God of War is now available on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro. When you first begin the game, you’ll start up The Marked Trees, the very first mission in the campaign. Reading through our God of War walkthrough of The Marked Trees, you’ll be introduced to all of the different collectibles, story, and combat mechanics as well as defeat Dauoi Kaupmoar, the first boss. This spoiler-free walkthrough for The Marked Trees will show you how to complete each objective as well as find the solutions for each riddle found in the area.

Follow the River Downstream

After chopping down the tree, pick it up and walk it down to the boat just a short distance away. Listen closely to what Atreus and Kratos say, and once you reach the boat, hop in and paddle a short way up stream. Climb out and then follow Atreus along the path until you reach the house.

Hunt with Atreus

Once the cutscene ends, it’s time to go hunting with Atreus. Head through the gate a short distance away and follow him until you find a set of tracks. This will kick off the hunt. Head forward until you reach a set of stairs. Down below these stairs you can find a chest with a bag of Hacksilver. Grab it before you continue.

Once you have the Hacksilver, keep following Atreus. For the most part he’ll do the leading in this portion of the game, so just continue following him as you learn the different mechanics of the game. During the following segments you’ll be introduced to jumping (Circle), vaulting (Circle + Left Stick), as well as how to throw your Leviathan Axe (L2 + R2 or R1) and even how to recall it (Triangle).

After continuing and breaking through the wooden barricade at the end of the bright, a short cutscene should trigger. After the cutscene you’ll find yourself face to face with your first bit of combat, where you’ll learn how to fight basic enemies in the game. When it comes to basic attacks you can use a Light Attack (R1), a Heavy Attack (R2) when you have the axe out (you can sheathe and unsheathe the axe at anytime by pressing Right on the D-Pad). You can also block enemy attacks by pressing L1, doing this at the right time will give the enemy a short stun, allowing you to counterattack before they recover. To dodge you can make use of the Left Stick and pressing X. This will cause Kratos to roll out of attacks from enemies.

When the enemies are defeated, continue forward into the ruins. Here you’ll find a Healthstone, which can be broken to recharge your health. Keep an eye out for these throughout the game world, as you’ll need them later on as you lose health and need to replenish. Simply approach them and press Circle to break them open and refill your health. There are three different directions you can go from here.

Move to the right and up the stairs from here to find a chain that you can climb down. Down at the bottom you’ll find a casket that can be looted to find more Hacksilver. This is an important item to keep an eye open for, as it will work as a means of currency throughout the game. Grab any other goodies around the area, then head back to the ruins where you find the Healthstone.

Now, head directly up the path in front of where you originally entered from to find a wooden barricade. Break open the barricade to find the first Nornir Chest you’ll come across. These chests can be unlocked by finding all of the runes that are marked on their sides. For this one, you’ll need to look around the immediate area to find the seals with the runes marked on them. The first rune can be found to the left of the chest. Break it by throwing Kratos’ axe at it. Next look for the second seal to the right and break it as well. Finally, the last seal can be found behind Kratos when he is looking at the Nornir Chest. Look for the seal next to the stairs and break it as well. This should open up the chest, allowing you to pick up the Idunn Apple inside.

With the other two paths explored, head back to the Healthstone and make your way down the final path. This is where the campaign continues, and it will lead Kratos and Atreus to a massive set of temple ruins. Head inside and then turn to your left. Hop over the gap and follow Atreus down the stairs until you reach another group of Draugr. Take them out and then look for the two gates in this area. Once can be opened by pulling on a chain to your left. Interact with it and raise the gate, Atreus will run forward. Don’t let go just yet, though.

Instead, press L2 and then aim your axe at the large mechanism above the gate. Throw your axe at it and wait for it to hit. This will freeze the gate in place, giving you the ability to pass beneath it with ease. Before you do so, though, look at the second gate to the right of you and head inside to loot the casket inside for some Hacksilver. Now you can head through the main gate, following the boy. Once you’re through the first gate, recall your axe and then the second gate will open.

From here you’ll exit the temple, and there are three different paths that you can take. The first path is behind you. Head up the chain and then throw Kratos’ axe at the mechanism above the gate with the debris blocking it. This will cause the oil light to fall, blowing the debris to pieces, giving you access to the room. Grab the goodies out of the room and then head back out and up the steps to the right.

Break through the barricade up here and approach the large wooden structure at the end of the hall. This is a Jotnar Shrine. There are a total of 11 Jotnar Shrines in God of War, and we’ll have more details about them in a separate guide. Interact with the shrine to have Atreus translate it. Once you’re done, backtrack to the chain and head back down to find the second path. Head directly forward to find a casket with some Hacksilver inside.

Now that you’ve explored the other paths, head back to the temple exit and continue forward, following Atreus until he stops. Here you’ll have to aim at the deer that you’re hunting. Wait until the reticle turns red completely and then press Square to take the shot. This should trigger another set of cutscenes.

