"It's not that hard. You just have to use abilities they won't discuss and techniques they haven't entirely taught you via controls they never quite explain."Video game tutorials are meant to quickly and easily improve the player's comprehension of the game he or she is playing. Ideally, they should explain everything the player needs to know to play the game without hand-holding. They should be succinct and easy to follow. But what happens when a tutorial fails to do its job? Then you've got a Tutorial Failure. This trope is for those tutorials which do a completely inadequate job of what they're supposed to do—the kind that leave the player frustrated that they can't perform that seemingly-simple move, or wrap their heads around a gameplay system which seems straightforward. Either this tutorial contains misleading or false information or fails to mention some vital aspect of gameplay. Perhaps it's because of a "Blind Idiot" Translation; perhaps it's because the game swamps the player with mounds of text right out of the gate and expects them to remember everything immediately; or, maybe, the tutorial tries to simplify a complex game mechanic into a "rule of thumb" which ends up being more of a hindrance than a help. Perhaps the tutorial gives advice that is no longer valid after a game patch. Or maybe the tutorial is useful, but a Game-Breaking Bug exclusive to the tutorial itself prevents you from completing it. Whatever the case, this tutorial just doesn't work. Think of this as a tutorial-induced Guide Dang It!. Related to Manual Misprint. If an important gameplay element ought to be in the tutorial but is not, that might result in a Noob Bridge. Related to Failed a Spot Check, as some tutorials big sin is that the gameplay aspect the programmers and playtesters have become so accustomed to that it is second nature they completely forget to add that one simple explanation that everything else is based on. Another common mistake is assuming the player is familiar with a move after they've executed it only once, even if it was by accident.
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- In the instruction manual for The Legend of Zelda, the Pols Voice enemy is said to "hate loud noise". Naturally, the player would assume that their weakness would be the flute, then, but that's not the case at all. The flute does absolutely nothing to the Pols Voice. What the manual is actually referring to is the built-in microphone found in the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES. There is no way to replicate this functionality in the US release, but to compensate, they're weak to arrows and a single one can kill multiple Pols, while in the Japanese version arrows don't harm them.
- The GBC Zelda games fix this by having music instruments damage Pols Voice. Also, the DS versions utilize the DS's microphone; it is the only way to defeat Pols Voice.
- They're also weak to bombs.
- The GBC Zelda games fix this by having music instruments damage Pols Voice. Also, the DS versions utilize the DS's microphone; it is the only way to defeat Pols Voice.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, the game tells you to "draw little circles at the edge of a screen" to perform a roll. This is before the sword tutorial, which explains that a bigger circle anywhere on the screen will make Link spin with his sword out. In reality, the rolling technique is more like wiggling at the edge of the screen—an average player trying to draw circles will just make Link flail around with his sword.
- Feel free to completely ignore the on-screen instructions in the Star Destroyer level in The Force Unleashed because you will get absolutely nowhere trying to follow them.
- Tomb Raider II has a tutorial level in the form of an obstacle course. You are not told how to do certain actions until you screw up said actions.
Augmented Reality Game
- Ingress's tutorial could not be completed due to a bug that, on some devices, rendered a vital button impossible to register a press on. Although the game can be played without touching the tutorial at all, the game occasionally nags you to finish it when you log in. This was corrected with an update in late 2013.
- Pokémon Go, by the same developer, is worse. There's no bug here. There's just the issue that about all the game tells you is that you can throw balls to catch Pokemon. You have to look up an online guide to figure out pretty much the entire game.
Beat Em Up
- Double Dragon's manual had a list of all the moves you could do to opponents. Most involved grabbing the hair of the opponent first, and then a button combination. What was missing? How to grab an opponent's hair in the first place.
- One of the biggest complaints about The Wonderful 101 is that it inadequately teaches you how to play it. Combining with the fact that the game utilizes a very precise control scheme, this can lead many players to get frustrated with their experience.
- To elaborate a bit further, each main action button has multiple important functions and the game rarely tells you more than a brief summary about its main use, which should be obvious with a little experimentation (ie. in addition to allowing you to move faster, the dash button also works as an universal cancel button for your weapon forms and sets your team into a tighter formation when held, allowing you to avoid attacks easier, and in addition to making your team members latch on to enemies to deal minor damage and eventually stun them, team attacks also function as a way to lock onto that enemy, allowing you to automatically dash to them prior to attacking them with your weapon form and so forth). There's also the fact that a lot of the upgrades are extremely important but hard to get enough money for early in the game outside of an useful feature the game tells you nothing about (using a maximum amount of each crafting item creates a credit card item that makes the next shop purchase free regardless of its price), and that the ability to level up your permanent characters isn't even mentioned anywhere, let alone how to see their current level.
