This article is dedicated to the function and mechanics of Saints Row: Tales of the Saints Strumpet.
Melee weapons work with hybrid mechanics and animations of all the previous games, and firearms function like in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV. Dual wielding functions like in Saints Row 2 for both melee weapons and firearms, but requires an upgrade to unlock the ability. Some weapons such as the Compact Service Rifle and the IMI 95 Costume uses a new reload animation to accommodate the reloading animations of a Bullpup rifle.
Unlike in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV, weapons that male NPCs aim down sights on will also apply to female NPCs. Females NPCs will also hold weapons such as RPG weapons with both hands at all times, and characters in vehicles will hold hip-fire weapons with an altered grip so it appears the person is holding the weapon properly.
Combat with unarmed and melee weapons works with mechanics from all the previous games. Fighting styles from previous games are present, although they cannot be individually selected, and are randomly performed. The fighting mechanics from Saints Row and Saints Row 2 regarding fighting with fists and the range of fighting styles and finishing moves (unarmed and melee), with other fighting moves from Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV being used such as the running attacks.
There are numerous special moves that the player can perform, with many returning from the previous games.
- Jumping dropkick (Front)
- Jumping clothesline (Front)
- Sweep around, DDT (Front)
- Flying head scissors takedown. (Front)
- Hurricanrana (Front)
- Shoulder launch, elbow neck slam. (Rear)
- Faceplant/bulldog (Rear)
- Stunner. (Rear)
- Jump on back, stomp head and neck. (Rear)
- Running clothesline. (Rear)
- Two punches to the abdomen, finishing punch to the face.
- Over the shoulder flip, finishing kick to the back of the head.
- Elbow to the stomach, neck, followed by a finishing head stomp.
- Low sweep kick, four punches, finishing punch to the face.
- Backhand, rear scoop and slam.
- Clap ears, knee to gut, punch to face.
- Discus elbow smash, headbutt, superkick.
- Knee to face, grenade to mouth.
- Backhand, shoot the face 3 times with Enhanced Heavy Pistol.
- Stab eye, slice neck with Knife.
- Player backflips away from grab attempt, fire dual wield Enhanced Heavy Pistols 8 times (5 hit the face).
- Brute neck grabs, throws player, player draws RPG, fires at charging Brute.
- Spear/tackle, slams butt of Battle SMG into neck, then sprays Brute's head with bullets while turning away.
- Player rolls out of the way of Brute backhand, shots Brute with Battle SMG (clipping face), then leaps over and sprays face.
Power attacks no longer require the player to press buttons/keys to speed up the attacks and will give full XP for the kill, as opposed to Saints Row: The Third where missing a button would reduce the attack speed and respect gained.
Character movements remains very similar as to Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV, but new abilities are available and the sensitivity of character movements has changed.
- Turning speeds: The player can turn around at the same speed as in previous games when standing still and jogging. When sprinting however, the player will be unable to turn immediately and proceed to turn at a more realistic pace, and visually leans when they turn. This means the player will have to stop sprinting or have to deal with a turning circle.
- Parkour: The player can climb up small buildings using small ledges and can also free-run over obstacles such as cars and short railings very swiftly. This allows the player to get around more swiftly and allows them to get to relative safety, as well as get to normally hard to get to collectables that would without parkour, require aircraft. Only a few select characters can scale walls but most can do basic free-running.
Homies retain similar mechanics from Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV. They do have better AI that allows them to more efficiently follow the player and like in Saints Row and Saints Row 2, there is a health bar around their icon when recruited, but it much thinner and goes around the whole icon. The Homie icon flashes red when a Homie's health goes below 20% and turns to a solid blood red colour when incapacitated.
There is now the option of customising Homies weapons Costumes and Skins. The Costumes are selected for the Homie and for most weapons, are applied during cutscenes. Any weapons that have different animations for each Costume may not work and will revert to the default Costume. The Skin's are applied to each individual weapon, even when another Costume is selected. The Skin for said used Costume used in the cutscene will be used, providing the gun is the player character's (or Homie's) weapon.
New weapons can be unlocked for Homies by buying the weapon at Friendly Fire, and is part of the Homies sub-menu where the weapons are managed. It requires a one time purchase for the weapon and it becomes available for all Homies that are unlocked. All Costumes and Skins become available upon purchasing the weapon. Homies have their own weapon that have unlocked by default that the others do not, such as Bob Wilson having the Heavy Combat Rifle available without need to by the gun, and Kinzie would have the Semi-Automatic Shotgun available immediately.
Homie appearances can also be changed for a majority of Special Homies. Completing certain activities will unlock a characters alternate outfits. For example, completing the Hacking Protection activities will unlock Kinzie's outfits from previous Saints Row Games, including her White House Outfit and her Super Homie Outfit. This can be accomplished at all main safe-houses.
For Homies such as Bob Wilson and Johnny Gat, even when they are the player characters for certain activities or missions, they retain their own custom weapons and still wear the outfit the player has selected for them. This means that if Johnny Gat's outfit was selected to be his Super Homie Outfit and the Enhanced Heavy Pistol Costume and Skin was selected to be a black 45 Shepherd, then he will be wearing the same outfit and using the same Costume/Skin for said weapon when he's the player character.
The player can now request the recruited Homies to put their weapons away and can also request to keep them holstered. When selected to keep their weapon away, the Homie will only draw their firearm if enemy attacks them with a firearm themselves. This is accomplished in the weapon wheel.
- Clothing: Like Bob Wilson in previous games, Super Slut can change her outfits as normal and is one of the few character customising aspects that remains the same. The only noticeable different is that the stores exclusively sell female clothing.
- Physical changes: At Image as Designed, Super Slut can change her hairstyle with most female styles, including her previous hair styles she has used in past games. Hair colour is set to Brunette in most cases, although Super Slut can have highlights added to her hair for most hairstyles, and only Full or Half Dreadlocks changes her hair colour (to Sandy Brown). She can also wear makeup and only the Full Face and Items options are removed.
- Compliments/Taunts: Compliments and Taunts can now have more than one of each selected, and are selected at random when performed.
There are now 4 levels of difficulty, ranging from the 3 regular Casual, Normal and Hardcore difficulty. The 4 difficult Challenge Mode is unlocked after completing the game and restarting from a new save.
This is the same as Hardcore with nearly all enemies having twice as much health as in Hardcore and Brutes having only 25% more Health, but Homies have 200% more health to make them become a valuable help in dangerous fights. While active, the player can carry 50% more ammo to compensate for the enemies increased Health. Enemies do not have any increase in damage output when playing in Challenge Mode and simply have a health boost only.
This mode of difficulty relies on the player altering their style of play. Homies become much more helpful an upgrades are very important for surviving and progressing throughout the game. Tanks such as the Challenger, Crusader and Destructor becomes extremely useful and can also make combat significantly easier. Super Powers, Unarmed and Melee attacks become 50% more powerful to give emphasis on the player's Combat and Super Powers advantage.