This unofficial guide for Shadow of the Tomb Raider helps you achieve 100 percent completion and get to know all of its attractions. We have divided this guide into several large sections. On the first page of the guide you will find, among other things, chapter about general gameplay tips and suggested skills that should be unlocked first. The FAQ chapter also deals with such topics as the acquisition of gadgets needed to reach inaccessible places or ways to obtain raw materials for crafting. The guide to trophies, in turn, offers a list of all achievements together with extensive comments on how to unlock them as easily as possible.
A large part of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider guide comprises a detailed walkthrough of the main storyline. It also informs how to reach mission objectives, how to deal with enemies (including wildlife) and how to solve the environmental puzzles you encounter. Our guide also includes a description of side quests available to Lara at certain moments in the game. Separate pages of the walkthrough contain solutions to all the noteworthy riddles that need to be addressed during the game.
Another big section of Shadow of the Tomb Raider guide is dedicated to secrets (challenges and murals). Secrets and collectibles that can be found during the game include relics, documents, murals, monoliths and hidden spots. On separate pages of the chapter we have described crypts and challenge tombs. In these sections Lara has to go through a larger location, solving puzzles and avoiding traps and enemies along the way. After each completed location of this type, the heroine will receive valuable rewards (new skills, new equipment and other gifts).
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the next installment of a very popular series of action adventure games starring the British adventurer and explorer Lara Croft. This time the famous archaeologist sets off to Latin America. During the game we spend most of our time exploring the environment (including the eponymous tombs), although the game features its fair share of exciting action scenes, featuring e.g., the members of the hostile Order of Trinity.
Natalia "N.Tenn" Fras & Jacek "Stranger" Halas (www.gamepressure.com)
- What difficulty level to choose?
- Survivalist's Digest
- Which skills to unlock first?
- How to gain XP quickly?
- How to change Lara's outfit?
- Crypts in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Tombs in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Difficult puzzles in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- More challenging trophies in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- How much time does completing the game take?
- What are the available versions of the game and what does the season pass offer?
- Essential controls
- Will my PC run Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
What difficulty level to choose?
Shadow of the Tomb Raider allows you to adjust the difficulty level of the game in great detail. You can choose one of the pre-defined levels or pick different settings for each element of the game - combat, exploration and puzzles. To complete the game for the first time, it is best to choose the normal difficulty (Rite of Passage) for all settings.
- On normal difficulty in combat, the enemies can still put up a decent fight, but you can use the survival instinct to locate them and heal Lara in combat if need be.
- Exploration on normal difficulty means that you're not led by the hand, but you can still use the survival instinct. It's a very useful feature when locating secrets and crafting materials.
- Normal difficulty puzzles provide some limited hints from Lara. In survival instinct mode, the game highlight interactive elements, but the character will not tell what exactly needs to be done with them and in what order.
Note - the difficulty level of each of the game's main elements (combat, exploration, puzzles) can be changed at any time during the game in the pause menu. The decision you make when starting a new game is therefore anything but final. If, for example, you encounter some trouble with a puzzle, lower the difficulty to get additional hints from Lara.
Here are some of the most important information on how to keep the main heroine alive more effectively. Lara can easily die if you are not careful, but thanks to our tips the risk of death should be significantly reduced. Some of the topics covered here are described in more detail in other chapters of our guide.
Watch out for traps. Traps are mainly found in crypts and tombs, but you can also bump into them on your way to Trinity camps, for example. They are available in two main varieties. The first of the most commonly encountered varieties are traps with spikes that suddenly come out of the walls. In order to disarm any such trap, you must place yourself at the line strung across the passage near the ground (example in the picture) and press the interaction button to activate the mechanism before Lara gets within its range. You can then crawl under the "expended" trap.
The second variant are spike pits and they are more troublesome, as some of them are covered with stone blocks - an example of this type of trap is shown in the picture. Try to look for them carefully, when traversing booby-trapped locations and jump over the holes or, as a last resort, run quickly across the stone floor before it collapses.
