Atomic Heart: How to Access Testing Ground 9

Testing Ground 9 is a particularly hard to access bunker filled with crafting components, and a pair of blueprints. This is how you get in.

Testing Ground 9 is an optional underground lab in Atomic Heart. It's filled with all manner of nasty things waiting to dismember you, but if you can find your way through there is a mountain of upgrade parts, and a pair of Weapon Recipes that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s also one of the most difficult to find, with a door locked behind a hidden puzzle. Let's go into how to access Testing Ground 9. 

How to Get into Testing Ground 9

Testing Ground 9 is located near the massive statue that forms the Kollektiv Complex. There’s a grouping of buildings to the southwest, and the area is teaming with Mutants. Clear out the monsters, then you’ll be looking for a couple of landmarks.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

First, find the mushroom-shaped safehouse (may as well save while you are there). Stand in the doorway of the safehouse and face outward facing. You'll see a Hawk in the distance tethered to the ground by some vines. Take a few steps towards it, by keeping your eyes on the ground.

You are looking for an open manhole, leading to a sewer. Drop down, and fight your want through the mutants until you reach a break in the all leading to an underground lab.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Look for the room filled with boilers. Nearby is another room with Candles, glowing red energy-storing orbs. Use your telekinesis to pick up a Candle, and feed it into the tube on the wall. Use your telekinesis again to guide it through the maze of tubes to one of the boilers. Once it reaches the boiler, it will detonate.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Repeat this process for the remaining three boilers, and the room will erupt with flames, clearing the fines. Explore the bunker until you find a corner with a stream of Polymer leading through a hole in the floor. Follow this out to a lake, and climb the docks to return to the village. 

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Now the Hawk has been freed. Head towards the central group of buildings, and look for some crates leading to a pipe. Use these to climb onto the roof and use the Terminal to hack into the cameras. When you select the correct camera you will have the option to open a sealed door next to a statue.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Jump down from the room, and head South until you are near the statue from the camera. There’s a small building next to it. Inside is an elevator leading to Testing Ground 9. 

Screenshot by GameSkinny

These testing grounds can be a challenge. We recommend making sure you go in with your Polymers upgraded, and your weapons at the ready. For guides on how to just that, and more, be sure to visit or dedicated Atomic Heart page


Justin is a married father of two, has too many pets, and is a life-long gamer. When he's not in the virtual world he specializes in live event production, designing events for corporate clients such as Microsoft and Nintendo.

Published Feb. 24th 2023

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