Updated at: 24-05-2022 - By: Leo Hall

As soon as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 hit store shelves this week, longtime devotees are kicking and bluntsiding their way to millions of points and illuminating the internet leaderboards in the process. What if you’re a complete novice to the show? You’ve never been on a virtual board before and don’t know your ollies from your nollies. What should you do?

But don’t worry; we’ve put together a crash course (hopefully without any pun meant) on a few fundamental little maneuvers that will have you more confident on the deck in no time at all!

Learn The Controls

Even if the controls haven’t changed much since the original, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with them. For Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 utilizing a PlayStation 4 or Xbox controller, the controls are listed below:

Complete The Tutorial

Even if you’ve played Pro Skater since you were a kid, it’s a good idea to brush up on your familiarity with the game’s controls and mechanics.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 beginner's guide - Polygon

Short and comprehensive, it introduces many of the manuals and reverts found in later THPS games as well as new ones exclusive to THPS 1+2.

If you’re absolutely new to the series, you should definitely go through the tutorial to ensure you don’t miss out on any vital information.

Adjust Settings Using Game Mods

Mods in THPS 1+2 enable you lower the difficulty of various game actions. Mods are an optional component in the game. Because they can be turned on and off whenever you choose, you can experiment with them if you run into problems.

The Options menu lets you look over all of the available mods before making your final decision. To complete certain game tasks, you’ll need to disable game mods.

Listed here are all the game mods and what they do:

  • The perfect rail balance eliminates the need to move the slider left or right during grinding.
  • You don’t have to fiddle with the slider to get the perfect manual balance.
  • You don’t have to fiddle with the slider to keep your lip tricks in place.
  • Always Special: Allows you to perform special tricks without needing to build up meter beforehand.
  • Tricks can be performed without the worry of falling because there are no bails.

Practice Board Positioning

The most important component of landing tricks is ensuring that your skateboard is in the correct position when you touch the ground. If your character or board is tilted in any way, you run the risk of losing your combo.

Your character’s spinning is the best technique of avoiding this. Before landing, be sure you’re facing the right way every time you make a turn in the air. Skating on a flat surface is the same.

It’s easy to botch up your landing and fail when you’re trying to transition from a vert ramp to a flat surface. Hold R2 or Right Trigger to re-center yourself in mid-air. To guarantee a safe landing, straighten out your character.

Extend Combos With Manuals And Reverts

Get into the habit of doing as many manual and reverts as possible if you want to maximize your combos. By using them in conjunction with grinding, you may fast increase your score and maintain a running combination as you go around the level.

In order to conduct a manual, press the Left Stick or D-Pad up and down. To execute a manual, you can also lower your nose and then raise it. R2 or Right Trigger can be used to perform reversals when falling. Increasing your high scores will be much easier if you use both of these strategies together.

The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 remaster coming to PS5, Xbox Series X, and Switch - The Verge

Save Combos With Grinds And Wallrides

At maximum speed and with your Special meter full, your chances of botch up your combination skyrocket. Fortunately, the game offers Grinds and Wallrides, two methods for trying to salvage your combination before it is ruined.

In THPS, grinding is a well-known concept and needs you to hold triangle or Y to perform a grind on a rail. Rails can be used to save your combo if you’re in danger of falling because they can be grinded from nearly any angle. While grinding, keep in mind that you’ll need to maintain your equilibrium by moving the slider to the right or left as necessary.

You can always conduct a Wallride if you’re not near any rails or if you’re about to hit a wall. As you face a wall at an angle, you can accomplish the Wallride. Because your character’s body is perpendicular to the wall, they will instead conduct a Wallplant.

Complete Easy Challenges

You’ll need to complete a predetermined amount of park goals at each level in order to unlock all of the skate parks in the game. Some objectives are exclusive to a particular level, while others are more or less universal. The following objectives should be prioritized if you wish to unlock all parks as quickly as possible:

  • Achieve a specified score before the end of a run in the High, Pro, and Sick challenges. (Available when game mods are activated)
  • Reach a specific combo score before the end of a run (Works with game mods enabled)
  • Obtain all of the SKATE Challenges: Throughout the level, collect the letters. Most letters have a predetermined route.
  • Gap challenges ask you to perform a certain technique in the space between two predetermined points. The beginning videos for each stage reveal the locations. The correct inputs for the trick in question can be found by opening the Options menu > Skate > Tick Mappings.

In addition to finding the Secret Tapes on each level, players can earn unlocking points by completing other tasks. However, most of them will require multiple attempts to finish, so if you’re just getting started, it’s best to stick to the fundamentals.

Keep Your Board Aimed Forward When Landing

Even if it seems self-evident, you must align your skateboard with your travel direction. Prior to landing, make sure you’re facing the correct direction when ascending a vertical ramp; else you’ll fail your trick and fall. Flat ground is the same. You’ll bail if your wheels aren’t pointed in the appropriate direction, costing you a lot of points.

Mix Up Your Tricks

Keep things interesting if you want to get those large scores. The more times you perform a trick in a run, the less points you earn, thus spamming Kickflips and Melon grabs won’t get you anywhere near the leaderboards. Combos are a great way to rack up additional points, so use all of your techniques and talents. Perform a variety of tricks by altering your directional inputs and memorizing some more tricks to toss into the mix. It’s said that variety is the soul of wit, and this is certainly true when it comes to video games.

