Tony Hawk's Proving Ground

Player's Guide


When you start a new story, you will be taken to the Edit Skater menu where you can customize the overall look of your character. Almost every aspect of the skater can be altered, including the face, eyes, hair, clothing, shoes, accessories, tattoos, etc. You can also customize your own skateboard with various deck graphics, grip tape, wheels and more. Note that some items cost money and can be purchased later (you start with $200 cash). New gear will also become available as you progress through the game. If you do not wish to create a character from scratch, you can always select “randomize skater” and jump right into the action. Select “start game” to continue.


Pay attention to the intro movie – it explains the three different Skater Styles that you can pursue in the game: Hardcore, Rigger and Career.

Hardcore skaters are the token underground mavericks, taking on over-the-top challenges that often send them to the hospital. They are known for sneaking into secret areas and have a tendency to be aggressive skaters.

Riggers are the creative skaters who can take everyday objects and turn them into the sickest skate lines. With the new Rig-A-Kit menu, skaters have the freedom to create their own lines anywhere, anytime.

Career skaters are the attention-getters who like to shine in the spotlight. They aim for commercial sponsorships and the dream of being a household name. Defining game features for this path are the new Nail-the-Grab and Nail-the-Manual features, as well as photo and film editing goals.


At the start in Inner-City Philly, Tony will introduce three “goal pedestrians”, each representing a specific style path – green for Career, purple for Rigger and orange for Hardcore. You must complete all three tutorial goals in order continue. Talk to each color-coded pedestrian to start a tutorial.

“Learning How to Rig!” – Build a kicker next to each of the three abandoned cars to gap (jump) over them. The Rig-A-Kit menu can be accessed any time in the game by pressing the BACK button. You will only be able to place kickers for now. Once you place the kicker, use it to jump over the car and trick through camera icon. You will then be given the option to view the video clip, save it or continue on. Trick over three cars within two minutes to complete this goal.

“Learn Nail the Trick” – This is basically a review for anyone who has played Tony Hawk’s Project 8. To enter Nail the Trick mode, click Both Sticks together at the same time after you launch off the ramp. You can perform tricks by moving the analog sticks in any direction – the left stick controls the left foot and the right stick controls the right foot. When the grip tape faces up, you can release the sticks to put down your feet and land the trick. You can also branch tricks by changing the directions of the sticks when the grip tape or wheels are facing up (it’s harder to branch when the wheels are facing up). Listen to Arto and follow his directions to complete this tutorial. Note that the “Land the Trick” message will only appear during the tutorial.

“Learning the Aggro Kick!” – Race around the block by pressing the RB button while skating. You must hit all waypoints within the time limit in order to complete this goal (you have 6 seconds between each waypoint). Aggro Kicking requires a bit of timing so pay attention to the “Kick Now!” message that flashes on the screen (the message will only appear in the tutorial). The trick is to hit the RB button every time the skater’s pumping foot is outstretched forward. After the block race, Mike V. will challenge you to clear three different gaps. Use the Aggro kick to help you get enough momentum before launching off the ramps. You will need to perform a kickflip (Left + X) in the air to clear the last gap.

“Learn Street Goals” – After you’ve completed all three tutorials, Tony Hawk will appear on the street corner for the last set of lessons. Talk to him to learn about Skill Challenges. Again, this will just be a review for anyone who has played Project 8. Each Skill Challenge has an AM, PRO and SICK ranking – all you need to do is get an AM ranking to continue. Tony will start with the Grind Challenge; talk to him again and he will introduce the Manual Challenge. For the following Photo Challenge, make sure you use the Aggro Kick to give you enough speed to launch up to the roof. Press the Y button to grind through the photo “circle” and click the Right Stick to take a snapshot.

The Film Challenge is actually meant to teach you how to perform a Revert to Manual, one of the most important moves in the game if you want to score huge combos. Launch off the QP (QuarterPipe) and when you come back down onto the QP, press the Right Trigger to Revert and quickly tap Down-Up (or Up-Down) on the D-Pad (or the Left Stick) to go into a manual.

Finally, the Line Challenge can be a little tough, since you need to hit each object in a single combo. The key is to go into a Manual as soon as you land the QP so you can continue the combo before Grinding on the rail.


After Tony’s tutorials, Downtown Philly will become unlocked. Click the Right Stick and you will see a list of open episodes: Arto’s Video Episode (Career), Mike V.’s Epic Episode (Hardcore) and Jeff’s Rigging Episode (Rigger). You can use this function at any time if you feel lost or aren’t sure of what to do next. At this point in the game, you are free to tackle any available goals and start building your character in any way you want. As you gain more Skill Points by completing various goals, make sure you upgrade your abilities in the Skills-Stats menu. All goals can be replayed at any time, so don’t worry if you just get an AM rating the first time.

You are not restricted to following a certain style path in the game; you can progress in any of the three categories at any time. You can build a well-rounded/balanced character if that’s the way you choose to play. You can also have a pure Hardcore character on one save file and a strictly Career-oriented character on another. It’s all up to you!


Whether you are pursuing a specific style path or building a well-rounded/balanced skater, we recommend that you check out the following goals and features to experience some of the new features found in Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. We think you will be impressed with the scope of this year’s title.

