Yes, there's a lot of information here. Most of it is also taught through in-game tutorials. This page can help if you're having trouble figuring out how a particular control or feature works.
There are also detailed sections on Skills, Weapons, Crafting and Equipment, Outfits/Skins, Downloadable Content (DLC), Steam and Xbox Achievements, PlayStation 4 Trophies, and my Guide to 100% Completion on separate pages.
This site also has a search function in case you're having trouble finding anything.
You can change the controls in the PC game to suit your play style. Choose Options > Keyboard and Mouse > Key Bindings.
The Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers for Windows (or the regular wired Xbox 360 console controller) are both plug-and-play compatible with the PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider. If you're looking for a PlayStation-style controller, I'm afraid I can't personally recommend one.
There is no printed or PDF manual, but the controls are listed in-game in the Options menu. There's also a handy Survival Guide that explains the basic game mechanics. To access it while playing, pause the game and choose Survival Guide from the menu.
|Keyboard: Hold Ctrl and press direction keys to walk. Controller: Press lightly on the control stick to walk; press firmly to run.|
Left Stick Button
|Keyboard: Hold Shift and press direction keys to sprint. Controller: Simultaneously click the left stick and press it forward to sprint.|
|Press Jump along with a direction to jump that way. If there's a ledge or handhold nearby, Lara will grab it automatically.|
|To vault up onto a low wall or ledge, approach it and press Forward and Jump simultaneously. To scale a wall slightly higher than Lara's head, stand facing it and tap Jump twice. Lara will automatically grab the edge.
Certain trees are climbable. These have bark that has been worn away and broken branches that can be used as handholds. They also glow in Survival Instinct. Approach the tree and tap jump twice to climb up.
|Press this button while hanging to let go and drop. Or, while standing near the top of a ladder or ledge, press it to drop and hang on.
Later in the game, You'll unlock the ability to roll after falling to reduce injury.
NOTE: There is no separate control for crouch. When Lara enters a tunnel or moves under a low ledge, she crouches automatically.
|Zip Lines||(see notes)||To slide down a rope line, jump toward it and Lara will grab on and slide down. Press in the opposite direction to stop sliding. (In some cases this is not possible.)
Where there are two zip lines, one above the other, Lara will usually drop from one to the other automatically, but you can sometimes press Drop (above) to drop manually.
Later in the game you'll unlock rope arrows which will allow you to create your own zip lines and acquire the Rope Ascender, a piece of gear that allows you to climb zip lines more quickly.
|Swinging Across Gaps/
Early in the game you will not be able to do this. Later you'll unlock rope arrows, which will enable you to swing across certain gaps by shooting a rope arrow into a dangling spool.
Right Stick Button
|Press to highlight objects in the environment with which Lara can interact and to show the current Objective Beacon, a beam of light shining down from the sky indicating where you need to go next. Just continue moving to return to normal view.
NOTE: Survival Instinct glows and beacons can be turned off independently in the Options menu under Gameplay
|The map screen shows Lara's current location and also contains various information about your mission status, collectibles, challenges completed, etc. See the Map/Objectives section below for more on using the map, setting player beacons, etc.|
|Pick Up/Drop Objects||E/C
|When you approach an object that can be picked up, the Interact icon will appear. Press Interact to pick it up. Press the second control listed to drop the object.
Other interactions, including crafting and throwing objects are covered below under Combat.
|Press or press and hold briefly to interact with certain objects in the environment (e.g., pull switches, gather resources, loot bodies, etc.) In such cases the Interact icon will appear on screen when you approach the object.|
|Pry (with axe)||E
|To pry open a door, strongbox, or other container with your climbing axe, stand close to it. Then when you see the Interact icon, tap this button repeatedly. The axe outline on the icon will gradually fill up, at which point the container wild open.