It is worthwhile to purchase the Crow's Cunning skill (costs 2 skill points). It allows you to highlight traps in the game world when survival instinct is activated. This will make the game much easier if you often on this mode when exploring.
Try to take out your opponents by surprise. Whenever possible, you should act stealthy. This will make it easier for you to win battles, especially if your opponents are better armored. Before starting a battle, check if Lara can put on a muddy camouflage. It makes it difficult for enemies to see the heroine and allows her to blend in with the surroundings in additional places. As for the very way of elimination, it's best to rely on stealth takedowns (they become available after sneaking near your opponent) and the bow (aim at the head, but remember that enemies in heavy armor will shrug it off like nothing). If you can use survival instinct, rely on it to find enemies and determine whether they are in the field of vision of other enemies ("easy targets" are marked in yellow).
If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself in an open fight (which is unavoidable, for example, in the case of encountering wild animals), rely primarily on frequent dodges. Additionally, it is not advisable to stay too long behind the same cover, because your opponents like to throw Molotov cocktails or other explosive surprises.
Some skills can help you to get rid of your opponents from hiding. For example, Serpent's Strike allows you to kill silently and Serpent's Fury allows you to get rid of two opponents standing close to each other.
Watch out during those difficult jumps. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider Lara can easily die from a miscalculated jump that ends in the abyss or simply way lower than it began. If you are not chased, try to plan every move, especially if a climbing axe is required to "stick" to your destination wall. If you forget to press an additional button, Lara will lose her life.
Another important issue is the ability to slip after catching the edge of a new shelf. Also here you have to be ready to quickly press the action button (the time window is unforgiving if you have set exploration difficulty on high). It's worth mentioning that such "errors" on Lara's side can be eliminated by unlocking Howler's Speed skill.
Which skills to unlock first?
Below we have listed the most important skills, which in our opinion should be unlocked early in the game. You can buy skills for the first time when you reach the camp and sit by the fire. More information about character development can be found in other chapters of our guide.
- Eagle's Sight (1 skill point) - you can use survival instinct to locate some secrets (e.g., relics, maps, backpacks, treasure chests, and monoliths). Useful if you don't want to leave any collectibles lying around.
- Howler's Speed (1 skill point) - you never slip when grabbing a ledge. Additionally, Lara has more time to react when falling into a trap or struggling against an opponent All of this will significantly increase her survivability.
- Serpent's Strike (1 skill point) - silent takedown will nor alarm nearby enemies. It's an essential skill when sneaking, as it helps you remain undetected longer.
- Serpent's Fury (2 skill points) - you can now perform steal takedown on two enemies, assuming they stand nearby one another. Another very useful skill, because Trinity patrols in many locations consist of exactly two men. This skill enables you to take them out instantly, without the need to wait for them to separate or divert their attention.
- Crow's Cunning (2 skill points) - you can spot traps more easily when using survival Instinct. Very useful when exploration the game's numerous crypts and tombs.
- Viper's Nest (2 skill points) - you can acquire two Times more crafting components. This skill enables you to save time when searching for resources.
How to gain XP quickly?
In Shadow of Tomb Raider, XP is required to gain new character levels and acquire skill points.
- Experience points are awarded mainly for making progress in the main storyline. Additionally, you can get them for completing side mission.
- Another very good method is hunting for wild animals. Each hunted prey is worth from a few to several dozen experience points. In the initial locations it is best to hunt birds, because it is better rewarded than e.g. hunting hares. Wild animals from time to time are "reborn" in the same areas, enabling you to gather a lot of XP while remaining in the same location (e.g. in the Peruvian jungle). It is also worth knowing that the game awards much more XP for killing rare species, e.g. eagles.
- Another good way is finding secrets. The amount of XP depends on the type of collectible you've located.
- Skill points can also be gained by exploring crypts and challenge tombs. The award is waiting for you in the final chamber of a crypt or a tomb.
- One more way you can gather XP faster is by using some of Lara's clothing. Always read their descriptions, because they can inform you about the conditions for gaining more experience points (e.g. for silent takedowns of enemies) - an example of this type of costume element is shown on the picture. This particular item is offered by one of the vendors, but you can also gain new pieces of clothing, e.g. by exploring crypts.
