God Of War Ragnarok Tips For Beginners

Start your journey with a little extra know-how.


The war to end all wars is nearly upon Kratos and Atreus in God of War Ragnarok, giving them few options but to set out on a quest to uncover answers about how to put avert it--or at the very least, survive it. It's not going to be an easy task, but we trust that you're up for it. However, before you set off into this newest entry with the duo and their ever-growing cast of companions, make sure you've prepared yourself with our list of tips for the journey ahead. After dozens of hours, here are our God of War Ragnarok tips for players just starting out on their return adventure across the nine realms.

We've deliberately left out any story spoilers from this article, but if you want to know nothing about the game, then you can consider this beginner's guide to contain very light spoilers pertaining to the structure of the game and its massive hub world.

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Explore thoroughly

As you explore each realm, you'll quickly notice that there is an abundance of secrets to find throughout each one--hidden chests, lore scrolls, buried treasure, and a myriad of events tied to side quests that unlock as you move forward in the main story. Many of these are off the beaten path and require you to be extremely thorough as you navigate a biome. If something looks interactive, there's a very good chance that it is, and the rewards you'll gain for being so meticulous can make a huge difference in combat and beyond. If you want to level up your gear and take on the hardest challenges in the game, you can't afford to miss any opportunity possible to earn some extra loot.

You should also accept that not every puzzle can be solved right away, however. Thankfully, your companion characters like Atreus and Mimir are good about voicing that to you.

Make use of Atreus' arrows during combat

Combat can get pretty hectic in God of War Ragnarok, so you'll need all the help you can get. By pressing the Square button, you can have Atreus fire arrows at your enemies for you, dealing some damage and building up an enemy's stun bar more rapidly. Arrows recharge pretty quickly, too, so consistently combo them with your own barrage of melee attacks and then follow up with devastating stun grabs to finish off your foes. Additionally, Atreus' ranged attacks come in handy against small creatures and flying enemies, both of which can be a little more difficult for Kratos to land melee hits on.

Check the lost items chest frequently

It doesn't matter how good you are about picking up the stuff enemies drop after battles, you're almost guaranteed to overlook something valuable here and there. Early in the game, Brok will introduce you to a chest beside his forge where he keeps all of the items you've left behind on your travels. Any time you approach a forge throughout the game, the chest will be closed and glow blue when there's something to snag from it--usually crafting materials you didn't see after a combat encounter. Be sure to check it regularly to be sure you're not missing anything that could be useful to you on your journey.

Always check the chest next to Brock and Sindri for any loot you may have missed.
Always check the chest next to Brock and Sindri for any loot you may have missed.

Don't fret over skills too much

As you find weapon upgrades during exploration, you can use them at the forge to gain a new weapon level and unlock some new skills for each armament. Since you'll be leveling your weapons multiple times using Frozen Flame and Chaos Flame, there are plenty of skills for Kratos and Atreus to unlock throughout the game's lengthy campaign, and you can feel free to buy them in any order, really. As long as you're completing at least some of the side quests and exploring thoroughly, you'll have a constant influx of XP that will ensure that you can purchase most of the skills available at any one point in the story. Because of this, you're (usually) only ever an hour or so away from buying whichever skill you've got your eyes on--so spend your XP freely and don't worry too much.

Don't skimp on upgrades

The armor, relics, and weapon hilts that you pick will largely depend on your preferred playstyle, and you have the option to upgrade them using materials gained while exploring, completing quests, and defeating enemies. The further you progress in the game, the higher enemies' levels will become, so if you forget to keep up your gear levels, you may find yourself against foes who can kill you very quickly--even in a single hit sometimes. Check with Brock and Sindri at regular intervals to upgrade anything you've settled on. But don't be afraid to switch things up as needed, either, because you're quite likely to be overflowing with hacksilver and lower-tier materials throughout most of the game.

Nornir chests are always worth the hassle

You'll find Nornir Chests in most realms, which require you to engage with or destroy three nearby runes to open. These runes usually take a bit of ingenuity to find and may require you to position yourself somewhere specific, burn away branches, or engage with other mechanics that become available to you later in your journey. It's always worth the hassle to find them and unlock the chest, though, as doing so will provide you with the items needed to permanently upgrade your health and rage. Without routinely opening these chests, you'll be underpowered to take on the game's later challenges.

Upgrade your health and rage by opening Nornir Chests.
Upgrade your health and rage by opening Nornir Chests.

Compete in Muspelheim challenges

After obtaining two Muspelheim seed halves and combining them together, you'll be able to travel to Muspelheim. Like in the first game, this realm features a selection of combat challenges that reward you with loot when completed. If you want to max out your armor levels and earn some new ways to customize your build, this will be a necessary part of your adventure. And due to the fact that you'll need to complete and re-complete challenge rooms in specific orders to unlock the final six challenges, you're likely to spend quite a few hours here figuring it all out.

Sell your artifacts

As you move through each of the game's biomes, you're going to find artifacts, often in the form of books and poems, that can be sold to Brock and Sindri for a nice chunk of change. Most of them prompt some funny conversations with Mimir, and a few of them are even related to quests. Don't worry, though, selling them won't impact your progress with a collection, and that extra Hacksilver you'll pocket can aid you with upgrades and more.

Listen for ravens

Just like in the first game, Odin has sent ravens throughout the nine realms to keep an eye on you. These green spectral birds fly around or perch on objects in each realm, and they generally (though not always) take some pretty good awareness to spot. However, you can also identify when one is nearby due to the unique screeching they emit. When you hear one, start looking up and around to see if you can find and destroy it with your axe. As you destroy more and more of these, make sure you visit Niflheim and head over to the crow tree to unlock chests that contain some really great gear. If ever you can't find a particular crow, your map will list which region they're in so long as you've first crossed paths with them--even if you maybe missed them yourself.

Destroy Odin's ravens to unlock chests in Niflheim.
Destroy Odin's ravens to unlock chests in Niflheim.

Train in Niflheim

Speaking of Niflheim, you'll gain access to this realm relatively early in your adventure, and it can be a useful place to hang out if you're the type who likes to train and work on your moves. In addition to housing the aforementioned crow tree, it also sports a training arena where you can practice combos and learn the best ways of using any skills you've recently unlocked. With multiple types of enemies to fight against endlessly, you can master any goals you set your mind to here--but just remember that you won't gain XP for any of it.

Keep an eye out for loot in the water

There are a lot of sections in the game that see Kratos and Atreus take to the water in a canoe. During these segments, keep an eye out for barrels and shimmering golden areas, as these both will contain Hacksilver or crafting materials. Crashing into a barrel will net you the items immediately, while you'll need to press a button to pick up loot from the shimmering locations. Additionally, you may periodically notice dew drops hanging from tree limbs in the water, and interacting with these will earn you permanent stat boosts, so never pass them up.

Look over the accessibility features

There is a bevy of accessibility features that allow you to customize your experience to meet your unique needs, including options for low vision, hearing, motor, motion options, and much more. Even if you don't require some of the more in-depth features, you can use the menu to customize things like auto-pickup and whether you have to tap or hold a button during certain actions--so don't pass up an opportunity to improve your experience however you see fit.

As an aside, immersive mode returns and allows for a no-HUD presentation style. Given how Ragnarok is such a gorgeous game, this is a great way to play. You can always temporarily reactivate most HUD features by swiping the touchpad on your controller.

For more on Sony's year-end blockbuster, read our God of War Ragnarok review. You can also find all our God of War guides in one place.

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