NOTE: Certain locked containers require special equipment to open. These are covered in the walkthrough and on the Crafting and Equipment page.
|Crank wheel (with axe)||E/Direction Keys
|The axe can also be used as a handle to turn wheels/gears. In-game button prompts will show what to do, but the basic idea is to approach the wheel or gear, press Interact to insert the axe, then swivel the left stick or hold the indicated direction key to turn the crank.|
|Climb (with axes)||(see notes)||Lara can also use her axes to scale certain climbable surfaces. (These glow in Survival Instinct view.) Jump toward one of these surfaces and press Interact to latch on. You can then release Interact and climb using the direction keys or left stick as usual.|
|If Lara loses her grip while climbing, with or without axes, the Interact icon will flash on screen. Press Interact quickly to prevent her from falling.|
|When Lara enters water deep enough for swimming, she'll automatically swim along the surface using the regular direction controls. Hold this button to dive below the surface. Then use direction controls to swim underwater.|
|Hold this button to swim faster either on the surface or underwater. (In the console versions you may need to tap the button instead of just holding it.)|
|Dive||Right Mouse or C
|To dive from a ledge into water, simultaneously press Forward and Jump, then just after takeoff press this button to go into a head-first dive.
NOTE: If you're playing with keyboard and mouse, and Lara won't dive when you use the Right Mouse button, try jumping forward and pressing C instead.
WEAPONS & Combat
Right Stick Button
|Enemies that glow red in Survival Instinct can be seen by other enemies. So if you kill them, even with a stealth attack, others will notice. Enemies that are yellow in Survival Instinct can't be seen by others, so can be picked off with headshots or other stealth attacks.
This is covered in detail in the walkthrough.
|Press this button while moving to scramble along the ground or to dodge an enemy attack.
Certain enemies are more easily defeated using special dodge maneuvers. These are described briefly under Combat below and in more detail in the walkthrough and Skills section.
NOTE: There is no separate control for crouch. When enemies are nearby, Lara automatically adopts a defensive posture. If you move into bushes or close to crates, low walls, etc., Lara will automatically duck to remain hidden.
|Aim||Right Mouse Button
|Press and hold to draw the currently selected weapon. Then move the mouse or right stick to aim.
NOTE: There's a limited auto-aim feature if you set the combat difficulty to Adventurer (Easy). Each time you release Aim and then press it again, Lara will automatically aim at a nearby target. If that helps, by all means use it, but I found it easier to just re-train myself to use the stick/mouse to aim. Later in the game, when you're besieged by multiple enemies, you'll need to be able to do this.
|Primary Fire||Left Mouse Button
|While holding Aim, press this button to shoot. When using the bow, press and hold Fire for a few seconds to power up a charged shot. Then release the button for a shot that does extra damage. To cancel without firing, release the Aim button.|
Shoot Special Ammo
|Middle Mouse Button
|Certain weapon upgrades enable you to use that weapon's alternate fire mode. Aim as usual but instead of pressing the normal fire button, press Alternate Fire. (See Combat below for details.)|
|Rope Arrows and Broadhead Climbing Arrows||(See Notes)||The use of rope arrows is context sensitive. Once you've unlocked rope arrows, aim the bow as usual. If there is an object in the environment where you can attach a rope, the aiming reticle will turn red and display a rope icon. Press Fire and Lara will automatically shoot a rope arrow instead of a normal arrow. Shooting rope arrows does not expend any ammo.
Climbing arrows are unlocked much later in the game. They are also context sensitive. Aim the bow at a soft wooden wall and hold the Primary Fire button to charge your shot. Then release to shoot a climbing arrow into the wall. This will not expend any ammo.
|When close to an enemy press this button for a melee (axe) strike.
After unlocking certain skills and upgrades, you'll gain the ability to deliver special finishing moves. (See the Combat section below and the separate Skills page for details.)
When Lara is positioned on a ledge or in a tree above an unsuspecting enemy, the Melee icon will appear above the enemy's head. Press this button to jump down onto him.
After delivering an initial melee attack, you'll sometimes have to follow different button prompts to finish off the enemy, such as tapping Interact for a bow choke or pressing Melee again to hit the enemy with a rock.
Left Stick Button
|While aiming, press Shift on the keyboard or click the left stick to change the direction in which Lara leans while aiming. This will help you shoot more effectively from cover. (screenshots)|
Right Stick Button
|While aiming, press Z on the keyboard or click the right stick to zoom in. Press again to zoom out.
