clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cult Stash locations and puzzle solutions in Alan Wake 2

Find all the Cult Stashes to upgrade your inventory and collect new weapons

A Cult Stash box sits in the woods in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing 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.

Every Cult Stash you open in Alan Wake 2 will grant you helpful rewards. Like Lunch Boxes and Nursery Rhymes, finding Cult Stashes is an optional pursuit while you’re in control of Saga around Bright Falls and the surrounding areas as she investigates the Cult of the Tree.

In this Alan Wake 2 guide, we’ll show you where you can find Cult Stash locations, how to solve every Cult Stash you find, and what rewards you’ll get from every Cult Stash you open.


Cult Stash locations in Cauldron Lake

There are a total of five Cult Stash locations in the Cauldron Lake area, but you’ll only be able to get four of them during your first adventure in the area. These Cult Stashes come with a variety of supplies, but one of them in the Cauldron Lake area comes with an inventory expansion, which is definitely something you’ll want to have sooner rather than later.

If you miss any of these stashes on your first trip, you will be able to grab them later on in the game.

Cauldron Lake Cult Stash #1 (“Confused? Follow the Steps”)

A map of Cauldron Lake showing the location of a Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The first cult stash is just south of the Murder Site and general store (where you get the shotgun) on the map. In front of the long, rectangular trailer, you’ll find a heavy box with a lock on it.

A Cult Stash sitting in the woods of Cauldron Lake in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

On top of the box, you’ll find a taped piece of paper, which reads: “Confused? Follow the steps! Wash hands, take chicken out of fridge, take a nap.”

The note is directing you toward the trailer. If you go inside the trailer and look at the bathroom sink, the fridge, and then the bed in the bedroom, you’ll see three symbols in order:

  1. Two triangles with their points touching at an angle
  2. Two triangles with their points touching that are vertical
  3. Horizontal elevator “open door” buttons

(These symbols don’t have names, so if our descriptions are tough to follow, run through the house in the order we listed above to check for yourself.)

Head to the lock on the chest and input the three symbols we’ve listed above. Once in the right order, the chest will pop open and you’ll be rewarded with some handgun ammo and a trauma pad.


Cauldron Lake Cult Stash #2

A map of Cauldron Lake showing the location of a Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

You won’t be able to access this Cult Stash until after you’ve defeated Nightingale — the game’s first boss — and woken up on the shore with a mysterious companion.

Once you’re headed back toward the Witch’s Sign and the Overlap, hang to your right and you’ll find a ton of gnarly tree limbs scattered along a shore area. It doesn’t really look like you can adventure any further, but if you walk up to the biggest tree blocking your way, Saga will climb under it.

A Cult Stash sitting in the woods of Cauldron Lake in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once on the other side of the big tree, make your way through the narrow path until you reach another Cult Stash. This lock is the simplest to open by far. Activate it and some lights will flash in an order. Hit the buttons in the same order that the lock just showed you — like Simon Says — and it’ll pop open.

This is a pretty great stash to find, as it includes some shotgun ammo, a propane tank, a hand flare, and most importantly, an inventory expansion.


Cauldron Lake Cult Stash #3 (“Rock Rock Tree”)

A map of Cauldron Lake showing the location of a Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you’ve removed the flooding from Cauldron Lake and you’re able to get down by the river, you’ll find another Cult Stash just south of the Private Cabin, in a little ravine that leads out to the lake itself.

The Cult Stash is on a shelf next to the cabin, and simply says “Rock, Rock, Tree. Are you bright enough?

A Cult Stash sitting in the woods of Cauldron Lake in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

This one is a little tricky, as you’ll need to do some minor math and hunt around for the code. If you’re just looking for the code, here you go: 658.

The gist is that there are two numbers written on a rock down by the river (to the south) that say 7 and -2. Then there’s a tree to the left of the box with a 6 and a +2 on it. And then there’s another rock to the right of the box with 3 and +3. If you do the math on this, that means you’re dealing with 5, 6, and 8.

