Do You Miss Video Game Instruction Manuals?

Helpful, cool little booklets


Remember video game instruction manuals? The booklets that came with video games that were full of information about the game. They gave you the synopsis of the story, the game’s controls and some included artwork.

Instruction manuals used to be with every single game you bought but they have faded out in recent years. The eighth (current) generation of video games has seen physical instruction manuals pretty much disappear completely in favour of digital versions. People can view instruction manuals online or download them to any device like a laptop, tablet or phone for convenience.


The slow yet eventual disappearance of manuals is rather sad, to me especially. I have fond memories of spending my pocket money on second-hand games and reading their instruction manuals on the journey home. I would sit on the bus and read on how to play the game before I got home. I did it for every second-hand game and I still do when I buy some retro games.

However, I can no longer do this if I buy a pre-owned PS4 or Xbox One game as they don’t have manuals (one exception that I know of is The Witcher 3). All you get now with physical purchases of video games is the box, the game disc and a couple of pieces of paper advertising other games. The lack of an instruction manual has led some to ask a couple of questions, are physical games still worth buying and if so should they still cost £45/ $60?


Those questions are worth asking and should set up some form of discussion. I have a question myself concerning instruction manuals. Do you miss video game instruction manuals?

That’s the question I put forward and respond to it in any way you like; be it a comment down below, a written piece in response to this, a video or an audio recording. However, you answer this question is up to you. Also, feel free to respond to the other questions above as I’m interested in what people think about this topic.


I put forward questions like this every so often to get a discussion going and to see what the general consensus is about the thing in question. One question I raised last year is, do you think the seventh generation consoles are now retro?

Sound off in the comments below. Follow me on Twitter – @ThatGreenDude95


14 thoughts on “Do You Miss Video Game Instruction Manuals?

  1. I absolutely miss video game manuals, as they helped me to get hyped for the game I just bought, especially if it was a PC game I was waiting to finish in stalling. I also found that the manuals added more to the backstory and world building.
    I distinctly remember the old Pokemon Blue and Yellow manual also had a chart with all the Pokemon types and their weaknesses, which was a huge help when I first played those games!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah yes. I remember them in the Pokemon games.The old Digimon games had a similar thing but on a smaller scale.

      The manuals for Final Fantasy games had a couple of pages detailing the story and characters. Man, I miss them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dude! I miss game manuals. I remember picking up games in the mid-2000s to the late 2000s and just opening up the case and smelling the fresh ink and reading through the manuals. My favorite manuals had to be the Fallout 3 and New Vegas ones, I really liked the little drawings that it had. Awesome article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love the new game smell. It may seem weird to others outside of the gaming circles but as you said, the smell of fresh ink, it was like an extra reward for buying the game. I specifically remember the manuals for the Ratchet and Clank games having artwork for the weapons and little summaries of them.

      Liked by 1 person

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