Apparently this game keeps getting tiny updates after the big May update that hit the Switch. If you see any part of this guide that isn’t up-to-date, shoot me a message and I should be able to fix it. (Sometimes the Switch is behind on updates, so if you could also send me an updated image file if necessary that makes things much faster for me.)
So you want to solve the puzzles
in “Baba is You” but sometimes you need a little nudge. There’s no shame in that. But whenever you look up help, you either find nothing useful or you find complete spoilers to all the puzzles. You just want some hints. That’s why I’ve made this comprehensive guide which intends to cover every puzzle in the game, but in a way that should help you discover the solutions for yourself.
“Baba is You” is a game about rules. Once you know them, the action of solving the puzzle is usually trivial. It’s rare to see a puzzle take more than 60 seconds to complete from start to finish, once you know the answer.
The most common stumbling block is your own mind. While the game never deliberately plants false info, it is designed to encourage you to make false assumptions about the rules if you aren’t careful. Should you be stuck on a puzzle, it is often because you haven’t fully understood the the implications of the rules. After finishing any level, make sure you have noted why your solution worked.
The world map opens up after the early game. If you can’t solve one puzzle, just go somewhere else for a while and come back with a fresh mind.
Text is always Push (until it is not).
If your attempted solution is this close to working but doesn’t no matter what you do... it’s likely you’re actually miles away. Rethink your assumptions and start over.
How to Read this Guide
I’ve divided this guide into two “halves.” First is the main game, featuring the overworld and all its associated rules. These posts are interconnected in the way the main game is interconnected, and I’ve provided links so you can jump around to whatever hints you need. After that is the late game, and the only way to access is to go to the page on the Normal Ending and click the individual links for the next post (or just search for the page/make a guess in the url). This is to prevent you from seeing endgame spoilers on accident.
Regardless, each post will cover one world or area. For each, I will try not to spoil any material from that world or later worlds. However, I will assume you know about everything important from the previous areas. This means it’s possible for a post on the final world to contain unmarked spoilers from earlier ones. Be careful when visiting pages out of order.
Rules in the game are also always written “NOUN - CONNECTING WORD - PROPERTY.” When I am talking about a rule in general, I will use bold text. When talking about the objects which the rules affect, I will use italic text. When talking about specific instances of those objects, I will use regular text. If the text is in quotes, I am talking about the actual rules you can interact with. A noun is a word written in the level, which is meant to refer to objects. Examples include Baba, Flag, Wall, or Rock. An object is the actual thing. So, if I write “Rock” I am referring to the word itself, but if I write Rock it refers to all Rocks in the level. But each individual Rock is an instance of Rock. In a rule, I write it like Rock is Push. Nouns and connecting words look the same, so your knowledge of grammar should tell you which is which. Properties, however, are written inside colored squares.
For each world, I’ll provide an overview of what you’ll expect to find, as well as the levels I recommend you need to solve. In order to clear the world and get the flower necessary to open later worlds, you usually only need to solve half the puzzles. So, I’ll recommend the easier ones. As new material is introduced, I’ll give you hints as to what it means but I will try not to tell you outright.
For each level, I’ll provide a few things. First, a difficulty rating. This rating will be based on my own personal feeling, from one to five stars. Perhaps your experience will be different, but if you’re struggling you can try the levels I’ve rated easier first. Difficulty levels are only comparable within the same world. A low-star rating in a later world is easy for that world, but likely harder than a high rating in a earlier world.
Then I’ll post a picture of the unsolved level. Sometimes just looking at the picture, away from the game, can give your brain another perspective and help you solve the puzzle. If necessary I’ll include some other info about the level.
Finally, I’ll provide a series of hints. First there will be a soft nudge, but each successive hint will get more specific and spoilery. So don’t read all the hints at once. Read one, try to solve, then read more. Highlight text to see spoilers, like so:
Now, on to the game.
There aren’t many levels here and they’re all short and easy. This is the closest thing the game has to a tutorial, though in my opinion the entire main game is a tutorial. Here you’ll learn the most basic rules, but also how the rule creation process works. You can get by completing only a couple of these levels, but I recommend solving all of them. I mean, none of them should give you any real trouble, and the knowledge within each is required throughout the rest of the game.
