The Marked Trees, which sees you start out in the charming forest in Midgard, is the first quest in the main story, referred to as The Journey, in God of War on PS4.
Here on this page, we'll take you through everything you need to know about this section of your quest, including how to solve any puzzles, take down any bosses and find any useful loot along the way. For guides to specific collectibles we also have pages on Valkyrie locations and how to open Hidden Chambers, Lost and Found locations and Faces of Magic locations, too.
The Marked Trees is a quest with a couple of parts, so here we've covered the first, while you can find the rest on this page here:
Otherwise, you can always cycle back to our main God of War walkthrough and guide hub, or our guide to God of War Valkyrie locations and how to open Hidden Chambers, too.
The Marked Trees and the first Midgard quest
After rather nice, tactile introduction to Kratos hacking down and hefting a tree, the first thing you'll really have to actively do in God of War is paddle downstream on the river with your son, Atreus.
Follow the river, and then the path, and watch the touching opening cutscene until you're given your first proper objective - Hunt with Atreus.
Hunt with Atreus
Before we get started, time for our first collectable. Head right at the gate for a Lost and Found toy.
Continue with him through the wooden gates, following the path and Atreus himself as he searches for the wild animal, and keep one eye just to the right for a glowing item on the ground, which can be collected for your first taste of Hacksilver, a kind of in-game currency that's used for upgrading your gear.
Just a few yards ahead, to the left of the stone steps, is another item on the ground. This one's another Lost and Found toy - which can be sold for more Hacksilver down the line. It's the first of a handful, but be sure not to miss it!
Press on with Atreus, picking up Hacksilver where you find it and keeping an eye out for little side paths, like the one pictured below, for things like chests (this one contains more Hacksilver), too.
You'll reach a bridge with a gap in the middle and some planks blocking the far end. You need to smash it with your throwing axe to get past, so this is essentially your tutorial for one of the game's key mechanics, that you'll use both for puzzles and combat alike.
Aim by holding L2, throw it by pressing R1 (for a quicker throw) or R2 (for a harder one), and recall it by pressing Triangle. You'll notice while aiming that the reticule changes to a sort of glowing symbol when you hover over something that you can impact by throwing your axe at - that's a pretty useful indicator for things you can interact with as you continue through the game, so keep it in mind.
Soon after the bridge you'll encounter some Draugr, the first enemies of the game and the basic bread and butter foe you'll see throughout. Smash them however you like - R1 and R2 are your quick and heavy attacks, and you can throw your axe to great effect too - but it should all be very easy for now.
Just beyond them is a little green orb on the ground - walk over to this and press Circle to consume it, and heal. There'll be plenty of these around, found in smashable pots and crates and on fallen enemies as you progress.
There's little else to do here now - despite a couple of teasing paths in different directions, though you can go right and follow it along for a Lost and Found toy - so follow Atreus up onto a bridge that leads inside a mountainous structure for another cutscene as you get close to the animal.
Looking for more help? Our God of War walkthrough and guide helps with the main story progress, including The Witch's Cave puzzle solutions. We also have articles on God of War Valkyrie locations and how to open Hidden Chambers, plus collectables including God of War Faces of Magic locations,God of War Lost and Found locations, God of War Treasure Map locations and God of War Nornir chest locations.
How to open the gate in The Marked Trees quest
After deciding you should get closer to shoot it, follow the path down and around into a kind of arena-like room, with some Draugr there to greet you. Dispatch them. If you like, enter the door at the back of the room for an optional Lost and Found toy, then head to the pillar with the chain on it in the middle of the area to continue.
You need to grab and pull the chain to raise the big gate at the far and - but once it's up, you then need to throw your axe, aiming for the large circular cog above the gate, which will hold it in place. You can then let go and head through, recalling your axe once you've done so.
Outside, take a sharp left right away rather than following Atreus, to find a large glowing red chest containing over 500 Hacksilver. There's also a ledge with a golden chain hanging down on it back towards the way you came, which takes you up to the raised platform where the Draugr were just spawning inside.
Head right, up the staircase, and smash the wooden panels in front of you to find a short hallways towards two closed wooden doors at the end. Open them to reveal an ornate carving telling an old myth. This is one of eleving Shrines you can find in the game, which tell stories of Giants of legend. It'll also start the Labour (a kind of challenge or side-task) of finding all eleven, which rewards you with a big chunk of XP on completion.
Go back out the way you came - look at the left-hand wall as you go though, as there's a Hacksilver chest there to smash open - and then back outside to where you started. Up on that ledge where you were there's a suggestion of some more treasure behind a grate, but there's no way to get to it now, so press on.
After a short walk you'll find the animal again. This time you help Atreus aim - try to line up the crosshairs, using the Right Analog stick, with the body of the deer - and hold down Square to charge up the shot before releasing when the square in the crosshairs turns red.
Follow Atreus up to the animal, help him put it out of its misery in the cutscene, and them wham! It's time for your first boss fight.