Psychonauts 2 Logo ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

The original Psychonauts from 2005 still maintains a cult following of loyal players that adore it for its iconic humor, colorful and crazy world, and wonderfully distinct gameplay. In fact, we agree that Psychonauts is still worth playing today. After a long, 16-year hiatus, Double Fine Productions and Xbox Game Studios are finally bringing players what they've been seeking for a long time now: Psychonauts 2. Combining tried-and-tested platforming gameplay with striking visuals and a completely unique premise, players should absolutely be keeping an eye on Psychonauts 2.

If you're a little bit out of the loop, that's fine! We've compiled everything we know about Psychonauts 2, including the latest trailers, information, rumors, and release date info. Here's what you should know about Psychonauts 2 on Xbox and PC.

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Enter the mind

Psychonauts 2 Reco Image

Psychonauts 2 (Preorder)

The long-awaited sequel

Psychonauts set the bar for a psychological platformer, with cleverly implemented humor and understated messages about mental health and the state of mind. After many years, Psychonauts 2 is finally arriving to put our nostalgia to rest and bring this fantastic 3D platforming adventure franchise to current and next-gen platforms.

What is Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

Psychonauts 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts, which was an intense 3D action platformer that saw players dive into the literal minds of different people, leading to a colorful and insane world in which the imagination of the creators was the only limitation.

The first Psychonauts came out in 2005, so it has been over 15 years since the first entry in this incredibly unique psychological platformer series. Thankfully, Psychonauts 2 is happening and Double Fine Productions, the creators behind the series and many other charming titles, aims to make it better than the original in every way.

Psychonauts 2 was first announced back in 2015, and since then, it has been a very long, bumpy road to release, with numerous setbacks and compromises that Double Fine had to make for the project. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and an acquisition by Microsoft, Double Fine is all set to make Psychonauts 2 better than they could ever have imagined. There were times when it wasn't sure the project was going to survive, but Psychonauts 2 is pretty much inevitable at this point.

If you want to dive back into the roots of Psychonauts 2, the original Psychonauts is now available through Xbox Game Pass via Xbox backward compatibility.

When is the release date for Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

  • Psychonauts 2 releases on Aug. 25, 2021.

For a long time we were left wondering when Psychonauts 2 was going to release, with no indication other than vague speculation leading the way. Thanks to the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase at E3 2021, we finally know. Psychonauts 2 officially releases on Aug. 25, 2021.

When Psychonauts 2 releases on Aug. 25, it'll be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, PS5, and PS4, with Mac and Linux support coming afterwards. It'll also be available through Xbox Game Pass day one on Xbox and PC, making the game more accessible to a huge pool of players who may not be familiar with the game-turned-franchise and giving Psychonauts 2 a shot at becoming one of the best Xbox Game Pass games. Finally, Psychonauts 2 will also be playable through Xbox Cloud Gaming on mobile devices and low-end PCs.

Psychonauts 2 is now available for preorder ahead of its release on Aug. 25. You can find links to preorder Psychonauts 2 above and below, with more information about Psychonauts 2's pricing and versions below.

Where can I watch all the trailers for Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 hasn't been all that forthcoming with the trailers, but the closer we get to release, the more peeks we get of this psychedelic platformer. We'll be sure to continually update this section with new trailers and videos for Psychonauts 2, including a video of Jack Black from JablinskiGames playing Psychonauts 2!

The announcement

The first look

The gameplay

Xbox Games Showcase 2020

JablinskiGames and Psychonauts 2

A new psi-power

Tim Schafer Q&A

Gameplay trailer

Release date trailer

Story trailer

Windows Central preview

What are the versions and pricing of Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

Now that Psychonauts 2 has a definitive release date, we also know exactly how much it'll cost. As we suspected originally, Psychonauts 2 has only one version. This means you don't have to worry about choosing an edition, and Double Fine certainly isn't about to offer microtransactions, optional cosmetics, or "Battle Passes" for its game.

Psychonauts 2 is a full-priced $60 "AAA" game, reaffirming earlier speculation that Psychonauts 2 is significantly bigger than many players originally suspected it would be. Double Fine is clearly confident in what it's delivering with Psychonauts 2.

If you're hesitant to buy Psychonauts 2 outright or want to play the game first, Psychonauts 2 is included in Xbox Game Pass from day one and until the end of time (as a first-party Microsoft game). This is true for both Xbox and PC, so you have freedom for where you can play Psychonauts 2. You can also play Psychonauts 2 through Xbox Cloud Gaming on a compatible device.

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

If you're playing on a Microsoft platform, Psychonauts 2 does support Xbox Play Anywhere. That means you only have to buy the game once on the Microsoft Store to own it for both Xbox and PC, with full cross-save ensuring you don't lose any of your progression when switching between platforms.

