The Resident Evil 7 Nightmare DLC is a wave-based survival mode where you face off against large numbers of enemies with limited resources and traps.
Taking place in the Main House's Processing Area, you must fend off Molded and other foes by purchasing weapons from work benches using Scrap, a currency generated by Compactors. By making savvy purchases, starting new Compactors and making the best use of your limited ammo, you'll stand a good chance of surviving all five hours (or rounds).
This page gives you a rundown of strategies to employ, the best weapons to use and how to accumulate (and save) Scrap for when you need it.
How to beat every wave and get easy Scrap in Resident Evil 7 Nightmare DLC
Stick to the opening area and get extra compactors working for easy scrap
If you venture through to the Boiler Room, you can use a Corrosive to access the Dissection Room, where you'll find another workbench and by the Morgue another Compactor. However, ignore these areas entirely, as the time and distance of heading over compared to the three easily accessible Compactors surrounding the starter Incinerator Room doesn't make it worth your time.
Instead, stay in the corridors surrounding the Incinerator Room. In short, you'll want to do the following. After you start the Compactor in the opening Incinerator Room, you should straight away sprint to the open area to the south, just before the stairs to the Snake Door in the main story, where there is a Compactor there too. From now on, sprint between these two and collect the Scrap they produce, killing enemies as you go.
When you can afford 1,500 Scrap, then buy a Corrosive and open the Workshop room (it's the locked door out and to the left of the Incinerator Room) where there's another Compactor inside.
For the rest of the run, continue sprinting between these three Compactors to make sure you get a steady flow of Scrap, with the added benefit of constantly being on the move and avoiding enemies. And later, perhaps from round 4, you should have enough to purchase a Compactor upgrade to increase their output by 50% to get even more out of them.
Use the Knife - seriously
The best overall strategy - though one we recommend you employ after trying it with weapons for the first few goes, at least to unlock some early rewards and get a good feel for how the mode works and where enemy spawns appear - is to priortise using the Knife until sometime into round 4. While it's very weak on its own, if you purchase the two upgrades, Molded will go down in around three to five swipes at the head, saving you on a lot of ammo.
The main problem you'll face with Nightmare generally is with ammo, and its escalating cost as you progress. By using a Knife, this ensures that, apart from the bosses, you'll not only save Scrap which you can spend on upgrades, but when you do need to buy ammo, it'll won't be as expensive in later rounds. It really is a method that transforms your run (thanks to the Resident Evil sub-Reddit for the tip that started us experimenting with this method).
With the Knife, the best strategy is to sprint round the corridors, killing Molded one by one - with some luck you'll find enemies as they spawn for some easy attacks - and when in groups, make sure you keep them bunched together so you can lunge in with a swipe and back off again. Dance around Molded, attacking from the sides, and with effective blocking you'll dodge most of their attacks.
That said, you're more likely to be injured, so put that spare Scrap you're saving on Med Kits and health-related upgrades. By the time you need to switch to weapons - during bosses and around round 4 onwards - ammo and weapons should still be very cheap.
You won't win first time, but that's OK
As mentioned above, the Knife strategy is very effective, but we'd recommend playing with weapons and simply learning spawn points and the feel of the mode. The way the Rewards system works means you'll get more permanent unlockables as your score accumulates. Between that and naturally getting better, the more you play, the easier things become.
Rewards that you'll be looking out for early on are the Machine Gun Set (10,000 points), First Aid Med x3 (40,000 points), Adrenaline (100,000 points) and 44 MAG set (200,000 points). But if you're struggling, you may also want to consider...
The Circular Saw is useful if you simply want to finish
When you accumulate 300,000 points over a number of sessions - which is no mean feat and if you don't get to the later waves, so may take a while - you unlock the Circular Saw. This is a melee weapon and so, like the Knife, means you can save on purchasing ammo for most of a run. By holding it out in front of you with the left trigger then holding right trigger afterwards to start it spinning, it'll saw through pretty much anything that comes your way.
There are some problems with it; it's not cheap, coming in at 3,000 Scrap, and using it will lower your score drastically if you're aiming to unlock other items (there is a 0.01% multiplier, turning your tens of thousands of points into literally hundreds) but it's a helpful way to simply get past the later hordes of enemies and finish the mode. If you can, however, learn to play with the Knife, and you'll get the benefits of both.
