Assassin's Creed Valhalla takes the series' traditional action-RPG trappings and puts them into yet another new historical setting: northern Europe in the age of Vikings. While it's mostly recognizably similar to recent Assassin's Creed games Origins and Odyssey, Ubisoft has made some notable changes. These include more of a focus on social stealth and new options for your character. Not only that, but the setting itself has led to new game systems such as settlement-building. Here are some things you should know when you're just starting out on your Viking journey. You're in for a lengthy ride.
In GameSpot's Assassin's Creed Valhalla review, the game received an 8/10.
Collect Gear Resources
Valhalla isn't as loot-heavy as Odyssey, so you probably won't need to constantly swap out new weapons and armor pieces. Instead, you'll have a handful of armor that you can upgrade using resources to improve their stats and increase their number of rune slots available. So to get the most out of your armor, be on the lookout for resources everywhere you go. Hunting animals generates leather and mountainous regions have rocks that hold ore. You can scan an area for available resources using your assassin vision, or get a bird's eye view (ha!) of resource deposits with your crow.
Watch Your Power Level And Use Disguises
Always keep an eye on your current power level and try to stay in areas where you match or exceed that number. It's very easy to wander into areas that are well past your level, which are significantly tougher to survive in due to the presence of more powerful enemies. Plus, some areas are just plain unfriendly toward Vikings. If you find yourself in such an area, put on your cloak to blend in and pass through unnoticed.
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Customize Your Difficulties
Valhalla features a few different difficulty settings, including one for Exploration and one for Stealth. The Exploration setting determines how much information appears on your HUD and map. More minimal HUD means more searching for yourself using dialogue and environmental clues. Explorer Mode returns from Odyssey, but there's an even more minimal version this time called Pathfinder. You can also toggle your compass icons, and an automatic icon to show you the closest exploration opportunities. Stealth difficulty tweaks enemies' awareness of your movement, and you can turn on a "Guaranteed Assassination" toggle for a more classic Assassin's Creed experience. The game warns you this isn't the way it is meant is to be played, however. Finally, a combat difficulty setting also lets you toggle Aim Assist between Partial, Full, Light, and Off.
Sorting Your Missions
Your main campaign quests are taken on by talking to Randvi in the longhouse to determine what are called Conquests; these are long, multi-mission story arcs that you can do in any order. It's important to note that once you choose a Conquest, you're locked in until you've completed all of its associated missions.
On the other hand, there is Valhalla's new form of sidequests, which have been retooled and renamed "World Events." These more organic, randomized missions don't have a mission tracker but they're typically short and don't require much travel. These usually give you some light rewards and experience, and more often than not they're funny or surprising in some way.
You Can Respec Your Skill Points At Any Time
The skill tree in Valhalla is massive and skill points tend to come pretty quickly since it awards two points per level-up. It's a wide branching tree, and unlike Odyssey, you can respec whenever you want at no cost. So you're free to explore a skill tree to check out some of its more advanced techniques, then double back and try out a different branch. This effectively defogs the skill tree, letting you see it with more clarity even if you haven't filled out certain sections. For a deeper dive into this subject, check out our Skills and Abilities guide.
Turn in Artifacts for Powerful Rewards
Assassin's Creed is known for having dozens of doodads to collect, and Valhalla is no different. You can turn in Order of Ancient medallions to the Hidden Ones Bureau, which will earn you powerful unlockable abilities. The Hidden One Bureaus also sheds some light on the lore of the assassins, which is an absolute must for all of you longtime Assassin's Creed lore fans ous there.
Upgrade Your Settlement
Once you get past the tutorial area and venture to England, there's plenty to do within your camp. You'll want to prioritize fixing your barracks to create a jomsviking, a unique lieutenant that can occupy other people's worlds and earn you some coin if they're hired. You should also invest in the taxidermist so that you can keep trophies from a handful of difficult animal hunts.
When you're hanging out at the camp, you should take the time to engage in flyt, a form of Viking rap battle, to enhance your charisma rating. And if you're ever just unsure what to do, it never hurts to talk with the people in your settlement. Sometimes it helps you discover new allies, earn secret abilities, and even spark unexpected romances. But be aware, members of your settlement can die for good as you progress the story, so be sure to spend time with your favorites while you can.
Go Off the Beaten Path
Some of Valhalla's best secrets and side missions aren't marked on your map at all, even if you synchronize a waypoint. Instead, it encourages exploration and following your instincts. If you open your map and look for landmarks, chances are there's something waiting for you there. It could be a secret boss, special ability, or even a funny World Event. Go out and explore the world instead of simply venturing between waypoints; you'll have a far greater time.
Make a Feline Friend
There's a cat wandering England who hates most people--y'know, because it's a cat--but loves sailing the salty blue. You can find it near the end of Oswald's questline, and then it will join your longboat when you go raiding. This doesn't have any particular gameplay benefit but why wouldn't you want a Viking cat?