God Of War Ragnarok: Secret of the Sands [Quest Guide]

A Step-by-Step Process to Complete the first Side Quest in Alfheim, Secret of the Sands

Side quest guide
Complete guide on how to finish Secret of the Sands Favor

Alfheim is one of the nine realms of God of War: Ragnarok. After entering Alfheim, the first Side Quest or Favor you will participate in is called Secret of the Sands.

The Secret of the Sands Favor is unlocked after completing the story mission Groa’s secret. Atreus hears some noise from a hurting monster in the desert, so Kratos goes with him to rescue that monster.  

Secret of the Sands description from main menu
Mission Objectives and Description

Your main objective will be to experience the area of Dark Elves and make your way toward the pained creature.

This Secret of the Sands walkthrough will guide you to complete this Favor with the best combat strategies and also collect all the possible loot as you make your way further into the Favor.

Key Takeaways

  • The quest starts by finding an entrance to a cave in the desert.
  • Start the mission by progressing through the cave, fighting Dark Elves, and solving Hive puzzles.
  • To overcome obstacles, use the Blades of Chaos and throw the axe strategically to break hive bulbs and destroy blockages.
  • Take out Dark Elf summoners first to make the fights easier.
  • Solve the Nornir Bell Challenge by hitting three bells with your axe quickly to unlock a Nornir Chest.
  • Defeat enemies, collect loot from chests, and discover new regions as you progress through the quest.
  • Use Atreus to navigate through the cave and follow the right path.
  • Destroy all the Hive Bulbs and traps to free the trapped creature called The Hafgufa.
  • Collect the legendary treasure and other loot found along the way.

At the end of Groa’s Secret, when Tyr tells Kratos to open the gateway, a Dark Elf comes from nowhere and crashes into a wall, making a way into The Grand Canyon. 

Dark Elf crashing into a wall
Ending of Groa’s Secret

Tyr sees himself out, but Kratos and Atreus move forward. When you go through the broken wall, collect the treasure map lying on the floor.

Move forward from the crashed site towards Sindri’s shop in the middle of a large, deserted area. After conversing with him, this favor is automatically added to your list (check from the main menu).

How To Start Secret Of The Sands Favor?

Moving further into the desert, you will see two unknown creatures joined to a sled. Jump on it with Atreus and continue moving. Going forward, on your right, you will see a loot chest containing some Hacksilver. Don’t forget to open it!

As you move forward, you will start to see more of the desert, and a new region will be discovered. 

New region discovered
The Barrens

After discovering The Barrens, open the map to see where you are headed. 

Mission map
Desert Map leading you to Secret of the Sands

The map shows your locations as a red marker and the Secret of the Sands Favor location as a blue marker. Head towards the Southeast to reach the blue marker. When you are close to it, you will start to see a big cave-like structure in front. 

The Cave
Entrance to the cave of Dark Elves

Move around it a little to look for the entrance. Leave the sled outside and continue the rest of your journey on foot with Atreus.

Also Read: God of War: Ragnarok All Beach Chest Locations.

First Phase

This marks officially the start of your side quest. To make your way downward and deeper into the cave, jump across to the other side using your Blades of Chaos. On the other side, you will discover a new region. 

New region discovered
The Below

At this point, you will start seeing Hive Bulbs that look like:

A Hive Bulb
A Hive Bulb

Break the chain-like glowing piece by throwing Kratos’ axe. Moving forward, you will meet your first Dark Elf, ready for a quick fight.

A simple Dark Elf
A single Dark Elf

One notable tip that I want to share is to never forget to break the scattered crockery pieces on the ground to get some extra Hacksilver.

Now, you might notice no path forward; if you look down, you will see five hive bulbs. The trick to this puzzle is to crush all the hive bulbs in a single throw. To do this, toss your axe at an angle where the blue line starts appearing. 

Breaking hive bulbs
Multiple Hive Bulbs

After crossing the blocked path, you will face a couple of Dark Elves. Defeat them, then grab the loot from the chest to your left. 

A Loot Chest
Loot Chest for Hacksilver

Going inside, you will face four more Dark Elves. You might notice one of them with a different type of Armor. That is the Dark Elf summoner that can summon more Dark Elves to make the fight harder. I recommend killing the summoner first so you don’t get crowded and find your way out easily.

Finding your way forward, you will see some more Hive Bulbs blocking your way. To get them all in 1 shot, you will climb to high ground from a spot between 2 big doors. 

In search for highground
Finding a way up

Up there, you will kick some piece of metal, then take a direct shot at those Hive Bulbs to open the path for you. A bonus suggestion for you; as you look up, you will notice a bell hanging from the roof. Throw your axe on that, and collect the unique resource dropped from it. 

break bell to get bonus loot
A Hanging Bell

Grab some extra loot by throwing your axe again on the faraway small creature which provides you with some Dwarven Steel and Stonewood.

Kill creature for bonus loot
Crawling creature with loot

Also check out: God of War: Ragnarok Tips and Tricks

As you climb down, you will discover a new Rune Read, which indicates that we are on the right path. Open the loot chest in front of you. Make your way back up to the top and follow Atreus to an opening outside the cave. 

The other side of cave
Sliding towards the other side

Cross to the other side of the cave by using this rope. Jump down to your left, collect loot from the chest, and climb back up. You will see 3 more Hive Bulbs that need to be taken care of.

Use your Blades of Chaos to climb and move to the other side to find the perfect angle. Toss your axe by bouncing it off from the purple region on the mountain to destroy all 3 in a single shot. 

