The Talos Principle Starter Guide (Text Only)


I have officially released all planned text walkthroughs for The Talos Principle. If you have recommendations for future guides, I would love to hear it! As always, if you find a particular description that is confusing, let me know in the comments. I am always looking for ways to improve these guides.

Lots of folks like to watch video walkthroughs, but I prefer text-only guides to quickly search through and also allow me to figure out some parts for myself. I hope there are others like me out there. In later revisions, I may come back and take screenshots of the completed puzzles for particularly difficult challenges.

Final Guide List:

Keyboard Controls

Most of the controls in The Talos Principle are pretty straightforward and you should discover them in normal play of the game. However, there are some "Advanced" controls that are not mapped by default, but may be helpful to play the game. Below is a table describing all controls, along with suggested key mappings to controls that are not enabled by default. You can view the controls by going to Menu -> Options -> Keyboard and Mouse -> Configure Keys.

Name Default Key Suggested Key Description Move W/S/A/D --- Moves the player around the world. Look Mouse --- Causes the first person camera to look around. Jump Space --- Causes the player to jump. Use Left Click --- Pick up and interact with objects in the world. Alternative Use --- Right Click If a connector has been placed with objects targetted. Use this key to pick up the connector without losing any of the prior targets. Sprint Shift --- Causes the player to run faster. Toggle Sprint --- Caps Lock Allows the player to sprint without holding down Shift. Third Person View H --- Switches the camera to third person. Allowing you to see the character and get a better view of the surroundings. Reset X --- If you get stuck in a puzzle with nowhere to go, hold this button to reset the puzzle to the beginning state. Journal Tab --- Opens the journal and allows you to read discovered terminal texts and listen to discovered audio logs. Fast Forward --- F Causes the entire game to go into fast forward mode. This is extremely helpful for long wait times with the recorder, wait times in the elevator, or for travelling long distances. Zoom --- Z Zooms the camera lens. Useful for looking at objects far away.

Unlockable Items

ConnectorHexahedronFan / Fan ReceiverRecorderWorld CPlatformMessenger

Item Unlock Location Description Strategies World A The connector is the heart and soul of so many puzzles in Talos. Quite simply, the connector is used to connect beams from a transmitter and send that beam to a receiver. s can be used in long strings in order to direct a beam around complex geometry. There is no limit (or at least any I have encountered) to the number of targets a connector can link to. Use this strategy to unlock multiple energy gates with a single connector. However, only a single color beam can go through a single connector.

While targeting objects, but before placing the connectors, small icons will show up at the bottom of the HUD for each object. If the icon is gray, the connector does not have direct LoS to the target. If the icon is white, the connector does have LoS. Use these indicators to place the connector in an optimum location to reach multiple targets effectively. World A The hexahedron is a box. I think that about covers it. To avoid confusion, I will refer to this item as a "box" everywhere else in the guide. The hexahedron can be used to reach shorter ledges, placed on pressure switches, or other practical uses. Can be placed on mines and beam blockers to provide an alternate mode of transportation.

When using a box to reach a higher ledge, be sure to turn around and pick the box up again. You never know if it will be needed again later in the puzzle.

With three or more boxes, you can create complex staircases to reach much taller heights. World B The fan blows air around, what else needs to be said? Okay, maybe a bit more than that. The fan can be used to blow items upward to reach new heights, or even help you traverse a puzzle quicker. The fan receiver looks like a big square with a bunch of moving gears inside. Certain fans can be enabled/disabled via receivers or pressure plates. Most fans can be picked up and used as a heavy object to weigh down a pressure switch. If you find a puzzle that seems like you don't have enough items, try using the fan as a weight. It just might be the answer to your problem.

