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Midgard is a dangerous place — even for Kratos. To help you survive the giant set-pieces and monstrous creatures in God of War, we’re putting together text and video boss guides to show these mind-blowing opponents off. Kratos might be more “grounded” in this soft reboot of the series, but he’s still a rage-o-holic that tears his enemies apart, or splits them in half with his new axe. The bosses are a little more complex, and you won’t have health items to help you survive. If you’re struggling, and need a few tips from a few God of War experts, you’ve come to the right place.
The bosses, generally, are a little less bombastic than the previous games in the franchise. You won’t find too many QTEs or unbelievably huge opponents that barely fit on the screen — well, not right away, at least. Usually, you’ll have to fight bosses in a pretty straightforward way. It’s you versus a tough bad guy, and you’ll have to overcome the odds to win. That means learning patterns, blocking / dodging at the right time, and knowing when you can parry to punish one of the many monstrosities you’ll face. Whether you’re looking for help, or you’re just curious to see these bosses in action, check out the boss guides below.
More God of War (2018) guides on Gameranx:
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- God of War (2018): ‘More Than A Myth’ Shrines, Scrolls & Marker Locations | Lore Guide
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- God of War (2018): Legendary Chests Locations | Runes Guide
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- God of War (2018): Language Cipher Chests Locations | ‘Trilingual’ Guide
- God of War (2018): All 12 Treasure Maps & Digging Spots | Locations Guide
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How To Beat Every Boss | Strategy Guide
[Work-in-Progress: Check back soon for new boss strategies and tips!]
You’ll know it when you encounter a massive boss battle in God of War — a health bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Kratos will encounter many different types of bosses, and we’re going to cover them all, even the optional fights.
Main Quest Bosses
The First Troll – Daudi Kaupmadr
You’ll encounter the first troll boss early in your adventures. While hunting a deer, the troll will suddenly attack. Kratos will need to work with his son Atreus to successfully bring down this hulking brute.
- Tip: Distract the troll with arrows. Press [Square] when your camera is facing the troll, and Aetrus will automatically target him. You don’t have to target him manually.
The troll attacks with a massive stone block. He’ll naturally swing is forward — watch out for its extended range. Roll left / right and back away if you’re taking too much damage. Use Atreus’ help as much as you can to distract the troll — when he shoots the troll with arrows, it will wander away from Kratos.
While it’s back is exposed, you can dish out some pretty good damage, then retreat when it decides to start attacking again. You can throw your axe to do a little damage at range, but you’ll need to get in close to really hurt this sucker.
The mysterious, god-like human appears at Kratos’ house, asking a few too many questions for the old Spartan. When they throw down, the fight seriously escalates into a titanic early encounter.
The Stranger’s first phase is pretty simple — he’ll leap away when he takes too much damage, then counter-attack with a blast of magic power or a leap forward. Whenever he begins to glow, dodge left or right to avoid his charged attacks. Try juggling him with a heavy attack and cutting him down while he’s floating in the air.
Once you do enough damage, the Strange will tackle Kratos and knock him on the roof of his house. Press [L1] to counter when he tries to attack, and press [R1] to just keep punching. Unfortunately, this fight isn’t over yet — he’ll recharge.
In the second phase, Kratos will have infinite Spartan Rage — you move faster, and your attacks are more powerful. You’ll exclusively use your fists to beat down the stranger. You’re totally invincible here, so try out a few different combinations before the fun is over.
After doing enough damage, your rage meter will start to drain. You’ll have to finish off the Stranger the old fashioned way. The boss gains some new moves — he’ll zip left and right, then strike forward. He’ll also glow and attempt to punch Kratos with a three-hit combo. Dodge his lunge attack, and strike when he’s about to use his third punch to interrupt him.
In the third phase, you’ll both refill your health bars and enter a final confrontation. He’s faster, more aggressive, and generally tougher — but you’re supposed to win this early fight. Just put everything you’ve learned into the battle, and you’ll be able to begin your journey proper.
The Second Troll – Brenna Daudi
The second troll encounter is very similar to the first. You’ll still want to distract him with arrows to let Kratos do his thing, but you’ll have to watch out for some new attacks.
He’ll spew lava from his hands (or his weak spots, if Atreus shoots them, partially stunning him) while Draugr continue to spawn. The lava attacks will burn you and the Draugr, so try to stay behind the boss — if he starts spewing lava, roll to flank him immediately. Backing away won’t give you enough distance.
