The atomic heart has one of the most intricate collections of testing grounds that serve and offer up to players a puzzling area that they need to solve, alongside also having tons of enemies that are littered in the grounds which players need to fight, after which they can access precious loot. Players might need assistance with figuring out how they can access the Atomic Heart Testing Ground 9, while also getting their hands on the upgrades that are hidden!

Testing ground 9 is cavernous and full of mazes; therefore, a detailed walkthrough can only deem necessary for it!

  • The testing ground nine has a total of four upgrades that are hiding inside it, ranging from the KS-23 Collimator, Kalash Polarizer, Pashtet Handle as well as the Dominator Impulse Divider.
  • One of the first upgrades that players can encounter whenever they head into the depths of the testing ground nine is the KS 23 Collimator, which is stored in a red chest.
  • Another upgrade is the Electromagnetic Polariser, which is hidden inside a yellow chest alongside another important upgrade.
  • Another upgrade is protected by even more mazes,and it is the Dominator Impulse Divider, and is known to be protected inside a silver chest that can only be opened whenever you solve its mechanisms.
  • The fourth upgrade is the Pashtet Handle, which is present in the same chest as the Electromagnetic Polariser, which makes everything easier.
  • The KS 23 Collimator’s area can be unlocked by using a glowing orb and placing it in a red mechanism which opens the door through which players can crawl under.
  • The Dominator Impulse Divider is protect by a five-celled teal/red puzzle which opens the door to the chest.
  • Players can head inside the testing ground 9 by jumping and passing through a walkway through a sewer.
  • The Plyusch boss can be found roaming in the grounds too, and players can take it down by using melee or ranged attacks, and it’s attacks mostly consist of flinging arms and jumping on you.

KS-23 Collimator

KS-23 Start

Kicking things off, let’s take a look at the location and walkthrough for where the KS-23 Collimator is located.

  • Whenever you enter the Atomic Heart Testing Ground 9, turn left from the room that has lockers located inside it on both your right and left side, and pass through the metal gate where the doors are open.
  • Head left from the gates and entered the room with orange separators, in which there is a mechanism that players need to use their glove on to activate it, which helps open the door past the metal bars.
  • As you approach the door, it turns green and automatically opens for you, and you want to enter the next room and safely fall to the ground, ensuring that you don’t take too much fall damage.
  • Right infront of you, there is a mechanism that has a circular base that is holding one of the golden glowing orbs, and there is a tube present to the right of the orbs. To pick up the orb, players can use their glove’s abilities to make it levitate and hover in the air.
  • Grab hold of it, and ensure that the connection is strong enough so that the orb doesn’t fall to the ground, and carefully carry it towards a red mechanism that is present at the far end of the room.
  • Interact with the red mechanism, which can easily hold onto the glowing orb and instantly lights up, indicating that the connection has been successful.
  • From there, it activates the door to the left which opens up as a grate, and you can crawl underneath to enter the room.

Go inside the far end of the left room, and a red/bronze chest awaits you which is in the shape of a robot, and you can crack it open using R1 if you are on PS.

  • From the chest, players are not only able to receive the blueprint for the KS-23 Collimator, but also chemistry as well as a bit of PM ammo.
    KS-23 (Image Credits Exputer)

Dominator Impulse Divider

Red Button

Whenever you can get your hands on the KS-23, you wanna aim to get the Dominator Impulse Divider after that. Follow the pathway below, which can allow you to figure out the correct way to go to get the blueprint.

  • From the same place, you wanna head out of the room and down the stairs and turn from the first right that you can encounter right beside the stairs.
  • Head towards the red button in the middle, and to interact with it, you need to press the red button, with which you can see a movement taking place in front of you through the bars.
  • Turn back around and start heading up the stairs, and turn left instead of entering the room, crawl under the opened grates, jump over the ledges, and submerge yourself in water.
  • Go into the water and head into the cabin which is illuminated by the white light, and from there, take out the glowing orb that is present on a lamp on the wall. Take the orb and start swimming back to the surface and get back to shore safely.
  • Carry the orb to the door past the red mechanism where we originally placed an orb to open it and place it in the placeholder that is present towards your right as you enter the room.
  • Go back to the red mechanism and use your glove to take out the orb from it to deactivate it, crawl back into the room, and place it on the red mechanism on the left.
  • Take the orb that is used to open the grates and place it in the right red mechanism. This ends up activating the door present towards the far end of the room.
  • Head to the next room which has the red button where you need to do the task of coming up with a “closed-loop, self-cleaning system for testing the flow that is taking place at minimum”.
  • Press the button and head back to the two red mechanisms and take the orb out from the left one, and place it into the placeholder beside the door to open the door.
  • Take the orb out from the right mechanism, and then place it on the placeholder mechanism in the room, and take out the orb from the placeholder inside the room so that the door stays open.
  • Take the orb and place it into the placeholder that is beside a door a few feet ahead, and you can take out the orb from the red mechanism and place it into the right placeholder,