While the fan is inactive, place a box on top of the fan and place a connector on top of the box. When the fan is turned back on, it will blow the box and connector to a new height, allowing the connector a much better line of sight. World B The recorder is used to create a duplicate copy of yourself in order to solve solutions. Hit the recorder to start the recording. At this time, you may do anything you like (pick up objects, hit switches, etc). Once complete, return to the recorder to stop. A replay will start immediately of all the things you did. You can use this replay to open doors for you, add connectors, and jump on platforms. See Nuances in the strategies section to find strategies and gameplay mechanics related to the recorder. Axe The axe is used on very few occasions. The most important function of the axe is used to break down the wood barriers in Worlds A, B, and C. - The platform is used in conjunction with the recorder to provide new heights to the puzzle. While holding a platform during a recording, you allow yourself (during replay mode) to stack items, or yourself on top of the platform. Very useful for getting to hard to reach places. - Worlds A,B,C These are mysterious characters found within the world. By awakening a , they can provide a clue for any hard ranked puzzle. However, there are only three s in the world and they can only help you once, so use them sparingly. (You can unlock more by playing Sigils of Elohim) -

Puzzle Items

Buzzer (Beam Blocker)Counsel BoardEnergy GateJammerKeys / Locked GateMinePressure SwitchPuzzle GatePuzzle Map
SwitchTransmitter / ReceiverTurret

PUZZLE ITEMS Item Description Strategies These look very similar to the mine, but are a light gray in color and emit small electrical bolts. These are harmless to the player (will knock you back a few feet if you bump into one), but can get in the way of puzzle solutions. If it crosses a beam along its patrol route, the beam blocker will stop the beam transmission, causing any receivers to completely reset. Boxes may be placed on top of a beam blocker to assist in solutions.

You can use beams from two different angles to target a single receiver. This way the beam blocker can't stop both beams at the same time and maintain a connection to the receiver. These small boards are located at the beginning of red Sigil (hard) puzzles and are used to provide hints for puzzle solutions. You must unlock Messengers before you can utilize the counsel board in a puzzle (unlocked after reaching World C). However, Messengers are limited, so use hints sparingly. - These physical barriers prevent the player, beams, or items from passing through. Energy gates can be disabled by using a jammer, activating a nearby receiver, or activating a linked pressure switch. - This item can be used to disable a wide variety of objects. Beam blockers, mines, energy gates, fans, and turrets can all be targeted to become disabled. The jammer can be placed on a pressure switch while simultaneously jamming another item in the puzzle, effectively disabling two items at the same time.

If two or more jammers are in your possession, or have a connector and a jammer, you can juggle items through the puzzle so that you don't lose anything. This is pretty self explanatory. In certain puzzles, you will find a locked gate. The appearance consists of vertical iron bars with a black and yellow striped center area. By picking up the keys, you can unlock the gate and proceed further into the puzzle. - These floating black orbs of death emit a shrill siren that will haunt your dreams. They emit lasers in all directions that indicate approximately how far their proximity detection extends. As you get closer, the siren increases in intensity. When it becomes a single note, you are already dead. Best to keep as much distance between yourself and the mine as possible. You may disable a mine with a jammer and place a box on top of it. You may hop onto the box, even when the mine is active, and stay safe from its evil clutches. These small switches on the floor are used to deactivate/activate energy gates and fans. Cubes, connectors, jammers, fans, or yourself may be placed on the switch to activate it. - These purple gates at the entrance to puzzles allows yourself to pass through the gate but very little else. Connectors, jammers, fans, etc all get dropped if you try to pass through a puzzle gate while holding one. However, beams can pass through the gate, and you can jam a target through a gate. Also, you can carry paint buckets through a puzzle gate. Sometimes puzzle gates can be placed within a puzzle to restrict the movement of items. As a result, I will frequently refer to these as "purple gates" to avoid any potential confusion. - There are two types of maps, one is located next to the entrance to a level, and a larger one near the elevator within each hub world. The level map shows what Sigils and stars are located within the level. Any of the ones you have previously collected will be crossed out. The world map shows the Sigils for the entire world and ones you have already collected will be grayed out. NOTE: The global map does NOT show stars. - These flipped switches can be used to activate/deactivate energy gates, turrets, or fans. These are frequently used in combination with a jammer. The jammer is used first to temporarily disable the object, then the switch is flipped to permanently disable the object and free up the jammer again. - These two objects are at the core of most of the puzzles in Talos. The transmitter is used to emit a beam to one or more connectors. When a receiver collects a beam of the matching color, it can enable toggleable objects in the puzzle such as energy gates and fans. - Another deadly weapon in the world of Talos. These are typically mounted high on the wall and scan the area ahead of them for threats. The red lasers give you a general idea of their "kill range." If you start to hear the turret rev up, quickly back away or you will be dead. Use jammers, switches, or mines to disable the threat. -