Straighten Up with R2

It’s possible that you won’t land on your board if you’re going too fast. There’s a way to avoid bailing out if you accidentally land on a level area after hitting a vert ramp. In order to land safely, hold R2 while your skater is in a straight position with the skateboard underneath.

If In Doubt, Grind It Out

With the exception of a few rare surprises, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a fairly straightforward game. Keep Triangle held if you’re unsure where you’ll land when flying through the air. This button is quite useful for lip stunts, grinds, and wallrides; you may also utilize it as a sort of safety net. If you’re holding Triangle, you’re probably going to grind it out or wallride it. However, kerbs and rails are plentiful in the game’s stages, so this works more often than you may imagine.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 is surprisingly solid on the Switch - The Verge

Walls Are Not the Enemy

If you’re on a collision course with a wall, you might assume that your combo is over. It’s possible to extend a combo by hitting the wall again and again. In addition to the previously described wallride and wall plant, you may accomplish both with a single push of the Triangle button. Think of grinding your way up a flat wall. To accomplish a wall plant, jump off the rail and press X when you’re about to hit the wall, and you’ll land on the ground. You’ll be thrown off the wall and pushed in the opposite direction as a result of this. Nice!

Vert combo tricks

It’s simple to rack up points when you drop into a quarter pipe or half pipe, or really anywhere that sends you straight up and down. The obvious approach to get a 4- or 5-times multiplier is to spam grabs and flip tricks, but there is a better way. No compliance or boneless ollies can be performed when you approach the lip of a ramp by swiftly pressing up or up, up before ollieing. In addition, any subsequent tricks you complete will contribute to your combo counter.

In order to quadruple your points, use the trick you’ve worked so hard on. You can treble your multiplier by hitting a revert on your way back down and continuing your combination. To make it look like you know what you’re doing, you may add a manual to the mix once you’ve mastered all this and landed on your feet.

Manual combos

In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, you don’t need ramps, drops, or rails to rack up points. Manuals can also be your ally. Manuals can be important for connecting lines, but they can also be quite powerful if you just want to let your imagination run wild.

You can enter a manual by pressing up or down (or up or down), but you may improve your score multiplier by repeatedly clicking the flip, grab, or grind buttons to do fancy techniques that would make even Rodney Mullen, the king of manuals, blush. To avoid embarrassing yourself, monitor your balance meter at all times and keep a close check on it. This is also useful for lip stunts and grinds as an added bonus.

Know when to end a combo

Despite the fact that this appears to be a straightforward task, it is really easy to make a massive mistake if you are distracted by pressing buttons and stressing. In order to avoid injury, it is preferable to hit the tricks you desire, correct your angle or balance, and then continue on your way. If you don’t know where each trick is on your controller, you can remap it so that your favorite tricks fall neatly under your fingers.

Learn the ropes in free skate mode

Skate Tours is where the majority of skaters will begin their journey through the game’s various challenges. If you’re not familiar with the level layouts, collecting the letters of S.K.A.T.E., discovering gaps and performing particular tricks on them, or finding the secret cassettes can be frustrating. Free skating mode is activated at this point.

To get the most out of your limited time in each run, you’ll be able to recognize pathways between treasures when you do ultimately take the plunge into Skate Tours, and you’ll feel every part of the prioritizing pro when you finally do.

Change your stats up

Create-A-Skater is a fantastic tool. Custom characters can either be based on real-life people, or they can be made entirely from scratch. The stat points you earn during games can also be allocated how you see proper, including the ability to redistribute them if necessary.

For manual or lip trick challenges, don’t be hesitant to dump points from your ollie or hangtime abilities into those categories to give yourself an advantage. For the pros you’ve gathered skill points with, you can also do this, but keep in mind that you can only lower their default stats so much.

Switch stance

Do you know that using a switch stance to skate or perform a trick earns you bonus points? In a skater’s switch stance, they are just skating in the opposite direction. The skater who skates with their right foot in front of them would perceive their switch stance as leading with their left. When you’re skating around or coming out of a trick in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, you can swap between your normal and switch stances by pressing the revert button. Tricks will be a little more difficult to pull off when in switch, but the payoff will help you squeak out every last point from your combinations. Additionally, each skater has a ‘Swap’ category in their stats that, when unlocked, enhances their ability to switch tricks.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 Reveals First Switch Gameplay


How do you do land tricks on Tony Hawk?

Manuals are tricks you perform after a flip or a grab move to lengthen the combo. You can land on either the front or back wheels of your board by pressing the D-pad up and down or down and up just before landing.

How do you do Tony Hawks manual tricks?

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 makes it easy to conduct a manual by allowing you to swiftly tap the left analog stick up and down. You can alternatively tap down and then up if you like.

Can you get off your board in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 2?

The ability to jump off the board was introduced in Tony Hawk’s Underground. Additionally, it extends combos by making it easier for the player to get to particular lines. Starting a timer mid-combo allows the player to continue their multiplier while riding again.


Our PS5 and PS4 guide to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is done. If you’ve read this far, I hope it’s been helpful in your pursuit of skateboarding greatness. We’d love to hear from you if you have any more advice for beginning skaters.