If you’re a simulation game fan, then you’ve probably heard of Overcooked. While Overcooked originally came out in August 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, the game joined the great list of Nintendo Switch eShop games in July 2017.
For those who aren’t in the know, Overcooked is a frantic cooking simulation game that offers co-op and competitive play. It’s packed with insane kitchens full of various obstacles and hazards. Players must rapidly prepare different recipes and fulfill customer orders within a time limit.
Overcooked is crazy cooking fun for everyone, especially when playing with friends through the local co-op (no online). This game also isn’t easy, so we’ve rounded up some Overcooked tips to help you get through it without setting the kitchen on fire too many times.
1. Delegate Tasks to All Players
In Overcooked’s single-player campaign, you control two chefs in the kitchen by constantly switching between them (with the L or R triggers on consoles). While it gets difficult switching back and forth for different kitchen tasks, you at least get complete control over what’s happening.
As you play with up to three other people, things get a bit harder to manage. Overcooked is all about working together to get orders out. To maximize efficiency, everyone playing should study the layout of the level, and then take charge of a task. Or delegate one person as the manager and have them assign tasks.
For example, it’s efficient to have one person gather ingredients, while another is in charge of chopping and tenderizing. In the meantime, someone else cooks and plates, and the last person serves and clean dishes. If you have fewer than four people, then everyone may have more than one task to do.
Some stages have kitchens that move around every so often, so that’s another important factor to keep in mind. This causes the layouts to change, so players also need to adapt to these changes and switch roles instantly if necessary.
2. Watch Your Pots and Pans
Once a pot or pan has ingredients in it and is over the burner, it starts cooking. If a pot or pan stays on the burner for too long, they will start a fire—so make sure you’re watching them. An exclamation mark and audible warning begin after a few moments, which is helpful when the kitchen is chaotic.
The cooking timer gets delayed once you add another ingredient, so if you’re making soup and it’s about to burn, just toss in another ingredient to reset the timer. If there are no ingredients available, just take the pot or pan off the burner and place it on the counter. It stops cooking but picks up where it left off once replaced.
If you do let a pot or pan burn, it causes a fire that spreads quickly. To put it out, grab the fire extinguisher (there’s always one around) and use the action button to put out the flames. You can’t use burned utensils until you “toss” them out, which means taking them to the garbage disposal and emptying out the burnt contents.
It’s important to note that cooking is always the longest process in the kitchen. Because of this, it’s always recommended to have at least two dishes (if not more) cooking at once, so everything’s ready to go when needed.
3. Scoop Out Soups and Use Buns as Plates
You’d think that when the soup’s done, you should pour the contents onto a plate. But this involves taking the pot off the burner, and then you have to put it back before proceeding with another task.
It’s easier to take a plate up to the soup pot, and use the plate to “scoop” out the soup and serve it. This way, the pot stays on the burner, ready for another batch of soup.
On stages where you make burgers, sometimes plates aren’t ready for cooked patties. Since the game’s burgers all have buns, players can place cooked patties into buns themselves and have them resting on the counter until a plate’s available.
It’s not sanitary, but it works. This also applies to tortillas and rolled pizza dough.
4. Split Up Ingredients
As mentioned earlier, some stages will cut you off from the ingredient, chopping, or cooking areas. For these kitchens, it’s important to make sure that you have something to work on at all times.
In order for this to happen, you may have to throw some raw or chopped ingredients onto the floor in a specific sector of the kitchen before it splits up. This way, the cook in that part of the kitchen can get work done until the kitchen evens out again. Otherwise, you waste time and your kitchen output is inefficient.
Again, these are not sanitary kitchens, but you have to do whatever it takes to get as many orders out as possible.
Another thing to do is making sure that dirty dishes get into the sink area. This way, one cook works with the food while another washes up the plates. The washer will clean ones ready to go when the kitchen becomes whole again.
5. Stack Dirty Plates
Speaking of dirty plates, there’s a more efficient way of dealing with them. When you serve a dish, a dirty plate comes back after a few moments once the customer’s done eating.
Judging by the flow of the kitchen, you may think it’s logical to take that single dirty dish to the sink, wash it, then place it on the counter near the cooking area. However, players are able to stack dirty plates together, then take them to the sink to clean. This can be a time saver, as you are moving one stack of plates rather than making multiple trips back and forth.
6. Smack Rats or Use Pots and Pans to Protect Food
In reality, having rats in the kitchen is not a good sign. But in Overcooked, they prove to be more of a kitchen nuisance than a health hazard.
Some levels in Overcooked will have rats scurrying about the kitchen, stealing food (raw or chopped) and then making their grand escape. The straightforward solution is to smack them with the action button as they’re near, but what about preventing ingredients from getting stolen in the first place?
Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s an easy one. Any ingredient that is in a pot or pan becomes inaccessible to the rats. This means that you should grab the pots or pans in the kitchen and place them next to the chopping area. As soon as you’re done chopping or tenderizing, dump the ingredient into the pot or pan and repeat the process.
Another tip for protecting your food is to lay out multiple ingredients on the counter near the cutting boards. That way, it’s not necessary to make multiple trips back and forth from the ingredients to the cutting board. The rats may snatch some away as you chop, so make sure to lay out enough so you have a few to spare.
If you have enough players (probably more than two) on a rat stage, then one person could be in charge of being the rat smacker.
7. Go With the Flow
Overcooked tells you the controls during the loading screen for every stage. But it fails to mention something important: the sprint button (Circle on PS4, B on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch).
Sprinting is incredibly useful in the kitchen, as well as when traversing the world map. Pressing the sprint button allows your truck or cook to dash forward in a straight line, so it’s great for saving time.
But be careful when sprinting in the kitchen. If you slam into another cook, it pushes them back quite a bit and may cause chaos, so use it with caution.
On ice stages, the sprint performs double duty. Not only will it get you where you need to go faster, but when combined with the slippery ice, it can launch you to spots you otherwise can’t reach.
Another secret is the fact that you can continue cutting up food while a counter shifts. To do this, players must move against the direction of the counter while holding down on the action (cut) button. This way, you don’t waste a second.
8. Pay Attention to Customer Patience
Just like real life, the customers in Overcooked have their own level of patience when it comes to waiting for their food.
In each kitchen, orders from customers come in along the top of the screen. This tells you exactly what they want—whether it’s soup, burger, pizza, salad, fish and chips, or whatever. At the top of the order is a colored bar—this indicates the customer’s patience, and it’s vital to pay attention to it.
As you’d expect, each one starts off green when it’s a new order. The bar will gradually decrease, becoming yellow, then orange, and finally red when time for that order is about to expire.
Cooks should focus their attention on orders that are not about to run out of time. Once the patience for an order is gone, it’s dropped. This means instead of wasting your resources in filling that order that won’t even matter, it’s more efficient to work on other orders that have enough time left.
Now Let’s Get Cooking
While Overcooked seems like a silly cooking game at first, there’s a lot of challenge behind it, and teamwork is vital to succeed.
The later stages get crazy. You’ll discover kitchens on moving trucks, earthquakes tearing up a rift in the floor, and slippery ice. It’s the variety of Overcooked that makes this unlike any other cooking simulation game you’ve played before.
It takes practice in order to improve at Overcooked, but hopefully these tips will help you succeed in those insane kitchens. Even if you aren’t good at the game, it’s still a ton of fun to play with friends and family.