Collectible Items

Audio LogsPaint BucketsQR CodesSigils

Item Description Found in various levels throughout the Talos universe, these floating blue data-streams play an audio recording by a mysterious woman. Each audio log provides a piece of information pertaining to the Talos storyline. These small items allow you to make your mark on the world by painting your own QR code on the walls. The messages you leave can be seen by any other player that is on your friends list, so make things interesting by hiding them in obscure areas. Of note, the paint bucket is the only item in the world that can pass through the purple puzzle gates. You will find these scattered amongst the walls of the various worlds that you visit. These messages have been left behind by others in this world and by friends who have visited the place before you. Using the paint bucket, you can leave messages of your own for friends to discover. Some messages tell a story, others are random ramblings, while others hint at deeper secrets within the world you are exploring. These are the bones of the game, allowing you to unlock new objects and worlds to explore. There are four different types of within the world:GREEN - Located within easy difficulty puzzles, used to unlock other worlds.

YELLOW - Located within medium difficulty puzzles, used to unlock objects.

RED - Located within hard difficulty puzzles, used to unlock floors in The Tower.

GRAY - Found within the star level puzzles, their purpose is a mystery *wink wink* Super rare and hard objects to collect and hidden throughout the world. Often the solution requires you to think "outside the box". Every ten stars you collect is used to unlock the star levels (one located in each world). You will find these computer terminals scattered throughout the levels and within the Nexus hub world itself. The terminals allow you to access archived documents and reveal the underlying events within these documents. Further into the game, the terminal is used to communicate with the Milton Library Assistant (MLA).



These custom controls are easily missed, since they don't have key bindings by default. These two controls can be configured in the options menu. Alternate use (I set to right mouse button) allows you to pick up a connector without losing previous targets. Zoom (I set to 'z') allows you to zoom into far away objects.


Like the name implies, line of sight means that you have a direct sight line to the target. This is crucial in Talos, since you need beams to go across large expanses without hitting any obstacles. The line of sight indicator in the HUD works wonderfully for placing connectors in the perfect spot. For the rest of the walkthrough, I will be abbreviating this as LoS.


The art of juggling is essential for countless puzzles in this game. All it requires is at least two items that can interact with a single object (energy gate, turret, mine, etc). At first glance, it may seem that one item will be tied up with disabling the object, but you can use two items to "juggle" your way out of the predicament and still hold onto both items. Instead of giving tedious instructions every single time you need to juggle, I will just use this phrase and you should know what to do. Here is a visual description of the process.

STEP 1) |A| |B|< |D| Disable gate with |B| STEP 2) |B|< |D| >|A| Bring |A| through gate and disable gate from other side STEP 3) |D| >|A| |B| Bring |B| through gate STEP 4) |E| |A| |B| Continue through puzzle with both |A| & |B| LEGEND: |A| |B| - Items A & B < - Targetting object |D| |E| - Object (gate, turret, etc) "D"isabled and "E"nabled


This is especially handy when trying to locate stars. Going into third person mode and looking down while jumping can afford you new views over walls, potentially revealing a well hidden star.


While the recorder is a very useful tool for solving puzzles, it has quite a few quirks regarding the ghost objects and player left behind during replay. Here is a list of various nuances (feel free to send me any other additions to the list):

Player will NOT collide with ghost objects placed during the recording.

