What is your favourite game tutorial?


Recently watched a video on how Half-Life 2 had invisible tutorials, made me think about tutorials in general.

What are your favourite game tutorials?
What makes for a good one and what makes for a bad one?

For me, as long as it doesn’t break the narrative flow and stop the action for too long it’s ok.


Vib Ribbon’s tutorial is one of the most precious things I have ever seen in a game:


morrowind, it allowed you to get lots of money to fund your first set of eqiupment


That’s incredibly catchy!


MGSV’s harrowing tutorial may not be my favorite because it’s so damn intense, but it’s certainly one of the most original and exciting I’ve ever played.


I know It’s very recent but I really like that Strafe FMV tutorial. On paper it’s not exactly the best learning tool but it has STYYYYLE.


There’s a reason Mario 1-1 is held up as one of the best-designed levels of all time; it introduces you to just about every major mechanic you need to know (mushrooms, jumping on enemies, hitting blocks, going down pipes) in the scope of the first minute, and all without using a single word.

As far as recent examples go, I have to commend BotW for introducing such a rich, complex set of mechanics and controls in such an organic way. The entire plateau area is essentially a tutorial zone, and the way it prepares you for the rest of the world so effectively is amazing.


I think 2016’s Hitman has a fantastic tutorial level (the map with the boat). It’s a condensed version of what you’ll later encounter but they manage to pack so much freedom into that space. It’s a great way to get your feet wet on all the weird mechanics and systems present in that game, and removed from being a tutorial it just has some good level design.


I’ll be honest, I rather enjoyed Prey’s tutorial bit where they’re making you run through tests in the little chambers. It’s the most recent one I’ve done so it stands out a lot in my mind. I really enjoyed the way there is actually more to what is going on than just the game teaching you how to pick things up and hide and so forth.


I absolutely love the “Portal 2” opening and tutorial. The “mental” and “physical” exercises were a funny way to get the generic FPS movement controls out of the way. Plus Wheatly’s introduction is fantastic and Stephen Merchant’s VO is great. Obviously it isn’t very long or by any means innovative, but the humor and charm of the game is on full display. I still giggle every time Wheatley ask you to speak and you jump. The way he is taken aback by your response will always be funny to me.


I love this kind of stuff. One of my favorites for sure is the Super Meat Boy tutorial. I remember Edmund talking about how he designed it to be somewhat like the original Super Mario Bros where the player learns by curiosity.

Here’s the video if you’re interested. Go buy the documentary it’s awesome!


The Blood Dragon DLC for Far Cry 3 has a really funny tutorial. Got a real laugh out of the computer teaching you the basics. "To look around, look around."


Gotta go with the OG, Mario 1-1. It tells you everything you need to know without any words.

The intro level to Megaman X is another great silent tutorial.


So, it’s kind of tedious, actually, but I like the story of the tutorial fight in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance being a schoolyard snowball fight before any of the final fantasy stuff actually happens.


Chronicles of Riddick has a terrific conceit where you go into prison and escape in about ten minutes, then it’s revealed that this was the protagonist daydreaming about escaping and you have to do it (much more slowly) for real.



I’ve never seen a fighting game teach the basic fundamentals needed to play any 2D fighting game better than it.


skullgirls did a real good job on this but for me it more underlined how poor the rest of the genre has handled that for basically a decade and a half. it’s unbelievable to me how little street fighter (until what they’ve added in V) or even other somewhat smaller titles like KoF have done to help get brand new players into their systems.

i can’t even think of another genre where that’s the norm. try and picture a single AAA game that doesn’t go through the intro story mission where you crawl or clamber whenever the prompt shows up or something like that. it’s unheard of


If I had to guess, it’s because the perceived gulf between casual fighting game players and players who take it seriously is so vast that it’s not worth trying to bridge. It’s assumed that most people just want to mash buttons, and the people who would be willing to put in the time to learn a fighting game are already hardcore enough to seek help from outside sources.


BlazBlue and especially Guilty Gear have fantastic tutorials that cover everything from basic movement/mechanics to the logic of option selects to specific character match up training. The gulf was startling back when SF4 and the first BlazBlue released within earshot of each other in terms of what was provided as learning material. Capcom offered nothing, ASW offered a lot. Capcom continues to offer almost nothing, while ASW continues to improve their tutorials.


Seriously, Arc System Works fighting games have amazing tutorials (in addition to their other top-notch single-player modes), and yet they rarely seem to get the recognition they deserve.