IMPORTANT: The material in this section pertains only to Tomb Raiders 1 through 5. Angel of Darkness and the newer games are built using different engines and thus require different approaches. I will eventually add useful bugs for those games, but for now, I recommend searching YouTube for the name of the game plus keywords like "bug," "glitch," etc.
These two maneuvers are not exactly "bugs" in the strict sense of the word. Rather, they're legal maneuvers that take advantage of the way grabbing while jumping alters Lara's trajectory. The safety-drop bug is used to make Lara land on a ledge directly beneath an opening or another ledge, even if the distance is too far for a normal safety drop. The hole maneuver enables her to jump down onto a ledge where an overhang prevents a normal jump. Both were discovered by Jeff Reid and both work in Tomb Raiders 1-5. The screenshots used in these two examples come from the Lost Library level in Last Revelation.
If you aren't familiar with the basic safety drop, check the relevant section on my first Strategy page.
Position Lara at the edge of the ledge or hole, with her back to the open space, as though she were about to do a safety drop. There must be a ledge directly below where Lara is standing. The X in the screenshot shows where she'll land. (screenshot 1)
Press Action + Back, just as in a safety drop, but release Action just before Lara grabs the edge. (screenshot 2)
She should then drop through the opening (or off the ledge) landing on the ledge directly below. (screenshot 3)
Click on each screenshot to see a larger version. For all screenshots on one page, click here. The video following the next section shows both of these moves in action.
Position Lara at the edge of a hole facing it. There must be a ledge below on the opposite side of the hole. (If there's a pole in the opening, as in the situation pictured, be sure to step to one side to avoid hitting the pole when jumping.) The X in the screenshot shows where she'll land. (screenshot 1)
Walk to the edge of the opening and take one hop back. (screenshot 2)
If there's a moving blade (as in this example), wait for it to move to the left/right side away from where Lara is standing. Then take a standing jump, holding Action while Lara is in the air, or just hold Action and run off the edge. (screenshot 3)
Lara should then jump/fall through the opening, landing on the ledge ahead and below. (screenshot 4)
Click on each screenshot to see a larger version. For all screenshots on one page, click here. The video below shows both the safety-drop and hole maneuvers.
Petrified Guardian Bug
This bug is useful for dealing with the petrified guards in the last two China levels of TR2 and the six-armed statues in TR3 India. (The screenshots are from Floating Islands.) Apparently these tricks don't work on every system, but if you save before trying them, you have nothing to lose.
In the first variation, fire three grenades at each of the stone guardians before they awaken (as shown in screenshot 1). This will weaken them considerably, so that when they do animate, it will only take a single grenade (or far fewer bullets than normal) to kill each one. In the PC game, be careful to use only three grenades, not four, as the extra one seems to cause the game to crash. PlayStation players may find that using four grenades destroys the guardians completely before they animate. (This was first suggested by Guillaume Cormier. Several PlayStation users wrote to let me know how it works on this system.)
Alternatively, if you have leftover harpoons in TR2, use about 25 to "tenderize" each petrified guard. Lara won't auto-aim, but you'll know you're hitting them accurately when they bleed (as shown in screenshot 2). Then when they animate, they'll explode immediately. (This variation was discovered by Iris S.)
Note that in the TR3 India levels, you must either cheat or be playing through a second time in order to have the grenade launcher in the early levels. (Thanks to Gecook for testing this in TR3.)
Click on each screenshot to see a larger version. For all screenshots on one page, click here.
Exposure Meter Bug
This bug, unique to Tomb Raider 3, can prevent Lara from freezing to death in icy water. Just save your game underwater and reload. This resets the exposure meter. I recommend saving in a new slot, just in case something goes wrong. Also, be sure you don't accidentally save as Lara is about to freeze or drown! This bug only resets the exposure meter, not Lara's health.
As far as I know, it works in all versions of the game. PlayStation users may not want to waste save crystals doing this, but it's an option for some of the more challenging freezing-water sequences.
TR2 & 3 Rapid-Fire Weapon Glitches
There are several versions of this useful bug, which allow you to shoot powerful weapons at super fast rates.
