God of War: Ragnarok is chock full of side content, some of the best of which are the various Favors you’ll take on as side quests. In Alfheim’s The Strond, Atreus will mention hearing a beast in pain somewhere out in the wastes. Being the good and decent animal lover he is, he asks Kratos to investigate, and the old curmudgeon agrees (well, if you want to investigate, that is).
This walkthrough guide will cover the Favor from beginning to end, from how to start it to what you’ll need to do to free Hafgufa.
How to Complete the Secret of the Sands Favor
To start the Secret of the Sands Favor, complete the Temple of Light, then speak to Sindri in The Canyons on the way to The Barrens. He’ll say dwarves don’t bother with Elf matters before wishing you luck.
Track the quest, and go left of the camp, where you’ll meet two badass doggos drawing a sled. Ride the sled through the remainder of The Canyons, and go right (east) when you enter The Barrens. Continue east toward the Favor marker to find a cave, its entrance lit with a torch. This takes you to The Below. Go down, and jump over to enter the area proper.
Follow the path right, and use the Blades of Chaos to swing over the gap. Drop down and fight the enemy, then use the Twilight Stone to bounce the Leviathan Axe through the three nodes of the Dark Elf barrier.
Continue forward, taking on the next enemies, then go right through the short tunnel that puts you into a cave. Go left, and fight the enemies, then climb the wall between the archways. Stay right to destroy the three nodes of the Dark Elf barrier and get a red chest and piece of Lore.
Climb back up to where you threw the Axe from to open the Lore chamber, and follow the path up another much taller ledge to reemerge outside. Take the zipline at the arch across the chasm.
Follow the path right, using the grapple points to reach the far ledge, going past the three red nodes of the Dark Elf barrier to the left. On the far ledge, drop down to the right, then turn toward the nodes and use the Twilight Stone to destroy them.
Continue further right (away from the red nodes) to find a Nornir Chest. One Rune Bell is to the left of the chest; raise the nearby gate to reveal another. The third is through the gap left by the three destroyed nodes; use the grapple points to get through the gap, then climb up and right.
There, jump right to a platform. Drop down by going right again, and look up to see the bell on the grate in the “window.” Open the gate to the right to make way to ring all three.
Once you’ve gotten the Nornir Chest, go back to Rune Bell on the grate in the window. Use the nearby chain to drop into the cavern below. Go through the very tight tunnel on the north side of the cave, then destroy the gold barrier on the other side.
Drop down, and forge ahead. There will be three Dark Elf barriers in this area. Defeat the Wretches, and destroy the first barrier on the right, using the Twilight Stone on the left side of the barrier.
Go through that barrier, jump the gap, then immediately turn left to see a gold barrier across from you. Destroy that. Now go to the side where the gold barrier was, and use another bit of Twilight Stone on the left to destroy the second red Dark Elf barrier in this area.
Jump the gap, climb the wall, and turn right. Grab the red chest, then turn the hanging Twilight Stone right once, so that it faces right, toward where the first red barrier was.
Now drop down, and go through the newly opened pathway. Defeat the enemies, and use the grapple point to reach a cave where you’ll climb up. At the top, you’ll meet Hafgufa, the animal you’ve been after
How to Free Hafgufa
You’ll need to break the two Dark Elf barriers binding Hafgufa. One is to the left of the beast, while another is underneath him in the middle, closest to the cliff you’re standing on.
Look up to the left one first. Aim your Axe in the extreme top middle of the Twilight Stone, almost off of the stone itself, so that it ricochets through the first node, then off another piece of Twilight Stone to hit the second and third nodes.
Destroy the gold barrier on the left side of the area, then jump the gap. Turn right to face the lower red nodes; beyond the closest node to you, you’ll notice a bit of Twilight Stone. Aim your axe roughly in the middle of the red node closest to you, so that it goes through and deflects off the Twilight Stone, hitting the other two red nodes.
Once you’ve done that, a pathway will open on the right side of the area. Follow the path, and climb up. Then use the Blades of Chaos to bust through the ceiling at the end of the path.
Grab the Legendary Chest on the left side of the room, then destroy the single red node on the right side before climbing up into The Barrens. Make sure to retrack the quest if the marker disappears; it disappeared for me after freeing Hafgufa. Use the sled to go to the marker, and destroy the tether keeping the cage shut.
With the Secret of the Sands Favor complete, you’ll get a silver trophy and open up The Barrens for exploration. There are plenty of collectibles and materials to find in the area, so it’s well worth the effort. For more tips, head over to our God of War: Ragnarok guides page, where you’ll find more walkthroughs.