Assassin's Creed Odyssey Skills Guide And The 12 Most Useful Abilities To Unlock
By Matt Espineli on
As you play Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you'll inevitably come across several battles and conflicts that'll test your wits and reflexes. As a Spartan-turned-mercenary/proto-Assassin, you'll need to rely on every tool at your disposal to fight against the warring armies and mysterious cults that seek to take over Ancient Greece.
Like last year's Assassin's Creed Origins, Odyssey blends together RPG elements within the framework of an open-world action-adventure game, allowing you to explore and uncover resources at your leisure, while strengthening your character in the areas that you wish. However, the level of customization for your character in Odyssey is far more flexible, giving you more room to specialize the protagonist across several different archetypes.
Centering around the Warrior, Hunter, and Assassin archetypes, these areas are tied to melee, long-range, and stealth respectively. Each archetype possesses its own set of abilities and passive skills that add new options for you to take advantage of, many of which can be used in clever ways for some effective combos. With the amount of skills to choose from, you're free to respec your character at any time, allowing you to rebuild them to make a stronger and more refined adventurer.
In this feature, we've come up with several tips to help you out in battle, and along with our selection of the most useful abilities to overcome the deadly foes of Ancient Greece. Of course, this is all spoiler free, and only focuses on the core skills that can be unlocked from general progression. For more info on the series' new entry, check out our full Assassin's Creed Odyssey review along with our look back on every Assassin's Creed game we've reviewed over its 11-year history.
When sneaking up on your foe to pull off an assassination, you may discover that they're more powerful than you estimated as they survive your would-be killing blow To avoid this common occurrence, it's good to invest in the Critical Assassination skill. With this enabled, you can spend a single bar of Adrenaline to put some extra force into your silent attacks, allowing you to take out enemies that are more powerful than usual. When fully upgraded, this skill can deal three times as much Assassin damage than normal.
When performing stealth, there's the occasional chance that a guard may catch you in the corner of their eye. As a precaution, the Sixth Sense ability in the Hunter tree would be a valuable skill to have. With this enabled, you'll be given a short grace period after being noticed by guards, slowing down time and allowing you to get a shot off from your bow. If your aim is sharp, you might be able to land a headshot, keeping you in the clear. Upgrading this ability further can extend the slow-mo duration and increase your Hunter damage.
As one of Odyssey's most useful and versatile abilities, the Spartan Kick is a fast and vicious strike that can push foes back several feet--and it's also a lot of fun to use. As one of the first abilities you can acquire in the Warrior tree, the kick is especially effective for forcing an overly aggressive enemy back, or sending an unsuspecting foe flying. However, elite enemies are able to resist the pushback from this move, only resulting in normal damage. When upgraded to its max potential, the Spartan Kick will also let out a shockwave, stunning nearby enemies. You'll occasionally find enemies standing at the edge of cliff, and you'll find that it's difficult to resist the urge to kick them off and see them fly off into the distance.
As a hunter, you may find yourself in situations that can make you rethink how you'll want to engage enemies at long-range. The Arrow Master skill will grant you the ability to craft different arrow types, opening up new ways to take on opponents. After the initial unlock, you can create flame and paralyzing arrows. Fire arrow are pretty self-explanatory--they ignite targets. The paralyzing arrows, however, can knock out and stun enemies. This is useful when you want to clear through locations without getting any blood on your hands, or when you want to recruit some elite enemies to your ship's crew. Upgrading the Arrow Master ability will allow you to craft Poison and Explosive arrows, which can be extremely effective in both stealth and combat.
While you can't use shields in Odyssey, the many foes you come across take advantage of them readily. While you can parry strikes and dodge their attacks, sometimes it's better to get rid of their shield altogether. With the Shield Breaker move, you can yank an enemy's shield out of their hands and bash them with it. However, Elite enemies wielding shields will require a bit more force to strip. Upgrading Shield Breaker to its max will not only deal more damage to the single target, it will also shatter the shield outright--harming nearby foes in the process.
When using the bow, you're most effective when you can fire off quick and powerful shots. With the Devastating Shot ability, one of the most useful skills in the Hunter tree, you can charge up a powerful shot to take out enemies in a single blow--at the cost of an Adrenaline bar. If you have the Arrow Master skill unlocked, the special arrows will also have increased effectiveness. Upgrading this ability further will increase the damage done from a single shot, with the max level hurling enemies back with incredible force. While this is useful for getting a clean kill while simultaneously pushing a body into some bushes, it's also invaluable during combat when dealing damage from a distance.
You'll often come across fights that get overwhelming quickly. With this in mind, it's useful to have a skill at the ready when you need a pick-me-up. As the closest thing to a healing potion, the Second Wind ability will regain a portion of your health at the cost of some Adrenaline. When upgraded to maximum, this ability can restore up to half your life, while also negating the effects of fire and poison damage outright. This is especially useful when fighting against foes that use special elemental weapons.
Similar to Origins, you can use up a significant portion of your adrenaline to unleash a deadly attack. By pressing both the light and heavy attacks, the Overpower Attack will cause massive damage to a single enemy, with some light damage done to surrounding targets. This can be especially handy when up against elite and legendary foes with lots of health and plenty of skills to dish out. Depending on your weapon type, you'll see different types of Overpower Attacks.
During your infiltration missions, there may come a time when you need to take out a set of foes quick and quietly. Using the Rush Assassination, you can launch a series of quick assassinations. You'll immediately take down the first tagged enemy by throwing your Spear of Leonidas which activates a slow-mo effect to give you time to pick your next target. While the first rank of Rush Assassination only allows for two quick kills, upgrading it further can extend the chain to up to four different enemies. Though bear in mind, just like normal assassinations, some enemies are more powerful than they appear--resulting in heavy damage instead of an instant kill.
As a blend between the Warrior and Assassin skill-sets, the Hero Strike executes a fatal multi-hit move. While it seems like a more elaborate version of an assassination (that's not too far off,) this skill is also usable during combat. The Hero Strike is an incredibly powerful ability that gets in quick damage, and when fully upgraded, it uses maximum Assassin strength to deal greater damage--which is especially deadly to foes in combat encounters.
With the amount of bases and enemy compounds you'll need to sneak into, it's important that you know how to move undetected. With the Stealth Master skill, noise made during traversal will be minimized, and enemies will have a more difficult time seeing you while in the crouched position. Upgrading the skill further will make your stealth traversal more efficient and also increase your Assassin and Hunter attack power during night time.
Battlecry Of Ares
When you're up against multiple enemies, you may need to call upon your inner strength to even the odds. After you've invested points into the Overpower Attacks skill, you can acquire the Battlecry of Ares ability to amplify your base damage for a short period of time, while also increasing your defense against enemy attacks. As the peak ability in the Warrior tree, this ability is at its best when used with other skills like Overpower, Spartan Kick, and Shield Breaker. When fully upgraded, this special buffs becomes even more useful, with repeated attacks boosting damage power and activation that requires no Adrenaline.