Daniel's telekinetic abilities are a key element of Life is Strange 2. After the traumatic experience of witnessing the death of his father in Episode 1, Daniel Diaz manifests the power to manipulate objects with his mind. Over the course of the game, Daniel develops and hones the ability to move specific objects at will at increasingly greater distances, numbers, and sizes.
Daniel has the ability to levitate and manipulate objects with his mind. As a result of regular training sessions with his brother, Sean Diaz, Daniel has been able to progress from only causing unintentional, forceful blasts of power to being able to finely manipulate small objects, lift heavy objects, and affect objects from long distances.
To prevent the discovery of Daniel's powers, Sean gave him three rules to follow during their time in Willamette National Forest:
- Hide your power.
- Never talk about it.
- Run from danger.
How closely Daniel follows the rules is determined by Sean's choices. They can be simple guidelines, with Sean frequently allowing exceptions to break all three of them; or they can be highly strict, with Sean telling him off even for using his power to save a child from getting hurt in public.
- Daniel's training in the forest reveals weight and distance are a factor: the greater the distance and heavier the item(s), the harder it is for Daniel to telekinetically affect it; though, he improves his range and weight limit with practice.
- Daniel normally has to gesture in order to fully control his power: a hand for small objects such as toys or plates, or his arm for larger ones such as animals or vehicles.
- Daniel may need line of sight to control his power, as evidenced in "Rules" when he can tell Sean to move out of the way in order to open the sliding door for Mushroom. However, he is also shown in "Roads" to unintentionally move objects that are outside of his field of vision and to cause lights and flames to flicker when he is not looking at them.
- Daniel is apparently unable to telekinetically lift himself; while hiking back from the canyon to Away in "Wolves, Daniel can say, "I wish I had the power to fly, it'd be such a short hike!"
- After his power gets triggered for the first time, exerting enough force to knock over a police car and destroy the surrounding property, Daniel blacked out and lost all memory of the past few minutes. This may indicate that Daniel cannot exert his powers too much at one time without mental repercussions.
- During times of intense negative emotions, such as grief and fear, Daniel loses control of his ability and causes objects to randomly fly around and away from him, causing danger to any potential bystanders.
Episode One - "Roads"
- Daniel causes a forceful telekinetic blast after witnessing his father's death, causing heavy damage to the surrounding neighborhood and killing officer Kindred Matthews.
- After being grabbed by Hank Stamper at Bear Station, Daniel causes a small shock wave, pushing over several nearby merchandise stands and knocking Hank temporarily unconscious.
- After learning of his father's death via a news channel, Daniel causes a miniature telekinetic storm in the brothers' motel room at the Three Seals Motel.
Episode Two - "Rules"
- Prior to the events of the episode, Daniel caused the lights to flicker after witnessing someone almost steal their belongings at a shelter.
- During one of his training sessions, Daniel lifts a medium-sized rock.
- While collecting water at the river, Daniel floats his canteen down to the water to refill it.
- Upon returning to the abandoned house, Daniel lifts a plate to entertain Mushroom.
- While playing in his hideout, Daniel lifts and spins his Mecha Robot toy.
- While Sean walks back to their table, Daniel pranks him by lifting a tarp and knocking on the door from outside.
- During their game of Ship, Captain, Crew, Daniel manipulates the dice.
- After coming across Mushroom's corpse, Daniel ensnares the cougar that killed her.
- If Sean chooses not to intervene, Daniel snaps the cougar's neck in anger. Afterwards, he shows regret, shock, and questions how his powers are changing him. (determinant)
- After finishing breakfast at the Reynolds' household, Daniel lifts and stacks his and Sean's plates.
- Daniel tidies up the guest room using his powers. (determinant)
- Daniel suspends Chris Eriksen in mid-air to stop him falling from his tree house.
- Daniel lifts Chris' toys in order to maintain the illusion that Chris has superpowers.
- After Chris runs into the street, Daniel throws a police car off the road. (determinant)
Episode Three - "Wastelands"
- While throwing knives outside the drifters' camp with Finn, Daniel uses his power to help his aim.
- While Sean is throwing knives, Daniel throws one of them off-course.
- After Finn leaves, Daniel lifts a branch.
- After Sean tries to stop him, Daniel accidentally throws Sean backwards onto the ground.
- After his argument with Sean, Daniel lifts a giant uprooted tree stump out of the lake.
- While being attacked by Big Joe, Daniel throws a plate at his head.
- While in the forest, Daniel lifts a pine cone to demonstrate his powers to Cassidy, Finn, and Jacob.
- If Sean decided against the heist:
- If Sean went along with the heist:
- If he destroyed all the CCTVs beforehand, Daniel breaks open the safe door.
- If he has learned to disobey Sean, Daniel throws back Merrill (and Big Joe, if he is present) despite being told not to do so.
- After being shot in the shoulder, Daniel throws everyone back and destroys the room.
- If Finn dies, Daniel throws back Merrill and Sean (and Big Joe and Cassidy, if they are present) before destroying the room.
Episode Four - "Faith"
- Daniel uses his power to lift the cross during Lisbeth Fischer's service at the Universal Uprising Church.
- As Lisbeth performs a ritual, Daniel levitates several candles around them.
- When Sean approaches Daniel during the final confrontation, he throws Sean backwards and knocks over a burning candle in the process.