If you preorder Psychonauts 2 or are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, you can pre-install the game right now.

Double Fine has no plans for a physical release of Psychonauts 2 right now, apart from the already-promised physical editions heading to early Psychonauts 2 crowdfunding backers. There's a chance for a physical release for Psychonauts 2 after its initial release, but the game is digital-only right now.

Preorder

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

Ahead of its release on Aug. 25, Psychonauts 2 is now available for preorder for Xbox and PC platforms. If you're hoping to preorder the game on PlayStation, there's currently no way to do so. Double Fine has said that preorders are "coming soon" for PlayStation, so we'll have to wait and see.

Preordering Psychonauts 2 doesn't net you any special perks or additional in-game content. If you do preorder Psychonauts 2, you can pre-install the game to play instantly when it releases. You can also pre-install Psychonauts 2 if you're subscribed to Xbox Game Pass.

Psychonauts 2 is currently available for preorder for Xbox and PC, including Steam. You can find all the links you need right below.

Enter the mind

Psychonauts 2 Reco Image

Psychonauts 2 (Preorder)

The long-awaited sequel

Psychonauts set the bar for a psychological platformer, with cleverly implemented humor and understated messages about mental health and the state of the mind. After many years, Psychonauts 2 is finally arriving to put our nostalgia to rest and bring this fantastic 3D platforming adventure franchise to current and next-gen platforms.

Windows Central previews Psychonauts 2

We here at Windows Central were fortunate enough to be able to go hands-on with Psychonauts 2 ahead of launch (at least, our Jez Corden was). Our Psychonauts 2 preview is now live, including the video above, and it highlights exactly why we believe Psychonauts 2 stands a chance to become a game-of-the-year contender.

From our hands-on, Psychonauts 2 features gorgeous visuals and captivating gameplay that revolves around an absolutely crazy world, meaningful and powerful narrative writing, relatable and personal NPC interactions, and a tendency to shatter your expectations at every turn.

Whether you're on the fence about Psychonauts 2 or totally psyched (pun intended), be sure to check out our Psychonauts 2 preview for more details and a spoiler-free insight into why everyone should keep their eyes on this game.

Who is the developer for Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

Psychonauts 2 is being developed by Double Fine Productions, a long-running games studio renowned for creating beautiful and truly unique gaming experiences that you can't find anywhere else. Double Fine is often described as a "AAA" indie game studio, meaning that it makes the sort of games usually developed by smaller independent studios, but with the quality of a "AAA" studio. Double Fine was also responsible for the original Psychonauts in 2005, and fans have been asking for a sequel to that gem for years. In 2015, Double Fine finally answered the call.

Double Fine Productions was founded by Tim Schafer in 2000, and has been making legendary games like Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, and Broken Age ever since. In 2019, Double Fine was acquired by Microsoft and became a member of the Xbox Game Studios family, making exclusive experiences for Xbox and PC.

Crowdfunded success

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

To make Psychonauts 2 a reality, Double Fine needed some extra help with the project and turned to its community to assist with funding. Instead of taking the usual approach and crowdfunding the game through Kickstarter, Double Fine did something slightly different. The studio chose to create its own crowdfunding platform known as Fig, where a fan's investment can earn them exclusive rewards and even shares from a game's sales.

With the goal of raising $3.3 million to fund development, over 24,000 backers pledged towards the campaign to raise over $3.8 million in total a month after it was announced.

But, even with this success, the game was far from being a reality. Double Fine reportedly need to cut several boss battles and, unfortunately, accept certain compromises with the game to make Psychonauts 2 happen.

Joining the family

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

Back in 2019, Tim Schafer, the owner and founder of Double Fine, announced to the world that Double Fine Productions would be joining the Xbox Game Studios, alongside seven other studios that joined Microsoft's growing family of studios earlier that year. This was a significant shift for Double Fine, but it quickly became apparent that Double Fine would be allowed to embrace its creativity, just without the worry of budgetary concerns. Psychonauts 2 was back on track, and Double Fine was able to restore some of the lost content it had been forced to remove.

There was concern that Psychonauts 2 would miss out on other platforms beyond Xbox One and Windows after the acquisition. However, Double Fine has confirmed that Psychonauts 2 will still release on every promised platform, including PlayStation. This does mean that Psychonauts may very well be the last Double Fine game we see on PlayStation, though, with future games likely being exclusive to Microsoft's platforms.

What is the story and setting of Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

Psychonauts 2 will follow the same protagonist as the original game, and will naturally follow the story after the first game's ending. If you're not familiar with the premise of the game, that's all right. We've set up an excellent overview of the story leading up to Psychonauts 2 and what players should expect from the story in this new entry.

The story so far

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

Following Razputin "Raz" Aquato, Psychonauts is set in a fictional government training facility under the guise of being the Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. Raz gets caught up with the Psychonauts, a group of characters that are gifted with psychic abilities like telekinesis, among several others.

