# How the Critic is used to train the Actor in Actor-Critic network

I understand the general idea behind the Actor-Critic architecture. The actor maps state to action, and the critic maps state + action to reward.

But I don't fully understand how the critic output (reward space) can be used to train the actor sub-network.

How can a reward be used to train the actor sub-network to make it choose a better action when the actor sub-network doesn't get the reward as input or output?

Instead of receiving total return in the summation form of (discounted) rewards sampled from the full trajectory as in REINFORCE with baseline to update policy parameters, in actor-critic method to bootstrap, the actor sub-network usually receives a one-step return in the familiar form of temporal difference (TD) error $$(R_{t+1} + \gamma \hat V_{\pi_\theta}(S_{t+1}, w) - \hat V_{\pi_\theta}(S_t,w))$$ (or n-step) from the critic who evaluates estimated state value function optimized from same TD error.