The cache doesn’t specify which rock is first, so we just had to try both to figure out the order.

You’ll get a propane tank and a first aid kit for your trouble.


Cauldron Lake Cult Stash #4

A map of Cauldron Lake showing the location of a Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Just west of the Witch Sign, next to the tent icon in the Crow’s Foot Hills on the map, you’ll find another stash. Depending on how you approach it, you’ll likely see the golden arrows before you see the box itself.

A Cult Stash sitting in the woods of Cauldron Lake in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The box just has a picture of a lightbulb on it. If you look at the trees from the west (looking east, toward where your car and the parking lot is) with your flashlight, you’ll see a bunch of arrows leading you to the right (or south, on the map). Follow these arrows and you’ll eventually find some keys on a mound of dirt.

Pick up the Streamside Stash Key and bring it back to the stash to unlock it and earn a hand flare, some shotgun ammo, and a trauma pad.


Cauldron Lake Cult Stash #5

A map showing the location of a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you have the bolt cutters and can leave Bright Falls, head back to Cauldron lake and snip the lock to the Rental Cabins to the east. In the southernmost cabin, you’ll find a safe room with a save area. In the bathroom, you’ll also find Cauldron Lake’s final Cult Stash. This one requires yet another key — one that you can get in the Rental Cabins.

A map showing the location of a hidden key in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

To get to the key, you’ll need to take the winding path through the cabins on the right side of the map. Head into the back of the first cabin to the east and then under the tree. Snake your way back through the cabins until you’ve reached the other side.

Head to the northern part of the complex, near the gazebo and the drop point that takes you back to the path — do not jump down or you’ll need to go through the cabins all over again.

Saga shines her flashlight on a hidden key in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Shine your flashlight on the nearby trees over by the truck. You’ll see a #2 appear on one of them in glow paint. Look behind that specific tree to find the Lake Cabins Stash Key.

With the key in hand, return to the stash on the other side of the compound and open it up for some rifle ammo, a flashbang, and a rocket flare.


Cult Stash locations in Watery

There are a total of eight Cult Stash locations in Watery, which you’ll be able to head to as Saga once you complete the first Alan gameplay section. These Cult Stashes come with a variety of supplies — as usual — but one of them in Watery is how you’ll unlock the Crossbow, which is a powerful long-range weapon for Saga.

If you miss any of these stashes on your first trip to Watery, you will be able to grab them later on in the game.

Watery Cult Stash #1

A map of Watery showing the location of a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

North of downtown Watery, just after you meet the Taken Throwers for the first time, you’ll find yourself on a winding trail up into the woods. Keep going until you’re able to turn right and head back the way you came along a small ridge — if you make it to the rest shack with the generator, you’ve gone too far, and if you find a nursery rhyme, you didn’t go far enough.

A cult stash case sitting on the ground in Watery in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

After passing by some foliage you’ll find yourself on a ridge overlooking the area you just walked through. On the lip of the ridge is a Cult Stash. This has the same Simon Says-style lock as the second Cauldron Lake Cult Stash. Copy the inputs and it’ll pop open, netting you a propane tank and some shotgun ammo.


Watery Cult Stash #2

A map of Watery showing the location of a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

North of downtown Watery you’ll find a safe room shack with a generator outside. Once you turn it on and save your game, walk outside the safe room and you’ll see another Cult Stash sitting under and awning by the shooting range. If you read the note you’ll see that this Cult Stash is where you can get a Crossbow — if only you could figure out the code...

A cult stash case sitting on the ground in Watery in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The code here is 527, and the way you figure it out is actually pretty cute.

If you look at the crossbow training area to the right of the stash, you’ll see a bunch of targets with numbers on them. The five has one bolt sticking out of it (indicating it’s the first number), the two has two bolts, and the seven has three bolts.

Input the code and steal the Crossbow for yourself. You can grab all of the bolts out of the aforementioned numbers to get some extra ammo.


