaknesses, resource locations or key item spots, knowing what’s coming and when will allow you to fully prepare for something that originally caught you off guard.

As such, it’s best to treat death in Dead Space as a learning experience. Jumped into a fight with a brute and, in a panic, wasted a whole clip without hitting any of its weak spots? Let it kill you and try again. With a stronger knowledge of the map layout and how best to get hits in, you’ll stand a much better chance than you did before and still have some ammo in the bank for whatever monstrosity is coming your way next.

Watch The Vents

When fighting necromorphs, your first reaction is probably to put distance between yourself and the enemy, creating time to line up a good shot, heal or reload. It’s a solid strategy, however, it can easily backfire considering most rooms are connected by an intricate ventilation system.

Move too far from a necromorph and it’ll climb into this series of pathways, moving around the room and finding an entrance that’ll give it the jump on you. To ensure this technique doesn’t catch you off guard, make sure you’re keeping note of where the closest vent is. If you don’t know what the ventilation doors look like, there’s one pictured above.

If you’re smart, you can even use this mechanic to get the drop on enemies. If you hear them clamber into the vent, listen to where they move. They’ll likely travel around the ventilation system before emerging at the closest access point. If you lie in wait, place an explosive barrel or set a well-placed proximity mine using the Plasma Rifle, you can easily take a necromorph down before it even has a chance to fight back.

Don’t Trust A Loot-Filled Room


Dead Space is not a game that likes being kind to the player. If you enter a large room teeming with spare ammo, health kits and other valuable resources, you can bet that it isn’t the game throwing you a bone and instead a warning that you’re about to endure a gruelling battle.

Use this warning sign as a cue to prepare for a big fight, whether that’s restocking your health, filling up your stasis meter or mentally clocking if there are any explosives or metal poles around the room. A lot of the bigger battles in these areas are triggered after interacting with something related to the story, so be sure to loot everything before progressing.

Take Down Infectors Fast

An enemy type you’ll first encounter during Dead Space’s second chapter, the Infector is a flying monster that transforms human corpses into necromorphs. It won’t bother Isaac at first (he’s far too alive for the Infector to care), but it will search the nearby area for human corpses and turn them into powerful necromorphs with much less aversion to ripping us limb from limb.

As such, the infector should be a priority target if you want to keep a combat situation in check. Regardless of the other enemies around you, make sure to go after the infector and pour as much firepower into it as you can. If you remove it from the fight early, you’ll save precious ammo and keep the fight contained.

Make Use of Environmental Hazards

Although this won’t always be an option, several of Dead Space’s environments will come complete with hazards, including faulty wiring that spews electric and heavy machinery capable of crushing anything in its path.

If you’re playing strategically, you can use these to defeat enemies without having to expend ammo. When a necromorph approaches, position yourself so the hazard is between Isaac and the enemy. They should blindly walk into it without a second thought, often damaging or killing themselves in the process. If you’re feeling brave, you can also knock them into hazards with Isaac’s melee attack.

If Possible, Play With 3D Audio

This is obviously only an option for those that have the speakers or a headset to facilitate it, but if you do, playing Dead Space with 3D audio can be massively helpful. By the nature of Dead Space being a tense survival horror game where enemies can emerge anywhere at any time, there are a lot of moments where Isaac will be attacked from all angles.

3D audio will give you a much more accurate sense of where enemies are in relation to Isaac, meaning that the necromorph attempting to flank you won’t catch you by surprise. This also helps with locating enemies in vents, giving you the drop on them rather than the other way around. It’s definitely not essential, but if you’re struggling with enemies attacking out of nowhere, popping on a headset could be a huge help.

Save Up Your Credits


With so many resources available to purchase in the storefronts scattered around the Ishimura, it can be tempting to splash your credits on additional health kits, ammo and nodes. However, as useful as these items are, the rarer items that come in stock are where your cash should be going.

Whether it’s suit upgrades that make Isaac stronger or weapon mods that add powerful abilities to his guns, credits should be saved up so you can afford the key items that will significantly increase your chances of survival. As useful as a health kit is now, you’ll find plenty more throughout your travels, while a sparkly new space suit is much harder to come by.

Watch Out For Semiconductors

Found inside cabinets, crates, lockers and other lootable containers, semiconductors are a very useful resource to seek out. Depending on how rare the conductor you locate is, you’ll be able to sell it for a good chunk of change.

Whether you’re saving up for that next suit upgrade or want to buy a new node branch for your rifle, the extra pennies are good to have.

Avoid Gooey Terrain

Introduced after the fleshy organism begins spreading from the lower floors of the Ishimura in Chapter 4, Isaac will begin to encounter surfaces coated in a gooey substance. That’s gross in of itself, but what makes these walkways extra unsettling is that they’ll slow Isaac down, making him easy necromorph prey.

Make sure you’re watching out for fleshy surfaces and staying away from them while in a fight. They’ll leave you slower and more susceptible to attacks.

Free Resources From Upgrades

This is a nice simple one that will save you a few medkits and ammo clips. Whenever you’re upgrading either your HP or ammo capacity at a workbench, make sure you don’t heal or reload before.

If you boost HP, you’ll gain a full health bar. Meanwhile, if you upgrade a gun’s ammo capacity, the gun’s clip will automatically be filled. It’s an easy way to save a few bullets for whatever nightmare is lurking around the corner.

Double Tap


One for those that hate cheap jumpscares. While walking around the Ishimura, you’ll often come across corpses that, well, aren’t corpses. As soon as you walk by them, the body will resurrect before your very eyes, catching you off guard and allowing the enemy to get a huge hit in.

There are ways to prevent getting jumped, however. When approaching a body on the floor, look at it and see whether it’s a necromorph. If it’s a human, you’ll largely be alright, but necromorph corpses that you haven’t killed are a red flag. Back up, aim and fire at the body. If the necromorph is alive and kicking, it’ll spring to its feet, sparing you from a jumpscare and ensuring you don’t have to endure a hit.

You Can Remap The Controls

Another useful one for those struggling to get to grips with Dead Space’s control scheme, if you head into the options menu, you can remap the controls. There are presets in here for fans of the original Dead Space’s control scheme or its sequel, but more importantly, there’s an option that lets you fully customize your own scheme.

When in the pause menu, head to controller layout and press SQUARE / X to access the customize option. From here, you’ll be able to tinker with the buttons to make a scheme entirely custom-fit to you.

In This Wiki Guide

Dead Space [2008]
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