While most of Shadow of the Tomb Raider is straightforward, and even though Crypts are short, there are a handful of tombs spread throughout the vast world that do require a little bit of thinking to get through. We have put together a guide to better help you through getting these tombs completed in no time! Be sure to read our review and check out of collectibles guide while you’re at it!
1. Underworld Gate
Location: Peruvian Jungle (South)
Reward: Eagle’s Perch – Increase climbing skills to traverse the environment with more speed.
Go under the already-set-off-trap and climb the tree to your left of the pit. There will be a carcass of an animal you can harvest just right next to it. Make your way across and rappel down to find a camp where there will be resources and a journal. Make your way across another broken down stairway until you find a base camp. This is the start of the Tomb itself.
Slide through the little entrance and climb up the path to the right. Jump your way left and rappel down. If you want to exit, turn 180 degrees and go that way, otherwise keep pushing forward. There is some gold to the left of the tree, along with some mushrooms. Climb the tree jump across and push forward. To the left will be resources and a survival cache to dig up. Head back outside of the small cave and take a left across the log. Here is the puzzle itself.
Pull the contraption around 90 degrees. Go to the left side where you’re able to shoot an arrow and make a zip line to cross. Pick up the resources around and pull the giant log to bring a box around. Jump across to the otherside and move the original contraption back to where it started. Shoot an arrow from the now snapped line onto the box and jump back across. Go pull the log once more and quickly jump back onto the box. With the line now set to it, you’ll be able to get there in time. Take the ride and collect some of the resources on the other side, including a mural, and then when you’re ready, jump across to the rocks (which is down the steps). Climb up and watch out for the falling debris. Someone doesn’t like that you’re there. And there you have it, the monument is at the top (along with sold good spread around).
2. Judge’s Gaze
Location: Peruvian Jungle (North)
Reward: Caiman’s Heart – Health regenerates more quickly.
When you enter, swing across the pit only to fall in the water below. Swim to land, climb the rocks to the right, and jump onto the hanging statue to lever the other one up that’s blocking your progress. You will then find a bonfire on the other side, and the start of the tomb ahead across t he rickety bridge.
Swim down into the tomb and climb the wall to the left. On the way you’ll find a MAM mural and now come across your first puzzle. Climb down to the left and you’ll notice a statue on a wheeled contraption. Pull that out from under it and watch it go towards the sky. The statue that was originally hanging on the left has now dropped. Push the wheel towards the rightside of the map (towards the ramp) until it can’t go anymore. There will be another one of these right next to the now downed statue. Grab it and put it under where the statue you just let go. Now, go towards the conveniently placed ramp and shoot your arrow where the rope is to attach it to statue on the ground to the left. While you’re at it, attach the other rope on the ramp to the statue already suspended in the air on the right side. Head to the left and climb up some pillars until you get back onto the second floor. Watch up for traps up here, but you’ll find a collectible or two. When up here, turn left and jump onto the statue in the air. It should lock down in place on the contraption and raise the ramp up but not fully.
Move the second contraption (the free one, not the one holding the statue) all the way to the right, just under another statue. As you’ve probably figured out by now, climb up to the second floor on this side of the room and jump down. This will send the statue already suspended in the air higher, and since you’ve already attached your arrow to the two points, it will bring the ramp up to the building, making it a giant ladder. Simply climb this jump across the gap and collect your reward.
3. Howling Caves
Location: Kuwaq Yaku
Reward: Huracan’s Mantle – Reduce damage from fire and explosions.
Through the jungle to the northeast of Kuwaq Yaku, jump down into the deathly water below. Push forward, but watch out for a giant pit of spikes. Don’t try and jump across this, but instead look left and climb into the area there to avoid it. Slide down the slope and latch onto the side of the rocky surface. Rappel down and swing across to a (relatively) safe area. Jump across to some scary faces on the side of the wall and shimmy to your right. Climb and repel down and crawl under the broken down area to get attacked by wolves. This is a sign.
