Steins;Gate 0 is a visual novel, but one more subtle than people may be accustomed to playing. Instead of very obvious answers and dialogue choices, it’s more about the way Rintarou Okabe interacts with the world around him. While there can be opportunities to respond to the people he knows through Rine, Steins;Gate 0’s version of the Line messaging application, those don’t influence the ending or add to your accumulated Tips. What everything really comes down to is Amadeus.
Amadeus, the AI being developed by Alexis Leskinen and Maho Hiyajo, is players’ means of interacting with Kurisu Makise in this beta timeline resulting from Steins;Gate’s bad ending. Well, it’s a variation of Kurisu, anyway. Okabe ends up joining the project as a tester, offering to interact with Amadeus Kurisu to help her learn and grow as an AI. This means, from time to time, you’ll have the option to speak to her using an app on his phone. It’s these interactions that shape the course of the story, rather than any decisions you might make.
There are six endings in Steins;Gate 0, and the main diverging point begins in Closed Epigraph. I recommend making a save at the very beginning of this segment, which begins with Okabe undergoing hypnotherapy. This is due to the paths becoming apparent after a phone call you’ll have with Amadeus while at a shrine on December 15. After this interaction, you’ll have the option to turn off Okabe’s phone. The Gehenna’s Stigma and Vega and Altair endings both require you to leave the phone on, while the Promised Rinascimento, Twin Automata, Recursive Mother Goose. The Milky-Way Crossing ending also requires you to leave the phone on, but is the true ending that can only be earned after seeing Promised Rinascimento.
Making this decision, whether to turn the phone off and give Okabe some space or leave it on, leads to two more branching points. Leaving the phone on means Okabe will at one point be at Daru’s “office” on January 23. Taking Amadeus’ call while there leads to the Gehenna’s Stigma end, while ignoring it results in Vega and Altair. While the former is the “bad” ending, I actually recommend going for it first. Steins;Gate 0 is a game with a lot of unanswered questions and, to be frank, seeing the worst first will leave you in a better place for the other endings.
Turning the phone off offers a number of additional routes. If it’s off and you decide to ignore Amadeus from that point on, you’ll head into Steins;Gate 0’s Twin Automata. However, choosing to interact leads to two different conclusions. Recursive Mother Goose comes if you answer Amadeus’ call when Okabe is in the Lab on January 2, then ignore a phone call while visiting the Lab on January 15. Promised Rinascimento only happens when you answer the calls on both January 2 and 15 and is a must-see, since it unlocks Milky-Way Crossing.
Now, the order of seeing endings varies on how much you do or don’t want to know about Steins;Gate 0. I’ve already mentioned that seeing Gehenna’s Stigma is probably the best first ending to see if you want to catch everything. After that, watching Twin Automata, Recursive Mother Goose, Promised Rinascimento, and finally Vega and Altair. Why? Because leaving Vega and Altair for last means you can also catch Milky-Way Crossing at the same time. If you aren’t in it to learn every secret, then it’s best to go through Promised Rinascimento, followed by Vega and Altair.
A player’s influence in Steins;Gate 0 is rather subtle. There are no sights or sounds to let you know if you’re making “right” decisions. It’s more about how often you do or don’t interact with Amadeus. While it might be tempting to shoot for the best ending right away, especially so you can unlock the true ending, each one you earn ends up offering new insights into the story. Take your time, chart your progress, and hope for the best.
Steins;Gate 0 is available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.