God of War Ragnarok is a greater challenge than the previous installment. Our guide lists some useful tips for beginners on how to start the game and deal with common problems. These tips include how to battle enemies, explore the world, upgrade Kratos' gear, make use of AI companions or wisely spend XP and Hacksilver.
- React to the colored rings symbolizing specific attacks
- Don't try to fully explore a new area right away
- Make use of your companions
- Visit the dwarven shops regularly
- Spend XP and Hacksilver wisely
- Pay attention to enemy levels
- Remember to heal mid-battle
- Discover new regions and Mystic Gateways
- Look for legendary chests
React to the colored rings symbolizing specific attacks
The enemies in God of War Ragnarok have access to powerful, unique moves in addition to basic attacks. The game telegraphs them with rings in one of three possible colors. Remember what they mean as early on as possible:
- Yellow rings telegraph parryable attacks, which will throw Kratos off-balance if you mess up the timing;
- Red rings telegraph unblockable attacks which must be evaded;
- Double blue rings telegraph an opportunity to shield bash the enemy and interrupt their attack or break their guard.
You'll find more information about telegraphed attacks on the page How to react to colored attacks? in the FAQ section.
Don't try to fully explore a new area right away
God of War Ragnarok puts emphasis on exploration, as that's how you'll find hacksilver, crafting materials and new gear. You should know, however, that most areas can't be fully completed right away, that is, you can't immediately find all the treasures and complete all the side activities visible on the map (example pictured above).
Some areas can only be accessed after acquiring certain gadgets or skills. You'll unlock them gradually as you progress through the campaign, including ways to destroy green blockades or hit very distant targets. Try to get as much as you can at the moment, then move on. You can revisit and loot areas later on.
You'll find more tips on exploration on the Exploration page in the Basics chapter. We've also covered the most common obstacles in the game in the FAQ, on the How to destroy green blockades? and How to destroy yellow blockades? pages.
Make use of your companions
Throughout the game you'll be accompanies by various companions, including Brok, Angrboda and Atreus. Each ally is unique and can help you make your way through the game and discover new areas. Companions can help you in two main ways:
- in combat - you can command them to attack enemies (press or hold Square) or ask them to use different types of arrows (if they're able to attack at range);
- with puzzles - you can point out obstacles or places you want to reach to them, which they can help you with.
You'll find the full list of companions on the Playable characters and companions page. You can also check the Companions' skills and equipment page to learn how to increase their combat capabilities.
Visit the dwarven shops regularly
Brok and Sindri's shops, known from the previous God of War game, reappear here - you'll always find one of them in Sindri's Home, your "headquarters". You'll also find shops in the explored areas, with each one having an identical offer. In the shops you can:
- craft, upgrade and modify weapons - it's especially important to level up the Leviathan Axe and the Chaos Blades;
- craft, upgrade and modify armor - each armor piece can change your stats;
- buy consumables - this includes resurrection stones;
- sell unneeded loot - you can sell all artefacts you find, as they don't have any other use.
You'll find more information on shops on the Dwarven shops page in the Basics chapter.
Spend XP and Hacksilver wisely
Throughout the game you'll be gathering hacksilver (the game's primary currency) and experience points (separate for every character). It's important to spend them wisely:
- Prioritise spending hacksilver on the most important equipment upgrades - upgrade your weapons and armor to increase their stats. We've listed more tips on the How to gather Hacksilver? page of our FAQ.
- Prioritise spending XP on new skills and Spartan Rage upgrades. Skills expand your moveset and let you use new attacks. Spartan Rage upgrades make it more useful and help during difficult encounters. We've listed more tips on the How to gather experience? page of our FAQ.
Pay attention to enemy levels
The enemies you'll encounter have visible health bars, next to which you'll see their experience level. Enemies of a higher level than you are particularly challenging. You can increase Kratos' level by equipping him with better weapons and armor.
If you're stuck on an optional battle, you can leave it for later and return once you're stronger. If you're stuck on a mandatory storyline battle, try to change your strategy (some opponents may be particularly resistant to specific attacks) or consider lowering the difficulty.
You'll find descriptions of the game's most challenging encounters in the Bosses chapter of our guide. We also recommend taking a look at the Difficulty levels page, where we describe the available difficulties and difficulty modifiers.
Remember to heal mid-battle
You should know Kratos' health doesn't automatically regenerate (the only exception is if he's on a verge of death - he'll restore a small amount of HP after a while). Heal by finding green Healthstones which appear during battles, but make sure not to get hit while trying to get them.
Another way to heal is through the Valour Spartan Rage. It restores some of your health on activation.
You can also increase Kratos' maximum health. To do so permanently, you need Idunn Apples found in Nornir Chests. You can also increase your Vitality temporarily by equipping certain pieces of gear.
You'll find more tips on how to stay alive on the How to restore health? and How to increase the health and rage bars? page in the FAQ section.
Discover new regions and Mystic Gateways
You'll visit various realms in God of War Ragnarok, most of which start off obscured by fog. Try to reach these areas if the game allows. Discovering a new region displays a message, reveals part of the map and notifies you about the collectibles and activities found in it.
Fast travel via Mystic Gateways makes exploration easier and more convenient. You'll discover more gateways as you explore the new regions, unlocking them as fast travel points. After interacting with a gateway, you can move to a different discovered one from any realm. Not all realms are available right away - you may first need to visit them during the main storyline or unlock them with an Yggdrasil seed.
Look for legendary chests
For some people, looking for collectibles in games is a waste of time. In GoW Ragnarok, collectible items are actually worth something. Nornir Chests contain valuable Idunn Apples and Horns of Blood Mead, which increase maximum health and Spartan Rage. You can check your artefacts in the dwarves' shop. Other items are necessary to pass side quests or obtain trophies.
The most profitable activity when exploring the realms is searching for legendary chests. You'll find some really valuable items in these large, glowing gold chests. From new pieces of armor to runic attacks that will be helpful when facing tough opponents. Legendary chests also contains amulet enchantments and equipment for your companions.
Before leaving the region, check the list of collectibles and side quests on the map to see if you are missing any legendary chests. Sometimes it's worth spending a few extra minutes to find a unique item.