The Stone Ancient
The Ancients are special mini-bosses you’ll encounter in many different variations on your journey through Midgard. The first you’ll fight is in Alfheim — or, you’ll fight a similar monster called a Soul-Eater in the favor quest.
Ancients will begin to appear all over Midgard after facing one in Alfheim, and they drop valuable Ancient Hearts, so they’re worth fighting. They all fight in a similar way — they have a glowing weak spot in their chest. When it opens, they’ll fire a blast or beam, usually it’s hot enough to set Kratos on fire. Dodge the initial beam, then throw your axe into the fissure to damage the Ancient. No need to get close, you can’t harm them in close-combat.
- Tip: Ancient will drop small explosives Kratos can pick up and throw back into the weak spots for bonus damage.
Keep dodging and throwing your axe into the weak spot until it is stunned. When it falls to a knee, you can attack the opening or use a powerful brutal attack to knock off a chunk of its health. Just watch out when they summon enemies to help them, and every ancient fight will go (basically) like that.
The Dark Elf King – Svartaljofurr
The first real boss is found at the end of the Alfheim quest. While leaving the Temple of Light through the Ringed Temple Trench, the Dark Elf King will ambush Kratos. It’s time to throwdown — the Dark Elf King is a beefier version of the common Dark Elves you’ve been fighting in Alfheim. Instead of shooting once with his staff, he’ll shoot a spread of explosive pellets that pop like grenades after a few seconds.
He’s fast, and he likes to retreat, then launch attacks from afar. Most of he standard swings can be blocked, but you can only parry when he flies and attacks three times mid-air — on his last swing, you can parry. When he charges his staff and sprints toward you, dodge-roll away from the shield-breaking strike.
Sometimes, while retreating, he’ll leave behind explosive pellets to distract you and keep you from attacking. Keep shooting with Atreus to distract him, and don’t bother throwing your axe — most of the time, the King will block and knock the axe away before you can inflict any damage.
When he summons a cloud of darkness, just keep moving and wait it out. You can’t target him while you’re in the darkness, and he’ll try to blast you with explosives instead of showing himself. His explosives cause the blindness effect — watch the eye-shaped meter on your HUD to see when it will fade away.
The Dragon – Hraezlyr
The massive dragon ambushes Kratos and son as they make their way to the summit of the mountain. There’s a whole lot going on before the real fight begins — but you’ll know what’s up when the health bar appears at the bottom of the screen.
The Dragon sprays lightning across the arena and summons blasts from the sky. Keep moving and dodge when you see sparks appear on the ground. To actually damage the dragon, collect explosive charges from the trees along the outer rim of the arena — throw them at the dragon’s head, then make them explode with Atreus’ arrows.
A successful hit will cause the dragon to crash into the arena with a hole in its skull. Attack the weak point to hurt it. In the second phase, the dragon will attack personally with claws and bites — when it stomps and sends a shockwave, all you can do is block it. Rush in and attack the claws, and dodge when it tries to bite.
More explosive crystals will appear in the arena. When the dragon looks exhausted, toss another onto its head and detonate to stun it, opening another hole in its massive head. Rinse and repeat — keep throwing explosives and attacking until the massive crystal appears. Again, stun the dragon with a smaller red crystal — this time, Atreus will drop the crane, allowing Kratos to use it on the dragon, embedding a massive crystal into the creature’s head.
You know what to do. One more shot, and this dragon is toast.
Magni and Mordi
Magni and Mordi fight together – but they won’t gang up on you right at the start. Early in the battle, they’ll take turns attacking. Magni uses a heavy sword, while Mordi prefers a stronger defense with his shield / hammer combo.
Watch out for Mordi’s charged lightning attack. He’ll bow to the ground and summon electricity from the sky, blasting and area around him. He’ll also throw a small explosive ball of energy that explodes on contact, like a grenade.
- Tip: Distract one of the brothers and they’ll focus on Atreus. Let one of the brothers focus on Atreus too long, and they’ll incapacitate them. Quickly revive him to continue the fight.
When they take too much damage, they’ll summon a storm. Watch for the red danger compass marker and turn to face them. They’ll try to attack from the fog. Block until the fog recedes. In the second phase, they’ll try to fake you out. When they stop, quickly change directions!