Jump down into the pit only to be attack by the wolves, but they shouldn’t give you too much problem with ammo around the field. After your disposed of them, there’s a mural at the top of the alter, but that’s not what you’ve come here for. Create a ropeway where there’s a nasty fire brewing and climb across to find a journal and a rocky surface to climb. At the top you will come across the bonfire (although there is a survival cache in the opposite direction), and the tomb itself.
Howling Caves is a proper name for this. Expect a lot of backtracking here. Jump up into the tomb just right of the tomb (don’t actually use the log). In the tomb, you’ll see giant lanterns that need to be moved. Don’t fall down below otherwise wolves will tear you apart. First thing’s first, to the right of your entrance, there will be a contraption to pull that will unleash the wind, blowing the first lantern. Jump on and move all the way to the end of the lantern and wait for the wind to take it far enough so you can jump across. Then use the next contraption to start blowing the next lantern. Jump across but don’t go left. You need to clear the debris. Instead, continue straight and jump across the small gap. Jump all the way to the fire and wait for the wind to take the lantern towards you. While its momentum is towards you, aim at the top of the lantern and use your bow and arrow to pull it towards you. This will cause the lantern to careen into the debris allowing you to pass. Head back but don’t yet walk across. Take the first lantern back across to the first contraption and turn it off. Not doing this will cause you to fall off the ledge.
After the second lantern’s wind is turned off, walk across and jump to the left. The third switch cannot be operated just yet, so climb your way to the right and attack your arrow on the third lantern to the top of the second lantern. Head back to the first lantern and once again jump across and turn on the second wind switch. Fortunately, you just need to turn it on and watch the third lantern break, and then you can immediately turn it off. Run across and turn on the third switch until it extinguishes the fire and turn it off. Jump across and collect your reward.
4. Temple of the Sun
Location: Hidden City (South)
Reward: Hoatzin’s Hunter – Increase the amount of natural crafting resources gathered from each source.
This is the first decently challenging tomb. Getting there is fairly easy as it’s just all climbing and swinging. When you’re at the Temple of the Sun bonfire, you know you’ve hit the tomb. There’s a fair amount of resources and collectibles in this location, so be sure to look around before heading straight to the puzzle.
Anyways, when you go down, there will be three paths, straight, left and right. The former two don’t really lead anywhere so head right and crawl through a little area to come across the puzzle. This can be a bit tricky but I’ll do my best to explain it. There are four different mirrors you need to position. Two on the right side of the room, two on the left. Let’s call the two on the right side 1 and 2 and the left side 3 and 4 (closest to the entrance).
First you need to aim mirror 1 all the way to the left until it hits the pole, which will then shift a platform in your favor. Climb across and then aim mirror 3 at the pole closest to mirror 2. Head back and aim mirror one all the way to the right to the pole closest to you. This should allow you to get to mirror 2. When at mirror 2, aim it at the closest pole to your left and climb back across.
With me so far? Aim mirror 1 back at the pole to the left and climb across. Aim mirror 3 at the same pole as mirror 1 and climb back across again. Move mirror 1 so it’s shining its light at the furthest pole that’s closest to mirror 4. Climb back across AGAIN and position mirror 3 all the way to the left so it’s hitting the pole closest to you.
Jump all the way across to mirror 4. May as well grab the mural here while you’re at it. Aim the mirror towards the middle pole closest to you. Climb up the wall and head back, but only halfway. Jump onto that pesky gold platform and jump onto the final stretch. You now have access to the end of this tomb.
5. Path of Battle
Location: Hidden City (West)
Reward: Sip’s Quiver – Loose up to three arrows without pulling from the quiver.
This is an easily overlooked area of the game, but it does deal with a side quest much later on. Regardless, head into the forest and take a left to find a nice little water hole. Head down and swim until you find land. Jump across a pit and rappel down to find the bonfire Ossuary.
You may have nicked yourself on something swimming down here, and there’s a reason for that. This place is full of obsidian. Scurry through a little opening and press a contraption to light your way. Don’t jump down unless you want some of the resources and a survival cache below. Instead, head left and move around all the spinning deathtraps. Rappel down and swing to the next area where you’ll find a mural and yet another switch to push. Head on in avoiding the traps and you’ll see a magnificent machine. It will be spinning counter clockwise, so get up on the platform and jump when you need to. If you get hit you will be instantly killed.