How to change Lara's outfit?
You can change Lara's clothes in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider every time you reach a camp. You can go to the Inventory and choose the Outfits tab. There are three categories: Full Body, Upper Body and Lower Body. You cannot combine Full Body with the others.
Some outfits merely change Lara's appearance, but there are also some that provide new skills if you wear them. These might let you collect more resources org et more XP for kills. Try to choose the outfits that complement your favorite playstyle - if you sneak a lot, choose those that grant bonuses for silent kills.
New outfits can be obtained at merchants, tombs or by completing missions.
A full list of outfits can be found in the All Lara's Outfits sections.
Crypts in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider also offers the ability to find Crypts). Each one is a separate location in the game. As you explore the crypts, you have to watch for traps and solve small puzzles. The goal is to reach a sarcophagus; each one contains some valuable items. The locations containing crypts are:
Visiting three different crypts gives you the Resting Places trophy, but you have to explore them all in order to finish the game in 100%. Also note that not all crypts are available right away. You might have to advance far enough in the game or have additional hardware, such as the ascender or shotgun.
Tombs in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider also offers the ability to find Tombs). Each one is a separate location in the game. As you explore the tombs, you will have to climb quite a lot, as well as mind the traps. The goal is to reach a shrine; each one grants Lara a new skill. The locations containing the tombs are:
- Peruvian Jungle - 2 tombs
- Kuwaq Yaku - 1 tomb
- Hidden City - 3 tombs
- Cenotes - 1 tomb
- Mission of San Juan - 2 tombs
Exploring the Tombs will grant you the Stele Hunter trophy (for 3 toms) as well as the Tomb Raider achievement (for exploring them all - this is also required for completing the game in 100%). Also note that not all Tombs are available right away. You might have to advance far enough in the game or have additional hardware, such as the ascender or shotgun.
As you go through the Shadow of the Tomb Raider you can encounter all kinds of trouble that will make completing the game more difficult. Our FAQ contains many important answers. Here are some of the most important questions:
- How to get the knife, bow, and axe back? - Lara will lose the bow, knife and axe after the prologue, which are the most essential parts of her equipment allowing her to explore the environment and eliminate enemies. You can get the knife back after completing the first stage of the jungle and reaching the main hub of that location
- Where to upgrade Lara's gear? - Lara doesn't have her gear exploration complete at the beginning of the game: the required items are the Makeshift Knife, Ascender and Shotgun. Only after obtaining all of these will Lara be able to fully explore the world. Some pieces of gear can be obtained for progressing in the story, but there are some that can be bought at traders. This section of the guide contains precise info concerning the locations of these traders
- Where do I find Moraekah the merchant? - - Moraekah the Shaman is a very important character in the game - she sells two very important pieces of Lara's gear. She isn't marked on the map, which makes finding her difficult. Additionally, Moraekah won't remain in the same spot for the entire game. She might move after you visit the Eye of the Serpent during the main questline.
- Where to get the lockpick from? - The key is picklock is required for opening the Conquistador chests. This section of the FAQ will help you find the gadget and use it. You will also be able to see what do the chests look like (those opened with the picklock).
- How to get gold and what to spend it on? As you go through the game, Lara will encounter merchants, who sell all sorts of useful upgrades and items. The section will let you learn how to obtain gold and what to spend it on.
- How to get the shotgun? The shotgun in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider is used not only for killing enemies, but also for reaching inaccessible locations. The page will show you its additional uses and tell you when and where you can find it exactly.
- How to fast travel? - Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a game, in which you traverse really big locations. The Fast Travel system will be of great use. Here, you can learn how to unlock fast travel in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and how the system works.
- Can I go back to the Croft Manor? - This stage is a retrospection, where you control a young Lara. The section contains useful info regarding this stage, including solutions to the riddles and challenges, as well as locations of secrets.
Difficult puzzles in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
As you go through the story of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you will encounter some more challenging puzzles. The FAQ also includes answers to questions regarding the puzzles, such as:
- How to solve the bridge puzzle in the Peruvian Jungle? - that's the first puzzle of the game. Lara will have to cooperate closely with Jonah - they have to lift the bridge. You will also have to use rope arrows.
