Resident Evil Village: How to level up and upgrade your character

Resident Evil Village Goat Man
Resident Evil Village Goat Man (Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil Village is the next big title in the Resident Evil series, and with it comes a brand new set of terrifying enemies to go up against. Thankfully, there is a little bit of a light that can shine through the darkness, and it comes in the form of a vital upgrade system to your hero, Ethan Winters. This is a new feature that hasn't been in Resident Evil games before, so knowing how to use it can make the difference between life or death. Thanks to Game Informer, we can glean a little bit of what to expect with the upgrade system.

What is the upgrade system in Resident Evil: Village?

Resident Evil Village September 2020

Source: Capcom (Image credit: Source: Capcom)

Resident Evil: Village will have you constantly looking over your shoulder and tip-toeing around to try and avoid those terrifying werewolves, vampires, and Lady Demetriscu stalking you around her castle. The upgrade system is a new way to help you combat these horrifying threats by providing upgrades to both your character and your arsenal of weaponry. From hunting animals to collecting coins and hidden treasures, you will always be on the lookout for these vital materials.

You have been able to upgrade weapons in previous titles, and the closest we've gotten to character upgrades were the unlockables in Resident Evil 7. This is a nice change of pace and should allow for more variety in how a player can tackle the game.

In previous titles, you would franticly run around, trying to solve secrets to find weapon upgrades or look around in the game environment, all the while being stalked by some form of a giant terrifying monster or having to deal with dangerous creatures. That's just a tad bit stressful, so now you have a grotesque and rotund vendor to visit for these vital upgrades.

What do I need to upgrade my character and weapons with?

Resident Evil Village September 2020

Source: Capcom (Image credit: Source: Capcom)

Upgrading your character and your weapons will require a bit of hunting of both farm animals and shape-shifting Lycans. As Ethan, you will have to hunt animals such as fish, goats, pigs, and even some pesky chickens to gather meat. Be cautioned. They will put up a fight and attack! Be quick to put them down and gather the necessary materials.

Your weapon upgrades require something a little different: a currency called Lei. Horrifically, the currency is obtained by hunting the more dangerous enemies in Resident Evil Village, such as the werewolves (or Lycans, as they're called here), giant goatmen, and vampires. This will probably end up being a more common item acquired during your time in the village; just make sure not to spend it all in one place.

Resident Evil Village September 2020

Source: Capcom (Image credit: Source: Capcom)

These same enemies can also drop other valuable treasures that can be sold in exchange for the lei currency. You should also keep your eyes open and search the environment for more hidden treasures that can be sold for lei. Even though you are already using precious ammunition to hunt some of the animals (to upgrade your character with... meat), that same ammunition is also needed to, well, hunt everything else in the game. Choose your battles wisely, or you may regret those bold decisions later on.

Where can I upgrade my character?

Resident Evil Village The Duke

Source: Capcom (screenshot) (Image credit: Source: Capcom (screenshot))

There is a vendor you can access that will provide all your upgrading needs, called The Duke, and he has his own setup called the Duke's Kitchen. This is where you go to upgrade both your character and your weaponry. Ideally, this is also a place where you can stock up on ammunition and other items if needed. Yes, you can actually stock up on ammo in Resident Evil this time!

This is where you can spend your hard-earned lei on weapon upgrades, cash in the meat you've hunted, and cook up some delicious home-cooked meals for character upgrades, or visit the shop to purchase ammunition or items that you may need in the dangerous times ahead. The Duke's Kitchen will be an essential haven for those looking for a break from the terrifying village.

Resident Evil Village is set to release on May 7, 2021, for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and Stadia. If you want to try and stay alive as long as possible in Resident Evil Village, having a proper headset to hear your enemies is one of the best ways to achieve this. Check out our list of best Xbox One headsets for 2021 to find the one that will suit you the best.

Jared Eden