What unfolds is a tale that would make most go, "How do they even come up with this stuff?" Like a few classic cartoons, Psychonauts definitely has the vibe of being created under a drug-induced trip.

After learning of a plot to harvest the brains of other Psychonauts to create a psychic-powered army, Raz delves into his friends' minds to free them of his enemy's clutches. The end of the game sees the Psychonauts — Raz included — rushing off to save the leader of the Psychonauts, who has been kidnapped.

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

Last year, Double Fine released Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a virtual reality game developed for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. Rhombus of Ruin picks up where Psychonauts left off and follows Raz's journey to save Grand Head of the Psychonauts Truman Zanotto.

Psychonauts: The Rhombus of Ruin was meant to bridge the first and second game's narratives. However, Double Fine has indicated that you don't need to play The Rhombus of Ruin to understand the story of Psychonauts 2, which includes ways to catch players up at the beginning of the game.

Where the story picks up

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

The official description for Psychonauts 2 on the official Xbox website reads as follows:

"Razputin Aquato, trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, has realized his lifelong dream of joining the international psychic espionage organization known as the Psychonauts! But these psychic super spies are in trouble. Their leader hasn't been the same since he was kidnapped, and what's worse, there's a mole hiding in headquarters. Raz must use his powers to stop the mole before they execute their secret plan — to bring the murderous psychic villain, Maligula, back from the dead!"

Double Fine founder Tim Schafer held a Reddit AMA a couple of years ago where he noted that Raz would be heading to the Psychonauts' headquarters, his lifelong dream. While there, however, he ends up finding "several things strange about the organization."

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

"While Truman Zanotto was missing, several changes to the direction of the organization were made by his second in command," Schafer said. "Funding was cut from traditional psychic research and peacekeeping and redirected to unorthodox, fringe endeavors, including the discredited practice of necromancy. Raz soon uncovers sinister things at work in the shadows of Psychonauts headquarters, including double agents and evils of the past. Raz's own family history plays a pivotal part in the story, and Raz must confront the roots of the curse placed on his family once and for all. And also deal with this whole 'girlfriend' term and what it really means."

It seems that players will have to take control of Raz and attempt to circumvent a nasty plot to resurrect Maligula, a violent serial killer with powerful psychic abilities. That's not all there is to Psychonauts 2, however, as Raz will need to confront the past as well as his future to overcome the challenges in front of him.

What are the features and gameplay in Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

Psychonauts 2 is a 3D action platformer, so players will have to navigate through chaotic levels filled with enemies, obstacles, and even puzzles. Players will take control of Raz and utilize his psi-powers (with several new ones making their debut in this game) to overcome every hardship and make it out on top. According to this Xbox blog post, Psychonauts 2 will feature a wide variety of worlds from colorful and silly to dark and morbid, all with Tim Schafer's signature sense of humor and crisp platforming fun.

We don't know a ton about Raz's powers in Psychonauts 2. Still, we do know of a "Time Bubble" ability that will allow players to slow down entities and objects to open up new platforming opportunities or make fast-moving enemies easier to destroy. We've also seen "Mental Connection," a unique power that allows Raz to connect thoughts, enemies, and more for strange effects. This can be used for platforming, fighting, and more! We know that several Psychonauts powers are returning, like "Levitation" and "Pyrokinesis."

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

There are bound to many others as well, and Raz will be led by a strange glowing companion. This orb may be the owner of a brain that has been suspended in a jar for far too long, leading Raz to take a journey through their brain to reawaken their memories and senses.

Oh, did I forget to mention that this companion is voiced by Jack Black? Well, yes, yes, it is. Jack Black and Double Fine are once again teaming up, with Jack Black lending his incredible voice and personality to Psychonauts 2. Psychonauts 2 will feature a wide cast of colorful characters, both new and old, for players to come to know and love.

A taste of the action

Dubbed the First Playable, the gameplay seen in the video above is an early look at what Psychonauts 2 will end up being. Commonly referred to as a "vertical slice," this is an area created to fully test the game with all of its assets working together. These include art, animation, tech, design, cinematics, and more. This way, the team can view a playable chunk of gameplay as intended in the final product, aside from any tweaks that will come along during the development process.

The First Playable isn't meant as an advertisement for fans so much as it is for the development team themselves. Double Fine gets to view everything working harmoniously to see what needs to be adjusted as they continue to develop and iterate towards the end goal. This isn't a polished build by any means.

But if you can't take my word for it, take Double Fine's: "This doesn't mean that we now have a final area made to shippable quality, there's still a lot of work to be done. It does, however, represent a fully playable area that has all the things a level of the game should have: elements like player movement, combat, quests, experience, UI all working together with scratch dialogue and audio, some rough visual effects, textures, lighting, even a cut-scene. This means we can iterate on these systems so they can be as good as possible for the final game."

