Do You Need to Play Alan Wake Before Alan Wake 2? – Answered

Alan's past may be helpful toward understanding his future.

Alan Wake 2 box art
Image via Remedy Entertainment.

Alan Wake 2 may be an incredibly exciting release, but with it being a sequel, you might wonder what you need to know beforehand. Here’s whether you need to play Alan Wake before playing Alan Wake 2.

Should You Play Alan Wake Before Alan Wake 2?

Remedy Entertainment has made it clear that you don’t need to play Alan Wake before playing Alan Wake 2. According to the official Alan Wake 2 FAQ, the game is set up to be a standalone experience. There’s plenty of prior knowledge to be gleaned through the second main character Saga, who is designed to have very little knowledge of past events with Alan.

That said, it’s still worth running through the game if you already have access to it. You’ll be able to pick up on the game’s subtle nods to prior events and ultimately get a bit more out of the package. All of this, combined with the fact that Alan Wake is only about 10-11 hours long, makes it worth jumping into. As of writing, the game is also $4 on Steam, which is a great excuse to hop in.

If it helps, you can catch a recap of the events in Alan Wake in a limited-time Fortnite mode.

Do You Need to Play Any of the Other Alan Wake-Related Titles?

Other than the base game of Alan Wake, there’s also Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, a spinoff to Alan Wake, alongside the AWE expansion for Control. American Nightmare is less important given the context of the overarching story and the gameplay being mediocre at best. On the other hand, the Control AWE expansion offers quite a bit more while closing up a plot hole or two from the original Alan Wake. If you’re going to play the first game anyway, and already enjoyed Control, then the expansion is worth diving it. It’s also only a few hours long.

If you’re looking for more details before you grab the game, check out our guide on whether Alan Wake 2 is getting a physical copy.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.