NOTE: To use Zoom and Survival Instinct at the same time, activate Survival Instinct first. Then without changing position press Aim, then Zoom.
|Select Bow (or change arrow type)||1
|When you first obtain the bow it will be your only weapon for a while. Simply press Aim (above) to select it. After you've obtained other weapons, if you want to switch back to the bow, press 1 on the keyboard or Up on the D-Pad.
Once you have unlocked different special arrow types, press this button multiple times to cycle through each type. Aim and press Alternate Fire to shoot special arrows.
|Once you have obtained this weapon in the game press 2 on the keyboard or down on the D-Pad to equip it. Aim and fire as usual.|
|Once you have obtained this weapon in the game press 3 on the keyboard or right on the D-Pad to equip it. Aim and fire as usual.|
|Once you have obtained this weapon in the game press 3 on the keyboard or left on the D-Pad to equip it. Aim and fire as usual.|
|Select Previous/Next Weapon||(unassigned)||PC only. If you like you can assign keys to cycle through your available weapons. Go to Options > Keyboard and Mouse > Key Bindings.|
|While holding Aim, press this button to reload. Sometimes in combat you'll see the reload prompt on screen as you're about to finish off a clip, but you can also reload at any time, provided you have ammo for that weapon.|
|If Lara is injured you can heal on the fly by crafting bandages from cloth and herbs. Once you have these items in your inventory, hold the button indicated to apply a bandage and restore Lara's health.|
|Craft Arrows||Left Mouse
|In addition to finding arrows, Lara can make her own using the collectible items hardwood and feathers. To craft arrows, select the bow. Then without holding Aim press the Fire button. (See Crafting.)|
|Craft Special Arrows and Ammo||
|To craft special arrows, press the Bow select button (above) repeatedly until the arrow type you want is selected. Then without holding Aim press the Alternate Fire button.
To craft other special ammo types, select the appropriate weapon. Then without holding Aim press the Alternate Fire button. (See Crafting.)
|Craft Improvised Explosives||Middle Mouse
|As you progress in the game, you will learn to craft improvised explosives like shrapnel grenades and Molotov cocktails. To do this, pick up the necessary components and hold Alternate fire. (See Crafting.)|
|Throw Objects and Improvised Explosives||(See notes)
||Lara can pick up small items like cans or bottles and throw them to distract enemies. Distraction is introduced early in the Soviet Installation.
Press Interact to pick up the object. Hold Aim and you'll see a white arc, showing the trajectory the object will take. Use the right stick/mouse to aim. Then press Fire to toss the object. (Or press Drop/Dodge to drop the item if you change your mind.)
The same mechanics are used for throwing improvised explosives (above).
|Man-made Barriers||(See notes)
||As you explore, you'll come across doorways and openings blocked by man-made barriers. These come in several types:
Flammable barriers are made of wood and cloth and can be destroyed with fire arrows, Molotov cocktails, or by placing a red gas can against the barrier and shooting the can to cause an explosion.
Wooden barriers can be destroyed with any gun.
Metal barriers can only be destroyed with explosives (including detonating red gas cans as described under flammable barriers).
Natural barriers made of thorny bushes can't be destroyed. These mostly hide the entrances to animals' dens.
In addition to the main campaign (or story mode), there is a parallel game track called EXPEDITIONS, accessed from the main menu. Expeditions extend your gameplay by allowing you to replay levels, attempt various challenges, and vie for the top spots on the Rise of the Tomb Raider leaderboards.
Certain downloadable content (DLC) is accessed through the EXPEDITIONS menu:
The Expedition Credits mentioned above can be earned by completing Expeditions, as well as various challenges in the main story (including raiding Crypts and Challenge Tombs, finishing optional missions and challenges, etc.). You can also earn credits by picking up backpacks left behind in the game where players on your Steam/Xbox/PSN friends list have met their end. (screenshot) Each backpack gives you 3,000 Credits, which makes dying in-game a little less shameful.
Credits can then be used to purchase Expedition Cards. These are virtual collectible cards that modify gameplay during Expeditions. Cards cannot be used in the main campaign/story mode. They range from weapons and outfits, to skills, to silly modifiers like Big-Head Enemies and Chicken Bomb.
Some cards make gameplay easier but subtract points from your overall score. Some make the game harder and give score bonuses. Some cards are expendable, others are permanent. You can buy card packs with real money (see DLC), but if you play thoroughly, you should have plenty of credits to spend.
