Life Is Strange™ - manual

Life Is StrangeManual


Navigating this manual

Welcome to the Life Is Strange™ web manual.

You can use the Contents menu on the left to skip directly to the section you're looking for. Alternatively, click the Enter button to access the manual, and use the Next and Previous buttons to navigate page by page.

Can't find what you're looking for? There's even more information in the FAQs and ReadMe: you can view them using the buttons at the top of the screen.

Warnings & Ratings

Important Health Warning About Playing Video Games

Photosensitive Seizures

A very small percentage of people may experience a seizure when exposed to certain visual images, including flashing lights or patterns that may appear in video games. Even people who have no history of seizures or epilepsy may have an undiagnosed condition that can cause these “photosensitive epileptic seizures” while watching video games.

These seizures may have a variety of symptoms, including lightheadedness, altered vision, eye or face twitching, jerking or shaking of arms or legs, disorientation, confusion, or momentary loss of awareness. Seizures may also cause loss of consciousness or convulsions that can lead to injury from falling down or striking nearby objects.

Immediately stop playing and consult a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Parents should watch for or ask their children about the above symptoms—children and teenagers are more likely than adults to experience these seizures. The risk of photosensitive epileptic seizures may be reduced by taking the following precautions: Sit farther from the screen; use a smaller screen; play in a well-lit room; and do not play when you are drowsy or fatigued. If you or any of your relatives have a history of seizures or epilepsy, consult a doctor before playing.

Precautions to take during use

  • Sit a good distance away from the monitor.
  • Avoid playing if you are tired or have not had much sleep.
  • Make sure that the room in which you are playing is well lit.
  • Rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes per hour while playing a video game.

Life Is Strange © 2015, 2016 Square Enix Ltd. Originally published by Square Enix Ltd. Originally developed by DON’T NOD Entertainment SARL. SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. LIFE IS STRANGE is a registered trademark or trademark of Square Enix Ltd. DONTNOD is a trademark of DON’T NOD Entertainment SARL. Unreal® Engine, Copyright 1998 – 2016, Epic Games, Inc. All rights reserved. Unreal® is a registered trademark of Epic Games, Inc. Powered by Wwise© 2006-2016. Audiokinetic Inc. All rights reserved. Uses Scaleform GFx © 2008 – 2016 Scaleform Corporation. Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. Developed for and published on Linux and Mac by Feral Interactive. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Feral and the Feral logo are trademarks of Feral Interactive Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.



After a five-year absence, Max Caulfield returns to her hometown of Arcadia Bay to study photography at the prestigious Blackwell Academy. Readapting to life back in the Bay is tough, but when Max discovers her ability to rewind time and saves the life of her childhood friend Chloe Price, suddenly Blackwell's social politics don't seem so complicated.

Max and Chloe soon realise that this power is the key to solving the mystery surrounding Rachel Amber, a popular Blackwell student who hasn't been seen in months. Their investigation begins to reveal a much darker side to life in Arcadia Bay, but Max and Chloe remain determined to uncover the truth. Pushing her power to its limit, and haunted by apocalyptic visions of events to come, Max quickly learns that changing the past can have a devastating effect on the future…



As part of the Steam download process, the game has already been installed on your computer. To start playing the game, read the Getting Started section.

Getting Started

  1. Double-click on the Steam application icon. By default this is located in the Applications folder on your computer’s hard drive.

  2. If you are not already signed in, the Steam Login dialog will appear. Enter your account name and password, then select Login.

  3. The Steam application will launch. Select Library.

  4. Highlight Life is Strange™ in the list of games on the left-hand side of the window, then select Play.

  5. The Life Is Strange pre-game Options window will appear. Click on the Play button. The game will launch.

  6. After the loading screens, the Title screen will appear. Press any button.

  7. The Screen Size Adjustment screen will appear. Adjust the screen size using the arrows keys until the corner markers are aligned with the edges of your screen. Select Apply.

  8. The Savegame Select screen will appear. Start a new game by selecting an empty savegame slot.

  9. The Main Menu will appear. Select New Game.

  10. After the opening video, you'll find Max caught in a ferocious thunderstorm, desperately seeking shelter at a nearby lighthouse…


Main Menu

Image of main menu

New Game: Start a new game from the beginning of Episode One.

Play Episodes: Play the game from the beginning of any episode you own, or replay specific chapters in episodes that you have already played.

Choices: View the key choices you have made in each episode. This option only becomes available once you have completed at least one episode of Life Is Strange. For more information, see Episodes.

