Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Guide: Tips And Tricks For Beginners

Get started properly in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 by following this ultimate beginner's guide. Proper controls, practice methods, and more!

Considering it’s been years since many of us picked up a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game, you may need some time to shake off the old cobwebs and tap into your muscle memory.

Or maybe you’re entirely new to the series and want to see what Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 has to offer. In either case, we’re happy to help bring you up to speed with a list of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 tips and tricks for beginners.

Next time you’re hitting the skate park, keep these in mind, and soon you’ll be crushing score challenges and tearing it up in online multiplayer.

Table of ContentsShow

Learn The Controls

It may seem basic, but there’s no harm in familiarizing yourself with the game’s controls, even if they haven’t changed much since the original. Below you’ll find a table with the default controls for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 using a PlayStation 4 or Xbox Controller:

Input (PS4, Xbox)Action
Left Stick / D-PadMove character
Right StickControl camera
X / A buttonJump / Ollie
Circle / B button + directionGrab Tricks
Triangle / Y button + directionLip / Grind Tricks
L1 / R1Rotate left or right
L2 / Left TriggerRevert / Nollie/ Fakie
R2 / Right TriggerRevert / Switch

Complete The Tutorial

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 Controls

While veterans may scoff at the idea of completing a tutorial for one of their favorite childhood games, it can do you some good to get reacquainted with how Pro Skater handles movement and tricks.

The tutorial’s not that long and covers a wide range of moves, including manuals and reverts, which appeared in later THPS games but have been added to THPS 1+2.

If you’re coming to the series completely fresh, you should definitely consider completing the tutorial or there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on some important details.

Adjust Settings Using Game Mods

Game mods are an optional feature in THPS 1+2 that let you adjust your game settings to reduce the difficulty of different actions in the game. They can be switched on or off at any time, so try experimenting with them if you’re having trouble.

There are several mods to choose from, and you can explore each one via the Options menu. Keep in mind you’ll need to turn off game mods in order to complete specific challenges in the game.

Here’s a list of every game mod and what it does:

  • Perfect rail balance: Let’s you grind without having to adjust the slider left and right.
  • Perfect manual balance: Let’s you perform a manual without having to adjust the slider left and right.
  • Perfect lip balance: Let’s you hold lip tricks without having to adjust the slider left and right.
  • Always Special: Let’s you perform special tricks freely without having to build up your meter.
  • No bails: Let’s you do tricks without the fear of falling.

Practice Board Positioning

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 Multiplayer

An essential part of landing tricks is making sure your skateboard is in the right position by the time you hit the ground. If your board positioning is off or your character is angled, there’s a good chance you’ll fall and wreck your combo.

The best way to avoid this is to pay attention to how much your character spins. Any time you turn in the air, make sure you’re facing the correct way before landing. The same goes for skating on flat surfaces.

Your character will sometimes get stuck in a weird angle when going from a vert ramp to a flat surface, making it easy to mess up your landing and fail. To realign yourself in the air, hold R2 or Right Trigger. This will cause your character to straighten up and ensure you land safely.

Extend Combos With Manuals And Reverts

If you’re looking to take your combos to the next level, you’re going to want to get into the habit of performing manuals and reverts as much as possible. Like grinding, they can quickly boost your score and allow you to keep your combo going as you move around the level.

To perform a manual, press up then down on the Left Stick or D-Pad. You can also use down then up to perform a nose manual. For reverts, press R2 or Right Trigger as soon you hit a vert ramp while descending.  Combine both techniques, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your high scores.

Save Combos With Grinds And Wallrides

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 Challenges

Once your Special meter is full and you’re moving at top speed, the chances of messing up your combo go up significantly. Thankfully, the game provides a couple of options for trying to save your combo before it gets ruined in the form of Grinds and Wallrides.

Grinding is a familiar concept in THPS and requires you to hold triangle or Y to grind on a rail. Since you can grind a rail from just about any angle, they can be used to save your combo if you think you’re going to fall. Keep in mind you’ll still have to balance while grinding by adjusting the slider to the right or left. 

If you’re not near any rails or you’re about to crash into a wall, you can always perform a Wallride to keep your combo going. To perform a Wallride, hold triangle or Y while facing a wall at an angle. If you’re perpendicular to the wall, your character will perform a Wallplant instead.

Complete Easy Challenges

In order to unlock all the skate parks in the game, you’ll need to complete a set number of park goals for each level. Some goals are unique to specific levels, while others are mostly the same. If you want to unlock every park as fast as possible, we recommend focusing on the following goals:

  • High, Pro, and Sick score challenges: Reach a certain score before the end of a run. (Works with game mods enabled)
  • High Combo challenges: Reach a certain combo score before the end of a run (Works with game mods enabled)
  • Collect S-K-A-T-E Challenges: Collect the letters throughout the level. Most letters follow a set path.
  • Gap Challenges: Require you to land a certain trick between two specified locations. Locations can be found by watching the intro video for each stage. If you’re unsure how to pull off the trick in question, open the Options menu > Skate > Tick Mappings to see the correct inputs.

There are other challenges that can count towards unlocking parks, such as finding the Secret Tape on each level. However, most of them will take several tries to complete, so you’re better off sticking to the basics, especially if you’re just getting started.

You Will Love These Too

Best Games Like Fortnite
Best Games Like Fortnite
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

More About Justin Fernandez