How to beat the rift-ripping reptile Nidhogg in God of War Ragnarok

The protector of the world tree isn’t a fan of your meddling.

God of War Ragnarok screenshot

Ragnarok is here. Kratos and Atreus are back to take on the scumbags of Asgard in an epic adventure that mostly lives up to the towering success of God of War (2018). Along the way, both father and son have to face off with numerous enemies across the Nine Realms. One of the more difficult bosses you come in contact with is the great serpent Nidhogg, a big serpent with an impressive number of sharp fangs that will try to rip into you. Here’s how to defeat the pesky lizard.

Warning: mild mid-game spoilers ahead for God of War Ragnarok.

You will be fighting Nidhogg as Kratos, so make sure you have your skills upgraded and the best armor equipped for what is to come. The battle begins rather suddenly, with Nidhogg ripping into the scene and attacking you. For the first part of the battle, Nidhogg will remain in place.

All you need to do is attack its head and deal as much damage as you can. The beast will attack you with swipes of its tail or attempts to bite you, these can be deflected with your shield. One attack does send a shockwave through the ground that you need to dodge away from. Between deflecting and doing any oncoming attacks, keep wailing away at Nidhogg until the R3 prompt appears and you can pull your opponent out of its portal.

With Nidhogg out in the open, the serpent can now move freely about the combat arena. It will keep the same move set as the previous phase so watch out for any tail swipes that might hit you and defend against them. Do your best to unleash all you have against Nidhogg, getting its health down till a cutscene plays and Freya joins the battle, stabbing the serpent several times.

After this Nidhogg will move to a pillar in the arena and stick to it. The move set changes, now giving the beast the ability to shoot laser beams out of its tail at you as well as launch large projectiles through portals it opens. Both of these attacks can be dodged if you are paying attention to the creature. Watch for the glowing tail and for the moments Nidhogg begins to cut open a rift to know an attack is coming.

Nidhogg has multiple phases that require you to deal damage while avoiding attacks and take advantage of the elemental aspects of your weapons.


Freya will begin to put sigils on the pillar that you can hit with the Leviathan Axe. Throw the axe at the sigils as they appear and eventually Nidhogg will fall from the pillar. This will give you a short opening to deal massive amounts of damage directly to Nidhogg’s head as the serpent lies on the ground stunned.

When this opening ends, the creature will climb back up onto another pillar. Avoid attacks and deal out what damage you can until Freya starts placing more sigils on the pillar. This time you need to use the Blades of Chaos to activate the sigils and knock Nidhogg down from its perch. You will then be able to deal some big damage again before Nidhogg starts attacking you on the ground. The creature will also begin using a new attack where they suck stones into a rift under themselves and then launch them back at you, be ready to dodge.

You will again be given an R3 prompt and upon hitting it you will be taken to a final stage in the boss fight. At this point, let loose everything you have — Nidhogg will only have a little bit of life left. When the serpent is sufficiently beaten, a final R3 prompt will appear. Trigger it and a triumphant cutscene will play.

Congratulations — you have felled the great serpent Nidhogg!

God of War Ragnarok is out now on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

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