Shadow of the Tomb Raider features 10 puzzles in its main story. This walkthrough shows the solutions to all puzzles step by step for everything you encounter in main story missions.
For Challenge Tomb Puzzles please refer to this guide: Shadow of the Tomb Raider All Challenge Tombs Walkthrough – Locations & Solutions
This guide also features images where the steps are numbered and circled in red, according to the text steps. You can also refer to the video guide below.
Puzzles Video Walkthrough
Puzzle #1 (Cart & Bell blocked by Rubble Puzzle)
Mission: Hunter’s Moon
Objective: Get to the top of the Pyramid
- Push the cart that’s on the side of the area on to the middle platform.
- Use the crank to rotate the platform so the rope arrow grip on the cart faces the crank. To make the crank work, a rope must be connected between the crank and right beam (but this is done by default unless you cut it).
- Tether a rope from crank to cart. Use the crank to pull the cart up the hill.
- Cut the rope. Now the cart smashes into the rubble and releases the bell that was stuck.
Puzzle #2 (Bridge Puzzle)
Mission: Rough Landing
Objective: Find Kuwaq Yaku
Area: Peruvian Jungle
- Use the crank that’s on top of the stone platform, in front of the bridge.
- Pull the big lever together with Jonah. This causes a part of the bridge (which has a rope grip) to move. The first time Jonah will fail to hold the lever for long enough. So pull the lever with him a second time.
- Quickly rush to the bottom right, down the stairs to the water level. Jonah will hold the water bucket in place for a few seconds, just long enough to tether a rope arrow from it to the other end of the bridge. Then Jonah lets go of the lever and the weight from the water bucket raises the bridge.
Puzzle #3 (Young Lara in Croft Manor / Globe & Chessboard)
Mission: Brave Adventurer
Objective: Find the White Queen
Area: Croft Manor (Young Lara Dream Sequence)
- Spin the globe to 30°N, 90°E (make sure you don’t mix them up with S and W). This reveals a light and unlocks ladder.
- Climb the ladder.
- Up top, use the crank to open the bat’s wings. It now shines 2 red beams of light on a chessboard below.
- Move the two chess pieces with the red shields to the dots of red light. You can easily push the other chess pieces out of the way, you can put multiple of them on the same line side by side.
- This reveals the “White Queen”, the missing chess piece.
- Interact with the globe again, just spin it anywhere to make the light go away and thus the ladder also retracts. Now you can reach the White Queen chess piece.
- Push the White Queen forward, between the two knights with red shields. Then a secret door opens and you’re done with this one.
Puzzle #4 (Lava Room, Spinning Dots)
Mission: Path of the Living
Objective: Explore the Trinity excavation
Area: Kuwaq Yaku
- Solution to the left pillar: Eye, Eye, Eye, Eye
- Solution to the right pillar: 1 Dot, 3 Dots, 1 Line, 2 Dots with Line
- After each one you must open a new door (first the doors on the left and right, then the doors in the middle). This makes a new set of rings show up at the bottom where you must enter the next code in the order written above. The way you normally get the codes is from the icons on the walls, but you can simply refer to the picture below for the solution.
Puzzle #5 (Spider Trial & Eagle Trial)
Mission: Path to the Hidden City
Objective: Complete the Trial of the Spider / Complete the Trial of the Eagle
Area: Trial of the Eagle
- This is more of a climbing section than a puzzle. There are two parts; first the spider, then the eagle. It’s best that you refer to the video at 9:31 if you get stuck, it’s hard to explain this one in text.
- Trial of the Spider: Climb the wall above the water with the spider logo. Follow the climbing path. Up the very top you can rappel down a wall with your rope to swing to the top of the spider logo and hold on to a ledge.
- Trial of the Eagle: You need to climb up the tall tower and make it spin by attaching ropes to it (which you encounter along the way). To get started, the first climbing part in it is on the right side (can be a bit tricky to see, just some destroyed wooden planks). From there it always goes up up up. There are plenty of checkpoints along the way.
Puzzle #6 (Trial of the Serpent)
Mission: The Hidden City
Objective: Complete the Trial of the Serpent
Area: Head of the Serpent
- First Room: Hit the lever in the middle of the room. Then pull the wooden beam on the left side of the wooden blockade, the one that has a rope arrow grip on it. This releases some oil. Shoot the oil with a fire arrow to ignite it, thus burning down the rubble.