- When Nicholas Durand holds his gun to Sean's forehead, Daniel pushes him aside.
- If Daniel has low morality, he lifts Lisbeth and chokes her.
- If Sean doesn't intervene, either by successfully convincing Daniel to spare her or by shooting her himself, Daniel kills her.
Episode Five - "Wolves"
Episode Two - "Rules"
- Sean can ask Daniel to lift Mushroom.*
- He can ask Daniel to lift a rock across the river.**
- He can ask Daniel to lift a boulder.**
- He can ask Daniel to throw a rock into the river.
- He can ask Daniel to lift a large rock. (required)
- He can ask Daniel to lift several cans at once. (required)
- He can ask Daniel to retrieve a metal box from a tree.
- He can ask Daniel to lift a rock in an aquarium in the Reynolds' house.
- He can ask Daniel to repair the Reynolds' ship-in-a-bottle.
- He can ask Daniel to realign the Reynolds' crooked painting.
- He can ask Daniel to blow open the door to Karen's room.
- He can tell Daniel to lift the fallen cupboard off of their grandfather, Stephen Reynolds.
Episode Three - "Wastelands"
- Sean can ask Daniel to help him lift the water jugs while he's carrying them.***
- He can ask Daniel to lift a log by the lake. (required)
- He can ask Daniel to train his precision on some pinecones. (required)
- He can ask Daniel to train his control on some rocks. (required)
- He can ask Daniel to train his destruction on some mushrooms growing on a broken tree. (required)
- If Sean agreed to the heist:
- He can ask Daniel to break the padlock. (required)
- He can ask Daniel to force open the truck's door.
- He can ask Daniel to force open the truck's rear window.
- He can ask Daniel to force open the transport truck's hood.
- He can ask Daniel to force open the locker.
- He can ask Daniel to destroy the greenhouse CCTV.
- He can ask Daniel to destroy the CCTV outside Merrill's house.
- He can ask Daniel to destroy the CCTV inside Merrill's house.
- He can ask Daniel to destroy a CCTV on Merrill's porch.
- He can ask Daniel to destroy a second CCTV on Merrill's porch.
- He can ask Daniel to destroy the CCTV in the back of the house.
- He can ask Daniel to lift the lockbar in the living room from outside.
- If the lockbar wasn't lifted, he can ask Daniel to break open the living room door once inside.
- He can tell Daniel to disarm Merrill in his house.
Episode Four - "Faith"
- If Daniel has high morality, Sean can tell him to get Lisbeth out of the way and open the doors.
Episode Five - "Wolves"
- Sean must ask Daniel to move their flashlight to Sean.
- He must ask Daniel to move their food container to Sean.
- He must ask Daniel to move their soda cans to Sean.
- He can ask Daniel to bring over a shiny gemstone from across a gap in the canyon.
- He must ask Daniel for help in blowing some fallen rocks out of the canyon path.
- If Sean accepted Joan Marcus' offer to help with her sculpture:
- He can ask Daniel to move, remove, and rotate the metal belly.
- He can ask Daniel to move, remove, and rotate the metal arm.
- He can ask Daniel to move, remove, and rotate the metal head.
- He must ask Daniel to tear apart a hole in the border wall.
- He can ask Daniel to break out Carla and Diego Morales from their cell.
- He can ask Daniel to either break out Madison and her father from their cell or take revenge against them.***
- He can ask Daniel to kill the incoming cop duo.***
- He can ask Daniel to throw a mug to distract the cop duo.
- He can ask Daniel to throw a chair to distract the cop duo.
- He can ask Daniel to hurt the cop duo with a locker.
- He can ask Daniel to throw the cop duo into a closet.
- He can ask Daniel to break open the border gate.***
* Daniel will refuse to take this action.
** Daniel will fail to achieve this action.
*** Depending on Sean's previous choices, Daniel may refuse to take this action.
During an interview at EGX 2019 on April 9, Producer Luc Baghadoust and Lead Writer Jean-Luc Cano discussed the significance of Daniel's abilities. Jean-Luc described supernatural abilities as "part of the DNA of the franchise" and "linked to the weakness" of its holder. While the protagonist of the first game was given the power to rewind time to reflect her lack of confidence, the developers decided to instead give the powers to the sequel's deurotagonist in order to reflect the game's theme of education.
- "Life is Strange 2 is about education and how your action will impact the behaviour of Daniel, so the power is not yours. It's on Daniel, because the way he will use this power - for good or for bad, for fun - will depend on your behaviour, your action, and your way of playing. That's why we give the power to Daniel and not to Sean, and because Daniel will do more and more independent decisions based on your choices. You will see."
- — Jean-Luc Cano
Jean-Luc also describes Daniel's power as "a metaphor for what kids have inside them", or a child's potential. The situations in which Daniel learns to make use of his power, ranging from moral to selfish to immoral, reflect how people develop ethical systems as a child and go on to make impactful decisions based on their upbringing.
- The "power action" mechanic in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit appears to have been a precursor to Daniel's abilities, as they share the same control scheme and have strikingly similar icons.
- During their time in the abandoned house, one of Episode 2's ending outcomes is foreshadowed when Sean says to Daniel, "Dude! You'll be moving... cars around in no time if you keep improving like that." This foreshadows the outcome where Daniel can use his power to knock a moving police car out of Chris's path, preventing injury.