A Hive Bulb Puzzle
Breakthrough to solve Nornir Challenge

Next, move down towards a wooden gate where you will kill multiple crawling creatures. 

A fight with the crawling creatures
Kill them for loot

At this point, you are very close to opening the Nornir Chest but not there yet. After opening the wooden gate, go back up and climb to the high ground on the other of the Hive Bulbs. You will see another door; open that from the inside. 

Inside of the door
Opening the door from inside

Nornir Bell Challenge

After opening the two gates, you have to hit 3 Nornir Bells with your axe as quickly as possible to open the Nornir Chest. Start from the highest bell. 

Hitting the Best
Starting the Nornir Bell Challenge

After hitting that, ascend toward the second bell just outside the gate.

Reaching the second bell
The Second Bell

After hitting that, look inside the cave, where you will see the bell to your left, hit that as well.

Hitting the last bell
The Third Bell

After hitting all 3, you will unlock the Nornir Chest, which will contain either an Idunn Apple that increases Kratos’ maximum health or a Horn of Blood Mead, which increases Maximum rage. 

opening the nornir chest
The Nornir Chest

After opening the chest, climb up using your Blades of Chaos towards the other wooden door. Head inside the cave and slide down from a chain where you have another fight with a Dark Elf Lord.

Kratos and Arteus vs The Dark Elf Lord
The Dark Elf Lord

The fight might take a while, but once you finish, you will receive health and rage from defeating the Dark Elf Lord. Follow Atreus toward a blue-lit tunnel and get out of there.

Crossing tunnel with Atreus
The Blue-lit tunnel

You will see a blockage in the front of you. 

The blockage should be destroyed
Find a way to destroy it

Move down towards your right. Behind the blockage, you will see an explosive object; throw your axe on it to destroy the blockage. 

Throw axe to explode the blockage
Hit to remove Obstacle

After that, you will see a similar blockage to your Northeast. Break it by throwing your axe at the explosive object on its side. 

Remove Blockage to open path
Destroying another blockage

To destroy the 3 Hive Bulbs on the right, throw your axe again on the purple-looking region. 

Destroying more hive bulbs
More Hive Bulbs

Open a loot chest before you, then make your way down and forward.

A new Hive Bulb pattern is seen to your right as you follow Atreus toward another opening. To counter this one, stand at an angle where you hit one of the bulbs face-front and behind it is the purple region from where the axe bounces back and hits the remaining bulbs. 

Different hive bulb puzzle
New Hive Bulb Pattern

As you jump to the other side, look to your left, where you see another one of those green blockages. Toss Kratos’ axe on the explosive object to get rid of it.

More blockages
Exploding another Blockage

Open the loot chest in front to get some extra Hacksilver. 

Another loot chest
Chest with Hacksilver inside

Move over to the side where you removed the blockage. Looking up, you will see two purple regions. Throw your axe on the left region. It will hit the middle Hive Bulb and also finish the remaining ones.

Hive bulbs
More Hive Bulbs

Make your way forward by climbing up and collecting loot from the chest. You will see a golden lamp-looking object in front of you that has twilight stone engraved in it.

Rotate the object once, then throw your axe on the stone so it bounces off and hits all the Hive Bulbs to open a path for you. Toss it after you see a blue line just like this.

Destroying more hive bulbs by hitting twilight stone
Throwing your axe on the Twilight Stone

At this point, you will have a minor fight with the Nightmares. 

Kratos and Atreus vs Nightmares
Fighting the Nightmares

After defeating them, you will see white marks on the wall in front. Climb that wall to finally reach the pained creature called The Hafgufa.

Freeing The Hafgufa

The last stage of this side quest
Largest Hafgufa ever seen

We are almost at the end of this mission. The last thing to do is free this trapped jellyfish creature by destroying the remaining Hive Bulbs and other traps. The green blockage to your left can be removed by tossing your axe on the explosive object behind it. 

The last blockage to be destroyed
Exploding the blockage to clear the path

Then, move down to destroy the Hive Bulbs by throwing your axe so that it bends by following the blue line.

Getting rid of the hive matter
More Hive Bulbs to be destroyed

The first step is done. For the second step, remove the Hive Bulbs above by bouncing off Kratos’ axe from the purple region in the wall. 

More hive bulbs
Last throw at the Hive Bulbs

The last thing left is to return to the surface by escaping the cave and ending the Favor. Move out and open the final loot chest.

Climb up to some high ground where you will see a crooked opening in the ceiling; break through the ceiling using your Blades of Chaos.

breaking through the ceiling
Crooked Ceiling

In front of you will see The Barren’s Legendary Treasure.

looting the legendary chest
The Legendary Treasure

You will find your crafting component called the Whispering Slab and the Shoulder Straps of Radiance there. Collect all the Hacksilver around you. Break the last Hive Bulb above you and climb the ledge to hop on the sled.

ride on the sled
Riding the Sled

Keep sliding until Atreus stops you, and you see a red glowing object. 

freeing the hafgufa
Red Glowing Structure

Destroy the structure to free the largest Hafgufa ever seen and complete your Side Quest.

My Experience With Secret of the Sands

The Secret of the Sands is a very straightforward quest in God of War Ragnarok where you aim to rescue the hurt creature trapped in the hive matter under the cave. Kratos and Atreus fight the Dark Elves to make their way through the Hive Bulb cave to reach the hurt creature and free it.

If you have more queries related to the quests, share them with me in the comments section below, as I am always trying to answer them in my guides.

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