The Pathless: tips and play strategies

There’s a lot going on in The Pathless, but we’ll tell you what to look out for.

Annapurna Interactive

The pathless, an epic mythical adventure game from Giant Squid and Annapurna Interactive, was one of the most anticipated games to be released Apple Arcade this year. The game has brought a console-style experience to mobile gaming service subscribers and is also available on PS5, PS4, Mac, and PC. (You can read CNET’s full review of the game here).

In The Pathless, you play as the Last Hunter, a veiled young woman with archery skills and an eagle as a companion, tasked with bringing light back to a cursed island inhabited by corrupt spirits. The game is full of puzzles, hidden passages and rooms, collectibles, boss fights, secrets to uncover and places to explore.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your gameplay.

How to successfully navigate The Pathless

theft-pathless-obelisk

Getting a view from above with the help of your eagle can show you where you should go next in the game.

Shelby Brown / CNET

The Pathless does not have a map, navigation, or fast travel features. Instead, you have free rein on where you want to start and which puzzles you want to solve first.

Try to climb to a high point of view. It can be a challenge until you are able to get some extra height with the help of your eagle. But once you have a good vantage point, take note of where the three obelisks are. It can help you orient yourself as you explore. Some users on Reddit even have rough sketched maps of the area.

spiritless-pathless-mask

The Spirit Mask can highlight places of interest in red that may contain crystals, collectibles, or luminous stones.

Shelby Brown / CNET

Use your spiritual mask. The areas that flash red are places you should check out for potential collectibles and puzzles to solve.

Shoot the talismans. Shooting talismans – or floating targets – for additional energy boosts can make a huge difference in covering the ground faster when the game worlds start to expand. As you progress, the different worlds offer special talismans specially to help you navigate the terrain.

Bonus tip: You can’t die in the game, so don’t worry about making a mistake – just have fun exploring and experimenting.

How your eagle can help you

Your eagle companion in The Pathless can help you progress in the game, but be careful, evil spirits will try to separate you.

Earn extra flaps for your eagle when you collect crystals from certain puzzles (check out Lanterns, Chests, and Crystals below). But your eagle can’t help you when you get a Lightstone from a Cursed Monument.

without path-a

Everyone needs a hug as they try to save the world.

Shelby Brown / CNET

What your spiritual mask can do

The spiritual mask is the closest thing to a map or clue system. Wearing the mask highlights places of interest or importance in red. It will also help you find collectibles, crystals, and puzzles faster.

The spiritual mask gives access to rooms and hidden passages. Walls with hidden spaces will have a blue glow and you will be able to walk through the walls while wearing the mask. There is usually a chest with crystals to loot.

hidden-room-without-path

Shiny blue walls indicate hidden rooms and secret passages. Your spiritual mask can help you access it.

Shelby Brown / CNET

How to clean obelisks

There are three obelisks in each world of the game that must be cleared before you can fight the boss of that world. You can’t miss the obelisks – they are tall, narrow structures with shiny red tops. Your Spirit Mask will pick them up faster as the worlds get bigger.

Cleaning an obelisk requires one or two Lightstones. Once you have the Lightstones, head to the nearest obelisk. Before you panic about how you’re going to get up there, be aware that there is a pulley system on the side of each that you can use to get to the top.

Where to find luminous stones

Luminous Stones are the relics that you must collect to restore light to the island and earn gifts from the spirits once you save them.

Luminous stones are scattered throughout each level. If you have your spirit mask, they will appear as glowing orbs.

You will usually have to solve a puzzle to release a Stone of Light.

no path-3

Puzzles are everywhere – even in the architecture of the ruins of the island – and your bow and eagle will come in handy in solving them.

Apple / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

In addition to the Lightstones needed to clear the Obelisk, if you can find all the Lightstones in each area – there are nine of them – and bring them back to the arena where you fought the boss for that level, you’ll earn a gift of every mind. These can be bonuses for speed, flight, and more.

Additionally, each level has a stone of light located in a cursed monument – this is the one that is grimly shrouded in spooky shadows. Your eagle can’t help you solve this one.

Where to find crystals

crystals-hidden-pathless

Sometimes, accessing a secret room or a hidden passage will give you crystals.

Shelby Brown / CNET

Collecting crystals earns your eagle extra flaps, allowing you to fly higher. Here’s where to look (some are easier to find while wearing the Spirit Mask):

  • Coffers
  • Heal animals
  • Monastery, textile and public baths puzzles
  • Shiny yellow circles on the ground
  • Lantern, bell, fire lamp puzzle
  • Spirit statues
  • Agility puzzles: timed butterfly races, jumping pillars and stone walking trails

Bonus tip: You will lose Crystals if the Evil Spirit spots you in the Red Storm.

What you need to know about Knowledge Messages and Stone Tablets

tradition-without-path

Stone tablets and lore give you a better insight into the history of the game.

Shelby Brown / CNET

History messages appear as floating blue orbs and can give you better insight into the history of the game. These are like mini diary entries on Spirits, Mother Eagle, Scout and the Slayer of Gods.

The stone tablets are similar to the lore messages but relate more to the history of the island. The first tablet you find gives you your spiritual mask.

Boss Fight Tips

You’ll fight four bosses in each level – Cernos, Sauro, Nimue, and Kumo – before facing off against the Godslayer on the Floating Island.

The key to winning a boss fight is to anticipate patterns and avoid attacks. Again, you cannot die in the game, so take your time.

The start of every boss fight begins with a chase. The goal is to shoot your arrows at the eye-shaped targets on the boss. The closer you get and the more targets you hit, the more the boss will start to retaliate – fire cannons, plates of fire, earthquakes, etc. Jumping and hovering are essential to avoid them. Make sure you take advantage of the talismans so you can keep up with the pace.

no path-2

Jumping, hovering and shooting the talismans are essential to get through a boss battle.

Apple / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

The next phase is the fight in the arena. Watch for attack patterns and try to anticipate what is to come. If you are eliminated from the arena, your combat progress is reset.

Red Storm Tips

It’s okay if you’re caught in the storm, but it’s inconvenient if you’re trying to complete a puzzle or reach an obelisk. The goal is to get back to your eagle without the cursed spirit spotting you. If you are seen, the spirit will attack you and you will lose crystals.

Here are some tips for avoiding and surviving the storm:

Take note of the routes the mind takes when you are in the storm and plan your way around it.

Hold on to the borders of the storm and slowly walk towards the eagle.

Find a place to hide. I was lucky to find a place to hide inside – like hidden rooms found with the Spirit Mask, underground spaces, and fully enclosed rooms – when the storm approached. It saved me time if I was working on a puzzle.

If you have any other tips for playing The Pathless, share them in the comments below. For more information, see all the games you can play right now on Apple Arcade, and the best iPad games of 2020.