The PS4 remake is almost upon us, and to celebrate the HD re-release of Shadow of the Colossus, we’re re-exploring the game and revealing how to beat all 16 bosses. Shadow of the Colossus is all about hunting down these giant, majestic constructs — and it’s up to you to figure out how to destroy them. Usually it involves a complex puzzle, and learning how to expose their weakness or climb on them can be really tricky.
The ‘battles’ against the colossi are really more like puzzles. Sometimes you’ll have to trick the colossus into performing a specific action. Sometimes you’ll need to use the environment to sneak around, hide, or ambush a colossus. Some of them are even more complex, with strange functions you’ll have to learn on the fly to expose their weak points. Whatever the case, we’ve provided short, to-the-point tutorials explaining each and every boss.
Press Ctrl+F and type in the number of the boss you’re looking for to quickly jump to the boss guide.
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How to Beat Every Boss Battle | All 16 Bosses Guide
Every colossus follows a similar pattern — you’ll need to find the weak spot on the colossus and attack it. Every colossus has a weak point, and may even have several weak points. The goal is always finding a path to the weak point and attacking to defeat the colossus. Wander, the hero, can climb on furry parts of the Colossus’ body.
NOTE: We’ll update this guide with images from each boss fight after the game releases and we can get our hands on the new, updated version.
You have a sword, a bow, and a horse. Hold the sword up to see a beam of light the will generally point you to the weak point. The bosses get more complex from there, so here we’re going to provide the basic steps you’ll need to follow to defeat all 16 big bad bosses.
The First Colossus
The first colossus looks intimidating, but you’ll learn the basics of defeating bosses from this battle.
- Climb the back of the left leg and stab until the colossus falls down.
- Jump up onto the ledge on the rear and find a flat surface to crouch. Restore your stamina.
- Climb the fur up to the head and stab until the boss is defeated.
During this fight, you’ll learn about stamina. The colossus will constantly try to shake you off. Hold [R1] when you’re climbing to hold on tight at the cost of stamina. When you’re just standing, you can continue to hold [R1] to crouch. You’ll also restore stamina if you can find flat surfaces. Managing your stamina is critical to defeating these boss battles.
The Second Colossus
In this battle, you’ll be able to bring your horse against the four-legged titan. For this battle, you’ll need to move fast and use your bow to topple the beast.
- Move to the front of the boss and wait for it to raise both front legs.
- Shoot a charged bow shot into the weak points at the bottom of the feet.
- Climb the furry back legs up to the rump — there’s a weak point there.
- Rest on the lower-back surface, then climb down to the tail. Use charged stabs to destroy the first weak point.
- Cross the back and climb onto the top of the head, then down to the spot above the face. Stab to defeat the boss.
The beast-like colossus will whip it’s head around when you reach the head, so be prepared to grip or you’ll go flying.
The Third Colossus
The truly titanic colossus looks impossible to scale from the feet. There’s another method Wander will use to reach the weak points on this impressive foe.
- Stand on the large stone platform and wait for the boss to slam his sword down on it. Doing so will break the bracelet that blocks your path.
- Return to the dirt and wait for the sword to hit the ground again. Use it like a ramp to reach the furry surface of his arm.
- Climb the back of the arm, then to the back and to the back of the neck to reach the top of his head. Stab the weak spot at the top of the head.
- Drop down to the platform around the colossus’ waist / hips and circle around to his belly. Climb the fur to reach the belly’s second weak spot and stab it.
When on the colossus’ head, it will thrash around wildly, so you’ll need to hold on and stab between thrashings. It will do the same when you’re on its belly, but there’s an easy platform you can drop to if you’re low on stamina.
The Fourth Colossus
The giant four-legged monster has an incredibly long neck, and this one doesn’t have weak spots on its legs. You’ll have to use trickery to climb on top of this colossus.
- Lead the colossus back to the narrow entrance doors to the area. Wait at the bottom of the stairs for the colossus to follow and stick its head inside.
- Circle around using the halls to sneak behind the colossus while it’s peaking. Climb up the tail and onto the monster’s back.
- Stab the weak spot at the neck and the colossus will lower its head.
- Run down and climb around to the second weak spot above the face. Stab to defeat it.
The colossus fights are getting trickier. You’ll have to use your environment more and more to bring these giants down. The next boss isn’t so land-based, though.
The Fifth Colossus
Leaving your horse behind, Wander reaches a massive lake with stone structures. This colossus can fly, and you’ll have to trick it to climb aboard.
- Pull yourself out of the water and shoot charged arrows to get the colossus’ attention.
- Shoot at the colossus until it swoops toward you.
- When it swoops, jump toward it and hold [R1] to grab the fur on the wings.
- There are three weak spots — one on each wing, and one on the tail.
