Ghost Recon: Wildlands moves away from the series’ more linear roots and takes its tactical squad-based shooting out in the open. In fact, the world Ubisoft has created in Wildlands is one of the biggest they have ever made, including a huge variety of environments to explore and generally explode things in.
Thankfully, there are a whole host of hidden locations, easter eggs and pop culture references to sink your teeth into. As the game is so big, we’ll let you off if you missed a few of these in your first go around — there’s only so much of the 105-square mile map that any sensible individual can fully cover. Here are a few of the coolest hidden locations in Ghost Recon: Wildlands that most people likely missed in their first playthrough.
10 Hidden Cave
As there’s so much to explore, it can be incredibly easy to miss some of the most interesting locations the game has to offer. Right by the huge lake in the P. N. De Agua Verde region, there is an inconspicuous cave just daring you to poke your head into.
It turns out that it’s a drug hideout for the cartel, where you’ll find some angry guards who are frustrated by your sudden intrusion. After taking them out there are plenty of goodies to find, but the real highlight is the cave itself as there’s really not much else like it in the game. It also provides a nice quiet space for a bit of me-time when things get a bit too deadly out in the open world.
9 Town Of Dogs
This small, hidden village is surely somewhere a lot of us would like to visit. Located in the province of Itacua is the small town of Yopil — a place solely inhabited by dogs. Yep, you read right, an entire settlement run by man’s best friends!
For some inexplicable reason, all the people of the settlement have mysteriously disappeared, leaving their canine friends to fend for themselves and pick up the pieces. If it wasn’t so darned adorable, we might be concerned by the vanishing of an entire town… But look, they’re so cute! What were we saying again?
8 Mysterious Boy
Just below the Caimanes Alpha safehouse lies an eerie campsite, where you will find a lonely boy minding his own business. If you get too close, he will run off into some bushes, and then suddenly explode into a pile of floaty leaves.
If you snoop around the camp a bit, you’ll find a file that tells the mysterious story of a boy who one day walked into the nearby swamp to help his mother wash clothes, only to then disappear never to be seen again. So, is this a ghost boy destined to gaze upon the waters that gobbled him up for eternity, perhaps luring its next victims to their doom? It might be a bit difficult to get a good night’s sleep after that one.
7 The Matrix – Morpheus’ Red Chair
What at first appears to be a randomly misplaced comfortable red leather chair is none other than Morpheus’ favourite resting spot when plugged into the Matrix.
Located in the vast sea of Salt Flats in the north of Koani, this easter egg pays homage to the construct scene in the original Matrix film. That scene depicts a similarly endless white void of nothingness and is where Neo first begins to question what is real. Unfortunately, you can’t take any red pills in Wildlands, though you are completely free to question the nature of your reality when blowing up the cartel.
6 Alive – Plane Crash Village
Located in the snowy lower left region of the map is yet another reference to a movie from the ‘90s. The film, Alive, is based on the nail-biting true story of a group of Uruguayan plane crash survivors who had to use the plane’s remains to survive.
You’ll find the remnants of a similar plane crash to the one that was depicted in the movie, as well as a makeshift cemetery that the survivors made for those that were tragically lost during this ordeal. The village in the game is built from the wreckages of multiple plane crashes, and it’s grimly inferred that the village’s inhabitants are purposefully causing the crashes to get more materials to build its structures.
5 Assassin’s Creed – Leap Of Faith
Finally, Ubisoft fans can recreate the iconic leap of faith in a video game that isn’t Assassin’s Creed — just don’t expect to walk away unscathed. In a nod to Ubisoft’s popular series, you can find a beautifully crafted piece of Creed-inspired architecture as part of Nidea Flores’ estate in the province of Barvechos.
If you climb up to the tallest point of the tower, you’ll notice four perch points on the corners of the building, just begging you to jump off of them like the viewpoints of old. Directly below this is, as expected, a nice comfy haystack, though a lot smaller and much less likely to prevent imminent death.
4 Dark Souls Bonfire
The influential Dark Souls series gained such a ubiquitous presence over the years that it’d be difficult not to find some sort of reference to it in any contemporary video game release. Wildlands pays its respects with a recreation of the Souls bonfire.
You can find this homage northwest of the Caimanes province, at the top of a lonely hill. Just as with any Souls bonfire, you will find a burning sword embedded within a lit campfire, where you can contemplate all of your previous failings in quiet solitude. Thankfully, there are no disgustingly irreverent creatures to die endlessly to here, just an incredible vista to admire for your troubles.
3 El Yeti
Yetis have a habit of turning up in Ubisoft games in one way or another, which led the Wildlands community to delve into a Yeti-sized rabbit hole in search of it. The hunt was on.
Soon the mystery was solved, as a bloody rock was found on the snowy mountaintops of the Inca Camina province. After interacting with it, El Yeti, a normal human man wielding a sniper rifle and dressed in a white ghillie suit, will appear behind you. Although not a mythical monstrous beast, he is deadly enough to one-shot you if you’re not careful. If you shoot him first you are rewarded with both his suit and the humble satisfaction of solving a two-hundred-year-old myth at the same time.
2 Four “Don’t Press Me” Buttons
Dotted around Wildlands’ vast map are four buttons with a ‘’Don’t Press Me!’ sign next to each one. We strongly recommend that you do in fact push these buttons, as they will give you a little visual treat. Rules are meant to be broken, after all.
The first button can be found in a burnt forest in La Cruz. It will release four imposing-looking rockets that will burst into confetti at your feet. The second button is by a huge dam in Pucara, which sets off a colourful display of fireworks. The next one can be found in the Salt Flats in Koani and triggers another (you guessed it) massive explosion. The final button is right by the big Santa Muerte statue, which gets set on fire and leaves a trail of flames in the air.
1 Totem Statues And Shrine
All across Bolivia, you can find rock piles which are used for prayer, with one in particular on the top of a mysterious mountain in Inca Camina acting as the main shrine. There is a totem statue right next to this shrine, which can be picked up and placed on one of the altars, of which there are eight.
The seven remaining totem statues are located all across the map — on top of mountains, within deep and ominous caverns, and beside vast lakes. After finding them all, you are rewarded with thanks from the locals back at the shrine, and… that’s about all. It’s a little disappointing after all that work, but at least you get some nice views. It’s not the destination but the journey, right?