What are the accessibility features in Psychonauts 2?

During Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which Xbox celebrated, Double Fine held a stream to discuss the plethora of awesome accessibility features present in Psychonauts 2. Accessibility is a vital facet of video games, and Double Fine seems to have put in the work to ensure that as many players as possible can play their game.

Psychonauts 2 will feature the usual bout of accessibility features for colorblindness, font legibility, full control bindings, and much more, but will also include a ton of game difficulty settings.

If players need or want to, they can even make themselves invincible, disable fall damage, or massively increase Raz's damage in combat. This is all to make the game easier for players who may desire this, as Double Fine has decided that letting players enjoy their beautiful world and narrative is far more important than arbitrary difficulty. All of these settings are entirely optional, and give players a ton of control over their Psychonauts 2 experience.

It's fantastic to see Double Fine take accessibility seriously in Psychonauts 2, and highlights why Xbox Game Studios is one of the leaders in game accessibility.

If you want to see some of the (initial!) accessibility settings Psychonauts 2 gives players at the beginning of the game, check out the screenshots below! Double Fine has also indicated that there are additional settings and options that haven't been shown yet.

What are the Xbox Series X|S Optimizations for Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Xbox | Double Fine

We know that, thanks to Psychonauts 2's appearance at the Xbox Games Showcase 2020, Psychonauts 2 will be an Xbox Series X|S Optimized title when it is released. This means additional performance and visual features for Psychonauts 2 over the Xbox One version. We don't know exactly how Psychonauts 2 will be Optimized for Xbox Series X and S, but its Microsoft Store page does give us some clues.

Here's what we know about the Xbox Series X|S Optimizations for Psychonauts 2:

  • Up to 4K resolution and 120 FPS. Psychonauts 2 is Xbox Series X|S Optimized, and will offer the best experience on Xbox consoles when it releases. We now know the exact performance targets for Psychonauts 2, and it looks great.
    • Xbox Series X will play Psychonauts 2 at up to 4K and 60 FPS or 1440p at 120 FPS
    • Xbox Series S will play Psychonauts 2 at up to 1620p and 60 FPS or 1080p at 120 FPS
    • Both consoles will support Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on supported TVs or monitors
  • Full HDR10 support. Psychonauts 2 will support HDR for increased contrast and superior colors, but for now HDR support is exclusive to Xbox Series X|S consoles.
  • Xbox Play Anywhere. Psychonauts 2 is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning you only have to buy the game once to own it on both Xbox and PC. This also comes with full cross-save support, so you can go back and forth between Xbox and PC, and never lose your progress.
  • Xbox Smart Delivery. Smart Delivery support is also on board for Psychonauts 2, which guarantees you'll always be playing the best possible version of the game for your console, with no additional cost or hassle. This ties into cloud-save support, so you won't lose your progress even if you start playing on Xbox One and upgrade to an Xbox Series console.

Will there be a PS5 release for Psychonauts 2?

Psychonauts 2 ImageSource: Double Fine | Twitter

Despite the fact that Double Fine is now an Xbox Game Studio, it's already been reaffirmed that Psychonauts 2 is still heading to PlayStation consoles like initially promised. Microsoft has been clear about upholding previous deals and partnerships when they acquire a studio, which has remained true even with more recent acquisitions like Bethesda. That means Psychonauts 2 is heading to PS5 and PS4.

However, we do know that Psychonauts 2 is running on PS5 in backward-compatibility mode, which means it'll play identical to how it does on PS4. There are no enhancements in Psychonauts 2 like greater visual fidelity, higher performance, and HDR support, on PS5 at launch. However, we do know that Psychonauts 2 has an uncapped frame rate on PlayStation, so the PS5 should play at 60 FPS versus 30 FPS on the PS4 Pro.

This doesn't rule out Double Fine updating Psychonauts 2 in the future to be optimized for PS5, but that's the reality now. If you want the best possible Psychonauts 2 experience, you'll find that on Xbox Series X and S.

The love and care given to it by the charismatic Double Fine Productions may be enough to propel this bizarre 3D platformer to the list of best Xbox games, and our hands-on supports this theory. Hopefully, we won't have to wait much longer to know for sure.

Enter the mind

Psychonauts 2 Reco Image

Psychonauts 2 (Preorder)

The long-awaited sequel

Psychonauts set the bar for a psychological platformer, with cleverly implemented humor and understated messages about mental health and the state of the mind. After many years, Psychonauts 2 is finally arriving to put our nostalgia to rest and bring this fantastic 3D platforming adventure franchise to current and next-gen platforms.

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Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription with an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PC's. Psychonauts 2 is included in Xbox Game Pass day one, with preinstall now available.

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