Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Tips And Tricks

We've got some tips to get you started in Team Ninja's new action-RPG.


Whether you're a newbie or a genre veteran, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is likely to test your mettle with its risk/reward exploration and punishing boss battles. There's a lot to keep up with in Team Ninja's newest Soulslike entry, and it can seem a little overwhelming when you first dive in--especially since many of the game's mechanics put unique spins on those of similar titles. But we've compiled a few handy tips here that we hope will give you some insight into how to approach Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty's opening hours.

Aggression is rewarded

Wo Long's spirit system greatly rewards your aggression--at least when that aggression is doled out appropriately. Your standard attacks and well-timed deflects raise your spirit (stamina), which you can then spend on Martial Arts or heavy attacks for significant damage to your enemy's HP and spirit. If you spend too much time blocking or dodging and not enough time dishing out those standard attacks, you'll quickly find that your own spirit gets broken, leaving you stunned and vulnerable as a result. In short, make sure you're maintaining your spirit by staying on top of foes with attacks and deflecting their swings when possible.

Aggression is encouraged in Wo Long.
Aggression is encouraged in Wo Long.

There aren't many barriers to experimentation early on

Wo Long is one of the genre's least punishing games in terms of experimentation, especially in the opening hours. After completing the first handful of missions in the game, you gain access to an NPC in the village hub that allows you to respec your character's stats at no cost anytime you'd like. Meanwhile, you won't necessarily need to invest heavily in weapon and armor upgrades until much later in the game.

Due to this design choice, you have the freedom to try different builds, weapons, and more without worrying about being sucked dry of resources. That being said, once you get further in the game and decide on a few weapons you really like, though, it's probably best to start being a little more conservative with materials and narrowing your focus just to save yourself from needless grinding.

You can be nimble or you can be tough--but you can't be both

Every piece of armor you equip has a weight value attached to it, and as with many other games in the genre, you'll start to lose some mobility the heavier your equip load gets. So, if you want to wear heavy armor and be able to take a few extra blows, you'll forfeit maneuverability and use more spirit when evading enemy attacks. Meanwhile, using lighter armor means you won't be able to withstand much of a beating, but you'll be able to dodge those attacks much easier and use less spirit doing so. Generally speaking, you'll want to pair large, slow weapons with heavier armor, while quicker, smaller weapons will pair better with light armor.

Absorb Vitality pairs wonderfully with your fatal strikes

After putting 3 points in the Wood Phase wizardry spells tree, you'll be able to buy a spell called Absorb Vitality. Casting this spell before performing standard attacks typically won't produce significant returns in health, but proper timing can ensure that you make the most of its effects. Once you've dwindled down the spirit of a large enemy or boss, you'll be able to perform a fatal strike (critical blow) to deal massive damage to their health. The moment you see this opportunity arise, cast Absorb Vitality and then quickly perform the fatal strike to absorb a huge chunk of health from the attack. It's positively vampiric!

Pair Absorb Vitality with fatal strikes to earn back a big chunk of health.
Pair Absorb Vitality with fatal strikes to earn back a big chunk of health.

Finding all of a level's flags is vital to your success

Every level of Wo Long--barring some boss-only side missions--sports two types of flags that you'll need to find and raise to improve your Fortitude rank up to a total of 20. The first is Battle Flags, which also function as your resting spots, and these can usually be found on the main path through the level. Marking Flags, however, must be sought out off the beaten path, usually guarded by difficult enemies or hidden behind obstacles.

Finding all of the flags will make a huge difference, as your Morale rank can never fall below your Fortitude rank--meaning you can die or take critical blows without being depowered so much. Make sure you're thoroughly combing over every section of a level to locate them all, as it can sometimes be extremely easy to overlook the nooks they're hiding in.

You have to manually use your Dragon Vein upgrades

If you thoroughly explore levels, you're almost guaranteed to find some Dragon Vein Crystals and Dragon Vein Essences, which will increase your Dragon's Cure Pot usage limit and effectiveness, respectively. It may not be immediately obvious, though, that you need to manually use these unique items to apply them. Just head over to your inventory and hit "use" on them to ensure that you're getting the most of your healing options.

The game is designed for companion use, so don't feel bad about it

Look, if you're the lone wolf type who likes to prove that you can handle it all on your own, Wo Long is absolutely beatable entirely solo, and it could certainly be rewarding to make that happen. However, the game goes pretty heavy on its companion system, which allows you to bring along a warrior (or two) to assist you in battle.

Many levels automatically assign you a companion as part of the story, while others will task you with summoning them yourself using a limited resource called Tiger Seals. Slaying foes with these pals will raise your bond with them, and at Oath Level 5, they'll become much stronger fighters. Even better, reaching Oath Level 10 will earn you a copy of their gear.

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