During the second phase of the fight, they’ll charge their weapons with electricity. When Magni’s sword sparks with lighting power, dodge left or right to avoid his follow-up ranged blast attack that shoots straight forward.
At each phase, you can only damage the brothers up to a certain point. You won’t do damage, but they will continue to fight. At their lowest health for each interval, you can continue to attack to increase their stun meter. When the stun meter is full, the brother will be knocked out of the fight, so you can focus on just one until the phase is over.
The Bridge Keeper
This advanced version of the common troll can teleport before attacking, making him more unpredictable than your average mini-boss. This guy will summon slow homing energy pellets that you can slash out the sky with your blades. Be prepared to dodge when the keeper teleports far away from Kratos – that means he’s about to summon the dead to attack, or launch some ranged attacks. He’ll fire ground waves of frozen energy, roar to send you flying back, and generally make things difficult for Kratos.
You won’t have Atreus to help you in this fight, either. It gets chaotic – when there are zombies, energy balls, and an angry troll all attacking at the same time. When the troll slams his stone pillar on the ground, wait for three blasts. He’ll always pause at the third blast.
As you fight, he’ll get more aggressive – summoning more homing pellets, summoning more undead, and teleporting faster, using his more powerful spells. Stay on the move, and save your rage when you’re low on health to recover. Use your horizontal (light) attacks to wipe out the pellets when they’re close, and you’ll eventually take this monster down.
Grendel of the Ashes & Grendel of the Frost
This is a quick gimmick boss that appears at the end of Tyr’s Vault. There are two trolls you’ll have to take on simultaneously, and they both heal – one will only heal as much as his twin’s max health. The more you damage both of them, the less each will be able to heal.
Basically, don’t fight just one of the trolls – attack them both to slowly whittle them down. They fight just like any other trolls, except you can only hurt them with the right weapons. The Frost troll is immune to ice magic, while the Ashes troll is immune to fire magic. Swap between your axe and the blades of chaos to damage these lumbering mutants.
Neither of the trolls has much health, so just keep attacking, swapping, and smashing to bring an end to this quick boss battle.
Baldur – Final Battle
This time, you’ll have your son to help you – but Freya will try to stop the fight, capturing both Kratos and Baldur in vines. Break free while fighting. The fight won’t last long. After you trade blows, and Baldur heals, you’ll reach a cutscene. Remember that arrow Atreus got from Sindri? The mistletoe breaks the spell on Baldur. Now you can actually kill him.
After moving to a new location, Baldur will attack while the enormous corpse of Thamur attacks thanks to Freya’s magic. She wants to protect her son. Watch out for the giant’s fists. When he touches the ground, he’ll summon vines. When his fist hits the ground, it sends an explosive shockwave of ice.
Baldur is even faster than before. After knocking off one of his health bars, he’ll swap to his ice form. Only the Blades of Chaos can harm him when he glows blow. Dodge when he sprints toward you and parry when you’re close to him and he attempts to ground-slam. Most of his standard attacks can be blocked up until he’s at half-health.
At the half-way mark, press [Square] to shoot the glowing crystal on the underside of the hammer. Baldur will gain fire abilities, making him only vulnerable to the Leviathan Axe. The giant won’t attack as often – instead, it summons swarms of enemies to fight alongside Baldur.
Baldur has some new skills now too. He’ll jump into the sky and slam the ground, causing unblockable explosions all around him. His groundslam that shoots a shockwave forward is also unblockable now. Keep fighting until Thamur’s pick slams into the ground. Climb up and follow Baldur to the top when he chases after his mother Freya, looking for revenge.
On the monster, you’ll need to attack, dodge, counter and shoot when the prompt appears for Atreus. After doing enough damage, hit Spartan Range to enter the final arena. Here, Baldur will swap between fire and ice forms – switch to the right weapons to damage him. The wrong weapon won’t do any damage. He’s faster and stronger than before. Keep pelting him with arrows (and magic) from Atreus while dodging Baldur’s unblockable attacks.
Thanks to a save from the World Serpent, you’re able to escape Freya’s final, freezing attack. And that’s it – the final boss is defeated. The game isn’t over yet. You still need to travel to Jotunheim and complete your final task. It’s been a long journey.