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How to Play Shadows of Doubt – Beginner’s Tips and Tricks

Get your Detective hat ready because this game is a real thinker
Image via ColePowered Games

There is so much to do inside Shadows of Doubt that it can be rather overwhelming in your first playthrough. With randomized cases and many citizens to get to know, it can be difficult to know where to start. It is also easy to forget useful information but as there is always something new to find out inside the world of Shadows of Doubt, you will find your journey forever interesting and unique. The goal is to solve as many cases as you can so that you can build enough Social Credit to commit to an early retirement. But as the cases stack up and nefarious crime is just around the corner, building up your portfolio on the citizens in the town you live in is crucial to getting ahead of those criminals. Therefore, this is Vincent’s Shadows of Doubt Beginner’s Guide.

Shadows of Doubt Beginner’s Guide

Learn the Ins-and-Outs of the Detective Screen

The Menu Screen for you Detective work will be the thing you look at most in Shadows of Doubt. This is because you will need to use this throughout all of your investigations. You will find 4 Icons in the upper-left corner of the bar on this Menu. The Magnifying Glass lets you search for any location, be it an Apartment or a specific Business/Restaurant, you can find this though this Icon. The Location Icon next to the Magnifying Glass gives you access to the town’s blueprint where you can look for specific locations to head to or watch anyone you have put a Blood Tracker on. The House icon on the left-hand side when you open the Location Tab will tell you your address where you can set a waypoint to it every time you want to head back home and rest or drop off any important supplies that you do not need at that current point in time.

You can upgrade using the DNA Helix Tab, where you can see all of the Sync Disks you have found throughout your playthrough and install via Clinics and upgrade their abilities even further through the use of Upgrade Vials.

Related: How Diamonds, Social Credit and the Pawn Shop Works.

Save All The Time!

One of the most important tips I can give you is to make sure you save whenever you can. Of course, you do not need to save every waking moment of the game as you need to be able to enjoy what you are playing but, with Shadows of Doubt having no Auto-Save feature, if you exit the game without saving once in your playthrough, you will lose all of your progression. It is a tough pill to swallow for those who have already lost their playthrough to learn that you need to manually save throughout your Detective career but I guess the point is to fully immerse yourself in your work that you forget that saving is even an option. However, without actually giving yourself a Permadeath game to play, just save whenever possible.

You can do this in the Pause Menu and it is best to save multiple game files in case of any bugs and crashes that could corrupt the previous file. Due to its Early Access release there are of course bugs and glitches throughout the game that you will definitely experience. Be that Memory Leaks from executing too many actions at once, or bugging out the Editing Decor Mode in your Apartment. Bugs are inevitable in Early Access Games and to combat these all you need to do is save and reload. Thankfully wherever you save is exactly where the game will reload.

Look for Upgrade Vials and Sync Disks and Upgrade Whenever You Can

Upgrade Vials and Sync Disks are you primary source of levelling up in Shadows of Doubt. You can find these inside Safes in Businesses or Houses and within City Halls or Government Buildings. They will spawn in frequently inside Government Buildings, so check these every few hours in your playthrough to pick up more Upgrade Vials. The main way of getting these Disks however is through completing cases. These can be picked up in Restaurant Bulletin Boards where you will see the Disk reward on the case notes before you accept the case.

There are duplications of Sync Disks where in Early Access, you can get up to 18 different Disks that offer different abilities. Keep track of what you have installed so that you do not pick up any duplicates as these are taking up unnecessary space in your Inventory. Upgrade Vials can be used on any installed Sync Disks and provide a bonus effect for the ability.

Be Sure to Utilize the Pin and Make Connections on the Detective Board

As you find key information needed for your cases, we highly recommend pinning anything new you find as you gather evidence for the case. There is no need to be specific or picky at the beginning of your investigation as things begin to connect themselves later on. Information is needed from Finger Prints to information on the suspect’s Physical Attributes such as Height, Hair Color, Salary and Blood Type. You should collect anything you find as these can link to citizens or suspects, giving you a clearer understanding on who you are living with in the town you reside in.

