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No More Heroes 3 beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks

How to become the #1 ranked galactic assassin

Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes 3 Image: Grasshopper Manufacture via Polygon

Becoming the number one ranked galactic assassin isn’t easy, but that’s your goal in No More Heroes 3, so prepare to defeat hordes of weird aliens and even weirder boss characters.

Polygon’s No More Heroes 3 beginner’s guide will help you fight your way through the galaxy’s strongest aliens. We’ll give you tips on understanding Designed Matches, advice on your Death Glove skills, and tips on spending your in-game currency. We’ll also give you our best tips, tricks, and strategies for combat.


Table of contents


Understanding Designated Matches

Between each of your ranked battles in No More Heroes 3, you must pay a registration fee before you can take on the next boss. Before you can pay that fee, you must do three Designated Matches.

These required battles come in two difficulty levels. Red Designated Matches feature a few minions and a much stronger main minion you must defeat. Blue Designated Matches involve multiple weaker minions.

A screenshot from No More Heroes 3
Two red and one blue Designated Match is required here
Image: Grasshopper Manufacture via Polygon

Each chapter in the game requires you to complete mix of Designated Matches. On the top right of your screen, you’ll see three unlit icons that represented the matches you must take part in. Large icons mean you must complete a red designated match. For smaller icons, you must complete a blue designated match.

You can find the appropriate Designated Matches by traveling toward the large yellow circles highlighted on your map. Once you arrive at those locations, a gleaming gem will be hidden somewhere in that area. Once you locate it, the gem will change either red or blue, indicating which type of Designated Match it is.


Use your Death Skills

While you start the game with a single combat ability — also known as a Death Skill — you will gain three more during your third boss encounter. Each one is either a direct damage attack or a utility skill. These special moves help round out the limited move set you have in No More Heroes 3.

A battle in No More Heroes 3
Death Slow and Death Rain activated at the same time
Image: Grasshopper Manufacture via Polygon
  • Death Kick is a punishing dropkick that has some homing abilities. If you’re near an enemy and activate this skill, you will rush in with a powerful attack. Death Kick knocks down enemies.
  • Death Force is a long-range attack that throws enemies a great distance. When you’re locked on an enemy and use this skill, you’ll telepathically toss them across the battlefield. Death Force works on most minions and some bosses.
  • Death Slow places a circle on the ground that slows down everything inside of it, from enemies to projectiles. Minions and bosses inside the skill’s area of effect will have massively reduced speed. You can move at normal speed inside the Death Slow field, so take advantage of this and get more attacks on your enemies.
  • Death Rain places a circle on the ground that causes damages inside of it over time. Death Rain also randomly shoots small projectiles at random enemies inside its field.

These abilities all have recharge timers, which is why you should upgrade your Death Skill cooldown time at the Power Up Machine.

Use Death Slow and Death Rain in tandem, especially in fights with multiple enemies and boss battles. With enemies inside Death Slow’s field slowed down, you can take full advantage of Death Rain’s passive damage while pulling off large combos against your opponents.


Learn how to Perfect Dodge

While you can block most attacks in No More Heroes 3, dodging is the best way to negate damage because of the Perfect Dodge mechanic.

By pressing the A button and holding a direction, your character will dive out of the way of an attack. However, if you dodge an enemy’s attack at the right moment, you’ll perform a Perfect Dodge. Not only will you avoid an attack, but you’ll also slow down time, which allows you to launch multiple counterattacks. You can even perform a throw while in this state.

A battle in No More Heroes 3
The purple reticle shows you when to Perfect Dodge
Image: Grasshopper Manufacture via Polygon

You can learn the Perfect Dodge timing of an enemy’s attack by locking onto them and then waiting for the targeting circle to turn purple.

Each enemy’s attacks will have different timing for Perfect Dodges, but nearly every attack in the game can be dodged in this way. Locking onto enemies while blocking allows makes practicing Perfect Dodge timing safer.


Upgrade your skills

Underneath your home base at the motel is a secret laboratory. You can access this area by using the fireman’s pole in your hotel room or finding its entrance in the parking lot of your hotel.

Inside, you’ll find several functions like a station that lets you replay past boss fights and two upgrade stations. The Death Glove Chip supercomputer lets you add new buffs while the other, the Power Up Machine, lets you strengthen your character and gain new skills.

The Power Up Machine in No More Heroes 3
Everything you can unlock at the Power Up Machine
Image: Grasshopper Manufacture via Polygon

The Power Up Machine offers the following enhancements:

  • 10 levels of Health upgrades
  • 10 levels of Attack power boosts
  • 6 levels of Power gauge upgrades
  • 2 levels of Death Skill cooldown time reductions
  • 5 additional other unlockable abilities

The Power Up Machine uses a special currency called World’s End Super Nova or WESN. You gain this currency when completing battles, doing minigames, or turning in collectible items.

It’s a matter of personal choice between upgrading health or attack power, but one stat worth boosting early is your Power gauge. The larger your Power gauge, the less often you must recharge your Beam Katana during combat. Recharging your weapon leaves you vulnerable, so minimizing your helplessness in combat can be a lifesaver.

If you use your Death Skills often, then reducing their cooldown time should be a priority. These abilities are especially helpful when dealing with the groups of enemies you fight during Designated Battles. They can also be helpful for certain boss battles. While these upgrades are costly, a shorter cooldown means you can use them more often.

The five additional abilities on offer at the Power Up Machine can be helpful, but throughout our entire playthrough of the game, we didn’t find them more helpful than boosting our normal attack strength or reducing our Death Skill cooldown time.

If you’re not happy with any choices you’ve made, you can use your main currency to refund all your WESN and start over.


The best chips to craft and equip

Another machine in the laboratory is the Death Glove Chip supercomputer. At this station, you can craft and equip up to three chips that offer different buffs.

Most of the chips offer different trade-offs. For instance, one of the first chips you can create is the No. 1 Great Chip, which increases damage taken by 5% but raises your attack strength by 10%.

However, not every chip at the Death Glove Chip supercomputer is built this way. Some offer straightforward benefits. Here are the ones we recommend creating and equipping:

  • No. 23 Gaia Chip: During a Perfect Dodge slowdown, Weapon ATK Power: 10% up
  • No. 25 Taro Chip: During a Perfect Dodge slowdown, Wrestling ATK Power: 20% up
  • No. 39 Ginga Chip: After a successful Perfect Dodge, Slow Time: 50% up
  • No. 43 Orb Chip: While performing a Recharge, Power Charge amount: 50% up
  • No. 49 80 Chip: While walking, alerts you when search object is close

The recipes for each of these chips will be unlocked once you receive their associated crafting materials. You can find the materials you need by completing Designated Matches, Defense Missions, or beating certain bosses. If you can’t craft any of your recommended chips yet, keep progressing through the story to unlock their recipes.