Once the door opens, and run into the open room where you will come into an encounter with Plyusch, and there are quite a few other enemies that you can encounter (more details on it later) and you want to head to the door on the very far end with the same teal blue and red mechanism. Follow this pattern to solve the puzzle:

  • Interact with it, and five cells appear.
  • Retract the one on the bottom, then the one on the left at 9-clock, then the one on the right at 3-clock, then the one on the top left, and then the one on the top right, open the door, and the room to the right has the silver chest.
  • The silver chest resembles the red one, and whenever you open the chest, you land your hands on the blueprint.


Kalash Polarizer/Pashtet Handle


Now, to get the other two upgrades, start heading back out the room from where you got the Silver chest, and head down the room with the red lights,

  • Head down the stairs, and go into the room with the glowing or that is hung high on the wall.
  • Head towards a container, and use your SHOK charge to change the terminal of the batteries that are present on the roof to bring down one of the containers and climb on top of it.
  • Use your SHOK charge to change the terminals again, and turn them to red to get onto the platform with the glowing orb,
  • Grab the orb and place it into the placeholder that is present on the wall beside a tube.
  • Get on top, grab the orb from the placeholder, and instead place it on the one that is far away from the containers. Grab onto it again, and this time, place it on the one behind you. Get onto the stairs and take the orb again, and place it beside the door so it opens.
  • Head to the room at the very end so that you can encounter the golden chest, which has both blueprints all ready for you.

How To Enter Testing Ground 9

Testing Ground 9

One of the main things that players need to figure out is just how they can even head into the Atomic Heart Testing Ground 9. Whenever players spawn their map, Testing Ground 9 is smack dab in the center, is navigated with a yellow bright circle, and has been targetted as your location.

The Polygon 9 essentially has a total of 4 upgrades that players can get their hands on, as they are listed below:

  • One of the first upgrades that players will encounter whenever they head into the depths of the testing ground nine is the KS 23 Collimator, which is represented and stored in a red chest.
  • As for the second upgrade, it is protected by even more mazes, is the Dominator Impulse Divider, and is known to be hidden and protected inside a silver chest that can only be opened whenever you solve its puzzles.
  • Another upgrade is the Electromagnetic Polariser, which is hidden inside a yellow chest.
  • Last but not least, the fourth upgrade is the Pashtet Handle, which is conveniently present in the same area as the Electromagnetic Polariser, which makes things a whole lot easier for the player.

Starting Out

To start, players want to be in an area where they are towards the southern end of the actual location of the Atomic Heart Testing Ground 9. It can be seen a lot more clearly whenever players open their map.

  • Starting, players need to be standing far from a mushroom-shaped red building and a windmill behind a flight of stairs.
  • From there, you want to locate a sewer that is present towards the off-track and head straight into it.
  • As soon as you do, you are taken inside a beaten-up sewerage system from which you need to navigate your way forward.

Inside The Sewer


From here, when you’re inside the sewer, start heading past the first left turn, and then keep making your way forward as swiftly as you can, making sure to navigate the waters safely. Turn left from the third left turn that you encounter, whereby an enemy is present on the wall, and you can shoot it down either from your gun or you can simply ignore it and keep heading forward.

  • From here, turn back, and jump past the dead body, and there is another mutant that is present on the right of you. This area of the sewer is darker. Therefore caution should be used here.
  • Run past the monster that appears or you can even kill it, and also avoid the same mutant that is present on the left now. As you locate the end of the sewer, you have arrived inside.

How To Explore Ground 9

Teal Red Mechanism

Moving on, once you’re inside, you might want to figure out a way to explore the inside of the entire maze since it’s quite intricate.

