Back in October 2021, we revamped Starting Point, our set of beginner-friendly labs that provide a smooth introduction to hands-on hacking. These labs have quickly become the most played content on our platform, highlighting how many of you approaching the cybersecurity field are looking to start from the fundamental concepts.
We have decided to replicate this approach and expand it to a bigger portion of our content. To support those looking to speed up their mastery of essential cybersecurity concepts, we have introduced a new way for you to practice: our new Guided Mode feature provides further direction to solve Machines in the form of a set of questions pointing to the right root flag path.
The first enabling item to provide the Guided Mode feature was the revamp of our labs, specifically the Machine profile. The platform now offers a smooth and clear view of the Machine:
User can now easily have a quick overview of the lab. This clear snapshot offers great improvements compared to the previous layout:
Get information on a lab, the attacks to be performed, and the techniques involved with a helpful synopsis in the “About” section.
More in depth, users can get a quick summary of technology and tools that can be found in the Machine (Area of Interest), latest vulnerabilities and systems (Vulnerabilities), and broad categories related to the lab (Categories).
We have previously talked about the importance of using official walkthroughs and how this can improve the learning methodologies. The Walkthroughs section now offers a more direct and highlighted way to access these materials.
Guided Mode can be found under the Play Machine section. Here you will be asked to select between:
Adventure Mode, the classic HTB way of learning and solving labs. You will be provided with an IP address and after that how to get your flag is your business!
Guided Mode, our new premium feature. A set of questions acting as guidepaths will appear to show you the intended path for each Machine, coaching you along to the root flag.
We see Guided Mode as a new groundbreaking feature for anyone practicing with Machines. By offering more guidance, users can advance their training with additional context and have a better sense of progress.
Especially for beginners, Guided Mode offers a smooth transition from beginner-friendly Starting Point labs to more advanced scenarios, where they combine techniques, tools, and attacks. This new mode enhances the learning curve, providing not only guidance but also revealing the thinking process required to become a real cybersecurity expert and professional.
Some important things to note about Guided Mode:
Since Guided Mode offers additional support to solve a Machine, this feature can be enabled only on Easy Retired Machines, where no points are rewarded.
At launch, Guided Mode can be enabled on 80+ Machines. Going forward, every Easy Machine that goes from Active to Retired will support Guided Mode. We will also continue expanding Guided Mode to all Easy Retired Machines are supported.
Guided Mode is a premium feature available to all VIP and VIP+ subscribers.
Users on a free plan will be able to use the Guided Mode feature the first two (2) weeks after a Machine retires and on Free Retired Machines eventually released.
Guided Mode does not replace official walkthroughs but provides a different way to approach the lab, adopting a different learning methodology (but without spoiling the feeling of getting the root flag!).
The release of Guided Mode also marks a milestone for our VIP and VIP+ subscriptions. This feature refreshes and adds even more value to our premium plans, while maintaining the same cost.
With a VIP or VIP+ subscription, users can access the entire pool of HTB Labs with no restriction and start upskilling in the most hands-on, self-paced, and gamified way. Ready to skyrocket your hacking knowledge?
Looking to enhance the experience of your IT team? Guided Mode is available on Dedicated Labs, our private practice environment for cybersecurity professionals, with direct access to 75+ additional exclusive Machines (from Very Easy to Insane).
With Guided Mode, your team gets a more structured and supportive training approach, allowing employees to optimize the time they spend on problem-solving and enjoy a more seamless learning experience. Get in touch with our team to know more.