Watery Cult Stash #3 (“Only striped cups”)

A map of Watery showing the location of a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you make it inside Coffee World, you’ll find another Cult Stash at the foot of the Slow Roaster, the creaky death-trap of a Ferris Wheel.

A cult stash case sitting on the ground in Watery in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The code here is 147, and the clue says “only striped cups.”

If you look up at the Slow Roaster you’ll see that all the Ferris Wheel carriages are numbered and some are striped. You just need to pick the three striped ones and put in their corresponding numbers. You’ll get some shotgun and handgun ammo for your trouble.


Watery Cult Stash #4 (“What hides behind the smile?”)

A map of Watery showing the location of a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

In Coffee World, in the section of the map sandwiched between the “Coffee World” area (the one south of the Slow Roaster, not the big red sign on the map) and Kalevala Knights Workshop, you’ll find the Huotari Well. And behind the Huotari Well, against the back wall of the area, is another Cult Stash.

A key sitting on the ground in Watery in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The clue shows a picture of Drippy — the giant coffee pot mascot for Coffee World — and says “what hides behind the smile.” This sounds cryptic, but it’s actually quite literal. Head back toward the Coffee World area and the main entrance to the park (remember, you entered from the back) and you’ll see the giant, painted Drippy made out of concrete, sitting on a wall. Walk up behind the mascot and weasel your way though a little gate to what looks almost like a tiny garden. You’ll find a key sitting on the ground.

Grab the Coffee World Stash Key and take it back to the Cult Stash to get some handgun, shotgun, and crossbow ammo.


Watery Cult Stash #5

A map of Watery in Alan Wake 2 showing the location of the Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

West of the Watery Lighthouse and its nearby safe room, you’ll find a ledge you can grab up on. Climb up to find a Cult Stash sitting against a rock. Here, you’ll need to shine your flashlight around looking for cult symbols in a particular order. But there are way more symbols here than codes to place into the lock, so you’ll need to narrow it down.

Saga attempts to open a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The code to the box is:

  1. Two triangles facing down on top of each other
  2. Two triangles facing up on top of each other
  3. Two triangles next to each other facing down

You can find this pattern for yourself by looking around for the roman numerals above each symbol. These symbols are marked with an I, II, and III respectively.

You’ll get a propane tank, an arrow, and some pistol ammo for your trouble.


Watery Cult Stash #6

A map of Watery in Alan Wake 2 showing the location of the Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you’ve conquered the Overlap in Watery and made the flooding subside, head back to Saga’s trailer (marked “‘My’ Trailer” on the map) and go to the trailer one just south of it. Head toward the front door, which faces the dock, and you’ll see the Cult Stash hanging out under an awning near the front door.

Saga find a key for a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

There is no hint on this stash at all, and while you could go into the house and read some emails to figure out where to find the key, we’ll just tell you where it is.

Facing the stash, walk right and you’ll see a ramp that leads up to a pole. Walk up the ramp and look to your left. Grab the Trailer Park Stash Key off of the electrical box and use it to open the stash.

You’ll get an arrow, a propane tank, and a trauma pad for your trouble.


Watery Cult Stash #7 (“Battery 1600 Amps math problem”)

A map of Watery in Alan Wake 2 showing the location of the Cult Stash Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once the flooding has gone down in Watery, head back into downtown and go down the dock facing to the east, on the farthest edge of town. You’ll find the Cult Stash box sitting next to some other boxes and it’ll have a bit of a math problem for you to solve. Let’s take a look:

There are 3 batteries (B1, B2, B3) which have a combined charge of 1600 Amps. B2 has 128 Amps more than B3. B1 has two times as much charge as B3. How many Amps does B2 have?

Saga attempts to open a Cult Stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The correct answer and code is 496.