- How to solve the White Queen puzzle in the Croft Manor? - the puzzle happens during the retrospection, when you control a young Lara. It is quite challenging, as it requires moving figures on a game board.
- How to open the gate in Kuwak Yaku? - Lara has to manipulate plates, on which different symbols appear. You should resort to the hints from the side chambers and the photo taken by Lara.
- How to complete the Trial of the Eagle? - the trial isn't a traditional puzzle, as Lara also has to climb and avoid some moving parts of the tower. It's a long puzzle and we've described it carefully.
- How to complete the Trial of the Serpent? - Lara will have to pour a flammable liquid into the right spots, light it up and destroy her obstacles.
- How to open the gates of the Eye of the Serpent in Cenotes? - additional challenge here is that you have to eliminate enemies in-between solving the puzzle's stages.
More challenging trophies in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider offers over 60 trophies and achievements. The full list can be found in the Trophy List section of this guide, but the most complicated ones have entire sections dedicated to them. Here's a breakdown of these:
- That's a knife! - Lara has to fully upgrade the knife. Here, you will be able to learn where to find the upgrades for this weapon.
- Chain Gang - killing pairs of enemies with one of the additional skills. The section will tell you how to do it properly.
- Legendary Hunter - hunting down five rare enemies. Here, you can learn what animals are those and how to hunt them down easily.
- Surprise! - you will need to eliminate enemies using the Eagle Fang skill. The section contains info about unlocking the skill and using it properly.
- To the Nines - you will need to wear a full, historical outfit. Our guide contains a description of refurbishing a historical outfit. Our guide contains information about exemplary outfits and refurbishing it.
- Gunslinger - this requires some dexterity, as you will need to get 3 headshots in 3 seconds. We propose a few locations, where you can attempt that.
- Total Party Kill - Lara has to make enemies kill each other - in our guide, we're explaining how to arrange that - you will need a special skill.
- Last Known Position - this trophy requires you to kill 10 enemies that are looking for Lara. We've included some tips on how to do it.
How much time does completing the game take?
Finishing Shadow of the Tomb Raider takes about 13-15 hours, but that's only the time needed to complete the main plot. There's also a slew of activities waiting to be discovered, such as crypts, tombs, secrets and side quests. These activities can double the time needed to complete the game -completing 100% of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider can take up to 25-30 hours.
Getting all achievements and the platinum trophy is a different matter altogether. In this case, the game requires you to finish it on the highest difficulty. The trophies requiring you to kill enemies in different ways can also be challenging, as most of them can be easily overlooked. If you're well prepared for obtaining the trophies, finishing the game shouldn't take more than 30 hours. Otherwise, you might need to spend some additional time or even complete the game again, on the highest difficulty.
What are the available versions of the game and what does the season pass offer?
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is available in four editions.
The Standard Edition, apart from the core game content, includes a dynamic PS4 motive and the Booster Pack, which allows unlocking skills faster.
The Digital Deluxe offers the same things as the Standard Edition as well as the soundtrack and the first set of additional weapons and an outfit for Lara.
Croft Edition offers the same things as the Standard and Digital Editions, along with two additional weapons and outfits for Lara, plus a Season Pass.
What does the season pass for the Shadow of the Tomb Raider offer?
- 7 additional Challenge Tombs. These are special locations, where Lara has to solve puzzles and find unique treasures. The standard edition of the game offers 9 tombs. This means that the season pass will allow you to explore a total of 16 tombs.
- 7 new weapons, outfits and skills.
- New story side quests. Lara can engage in side quests in-between the main storyline missions.
Note - the season pass can also be purchased separately. So, you don't need to by the Croft or the Ultimate Editions.
The Ultimate Edition combines the contents of the Standard, Digital and Croft editions (including the season pass), as well as gadgets such as a statue of Lara, climbing axe-shaped bottle opener and a flashlight.
