Stray’s cryptic language has been deciphered, and it’s not that hard to understand

Stray memories
(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

A Stray player has decoded the mysterious in-game language, and it’s more straightforward than you’d expect. 

Originally deciphered by Josh Wirtanen of Half Glass Gaming (thanks, Rock, Paper, Shotgun), we now know what some signs and posters in Stray’s post-apocalyptic world say. According to Wirtanen, all of the symbols in the game can be linked to a letter of the English alphabet, except for P and E, which appear to have multiple variations. You can see a full breakdown of the symbols in the original story.  

Starting with chapter titles, Wirtanen figured out that the first chapter was officially called: "Home: Slums Part One." Once you’ve seen Wirtanen’s translation, you start to see how the symbols in Stray aren’t that different from the English alphabet. In fact, after a second glance, the Slums title card now clearly features the word "Home" in large text. 

Wirtanen’s translation can be applied to shop signs, the Stray sheet music you give to Morusque, rogue newspapers, and more. Now we have a rough idea of what each section of text is saying, it’s become apparent that developer BlueTwelve Studio probably didn’t expect anyone to go to the effort of translating the text as some areas do contain gibberish or repeated phrases that don’t make much sense.

Regardless of this, it’s clear that BlueTwelve Studio went above and beyond to bring Stray’s world to life. This is just one of the discoveries made in the cat game after it was released just a week ago. Eagle-eyed fans also recently spotted Stray hiding a couple of Skyrim references in its dialogue.

The modding scene for the game has also taken off recently, with many fans attempting to swap the little tabby protagonist out for their own feline friends. You can see more of the best Stray mods with our guide. 

Interested in finding out what other in-game languages actually say? Kirby and the Forgotten Land has its own language so our features writer Heather set out to learn it. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.