- The Forced Tutorial in Driver is legendary for being complete garbage. The car (or rather, the patience of the people inside) is fragile, and there's a list of varyingly obscure moves that must be completed before a strict time limit is exhausted. At least one gets to learn from a video of a valid performance in the tutorial.
- Pokémon Red and Blue and all of its associated media insist that ghost types are the best choices against psychic types. One trainer in Sabrina's gym even says "Psychics only fear ghosts and bugs!", which is, at best, a Half Truth in the original Pokemon generation. Not only are the only ghosts in these games weak to psychic attacks due to their secondary poison type, and not only are there no strong ghost attacks, but psychic-types are outright immune to ghost attacks thanks to a programming bug. Furthermore, there are no strong bug attacks, and many bug Pokemon are also part poison. Ghost and bug types are thus in many ways the worst choice against psychics.
- A Lost in Translation example; one NPC in the international Red and Blue offers to trade his Electrode for your Raichu. After the trade, he comments that the Raichu you traded him "went and evolved". Raichu did not evolve at all in Gen 1 (and still doesn't, as of Gen 7) — what happened was that in the Japanese Pokemon Blue, from which international Red and Blue derive their scripts, this man traded a Haunter for a Graveler, both of which do evolve, and as this was intended to hint, they evolve after being traded. However, the trade was edited during localization to match the original Red and Green, just like every other in-game trade, while his dialogue was not.
- The original tutorial for catching Pokémon, the Old Man in Viridian City, is next to no help whatsoever. He throws a Poké Ball at a wild Rattata at full health, the catch will always fail, he never even hints at the fact that weakened Pokémon are easier to catch, and then just walks away. Thanks, game.
- Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal has a few of these, due to being a massive Translation Train Wreck.
- Many, many players struggled to perform Sabin's Blitzes from Final Fantasy VI. The in-game tutorial says "Choose Blitz, press the Control Pad left, right, left, then press the A button!" While technically correct, the game fails to mention that you're supposed to input the command while an otherwise innocuous arrow is pointing at Sabin. Most new players will try instead to press A while the arrow's up (since the arrow is usually the means to select the target character of a given action), then hastily input the Blitz, which is already way too late. The game will never try to correct your timing even after dozens of failed attempts, so naturally, many players just think they haven't inputted the button combination fast enough. It doesn't help that the first time you have to use a Blitz is in a boss battle you can only win by using a Blitz...while the boss puts a countdown-to-instant-death condition on your only character and hits you with regular attacks.
- Final Fantasy VII gives the player some infamously poor advice in its very first boss fight, owing to the game's poor translation: When the boss goes into a defensive stance, the game will tell you to "Attack while its tail is up! It's going to counterattack with its laser!" This is supposed to be an if-then statement, but thanks to each sentence being in a separate text box, it's generally interpreted as advice followed by an explanation, which is the exact opposite thing.
- In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, Tear suggests you sell items at close to the highest price you can get customers to accept. Doing so is a horrible idea — what you want to do is earn "near pin" and "just combo" bonuses, which means selling at only slightly above the current base price, so you don't have to haggle. This earns you much more Merchant XP, which is more important than the small amount of extra cash.
- Good luck finding your way through the desert in Breath Of Fire 3 following the in-game instructions: the initial instructions to get through it are correct, but the ones given in your camp are wrong, and due to the sheer length of the segment, it's almost guaranteed you'll have to quit the game at some point during it and end up reading the wrong set of instructions when you come back later. Made worse by the penalty for failure; mess around in the desert too much and your partys' max HP will be reduced permanently with every step.
- However, if you follow the wrong directions, you are lead to one of the best armor suits in the game. It's not really a case of tutorial failure, but rather someone writing east instead of west, which is entirely legitimate (and he tells you the right directions at the beginning of the segment and whenever you talk to him afterwards). And if you look around a bit, there's actually a way to skip all of it (albeit by aligning yourself with a seemingly pointless star).