Head to the left and jump across the pit to find even more spinning blades, but they’re not moving. Head right until you reach a contraption. Pull this and head back. Be careful as these traps are (again) meant to take you down in one hit. Just to the left and right of where you came in will be two switches. Push the second one in to lower the giant mechanism one level. As you may expect, you’re only half done at this point. Head back onto the main area and head right. Time this so you don’t have to jump over the spinning death trap because this time it’ll be coming from behind you. Jump across and go pull the contraption once more. Head back down to the left and do your best to avoid the traps and push the switch in for it to essentially break. Climb up the broken parts of the machine to reach the monument and receive your reward.
6. San Cordoba
Reward: Caiman’s Breath II – Further increase breath capacity when swimming underwater.
While this is primarily a story-driven area of the game, there are a couple of collectibles to be found, and surprisingly a tomb. In between the first two bonfires you’ll find a passageway underwater that will lead to the sixth tomb. Just continue to swim until you hit a point where you’ll be dragged down. At this point, start to climb a bit and you’ll find the Collapsed Temple bonfire.
Head through the small gap to find mine carts. Simply move the mine cart to the left and send the ram down the small pathway that’ll break into the next area. Here you will be treated to a lovely shot of a wrecked ship. How it got in this location in such decent shape, no one will ever know. Head up to the right and kick the raft into the water. Jump onto the raft and jump onto the side of the ship. Climb up and go down the stairs to the contraption that operates the boom. Rotate it until the cannon hanging off of it (again, how did it end up there?) is located right above where you got onto the ship up the stairs. Keep heading down until you come across water. At this point, you’ll need to sink down and sim to the left to a locked door you’re able to pry open. Continue forward and continue to climb until you reach the second half of the ship.
You won’t be able to budge this contraption, so head left where a long piece of the ship is sticking outside and you’re able to jump off of and climb upwards. Do so and jump back onto the ship and release the boom from the mast. You won’t be able to jump down here, so time to climb upwards. At the top is some salvage, but that’s not where you’re going. Halfway up the mast, take a left and jump across to the rocks. Go ahead and repel down and swing back onto the ship. Now that’s you’re able to operate the boom, pull it all the way towards the other side of the ship. Head around and climb up on the box and jump onto the boom. Jump across onto the box and climb upwards. Release the boom on this side and along with it goes the cannon attached to it. Get down there via the rope slide and you’ll find a document, gold and of course what you’ve come here for.
7. Ancient Aqueduct
Location: The Hidden City (East)
Reward: Jaguar’s Paw – Increase chance to knock enemies down with melee attacks.
The final one of the Hidden City, this one is easy to miss initially. During a certain story mission that involves rescuing someone, you’ll probably get prompted that a challenge tomb is nearby, but you probably have gone too far. From the bonfire of this location, continue where you’re supposed to go and jump across to a climbable area. Instead of going forward, rappel downward immediately. You’ll find a survival cache and the watery entrance to the tomb. Swim along until you reach land and then climb upwards to find a relic. Jump downward until you reach another watery area, at which point you’ll find some survival caches here, alongside a mural.
Continue forth until you hit the Subterranean River bonfire and go ahead and take a dip. You’ve found a Mayan Aqueduct that is, surprisingly still populated with some people. As tempted as you may be, don’t use the contraption just yet. Go down and kick the raft to the center of the room and attach it to the door. Now you can use the switch. This will fill the room below up with water, and since the door is attached to the raft, it will open. Swim on through and release the water through the switch on the wall. Clear away the debris and you’ll enter your first real fight in a tomb. Not really hard, though.