- Second Room: There are two disks that you need to spin in place. On the floor you can see little rills where the oil is supposed to flow to the wooden barricade to burn it down. You need to align them so the oil can flow from the top all the way to the barricade. The correct placement is shown in the images below. The best way is to tether both disks together via the rope arrow, before you even start moving any one of them. Then turn the upper disk counter-clockwise (left) for 2 “clicks”. By “click” I mean when the platforms lock in place after 1/4 rotation. So two clicks is 2/4 rotation (half a rotation). Because the disks are tethered together they will both move. Check the bottom platform if the rills end by the blockade and are going to the first platform still. Now cut the rope (since the second disk is in place we don’t want to spin it anymore). Move the upper disk by 1 click clockwise (right), meaning 1/4 rotation. Now the rills should all be connected, you can follow them on the floor to make sure. When everything is in place, pull the serpent lever up top and then use a rope arrow to pull down the rope-beam to the right of the serpent lever. A pool will fill up with oil, shoot it and the line of oil will burn down all the way to the barricade. This completes the trial of the serpent. Use the screenshots below for visual aid or refer to the video at 17:02.
Puzzle #7 (Water Spigots Part 1)
Mission: Eye of the Serpent
Objective: Open the Gate
- Tether the middle spigot to the crank and move it to the right so you can jump on it.
- Jump on the spigot (from the right side) to climb up to the top spigot. Remove the rubble around that spigot with your pickaxe. Beware, enemies will spawn.
- Tether the top spigot to the crank. Move the spigot so its water hits the middle spigot.
- Tether middle spigot to crank and move it so its water hits the bottom spigot (which is in the bottom left, a bit easy to overlook this one).
- Tether bottom spigot to crank and move it so the water flows on the water wheel. This opens the first part of the gate. Now jump in the water and swim through the second spigot puzzle which is detailed in the next puzzle section.
Puzzle #8 (Water Spigots Part 2)
Mission: Eye of the Serpent
Objective: Open the Gate
- Tether the left spigot to the crank and move it so the water flows in the pool below it (the dried up pool Spigot #2 is situated at). This makes the pool fill up.
- Jump in the pool, dive to the rubble that blocks the second spigot. Destroy the rubble with your pickaxe. Beware, lots of enemies spawn when you get out of the pool. Kill them all.
- Use crank to move left spigot so the water flows on the right spigot.
- Now move the right spigot so water flows on the water wheel and you’re done.
Puzzle #9 (Finding the Secret Crypt Entrance in Church)
Mission: Via Veritas
Objective: Find the Secret Crypt
Area: Mission of San Juan
This one requires you to find the secret crypt entrance inside the church of San Juan. There are 3 objects you must look at, below it’s explained where to find them (also seen on the 3 screenshots):
- Ground Floor: Check a crumbling wall on the right side, use pickaxe to reveal an image behind it. Jonah will also point out its location after a while.
- Ground Floor: Check the big yellow heron image on the wall by the stairs. Interact with it.
- Top Floor: Check a crumbling wall, it’s almost straight above the first crumbling wall.
- Now Lara makes a comment about two biblical quotes and a heron. Go look at the heron image downstairs again and a cutscene will trigger. Move to the crucifixion picture on the opposite side of the heron picture. Use pickaxe there one more time. Secret Crypt entrance located!
Puzzle #10 (Holy Cross & Light Beam Puzzle in Secret Crypt)
Mission: Via Crucis
Objective: Follow the Stations of the Cross
Area: Mission of San Juan
- Left Side: Pull the cart on the left to the light beam (so the holy cross on the cart reflects the light). Then use the crank to shine the light on the middle “window”, the one that shows people on a ladder. Pull the middle lever, this unlocks a second beam of light going to the right side.
- Right Side: Pull the cart on the right side to the new light beam. Again, use its crank and this time shine the light on the left “window”, the one that shows a crucifixion scene. Pull the left lever where you shined the light. A cutscene triggers and the light beam cross puzzle is finished.
That’s all the puzzles you will find in Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s main storyline. You may also like solutions for the optional challenge tombs, we got those covered as well: Shadow of the Tomb Raider All Challenge Tombs Walkthrough – Locations & Solutions