- The in-game instructions for the Fishing Minigame in NieR are flat-out wrong — and even some of the player-written online guides replicate this incorrect instruction. Interestingly, the correct method is actually a lot simpler than the awful tutorial would have you believe.
- You will die in the Tutorial level of Adventure Bar Labyrinth a lot- Since Mushrooms casts Sleep, which doesn't function like other Sleep attacks, and the Mushroom can spam it consecutively, effectively disabling your character. Oh, and if you pass them, there's Hellhounds in which deals you damage in the 10s — which your HP is already low to begin with.
- You can, technically use Gems to revive yourself, but They cost PSN credits, and you only start out with 50 free gems.'
- Xenoblade Chronicles X is, to put it lightly, not a hand-holding game. The few tutorials you get at the beginning of the game are accurate, but incomplete; they cover maybe 10% of the game's actual mechanics. While some of the stuff they skip over isn't needed to beat the main game (changing Soul Voices, how to control characters other than Rook, etc.), it also skims over things like how to increase survey percentages (each hex has a specific objective that increases the survey percentage; doing other stuff in that hex won't get you any points) and how to switch out your party members (you have to go to their locations in NLA and talk to them to add them to your party). The game also clearly indicates the elemental properties of attacks and armour, but doesn't clearly indicate which elements enemies are weak/resistant to. Unless you read the manual which should make the gameplay easier to understand.
First Person Shooter
- PlanetSide 2 features a tutorial that only teaches the most basic components of an FPS - shooting, moving, driving, et cetera - and how to capture a command console. It fails to explain how to join squads, find good fights bar the suicidal "Instant Action" that often dumps the player right in front of enemy tanks, or how base capture really works beyond capturing a console that is often locked behind shields or cannot be captured period without an adjacent friendly base. The Playstation 4 version of the game (and an upcoming update for the PC) features Koltyr, a basic continent for low level players to learn to play the game without being mauled by the more experienced players on the other continents.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
- The MMO World of Tanks features one of the worst gaming tutorials in modern gaming, which features about 2 minutes to explain how to move the tank and make it shoot...and that's about it. Many of the games crucially important game mechanics, such as the vision system and ramming, are simply not covered. In fact, basic information on the game itself, such as a particular tank's camo value, is only located in the wiki. It also provides no information on the different ammo types wor nor how to switch between them. Finally, the console version gives flat-out incorrect information about bushes: it says that you can gain a camouflage bonus for sitting in one, but due to system limitations of the Xbox 360 you only gain the bonus if you're completely behind it instead (something that was retained for the PS4 and Xbox One even though they don't have the 360's limitations). If you ever want to get good at this game, you need to watch numerous player tutorial videos, and look up on their wiki the performance of various tanks.
- The Monster Hunter series is already a big victim of the Guide Dang It! trope, so Capcom tried to rectify this in MH4U with the inclusion of optional tutorials missions. They're... not that helpful actually. While some of them (especially the Greatsword tutorial) actually manage to explain some of the finer tactical elements of the game, most of them are pretty basic, and the Gunner tutorials (Bow and Bowgun) are particularly useless, failing to explain even the most basic mechanics like "criticial distance" (the range at which different ammunition types do the most damage). Which is especially ironic considering that Bowguns are extremely nuanced and demanding weapons and therefore would benefit the most from a complete and thorough tutorial.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
- The League of Legends tutorial leaves much to be desired. It starts with an exclusive map called the proving ground, where you get to play as Ashe, a squishy archer that derives power from utility. It tells you a good few common sense type of things like kill minions and don't try to solo turrets, and then has you buy a thornmail. There is no reason for Ashe to ever pick up a thornmail, which is a heavy duty armor item that returns auto attack damage, which Ashe is far too squishy to take advantage of. Probabally an even bigger flaw is that it pits you against Master Yi, one of the toughest conceivable low level matchups, but without any of the skills that make the matchup so difficult, misleading the player into thinking that this is a perfectly fine matchup. The second half of the tutorial is much better, it just puts you in an AI fight and lets you duke it out, the only real flaw was that it did a poor job at explaining shop mechanics and randomly sends you into the jungle for no apparent reason, even on characters with no conceivable reason for jungling (like once again, Ashe).
- Antichamber: For the green and yellow guns.
- You are shown that you can "grow" more blocks in the recess in the wall, but it takes a logical leap to figure out that you can do so by drawing an empty rectangle anywhere you want - not just in the recessed areas provided. This stymied more than a few players.