Show our work? Sure! Subtract 128 from 1600, which gives you 1472. Divide that number by four (three different batteries, but we know one of them is double the other, so it counts for two), to get the value of our lowest battery, B3: 368. Multiple B3 by two and you’ll get B1: 736. And add that 128 back to B3 and you get the code and answer to B2: 496. Check your work by adding 368, 736, and 496 back together and you get 1600 Amps exactly. Math!

You’ll get an arrow, a trauma pad, and shotgun shells for flexing your math skills.


Watery Cult Stash #8 (“Spare Parts”)

A map showing the location of a Cult Stash in Watery in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you have the bolt cutters from the Bright Falls nursing home, return to the Watery area and the Kalevala Knights Workshop. Snip the lock off the gate and head to the back. You’ll find a Cult Stash sitting against the back of the workshop. It wants you to figure out how many spare parts there are for various Coffee World attractions in this back area.

A Cult Stash sits open in the watery area of Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Kill the twisty, creepy Taken enemies that pop up and wander around the area counting various spare parts. Or just put in the code: 542. This will pop the lock open and net you a flashbang, a flare, and some ammo for your rifle and shotgun.


Cult Stash locations in Bright Falls

You’ll come to Bright Falls for the first time well before the game truly opens up to you, but you’ll eventually be back after your adventure through Watery and learn more about what’s really going on in Alan Wake 2. It’s then that the Cult of the Tree will attack the lodge in an attempt to nab Alan, which opens the western woods of Bright Falls and allows you to pick up a whopping nine Cult Stashes strewn about both town and the nearby woods.

Most notably, you’ll get another inventory upgrade by collecting all the Cult Stashes in Bright Falls. And, assuming you collect your final Cult Stash in this area, you’ll also earn the Lighthouse Key.

Bright Falls Cult Stash #1

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The first Cult Stash in Bright Falls is just outside of the Elderwood Palace Lodge. Once you are back in town — either by running through the woods right after you regain control of Saga or later in the game — head up to the moving truck sitting in front of the lodge. Facing the western side of the map, you’ll find a Cult Stash resting against the truck.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

This is another Simon Says puzzle. Interact with the lock and hit the buttons in order to get a trauma pad as well as some handgun and shotgun ammo.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #2 (“How many vehicles” math problem)

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The second Cult Stash is in Bunker Woods, south of the safe house and near the initially flooded area. Head down the path toward the flooded bridge and you’ll see a broken pickup truck. You’ll find the Cult Stash in the bed of the pickup. To get the stash open, you’ll need to do more math.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

This math equation is quite a bit harder than the last one, but thankfully uses small enough numbers that you can guess your way to it with enough time (which is what we did). The code is 177, but here’s the equation in case you want to try and figure it out for yourself:

“There are 200 total vehicles in a factory, consisting of bicycles and cars. Each car has four wheels, and each bicycle has 2 wheels. There are a total of 754 wheels in the factory: how many cars are in the factory?”

Once you open up the cash you’ll get some shotgun ammo, a flare, and a propane tank.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #3

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

North of the safe house is yet another Cult Stash. Go through the little valley and up onto the bluff overlooking the shack. You’ll find a lunchbox and a Nursery Rhyme up here, but you’ll also find a Cult Stash sitting next to some rocks.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

This has the Simon Says mini-game lock on it, so just follow the numbers and pop the lock open to get at the rifle ammo, first aid kit, and the flare inside.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #4

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you finish with the nursing home and have the bolt cutters, head through the western gate and into the area of Bunker Woods you haven’t been to yet. In the first area out of the home, head south — but don’t leave the zone via the path. You’ll come across a Cult Stash sitting against some boulders.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

To open this stash you’ll need the Bunker Woods Stash Key. To find the key, you’ll need to follow a series of very confusing arrows painted on trees with glow paint. To make matters worse, this area is swarming with Taken, and they seem to respawn much faster than most other areas.

A map showing a cult stash key location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

You can find the key just to the west of the Cult Stash — extra frustrating, considering the goose chase the arrows send you on. It’s resting near the roots of a small tree.

