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Jan 23

Jan 23

OlliOlli: How to Score Big in PS Vita’s New Skate ’em Up

Justin Massongill's Avatar Posted by

Social Media Manager, SIEA

SUPER-RAD UPDATE: OlliOlli is out today on PS4 and PS3, and the tips presented below still apply — you’ll just have a DualShock in hand this time around.

OlliOlli is out now on PS Vita, and it’s getting praise from reviewers left and right. Newcomers might be put off by its simple, yet highly skill-based trick and landing system, but before long the urge to nail longer (And riskier!) combos will keep you glued to your Vita for hours on end.

OlliOlli on PS Vita

I’ve spent about a week with OlliOlli, during which I’ve picked up a few tricks for maximizing one’s scoring potential on any given stage. This list is by no means comprehensive — these are just notes I’ve taken over the course of the last week. If I’ve missed anything, or if you’ve got your own tips, leave ’em in the comments! Oh, and good luck on that Daily Grind.

Timing is everything

From the moment you first boot up OlliOlli, you need to know that timing your landings and grinds properly is integral to not only getting chart-topping scores, but even finishing stages and completing goals. A perfect grind will actually give you a small boost in speed, which you’ll need in a few later stages to clear otherwise impossible gaps. Keep this in the front of your mind as you play the game — focus is essential.

Get greedy

Sure, you can meander through a level sticking to basic tricks like kickflips and shove-its. This is actually a good strategy for wrapping up goals that require you to collect items and make it to the end of the level. However, if you want to rock that #1 spot, you must embrace the greed. Never play it safe, and take every risk the game presents you with. The longest, most dangerous combo you can pull off will always be the most lucrative. Pack as many spins, flips, and grinds into one combo as you can, and avoid the ground at all costs.

OlliOlli Release Day Instructions

Keep it fresh

Once OlliOlli’s controls start to become second nature, muscle memory can take over and you’ll find yourself settling into a routine with your tricks. This can end up betraying you, for two reasons. One: tricks yield less points the more you repeat them, so a more mixed-up repertoire will result in higher scores. Two: some tricks take longer to pull off, and if you miss a grind because you’re still in the middle of a trick, it usually means your face is about to meet the ground.

Have a plan

Your first attempt at a stage is usually not going to be a good one. Plan to dedicate your first couple runs to learning the level — and I don’t just mean where the grinds and jumps are. Figure out how many spins you can cram into each jump. Study the space between grinds and obstacles so you know when you want to stay on a rail until the end and when you want to launch off early. And remember, more complex flip tricks take longer to execute, so if you’re ever jumping to a rail that’s higher than you are, you’ll probably want to stick to kickflips and heelflips.

… But don’t be afraid to change your mind

Just because you’re charging a kickflip doesn’t mean you’re committed to it. You can move the left analog stick to a different position to start charging a different trick with no consequence — just don’t let the stick return to its neutral position or it’ll trip the trick you were originally charging. For instance, if you’re holding right to charge a kickflip, but you want to do a heelflip instead, move the stick in a half-circle to reach charge left, rather than flicking the stick across the middle of its neutral zone and triggering the trick. This goes for spins too: if you’re holding L, there’s no punishment for letting go of it or switching to R instead.

Study your Tricktionary

Tapping the little book icon in the top right of your screen when flipping through stages or looking at a level’s goals will pull up your Tricktionary: a guide to OlliOlli’s multitude of moves. It’s split between flip tricks and grinds, and you’ll want to know how to do most of them. As we addressed above, executing different tricks will result in more points, so it’s important that you keep at least a dozen or so in your back pocket. Pay attention to how long each trick takes to perform, too — knowing the timing difference between a 360 hardflip and a bigspin could save your run.


It’s important to do high-scoring tricks, but it’s more important to pump up your multiplier value. Flip tricks will net you points, but spins will crank up your multiplier. Grinds are especially important, as they’ll score you big points and an upgraded multiplier. And, to reiterate: timing is everything! A perfect grind bumps your multiplier up two notches, while a standard grind only gets you an extra 1x.

More grinds > long grinds

To build on the “Hey, get big multipliers” point, if you’re on a long rail try to sneak in two separate grinds rather than one long one. You can usually bash out a bigspin flip or the like in between grinds, too, resulting in a far larger haul than you’d pull in with one long grind.

