Keeping everyone alive in Until Dawn is no small task—even the smallest of decisions can affect their survival.
When it comes to games where your decisions truly matter, Playstation exclusive Until Dawn does it best. Set up as your typical slash flick in a cabin high up in the mountains, you control a group of young friends who are pursued by a supernatural force—and some other frightening occurrences.
Full of twists and turns, the goal of the game is to finish with as many survivors as possible. When so many seemingly insignificant decisions can affect a character’s chance of ending the game alive, it can be a harder task than it sounds. Here’s everything you need to do to end the game with a 100 percent survival rate.
Warning: this guide has unavoidable spoilers. If you’d rather do a blind playthrough before aiming for the platinum trophy where everyone survives, come back later.
Updated June 22, 2022 By Ben Jessey: The recent release of The Quarry has shone a light on its developers, Supermassive Games. As such, people may have given a few of the previous games a try, including Until Dawn. And whether it’s your first foray into the interactive horror game or you’ve decided to re-play it, you may be wondering how to get the best ending. After all, this is a title with many possible outcomes.
The best conclusion is the one where every main character lives. But how do you save everyone? This guide answers that question, and it now includes a bit more information to make the whole thing clearer.
In Chapter 4, Jessica will be snatched through the window of the guest cabin by a monstrous hand in front of Mike’s eyes. Mike will be given the opportunity to chase her through the woods and be met with a series of Quick-Time Events (QTEs) and options to choose the safe or the fast path. You should choose the fast paths, as the game will allow you more mistakes without penalizing you.
If he makes it to Jessica lying on the elevator and she drops through the floor, it may seem like she’s gone, but she will reappear later and she has successfully survived this chapter. If he finds her with her jaw ripped off… it’s too late.
Jessica won’t reappear until Chapter 10, walking through the mines in an attempt to escape the Wendigo. Either alone or with Matt, she will be given the option to run or hide.
Those who have been paying attention to the game will know a Wendigo’s sight is based on movement, so hiding and completing the ‘don’t move’ segment that pops up by keeping your controller perfectly still is the only way to survive. If Matt is there during this moment, you will need to catch Jessica when she falls by hitting the button on the screen.
Also, while playing as Matt in the mine sequence, you get the option of abandoning Jessica. You must hide together instead.
Matt is known as the most difficult character to keep alive, and very few are successful on a blind play through because so many seemingly unimportant choices are key to his survival.
In Chapter 5, disagree with Emily about going to the fire tower. She will force him to go regardless, but it influences the decisions later.
In Chapter 6, there are a number of things he should do:
- Do not hit the elk with an ax when cornered; walk slowly through them instead and they will not harm you.
- Take the flare gun instead of relinquishing it to Emily.
- When Emily falls as the tower collapses, choose to save her twice, and then be ready to shoot a target with the flare gun.
As with Jessica’s survival, in Chapter 10, it’s important to hide and then stay perfectly still. Plus, make sure you catch Jessica when she falls.
In Chapter 6, Chris and Ashley will find themselves tied to chairs across from each other at a table and Chris will be given a gun with one bullet. He can choose to shoot himself and Ashley walks free, or he can choose to shoot her and walk free. He should choose himself. The gun will fire a blank and he’ll survive.
If you choose to shoot Ashley, the gun will still fire a blank and both will survive, but the butterfly effect will cause his death later.
In Chapter 8, Chris will be chased through the woods by a Wendigo. You’ll be presented with four targets and must shoot them in time to delay the Wendigo from reaching him. When he reaches the cabin, Ashley will let him through the door to safety—unless he chose to shoot her back in Chapter 6, in which case, she coldly leaves him outside to die.
While playing as Ashley in Chapter 9, you should avoid leaving Chris behind by telling him, “we’re not leaving you.” Even if he is separated, you can still keep him alive as long as Ashley doesn’t die and he never investigates the voice that comes through the trapdoor.
In Chapter 8, Emily will be chased by a Wendigo and hit a point where she can go left into the elevator or right. She should go left.
When she gets to the elevator, don’t take too long to initiate it. Then once you’re on higher ground, there are a bunch of QTEs. Make sure to hit them all as if you miss too many, Emily can die.
At one point, she climbs up a conveyor belt, and you get the choice to stay on or leap off. Getting off is the safer choice.
Shortly after that, she closes a door on the monster, and you should make sure to lock it. Yet, it won’t stop her from being bitten as the only way to stop that is using the flare gun, which you should’ve already handed to Matt. The bite isn’t a death sentence, though.
Yet, the bite comes up later, as Mike will be given the option to shoot her to prevent her from ‘turning.’ A bite does not turn someone into a Wendigo, so you should give her the benefit of the doubt and not shoot her.
She can also die in Chapter 10. Thankfully, though, if Sam succeeds in her ‘don’t move’ segments and saves Mike, Emily will survive.
Ashley’s first chance to die isn’t until Chapter 9. Like Chris (if he separates from the group), she hears a voice coming through a trapdoor and is given the choice to investigate.
You should avoid this altogether and never open the hatch it’s coming from, as it’s a Wendigo that will kill her instantly.
Her life is also on the line in Chapter 10. While playing as Sam, pass all the ‘don’t move’ segments, save Mike, and hide when given the chance. If you do that, Ashley will leave the house and be safe.
Josh has one single chance to die and it’s in Chapter 10.
At one point, Mike and Sam will be wading through water, and you’ll be controlling the latter. As he veers right at the water wheel, you should take a left and climb up to an area where you’ll find Hannah’s diary. Reading this book saves Josh.
Unfortunately, though, Josh’s survival isn’t pretty. When the Wendigo grabs him now, instead of killing him, he will see a tattoo of a butterfly and realize the Wendigo is his sister. It will drag him off and a post-credits scene will show Josh meeting the same fate as Hannah—technically alive, but doomed.
Sam And Mike
Sam and Mike are both impossible to kill until Chapter 10, where you will get a chance to kill not only them but a few other characters as well.
If you’ve followed every step up until now, the characters should all be alive when hitting the grand finale of the game. They’re gathered in the house when multiple Wendigos get in and begin to fight each other, and must stay perfectly still to avoid being seen.
Mike will come up with a plan to blow up the house and communicate it to Sam, who must flick a switch to ignite the fire.
Don’t flick it immediately; pass every ‘don’t move’ segment, save Mike, and keep hiding until everyone else has left the house. Eventually, she will run out and flick the switch as she leaves, blowing the house up along with the Wendigo.
There’s one other character it’s possible to kill—the wolf.
Mike meets a wolf in the asylum that he can be aggressive toward and chase off or befriend. Befriend the wolf for a companion.
In Chapter 9 as Mike is being chased, hit every QTE as failing one will mean the wolf takes an attack for you and dies. When leaving the asylum, he should choose to barricade the door as this will keep the wolf safe from the Wendigo.
The wolf isn’t technically the main character, but you get a neat trophy for keeping him alive, so it’s well worth it.
Following all of these tips will keep the cast alive and net you the trophy for it. Of course, there are also trophies for certain things such as managing to kill all the characters, but you can go back and replay chapters once you’ve played the game to completion and have some fun with it.