This guide will help you find all of the 39 hats hidden throughout the game, netting you a bunch of achievements in the process.
The first three levels (Laboratory, Caves, Canyon) contain 10 hats each while the Buzz houses the last 9 for a total of 39 hats to find. After entering each level for the first time, a shelf will appear in Troy’s Lair to display the hats of that section. Use the below picture to identify which hats you are missing.
I will also be pointing out easy to get achievements along the way.
The Laboratory contains hats 1-10
1. Top Hat
The first hat can be found in the very first room that you start in. Simply scale the left wall until you reach the ceiling and follow it all the way to the right. You will have to build momentum and swing over to it while falling in order to reach it while avoiding the spiky thing on the ceiling.
2. Tin-foil Hat
The second hat is in the room with the partying scientists. Before leaving the steel beams, use the movable sled hanging from the ceiling to reach the top right corner of the room.
3. Red Cup
The third hat can be found directly above the fleshy maw that follows you through the water. To reach it, use the movable sled hanging from the ceiling above the checkpoint.
4. Party Hat
The fourth hat is worn by the scientist hanging from the ledge in the pod room. Carefully grab it from her head for it will fall into the abyss with her if you touch her.
5. Clown Hair
The fifth hat is located in the Late Night Regret Department. After overcoming the rope hanging over the acid pool, do not move onto the steel beam but instead go below it to reach inside the broken container and pull out the hat.
6. Winter Hat
To get to the sixth hat, stop the elevator at the third floor. In order to reach this floor, you must not break the elevator, otherwise you will rush right past it.
Next, scale the malfunctioning door to the left to reach the ventilation shaft above.
Drop down into the room at the end of the shaft to claim your hat. This also nets you the ‘Fleshy infiltation’ achievement.
7. Dead Rat
In the Irreproachable Ventilation Network, climb up into this vent that the scientist got sucked into.
You will have to navigate it blindly due to obscured vision. The hat is waiting at the top.
Same thing as number 7, the next vent you see that goes up, remove the cover and climb it instead of continuing to the right.
Shimmy along the narrow vent to find the object of your desire.
9. Fleshy Hat
After falling out of the vents you will slide along a fleshy ramp.
With a lot of momentum you will crash into the opposite wall. Simply latch onto it and continue up instead of down to find this secret.
10. Nurse Cap
After being chased by the rats for a while you will fall into a large storage room.
Instead of continuing to the right, scale the boxes on the left to find the last secret of the Laboratory.
The caves contain hats number 11-20.
11. Wizard Hat
At the top of the steep hill at the start of the level, keep climbing up instead of falling down on the other side.
Shimmy through the narrow tunnel to find the first secret of this level.
At the pipe that leaks acid in a diagonal direction, use the ceiling to reach this hat. Be careful not to throw it into the acid puddles.
13. Child’s Cap
On the steps to the firstborn, you will come upon a plug dispenser that is used to clog the acid-spewing pipes. Keep spawning more plugs by hitting the button a bunch of times and eventually this hat will drop out of it instead of a plug.
14. Broken Bottle
After the Amadeus fight and after breaking the rubble with the rock, use the sign to build momentum.
Fling yourself up to the top left to discover this secret.
15. Miner’s Hat
It’s in plain view. Just feed an arm to the worm and snag it safely.
16. Silver Crown
In the following room with multiple worms, look for this sign. Grab it and fling yourself toward the ceiling in the top right to latch onto it.
This narrow path in the top right of the room is what you’re looking for.
Shimmy along until you reach this secret.
17. Viking Hat
In Mechanical Bone Crushers, slide into the space between the cogwheel and the wall in this spot.
At the end of the tunnel, use the stone to clear the cogs and comfortably claim your helmet.
18. Rat King’s Crown
After the section with the crane, look for this movable sled and swing it towards the ceiling to latch onto it.
Follow the ceiling to the right and find this pipe. It leads to a small, rat-filled subsection.
At the end of this section you find the infamous Rat King. You have to steal the crown from his head and successfully backtrack this section while being chased by your old friend, the rat swarm. Note that you actually have to be wearing the crown when escaping back through the pipe or it doesn’t count. Successfully escaping nets you the King Stealer achievement.
Just before entering the Lab Intern’s Prototyping Area, check out the lower left portion of the room to find two rows of spiked rocks with a twig in front. Build momentum on this twig to swing across the deadly spikes.
Latch onto anything that doesn’t kill you and claim your hat.
20. Flat Cap
After solving the puzzle and feeding the goat to the worm, do not immediately leave the wood-enclosed area. Instead, go all the way to the left of the bottom portion in order to be able to reach the outside wall via the lower ceiling. Scale this outside wall in order to reach the last hat of the caves.