The wind resistance is extreme, so you’ll have to hold on while the wings are flapping. When the colossus is calm in the sky and gliding, sprint across the flat surface then grab hold to start stabbing. Don’t bother climbing. After destroying a weak spot, the boss will flip mid-air.
The Sixth Colossus
Back to the traditional human-shaped colossus types. He’s angry, so you’ll have to start running early. The only way to grab hold of him is to hide somewhere.
- Lead the colossus to a large wall. Either use the platforms to jump over it, or lead the colossus’ attacks to smash through.
- Past the wall, find the shelter where you can hide. Crouch and hide in the shelter until the colossus peaks in.
- When the colossus bends down to look, grab hold of its furry beard. Climb onto his back to rest.
- The first symbol is on its head. The second is on the lower-left side of his back.
This boss is really aggressive, and won’t sit still for long. Make good use of the platform on its back to relax, and destroy the head weak spot first.
The Seventh Colossus
The next colossus lives underwater, and generates electricity like gigantic eel. That makes things even more difficult — you’ll have to worry about stamina and oxygen for this fight.
- Wait for the colossus to swim toward you. Swim so it’s below you, then hold [R1] as the tail surfaces for a short time, giving you just enough time to grab hold.
- When the boss is swimming on the surface of the water, sprint across it. When it dives, stop and grab hold.
- On the boss, you’ll encounter electricity spines. When it surfaces, sprint to the spine symbol and use a charged stab to destroy it — the spines will discharge electricity when the boss dives.
- Destroy all three weak spots at the spines, then stab the last symbol on the boss’ forehead.
This is the first boss that can kill you while you’re climbing on it. Stay out of the electricity blast radius between dives, and destroy each spine as you move up the eel-like colossus.
The Eighth Colossus
The next colossus is similarly strange. Instead of an underwater snake, you’ll have to deal with a big, weird iguana. It charges electricity too — the back is a no-go for now, and you’ll want to avoid the beams it shoots.
- Get the colossus’ attention with a whistle, then retreat to the second / third floor of the arena. Wait until the colossus begins searching for you — make sure it doesn’t see you.
- Go to the opposite side while it is searching. While still in stealth, shoot a charged arrow into one of the glowing feet. While it reacts, shoot a second foot with a charged arrow.
- Two successful hits will cause the boss to topple. Jump onto the furry belly and stab the weak spot.
- The second weak spot is slightly above the first, on the belly. It will flip over — repeat the process to stab the second weak spot.
This is one of the trickier bosses in the game, and if you’re not careful, this boss can kill Wander with ease. Don’t step into the electricity lines left behind by its projectiles.
The Ninth Colossus
Another colossus, another four-legged monster you can’t easily climb. You’ll start in a cave, but there’s nothing here that will help you win. You’ll have to use the environment yet again.
- Lure the boss out of the dark cave to the valley full of geysers. Lure it under a geyser to knock it off balance.
- While off-balanced, shoot arrows into the visible symbols at the bottom of the boss’ feet. Keep doing it until it topples over completely.
- Run to the furry belly and climb up so, when it gets back up, you’ll be on the boss monster’s back.
- Crouch and slowly approach the symbol on the boss’ head. Destroy the one and only symbol to defeat it.
That’s another tricky boss down. There aren’t any good places to hang on while you’re on the creature’s back, so you’ll have to take it slow.
The Tenth Colossus
This colossus requires your horse. It speeds through the sand dunes, and will slam into Wander if you’re not careful. Here’s how to expose the monster and destroy it.
- Ride your horse and wait for the colossus to chase you. Hold [L1] to watch and keep moving — eventually the colossus’ head will appear, exposing two glowing eyes.
- Shoot an eye with an arrow to make the colossus crash. Rush to the tail end.
- Leap off and climb onto the furry belly. Destroy the first symbol and the boss will roll over and return to the sand.
- Repeat the process and climb up higher than before. Be careful — when you get high enough, it will trash madly. Stab the second symbol to win the fight.
Like some of the other bosses, this one is lethal. It can kill you in two hits if you don’t get out of its way.
The Eleventh Colossus
The tiniest colossus is also one of the toughest. This pint-sized beast can chomp you up and spit you out if you don’t look out.
- You can’t hurt the boss at first. Climb up to one of the torches and wait for the boss to slam against the platform, causing a stick to fall.
- Collect the stick, then attack a torch to light it on fire. Drop back down — the boss is terrified of fire.
- Slowly approach the boss to lead it to the ledge of the arena. It will back away from you. If you get too close, it will attack.
- When it falls, it’s back will crack and expose a weak spot. Drop off the ledge and grab the fur, then destroy the symbol with two charged stabs.
Another tricky one that isn’t immediately clear. Some bosses have hidden weak points you’ll have to expose, and this one likes to fight.