Stuck elsewhere? Navigate using the following pictures:
About the Level
Before you see the level as this picture shows, you’ll see a short video intro which will lay out the rules nice and slowly so it’s difficult to misunderstand. Oh, and FYI, I use the Switch version. The only difference between puzzles is that any button prompts will be different. The Switch version also lags a bit behind on updates, but when updates happen I will put them here.
New material: nouns Baba, Flag, Wall, and Rock. These are introduced one by one with visual aids, in case your eyes don’t already plainly tell you which is which. Also the connecting word Is and the properties You, Win, Stop, and Push.
Try using the joystick to move (or, on PC, the keyboard prompt). Which object moves? Could that be You? Move Baba into any Wall. What does this tell you about Stop? Now move into any Rock. What does this tell you about Push? Can you push a Rock into another Rock? How about into a Wall? Finally, what happens when you push a Rock into the Flag? What if Baba steps on the flag? What does this tell you about Win?
Do you really need one?
Level 01: Where Do I Go?
Gentle Nudge: Do you notice how the words "Flag," "Is," and "Win" are all separated?
Level 02: Now What is This?
About the Level
This level looks very odd, doesn’t it? Maybe you should not make assumptions about what levels in this game should look like. For instance, what is You? What does this mean?
Gentle Nudge: Can you list the exact differences between this level and the previous one?
Level 03: Out of Reach
About the Level
New material: noun Water, should be obvious; property Sink.
Try crossing Baba over the Water. What happens to them? What happens to the patch of Water they step on?
Additionally, notice that there are a few rules you can’t seem to get access to. This is normal, and in fact, in many levels, you only get access to a few rules. So, for each level, figure out which rules you can change and which you can’t. If you can’t change the rule, it’s something you have to work with. If you can, you probably need to in order to solve the puzzle.
Gentle Nudge: Have you made an assumption about how you will finish this level, an assumption involving the Flag? Perhaps that assumption is wrong.
Specific Hint: Baba will never cross the big lake. Find another way to Win.
Level 04: Still Out of Reach
About the Level
New material: noun Skull, the big red things, and property Defeat.
Go ahead and put Baba on any Skull. What happens to Baba? What happens to the Skull? Can anything else be made to overlap a Skull? What happens to that object? From that information, what does Defeat mean?
Gentle Nudge: There is a rule in this level which makes it impossible to win. Perhaps you can break up that rule?Bonus: If there were no Rocks, you could still win. How?
Level 05: Volcano
About the Level
New material: noun Lava, like Water but red-orange; and properties Hot and Melt.
Walk Baba onto a patch of Lava. What happens to him? Now push the Rock onto any patch of Lava. What happens now? Are there any inferences that can be made about both Hot and Melt? How are Hot and Melt related?
This level has multiple solutions!
Solution #1 (likely intended): Be like Moses and part that red sea out of your way.
Solution #2: Remember, any object which is Melt and overlaps with Hot will be destroyed. Any object.
Solution #3: The Lava will always be Hot, but if there were something else in its place which was not Hot?
Level 06: Off Limits
Gentle Nudge: Have you perhaps relied on the assumption that You must be an object with only one instance?
Level 07: Grass Yard
About the Level
New material: noun Grass. We’ve actually seen tiles of Grass before, but this is the first time a piece of text refers to the noun. This happens a lot - you’ll see objects you haven’t seen before and there’s nothing that refers to them in one level, and in a later one you’ll learn the noun.
This level might require a bit of lateral thinking. Its solution is important, however, because this trick will be reused in many, many levels from here on.
Gentle Nudge: What is Wall?
Specific Hint: You have to make two statements and you only have one "Is." How can you arrange the two statements?
Nothing is really gained from completing the overworld except access to two other paths. One of them leads to a locked gate, which requires flowers to open. You can’t go there until clearing a few worlds. So, you have to take the upper path to The Lake.
In the meantime, do these hints work? Any hints too spoilery? Too vague? Let me know. Or, if you’ve though of better hints or alternate solutions, you can reach out to me. Don’t comment anything spoilery below. You can find me @keyofw on pretty much everything, like Twitter or Reddit. DM me anytime.
(Note: the links at the bottom of each page will be backwards. Left goes forward and right goes back. So I’ll post my own links like you see right below this.)