After the fight, head to the raft and cut the rope. Kick it into the other room and hit the contraption one more time. Swim into the room where the raft now is, climb onto it and jump across onto some solid land. Be prepared for another fight with some ancient warriors, this time in a more closed area. After you’ve taken car of them, press a new contraption up here to fill the water up even more. The raft will raise up and start to rotate around. Get onto it and attach it to a spot to the right of the room where the water wheel is working. Get on the raft to go on a short ride and immediately climb up it before you’re swept away. Look up and attack an arrow to a pulley that will bring the box in the middle more in line where you want it to be. A new group of enemies will appear, but they’re easy to deal with. Go back to the raft and attach it to the waterwheel once more, but cut it soon after so you don’t have to go the entire way. Halfway around, look to your left and you’ll be able to climb the rock and get on top of the box. Do exactly that and jump across to find gold and the monument you seek.
8. Tree of Life
Location: Mission of San Juan (South)
Reward: Kinich Ahau’s Boon – Health is instantly restored once when near death in battle. Refreshes between encounters.
Of all the tombs, this is the most action heavy. Getting to your first bonfire is easy, it’s the rest that might challenge you. Climb and repel down to find you’re in a Mayan village that is populated with sulfur leaks everywhere. You’re going to need fire arrows, which the components are given to you frequently. Continue down until you reach your first sulfur leak. Shoot it and climb up. Jump across the gap and pry open yet another leak. Shoot it with a fire arrow to open a path to the right. Attach your arrow to a pole in the distance and slide your way there. When you land there is a survival cache to your immediate right. Anyways, continue up the stairs and shuffle along the ledge until you can jump across. Continue forward through the doorway that brings you to the tomb itself.
As you may notice, there is a swinging platform below with a sulfur leak. Shoot the leak and quickly (almost immediately) jump onto the platform as it swings towards you. Head down to the left to find a document, but more importantly, another spot for you to release a leak. This will trigger enemies, though, so be prepared for a couple to run up to you and another to pepper you from a far with arrows. Go back up to where you were and shoot the leak with a fire arrow so that it comes swinging to you. This one will stay up where you are for a surprising amount of time, allowing you to jump to the other side without much worry.
Continue forward and you’ll eventually reach a mural, and down a little further, a relic. Cut the platform where the relic is located, jump onto it and swing across the gap. Head up to your left and open another leak and initiate a fight with the locals. Head back to the platform you cut lose and shoot the sulfur, which will bring you up. Here, two more enemies will appear, but they can be killed at the same time with the well placed leak next to the two. Head up to the left and make a leap of faith and grapple your way to safety. There’s a couple collectibles up here so take your time.
Anyways, cut the platform up there and open the leak. Swing across to the now available platform and shoot the sulfur, which will drop it to the ground where you’ll need to fight even more enemies… or just run from them. All you need to do is run back up to the left and climb the new path. And that’s it. Collect your second last reward.
9. Thirsty Gods
Location: Mission of San Juan (Southeast)
Rewards: Sip’s Strike
Here we are, at the final tomb. At least it could be. You could have skipped some and if you’re following this guide, this can be done before Tree of Life. Regardless. Head down southeast of San Juan where you’ll have to take a little bit of a dip. Just continue to swim swim swim until you find a half submerged skull. There will be breakable wood to the right of it, up a little bit, that can be pulled down. This will drain the water and allow you to enter. Slip and slide down a path and avoid the piranhas. In this area, go down below and cut the raft free, which will allow you to climb onto it and get to the Flood Basin bonfire.
This area in particular is piranha heavy, so if they’ve given you anxiety in the past, get ready for even more. Jump down into the water, or onto the platform down to your right. This will unlock a little bit of a shortcut to the bonfire and the exit. Anyways, down in the water the piranahas are feeding on already deceased bodies (I don’t know how they haven’t already gotten through them), so it’s not TOO difficult to avoid them. You’ll need to cut two rafts free (one to the left of the structure), so you’ll still need to go down quite a bit. When the second raft is cut, hop on up to a platform and jump across until you reach a contraption. By turning it to the right, it will lower the water. Do so and jump to the area where the waterwheel is turning, where you’re able to connect the pulley. Do so and head back to the turnable device.
Turn the water onto the water wheel for a SHORT while (don’t hold it for too long otherwise the line will snap) and then turn it back onto the counterweight to lower the water. The door will now be open. Simply head on in and collect the final reward.
Congratulations! You’ve now finished all of the tombs! While there’s only nine, most of them were thought provoking.