How to survive the Resident Evil 4 Remake village

Resident Evil 4 village attack
(Image credit: Capcom)

How to survive the Resident Evil 4 village attack is all about patience, skill and fluid thinking, as there's multiple ways to survive and make it through without getting killed - though none of them are easy (barring a special new game plus exploit that allows you to skip most of it). The goal here is not to kill all the villagers, but simply survive long enough that they suddenly lose interest and do something else rather than attack. There's many ways to do that - run, attack, barricade yourself in a house and grab the shotgun, one of the best early game Resident Evil 4 weapons, but these can only help - not make it easy. We'll cover some real advice on how to make it through, with our tips and tricks on how to survive the Resident Evil 4 Remake village square sequence.

How to survive the village in the Resident Evil 4 Remake

Resident Evil 4 village locations

(Image credit: Capcom)

To survive the village in Resident Evil 4 Remake you simply need to last long enough until a bell rings and draws them away roughly two-to-four minutes after starting. To do this, you have several options, all of which you can mix and match as needed, and all of which I've tried and tested.

Click on any of these for more details, but the reality is that you'll probably use at least a combination of these methods to reach the end. 

If you're purely playing optimally, I honestly suggest mainly running away but also trying to kill the chainsaw enemy "Dr Salvador" along the way, as he drops a valuable Emerald you can sell later on. Running takes longer, but it's also the least costly process, not any more difficult than the other methods, plus evasion tactics are an important thing to learn early on, as the ability to duck, weave and parry will do you very well in later sequences.

How to escape the villagers

Escaping to survive the Resident Evil 4 village

(Image credit: Capcom)

You don't have to kill the villagers, you simply need to survive. I've tried it, and it's entirely possible to evade the zombie villagers for the whole sequence and never fire a shot. Admittedly, it's not easy to avoid taking damage along the way, but it's not easy to do that in regular combat either - and this way you're not burning resources fighting them off. 

Of course, the downside is that you don't get any rewards off the bodies you kill, including the potential emerald dropped by the man with the chainsaw - and that the game makes you wait longer for the end than if you kill them. If you go this method, use the whole village to your advantage, luring them around and clearing those ahead of you, while using the map to check routes ahead if you're still unfamiliar. A quick shot to the head will stun zombies, giving you a chance to sprint by, and dead ends are something to be avoided at all costs. Plus, if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, there's nothing stopping you from switching to the other two methods.

How to fight the zombies in the Village

Resident Evil 4 villagers attacking

(Image credit: Capcom)

This burns up ammo and can mean getting swarmed, but taking the fight to the villagers has three advantages - firstly, you're slightly more in control than running around like a headless chicken, secondly, you get all the loot they drop, and thirdly, you don't have to last as long as if you're just running and hiding all the time. 

If you're not going into the house for a final showdown and want to keep fighting outside, then stay mobile and evasive, as outlined in our Resident Evil 4 tips. Headshots aren't guaranteed to be kills, and it's easy to get swarmed. Remember that you can't kill them all, the game keeps spawning villagers in - you're just trying to thin their numbers to make things manageable until you're told you've lasted long enough.

How to set the barn on fire

Resident Evil 4 village barn

(Image credit: Capcom)

This won't win you the game, but it can provide a serious advantage - on the right as you enter the village is a barn with a cow inside that you can run through. Shooting the oil lamp hanging from the ceiling will rapidly ignite the whole building, killing any zombies inside. If things get really rough, lure the zombies in, then shoot the lamp when they're underneath it. Keep in mind that the barn is a danger zone from that point on, so don't get back inside!

How to defend yourself inside the house

Resident Evil 4 village safe house

(Image credit: Capcom)

If all else fails, head to the two-story house next to the tower. As you enter, a cinematic will trigger showing Leon locking the door. From this point on, this is probably your final stronghold, as there's no easy way to leave once you're inside. Here's some basic tips for surviving in here:

  • There's a working shotgun hanging on the wall upstairs and some ammo on the bed. Grab them ASAP!
  • You can push the cabinet on the ground floor in front of the window to delay villagers getting in this way. 
  • Villagers can still come in through the windows upstairs, but they'll need to use ladders for some of them. You can kick down any ladders that appear by getting close to them and pressing X/A, depending on your controller.
  • The stairs are a great place to bottleneck enemies, clearing them with shotgun blasts or grenades.
  • If you're careful, you can escape the house by using the main door again (once an enemy destroys it) or leaping out the window at the top of the stairs

How to skip the village in Resident Evil 4 Remake

Resident Evil 4 Remake village skip

(Image credit: Capcom)

You can skip the village sequence in the RE4 Remake (well, most of it) using an Easter Egg that only works on New Game Plus, not the first playthrough or on Professional Mode, at least from what we've tried. To skip the village and end the sequence early, you'll need a scoped rifle or long-range weapon, then do the following:

  1. When you enter the village, run straight to the defendable two-story house when you get the shotgun mentioned above.
  2. After the little cutscene, run upstairs and dive through the window on your immediate right (facing East).
  3. You should now be on a wooden platform on the roof. Walk down it to the southernmost point and face Southeast.
  4. In the distance, behind a tree, you should be able to see the church belltower shown above.
  5. Use a long-range weapon to shoot the barely-visible bell.
  6. If you get it right, you'll hear the bell ring.

Because the sequence ends when the bell rings and summons the villagers away, ringing the bell early draws their attention and makes them think they're being summoned - and the result is they give up on the attack, ending the sequence!

Getting the shot off is difficult though, especially considering that the tree obscures the bell and that you'll need something with long range to do it. The starting pistol and shotgun seem flat-out incapable of making that shot, at least when we tried, or the game just might not allow players to do it on their first playthrough. Either way, if you've never done this before, the game probably won't let you skip it first time - that's reserved for those who've proven they can beat it once.

How to beat the chainsaw enemy Dr Salvador

Resident Evil 4 chainsaw enemy Dr Salvador

(Image credit: Capcom)

A huge foe with a bag on his head and a chainsaw, Doctor Salvador enters after a period of survival, and effectively acts as the boss fight (though you don't have to kill him if you can hold out). You should if possible though - as mentioned, he drops an Emerald you can sell later on.

Dr Salvador can be killed like any other enemy, with damage of all sorts, he just has a much bigger health bar. Use the burning barn and shotgun if you can, and don't get close! He has no ranged attack, but his chainsaw is a one-shot-kill if you get in range and fail to parry. Keep your distance, take your time, and use his slow movements to stay one step ahead.

How long do you have to survive the village?

Resident Evil 4 village attack length

(Image credit: Capcom)

Having tested all variations, the length of the village survival sequence actually varies depending on how bloodthirsty you are, and the approach you take, with kills mattering. Here were our results:

  • Running around (no kills, not entering the house): Approx. 4 minutes.
  • Total warfare (constant kills, not entering the house): Approx. 2.5 minutes.
  • House defence (constant kills, entering the house): Approx. 5 minutes.

Our best guess is that the advantages of defending the house and getting a shotgun are negated by the fact that you have to hold out longer than if you were fighting in the open.

Can you get the TMP in the village?

Resident Evil 4 village TMP

(Image credit: Capcom)

No, you cannot get the TMP in the village when playing the full game. One of the Resident Evil 4 demo secrets was a hidden TMP, or machine pistol, that could be found if you dropped all your weapons before beginning the village sequence and looked inside a well. 

Sadly, having checked the process, that is no longer in the full game - you can get the TMP at a later point by buying from the Merchant, but the well is blocked off at this point, and the only weapon in the village is the shotgun, which you can still get even after you wait to enter the house until after the horde is done.

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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.