For a complete list of cards, see the Wikiraider page on Expedition Cards.
When you start a new game, you will be prompted to choose from among several difficulty settings, detailed below. If you choose the hardest setting, 'Survivor,' you can't change it except by starting a new game. You can switch between 'Adventurer,' 'Tomb Raider,' and 'Seasoned Raider' at any time by pausing the game and choosing Options > Gameplay.
To change language in the PC version, open your Steam Library, right-click on Rise of the Tomb Raider in the list of games, and choose Properties. Then in the pop-up window, click the Language tab. Pick the language you want and then click Close. The game should then download and install the correct language pack, so you need to be connected to the Internet with Steam in Online mode in order for it to work. Once the update is installed you will be able to play in offline mode.
Turn subtitles on and off, or change the language in which subtitles are displayed, from the Options menu in-game.
As you advance, the saves your progress automatically each time you reach a checkpoint or retrieve a major collectible, such as a Document or Relic. You'll see the TR logo at the bottom right corner of the screen whenever this happens. If Lara dies, the game reloads at the previous checkpoint, but you still have all the major collectibles found up to that point. If you quit the game and return later, just click the Continue option in the main menu to resume from the most recent checkpoint.
You cannot save manually in the console games. Each time the game autosaves, it overwrites the previous autosave. In order to keep more than one save file, use the Change Save Slot option, accessed by pressing Menu/Start/Options button on the controller. There are 3 save slots to choose from. I recommend changing save slots at least once per level. Then if you run into a bug you can reload one of your alternate saves instead of replaying from the beginning. The Xbox One game has an option to restore a backup save. (I assume the PS4 version will too. If you have instructions for this, please let me know.)
The PC game lets you save manually, but reloading still puts Lara at the last checkpoint. (There are a few buggy checkpoints where reloading puts Lara some distance away, but these are rare.) I do not know the maximum number of save slots on PC. I'm guessing it's at least 99, which was the number in TOMB RAIDER (2013). The PC game also stores a Last Autosave, Last Campsite Save, and Last Backup Save in case you run into trouble and haven't saved in a while.
I also have a collection of PC save files for download.
If you get disoriented or forget your current goal, open the in-game map by pressing Tab on the keyboard, Select or Start on the Xbox controller, or the touchscreen on PS4. Lara's position is indicated by a white arrow surrounded by concentric rings. The arrow points in the direction Lara is facing. Your current objective is shown by a diamond icon surrounded by a yellow ring. (screenshot) Activating Survival Instinct shows the Objective Beacon, a column of light showing where you need to go next in the story. (screenshot)
Once Lara has moved close to them, Base Camps, major collectibles, and other points of interest—such as Crypt and Challenge Tomb entrances—will be marked on your map. Unlocking certain skills and finding certain objects will mark some of these items on the map beforehand, making finding them much easier. (See Collectibles, below.)
The in-game map for each area also includes a Region Summary along the left side, showing your percentage completion for that area and how many of the various collectibles you've found so far.
There's also a Map Legend with a key to the different icons that may appear on your map. (screenshot) To activate it, use your mouse to click 'Map Legend' or press the indicated button on your controller. You can then show/hide different item types to help locate the ones you've missed.
NOTE: The in-game map does not include a compass rose showing which way is north. So when I refer to map directions in my walkthrough, assume North is up, east right, west left, and south down. I also try to give landmarks so you won't need to rely on the map to follow my walkthrough.
While examining the in-game map, you can pan around using the mouse or right stick, and zoom in and out with the Aim/Fire buttons (controller) or using the mouse wheel. This lets you see the entire game world or just one area.
To set a local waypoint or player beacon on the map, center the crosshairs on the icon for an object or camp, then press A (controller) or Enter (keyboard) or click the "Toggle Local Waypoint" button with your mouse. The waypoint will then be marked in blue on the map. (screenshot) When you return to the game and use Survival Instinct, an icon with a blue ring will show the location of that waypoint in the game world. (screenshot) To remove the waypoint, select it on the map and press A/Enter or click "Toggle Local Waypoint" again, or just set a new waypoint and it will replace the previous one.
