Shadow of the Colossus Guide: full walkthrough for all colossus battles, plus tips, tricks & unlocks

It's a pleasure to be able to say that Shadow of the Colossus is back on PS4, and it doesn't really matter if you've played the game before or are entirely unfamiliar with it - as we detail in our review, it's an absolute must-play classic, and the PS4 version is a pretty great version of it.

However, this spiritual successor to Ico can also get a little difficult. It's the opposite of the hand-holding games you so often find now, and deliberately keeps things light on clues and narrative, letting you think over and work out its abstract clues and narrative yourself as you take Wander and Agro on a journey to defeat all sixteen colossi. Sometimes, for some, a little frustration can rear its head - but we're here to help.

On this page you'll find our tips for Shadow of the Colossus and a list of the unlockables in the game - but you'll also find links to our full six-part Shadow of the Colossus Walkthrough, which guides you through the entire game - how to kill each of the sixteen colossi and complete Wander's quest. If you want to get started on our walkthrough right away, click on through to part 1, our guide to the first, second and third colossus. But first... tips!


Before you Start: Important Tips for Shadow of the Colossus:

  • Your sword is the most important tool at your disposal when trying to locate a colossus. If you are ever unsure of where to go, press and hold the [R1 button--on the ‘Modern’ control scheme]. Your character will hold up his sword as it casts several beams of light that will focus on the direction where the Colossus is. Rotate your character until the light beams converge in a single direction, that will be the direction you’ll want to go to find whichever colossus you’re looking for.

  • Mount your horse before setting out to find a colossus. Your horse will help you cover ground much faster, and is needed for certain colossus fights. There are some areas and fights where you can’t take your horse, but the game will always communicate that with some sort of obstacle the horse can’t climb(rubble, a steep cliff wall, etc).

  • Use your map! If you’re unsure which direction you are facing or where you are, press the touchpad to bring up your map.

  • To Kill a Colossus, you need to find its weak point. The sheer size of the colossus and the fact they're quite sturdily built means that you can't just attack it - and each will have its own weak point. If you can't find the weak point, raise your sword in the same way as when locating a colossus and reflect the light at the colossus to illuminate where you need to strike it.

  • As you progress, you'll get better at climbing. Keep this in mind as you play - your grip meter will improve significantly the more you play, and there are some unlocks you can use in new game plus to improve it even further. 

  • Some Colossus will try to fight you off, and others won't even want to fight. When one tries to throw you off, hold on tight until it stops thrashing - don't try to attack through it. If a colossus tries to walk away, use your bow to get their attention and get them to attack in self defence once again.

  • Keep an eye out for white-tailed Lizards. These little beasties can be killed, and once they are you can eat their tail while standing next to them. This will make your strength rise, and it's a great alternative way to boose your powers.

  • Likewise, don't ignore the Fruit Trees. These rare trees scattered around the land have fruit that can be eaten - just shoot them out of the tree with the bow. Each fruit eaten will boost your health - and there's 128 total you can eat. In the post-game you can return to the Secret Garden atop the shrine, and up there you'll find Fruit of the Dead, fruit that reduces your health and stamina - if you really want a challenge.

Shadow of the Colossus Walkthrough & Guide - how to defeat every Colossus:

In our walkthrough, we detail exactly how to find each Colossus in order, then how to take each one down. Beware spoilers on these pages, since they're full of screenshots to help you out!

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Time Attack Mode and its Rewards & Unlockables

Shadow of the Colossus is relatively short as big epic adventures go, but it's not over once you've defeated all sixteen colossi and completed the game - that's when New Game Plus unlocks, and within New Game Plus you'll be able to try the Time Attack modes. There's two difficulties, and you'll need to beat the game on the related difficulty to unlock the related time attacks.

In order to start a Time Attack, kneel and pray before one of the Colossi in the Shrine of Worship. This will let you tackle a challenge, and completing them will get you unlocks. There's two sets of rewards, split between the Normal Mode Time Attack and the Hard Mode Time Attack. Here's the rewards:

Normal Mode Time Attack Rewards

  • Whisling Arrow (Distracts a Colossus when you fire it) - Defeat two colossus
  • Cloak of Force (Increases sword damage output) - Defeat four colossus
  • Mask of Strength (Inflict deeper wounds on and cause more damage)  - Defeat six colossus
  • Lizard Detection Stone (Help with finding the 128 white-tailed Lizards in the world) - Defeat eight colossus
  • Fruit Tree Map (Help finding the Fruit Trees across the land) - Defeat ten colossus
  • Mask of Power (Inflict even worse wounds on a colossus to cause more damage) - Defeat twelve colossus
  • Cloak of Deception (Makes you invisible to Colossus' eyes) - Defeat fourteen colossus
  • Flash Arrow (Explodes on contact and can damage a colossus outside their weak point) - Defeat sixteen colossus
  • Brown Horse (Ride on a brown-colored version of your horse Agro) - Defeat sixteen colossus

Hard Mode Time Attack Rewards

  • Harpoon of Thunder (A long-range weapon) - Defeat two colossus
  • Sword of the Sun (Sword casts light even when in shadow) - Defeat four colossus
  • Fruit Tree Map (Help finding the Fruit Trees across the land)  - Defeat six colossus
  • Shaman's Cloak (A defense buff, decreasing damage taken) - Defeat eight colossus
  • Lizard Detection Stone (Help with finding the white-tailed Lizards) - Defeat ten colossus
  • Shaman's Mask (Decrease damage taken even further) - Defeat twelve colossus
  • Cloth of Desperation (Acts as a parachute) - Defeat fourteen colossus
  • Queen's Sword (An item from Ico - a lightsaber-style weapon) - Defeat sixteen colossus
  • White Horse (Ride on a white-colored version of your horse Agro) - Defeat sixteen colossus
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