The Witness Hints

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The Witness is very beautiful – compared to anything that came out in 2015, it is probably the prettiest. If you like puzzle games, it will definately give you what you need. It is also pretty long and constantly teaches me new things, which feels very nice.

But it also has a whole bunch of puzzles that are non-obvious to the point of being bullshit. At the time of writing, finding help that doesn’t spoil the fun at every possible point is almost impossible. There are only fully solved puzzles on the internet. I don’t think you would want or need that. (If you do want full solutions, this man has pretty cool ones).

I would rather offer subtle nudges in the right way than a walkthrough or full guide, so here’s what I have to offer. Hints for The Witness without Solutions! Simply mark the white text to see the hints. The pictures will not show solved puzzles. Caveat: These hints are for problems I had, I didn’t ask other people before writing. If my solutions don’t solve a problem that you’re stuck with, sorry.

General hints

A) Often, you are dealing with a problem of perspective. Walk around until things look different.

B) Except when introducing a new mechanic, The Witness rarely, if ever, makes you do the same trick twice. The solution to two boards right next to each other is almost never similar, even if they look almost identical.

C) If you find maps with honey combs on them, take a screenshot or note for easier future reference.

Central Village

This place is about highly advanced puzzles from all other regions of the game. Don’t waste your time here until you’ve done the rest. These hints are meant to direct your gaze in the right direction.

Hint 1 (Blue Pillars House): Ignore rubble, it is irrelevant

Hint 2 (Blue Pillars House): Use skills learned in the maze castle

Hint 3 (Yellow Leaves House): Solve other Puzzles first, use perspective

Hint 4 (Yellow Leaves House): For this puzzle (link), there is no perspective where everything fits right. You have to follow the bars, not avoid them.

Hint 4 (Bright Flowers House Recording Room): Bamboo forest skills are needed here

Hint 6 (Three Solution Board): This is a shadow riddle, a temple-branch riddle and a sun reflection riddle.

Pink Forest

This place is pleasantly simple. You can solve the first puzzle just by looking at the above screenshot.

Hint 1: This forest introduces the mechanic „correlate info from the nearby world with your board“

Hint 2: If there’s no suspicious pointer, there may be something suspiciously absent. Count.


Greenhouse Bunker

Hint 1: This place is all about colours. Try changing your perspective.

Hint 2: Change perspective again. Don’t try to repeat the same trick you just used.

Fun fact: This is my favorite zone. I want to fucking live there.


This was one of the main places of frustration to me. You might come across mechanics from other places here that haven’t been introduced to you yet.

Hint 1: Tetris blocks, when you arrange them so they touch, don’t need to be separated.

Hint 2: The icon of a tetris block has to be within the shape you draw.

Hint 3: Tetris blocks with icons that are slightly tilted can be turned in any direction (but they can not be mirrored)

Green and Orange Forest

Hint 1: This zone is also exclusively about perspective.

Hint 2: The only solutions are „avoid shadows“ or „move on shadows“

Hint 3: The final board, in the orange forest, expects you to switch your modus midway.


Hint 0: Screenshot/write down the solutions to the hedge mazes, you’ll need them later.

Hint 1 (First maze): This one is all about invisible roadblocks.

Hint 2 (Second maze): Look  at your feet

Hint 3 (Second maze): Yes seriously those barely different rocks are the solution I mean are you fricken kidding me

Hint 4 (Third maze): Audio

Hint 5 (Fourth maze): The board doesn’t correspond to the hedges. Take notes, compare.

Hint 6 (Walk-over boards): Since stuff is unfairly in your way sometimes, you don’t have to play by the rules either.

Hint 7 (Walk-over boards): Nothing forces you to draw the line in the correct order here, it just has to be a valid board when finished.

Hint 8 (Maze final test): Just repeat the previous solutions

Hint 9 (Walk-over board final test): The solution here is completely unrelated to what you see below you.

Hint 10 (Walk-over board final test): You can still solve the lower right and upper right quarters first.

Tree House Forest

This is a kind of advanced zone. If you hit a roadblock, come back later.

Hint 1: Sun icons are monogamous, but not worried about racial segregation

Hint 2: That means you need exactly 1 icon of the same colour as the sun together with it, but you can have whatever else in there. Squares are not worried about suns either.


Hint 1: The new mechanic is about fixing your mistakes.

Hint 2: In this zone, you’ll always get the „failed“ response for a moment before a board ends up alright again.

Hint 3: The error-deletion-icon can remove any other icon from the board that has not had their requirements met. You have to use it.

Hint 4: The error-deletion-icon can also remove the dots that you have to collect.

The reverse Y icon introduced in this zone has, as far as I know, no established name and no unicode character that accurately represents it. The only one that comes close is lambda λ.

Red Tree Temple

Hint 1: This is completely about perspective again

Hint 2: The red bonsai tree is relevant

Hint 3: This is relevant (picture link)

Sun Temple

Hint 1: This is exclusively a perspective thing again.

Hint 2: Make the sun appear on the surface of the board. 

Hint 3: Some boards can be turned with buttons at the back.

Fun fact: The  symbol all over this temple reminds me of the mark of chaos, but likely refers to the hinduist/buddhist wheel of dharma, if it refers to anything at all.

Tropical & Bamboo Forest

Hint 1: Listen for birds

Hint 2: Listen for coyote

Hint 3: Listen for the very fast chirping

Hint 3: Small dots are high notes, big dots are low notes

Final Vault

Hint 0: You don’t need to finish all other parts to open the Vault, but the experience helps.

Hint 1 (First Floor): You will have to walk through the garbage right here (Link).

Hint 2 (First Floor): You may have to fight the camera’s auto-adjusting on one board.

Hint 3 (Second Floor): You will have to change the two paths 5 times to make it work.

Fun fact: Fuck colour blind people, amirite.


I have, at the time of publishing this, not actually finished the game yet, in part because a huge part of it is finding all those hidden-in-plain-sight shapes that will make you find even more appreciation for the landscape artists of this game.

While I strongly recommend you play the game, assuming you like puzzles, I also got very angry at it multiple times, almost exclusively because you can just walk anywhere, there is no order and you can get challenged with tasks that you don’t know the solution to yet – but also don’t know you don’t know the solution to yet. Just for fun, here are a few of my outbursts, recorded in my chat logs and stripped of context to make them more entertaining:

  • Fuck, the floor is tetris my solution was a mistake I am drifting!
  • Goddammit now the game is changing the rules in an unexplained, unprecedented way and I don’t know what it wants from me!
  • I can’t identify any kind of hint about what they want me to do! Nothing here seems related, what is this.
  • This board is such an INCREDIBLE son of a bitch, it makes me question what I know about the rules of this game and it just fucking sucks
  • FML
  • This should be correct. I don’t understand why it isn’t. I refuse to accept it isn’t.
  • Finally, a riddle I could solve easily. And by „easily“ I mean „one where the rules aren’t arbitrarily changed from what they were 1 board earlier without introducing what they are“.
  • Solved the maze castle. Had to look up a guide once, just to find out that the solution was „there are tiny, barely visible stones on the floor in the colour of the  floor that represent blockades„. Fuck you. [That segment of the game inspired this list of hints]

Written by vetaro

29. Januar 2016 um 4:45 am

Veröffentlicht in Uncategorized

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