Defeat Dauoi Kaupmaor

Having completed the hunt, you now find yourself face to face with your first mini-boss fight in God of War. There are a ton of boss fights you’ll need to conquer and survive in God of War, so make sure you’re prepared for each and every one of them.

While this boss may be big, he’s pretty easy to take down if you have an understanding of the combat controls in God of War. The good news is you’ll be able to make use of Atreus in this battle—as well as other battles down the line—and while his bow attacks aren’t the most powerful, they do make for a good distraction, which you’ll want to learn to make use of. You can press L2 at any time and aim at the enemies around you and press Square to trigger Atreus’ attack. Remember to make use of it to distract enemies during intense fights.

The Dauoi Kaupmaor has two basic attacks to keep an eye out for in the opening portions of the fight. First, he’ll slam his massive wooden club into the group, trying to squash Kratos and Atreus. He’ll also swing it like a battering ram, sending you flying backwards if you’re caught in its force. The best way to deal with this boss is to stick close and attack him with a variation of Light and Heavy Attacks. If you find yourself taking too much damage up close, then be sure to back up and throw your axe at the boss. This will cause a fairly good bit of damage while also keeping you out of the line of fire.

Once you reach the halfway mark of the boss’ health bar, a new set of attacks will join the mix as it becomes enraged. From here on out you’ll need to deal with the original attacks, as well as more aggressive slams and swings. You’ll also have to start worrying about a stomp attack, which can knock you back and stun you for a short moment. The key to this portion of the boss fight is to roll around and stay just within range enough to attack. Whittle down the boss’ health and once it reaches a certain point, press R3 to finish the fight and trigger the killing scene.

Return to the House

Now that the fight is over grab any items left around and make sure you pick up the Hacksilver where the Dauoi Kaupmaor died. Now it’s time to push forward and head back towards the house.

Follow Atreus like usual and he’ll eventually stop a short way up the path when he spots a group of enemies ahead. Here you’ll learn about stunning enemies and hand-to-hand combat. You can use arrows to attack enemies from afar and stun them. This allows you to run up to them and press R3 to perform an insta-kill on the stunned enemy. You can also stun enemies by attacking with your bare hands, which can be very useful for dealing with smaller groups of enemies that you want to take out quickly. You can see how likely an enemy is to be stunned by watching the bar below their health bar. Once it fills up, you can press R3 to initiate the stun kill.

After taking out the enemies, grab any goodies, then continue down the path until you spot a large door with a metal lock over it. This is the first Hidden Chamber in God of War. You can’t open it just yet, but it is something that will become available to you later down the line. For now, just know that there are seven of these Hidden Chambers in God of War, and each one contains valuable items for your journey. Turn back from the Hidden Chamber and climb over the wall nearby. There are a few more enemies beyond, so take them out to spawn a final enemy, one that is immune to the Leviathan Axe. Here bare-handed attacks will become important, as you won’t be able to use your axe to attack this enemy.

With the new enemy dead, climb up the wall nearby and break down the gate blocking your way by hitting the mechanism holding it up with your axe. This should allow you to reach your yard. Look around for any additional items and then head to the front door of the cabin to start up a few more cutscenes.

Defeat the Stranger

After the cutscenes play, you’ll be introduced to the first real boss of the game. If you thought the Dauoi Kaupmaor was tough, then The Stranger is definitely going to be a bit tougher. This enemy’s health bar is broken down into five different sections, each section of the bar must be drained in order to move from the first portion of the fight to the final portion. This fight is all about patience and timing, so pay close attention to The Stranger and make use of some quick combos to whittle this boss’ health down. Continue fighting until a cutscene takes over.

With the health bar drained fully, you’ll be witness to some fight scenes which end with you being introduced to Spartan Rage (activated with L3 + R3). Once you activate Spartan Rage, deal as much damage to The Stranger as possible.

Once you regain control, The Stranger’s health will be full again. This time around he’ll have some new attacks as well. On top of the previous attacks, you’ll need to look out for a launching attack, which can be extremely painful for Kratos, as well as some additional movement attacks that can be tough to dictate and defend against. Simply keep dodging, attacking when you can, and always keeping an eye on him until you manage to whittle The Stranger’s health down to zero. Once this happens, another cutscene will trigger.

After the last cutscene, you’ll find yourself facing down against The Stranger once more. His health has again been fully restored, and you can expect this final leg of the battle to be one of the tougher if you aren’t careful. This time around, though, you’ll finally be able to use the Leviathan Axe to take attack The Stranger, so as long as you are blocking and dodging, you shouldn’t have too difficult of a time dealing the final bits of damage to this boss and bringing the fight to an end with another cutscene.

You’ll continue your journey from here in the next mission for the campaign, The Journey – Path to the Mountain. For more help with other items like Jotnar Shrines, Hidden Chambers, and other collectibles, head over to our God of War walkthrough hub.