Help & Options: View instructions on how to play the game, or change your audio, video and controls settings.

Directors' Commentary: Watch videos of Life Is Strange's directors discussing the game and its development.

Square Enix Account: Link the game to your Square Enix account to receive exclusive Life Is Strange and Square Enix updates via email.

Downloadable Content: View available DLC for Life Is Strange.

Exit Game: Quit the game and return to the desktop.


You can play Life Is Strange using either a keyboard and mouse or a gamepad.

The instructions in this manual refer to the default keyboard controls; if you have customized your controls or are using a gamepad, the controls listed here will not apply.

Life Is Strange requires you to right-click in order to perform many commands. If you are using a Magic Mouse or Trackpad, your secondary click may not be activated by default. For detailed instructions on how to enable secondary click, see Can I play Life Is Strange using my Magic Mouse or Trackpad in the FAQs.


The default keyboard controls are detailed below. You can customize your keyboard configuration by selecting Help & OptionsSettingsControls SettingsEdit Keybindings from the Main Menu.

Move W/A/S/D
Jog Shift (⇧) (hold)
Interact Left Mouse Button or C
Rewind Right Mouse Button or R (hold)
Fast Rewind Shift (⇧) (hold while rewinding)
Auto-Rewind to Last Action Control (ctrl)
Open Journal Menu Tab (⇥)
Open Pause Menu Escape (esc)
Reset Camera Middle Mouse Button or T
Skip Cutscene Space


You can play Life Is Strange using a gamepad.

The diagram on this page is based on a standard controller layout; all gamepads have similar buttons but some may differ in layout from the gamepad shown here. For more information, see Can I play Life Is Strange with a gamepad? in the FAQs.

Please note that you cannot customize the default gamepad controls.

Gamepad control diagram

Jog (hold)
Look Around
Interact ///
Rewind (hold)
Fast Rewind (hold while rewinding)
Auto-Rewind to Last Action
Open Journal Menu
Open Pause Menu
Reset Camera (click)
Skip Cutscene

How to Play


As you explore Arcadia Bay, you will encounter different objects in the environment with which you can interact.

Image of interaction prompts

When you are near such an object, a sketched outline will appear around it. When you are close enough, up to four options will appear along with an illustration of a mouse inside a circle. To select an action, click and hold down the Left Mouse Button, then move the cursor in the direction of the action you wish to perform. While hovering over the desired action, release the Left Mouse Button to select it.

If you are playing with a gamepad, these interactions will be mapped to the face buttons on the front of the gamepad. Simply press the button that corresponds to the action you wish to perform.

Dialog Choices

As you play the game, you will have frequent opportunities to speak with other residents of Arcadia Bay. To start a conversation with someone, walk up to them and select the Speak action. Dialog choices work in the same way as interacting with the environment. At different points in a conversation, you will be given a choice of up to four responses.

Your dialog choices not only affect how a conversation ends, but may also alter events later in the story.


Image of butterfly icon

Your actions and dialog choices can have important effects on your relationships with other characters and on how the story unfolds. When you perform an action that will make a lasting impact, a butterfly icon will appear in the top-left corner of the screen.

There are also key decisions that will profoundly alter future events in the game. When you reach one of these points, the scene around Max will freeze entirely and you will have just two options to choose from. Make your choice wisely, but remember that not all decisions in Life Is Strange are set in stone…


Rewinding Time

Early on in Life Is Strange, you will discover your ability to rewind time. This allows you to make different choices in both your conversations and the actions you perform.

Image of rewind gauge

To rewind time, hold down the Right Mouse button. A timeline will appear in the top-left corner of the screen, represented by a white spiral. Your last conversation or key action is indicated by a gray circle on the timeline; rewind to this point to repeat or alter that event.

You can rewind time more quickly by holding down the Shift key and the Right Mouse button at the same time. To automatically rewind time to the last conversation or key action you took, press the Control key.

When rewinding time, you will keep all of the items you are carrying, even if you rewind to a point before you obtained them. This means you can rewind time and use your items to perform a previously unavailable action.

Similarly, you may obtain information during a conversation that will give you new dialog options when replaying that same conversation. When you learn something that you can use to your advantage in this way, a speech bubble icon will appear in the top-left corner of the screen.

Image of Speech Bubble icon


Image of checkpoint icon

Your progress through the game is punctuated by checkpoints. When you reach a new checkpoint, a journal icon will appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

Once you pass a checkpoint, you will be unable to reverse time to before that point. If you wish to alter your choices prior to the last checkpoint, you must go back and replay a previous chapter in the current episode by selecting Play Episodes from the Main Menu. For more information, see Episodes.