All tricks are not created equal

While variety is important, there are a few tricks that, in my experience, should be your bread and butter for most runs. Your frontside bigspin, backside bigspin, bigspin flip, and bigspin heel are very valuable tricks, because they’re flip tricks with spins built into them. You can keep holding the shoulder button down after the trick is finished to keep spinning too, netting you more points and, more importantly, bigger multipliers. Once in a while, it’s a good idea to toss in an impossible or a 360 hardflip, as those base tricks will secure large point values. Just remember, those take a while to complete, so wait until you’ve got a big jump ahead before you go for it.

Rotate, rotate, rotate

When you start playing OlliOlli, you can approach learning the game one of two ways: get your flip tricks down, then work on integrating rotations, or go full-hog from the get-go and start busting out crazy spinny tricks right away. Either way, you should keep your index fingers resting on those shoulder buttons at all times, because every rotation you execute nets you a few extra points and an additional bump to your multiplier. Oh, and you’ll spin faster if you aren’t doing a flip trick at the same time. Use that information as you will.

Listen to the game’s advice

When you start each stage, a screen appears that details all the goals for that level. At the bottom of this screen is a tip, which is usually related in some way to at least one of the goals for that area. Pay attention!

Play with headphones

Partly because it’s a bit easier to get your timing right if you can hear the game’s audio cues for jumping, grinding and landing, but mostly because the soundtrack is freakin’ killer.

Add Your Own


January 23rd, 7:31 am

I am absolutely loving this game so far… Definately hard to master, but once you do the feeling is amazing…. Also you are so right about the soundtrack…I already downloaded two albums based on two songs in there.

    Justin Massongill's Avatar

    Justin Massongill said:

    January 23rd, 10:15 am

    Yeah, I can’t get enough of the music. It really makes me want to play the game with headphones on all the time.

Gorvi said:

January 23rd, 7:32 am

I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to have to take a break from Ys and buy this tonight. It sounds like it’s right up my alley.

mettreidici said:

January 23rd, 8:01 am

OlliOlli seem to be the hot topic on R/Vita right now. Any vita owner should check reddit for more feedback.

PainOfSarrow said:

January 23rd, 8:54 am

this game got great reviews. il buy it if it was on ps3.

Darth_NODlike said:

January 23rd, 9:05 am

Lovin’ the game even though I am spending a lot of time grinding on my face!

cool_trainer said:

January 23rd, 9:36 am

Oxen Free.

Cool tips, this game is so addicting.

butcherknife said:

January 23rd, 9:40 am

Great tips! I am really enjoying this game…fun and addictive. Reminds me of Bit Trip Runner 2…but skateboarding. It works great on the Vita. When OlliOlli 2 comes out I will by it on Day 1.

BlueBl1zzard said:

January 23rd, 9:42 am

I can’t get enough of this game! It’s crazy addictive, and while it is challenging, it’s not to the level of frustrating, but challenging enough to make you want to try again or improve your run. Once you get the hang of it, you start to feel pretty sweet pulling off some killer combos.

A tip: If you find yourself trying to do a flip trick out of a grind but are getting ollies instead, try jumping off a little earlier. If your skater reaches the end of the rail/ledge before you fully input the trick, he will automatically perform an ollie.

Another tip to keep in mind: When you pull a 180 spin, and your skater’s back is facing you, he is in switch mode. This turns regular flip tricks into Switch flip tricks, and Nollie tricks into Fakie tricks, all of which grant you additional points. And on the subject of Nollies/Fakies, you can perform them by doing a flip trick from a Nosegrind.

@Justin I was #2 in the daily grind for a good part of the day yesterday, better watch your back!

    Justin Massongill's Avatar

    Justin Massongill said:

    January 23rd, 10:14 am

    Two good tips that I forgot to include, thanks! Also: bring it on. :)

BlueBl1zzard said:

January 23rd, 9:42 am

@cool_trainer I see what you did there ;)

DarkOne_PR said:

January 23rd, 12:16 pm

hey justin. just here so u can tell us…

what are the big AAA EXCLUSIVE titles that we can expect for the vita this year?

for some reason the ones i know is dangarompa and…. thats it! C,mon sony! have u seen the shelves on gamestop for the vita?! its bad! really bad! why? bc u are dedicating urself too much to digital and not bringing the games overseas! where was new little king story physical and guacamelee and dokuro and other games u can show to ppl on the stores so they know there are more games out there.

