Tony Hawk Tips
Stringing combos together is an integral part of all Tony Hawk games, it's important for both scoring and getting a lot of goals done. Simply put, a combo is a series of tricks. A combo ends when you 'land' it on four wheels. The following are situations you will face and what you do to keep your combo going:
About to land on the ground: Manual
A Manual is like a wheelie, where the back wheels are on the ground but the front of your board is lifted. When you're in a Manual your combo is still alive. You'll see a vertical gauge on screen, keep the blob in the middle for as long as you safely can. There is also a Nose Manual where the back wheels are lifted instead.
About to land on a half-pipe or quarter-pipe: Revert then Manual
A quarter-pipe is a curved ramp but in the Tony Hawk games it needn't strictly be a ramp, it could be a swimming pool, the side of a boat, anything that has a curved suface. When you land on one of these you want to do a Revert quickly followed by a Manual to stay in a combo.
About to land on a wall or railing: Grind
Grinding is where you're travelling using a part of your board other than the wheels, for example sliding on the axels or the deck itself. This can be done on walls, rails, fences, most things that have a reasonably flat edge. Grinding is good for building up speed as well.
Low on speed: Get Off Your Board (THUG onwards)
If you've run out of speed you can either concentrate on flatland tricks or get off your board and run for a short time to build some momentum. You get a little clock on screen when you do this, if it runs out your combo ends.
Heading right into a wall: Wallplant (THUG onwards)
Wallplant is what you need when you're about to crash directly into a wall. This was introduced in THUG. In THUG2 there is also a Sticker Slap which effectively does the same thing but you get a nice sticker on the wall too.
Now that you know how to stay in a combo, it's important to make the most of your scoring opportunities while you're in one.
At the top of the screen you have a special meter, it fills up with the more tricks you do. When it's full a new set of tricks are available to you called special tricks. They're called special for a reason, they score you a lot of extra points when you pull them off.
Flatland tricks (THPS4 onwards)
When you're rolling along in a Manual you can tap in a number of tricks, like a Handstand or using your board like a Pogo stick. They will slow you down, but you can get a lot of extra points doing this so it's well worth doing towards the end of your combo.
Modify your grinds / lip tricks (THPS4 onwards)
When you're grinding along or in a lip tricks, if you tap in various combinations using the flip, grab and grind buttons you can change it into something else. This is a quick way to get extra points.
Most of the Tony Hawk games let you pick up stat points during the levels, you can spend these to improve aspects of your skater. For the most part you should max out your Ollie and Speed stats as soon as possible. Other important ones are your balance for Manual and Rail.