The Twelfth Colossus
Another water-based titan. This one is huge and hangs out in the water, with no clear path to reach it. It also likes to shoot projectiles, making it more dangerous than your usual four-legged friend.
- Swim in the water and climb up the colossus’ furry tail to reach its back.
- Climb up to the top of the colossus and attack the three crystals to direct it — left, right, and forward — toward one of the stone structures.
- Direct the colossus to a structure, then jump on top. Hide behind the raised part until the colossus climbs up and onto it — finally exposing its belly.
- Jump onto the chest fur and climb to the belly. It will take two cycles to destroy the symbol.
Not every titan is made for war. Some of them are designed to ferry people around — and the mechanics of each titan fight are getting more complicated.
The Thirteenth Colossus
Remember the bird titan? Be prepared for a true dragon titan. This giant creature leads to an exhilarating battle in the sky, and it’s one of the most impressively cool bosses in the game.
- On horseback, shoot the bulbous sacks on the colossus with your bow. There are three sacks you’ll need to burst.
- The colossus will tilt and lower into the sand. Race after the titan and jump onto the grooves on the scales while mid-chase.
- Climb toward the center and jump onto the back, then move toward the three weak spots — back, center, and front.
- After an amount of time passes, the boss will dive into the sand, knocking you off. Repeat the process to climb aboard a second (or third time) to destroy all three weak spots under the flaps.
This sky colossus is majestic, and it’s an awesome little action-packed fight. The next one is tricky for different reasons.
The Fourteenth Colossus
Looks familiar, right? The fourteenth colossus looks like a repeat, but he has new behaviors, and deadlier attacks. To defeat him, you’ll need to climb up somewhere he can’t reach.
- Find the tall, tall pillar in the environment. Platform up to the top of the pillar (climb the fallen pillar at the start of the fight) to stay high above the colossus’ reach.
- Hold [R1] as the boss attacks your pillar. Whistle or shoot arrows to make him continue his attack. Eventually the tall pillar will topple.
- Continue to use fallen pillars as ramps, making the colossus mad, until you reach the southern structure. The pillar will smash through the wall.
- Climb up to the platform in the center and wait, whistling or shooting arrows until the boss makes the platform topple, breaking through its tough armor and exposing a weak point.
- Return to a pillar and trick the boss into ramming it. While stunned, jump onto its back and attack the weak spot. Repeat until it is defeated.
This is the most you’ll ever have to strategically use pillars in a battle. There are only two more bosses left now, but you won’t be seeing anymore repeats.
The Fifteenth Colossus
This enormous colossus is equipped for a fight, and there’s no way to climb the lower body. You’ll have to find a way to reach the upper half instead.
- Find the tiles near the lower ledges of the coliseum and trick the colossus into stomping its feet. When it stomps on the tiles, they will teeter into ramps you can use to reach the ledges.
- Next, trick the colossus to attack with its stone cleaver. When the colossus attacks, blocks will fall from the beams — creating another path you can use to climb up.
- Rush up and up until you reach stairs and a bridge high above the coliseum floor. Attract the colossus until its close enough for you to drop down onto its head.
- Destroy the first symbol on the head, then climb down the right shoulder to find a symbol on the elbow. Destroy it so the colossus will drop the cleaver.
- The final symbol is on the palm of the right hand. Drop down and get the boss to palm-slam the ground. Grab the fur and crawl to the last weak spot.
The last colossus awaits. It’s the biggest of the bunch, and it is heavily armed.
The Sixteenth Colossus
The giant colossus is built for war, and fires a massive beam you can’t dodge. You’ll have to sprint from cover to cover, waiting for a safe time to run between laser blasts. Follow the straightforward path through the blasted battlefield to get close enough to actually scale the thing.
- The colossus is huge, so you’ll have to climb and shimmy up a single path. Go to the furry back and destroy the first symbol.
- When the first symbol is destroyed, it will lower a hand. Jump and cling to the fur of the hand and wait. When it stretches out, sprint to the wrist and find a second symbol on the arm after it lowers.
- Destroy the second small symbol and the boss will cover the spot with its other hands. Jump onto this hand and ride it. When the coast is clear, stab the hand so it raises it up. You can rest here.
- Shoot the weak spot on the shoulder with your bow so the hand covers it. You’ll be able to jump onto the shoulder fur. From here, you can access the neck and head.
- The only symbol you need to destroy is on the head. Wait for your opening between thrashing and attack.
The last colossus is confusing, so use your sword to guide you if you’re lost and rest on flat surfaces. You’ll also want to avoid the shining bracelets that generate electricity when you touch them.
That isn’t the end of Shadow of the Colossus, but that covers all 16 boss battles in the game. Enjoy the conclusion, and spend some time thinking.