The Mercenaries is a mode that opens up in Resident Evil Village once you’ve complete the main campaign. It costs 10 CP from the Extra Content Shop to unlock, and is a single-player challenge mode. Points are awarded for killing enemies against the clock, assisted by a range of bonus abilities that are exclusive to this mode.
The majority of abilities can be picked up straight away, but a few — including the very popular Magic Magazine — have some unlock requirements attached.
In this guide we’ll cover what Mercenaries abilities do, how to pick them up, and how to unlock the really good ones.
How to use abilities in Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries
While playing The Mercenaries, you’ll notice there are floating orbs scattered around each stage. Yellow orbs add extra time to the stage while blue orbs contain abilities.
In order to pick up and equip an ability, you simply need to get within range and press the interact button when the prompt appears. You’re then given a choice of three random abilities to activate.
If the same ability appears more than once on a stage, you can equip it multiple times. The effect will stack, which can be very powerful. There’s also no limit to how many abilities you can have at a time, so there’s literally no need to hold back when you spot a blue orb in the vicinity.
All abilities you pick up will persist between areas within the same game. However, you don’t get to keep any of them when starting a new game.
Magic Magazine | How to acquire locked abilities in Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries
While most abilities in The Mercenaries are available from the start, there are four that require an extra step to unlock them.
You need to get an S rank or higher on each of the four Part I stages to add Magic Magazine, Execution, Lightning Speed, and Masamune to the random pool of abilities you find in orbs.
Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries — Abilities list
|Ability Name||Ability Type||Effect||Unlock requirements|
|Assassination Dash||Agility||Movement speed increases when knife is equipped.||None|
|Lightning Speed||Agility||Movement speed greatly increases but damage taken increases too.||Finish ‘The Factory (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher|
|Corpse Combustor||Enemy Debuff||Enemies will likely explode when they are defeated with a gun.||None|
|Slow Motion||Enemy Debuff||Enemy movement decreases.||None|
|All Brawn||Offensive||Attack increases but speed decreases.||None|
|Break Shot||Offensive||Initial attack does more damage when the enemy’s HP is full.||None|
|Execution||Offensive||Attack greatly increases when the enemies’ HP is below 30%.||Finish ‘The Castle (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher|
|Fickle Shooter||Offensive||Attack increases when switching between enemies.||None|
|Infighter||Offensive||Close-combat attacks do more damage.||None|
|No Brainer||Offensive||Headshots do more damage.||None|
|Out of Reach||Offensive||Long-distance attacks do more damage.||None|
|Adrenaline||Support||HP recovers slightly when attacking with a gun.||None|
|Gruesome Gourmet||Support||Recover a little HP when an enemy is defeated.||None|
|Healthy||Support||Max HP increases.||None|
|Super Guard||Support||Damage no longer taken when guarding.||None|
|Thick Skinned||Support||Damage taken decreases.||None|
|Blade Master||Weapon||Knives do five times more damage.||None|
|Pistol Master||Weapon||Handguns do more damage.||None|
|Shotgun Master||Weapon||Shotguns do more damage.||None|
|Magic Magazine||Weapon||Ammo capacity doubles.||Finish ‘The Village (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher|
|Masamune||Weapon||Knife attacks are 10 times stronger, but damage from other weapons greatly decreases.||Finish ‘The Mad Village (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher|
The abilities you find in orbs will be random, so there’s a limit to how far you can plan a character build. And, as we’ve already pointed out, there’s no reason to ignore an orb, even if none of the abilities on offer are particularly inspiring.
However, given the choice, we recommend always prioritising Magic Magazine and Execution when they come up once unlocked. Unlike the other two unlockable abilities there’s no devil’s bargain involved in equipping either of these. They respectively allow you stack ammo capacity and lethal damage, indefinitely, with no downside.
If you’re eager to unlock The Mercenaries mode, you’ll need to start from the beginning, so check out Part 1 of our guide to completing Resident Evil Village.
Or if you want more information on the game overall, read our review.