John Wick Hex beginner’s guide


Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

Think about John Wick Hex as a simulator “in the spirit of John Wick”.

Each hired thug can fire a weapon. Firing guns isn’t what turns John Wick into Baba Yaga. It’s his cold, calculating, and methodical decisions about how and when to fire his gun. John Wick is no hammer. It’s a scalpel. And in John Wick HexYou are the surgeon wielding it.

We’ve played the game for several hours, and below we’ll walk you through what we learned so you can jump right into the Boogeyman and fire bullets at the baddies.

John Wick Hex It’s not an action game, so don’t play it like one

In the John Wick movies, you only see action. Plan the moves and choreograph the action in this John Wick simulator. It’s not about breathtaking speed and movement. It’s about his (and her) methodical planning and decision-making.


Being outnumbered is a sure way to die.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

Think about John Wick Hex as a board game (or table). They move pieces. He ponders his next move and its implications. Every action takes time, so while you’re busy constantly weighing what you can do, how long it will take, and what your enemies might do to you.

timing is everything


The timeline at the top of the screen shows John’s past actions to the left of zero and his current and planned actions to the right.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

There is a timeline at the top of the screen. The tallest (or the only one if there are no enemies around) is John’s. As you consider your next option, the option you’re hovering over and the time it takes to execute will appear on John’s timeline. For example, it takes 0.4 seconds to move one square, and hitting someone takes 1.5 seconds.


A timeline breakdown of an action is shown on the displayed map.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

The card that appears when you hover over an action shows the steps to take. (The train has no map, so it only appears on the timeline.)

Most things require preparation, like aiming or rolling, to hit. This is the gray and white bar. The action itself, hitting or shooting, is the pink bar.

Interrupt your enemies with careful timing

Most enemies (except bosses) will be interrupted if you hit them with an attack before they hit you, and John tends to outrun his enemies. This is usually their way of avoiding harm.


Launching an attack interrupts an enemy’s actions.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

In the image above, John and his enemy plan to shoot each other. You can see how long each of them takes to aim and then shoot in their respective timelines. But because John shoots first, his successful hit will (hopefully) interrupt the enemy and the enemy will not be able to attack.


Hit and kill stunned enemies. Stunned enemies do not act for a short time.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

strikes Y takedowns Add an extra element to your time calculations. Both will stun your enemies for a period of time. This is indicated by a six-dot circle icon and a timeline with a diagonal line through it. During this time, this enemy will not act and you can attack, move or switch your attention to someone else with a little more freedom.

Stop It’s also useful for interrupting (and only interrupting) enemies you’re in melee combat with. It’s a fast hit, meaning you can often get it before an attack hits, but it doesn’t deal any damage. Parry to interrupt (and prevent) attacks and reset an enemy’s timeline so you can attack first, but remember you won’t kill them with a parry.

Lines of sight are everything, too

The other way to break (or prevent) attacks is to break line of sight. You don’t need to calculate anything here: the game’s fog of war makes very clear what’s visible to John.


Since John only takes 0.4 seconds to move a square and enemies usually take a good part of a second to aim, John can hide behind something to avoid taking damage.

do it often But be careful when doing this – you won’t be sure you’ve broken line of sight until John has finished his movement. Pan and rotate the camera to make sure it’s moving in the right direction and far enough.

Breaking line of sight also resets an enemy’s aim action. So if someone is aiming at you and you don’t have time to interrupt them, hide behind something and get out of there immediately. John’s quick aim (with most weapons, see below) generally allows you to attack before you get hit.

Change weapons frequently

At the start of each slot, John starts with his custom pistol, 15 rounds and an extra magazine (15 extra rounds after reloading). There’s no extra ammo to pick up, so you have no choice but to swap it out for a different weapon.


They will pick up weapons dropped by dead enemies instead of reloading them.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

Any other weapon you carry will be a weapon you pick up from enemies that have been killed. When you kill someone, drop whatever weapon they’re holding (more on that below) into an adjacent square. If you stand on this square, you can pick up this weapon (but it takes time).

The number of shots for each weapon is shown next to the weapon icon. Basically, think of it as reloading: instead, you’re just swapping weapons.

Each weapon behaves differently.

Every gun fires bullets, so this part is always the same. But each gun takes a different amount of time to aim (and everything that happens between shots) and fires a different number of bullets. Think of it as the time you spend filming.


This assault rifle takes 0.9 seconds to aim and 1.3 seconds to fire.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

You can see this on timelines and action cards. Time to aim is listed first, the gray and white 0.9 in the image above, and the time you’ll spend pulling the trigger (and how much ammo you’ll be using) are those pink numbers: five shots at 0 , 2 seconds and another at 0.3 seconds.

This is a very important consideration. Picking up this high-damage revolver is tempting, until you realize it takes 1.6 seconds to aim, giving your enemies plenty of time to engage you first. The Assault Rifle aims quickly, but you’re firing six rounds at once, eating up your magazine, and each of those shots lasts 0.2 seconds, meaning you’re spending over 2 seconds on your firing action.

The custom pistol and 9mm automatic are the safest options. They aim quickly and only fire two shots. They can also be found on your enemies very often.

play the odds

Every action has a chance of success. You can see the likelihood of launching your various attacks when you click on an enemy. Things like your position, whether the enemy is moving, and their distance from John affect this percentage.


Shooting at an enemy at this range only has a 60% hit chance.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

This is important for two reasons or considerations:

  1. Your attacks must be successful to interrupt your enemies (and prevent them from attacking you).
  2. Ammo is expensive. Don’t waste your ammo on a 40% shot and don’t rely on a 60% shot to disrupt an oncoming attack.

This is where punches, takedowns, and throwing your gun come in handy. Not only are they easy on your precious ammo, they’re (usually) 100% hittable.

Eliminate enemies with firearms first.

When John sees a new enemy and you click on them you will see their stats and weapons. Considering all of the above points, now consider how this enemy will attack.

For example, melee fighters can’t shoot at you from afar, so they’re only dangerous up close, and someone with a shotgun or revolver will take a long time to aim.


The fighters don’t have weapons, so they have to get close before attacking. Armed security forces can attack from afar.
Bithell Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment

Use it to prioritize your targets and decide who to break line of sight with. An enemy with a gun will (try) to shoot you as soon as he sees you, but a thug has to get close.

Use knockdowns and knocks to get out of sight.

Attacks such as dismounting and shoving end up with John in a different hex than he started. Use this to your advantage. You can fend off enemies while avoiding someone aiming at you or taking cover.

Plan ahead, but be flexible

Everything we’ve said so far emphasizes method and planning ahead, and that’s good advice. But your plan won’t last long in a firefight. Enemies appear in different places or come into your line of sight unexpectedly. Be willing to adapt and try not to tie your survival to something that goes according to plan.

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