The map screen also includes several sub-screens—Documents, Relics, and Resources—accessed by paging to the left or right using the buttons indicated on screen. These screens allow you to re-examine each item you've found. They also give hints about where certain Docs and Relics can be found. There's a small bar at the top right corner of the screen that provides a quick count of the most frequently used Crafting ingredients. (screenshot)
A sub-screen detailing Missions and Challenges is accessed by clicking a button or pressing Y on the controller.
The in-game map is very useful, but my walkthrough also includes spoiler-ful annotated level maps showing the locations of all collectibles and major points of interest.
Throughout the game whenever you achieve a goal, find an important collectible, kill an enemy or prey animal, etc., you receive Experience Points. A shield-shaped meter on the left side of the screen appears and shows how many points you've just earned. When this meter fills, you earn a Skill Point. (The Siberian Wilderness walkthrough covers this in detail.)
Skill points can be spent to upgrade Lara's abilities. This can only be done at a Base Camp (described in the next section).
As you explore the game world, you'll find a number of Base Camps. When you discover a camp, it will automatically be marked on your in-game map. Approach the campfire and press Interact to rest there. This opens the Base Camp Menu, which has a four sub-sections: Skills, Inventory, Weapons, and Fast Travel.
Throughout the game, Lara also increases her proficiency in three languages—Greek, Mongolian, and Russian—by finding and examining Murals, Documents, and Relics. Not all collectibles improve Lara's translation skills, but whenever she has to translate something in the game world, you'll see her proficiency increase incrementally, as indicated by the language skill icon at the top left corner of the screen. When the meter for Greek, Mongolian, or Russian fills, she'll gain a new level in that language. (screenshot)
Language mastery allows you to decipher the carvings on special stone pillars, or Monoliths. Reading Monoliths points the way to buried caches of Byzantine Coins, which you can dig up and use to purchase items from the Supply Shack in the Soviet Installation.
When you approach a Monolith and interact with it, you may find you do not yet have sufficient skill to decipher it. As you continue playing and finding and examining collectibles, your skill will increase, and you'll eventually be able to read all the monoliths.
Unlike past Tomb Raider games, there is no health bar in this game. Lara's health/injury level is indicated by how she looks and moves, as well as by grime/blood spatter on screen during action sequences and combat. When she is badly injured, the screen fades to black and white. If Lara then takes more damage, she'll die.
On the easier game settings (Adventurer and Tomb Raider) Lara's health regenerates automatically over time. So once she stops taking damage, she'll recover after a bit. (See Difficulty Settings, above.) So it's important to seek cover in heavy combat situations in order to survive.
You can also heal during combat by applying bandages. In order to do so, you must first collect cloth and herbs. If you have these ingredients in your inventory, just hold Heal (V/L1/LB) to bandage Lara's wounds. Various skills will allow you to heal more quickly and effectively as the game progresses.
At the beginning of the adventure, Lara has no weapons. During the flashback sequence set in Syria, she has a pistol with unlimited ammunition. Then, when she is stranded in Siberia, she must start again with nothing. She crafts her first weapon, the Makeshift Longbow, early on and gradually acquires a handgun, rifle, and shotgun as well. All four weapons can then be upgraded throughout the game.
Except for the early level in Syria, Lara no longer has unlimited ammo for any of her weapons. You must find or craft arrows, ammo, and makeshift weapons while exploring. When you find a bundle of arrows or a box of ammo, stand near it and press Interact to add it to your inventory. Searching the bodies of slain enemies will often yield ammo as well. Lara's carrying capacity for each item is limited but increases as you upgrade various pouches and containers in your INVENTORY.
In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara doesn't kill for food but does hunt and gather in order to collect crafting ingredients. Use of the bow is covered in detail with screenshots in the Siberian Wilderness walkthrough. Once you've killed an animal or bird, stand over it and press Interact to gather resources like hide or feathers. Resources obtained by hunting and gathering are covered on the separate Crafting page. A few hunting tips:
Basic combat works the same way, although naturally it's much more challenging when your quarry fights back. The walkthrough includes tips for most combat encounters. As you progress through the game and begin to encounter tougher foes, you'll also unlock advanced fighting skills and more powerful weapons. The game does a great job of providing tutorials when new game mechanics are introduced, so I'll just do a little recap here.