Player can target ghost connectors to transmit beams. This effectively doubles the available connectors in a puzzle.

Any activated fans placed during the recording WILL blow the player around.

Most objects in the world (fans, doors) will not impede the ghost player movement during playback. Mines and turrets CAN destroy the ghost player.

Ghost boxes may not be interacted with in any way. You can not jump on top of ghost objects and you can't stack boxes on ghost boxes.

Ghost platforms can be interacted with by placing items on top of it, including the player.


While not painfully obvious, you can stack boxes on top of mines and beam blockers. With mines, you will need to approach them from above or disable them first before stacking a box (otherwise you will die, obviously). This allows you some free transportation and get you to hard to reach areas.


Any object in the world that can be picked up (aside from the paint bucket and axe) can be placed on a pressure switch to activate it. This includes fans, which are easy to overlook. There are a few puzzles that at appear to have too few objects at first glance. A detached fan just might be the answer.


Don't ever be afraid to close an energy gate behind you to progress further into the puzzle. It may be uneasy to lock yourself in, but it might be essential to free up an extra item to solve the puzzle.


It might be easy to think of the world from the ground level only. But in latter levels, especially ones with multiple beam colors, you may need to think vertically to avoid beam conflicts or obtain LoS.


Sometimes it can be really tricky to figure out the optimal place to put a connector. In these situations, try walking to the connector and stand in front of it. From this new vantage point, you can see all the areas that have direct LoS to the receiver. Thus allowing you to have a better idea where to place that connector.


There are a few puzzles that have some nasty red herrings thrown in to distract you, particularly in the latter puzzles. There may be a beam receiver that never gets utilized or an energy gate that never gets opened. If you are stuck in a puzzle, try to take a discretionary look at all items and objects to determine whether or not they are essential to the puzzle solution. They might just be a distraction.


In certain puzzles, there is a series of gates activated by pressure switches. If you have a jammer handy, you can effectively disable two gates with one item. Stand on the pressure switch with jammer in hand, aim at the next energy gate, and look down until an outlined jammer shows up on the pressure switch. Drop the jammer and, if done correctly, the jammer should have the pressure switch activated, while also disabling the next gate (or turret, or whatever).


During the course of gameplay, you may have noticed some recurring authors to the various QR Codes. One name to carefully look for is Uriel_4. Whenever you see a QR Code from him, there is a star nearby. Often times, the words that he writes are a direct hint for the steps required to obtain the star.


These Tetris-like puzzles in the game can be the most aggravating challenges or the most inconsequentially easy challenges, depending on your luck. There is really no solid strategy other than "throw crap at the wall" and hope it sticks. With these puzzles, especially the larger ones, there are often multiple solutions. The best word of advice I can give is pick a random block and place it in any of the four corners. From there, try to work your way outward to the opposite corner. If things aren't fitting, try backtracking, only resetting if you know it won't work with the first block placement. You may find yourself with one block remaining, but the only void is in a different shape. You may be tempted to reset the puzzle at this point. I suggest trying to swap out various blocks to see what works, you may just uncover the necessary void in a different spot and solve the puzzle.


While not made obviously clear, the different sigil colors serve different purposes and are associated with different puzzle difficulties. See below:GREEN - Located within easy difficulty puzzles, used to unlock other worlds.

YELLOW - Located within medium difficulty puzzles, used to unlock objects.

RED - Located within hard difficulty puzzles, used to unlock floors in The Tower.

GRAY - Found within the star level puzzles, their purpose is a mystery *wink wink*

Three Endings

Yes, you heard that right, there are three separate endings in Talos. In order of difficulty, from easiest to hardest, the endings are Transcendence, Ascension, and Transformation (aptly named by yours truly). When you see the credits roll by and a new game begin, you may think you will have to play the entire game to view the other endings. That is not so. You can unlock all endings on a single profile by simply loading a backup save that was prior to activating the final ending.


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