Career: Bob Burnquist: “Learn Nail-the-Grab” – This goal will teach you the basics of the new Nail-the-Grab move. Once you have this move in your arsenal, you will be able to combine it with regular Nail-the-Trick moves and perform huge combos.

Career: Stevie Williams: “Learn Nail-the-Manual” – This goal introduces the new Nail-the-Manual maneuver. Nail-the-Manual can be a little complex the first couple of times. The trick is to keep the Sticks softly tilted at an angle so the board stays slanted, both while on the ground and in the air.

Hardcore: Lance Mountain: “Carving Ground!” – The new Carving and Clashing moves are relatively easy to execute (just hit the RB button). Carving adds a whole new grinding mechanic when skating bowl-shaped environments. These moves add a whole new level of realism to skating on the lip.

Hardcore: Dustin Dollin: Coast streets (thanks to the Crazy 21 gang). Once you learn the Skate Check move, you can plow through any pedestrians in the game. Upgrading your Skate Checking abilities will allow you to send enemies flying even further. You can even rack up Achievement points if you manage to blast someone hundreds of feet away.

Rigger: Jeff King: “Rails and Quarter Pipes!” – This is where you will really learn how to use the Rig-A-Kit menu. You’ll also get your first taste of tricking out your Skate Lounge. As you progress in the Rigger career path, you will gain larger and more varied pieces to use them any way you like.

Rigger: Bam Margera: “Skate Off Against Bam!” – Climbing allows you to access areas that you won’t be able to get to when skating on the ground. Bam’s goals will eventually take you into the Air and Space Museum, an area reminiscent of the more arcade-style levels in previous Tony Hawk titles. Keep an eye out for ladders and climbable walls around the cities.

Arcade Machines – Keep an eye out for the “Tony Hawk’s 2000” Arcade Machines as you skate around the cities. These machines each contain three playable bonus mini-games: Classic, Hawk-Man and High Score Run. Classic is the famous retro Tony Hawk mode where you are given a set of goals to complete, such as Collect SKATE, Find the Secret Disc, Get Sick Score, etc. Hawk-Man is a new and addictive arcade-style pellet-collecting game. High Score Run is a free run where you can rack up your best high score and aim for an AM, PRO or SICK rating. Note that you can select and play as any pro skater when playing an Arcade Machine game.

Street Goals – Street Goals such as Line (arrow), Race (checkered flag), Skill (spray can), Photo (camera) and Film (camcorder) Challenges are spread out throughout the game and can be triggered at any time. These goals are similar to Tony Hawk’s Project 8, where you can keep replaying them for AM, PRO or SICK ratings. You can save clips from your Photo and Film Challenges.


Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is all about customization and self-expression. In addition to developing a unique skater with specialized skills, players can indulge in other creative pursuits.

Video Editor – The Video Editor can be activated at any time during the game. Press START, pick “video editor” and start recording by selecting “record new clip”. Press START again after you’ve finished recording. You must save the clip first in order to edit the footage. Next, select “create new edit” and you will enter the video editing interface. Select “edit clip” and then “insert clip” and you will see a list of your saved clips. Choose a clip and now you’re ready to start editing your footage.
The tools at your disposal are quite extensive and we suggest that you check out the “video editor tutorials” in the Video Editor menu to give you an idea of the numerous possibilities in creating your epic skate video. Tons of additional video upgrades can be purchased, including new screen effects and overlays.

Skate Lounge – You can enter the Skate Lounge at anytime during the game from the “my skater” menu (after it’s unlocked). Various Themes can be purchased to give your pad an overall motif, including Club, Gothic, Graffiti, Temple, Theater and more. These can be swapped out at any time. To decorate your room, press BACK to access the Rig-A-Kit menu. In addition to the regular skate park pieces, you will be able to place appliances, cars, furniture, TVs, stereos and various pieces from the game world. Some of these objects will become available as you complete certain goals in the game. Note that every item has a cost and can be resold back to the store. Check out the sonic differences when playing a song through a boom box or high-fidelity stereo. Various videos can also be purchased for your giant widescreen TVs – including a Rolling Stones music video!


Always be Skating! – All your Core Stats – Grind, Air, Manual, Invert, Spin, Wallride – are continually increasing as you skate around the world. The more you Grind, the better your balance will become; the more you Air, the higher you’ll be able to go, etc. This will help you get through some of the tougher goals later on in the game.

Revert to Manual – Having trouble getting high scoring combos? The Revert to Manual move (see “Learn Street Goals”) is the easiest way to string together moves to create a long, extended combo. For example, in a bowl or HP (Halfpipe) you can keep hitting the Revert to Manual each time you land so you can continue the combo when you launch off the other side. Just make sure you land the tricks!

Exit bail animations – Although the “ragdoll” physics have been toned down this year, you can still cut the bail animations short by pressing the X button while the skater is tumbling on the ground.

New Manual meter – The new Manual meter may be hard to get used to at first, especially for long-time Tony Hawk players, but this actually frees up the player to see more of the screen without focusing on a small bar off to the side. You should be able to pick out the lines better with this new system.

Aggro Kick – Out of all the Skills-Stats upgrades, the Aggro Kick will prove to be the most useful in the game. This will give you a lot more momentum when performing tricks, plus it’ll get you around the city faster.