HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
Just like there's more than one way to solve some puzzles in The Witness, there's more than one way to use this guide.
We begin with a series of hints designed to gently nudge you toward solutions. If you're looking for a complete walkthrough with solutions, those appear next, at a safe distance for those who wish to avoid spoilers. Because they often require you to solve the area's puzzles first, we end with a guide to finding collectibles. Whatever your choice, you can jump directly to each section using the table of contents below.
Walk to the northeast corner of the island, outside of the Keep's eastern wall and you'll find a series of treehouses — and, of course, puzzles. You can't get in from there, though. You'll need to charter a boat to the northeast dock, just south of the Shipwreck.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Treehouses' paths branch in several obvious directions. But what about the non-obvious ones?
Look around. Things are not always as they seem, and some things are hidden in plain sight. You've just got to
Speaking of things hidden in plain sight, pay careful attention to each puzzle.
If you find yourself at an impasse or a dead end, retrace your steps, being mindful of your surroundings.
Be sure to check out our beginner's guide for more general tips for the discerning island survivalist.
Walkthrough and solutions
As so often happens in The Witness, the first puzzles in the area teach you the puzzle rules and logic — the language of the game. Treehouses' puzzles most defining characteristics are the star-like symbols on the maze board. No matter how complex it gets, the central idea is cordon those stars into pairs. Whatever path you carve from the beginning the the end of the maze must divide them into pairs of two.
This is the first — and far from the last — bridge puzzle in the area.
There's a fork in the road here, with three branching paths. The left path will take you to purple and orange bridges and the laser. The middle path will take you up a winding staircase to a timed switch. The right path will take you to orange and green bridges and the shortcut to the Keep. To clear the area — and there is a lot to clear — we'll take the left path, then the right path. We'll get to the switch another way.
Left path to the purple bridge and an orange triangle puzzle
Purple bridge 1
Purple bridge 2
Left orange bridge - straight path
The ninth puzzle in this series has multiple solutions, and the way you solve it determines the direction of the bridge tiles that follow it. Solve the puzzle and end your path on the north side, and the bridge will go straight. Solve for west and, it'll turn left. Solve for right, and it'll turn right.
In the first gallery below, we're going straight, so we're solving for north to find a hidden puzzle. After we're done, we'll return to the ninth puzzle for a different solution in the image that follows. You can see what's on your left left in the environmental puzzles section.
Turn the bridge right before you leave.
Orange triangle puzzle
Right path to the orange and green bridges and the Keep shortcut
There are multiple ways to solve multiple tiles in this series of puzzles — and occasionally multiple valid solutions. In the first section, we'll construct a bridge that takes us to a shortcut to the Keep. In the following section, we'll arrange the tiles in a way that allows you to solve the laser puzzle.
Keep shortcut path
The fourth puzzle in this series has multiple solutions. Solve it so your path terminates at the north end of the board. That will tell the tiles that follow to extend in that direction.
The 10th puzzle in the series also has multiple solutions. Solve it so that you path terminates at the left end of the board. That will turn the remaining pieces toward the large tree.
Keep shortcut puzzle
Solve a puzzle, and you'll open the drawbridge that leads to solid land, right outside the Keep's eastern wall.
Laser puzzle path
Solve the fourth puzzle in the series so that your path termites to the left. That'll convince the next several tiles to move in that direction. You may also need to solve the 10th puzzle in the series so that it terminates at its left side, too. The idea is to take a hard left at the fourth tile and for the bridge to continue until it turns left into the middle platform with the timed switch that controls the door on the shack underneath the laser.
If you haven't already, go back and solve the left orange bridge so that it points right, in the direction of this bridge.
This series of puzzles contains a combination of Tetris-like tetrominos and stars. The path you draw around each tetromino on the board must be in the the shape of the tetromino it encompasses. You'll also have to play the star elimination game, separating them into pairs.
The fourth puzzle in this series has multiple solutions, and the way you solve it determines the direction the bridge continues to go. Solve and end on the north side, and the bridge will go straight. Solve for west and, it'll turn left. Solve for right, and it'll turn right.
In the this section, we're going straight, to find an orange triangle puzzle. There's no reason to go right, but there is good reason to go left. You can find out why in the environmental puzzles section below.
Orange triangle puzzle
Taking the green bridge straight ahead brings you to a small treehouse with an orange triangle puzzle.
Make your way to the tree in the middle and activate the the switch to open the drawbridge. Take the path you made with the two orange bridges to the shack and through the open door. Activate the switch there to power up the laser.
In The Witness, the island and its structures can be puzzles, too. They aren't as explicit or obvious as the puzzle boards strewn about (which is a nice way of saying that they're easy to miss). You have to look for them, given that environmental puzzles often appear in unlikely places. The good news: If you know what to look for, they're fairly easy to find. They telegraph their presence with the same ball-and-path design as the game's ubiquitous puzzle boards.
Walk to the second purple bridge and look down over the side toward the burned tree with the orange leaves. You'll find the telltale circular end of the first environmental puzzle as a shadow cast on the ground.
Continue along the path across the second purple bridge and into the orange bridge. Solve the eighth puzzle so the path you draw exits on its left side. That will turn the bridge left, pointing at the burned tree. Walk across the bridge and onto the burned tree. On the side of the tree closest to the ocean, look down to find another shadow-based environmental puzzle.
To find the third puzzle, take the Keep shortcut and when you reach land, turn left. Follow the path down to the sand beneath the treehouses. Press play below to see how to get there.
Solving those three environmental puzzles will complete the side of the obelisk between the Keep wall and the Treehouses shortcut.
COLLECTIBLES AND EXTRAS
This won't get you anything, but if you stand by the orange triangle puzzle on the left path and look toward the burned tree, you'll notice that it's not just a random collection of branches at all.