Below, you'll find the list of the most important controls needed when playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider. A full list can be found on the Controls page of our guide.
Sprint / Change camera position
Look around / Aim
Toggle survival Instinct - it's possible only up to normal difficulty level; on high difficulty the option will be blocked. Additionally, survival instinct is disabled shortly after Lara moves.
Display map / Browse tabs with side missions, challenges, collected artifacts and survival diary (tutorials).
Weapon select - in most cases you'll be using the bow, which can be found under the up arrow.
Aim / Swim faster
Fire selected weapon / Throw item / Craft silent arrows for the bow (you'll need to have the necessary components)
Jump / Climb / Swim to the surface
Interaction / Use climbing axe / Reload weapon
Melee attack / Takedown (you need to be close to the enemy and remain unseen)
Dodge or jump to the side / Drop down / Dive
Will my PC run Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
Below we have listed the minimum and recommended hardware configuration for Shadow of the Tomb Raider on PC. The minimum requirements are very small, but they are for low resolution gaming and with additional graphics settings turned off or limited. This guide is based on the PlayStation 4 version. Even with the regular PS4 version, the game runs smoothly. Slight slowdowns in animation only occur when traveling through villages inhabited by NPCs.
More information concerning the game's requirements and supported technologies can be found on the Hardware requirements page of our guide.
Minimum PC hardware requirement of Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 (or AMD equivalent)
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660/GTX 1050 or AMD Radeon HD 7770
- RAM: 8 GB
- HDD Space: around 40 GB
- OS: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 64-bit
Recommended PC hardware requirement of Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4770K (3.4 GHz) or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (3.2 GHz)
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB) or AMD Radeon RX 480 (8 GB)
- RAM: 16 GB
- HDD Space: around 40 GB
- OS: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 64-bit
About Shadow of the Tomb Raider Game Guide
Author : Natalia "N.Tenn" Fras & Jacek "Stranger" Halas for gamepressure.com
Translator : Jakub "Yossarian" Nowak
Use the comments below to submit your updates and corrections to this guide.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Video Game
- genre: Action
- developer: Eidos Montreal
- publisher: Square-Enix / Eidos
- platform: PC, PS4, XONE
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is another entry in one of the most popular series of action-adventure games. It is also the third entry in the saga of young Lara Croft that started in 2013. The console version of the game was developed by Eidos Montreal while the PC version was created by Nixxes Software. The production was supervised by Crystal Dynamics, the creators of the previous entries in the series and many other projects, including the Legacy of Kain series. The game was published by Square Enix.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider takes place after the events depicted in Rise of the Tomb Raider. This time Miss Croft journeys to Latin America, where she travels through the ruins of ancient civilization (including pyramids of Mayans and Aztecs), discovers the mysteries of the Order of Trinity, and learns more about the research conducted by her father. The story is more mature than in previous games. In order to depict Lara as a more advanced adventurer, the developers intended to force her to face the consequences of decisions she made.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider doesn’t introduce any revolutionary changes to the gameplay mechanics. The action is still presented from a third-person perspective. The developers decided however to change the ratio of combat and exploration. Although battles are still important, exploration of tombs, ruins, and forgotten temples and solving environmental riddles is more important. While raiding such locations, players must be cautious as the places are filled with traps. It is worth mentioning that Lara is very experienced with climbing and performing amazing stunts (jumping over cliffs is nothing for her). She can also dive in order to check sunken ruins.
Because the game takes place in Latin America, the jungle is an important part of the game. It is inhabited by wild animals and it enables Lara to develop her survival skills. During the game she learns how to take advantage of her surroundings, to hide in the bushes (which is even more effective if she uses mud camouflage), to quietly eliminate enemies or to set traps for them. The jungle is also a great source of resources that can be used in the advanced crafting system. The crafting enables the players to increase backpack capacity, take more ammunition and arrows, create bandages that are used for healing wounds. In addition to having weapons, Lara is equipped with various tools that make exploration easier. Among them, there is a grappling hook and a pickaxe.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is based on the same technology that was used in previous entries in the series. Thanks to that, the three-dimensional graphics in the game are of high quality.