Testing Ground 9 is the first truly complicated puzzle chamber — unlocking this dungeon can be tricky. Located in the far south of the Atomic Heart map, you’ll need to destroy a sprout infestation before you can even enter the underground testing grounds. The southern village is swarming with mutants, and to burn away the plant growth, you’ll have to dive into the sewers and activate four boilers. That leads into an expansive and unusual Testing Ground that isn’t really split into different puzzle rooms — we’ll explain what you need to do for each section, and how to prepare yourself for a difficult boss encounter.
More Atomic Heart guides:
How To Disable All Robots In A Region | All Vavilov Complex Blueprint Locations | Testing Ground 1 Puzzle Solutions | How To Use Cartridge Modules | How To Increase Inventory | Testing Ground 1 Guide | Testing Ground 2 Guide | Testing Ground 6 Guide | Testing Ground 8 Guide | Testing Ground 10 Guide | Testing Ground 11 Guide | Testing Ground 12 Guide
Testing Ground 9 | Completion Guide
Located in the southern edge of the map, near the giant complex. Travel to the village on the southern edge of the map. Travel down to the HAWK drone. It is disabled and on the ground. We need to fix that.
- How To Enter Testing Ground 9: Near the HAWK drone in the Testing Ground 9 region, there is a Safe Room. Just outside the Safe Room, look for an open manhole. Drop down and navigate into a boiler room through the sewers.
- Inside the room, unlock the door with a puzzle mechanism and collect a yellow candle. You need to stick the candles into the pipe and activate all four boilers in the room.
- Activate all four and the vines will burn. Now you can leave, access the camera tower and hack a camera to the north. Activate the statue in the square.
Return to the statue to find a secret shack that leads to the testing ground. The area is swarming with large mutants, too.
- Recommended Ability: Polymer Jet – Useful for solving the first puzzle and for dealing with a particularly tough enemy later in the dungeon.
To get through the first door and begin, you’ll need to activate a Shok Node. This node activates a door which quickly closes. To get through the door, create a Polymer Jet trail into the room and onto the node. Then, stand near the door and use Shok. This will transfer the shok to the node, activating the door. This is the basic principle we’ll need to know for the rest of the puzzle rooms.
- NOTE: For this puzzle, the node is already covered in nearby polymer. Zap it and wait. The door will open and close until the effect goes away. You should have enough time to run through the door.
Past the node door, you’ll enter a huge chamber. Take the candle (yellow orb) near the pool, and plug it into the socket to the left. This leads to a room with two candle sockets and a path to your first reward chest.
- BRONZE REWARD: KS-23 – Collamitor
Down below, past the reward room, enter the underwater viewing chamber. Hit the red button to unlock a door to one of the underwater pods. There’s a candle inside! Go back to the main room and swim to get the candle underwater.
Next, return to the room with two candle sockets. Plug the candle into the socket on the door (there’s a third socket, right next to the door) so it stays open. Grab the first candle, then crawl under the shutter and plug both candles into the red sockets.
This leads to another room with a view of the main chamber. Hit the red button to unlock the shutter on the opposite side. Take the two candles with you, using the same trick we used earlier. Unlock the next shutter with both candles and move on.
BOSS: Plyusch – In the next room, you’ll encounter a deadly Plyusch boss. The room is swarming with sprouts and mutants, so be prepared with a Kalash. I recommend circling the room, clearing out as many spawners as you can, then use Mass Telekinesis and Shok to thin the herd. The Fat Boy rocket launcher is extremely useful here. To deal maximum damage to the Plyusch, use Polymer Jet and fire a rocket from the Fat Boy — this can deal over 50% damage to its health.
- SILVER REWARD: Dominator – Impulse Divider Blueprint
In the next room, you’ll find magnetic platforms and a steep path to the exit. To reach the top, we need to start by getting both candles.
- Candle Locations:
- The first candle is on the ground in the center of the room.
- The second candle is on a high ledge. To reach the ledge, use Shok on the magnetic ceiling to lower the metal platform. Lower it, then raise it up to get the candle.
To reach the exit, you need to throw the candles into the sockets near the magnetic generators. Once activated, the platforms will slide out, allowing you to reach the top.
You can retrieve the candles from afar using telekinesis, and you can throw them by holding down the telekinesis button then releasing. Make sure to aim a little high as your throw doesn’t have much range.
After activating the first platform, pull the candle from the floor (throw it down from the high ledge you found it) and throw it into the next socket. Climb up one platform, retrieve the candle from the previous socket and throw it into the next. Repeat to reach the third platform and finally the socket next to the exit door.
- GOLD REWARD: Kalash – Electromagnetic Polarizer Blueprint
- Pashtet – Ergonomic Handle Blueprint
Grab the reward before leaving through the elevator.