Basic Ranged Combat – To shoot an enemy from a distance, first select a weapon. At first you don't have many choices, but eventually you'll fill all four weapon slots: bow, handgun, rifle, and shotgun. Press Up, Down, Right, or Left on the D-Pad to switch between weapons. Or, if you're playing with keyboard and mouse press 1, 2, 3, or 4 to select a weapon. Hold Aim (Right Mouse/L2/LT) and then use the right stick or mouse to aim the reticle at your target. If there's time, you can press Zoom (Z/R3/Right Stick button) to get a closer view. Press again to zoom out if necessary. Then press Fire (Left Mouse/R2/RT) to shoot.
If you're using the bow, you can briefly hold the Fire button to build up a charged shot. Lara won't shoot until you release the button, but she can only hold a charged shot for so long before her arm fatigues and she's forced to let the arrow fly. To cancel a charged shot without firing, just release the Aim button. Charged shots do more damage than normal ones, so learn how to use them.
Basic Melee Combat – Lara's hand-to-hand combat skills also start out at a very basic level and improve over time. Early on, you can use your climbing axe to strike enemies who get too close by pressing the Melee button (F/Triangle/Y). You can also pick up objects like bottles and use them to hit enemies by moving in close and pressing Melee.
Choosing upgrades from the Brawler skill tree will unlock increasingly powerful melee attacks.
Dodge Maneuvers – Even before you unlock any special skills, Lara is able to dodge enemies in a rudimentary way. Just press the Dodge button (Shift/Circle/B) while moving to scramble away from attacking enemies. If you do this with a weapon drawn it's even more effective. Hold Aim to keep an enemy targeted. Then as he lunges toward Lara, press Dodge to evade and then automatically aim at the enemy, allowing you to get off a quick shot or two.
Later, you can unlock the Dodge Counter skill. This isn't as crucial in Rise of the Tomb Raider as it was in the previous game, but if you continue to build on it, by unlocking the advanced skills Dodge Kill, Dodge Kill Mastery, and Duelist Reflexes, Lara will be more than a match for the tough, armored enemies you'll encounter in the later levels. (See Brawler Skills for details.)
To use the Dodge Counter/Kill, hold Aim to keep your weapon drawn. Wait for an enemy to strike at Lara and then press the Dodge button (C/Circle/B) to duck out of the way. Press Melee (F/Triangle/Y) in time with the on-screen prompt to to stun the enemy. Then you can finish him off with a melee attack or your weapon of choice. This technique takes a little practice, but it's covered several times, with screenshots, in the walkthrough. (If you don't mind minor spoilers, check out this part of the Copper Mill walkthrough.)
Finishing Moves – After a nearby enemy has taken some damage but isn't quite dead yet, the Melee icon will appear above his head. This indicates that he's stunned and vulnerable to a finishing move. Step in close and press Melee. When fighting weaker enemies, Lara will deliver a killing blow. Stronger enemies may require repeated attacks. When you kill an enemy using a finishing move, you'll gain bonus XP.
Later, as you unlock more advanced combat skills, you will acquire more elaborate finishing moves.
Stealth Kills and Headshots – Lara is smaller and weaker than most of her opponents and often ends up fighting alone against multiple enemies. Rather than brute strength, she uses her wits and agility to get by. Stealth is one aspect of this.
Lara automatically goes into a stealthy crouch when enemies are about. As long as she stays out of their line of sight and doesn't make noise (like firing a gun), enemies usually won't notice her. She can then pick them off one by one or at least eliminate a few before taking on a larger group. The Siberian Wilderness walkthrough teaches the basics of stealth attacks and headshots.
To perform a basic stealth kill, first make sure the enemy is facing away from you, so he won't see Lara approach. Press Survival Instinct (Q/Right Stick Button) and check that the enemy you're targeting glows yellow and not red, indicating he's far enough from other enemies that killing him won't be noticed. Now sneak up on him. When you get close enough, you'll see the Melee icon above the enemy's head. Press Melee (F/Triangle/Y) to get the guy in a choke hold with your bow. Then follow the on-screen prompt—usually Melee or Interact depending on the context—to finish him off. You'll gain bonus XP for a stealth kill. As your skills improve, Lara will be able to unleash more powerful stealth attacks.
