Assassin's Creed Valhalla is another ambitious game by Ubisoft Montreal that brings you face-to-face with Vikings in Medival England. The story as Eivor is a journey fought with perils, monsters, bandits, ambushes, and a whole lot more. England isn't exactly the most welcoming place to be for a Viking. Give yourself an easier time during your travels across this dangerous land with these beginner tips and tricks.
Location Scouting and Odin's Sight
If you have played Assassin's Creed Origins or Odyssey, you'll be quite familiar with using a bird to scout locations, tag enemies, and loot. This is somewhat the same in Valhalla, but with some minor changes. Your Raven, Synin, is still handy for scouting out locations a good distance away from high up in the air. Instead of using the raven for tagging, the stationary view will automatically pull up quests, points of interest, and resources in view. You can also place markers with the raven to help keep track once you are back on the ground.
Using the raven to scout locations works perfectly with another ability that Eivor has, called Odin's Sight. This is the pulse mechanic that you will use quite often. It will highlight enemies and nearby valuable objects that could be of interest. Objects such as wealth, keys, side objectives, and more, are affected.
Viking Combat Tips
The combat in Assassin's Creed Valhalla isn't too different from the previous titles, but there are noticeable changes. If you favor archery in combat, for example, there is now a weak point on the enemies to aim for. This will remove a segment of a stat bar above the enemy, called a defense slot. Eliminating this defense slot is a quick way to stun them and do substantial damage simultaneously. Some enemies have a single weak point and some have multiple. The weak point will be a bright orange spot on the enemy when you aim at them with your bow.
You now also have to deal with a stamina bar for combat, limiting the number of times you can dodge out of the way and block with your shield. Some players will find this frustrating, which is understandable. This stat is also affected by the weight of your equipment. The heavier your equipment, the more stamina you will eat up.
When you are in a situation where you need to dodge quite a lot, do not spam the action. You will drain the stamina bar very quickly, so time the dodge to the enemy's attack to try and make it as efficient as possible. Your stamina will recharge over time, so if you are low, back off for a short bit before re-engaging the enemy.
Use this strategy for blocking as well. You can hold up your shield for as long as you want, but the number of hits you take while blocking will take a toll. If you follow this strategy, you will also end up countering enemy attacks quite often. The blocking button is the same as parry and using a second melee weapon when you are dual-wielding. Timing a parry with a follow-up attack will finish the battle very quickly.
Acquiring more Abilities
The abilities tree in Assassin's Creed Valhalla has been revamped. You will no longer have to spend skill points to acquire these abilities. They are found all across the land, hidden in items called "Books of Knowledge." These are completely separate from your skill tree, which provides passive abilities and non-equipable abilities. If you want to obtain these abilities from the "Books of Knowledge," build the Cartographer in your settlement. You can purchase maps for armor and ability locations that will show up on your main map.
Leveling up Eivor
In Assassin's Creed Valhalla, leveling up your character has adopted a new approach. It's luckily a straightforward solution that provides an easy way to level up without the constant experience grind. Your levels are based on how many skill points you have allocated to your character. These points have to actually be spent in your skill tree and not just sit there as idly.
The skill tree is broken down into three areas for stealth, melee combat, and ranged combat. If there is a certain playstyle you like, the skill tree allows you to cater to the way you play. Fighting enemies, raiding, mysteries, and side activities all provide easy ways to obtain experience and skill points. If you want to have a very high-level character, do everything you possibly can on the map.
Flyting (Rap Battles)
Viking rap battles? That's correct! You can take up challenges against other people in Assassin's Creed Valhalla with a verse against verse rap battle called Flyting. This is a mini-game that you'll need to keep an eye out for in friendly villages. Alongside the hilarious words that are thrown around, there is a benefit to engaging in Flyting. Your character has a charisma stat that affects dialogue choices. The more Flyting battles you win, the higher the charisma level. You will only be prompted on certain occasions for a unique dialogue option, usually providing an alternative solution to a quest that may not be available otherwise. Look for a blue, smiling mask icon on the map to challenge others to Flyting.
Weapon and Armor upgrades
If you want better, more powerful gear and weapons, there are a few things you will need to do. First off, is going out and finding them. There are not a lot of weapons that can be quickly obtained during Assassin's Creed Valhalla. You will need to go out, and either purchase them from a vendor or find them in the world during your adventures. Here are all the current armor and weapons tiers in Valhalla.
- Fine/Grey: Two upgrade base stat slots.
- Superior/Bronze: Four upgrade base stat slots.
- Flawless/Silver: Seven upgrade base stat slots.
- Mythical/Gold: Ten upgrade base stat slots.
The higher the tier, the harder it is to find the material needed to upgrade to that tier. There is also a second area that can be upgraded on your armor and weapons, impacting overall base stats. This is separate from the tiers. When you upgrade to each new tier, it will provide additional base stat upgrade slots.
Most will start at a low-quality tier, either grey or bronze. To upgrade, you will need to find the proper materials. In order to advance your weapons and armor into higher tiers and increase base stats, these are the types of materials you will need.
- Leather: Commonly found by hunting and looting.
- Iron Ore: Commonly found throughout the map, keep an eye out for glowing piles of rocks of obsidian stone.
- Fabric: A rare material found in chests.
- Titanium: A rare material found throughout the world.
- Carbon Ingots: Found in the early areas of England and Norway.
- Nickel Ingots: Found in intermediate difficulty areas in England, uncommon to find.
- Tungsten Ingots: Found in high difficulty areas, this material will upgrade armor and weapons to their final tier.
If you decide to start upgrading armor and some weapons, it's best to stick with them for a good portion of the game until you upgrade something else to an equal level to replace it. If you spread out your upgrades, you could potentially be weaker with gear than you should be. Stick to your favorites until you feel comfortable switching out equipment.
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