Once you have the key, return to the stash and pop it open for some shotgun ammo and a rocket flare.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #5

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Further into the western woods from Cult Stash #4, you’ll find a safe house. And east of that safe house you’ll find another Cult Stash being guarded by some beefy Taken. Kill the Taken and then check out the box. You’ll need to follow some arrows to find the order of Cult of the Tree symbols you need to input into the locks.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Follow the arrows in order and remember the symbols next to them. Once you have them, put them in the lock from top to bottom. Here are the symbols in order:

  1. Two triangles, vertices facing away from each other
  2. Two adjacent triangles, vertices facing down
  3. Two triangles, vertices facing toward each other

Once you open the lock you’ll be able to grab a rocket flare, some rifle ammo, and a flashbang.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #6

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The sixth Bright Falls Cult Stash is just northwest of the ranger station, on a ridge sitting next to a tree. This chest requires a key — the Ranger Station Stash Key, to be precise. Now, if you’ve already been to the Ranger Station to solve the Nursery Rhyme there, chances are you already have the key. If not, head in that direction.

A map showing a cult stash key location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The key location will appear on your map once you get close to the station. You’ll be able to find it on the outside of the Ranger Station next to the chimney.

Saga finds a key next to a ranger station in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Head outside and grab the key next to the Ranger Station. Take it with you back to the stash and pop the stash open for some survival supplies and a rocket flare.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #7

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you have the bolt cutters and are back in Bright Falls, head down Harbor Street and look to your right. You’ll find a locked door leading to the dock. Cut the lock with the bolt cutters and head into the little shack immediately to your right. You’ll find a Cult Stash in here with a pole on it and numbers listed along the sides.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

To solve this puzzle you’ll need to leave the shack and look for these poles resting in the water. To save you some time, the code is 697. Put in the code and open the lock. This Cult Stash will net you the sweetest gift of all: an inventory expansion.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #8 (“Work Log”)

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

To the west of the Oh Deer Diner, you’ll find a small area behind a locked gate. Use your bolt cutters to hack off the lock and head inside. The Cult Stash will give you a work log showing a variety of different odd jobs and the dates they were completed on.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The idea here is that there are three symbols hidden in the park, and you need to associate these symbols with a task and then order them by the date completed. That takes a lot of running back and forth or screenshotting, and we’ve already done that work for you. Put the symbols into the lock in this order:

  1. Two adjacent triangles, vertices facing up
  2. Two triangles, vertices facing away from each other
  3. Two triangles stacked on top of each other, vertices facing up

Once you open the lock, pop the top of the Cult Stash for a rocket flare and a flashbang.


Bright Falls Cult Stash #9

A map showing a cult stash location in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you reach the “Scratchchapter and head into the Taken-infested Sheriff’s Station, you’ll eventually be able to head downstairs and into the evidence room. Use your bolt cutters to snap the lock off the door and head inside.

An image showing a cult stash in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

The Cult Stash itself has a little puzzle on the top, asking you to determine how many lines each symbol has. The code is 146. Unlock the Cult Stash to pick up a Flashbang, some pistol and rifle ammo, and a flare. If you’ve been following this guide exactly, this should also be your final Cult Stash, which means you’ll also find the Lighthouse Key in here.


How to unlock the door to the Watery Lighthouse

A map showing the lighthouse in Alan Wake 2 Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing via Polygon

Once you’ve gathered all 22 Cult Stashes from all three explorable locations, you’ll find the Lighthouse Key in the last stash you open.

With the key in hand, head back to the lighthouse in the southern part of the Watery map. Use your new key on the door and you’ll be able to enter the tiny, tiny room on the other side.

Here, you’ll find a ton of different supplies and some interesting Manuscript Pages that will help shed more light on the story. But, most importantly, you’ll receive the final inventory upgrade from the table to the right of the lighthouse door.

Once you’ve cleaned out the lighthouse, you’ve officially completed every Cult Stash. Case closed.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.