GhostRunner: Complete Controls Guide for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC and Tips

Jumping into GhostRunner on next-gen consoles? Here is your complete controls guide and tips.

The first-person cyberpunk game GhostRunner originally released for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in October 2020. The game re-released September 2021 on the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox X|S consoles with updates to framerate (60 FPS) and display (4K).

For those revisiting the game or playing for the first time, below you will find all of the GhostRunner controls for your chosen console. There will also be gameplay tips to help you through what can be a frustratingly challenging game.

GhostRunner PlayStation controls

The “Bumper Jumper” default controller layout
  • Move: L
  • Look Around: R
  • Activate Skill: L3
  • Interaction: X
  • Crouch: Circle
  • Taunt: Triangle
  • Jump: R1
  • Attack: R2
  • Dash: L1
  • Gap Jammer: L2
  • Upgrades: Trackpad
  • Skill One: D-Pad Left
  • Skill Two: D-Pad Up
  • Skill Three: D-Pad Right
  • Skill Four: D-Pad Down

GhostRunner Xbox controls

  • Move: L
  • Look Around: R
  • Activate Skill: L3
  • Interaction: A
  • Crouch: B
  • Taunt: Y
  • Jump: RB
  • Attack: RT
  • Dash: LB
  • Gap Jammer: LT
  • Upgrades: Back
  • Skill One: D-Pad Left
  • Skill Two: D-Pad Up
  • Skill Three: D-Pad Right
  • Skill Four: D-Pad Down

GhostRunner Nintendo Switch controls

  • Move: L
  • Look Around: R
  • Activate Skill: L3
  • Interaction: B
  • Crouch: A
  • Taunt: X
  • Jump: R
  • Attack: ZR
  • Dash: L
  • Gap Jammer: ZL
  • Upgrades:
  • Skill One: D-Pad Left
  • Skill Two: D-Pad Up
  • Skill Three: D-Pad Right
  • Skill Four: D-Pad Down

GhostRunner PC controls

  • Move: W, A, S, D
  • Activate Skill: Q
  • Interaction: E
  • Crouch: Left Ctrl
  • Taunt: X
  • Jump: Spacebar
  • Attack: Left-click
  • Dash: Left Shit
  • Gap Jammer: Right-Click
  • Upgrades: T
  • Skill One: 1
  • Skill Two: 2
  • Skill Three: 3
  • Skill Four: 4

Note that in the GhostRunner controls above, L and R denote the left and right analog, while L3 and R3 are the buttons activated when pressing the respective analog stick. Gap Jammer is a grappling hook. The “Bumper Jumper” setting is one of nine layouts, all encompassing the same actions.

Before you dash off on a speed run of GhostRunner, there are a few things to keep in mind. Below are some top tips to help you navigate a difficult game.

One hit spells death for you and your enemies

The most challenging and frustrating aspect of GhostRunner is that all it takes to kill you is one strike. While the same holds true for your enemies, there are a lot more of them.

What makes it more difficult is most of your enemies use guns as weapons while you have to use your sword up close and personal. There are ways to mitigate your death chances, expanded below.

Death is expected in this game, though, and you will immediately restart from your most recent checkpoint. You will most likely die multiple times when encountering multiple enemies, so adjusting your tactics is crucial to surviving.

Also, you can die from falling off buildings or platforms, so beware of heights!

Your deaths are tracked in the bottom-right corner of the screen with a number next to a skull icon. Fewer deaths will help increase your level score.

The Dash function is key to survival

Dash and strafing away from the shot to the left

Using Dash is critical to your success in GhostRunner. You can dash on the ground, which will speed you past objects in a split second. However, where Dash truly shines is when you are in the air.

While holding the Dash button midair, time slows for a few seconds and you can strafe to the side with L or the keyboard, then release and appear where you aimed the Dash. Dash will release automatically after those few seconds if you have not yet released Dash. Some areas will require you to Dash midair to reach the next platform, but it becomes crucial in battle.