You can restart from the most recent checkpoint at any time by selecting Reload Last Checkpoint from the Pause menu. If you select this option, you will lose all progress you have made since that checkpoint.



Your journal contains entries, character profiles, photographs, mementos you have collected and SMS messages you have received. To access your journal, press the Tab key.

Journal Entries

Image of the journal menu

New journal entries are added as you progress through the game.

Every time you reach a new checkpoint, the journal icon appears. Access your journal to view the latest entry and review the events that have taken place since the last entry.


Character Profiles

Image of character biographies

As you meet new people around Blackwell Academy and Arcadia Bay, their biographies will be added to the character profiles tab (indicated by a drawing of a stick figure).


Image of photographs menu

In each episode of Life Is Strange, there are 10 collectible photographs to take. The photographs tab (indicated by a drawing of an instant camera photo) will give you hints as to what each photograph is, and it's up to you to seek these out as you play through an episode.

You will encounter some of these photo opportunities in the normal course of play. However, sometimes you will need to perform particular actions to create photo opportunities for yourself.



Image of mementos screen

As you play through an episode, you will encounter posters, flyers and other mementos. These will be added to your journal under the mementos tab (indicated by a drawing of a folder), and are sorted by location. Select a location to view the mementos that you have found there.

SMS Messages

Image of SMS messages

Occasionally, you will receive SMS messages from your friends and family. You can view these messages at any time under the SMS tab in your journal.

When you receive a new SMS message, a notification will appear in the bottom-right corner of the screen. When it appears, press the Tab key to view the new message.



Life Is Strange is divided into five episodes. In each episode, you will make critical choices that alter the events of later episodes.


When you first complete an episode of Life Is Strange, the Choices option will become available on the Main Menu.

For each episode, the most important choices you made are displayed on the first page of the Choices menu. The second page displays a number of less significant choices that you made.

A percentage appears by each choice to indicate what proportion of other Life Is Strange players made which decision. You can limit this to only display the statistics for users on your Steam friends list by selecting the Friends' stats option in the bottom-right corner.

Replaying Chapters

You can replay previous episodes or access specific chapters in an episode by selecting Play Episodes from the Main Menu. You may only select chapters that you have already reached, or the first chapter of an episode that you have not played yet.

When you select a chapter, you are given the following options:

Restart the game from this chapter: Restart your game from the selected chapter. If you choose to do this, any progress that you have already made beyond that chapter will be deleted from the current save slot.

Restart the game from this chapter using Slot 2: Restart your game from the selected chapter using save slot 2. This allows you to restart from a particular chapter without overwriting your saved game.

Restart the game from this chapter using Slot 3: Restart your game from the selected chapter using save slot 3. This allows you to further experiment with Life Is Strange's choices without overwriting the games in save slot 1 and 2.

Play this chapter in collectible mode: This allows you to replay a chapter to find any collectible photographs that you missed. Playing in collectible mode will not alter any of your saved choices from that chapter.


Technical Support

Every effort has been made to make Life Is Strange as compatible with current hardware as possible. However, if you are experiencing problems when running Life Is Strange, please read on.

The latest version of the FAQs can be found by selecting the FAQs button in the Support tab of the Life Is Strange pre-game Options window (this is the window that opens when you launch the game), or by going straight to the Feral website:

Contacting Feral

If the FAQs and/or updates do not solve your problem, then please feel free to contact us. The following information must be obtained before contacting Feral Technical Support:

  • The error message displayed when the problem occurred (if any).
  • A Life Is Strange Report.txt file. This contains:
    • An Apple System Report of your Mac
    • Any crash logs that exist for Life Is Strange
    • A list of the game's contents

All the information required can be obtained by opening Life Is Strange and clicking on the Support tab in the Life Is Strange pre-game Options window. In the Support tab, click on the Generate Report button. Once the report is generated it will appear as a file in your ~/Downloads folder (the “~” symbol refers to your home directory). Now click on the Create Email button. Remember to attach the Life Is Strange Report.txt file to your email.

In your email, please include a brief description of the problem you have experienced with Life Is Strange.




Please check the warranty information provided by Steam.


Originally developed by:
DONTNOD Entertainment
Originally published by:
Square Enix
Macintosh development by:
Feral Interactive
Macintosh publishing by:
Feral Interactive

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