Ori and the Will of the Wisps guide: Must-know tips and tricks

Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Review Screens
Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Review Screens (Image credit: Microsoft)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is here, and it is a platforming triumph. Taking place in the events following the first game, Will of the Wisps takes everything Moon Studios built and dials it up several notches, with ecstasy-inducing combat, razor-sharp platforming, and Metroidvania-style exploration. Some technical issues hold it back, but they're being rapidly smoothed out via patches.

If you're jumping in for the first time, or are a returning Ori veteran, I have some tips and tricks (spoiler-free) to help guide you on your way.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Combat tips and tricks

Ori and the Will of the Wisps has an all-new combat system that goes far further than the previous game in terms of variety and complexity. As you progress through the game, you'll end up with a vast array of attacks and abilities that can help you dispatch enemies.

A lot of the time, you don't need to kill anything and can speedrun to the end if that's your desire. Enemies drop currency that can be spent on upgrades, though, and honestly, it's just so damn satisfying to kill things.

  • Ori's basic spirit sword attack is your standard offensive ability. Ori can slash forward indefinitely in front of him, and pressing down while attacking does a sort of longer-range lance attack, which can be useful for pushing certain monsters back. When attacking and pressing down in the air, Ori does a downward slash that can be used to bounce upwards a little bit. You can also knock some enemies up into the air by pressing attack while holding up on the joystick, with an upward-strike.
  • When Ori's attack hits something, anything, all of his mid-air platforming ability limits are reset, meaning you can get double jumps, extra aerial dashes, and bashes after landing a hit. Use this to stay airborne.
  • Some enemies are particularly weak to specific attacks. The kelp-like plant tentacle monsters seem incredibly weak to Ori's fire attacks, and enemies with armor or shields can be cracked open by using Ori's massive weapon attacks. Figuring out which weapons to use per situation makes up some of the fun of Ori, so be sure to experiment with your tool kit.
  • Most enemies telegraph their attacks, but they can be hard to see if you're sitting far away from the screen. Learning when to dodge makes combat a lot more easy to handle. So, you may want to sit a little nearer to the screen to watch animation frames if, like me, you sometimes sit further away.
  • When fighting multiple mobs, remember Ori's bash skill, typically used for platforming, can also be used on enemies and their projectiles. This can be useful for redirecting enemy attacks back at them.
  • If you want to see Ori's damage output, you can turn on damage numbers in the options.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Exploration tips and tricks

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps, like any self-respecting Metroidvania-like puts a big emphasis on exploration. I'm sure it won't be long until there are full-blown collectible guides up on the internet, but if you're like me, you may decide finding them for yourself makes up part of the fun. That said, some of the mechanics that hide Ori's secrets aren't as easy to find as they probably could be.

  • Each area has unique platforming mechanics specific to that zone, many of which are formed out of part of the background. Some of these mechanics appear as 3D objects and are easy to see, but others blend in very well with the surroundings. If you're stuck, try to look around for something that seems "new" and specific to that area. For example, in Luma Pools, you can use Ori's bow and arrow attack to shoot starfish blocking water bubble fissures
  • Many collectibles are hidden behind passable walls that may appear solid at first glance. If an area seems to have a random dead-end, it could be that really; it's harboring a secret.
  • The map screen shows areas in grey when they haven't been fully explored. Tagging every corner of every map is a sure-fire way to finding every secret the game has to offer.
  • In the village hub Wellspring Glades, Lupo sells access to various items that let you track collectibles on the map more easily.
  • The Wellspring Glades village hub, which you unlock fairly early in the game, also has a vendor that can give you access to underwater breathing and triple jumping. Neither of these is required for completion, but they greatly help in exploration.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Progression tips and tricks

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

One of the most significant new features in Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the inclusion of a currency-based progression system, which you buy via vendors and characters rather than in a menu screen. This change makes Ori's world feel a little more inhabited while giving you far more options to tailor your playstyle.

  • As you play, you'll unlock shards, which are effectively passive bonuses, some of these can radically change Ori's combat style. For example, you could make Ori more of a "caster," with greater access to energy abilities at the cost of survivability.
  • Combat shrines are not only fun, but they give you additional sockets for equipping passive abilities. They're all well worth completing. Early on, they can be quite tough, though. Using bash and staying airborne as much as possible can give you an edge over some of the ground-dwelling monsters while prioritizing energy for ranged attacks on airborne monsters makes for a good strategy. Identify the most significant threats in each wave and make them your priority, dealing with slower, more easily-managed enemies last.
  • Like combat shrines, speed trials also reward you, this time with spirit currency. This can be accumulated and spent at the Wellspring Glades NPC hub.
  • Upgrading Wellspring Glades rewards you with cascading opportunities for more unlocks, as well as more spirit currency. Once built, houses can usually be entered, and you can generally smash pots and crates Zelda-style for even more currency.
  • Use the warp points on the main map screen to quickly access previously-traversed areas with your latest powers to find spirit currency containers that were previously out of reach. NPCs for side quests are usually fairly close to warp points as well for the sake of ease.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is awesome

Will of the Wisps has a few rough edges, but it does little to hinder the overall experience, which is simply sublime cover to cover. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will get you started without making things too easy like a full-blown guide might, but some things in Ori definitely aren't obvious. The fact the game doesn't hand-hold adds to the challenge, and thus, the fun!

If you need any other tips, hit the comments and let me know!

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!