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Why it’s worth checking out the Crater, God of War Ragnarök’s biggest area

Is the massive Crater area worth your time? Let’s talk about it

Kratos looks at an Odin’s Raven and a frozen lightning bolt in God of War Ragnarok Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

The Crater is easily the largest area in all of God of War Ragnarök. It’s located in the northwest corner of Vanaheim, and you won’t be able to see it on the map — let alone get there — until you’ve really made a dent in the game’s main story. It’s got three zones (the Plains, the Jungle, and the Sinkholes), and each are packed with side content for you to adventure through as you approach the titular Ragnarök.

In this guide, we’re going to break down how and when you can reach the crater, what you can do there, and why we think it’s worth your precious time.

How do I get to the Vanaheim Crater in God of War Ragnarök?

Before we get into the meat here, a heads up this post covers some mild spoilers — though we’ve kept the text pointedly vague while also providing the information you need.

Roughly two-thirds of the way though Ragnarök, you’ll head back to Vanaheim to help Freyr out of a bind. You’ll eventually make your way back to Freyr’s Camp, where you’ll get a side quest called the “Scent of Survival” from Lunda’s dog.

This side quest is very simple: It literally just asks you to follow the dog through Vanaheim. You’ll have to deal with some day/night cycle shenanigans, but the dog will eventually show you the path to the Crater. Once you arrive, you’ll be able to leave or return anytime you want via the mystic gateway right at the area’s entrance.

When should I do The Crater and where should I start?

A map of The Jungle in The Crater in God of War Ragnarok Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

The Crater is a relatively high-level zone, and you’re going to get your ass kicked a bit if you’re any lower than level six, which is still kinda pushing it. We recommend you be about level seven or even eight before trying some of the harder fights in the area.

As far as the story goes, you can go anytime after you unlock the Crater. However, we highly recommend you do the Crater before you initiate the game’s final mission in Midgard. You can still complete everything after the game is over, but the story beats hit harder when you complete the Crater before the credits roll.

Once you make it the Crater, you should resist the urge to explore the Plains first, as the Crater is in severe need of water to fill the rivers. This isn’t merely environmental altruism. Restoring the river unlocks access to more convenient travel and some collectibles.

To turn on the water, look at the Plains section on your map and look on the left side. You’ll notice a tiny bridge leading into a fog. This is the entrance to the Jungle, which houses the dam. Head there first and unleash the floodgates to spare yourself some headache.

What loot and trophies can I get in the Crater?

Kratos prepares to open a Nornir Chest in God of War Ragnarok Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

There be dragons in the Crater, and you’ll need to take them out if you want one of the game’s best armor sets: the Dragon Scaled Armor. You’ll also get ambushed a number of times in the Crater by a centaur Huntress — once in each zone. Defeating her in her lair, located off the beaten path in the Jungle, for a fourth time will give you key resources to craft even more cool armor.

There are also several Odin’s Ravens and Nornir Chests found throughout the Crater, as well as some artifacts, so if you’re a collector you’ll definitely need to spend some time down here. If you’re curious about nabbing God of War Ragnarök’s platinum trophy for the game, you’ll need to trawl the Crater to access the following:

  • The Curator (Bronze) - Collect all of the Artifacts
  • Full Belly (Silver) - Obtain all of the Apples of Idunn and Horns of Blood Mead
  • Dragon Slayer (Silver) - Craft the Dragon Scaled Armor Set
  • Invasive Species (Silver) - Complete all of the Crater Hunts
  • Purge of Hart (Silver) - Return the Stags of the Four Seasons

A quick note on Purge of Hart, the trophy you get by rescuing the Stags of the Four Seasons. All of these stags are very easy to find, except one, and that’s mostly because the map is tricky. There is one Stag in the Jungle, one in the Sinkholes, and the in The Plains.

However, that’s only according to the map. To get to the second Stag in The Plains, you actually need to adventure into the Wishing Well, which you can only access via The Sinkholes, but exits into The Plains. So if you get down there and find all the Stags except for one in The Plains, use our Wishing Well guide to find the final one.

Is The Crater worth my time?

The Crater is absolutely worth your time. It’s one of the coolest and most fun areas in all of Ragnarök, and it’s absolutely packed with side quests and — as we mentioned above — loot.

But more importantly, it also tells an interesting story that — while disconnected from the main thrust of God of War Ragnarök — fills in some key details for a mysterious character. It’s a really well-designed area and we highly recommend popping your head in to check it out, even if you’re unable to take on some of the boss fights until after you finish the main story.