  • As soon as you head in, an enemy instantly awaits you, which you can easily defeat by shooting it blank on the head.
  • Head towards the door on the far right, and there is a teal blue and red mechanism that awaits you there. If you’re playing on PS, then you can click on R1 to interact with it. As soon as you do that, it’s wires are connected to your hand, and three cells need to be solved.
  • Below the cell on the top right, there is an orange marker, and beneath the one on the bottom left, there is a blue marking, and no marking but a blue light on the far right. After you unlock it, head to the very back, where there is a box of golden glowing orbs.
  • You need to go ahead and grab one of the glowing orbs with your hands, and when you do so, your glove can make the orbs hover but stay close enough to the glove, so it doesnt fall.
  • Hover it and start moving it towards one of the tubes that are protruding outwards beneath the blue light, and when you take it closer to the tube, it instantly sucks it in and starts making it travel elsewhere.

Maneuvering The Orbs

Manuevering Orbs

From here, head out of the room where tons of tubes will be needed to make the orbs maneuver.

  • Start using the abilities from your glove to pull the orb back, so it moves across the tube, and from there, hover it to the right, and keep moving it along the curves of the tube.
  • It stops at one of the intersections, for which you need to interact with the tubes again, so go ahead and pull down the orb into one of the circular mechanisms and once you do so, the mechanism ends up being activated.
  • Head back into the room to grab another orb and maneuver it through the tubes once again, but this time, you want to maneuver it, so it travels to the second circular mechanism and activates it too.
  • Go back to retrieve an orb for the third time, and you can simply place it into the first circular mechanism that you can encounter as soon as you head out of the room.
  • Grab another orb, and this time, hover it to the left side of the tube and make it go into the fourth mechanism.

Once you do so, it will instantly cause an explosion to take place, which ends up setting everything on fire, and if you are not at a distance, then it can also cause the player to take in serious damage.

Heading Out

Once you do set everything on fire, start heading past the teal blue and red mechanism, and take a left from there. And you want to head into a room where there are tons of plants, then start making your way on top of the ladders, and run through the room on the back of the sewerage system, into the room with the 48 labels on the wall.

  • Head inside what seems like a bubble of water, and when you do so, swim your way through safely, and you find yourself on the surface of a lake with a structure in the front.
  • Swim to shore, and head up the ramps.

How To Defeat Plyusch


Whenever you do end up encountering it while trying to explore around the Atomic Heart Testing Ground 9, Plyusch itself is present inside a capsule and has been stopped from escaping, and you are told that the specimen is known as Ivy too and that it is quite dangerous.

If it ends up escaping from its cage, and it has tons of black wired arms, it is an absolute mess of nothing but a black silhouette.

  • One of its iconic attack patterns is that it can approach you and then continuously fling its left and right arms back and forth ad consistently launch them toward you in an attempt to attack you.
  • At one point, it also ends up jumping into the air to jump toward you and launch down on you,
  • One thing to note about eh boss is that while it’s fast, it doesn’t consistently launch attacks against you, therefore, you can launch melee as well as ranged attacks on him.
  • If the boss attacks you, it is more than able to stagger you and throw you back, so make sure to stay at a distance too.
  • The boss isn’t all that difficult to defeat; therefore, you can take him out easily.


And that’s all we have! All that players need to know about the upgrades and the bosses in Atomic Heart Testing Ground 9, and with that, we will wrap up our guide! While you’re at it, why not read up on our Atomic Heart How To Defeat Hog 7 Hedgie guide, which goes into detail about it’s attack patterns, as well as discusses the tips and tricks that players should follow! While you’re at it, why not check out our Atomic Heart Mirror Mechanism Puzzle guide, which has a total of 4 parts to it as well as puzzles that players need to solve!

If you want to know what the best skills are, then you can read up on our Atomic Heart Best Skills Upgrade guide! Choosing from the 7 skill trees can become difficult with Shok, Character, Frostbite, Mass Telekinesis, Polymeric Jet, Polymeric Shield, and Energy Managemen. Therefore, our Atomic Heart Skill Trees guide can help you out!

Up Next:

  • Atomic Heart Dominator Blueprint
  • Atomic Heart Best Weapons
  • Atomic Heart Trophies
  • Atomic Heart Game Length

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