Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Mercenary System guide

Assassin's Creed Odyssey introduces its own Mercenary System that's a spin on Assassin's Creed 2's Notoriety mechanic combined with the Nemesis System from Warner Bros.' Middle-earth series. Since it's new to the Assassin's Creed franchise, we'll break down how it works in Odyssey and what it means to you.

What is the Mercenary System?

When you commit illegal acts, a bounty will be placed on your head that mercenaries in the world will attempt to cash in on. The more illegal acts you commit, the higher your bounty will be. It's a game of cat and mouse as you try to kill them off before they hunt you.

These mercenaries exist in the world whether you have a bounty on you or not, however, they will only actively hunt you once your bounty reaches a certain point on its scale. Think of it like something similar to Grand Theft Auto's Wanted Level, but instead of a five-star scale, Odyssey uses a five-mercenary helmet scale.

What do the tiers mean?

On the Mercenaries section of your menu, you'll notice nine different tiers, with Tier 9 being the weakest and Tier 1 being the strongest. Like the Nemesis System, the Mercenary System is dynamic in that mercenaries can move up or down within the ranks depending on power shifts that occur. If you take out one mercenary, another will take their place.

Because of Odyssey's level scaling, the weakest mercenaries will always be close to your own level. Despite this, the most powerful mercenaries can be dozens of levels higher than you. Though most tiers are comprised of five mercenaries, Tier 1 only has one, and this mercenary is at level 50.

How do I move up or down between tiers?

To move up between tiers, you need to eliminate more powerful mercenaries. If a mercenary kills you, you'll fall lower in the ranking.

How can I find mercenaries?

You can discover most mercenaries throughout the world by either learning about them through NPCs or by crossing paths with them while out exploring. So long as you don't have an active bounty on you, these mercenaries will not be hostile if you are in sight.

Certain mercenaries will require you to enter the fighting Arena to take them out.

What kind of information can I gain from the menu?

Aside from displaying a mercenary's level, you can also view where they are located within the world (so long as you have previously discovered them), their resistances and weaknesses, and what type of loot you'll receive upon killing them.

Can I avoid being hunted?

Yes! If you don't like the Mercenary System at all and don't want to deal with the constant threat looming over your head, you can pay off your own bounty.

In our review, we called Assassin's Creed Odyssey "another win for Ubisoft's leading design team."

Jennifer Locke

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life, and is very happy Xbox is growing a stronger first-party portfolio. You can find her obsessing over Star Wars and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.