Tomb Raider Guide

Tomb Raider (2013): The Circle Event (QTE) for Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider (2013): The Circle Event (QTE)


A guide to explain how the so-called “circle event” in Tomb Raider (2013) works. Text, screenshots and a video.

The Circle Event Explained

Think of the circle event as consisting of three stages.
∙ If you press the key/button during the first stage, it will fail because you reacted too early.
∙ If you press the key/button during the MIDDLE stage, you will SUCCEED.
∙ If you press the key/button during the third stage, it will fail because you reacted too late.

The action slows down, a faint white circle appears and, while getiing clearer, shrinks towards a second circle inside it. Do not press yet.

When the outer circle touches the second circle, that inner circle turns red. This signals the start of the safe zone to press the shown key/button. The white circle continues shrinking towards the middle.

Pressing the correct key/button before the shrinking, white circle reaches the little innermost circle will result in success for Lara, indicated by a yellow spark.

The white circle reaches the third circle in the centre, turning it bright red. It is now too late to press the key/button. Pressing the required key/button now will result in failure.

So it is a matter of timing it right: not too early and not too late.
The safe zone starts when the outer circle reaches the second circle inside it.
The safe zone ends when the outer circle reaches the small innermost circle.

Take note
∙ The circle event simply requires a single press; no mashing the key/button. Mashing is required in some instances in the game, like with the left-right (A-D) action, yes, but not for the circle event.
∙ As can be seen In the screenshots above the required key was Right Ctrl. This is a rebinding of this particular action to suit my hands and it is not the default key used in the game (which should be ‘F’). The correct key should be displayed on your screen, although there isn’t much time to have a look at it. Check your key bindings.


This video illustrates the correct handling of the so-called circle event in Tomb Raider (2013).
Three scenes were picked from the game, representing all instances of the event throughout:
1) Escaping from Scavanger’s Den (the boulder crush) – 1 circle event
2) The fresh Russian – 2 circle events
3) Retrieving Roth’s pack from the wolf cave – 2 circle events

Duration: 1:38