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God of War guide: Between Realms and the Gauntlet of Realms walkthrough and combat tips

Survive the gauntlet of realms

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

God of War’s “Explore the Realm Between Realms” Journey is mostly about fighting in the Gauntlet of Realms. You’ll be facing four waves of enemies drawn from every realm and area you’ve visited — it’s a who’s who of enemies you’ve fought before, in even tougher forms. In this guide, we’ll offer general tips for fighting and strategies for each of the three waves of enemies. But first you have to get there.

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Explore the Realm Between Realms

Use any Mystic Gateway to travel to the Realm Between Realms — it’s the only option available to you. When you get there, find the precipice that juts off to the right. And then you just have to do a thing that you’ve been told to never ever do and jump.

Jotunheim Tower

There’s nothing to collect around here, so just walk up and open the doors to the Tower. Inside, you’ll find Spartan Rage and health stones, but you should ignore them until you need them.

Head over to the pedestal and drop the Unity Stone in. This will start the process of returning the Jotunheim Tower to Midgard, but it will also start the Gauntlet of Realms.

Gauntlet of Realms combat tips

There are strategies for each wave, but there are also a few things that remain true across all of them:

  • Block. You don’t always need to block in God of War, but you’re surrounded by powerful enemies here. Blocking when you're not attacking will save your life.
  • Use Atreus. He’s always there to chip away at health and increase your enemies’ stun gauge. And don’t forget to use his Runic Summons every chance you get.
  • Focus on smaller enemies first. It’s not that they’re more dangerous individually. It’s that their combined strength can chip away at your health. Some of them even have special powers, like forcing you to fight in the dark. Kill them, and you won’t have to worry about that.
  • Switch between weapons to use Runic attacks. Your Runic attacks (R1 + L1 or R1 + L2) cause immense damage, but they’re all on a timer. While you’re waiting for your Chaos Blades’ Runic attacks to charge, switch to the Leviathan Axe, whose special powers may already be charged.

Round 1: Poison Broods

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

This is the easiest round in the gauntlet, but there’s still plenty that can kill you.

You can equip enchantments that mitigate poison damage, but that’s time-consuming and kind of a pain. If you don't want to do that, the most important thing to do is keep your shield up and keep moving. You can block a surprising amount of poison, so unless you’re attacking or running, hold L1.

Because you’ll fight hordes of enemies, your Chaos Blades are your best bet. Their sweeping motion allows you to hit several enemies at once.

Other than that, just keep an eye out for poison green clouds. They hurt.

Round 2: Dark Elves

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Not only are you facing Dark Elves (our personal arch nemesis in God of War), but there are a few Gloom Nightmares floating around too. These have a ranged attack that can blind you just like the elves’ projectiles. Listen for their screech, find them and kill them early. Use the Blades of Chaos to snatch them out of the air, then toss them at one of the elves for some extra damage.

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

To deal with the Dark Elves, switch to your Leviathan Axe (like we didn’t in the image above) and have Atreus equip his Light Arrows. Always watch out for their projectiles and be ready to roll out of the way of the Dark Elf Lord’s charge attack.

Round 3: Hel-walkers

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

You’re strong enough now that the Leviathan Axe will still deal damage to the Hel-walkers, but it’ll make for a long fight. Switch back to the Blades of Chaos to deal the most damage.

Round 4: Daudi Munr and an Ogre

Because why not fight both at the same time? Like usual, start with the Ogre and weaken it until you can climb on. Ride it around and use it to smash as many of the Draugr that show up as you can and to start picking away at Daudi Munr’s health.

After that, deal with Daudi Munr like any other troll (hint: there’s a lot of dodging involved).

Collect your loot and leave

When the fighting’s done, you’ll get a lot of hacksilver, a Legendary Symbol of Fortitude (buffs to Strength and Cooldown) and Wrath of Artemus, a light Runic attack that “protects Kratos by pushing away all nearby enemies.”

Open the door and walk through to complete “Between the Realms” and begin “Jotunheim in Reach.”