What Are Gates & Dungeons In Solo Leveling? Why Did They Appear?

When we talk about the word “hype”, many things come to mind. In the anime verse, it is used for moments like new Saiyan modes or Luffy’s Gear 5, but have you ever felt the same way from the antics of an average teenager who is better off studying in college rather than being a deadweight during dungeon raids?

Chugong’s Solo Leveling is much more than that, and we are blessed to receive an anime adaptation of this hype machine of a series. Sung Jin-Woo’s actions lead to unprecedented events as he enters a game where he needs to – well, level up!

solo leveling

As we watch our pathetic main character grow, we also need to learn about the rules of the world. What are these mystical gates that lead the hunters into dungeons? Why did they suddenly start appearing? That’s what we are going to discuss here.

Before we hop on to the hype train, we must first pay our respects to the late Sung-Rak Jang, the illustrator of the Manhwa. Without his skills and efforts in the amazing artwork, Chugong’s story could not have taken its shape.

Spoiler alert: Heavy spoilers for the Manhwa may be discussed. Read at your own risk!

What are Gates and Dungeons?

In the world of Solo Leveling, Gates are magical portals that appear throughout cities that lead to Dungeons, home to strong spirits and monsters. Awakened humans known as Hunters enter these deadly lairs to fight off against the monstrosities. They are capable of wielding strong magic and equipment, both offensive and defensive.

Gate in Solo Leveling

Victory is achieved by killing the main “boss” of the dungeon. As a result, the Gate closes, before which rare materials like Essence stones are collected, which sell for an excessive amount of money—a win-win situation. In short, an entire economy is based on dungeons and gates.

Gates are characterized by their level of risk and difficulty or their rankings. They follow the traditional S-E ranking system, where E-ranked dungeons offer the lowest risk and can be completed by novice Hunters. S-ranked dungeons lead to a State of Emergency, that requires the strongest Hunters and evacuation of citizens, if necessary.

These accursed gates close an hour or so after the dungeon’s main boss has been slain. Despite the seemingly clear instructions, there are certain conditions to keep in mind. First, the higher ranked a dungeon is, the more difficult it will get to complete it, and second, where the real danger looms: in case a Dungeon Break occurs.

The Hunters inside cannot take their sweet time to complete the lair as if a gate isn’t cleared within 7 days after initiation, the creatures in the Dungeon will be able to cross into the human world and assault the civilian populace. You don’t want that to happen to your peaceful city, do you?

So all of these sounds cool, but from where did all of this come from? Why are humans victims of such an unnatural phenomenon? Let’s find out.

Where did the Gates really come from and what are they?

To answer in short, spawning these magical Gates was the collective decision of the Rulers, who wanted to make the humans accustomed to mana by making them fight magical beasts from the Chaos world and against the deadly Monarchs.

Now how many words from the last sentence were completely new to you? No matter the number, we will discuss it all, so gear up, as it is time for a history lesson!

In the beginning, when only light and darkness were present in the world, the Rulers, who were fragments of light, and the Monarchs, who were the manifestation of darkness waged war.

Rulers in Solo Leveling
Monarchs in Solo Leveling

The Rulers then decided to overthrow their god who was responsible for their creation and take over the world, when he didn’t respond to their pleas. One out of the seven known as Ashborn was left for the dead by his comrades, due to his loyalty, but his loyalty wasn’t in vain.

Discovering a newly found power within himself, he turned into the Shadow Monarch and returned to the battlefield, just to find his god dead.

Joining the ranks of the Monarchs, he now waged battle against his old comrades but Ashborn’s humbleness and also his deadly powers never made him feel as a part of either side. This time betrayed by a few Monarchs out of fear, he was left alone as his army was annihilated.

The Monarchs then decided to start attacking the human world, and when the Rulers couldn’t contain the destruction of mankind, they used the Cup of Reincarnation, a tool created by the Absolute Being that can turn back time 10 years. Despite the powerful tool, they realized they could not prevent the destruction from happening. The power of the tool also wore out on multiple uses.

After centuries, when the Monarchs decided to launch their assaults on the Human world yet again, the Rulers decided to turn to the last resort: to spawn gates and dungeons filled with magical creatures so that humanity gets exposed to such unnatural phenomena and use mana to withstand the Monarchs’ power.

The aftermath of the fight between the Monarchs and the Rulers left the world in ruin, so to make the situation a bit better, the rulers tried to prepare Earth to at least have some survivors and remain partially intact when the war broke out.

Go Gunghee Solo Leveling
Go Gunhee, one of the Ruler Vessels

Also, the beasts that were captured by the rulers from the army of Monarchs were the very same ones that were being flushed out on Earth, so the Monarchs have a very good reason to come back to Earth to fight once more.

The Rulers also had other plans to fortify Earth, which included choosing powerful humans as vessels for their reincarnation onto Earth. Jin Woo being one of them, turned out the vessel for none other than the Shadow Monarch.


In the world of Solo Leveling, Gates are magical portals that lead to the dungeons, home to magical beasts and creatures. Awakened humans known as Hunters are tasked with defeating the boss inside the Dungeon and closing the gates, with additional loot as rewards. Gates also follows a ranking system that defines difficulty and is also dangerous to be left open for over a week, as it could lead to Dungeon Breaks.

These Gates also have a distinct history, as the Rulers decided to expose humanity to magical beasts to make them withstand the fury of the Monarchs. That is why Gates exist in the world of Solo Leveling and clearing them in order to prevent the worst from happening is a crucial task for the Hunters.

Related posts

Leave a Comment