Marvel's Spider-Man 2 tips to help you save New York

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 tips and tricks
(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Having some Marvel's Spider-Man 2 tips and tricks to hand can be considered an essential requirement for this sequel, as you're now juggling two superheroes who develop their own distinct set of powers during the course of the game. There's also a lot more complexity to the gameplay in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, starting off with wingsuits and robot arms then progressing to Symbiotes and more. At times the learning curve can be unexpectedly steep, and there's definitely knowledge you pick up along the way that would be beneficial to have from the start, which is what I'm here to help with.

Having played the game through to its end and discussed with others who've played it, I've curated this list of 8 tips and tricks for Spider-Man 2 that, frankly, I wish I'd known before I started playing. And, before you even need these, there's also the matter of the Spider-Man 2 Performance and Fidelity mode option – a decision you'll have to make before you've played anything, so check out what we've discovered there about the best choice.

Spider-Man 2 quick tips

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 quick tips

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Here are my top Spider-Man 2 tips to get you started:

  1. Fight in the air rather than the ground
  2. Focus on shared abilities when leveling up
  3. Miles is slightly better at stealth, Peter at combat
  4. Learn the parry skill early, you'll need it later
  5. Traversal skills are very fun, but won't help much combat or challenges
  6. Upgrade damage as enemies become very tanky later
  7. Use all your abilities in combat but save Focus for healing
  8. Pick side content according to what resources and rewards you need

Scroll down or click on any of the tips above to learn more about them. Something that's important to know is that choices in the early game as to what you unlock or upgrade can affect how easy you'll find the late game. Spider-Man 2 has a few surprising difficulty spikes, and I found that's at least in part due to my choosing certain options and abilities early on that weren't as helpful, or not fully mastering mechanics that become important later. Regardless, let's tackle this advice:

1. Combat is more effective in the air than on the ground

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 fight in the air

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Most enemies in Spider-Man 2 are ground-based, and can't do much to you in the sky. Launching them up by holding Square or web-yanking them by holding Triangle puts them in a spot where they can't touch you, but you can go to town on them, while keeping you out of range of most other enemies. You're not entirely safe – there's flying and ranged foes to keep an eye on – but brawling twenty feet above ground level is something that plays to your advantage more than your enemies.

2. Invest in the shared Spider-Man skill tree first

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 shared skill tree

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

There's a lot to consider with all the Spider-Man 2 skills, abilities, gadgets and suit tech on offer. There's three skill trees in Spider-Man 2 – one for Peter, one for Miles, and one that they share – and it's the last one that you want to invest first. Not only does it have a lot of very fundamental abilities – like being able to disarm opponents – but the fact that the powers are shared simply makes it a smarter investment overall. Why spend a point to power up one character when you could power up both of them?

3. Miles is better at sneaking, and Peter at brawling (sort of)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man 2 character differences

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

There's not a huge amount of difference between Miles Morales and Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 – even many of their "different" abilities are actually very similar – but Miles is better suited to stealth, while Peter has the advantage on combat. Miles' stealth advantage is clear – his ability to go invisible – but the Spider-Man 2 Symbiote powers are better suited to groups, especially the Surge mode that unlocks later. Admittedly, it's not a huge distinction and you won't always be able to choose who you play as, but if you have a preference for one approach over another, this might help pick a Spidey as you swap between Miles and Peter in Spider-Man 2.

4. Learn to parry as you'll need it more in the later game

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 parry

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Early on, Spider-Man 2 introduces a new parry mechanic, where tapping L1 at the right time allows you to block and counter certain attacks. It's a little fiddly and you might wonder why it's necessary, when dodging, disarming, and just webbing people to walls is far more effective.

However, you want to learn this skill, at least to the degree when you can do it reliably, as when you start progressing through the plot you'll encounter more enemies who need to be parried. Either because their attacks are hard to avoid without it, or because it opens them up for damage. Either way, not knowing this skill will sting you badly when it comes to those moments.

5. Swinging skills are great fun but don't help with much

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Swinging

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

On the skill tree you'll notice that there's a mix of traversal skills – those that help you swing about the city – and combat skills, which help you clobber goons. As fun as the traversal skills are, the reality is that they don't help deal with the real challenges and threats of the game. That's not to say you shouldn't get those skills – as mentioned, they're fun! But if you're struggling and need all the help you can get, it might be better to choose violence and invest in combat-oriented skills instead.

6. Get all the damage upgrades to avoid spongy enemies

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 get more damage

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Enemies in the second half of the game tend to have some very major health bars, and you'll need to invest in some damage upgrades from the Suit Tech tree to really hurt them. Admittedly, there are some ways around this – sticking people to walls or using the takedowns – but when it comes to bosses and other similar enemies, you'll just find yourself wailing on them for ages with limited effect if you don't amp up your damage. Better to put some extra power in your punches and mitigate that early.

7. Use all your gadgets and abilities in a fight and save Focus for healing

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 save Focus for healing

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

With so many robot arm, venom shock, gadgets, and Symbiote powers to work with, it's better to cycle through those rather than use the takedowns. There's a few enemies in Spider-Man 2 who can do massive damage without warning – the Flame Cultists with twin flamethrower arms come to mind – and you'll want your Focus bar ready to heal you if that should happen. In groups of enemies, takedowns aren't even that essential, when a single target is less of an issue than the single collective force of all the enemies wailing on you.

8. Pick a side activity according to what resources you need

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 side mission rewards

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

All the side activities in Spider-Man 2 each provide a certain kind of reward - rare tech parts, hero tokens, city tokens, and more besides. Different skill trees and upgrades each require at least one of these, so if there's one you have your eye on then it's better to check what the requirements and costs are, then go out and find some side missions or collectibles that provide that reward specifically. Pressing Triangle over the upgrade will show you what you need to do.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.