- When a connected block structure loses a block from a middle of it, the smaller half of it will disappear. If the amount of blocks on either side of the structure is the same, all such sides will disappear. Sounds simple? Well, the game never actually tells you this, it just puts in two rooms where you're pretty much locked until you've somehow realised the pattern and used it to get enough blocks to solve the puzzle - which is a problem if you don't have any clue of why the blocks are disappearing but still somehow manage to complete the puzzle: you'll now be struggling among lots of puzzles that assume you've fully understood the pattern.
- Robot Odyssey suggests using the innovation lab to recreate puzzles that are bothering you. Unfortunately all you can do in the innovation lab is draw walls. You can't put in any of the things that will actually have you ripping your hair out, like colored walls only letting certain color robots through, invisible minefields, and buttons that must be pressed in order.
Real Time Strategy
- Most Paradox Interactive titles are incredibly complex games with lots of mechanics that aren't really intuitive and user interfaces that hide the information. Their tutorials require you to click through walls of text, every few tutorials interrupted by one or two interactions with the actual game.
- There's also the fact that Paradox seldom bothers to update the tutorials to reflect their endless expansion packs, most of which alter gameplay more than enough to make the tutorials useless.
- One of the first tutorials in Shogun: Total War pits your Archers against spearmen, on a hill. Due to the game system, most of the time you'll fail against the marching spearmen.
- Another example happens later on the tutorial, in which is the reverse; You driving off ranged units off the hill. It doesn't matter as, A. The enemy units are Peasants, which are prone to fleeing and are weak otherwise, B. You command a group of Heavy Cavalry, one of Shogun's Elite units. It doesn't help that you can just rush in and rout them by charging at them.
- Elona. Your mentor is a douche, and if you follow the tutorial to the letter, you'll end up sick (from eating a rotten corpse of a beggar), cursed, and likely to die repeatedly. He also gifts you with a worthless locked chest that's too heavy to move, and too hard to lockpick until much later in the game.
- Dwarf Fortress's in-game manual, while very detailed and not outright wrong anywhere, somehow manages to be really poorly written and unhelpful. The best information it contains is on its front page, where it tells you the URL to the wiki.
- Several Dance Dance Revolution games feature a tutorial mode that shows players how to step on various patterns. This is generally averted with most home console modes' tutorial modes, as they actually teach you that you don't need to keep your feet off the arrows when not stepping on anything. However, the beginner modes of the US PS1 game titled Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Dance Revolution USA, and Dance Dance Revolution Extreme show the on-screen dancer returning their feet back to the center tile after each step, which is a sure-fire way to fail on any chart rated above a 3.
- Rock Band 3 has tutorials for Pro Keys that spend most of their time essentially telling you to just do it when they're not actively sabotaging you with terrible advice.
- The first Rollercoaster Tycoon surprisingly falls into this category despite essentially giving all of the right information. The tutorial involves the computer playing through the first scenario. Clicking the mouse or making any keyboard input aborts the tutorial and dumps you into the game. There's no way to skip ahead or speed up the tutorial, so if you a accidentally hit a button five minutes in, prepare to wait through another five minutes restarting the tutorial...
- Even the first tutorial mission in Capitalism 2 simply cannot be won by following the directions alone. You will simply not make enough money within the time limit and have no idea what's going wrong.
- The MechWarrior series usually features a fairly comprehensive and often entertaining tutorial, but typically does not cover the MechLab very well despite how integral it is to the games. Mechwarrior Living Legends ups the ante by having no tutorial at all bar online videos. Online originally had no tutorial either, but one was eventually added that goes over the basic controls, and there is a "Shooting Range" map players can go to to experiment with 'Mechs before trying them out in actual combat.
- A few rule demonstrations and some of the advice given by official Dungeons & Dragons sources contain errors.
- One noticeable failure is in a web article that purports to explain some of the harder rules. The article (correctly) mentions there is no such thing as being proficient in a splash weapon (any class can use them equally), then gives an example of splash weapon use with a character taking a non-proficiency penalty.
- In Tome Of Battle the Ruby Knight Vindicator class requires an entrant to worship Wee Jas. The example RKV worships St. Cuthbert instead (there is an official suggestion in the writeup to drop the deity requirement, but it's ultimately a suggestion).
- Player's Handbook II recommends Duskblades use Twilight armor (which reduces an armor's possibility of causing a spell to fail). Duskblades ignore ASF entirely as long as its of the right class of armor (Light, medium, heavy).