Also where is FFtype0 vita version? Phantasy star online 2? Monster Hunter?

bring the good stuff sony. its about time. one can only survive with indies for so long…

borderlands2 vita, dangarompa…. thats it for me this year on the vita…. what a sad year for the vita indeed.

yowza57 said:

January 23rd, 12:33 pm

Any chance we see a soundtrack release on BandCamp or PSN?

califoreigner said:

January 23rd, 2:26 pm

@8 thanks for the grind advice. thats been my biggest problem with scoring so far

ManjoumeThunder said:

January 23rd, 2:55 pm

For a game I almost didn’t buy based on pictures alone….I’m so surprised.

We need more commercials on indie games and all that Vita can do!!

dontdodrugs2 said:

January 23rd, 4:15 pm

Skate em up? no. just no

The_1_of_Deth said:

January 23rd, 7:12 pm

addictive, awesome……… nuff said¦)

tonhaum6699 said:

January 23rd, 9:21 pm

we all know ps vita needs more AAA games, but olliolli is a good indie game with very good controls and combo system, and all exclusives games are wellcome for sure.

puto09 said:

January 24th, 12:03 am

I want YouTube on my ps4. I should be able to watch videos on the PlayStation blog with my PlayStation 4.

punkmusic2009 said:

January 24th, 4:32 am

I tought id let everyone know warframe now has tropys and next mouth resogun will have a new add on plus this mon the psn will be down for ongoing matins

DasRequiem said:

January 24th, 5:33 am

I loved the song of the trailer, and I don’t even like Dubstep. I’m getting more and more hyped for this game… too bad the 14 for 14 took all of my wallet money. Oh well, I’ll get it down the road probably.

BlueBl1zzard said:

January 24th, 7:52 am

@califoreigner No problem.

nYcFrEeWiLL82 said:

January 24th, 10:54 am

Gameplay looks like alot of fun but the graphics like unecceptable for these day an age in gaming..i wouldnt mind if it were an option to play with the 2bit graphics ..but for it to only be a 2bit graphic unimpressed..Tony Hawk should seriously look into making a game similar to this and then use the money and make a new Tony Hawk game for the PS4..SERIOUSLY..with better graphics this game would sell alot more. SIMPLE FACTS! Gameplay gain Interest but Good Graphics sell!

    Justin Massongill's Avatar

    Justin Massongill said:

    January 24th, 11:00 am

    For what it’s worth, I love the visual style in OlliOlli. Super simple, clean graphics with vibrant colors — I think it fits perfectly with its simple yet unforgiving gameplay.

Gorvi said:

January 24th, 11:42 am

The visuals are fantastic, it’s a great style. OlliOlli is the kind of game that can be dangerously addictive.

Bluellama1 said:

January 24th, 1:35 pm

I don’t understand all this hate for pixel art, it’s an aesthetic choice and that’s what the devs wanted. Anyways, I’ve been having lots of fun with the game, getting those huge scores is always the best, watch out for my name on the leader boards :D

    Justin Massongill's Avatar

    Justin Massongill said:

    January 25th, 8:22 pm

    Hey yeah, I’ve seen you on there! Good stuff dude!

tonhaum6699 said:

January 24th, 9:02 pm

does anyone knows where can i find help with the “Explorer” trophy?

RRlolhotdog said:

January 24th, 9:58 pm

can you really tryand make gtasan andreas for the vita if its on moble anrionds phones and tabets it should be on the vita so can you please make san andrease for the vita let me

Demnos said:

January 30th, 6:09 pm

Anyone able to give some advice on completing ‘helicoptering’ in Neon City 3 pro? I’ve hit a wall with this one. Been doing so many spins I’ve cracked the top ten scores and still haven’t gotten enough for the goal. Getting really frustrated.

    Justin Massongill's Avatar

    Justin Massongill said:

    February 1st, 10:22 pm

    For that one I basically just did no tricks whatsoever — just straight up ollies. Every single time I jumped I packed in as many spins as possible and nothing else. Took a few tries to make it to the end but it wasn’t too frustrating.

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