How to solve the first Hellblade 2 rune puzzle and clear the barrier

Hellblade 2 first puzzle red rune on barrier
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The first puzzle in Hellblade 2 sees you lining up a rune symbol to remove a barrier blocking your path. It's simple, technically, but the game doesn't explain any mechanics, so it can be tricky to know what to do. The puzzle uses the same visual perspective-matching tricks featured in Senua's Sacrifice, so you'll understand what to do if you've played the original game, though it's not that intuitive in Senua's Saga. Let me explain how you complete the first rune puzzle in Hellblade 2.

Hellblade 2 rune puzzle solution

Hellblade 2 first puzzle lining up red debris to form rune

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

To solve the first puzzle in Hellblade 2, you need to line up some objects floating around the area to recreate the rune symbol on the barrier blocking your path, then hold RT to focus on the rune.

Hellblade 2 guides

If you're facing the barrier, turn around and you should see a large boulder in the middle of the clearing. Head over to the far side of the boulder, look back at the barrier, and then move Senua around to line up the red bits of floating debris above the boulder to recreate the shape of the rune. The rune itself should appear in white on your screen when you're close to lining it all up.

Once Senua is standing in roughly the right spot, press and hold RT – the Focus button for Hellblade 2 – to activate the rune and lower the barrier, letting you squeeze through the rock gap and carry on your trek across Iceland. These perspective puzzles appear several times during Hellblade 2, so you can apply the same method here to any of the others. Although, the most important thing to remember is the Focus button as it's used in all puzzles, for every collectible, and even in combat, so don't forget to use it throughout Senua's journey.

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.