In the future, personal computers have developed into "Persocoms", mobile computers that look like human beings. Hideki Motosuwa, a prep school student, desperately wants to buy a Persocom but cannot afford to. One day he finds a Persocom that has been thrown away and decides to keep it. When he turns on the Persocom, all she can say is "Chii" so he decides to name her that. After a while it starts to become apparent that Chii is more than an average Persocom. Having much better performance, it seems that Chii might be a "Chobit", a type of advanced Persocom rumored to have independent thought.
Lain Iwakura appears to be an ordinary girl, with almost no experience with computers. Yet the sudden suicide of a schoolmate, and a number of strange occurrences, conspire to pull Lain into the world of the Wired, where she gradually learns that nothing is what it seems to be... not even Lain herself.
Steins;Gate is set in the summer of 2010, approximately one year after the events that took place in Chaos;Head, in Akihabara. Physical locales of Akihabara like the Radio Kaikan building can be spotted in the game. According to Chiyomaru Shikura, who headed the planning of Steins;Gate, Akihabara was chosen because it is an easy place for acquiring hardware parts, which makes it the ideal place for people interested in inventing and tinkering with things. The notion of time and time traveling are the main themes of the game. The concept of cause and effect is featured prominently in the game as the protagonist travels back in time numerous times to perform different actions in an attempt to alter what has happened in the future.