To take out an enemy with a silent headshot, keep a safe distance or hide behind cover so the enemy doesn't notice Lara. Again use Survival Instinct to make sure the enemy won't alert his friends when attacked. Select the bow. Until you unlock certain upgrades, the other weapons make too much noise for a stealth attack. Hold the Aim button. Press Zoom and then adjust your aim if necessary. Then briefly hold the Fire button to build up a charged shot and release the button to fire. (Note that enemies wearing helmets cannot be killed with a single headshot, at least until you unlock more powerful ammunition.)
Of course you can also use the pistol and rifle to kill enemies with headshots, and you can perform headshots on enemies who glow red in Survival Instinct. You will get XP bonuses for both, but other nearby enemies will most likely notice the sound and come running.
Using Cover – When enemies are nearby, Lara automatically adopts a slightly crouched, defensive stance. If you then move close to a low wall or other solid object, she'll use it for cover. Solid cover offers protection from enemy bullets. Destructible cover, like wooden walls, barrels and such, only provide temporary protection and can be destroyed by enemy fire. When this happens, you'll need to move away quickly.
To shoot from behind cover, hold Aim. Lara will then peer out, enabling you to aim and shoot as usual. Peeking out this way makes Lara vulnerable to enemy fire. If she starts to take damage, release Aim to duck back down.
When Lara is using a taller object for cover, rather than a waist-high wall, you can adjust the way she holds her weapon by pressing Shoulder Swap (Shift/Left Stick button) while aiming. This will allow her to lean out and shoot while keeping most of her body behind cover. (screenshots)
Enemies can also use cover. You may be able to flush them out using explosives or by setting their surroundings on fire (once you unlock these abilities). Often it's possible to target just the tops of their heads even as they're crouching behind cover. You may not be able to score a full-on headshot, but you can do some damage and possibly cause them to break cover, so you can finish them off.
Distraction – When Lara comes upon a pair or small group of enemies standing around talking, it's often possible to use distraction to separate them. Then you don't have to fight them all at once. Again, select the bow since firing it won't immediately give away your position. Stay behind cover as you shoot an arrow into a wall or other solid object a short distance away from the enemies. One of them will usually go to investigate the noise. Then you can shoot the other one with a headshot, as described above. With any luck the one who went to check out the sound will not notice immediately and you can take him out too.
Alternatively, you can pick up small objects like bottles or cans and throw them to create a distraction. This tactic is introduced in the Installation Vista walkthrough.
Ammunition Types – Although this is not very realistic, all versions of the handgun use the same type of ammo, as do all versions of the rifle and all versions of the shotgun. So when you upgrade a particular weapon, you can still use the ammo you have collected.
As you progress in the game, you'll unlock the ability to craft special types of ammunition using components found in the game world. This is covered on the separate Crafting page.
Ammo Counter, Clips, and Reloading – The amount of ammunition you have for a particular weapon is shown at the top right corner of the screen when you select that weapon. This display remains on screen if you hold the Aim button, so you can keep track of your ammo supply during combat. (screenshot)
When you come to the end of a clip, the last several rounds are highlighted in red on the ammo counter, and you see an on-screen prompt to reload. (screenshot) Tap the reload button (R/Square/X) to reload manually, or just continue firing and Lara will automatically reload. Note that Lara is vulnerable while she's reloading, so try and do this behind cover.
Upgrades will increase each weapon's ammo capacity and reload speed, and upgrades to Lara's gear will allow you to carry more extra ammo for each weapon.
When Lara runs out of ammunition for the weapon she's using, she'll automatically switch to another gun, usually the Handgun, unless she also happens to be out of ammo for that gun. If she runs out of arrows, she won't automatically change weapons, so you'll need to select another weapon or craft arrows on the fly to replenish your supply.
Alternate Ammo Types and Alternate Fire Mode – As you progress in the game you will gradually unlock new ammo types and alternate fire modes for the various weapons. I don't want to include too many spoilers here, so I'll just cover the basics. Check the Weapons and Crafting pages for details.