Use the right weapons at the right times
Our favourite go-to weapons were the Shotgun and Machine Gun. The Shotgun is excellent at simply clearing away enemies close up, with two or so headshots are simple to pull off in a pinch, while the Machine Gun is great at a distance or in crowds, allowing you to pick off advancing enemies coming down corridors without worrying too much about accuracy. We recommend upgrading these as soon as you can, too, to increase their firepower and potency.
The Grenade Launcher is best saved for bosses but can also be useful for crowds. Also, when you unlock it as a reward, the MAG 44 is very useful for Jack's final encounter, if only to stagger him on every shot. Ignore the Burner - it's weak and puts you in a dangerous close position - as well as the Handgun, especially if you're focusing on using the Knife.
How to deal with the bosses
There are two boss types to look out for - Jack and Fat Molded - at the end of round 2 and 5, and 3 and 4 (with two Fat Molded) respectively.
For Jack, you want to run away from him, giving him the chase round the corridors, waiting until he attacks, allowing you to dodge and get a hit in while he's open. If you can manage it, a particularly good strategy is to run round the corridor so he's behind you, where he will regularly grab you and spin you round. Immediately block, and you'll repel his advance, leaving him open for an attack before you sprint away and repeat the process.
Use the Shotgun close up, Grenade Launcher rounds at a distance and when you have a breather, traps to whittle his health down (more on this below). On the final round, using MAG 44 rounds if you have them unlocked, which is great at both dealing high damage and staggering him.
As for the Fat Molded, run round the corridors and keep your distance as much as you can to avoid their vomit attacks, and so you aren't cornered and so cannot squeeze by them. Again, Grenade Launcher rounds are good, especially if other enemies are bunched up, as well as traps. They get particularly dangerous when with other enemies, but if you run round corridors, they'll naturally group together and will be contained at a distance.
Save the traps for bosses
It's tempting to use traps and more powerful weapons when overwhelmed by hordes of Molded, but since some traps can only be used once and the latter is expensive, do your best to wait until the bosses.
There are several types, but the best ones are the tripmines dotted in the corridors around the Incinerator Room, and the Turret in the more open area to the south. Both work well for either boss, and we recommend using a couple for each encounter so you always have something to help you with each fight, since explosives disappear for good once used and the Turret costing more each time you activate it.
Note that tripmines won't work instantly, so if Jack is on your tail, then make sure he is at a fair distance, or he'll just walk through it. And while not certain, we think Fat Molded vomit can detonate a tripmine, so use it with caution - but it is great injuring the the two together on round four if they are bunched up.
Remember the essentials of combat
As explained in our Resident Evil 7 tips page, though combat is fairly simple there are some nuances to learn. Aim for the head at all times, block whenever you see an attack coming to greatly lower its damage, use the 180 degree turn (down and B on Xbox / Circle on PlayStation) to flee quickly, and remember you can reload and use health while sprinting.
Another tip is while you'll be wanting to purchase health and weapon upgrades when you have some spare change, but to also always have a decent number of Scrap on you at all times so you can buy an emergency top up of Ammo or Med Kits. You'll be surprised at how fast go down if enemies spawn around you at the wrong time, and there's nothing worse than limping back to the workbench with nothing to defend yourself with.
Want more help? Our Resident Evil 7 walkthrough and guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to survive the main story, as well as get the Shotgun and Grenade Launcher, while our Antique Coins locations, Mr Everywhere statue locations and File locations lists will help you find every available collectible on Normal and Easy difficulties. We also explain how to get the Dirty Coin item in the game by getting the best Resident Evil 7 demo ending, and for DLC, the full Bedroom solution, get the Daughters True Ending, beat Hoffman at Blackjack in 21 and how to beat Nightmare.
Resident Evil 7 Nightmare DLC rewards
Each run of Nightmare you complete adds to an overall score that accumulates over time, and at certain milestones, will unlock new rewards for future attempts. These range from extra First Aid Meds, unlocking more powerful weapons and abilities and more. Essentially, the more runs you play and points add up, the more rewards you earn.
To get higher scores, later rounds add an additional score multiplier, while having Scrap remaining will give you a little top up. Also note that these unlocks only apply to this Nightmare mode, not the main story.
|Starting Scrap +250||5,000|
|Machine Gun Set||10,000|
|Nerve Gas Traps||20,000|
|First Aid Med x3||40,000|
|44 Mag Set||200,000|
|Starting Scrap +250||450,000|
|Enhanced Handgun Ammo||1,000,000|
|Strong First Aid Med||1,500,000|
|Starting Scrap +250||2,000,000|
|Remote Bomb Set||3,000,000|
|Starting Scrap +250||7,000,000|