Best ways to earn Masterwork and Legendary items in Anthem

Anthem flight
Anthem flight (Image credit: EA)

Anthem is BioWare's latest sci-fi game, and it makes its combat with high-tech mech suits called javelins the center of attention. One of the best ways to ensure your javelin is as powerful as it can be during endgame activities is by hunting down and using items that belong to the game's highest tiers of loot: Masterwork and Legendary.

Here's a guide that highlights the best ways to obtain these super rare items.

What's the best way to get Masterwork gear?

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Anthem Titan fight

Anthem Titan fight (Image credit: EA)

Masterwork gear is the second-best type of gear you can get in Anthem, sitting above Epic rarity but just under the Legendary tier. To boost your chances of getting Masterwork items, you can do two things: play through activities at higher difficulties, and take on Legendary Contracts and Strongholds.

By default, Anthem offers an Easy, Normal, and Hard mode for its various activities. However, after reaching Level 30, the three Grandmaster tiers of difficulty become available. For each higher tier of Grandmaster difficulty you and your team take on, your chances at Masterwork loot drops are dramatically increased. Here's a full breakdown of each Grandmaster tier:

  • Grandmaster 1 — Increase enemy health and damage by 165 percent. Increase Masterwork drop chance by 164 percent.
  • Grandmaster 2 — Increase enemy health and damage by 430 percent. Increase Masterwork drop chance by 428 percent.
  • Grandmaster 3 — Increase enemy health and damage by 950 percent. Increase Masterwork drop chance by 956 percent.

Grandmaster 1 can be powered through by simply having good gear, but Grandmaster 2 and 3 will require sound teamwork, thought-out character builds, and plenty of skill. However, by doing them, you're almost guaranteed to get at least one Masterwork item, if not several.

Another great way to find Masterwork gear is by completing both Legendary Contracts and Strongholds. Legendary Contracts are special contracts from Fort Tarsis that are given randomly by NPCs. Unlike regular contracts, they're longer and more difficult, but also have an increased chance of dropping Masterwork gear at the end. Strongholds are linear missions with multiple different objectives to complete and a large boss battle at the end. They don't inherently offer increased Masterwork chances, but each objective completed in them spawns a treasure chest that you can open, meaning that you'll walk away with a huge pile of stuff by the end of the mission. This increases the likelihood of a rare item drop.

If you combine the Grandmaster difficulties with these special activities, you can maximize your chances of getting your hands on tons of Masterwork gear.

What about Legendary gear?

Legendary gear is the tier above Masterwork items. Essentially, Legendary items are special versions of Masterwork ones that come with a higher power ranking and better stats. They don't have a specific drop rate — rather, after a Masterwork item drops, another random-number generator will determine if that Masterwork will end up dropping as a Legendary. If so, it's your lucky day.

Due to the way Anthem handles Legendaries, the best way to get them to drop is to do Strongholds at the highest Grandmaster difficulty you and your teammates are comfortable with. This is because Strongholds at Grandmaster difficulties have a great balance between loot quantity and loot quality. They may not spawn Masterwork gear at a better rate inherently, but they do have tons of loot drops per playthrough. Pair that with the big bonus chances that higher difficulties offer, and you'll have a fantastic chance of getting a large handful of Masterwork items by the end of the Stronghold. This, in turn, increases the chances that you'll get a lucky Legendary roll on one of them.

Your thoughts

What do you think of Anthem's loot systems? Do you think it's too hard or too easy to get the best gear in the game? Let me know what you think.

Anthem is expected to be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on February 22 for $60. If you have an EA/Origin Access or Origin Access Premiere subscription, you can play it early right now on Xbox One and PC.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.