The harpoon-based version shown in the video above works in Tomb Raider 2 and 3. All credit goes to Noah S.
In case it's not clear in the video, here's what you need to do:
Light a flare and drop it underwater.
Equip the harpoon gun and then put it away.
Attempt to pick up the flare at the *exact* same time as you draw the harpoon gun.
If your timing is good, the game gets confused and glitches out, and you end up holding the flare in one hand and the harpoon gun in the other.
Without putting the harpoon gun away or dropping the flare, climb out of the water, open your inventory and equip the weapon with the ammo you want to use (shotgun, grenade launcher, etc.). Then you will be able to fire that ammo as fast as you'd normally shoot harpoons. No more waiting to reload after every shot.
This useful bug was discovered by Serious Hat. It allows you to fire powerful ammo, like grenades or rockets, using rapid-fire weapons like the MP5 or harpoon gun. Basically it works with all the weapons Lara holds using both hands and cannot use while crouching—so all except the pistols, Uzis, and Desert Eagle.
You'll probably need to use the all-weapons cheat first to get the weapons and ammo you need. See the TR3 cheat codes page for details. Then follow these steps:
Select any of the weapons that Lara cannot use while crouching. Holster it so Lara will be able to crouch.
Press and hold the Crouch + Forward + Draw/Holster weapons buttons simultaneously (i.e., Period + Up + Space on the PC/Mac or L2 + Up + Triangle on the PlayStation).
Lara should crouch and then go through a jerky set of motions in which she gets down on one knee, then all fours, then back on one knee while gradually creeping forward. Continue holding these buttons until the weapon on Lara's back disappears. Then release the controls and let her stand up. You'll see she's now holding the normally two-handed weapon in one hand with her arms at her sides.
Select another gun—again, not the pistols, Uzis or Desert Eagle, as these will simply cause her to switch to those weapons. The first gun will now fire the second gun's ammo. So, for example, if you equip the MP5 in step 2 then the rocket launcher in step 4, the MP5 will rapidly fire rockets.
The variation shown above is for PC/Macintosh only, since it requires the use of weapon hotkeys. Again, use the all-weapons cheat first if necessary. Then simply follow these steps:
Press the hotkey for the firing rate you want (e.g., 6 for MP3).
Tap forward once, so Lara moves onto her hands and knees.
Press the hotkey for the ammo type you want (e.g., 7 for rockets).
Stand up and you should be good to go with the enhanced weapon.
Thanks to eXDax for sharing this excellent discovery!
Laser Sight Bug
This bug is unique to The Last Revelation (TR4) and is used to conserve revolver and crossbow ammunition.
Windows/Macintosh: Equip the revolver or crossbow combined with the laser sight. Then take aim using the Look button (Ins/0 on the numeric keypad). Without releasing Look, press the number 1 at the top left side of the keyboard, the hotkey for pistols. You'll hear Lara drawing pistols and you'll now be able to shoot with laser-sight accuracy and unlimited ammo (i.e., pistol ammo, not explosive arrows, etc.).
Note that if you're using a laptop without a numeric keypad, you'll first need to reassign the Look function to a different key. See the TR4 Controls page for details.
PlayStation: Equip the revolver or crossbow combined with the laser sight. Then take aim using the Look button (L1). Without releasing Look, press Select again and move the selector as though you were going to choose the pistols. Press X and then Triangle. You'll hear Lara drawing pistols and you'll now be able to shoot with laser-sight accuracy and unlimited ammo (i.e., pistol ammo, not explosive arrows, etc.). Note that you won't hear any shooting sound, but you'll see blood/ricochet sparks from the hits.
Dreamcast: Equip the revolver or crossbow combined with the laser sight. Then take aim using the Look button (left trigger). Without releasing Look, press the Start button and go into the Inventory. Now highlight the pistols and, without releasing the left trigger, hit the Start button again. You'll hear Lara drawing pistols and the laser sight stays activated until you press the Y button. You'll now be able to shoot with laser-sight accuracy and unlimited ammo (i.e., pistol ammo, not explosive arrows, etc.).
Thanks to Ian T. and DOOM515 for confirming the PS1 and Dreamcast versions of these cheats.