Once you have unlocked the ability to use and craft special arrows, press the bow select button (1 on the keyboard or D-Pad Up on the controller) multiple times to cycle through the different special arrow types. Aim and press Alternate Fire to shoot special arrows. To craft more of that special arrow type, press Alternate Fire without holding Aim.
As you play, you'll also unlock rope arrows and broadhead climbing arrows. Rope arrows work slightly differently in Rise of the Tomb Raider than in the previous game. This time they are context sensitive. When you aim the bow at a rope-wrapped object, the aiming reticle will turn red and display a rope icon. Press the Primary Fire button (Left Mouse/R2/RT) and Lara will automatically shoot a rope arrow instead of a normal arrow. Climbing arrows work the same way. Aim at a soft wooden wall and hold the Primary Fire button to charge your shot. Then release to shoot a climbing arrow into the wall. Shooting rope arrows and climbing arrows does not expend any ammo.
In Rise of the Tomb Raider the handgun, rifle, and shotgun each have only one alternate ammo type. Once you have unlocked this special ammo, select the weapon using the D-Pad or number keys. Then press the Alternate Fire button (Middle Mouse/R1/RB) to shoot special ammo instead of regular.
Looting Fallen Enemies – Whenever possible, you should search the bodies of slain enemies. When you stand over a body and press Interact to loot it, you may find some ammo or crafting ingredients. Certain skills increase the amount of various items you'll retrieve.
When you loot a body, grab a box of ammo or bundle of arrows, or search a container (also by pressing Interact), the number and types of items you just retrieved is shown at the top right corner of the screen. If you already have a full supply of a particular item, it will be shown in red. (For example, in this screenshot Lara finds 1 piece of salvage and some rifle ammo, which she can't take because her inventory is full.) Crafting larger containers in the Inventory section of the Base Camp menu will allow you to carry more ammo and other resources.
Additional combat tips are included in the walkthrough along with many screenshots. If you're having trouble defeating a particular enemy or group, I encourage you to check out the relevant level.
Rise of the Tomb Raider contains even more collectibles than the previous game. In addition to Weapons and Weapon Parts, ammunition, and Crafting Ingredients, which are covered in their own sections, major collectibles include the following:
The locations of all major collectibles are included in the walkthrough and the separate Collectibles Guides. The Region Summary section of the in-game map shows how many of each item you've found in a given area. While viewing the map, you can zoom out to the World Map view to check your overall completion and pan around to the different regions to see which ones you've completed.
There are nine optional Challenge Tombs spread throughout the game. These are side areas in which you must solve some sort of physics-based puzzle in order to reach a treasure room. Raiding Challenge Tombs is not necessary to beat the game but is required for 100% completion. Challenge Tombs also contain Documents, Relics, and other collectibles; and they yield Experience Points, Expedition Credits, and special Skills that can't be unlocked any other way. Challenge tomb locations and solutions can be found in the walkthrough.
Crypts are smaller, less elaborate tombs. There are five of them in the game. Crypt entrances are usually well hidden, but the crypts themselves are fairly easy to navigate. When you open the sarcophagus inside each crypt, you'll find a Crypt Treasure—either a weapon part or another piece of equipment. Raiding Crypts is also necessary for 100% completion. For details, see the Collectibles and Weapons pages.
Midway through the Soviet Installation level, you will discover the SUPPLY SHACK, where you can purchase weapons, gear, and other goodies using the Byzantine Coins you've collected. Once you've found the shack, you can return there later in the game via Fast Travel. (The SUPPLY SHACK is right next to the Communications Tower Base Camp and is marked with a shopping-bag icon on the in-game map.)
In addition to the main story objectives, there are smaller challenges and side missions you can undertake to earn additional XP and other rewards.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 9/14/16– Page first posted online.
10/11/16 - Updated PS4 controls now that the game is actually out. Thanks to Noah for sending me a pic of the controller map. Also fixed incorrect keyboard control for Drop/Dodge. Apologies for not noticing that sooner.
5/20/17 - Added specific controls for grapple swing.
Copyright © Stellalune. All rights reserved. Feel free to link to this page but do not copy it. To give me your feedback, send email to or visit tombraiders.net. The name and likeness of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider screenshots and the Tomb Raider name and logos are copyright © Square Enix, Ltd. All rights reserved.