Tomb Raider Remastered – Should you use Tank or Modern Controls?

Tomb Raider fans rejoice! The first three games in the long-running game series have recently been re-released in remastered form and they are just as good as you remember. With the remaster comes a slew of enhancements, such as updated graphics, a more flexible save system, and a new, partially improved control scheme. 

If you would rather play these titles with the older visuals, you can do so at the press of a button. You can also play the games with the original control scheme by heading into the settings and switching from ‘Modern’ to ‘Tank’ controls.

But which control scheme is best? The answer largely depends on your personal preference and your experience (or lack thereof) with the classic Tomb Raider games. 

Tomb Raider Remastered: Should you play with Modern or Tank Controls?

When the original games in the Tomb Raider series were released back in the late 90s’, they were loved by many. However, moving Lara around wasn’t particularly easy, at least initially. To perform jumps and other manoeuvres, Lara had to be lined up perfectly, which meant mastery of the earlier games’ grid-based movement system which is described here

The controls were clunky to say the least but most games of that era had awkward control systems so gamers didn’t quibble too much. Instead, they enjoyed the adventures Lara went on, which were made memorable by the expansive 3D environments which were, for the time, quite revolutionary.

If you played the original games on their release, you will likely remember the ‘Tank’ control scheme. This has been replicated in the remastered versions of the game so you might prefer to use the Tank controls if they are what you are used to. Using the Modern controls might be jarring to you as you might instinctively try and control Lara with the wrong button presses due to the muscle memory attached to the older control system.

If you’re new to these games and you’re used to the more fluid control schemes of modern titles, then you might find the Tank controls frustrating and unwieldy. As such, the Modern controls are probably for you.

These allow for better freedom of movement when controlling Lara although you shouldn’t expect them to be perfect. As the new controls have been shoehorned into games that were made with the older control scheme in mind, they don’t allow you to pull off all of Lara’s original moves.

Performing backflips isn’t possible unless you have your pistols drawn, for example, which isn’t ideal when you need to backflip onto slopes and ledges to navigate certain areas. There are workarounds to the game’s movement problems so your progress won’t be stalled. But if you do find yourself struggling to perform certain manoeuvres when climbing or in combat, you might want to switch over to the Tank controls occasionally to see if they can get you out of difficult situations.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. The Tank controls are awkward to use at times, especially for gamers who aren’t used to them. But they are better for performing certain moves when Lara needs to reach certain spots on each level or when trying to avoid attacks by enemies.

The Modern controls are fairly easy to use and are better for gamers who like fluidity when moving around. But you won’t be able to pull off every move Lara used to be proficient in, which will likely niggle you more if you’re familiar with Lara’s original and more extensive moveset. 

Tips For Using Modern Controls

Whether you’re new to playing the original Tomb Raider games or not, there are a few things you can do to make your life easier when using the Modern controls. 

Remap the ‘look’ button

The ‘look’ button is used to reposition the camera behind Lara, which is ideal in tight corners when the camera goes awry and doesn’t settle in the right position. On PS4/5, Xbox, and Switch the ‘look’ function is mapped to R3. This is handy but there is one problem with the ‘look’ function – it also locks Lara in place until you press R3 again to let her move around. 

As the right stick is also used for camera movement, you might accidentally click on the stick and lock Lara to the spot when you’re in combat. This is not ideal in those moments when Lara needs to move around a lot to avoid animal bites and gunfire. Therefore, we recommend remapping the ‘look’ function to one of the top shoulder buttons which doesn’t have a function attached. This way, you’ll be less likely to lock Lara in place by mistake.

Hold the walk button when approaching ledges

You sometimes need to be at the end of a ledge to line up jumps. But if you run forward, you’re going to cause Lara to fall (unless you follow the tip below) so it’s better to walk forward to ensure a proper standstill. On Xbox consoles, ‘walk’ is the X button, on PlayStation consoles it is the square button, and on the Switch it’s the Y button. 

Hold the shoot button to stop yourself from falling

If you keep hold of the shoot button (the bottom right trigger) when traversing ledges and platforms, Lara will save herself from falling if she steps off the edge. Hold down R2 (PlayStation), RT (Xbox), or ZR (Switch) when there is a chance you might fall. 

Hang from a ledge before a running jump

When using the Tank controls, you can line yourself up for running jumps by taking a couple of back steps while facing forwards. You can then run to the required spot at the edge of the ledge and jump.

Backstepping isn’t possible when using Modern controls but there is still a way to position yourself. You can do this by holding the shoot button and falling off the back end of a ledge or platform.  When you pull yourself up, you will be in the position you need to be in for the running jump. 


These are just a few tips but if you have any other advice for our readers, please leave us a comment below. 

You can check out our full Tomb Raider 1 walkthrough and game guide here!

4 thoughts on “Tomb Raider Remastered – Should you use Tank or Modern Controls?”

  1. Thanks for commenting Nick. I recently played Level 1 of Tomb Raider 2. It starts off easy and then within 5 minutes there is one trap after another…madness 🙂

  2. It’s fun but its tough. Modern feels better. Tank would probably make it easier. It’s going to be challenging ether way. The game does not forgive ha

  3. Hi Sarah, I definitely agree with you. I have been playing them with the old graphics too, at least for some of the time. It’s been a very nostalgic experience for me. Did you play them at the time of their original release?

  4. I enjoyed the original games because they are classic. And sometimes it’s nice to go back in time and enjoy them the way they were ment to be

Leave a comment