Whilst you can make notes important to the case and pin these to a piece of information you have found, you can also find important case information under Details in the original case info provided by the game when you pick up the case or open a briefcase. If you are dealing with Stolen Goods or Murder Cases it is helpful to learn about the victim first in order to find connections as the suspect is almost always linked directly to the victim themselves. Alternatively, if you are looking for an Unknown Person and have absolutely nothing to go off of aside from one detail such as a Finger Print, you should always scan the briefcase you received the case info from to try and find the person who gave you the case to begin with. Sometimes these are the only viable leads available for cases that seem impossible.

Move Everything Important into Storage Before Moving

This sounds like a weird one to bring up as a Tip but you should know that if you plan to move and upgrade your Apartment, anything that you leave behind on your old Apartment floor will despawn. Therefore, make sure that you are not leaving anything behind. When moving, go into Edit Decor and place all Furniture into Storage so that you can plant these into your new Apartment. All Items are left behind unfortunately so if you are planning to upgrade, we recommend that you do not go to crazy on your decorations as these will remain and then despawn in your old Apartment as they cannot be placed into Storage.

When you plan on moving, check out the Bulletin Boards inside Restaurants. Be sure to check all Restaurants and their offers before you move as you could miss something better than the one you might settle on, thinking that there is only a few available at one time and inside a single Restaurant.

Best Inventory to Run in Shadows of Doubt

Whilst you start with limited inventory space, these can be increased with specific Sync Disks. However, regardless of where you are in your playthrough, specific items are better to have on you than others. For this reason, GJ recommends that you use Finger Print Scanners and Handcuffs. The Scanner will let you gain important information of Finger Prints that can be collected and saved onto citizens for future cases. You can use this on Briefcases, Murder Weapons, Furniture and Walls or on a person so long as they are standing still for you to get a good connection on them via the Scanner. Handcuffs are incredibly helpful in completing cases that involve Murder or Photography. You can use Handcuffs on Murder suspects or tie up a citizen as you investigate their House for clues.

Lockpick Everything and Break Down Doors to Houses if Occupied

Lockpicks can be found inside Houses and in Businesses such as Office spaces and in Security Rooms. You can purchase these inside Government Buildings however they can also be found for free as a common drop in many Buildings. Be sure to check cabinets and chests of drawers whenever you are investigating a place and you should find more than enough Lockpicks to go around. The Lockpicks are crucial into getting into areas that you should not be in. These will be restricted areas where Cameras or Staff are that can pursue you or ring an alarm to get Security Staff in that will attack and try to kill you.

You need to use the Lockpick by initiating the action and looking at the lock, be that a locked door or Breaker to turn off Cameras. It is so important that you turn off Cameras whenever you can via the far-left lever inside the Breaker Box once you get it open. These will last for approximately 5 minutes and then turn back on again. When getting into Houses that have a resident inside, you can barge through the door when they are opening it to instantly knock them out.

Use the Government Database to Find Key Information on Suspects

The Government Database is located inside City Halls or within Government run Buildings. You should use these Computers to search for any leads on possible suspects where you can get a ton of information immediately and put a face, address and more information on suspects, allowing you to either rule them out from the Investigation or investigate them further by visiting their House.

Where to Find Food and Keep Warm

The final Tip we recommend for this Shadows of Doubt Beginner’s Guide is to keep warm and fed. Sleep does not matter as much in this game as eating, drinking and keeping warm does. However, you can increase your chances of getting a Murder Case by sleeping the day off and reviewing the Jobs via the Bulletin Boards afterwards. But in regard to eating and drinking, you can either visit Vending Machines or Restaurants. You will regularly get cold in this game, therefore you will need to visit Barrels where citizens may hover around for warmth as a fire is lit inside. This can be used to heat yourself up. Of course, the main way to get warm is to stay inside Buildings but if you are moving around a lot outside, you can head into a Public Bathroom and dry off using the Dryers themselves to warm yourself up quickly.

That was our GJ Shadows of Doubt Beginner’s Guide, we hope this provided you with enough information to get a good start in your Detective work. For other guides and content on games outside of the investigative world, feel free to see our latest guides available at Gamer Journalist. Thank you for reading this article.

About the author

Hadley Vincent

Hadley is a Freelance Writer for Gamer Journalist. They have been with the company since October 2022. With a BSc Honors in Psychology, Hadley focuses their creativity and passion for Video Games by primarily covering Horror, FPS, and anything with a great narrative. You will often find Hadley covering the latest indie horror games or deploying into Call of Duty's DMZ. They love a good story and one that can keep them up at night, be that for its scares or its lore.

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