The ideal time to use Dash in the air is right when an enemy is shooting their gun. As you can see the trajectory, you can strafe to the side of the incoming bullet, release Dash, appear next to your foe, and slice him to pieces.

Most areas will have multiple enemies, meaning you cannot rest after Dashing and killing a foe. Instead, use your map and your surroundings to locate the next enemy and use Dash to avoid their shots and reach them with your sword.

Be wary of the brief seconds that time slows as you may end up dashing right into a shot automatically, resulting in your death. Be even more cautious of using Dash at enemies while grounded.

A grappling point for your aptly-named Gap Jammer indicated by the blue circle

There are also points in the game where using the Gap Jammer to grapple certain points and Dash become your mechanisms of survival. These will also be times when you are facing multiple enemies, so you will have to time your grappling and Dashing just right to avoid the multiple shots fired at you.

The trick is to grapple and immediately enter Dash. From there, strafe not only away from the shot of the closest enemy, but also away from the direction of the shots from the other foes. If they are to the right, it is best to strafe left to avoid strafing right into one of their shots that you cannot see off-screen.

Once you make that quick decision on your route, release and kill your enemy. Then immediately jump and grapple the next hook and repeat the process. Do not be surprised if you have to play these sections over and over.

Generally, most areas are going to have a combination of some kind of sliding platform for you to leap from and engage Dash, multiple enemies, and many surfaces to surface run. If you keep dying, try a different strategy and, in certain areas, different routes. There is usually more than one way to kill your enemies built in to each area.

Pay attention to the story dialogue

Adam (The Architect) and Mara (Keymaster) with GhostRunners before Mara’s coup. Is this the entire story?

While it may be difficult to pay attention to all of the dialogue while speeding through the game, the lore is crucial to understanding the GhostRunner’s – codenamed “Jack” – past and fate.

At times, The Architect will take you into the Cybervoid, where you will traverse areas to unlock silver keys that open up the next areas. As you go through the Cybervoid, The Architect – previously Adam – will tell you of the history of their world, the GhostRunners, and the fate he suffered after Mara – now known as the Keymaster – whom he ruled alongside, turned on him.

Jack awakes at the beginning of the game with no memory, so The Architect’s history helps to fill in the gaps for Jack. However, as you progress further in the game, you may find that not all is as it seems regarding The Architect’s stories.

Sure, this doesn’t necessarily help you survive, but it will help explain the dystopian cyberpunk future setting you are playing and prepare your for your ultimate battles.

Find the Collectibles, even for purely aesthetic purposes

Just your friendly taunt by sliding your sword across your cybernetic hand

There are three types of Collectibles in GhostRunner and while they don’t improve your skills or give you any boosts, they will help to tell the overall story of the game. The three Collectibles are Artifacts, Audio Logs, and Swords. You will need to collect them to unlock the associated Trophies/Achievements.

There are 35 Artifacts throughout the levels. Artifacts may also be more challenging to collect than some levels as many will require precise timing, utilization of different surfaces and functions, or both.

There are seven Audio Logs. These Audio Logs will add further context to the story of GhostRunner. Most are found in higher areas, requiring you to navigate your way up.

Lastly, there are 15 Swords, 14 to collect after your default Sword. Swords are purely aesthetic in GhostRunner and do not bestow any skills, upgrades, or boosts. However, the 14 include different, unique designs and coloring. If you don’t like the drab darkness of the steampunk game, Swords are a good way to add some color and personality to your run.

Remember, GhostRunner was made to be challenging and at times, frustrating because of its inherent difficulty of a one-hit death. While it can be overly frustrating, you are meant to adjust your approach and tactics to advance further. The lack of a death penalty – beyond level score – helps in this regard.

Use everything at your disposal: surfaces, Dash, Gap Jammer, and of course, your Sword! Relying solely on one will lead to repeated deaths. Now, go out and set your record on a speed run of GhostRunner…assuming you can, of course!

Looking for a new game? Check out our Dying Light 2 guide!

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