Hats 21-30 are hidden in this level.
21. Egg Shell
After the game introduces you to the geysers, use the very first one to reach the top of the boulder to the right. Simply steer your arms to the right as soon as you’re airborne.
Make use of the full force of this second geyser in order to reach the bird nest up top.
When you get shot up by the geyser after being introduced to the climbers, hang onto the rope. Normally, you would continue by swinging to the right. (Note: Swing to the left here and go flying to reach the secret tanning spot for the ‘Sun’s out, guns out’ achievement)
Instead, climb up the wall to the right and keep going through the ceiling to reveal it as an illusory wall because this is the Dark Souls of weird 2D-platformers.
Carefully ascend the rope to find the Sombrero.
When you reach this checkpoint, use the sign to the left to build momentum and launch yourself all the way diagonally to the top left.
To reach the ceiling you will need a lot of momentum, almost to the point where Troy’s arms break.
Go to the right and up around the geyser to reach the secret.
After the plane chase sequence you will land in a body of water. Instead of continuing to the right, climb up the rocks to the left.
Navigate the thorny underwater tunnel to reach the hat.
After leaving the body of water, continue up the left hand wall.
Use this twig to launch yourself to the right with the force of a thousand suns.
It is this wall you are aiming for.
Go up and throw yourself into the pit. Be sure to cling onto the platform while falling since the wall is slippery and you might fall past it.
26. Bird’s Nest
When you reach this zipline, instead of using it, follow the terrain downwards.
Keep following it as it becomes the ceiling, dodging the worms that shoot from the ground in the process.
Eventually you start to go up on the other side and automatically reach the secret.
27. Cowboy Hat
Use the zipline conveniently placed above the last hat to go straight to the next one. Due to the steep angle, it goes extremely fast though, so be sure to cling onto anything you can reach.
In this playthrough, I had such a high momentum that I went straight through the platform. Still grabbed the hat while zooming by, though 🙂
28. Crown of Thorns
When you reach this part with the spiky balls shooting at you from the left, reach up to grab the branch and hoist yourself onto the platform.
Further up, activate the spear shooter and grab it to go flying to the left.
The spear will guide you to your destination.
29. Roman Hat
When you reach this suspicious spot in the Muscle Temple, detach both arms and connect them to the maws on the arms of the statues. Then connect your hands to unlock the door. This also nets you the Ancient romance achievement.
In the following room, use your left and right bumper to rotate the rings and barriers. Reach the middle to solve the riddle.
The roman hat awaits to your right.
30. Ant Hill
The last hat of the Canyon can be found in this section just before the final ascent into the temple. You have to activate the switch and cling onto the flying spear while dodging the spike balls shooting at you from below.
Here comes the tricky part: while flying with the spear and dodging said spike balls, you have to grab the boulder which is lying on the stairs halfway to the top. Save one of your two slow-mo powers for this.
Finally, attach your arms to the boulder and smash the rocks at the top to get to the last hat of this section.
The Buzz is where you can find the last 9 hats of the game.
31. Mushroom Hat
From the first checkpoint, float to the top and right until you reach the ceiling.
Go all the way to the right until you reach the deadly green mushrooms.
From here, swing to the right and release. The pink smoke will help you go a bit further and reach a little nook holding the first secret.
32. Duck Cap
When you reach the diarrhea unicorn, simply go between its head and the ground to find the hat down and to the right.
33. Potted Plant
At the next checkpoint, instead of continuing to the left, go back down the pink smoke to the right just to gather a bit of momentum. You want to reach the disconnected path of pink smoke to the top right.
Carefully follow the trail of smoke while avoiding the green geysers.
Grab the floating pencil at the end to reach the secret.
34. Hat with Goggles
After going up the bouncy mushrooms, this one is sitting on an egg between two more bouncy mushrooms. Carefully grab it since it’s pretty easy to knock it into the spikes and make it more tedious to put on.
35. Fan Glove
During the official Space Jam 2 trailer, at the section with the sun in the middle of the two paths, look out for a second path to the left and jump over to it.
After a short distance, the clouds turn to ground and the secret reveals itself.
After the first checkpoint in the Spider-Troy area, go to the left after you reach the top of the building. Use the flying maw thingy to reach the pink smoke.
The hat awaits you to the left.
At the top of the next building, follow the pink smoke to the right.
Use the flying maw thingies to reach the mushroom holding your hat.
38. Black Cap
Right at the beginning of the Pre-alpha Level Design, detach an arm and send it to the top left. Grab the hat and bring it to the rest of yourself.
39. Scholar Hat
The very last secret of the game lies underneath the pencils. Move the fourth and fifth ones up a tad in order to fit between the gaps and reach the nook below.
That’s it! You’ve collected all of the hats in Struggling!