- Red Hand Of Doom advises the DM to play one antagonist as a "masterful liar". This is pretty much impossible, as she has no ranks in bluff.
- The second edition's Splat Book for wizards suggested the use of a Magic Missile spell on a cliff face to bury a pack of wolves rather than plinking a single puppy. Sounds like good advice ... until you remember that Magic Missile must target creatures.
- The tutorial of the Cyanide Blood Bowl video games explains exactly bugger-all about the underlying mechanics of the game, instead just teaching you (in the most bare-bones way possible) how to use the basic interface.
Turn Based Strategy
Turn Based Tactics
- While tutorial in XCOM: Enemy Unknown teaches you tactical part of gameplay properly (including showing you consequences of getting flanked), it also forces you to build your base in a rather inefficient way, preventing you from getting a particularly useful adjacent room bonus.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has a tutorial failure regarding the mood matrix. You are initially told to look for any emotions in a witness' testimony that stands out or one that is being displayed with high intensity. However, one witness testimony has an emotion you're supposed to point out because it's not showing up (meaning he should feel that emotion, but he is not). While Athena does give you hints on what to do during a mood matrix sequence, she doesn't tell you about pointing out missing emotions until after you do a sequence where you have to point it out yourself. Thankfully there's no penalty for pointing out the wrong emotions during the matrix segments and you'll eventually find the right one if you go through all of them.
- As evidenced by the page quote, a major complaint of The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings is the fact that the tutorial simply dumps you into a battle with limited explanation of the mechanics involved in combat, thus leading it to be accused of being a Guide Dang It! by others.
- The game does come with an unusually thorough instructions manual which makes a tutorial largely unnecessary. Of course most people today are not accustomed to using manuals.
- Improved in patch 2.0, which includes a mini-adventure that explains things like alchemy, the quick menu, targeting, signs and a few combat tactics - though this in itself was an issue for some people, as in a few cases the tutorial would not trigger abilities you needed to continue, locking the player.
- In the original release of Dungeon Lords, the tutorial told the player about a great number of features that were not in the game. Later patches added some features and removed references to the ones that never materialized.
- When the player does enough damage to the first boss enemy in Fable, the boss falls to the ground and starts writhing in agony. At this point, the Guild Master tells the player that the boss "is near death. A few more hits should finish her off!" In fact, the boss is already defeated and this is her death animation. Hitting her while she is writhing on the ground does absolutely nothing.
- Many pieces of clothing that the player can acquire have item descriptions that say they possess a special effect, when they in fact do not. The Will User's outfits are described as protecting the wearer against magic (they don't) and the Assassin's Outfit is heavily implied to increase the player's sneaking ability (it does not.)
- The Firewalker DLC for Mass Effect 2 featured on-screen tool tips that gave the wrong keys for a number of necessary tasks to use with the Hover Tank (jumping and mining, specifically). This was presumably the result of a minor case of Porting Disaster.
- While the PS3 version doesn't have the incorrect buttons in the tutorial mission, it does have a different issue with the Hammerhead vehicle. The tutorial mission, part of the Firewalker DLC, tells you only once how to boost while moving, in order to pass a jet of flame. This ability isn't required again until a mid-DLC mission in the Overlord DLC, a different DLC pack, which doesn't include the helpful on-screen tip on how to boost. It's very difficult, if not downright impossible, to progress without boosting in that segment. If it's been a while since you did the tutorial mission in Firewalker, you likely won't remember what to press or even that the Hammerhead has a boost ability.
- The tutorial of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall fails primarily by psyching you out. The last three 'lessons' never actually appear, due to a bug. What they tell you isn't that necessary (it's not all that hard to figure out on your own), but the lesson before the bug kicks in explicitly tells you there's another lesson coming up...
Wide Open Sandbox
- Grand Theft Auto IV had a vastly different driving style than the previous games. The game also had the most tutorial tips of the series at that point, yet no tutorials were given on how to utilize this new style.
- During its initial beta run, the wildly popular Minecraft featured no tutorial and simply dumped your character into a randomized block world with absolutely no gear. It didn't tell you anything of what to do, how to play, or even how to craft, or what the crafting recipes were. For the months before Notch actually developed enough of a tutorial system to help players survive their first day, player advice for newbies was generally "go read the wiki" or "watch paulsoaresjr's videos".