The basic flashlight lights your way through dark forests and burns off the cloak of darkness that protects the Taken.
Flashlights have three primary uses in Alan Wake:
- Removing the Dark Presence from the Taken or a possessed object
- Finding clues on trails
- Aiming firearms
- Standard Flashlight: these flashlights have a limited capacity. The amount of battery will slowly recharge over time, however, during combat, it is faster to replace them.
- Heavy Duty Flashlight: (Lithium Ion) - These flashlights are larger and have more capacity and an increased rate of damage which is useful for killing more Taken as well as stronger Taken.
- Standard Lantern: with a wider spread and better boost ability, the lantern has improved capabilities at the expense of lifetime
- Heavy Duty Lantern: the improved version of the lantern
The flashlight is a multi-use tool. Firstly, it can be used to help illuminate dark areas. Flashlights also uncover hidden messages which take the form of writings or arrows that appear only when illuminated. Finally, light is an important component of combat.
The normal flashlight makes a small beam of light and is weak against the Taken's shadows. The Heavy Duty flashlight, once found, creates a much larger beam of light and seems to be stronger in comparison and the Lanterns are even stronger still.
Shining a flashlight as a weapon, light is essential for killing the on Taken as well as possessed objects will gradually destroy their otherwise-invulnerable shield of darkness. By shining light on a Taken long enough, they will be susceptible to bullets and can be killed. A halo will appear where the light interacts with the presence and over a short amount of time, will shrink until the object flashes. For the Taken, this signifies to the player that the presence is removed and that Taken can be shot. The light will lock and focus onto a single Taken, burning away at its shield of darkness. Alan may choose to focus the light more, draining Taken shields even faster. However, this will drain the flashlight's battery rapidly. An audio signal along with a flash of light signals the complete removal of the shield of darkness, whereupon the Taken become vulnerable to physical damage from guns. If the Taken are left unattended for too long, they gradually regain their shield of darkness. For possessed objects, it signifies that the object is no longer a threat.
There will be certain encounters within the game where it is preferable, or even mandatory, to run away and the flashlight's boost can be used to quickly disorient pursuers so a getaway can be achieved. This tactic is also useful in general for Taken, as they will fail to hit you and can be quickly followed up by gunshots.
- Flashlight batteries slowly recharge themselves when they are not being used in combat. Extra batteries may be found as pickups.
- In the original Xbox version and 2012 PC port, batteries for the flashlights are made by Energizer (the brand packaging is shown throughout the game). In Alan Wake Remastered, they are made by Bright Falls Light & Power.
- Using boost (left trigger on XBOX, R2 on PlayStation or the left mouse button on PC), you are able to concentrate light on a specific Taken or possessed item in order to remove their Dark Presence faster so that you can shoot them.
Flashlights can be found in offices, houses and other places throughout the game.