Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a massive game with lots to do and see, but starting out on such an adventure can be daunting. Where do you even begin? What should you do first? What should you concentrate on? It’s a big undertaking, especially at this time of year when your time is split between a few big releases.
I’ve spent dozens of hours with Eivor in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, so I’m ready to share some tips with you to help you get started and make fast progress in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Explore, interact, and gain power
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ditches the levelling system in favour of a new ‘power’ system. Every time you level up, you get two skill points and you can use these to upgrade your version of Eivor.
My advice is to get on this early on and get your power level high so that you don’t hit any stumbling blocks along the way. Each region of Assassin’s Creed sprawling world has a recommended power level. You can get away with being a little under the number, but if you’re too low powered, you’ll have your arse kicked from here to Helheim.
Thankfully, Valhalla makes it easy to gain power points. You can explore the world and interact with random folk to take on side-quests. These are typically quite short, and some of them can be done within just a couple of minutes, so pay attention to the markers on your map that indicate a world event is nearby. For just a few minutes of your time, you could gain a massive amount of XP to help push you on your way to a higher power level.
Hunt out new gear to make combat easier
New gear is fairly easy to come by, if you know what you’re doing. The game’s world is littered with useful items that you can equip to your version of Eivor. Be sure to keep an eye on your compass for the gear icon, which looks like a gold hooded torso – this indicates that there’s something worth collecting. You might have to do a little puzzle solving to get your hands on the new item, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Find the Books of Knowledge to get wicked cool fighting abilities
As I mentioned in my Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review, special attacks have been changed a little this time around. Rather than having them be a part of the skill tree system, they’re now collectables. To get special abilities you need to find Books of Knowledge that are hidden throughout the game’s world. They’re typically in well-defended locations, so make sure you’re geared up for a fight if you’re not feeling especially stealthy.
Upgrade your gear, but start with your rations and quiver
Healing in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a little different, but also a little familiar. Your health won’t magically regenerate over time, though. Instead, you have to heal yourself. You do this by storing food rations which can be found littered around just about everywhere. See a bush? It might have berries you can pick and store for later.
To being with, you can only carry a small number of rations, but with enough resources, you can upgrade your rations pouch and carry more health replenishing goodness. This is essential for taking on harder enemies who may give you a good battering. That won’t matter too much if you’ve got enough grub in your pocket to heal.
Then there’s the quiver. This is what holds your arrows and dictates how many you can carry at any given time. Upgrade this as soon as possible to ensure that you’ve always got enough arrows in your quiver to take out enemies at a distance, or to help you solve some of the game’s puzzles which rely on physical interactions that can only be done with projectiles.
Don’t worry about leaving Norway in a hurry, you can come back later
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla starts off in Norway before taking Eivor on their Raven Clan to England in the search of a new life. You might be tempted to do everything on the map of Norway before setting sail for England. You can, but you don’t have to as you can always travel back to Norway at a later time to gather any collectables that you may have missed. Good to know, you know?
Build an Assassin’s Bureau to learn the ways of the Hidden Ones
The Assassins play a much bigger role in Valhalla than in the last couple of games. Once you arrive in England and have begun building up your settlement, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got an Assassin’s Bureau built for Hytham.
Eivor can already move like an Assassin with all the fancy parkour, but until you’ve built the Bureau and taken a walk with Hytham, you won’t be able to do a proper eagle dive from a high point. You can jump off and land safely, but you’ll lack that Assassin style. Trust me, do it.
In fact, build up your whole settlement
Building up your new home is essential if you want to get the most out of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Building up the different establishments leads to new stuff and new missions, including some very fantastical adventures. Trust me, when the Seer arrives, build her a hut as soon as possible, but don’t attempt her mission until you’re powerful enough!
Raid, raid, and raid again
Vikings are famous for their murderous raids, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla doesn’t shy away from it. Raiding is the single fastest way to gather resources for your settlement. To do a raid, simply hop in your longboat with the lads and head to a Raid location. Once there, have fun being a badarse, but make sure you search the area for goodies. Churches are almost always full of good loot that’s just waiting to be nicked. Grab what you can then go back to base and build up. Rinse and repeat until your name is mud.
Be warned, though, that trying a raid outside of your recommended power is likely to end in your swift and brutal demise, so make sure you’ve powered up before you go on a raid.
Adjust the settings to your playstyle
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ships with a lot of customisation options, not just for Eivor, but for how the game plays out, too. How do you turn off the damage numbers? Easy, go to the game’s menu (hit start and the left on the d-pad) and then you’ll have the settings screen. Here you can turn off Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s damage numbers if you don’t like them (I hate damage numbers…) and adjust the rest of the settings to your preference. You can even turn on ‘Guaranteed Assassination’ which will allow you to kill anybody and anything with your hidden blade in just one strike.
Feel like the game is too hard? You can adjust the difficulty any way you like. Don’t like the controls? Change them! But be mindful that changing one button input could conflict with another, a sore point in my Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review.
Use Odin Sight and the Raven often
Odin Sight is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s version of Eagle Vision, and it allows you to see points of interest, enemies, and more in a highlighted view of the world. It’s super useful for when you’re stuck trying to get into a locked building as it could show you an alternate route. It also works to reveal the locations of keys to locked doors, treasure, gear, and Books of Knowledge.
Your raven is also a handy tool in your arsenal. Tap up on the d-pad and you’ll switch to your avian companion to get a birds-eye view of the world. This is super handy if you’re on the hunt for something and don’t want to do a trek. For instance, if you’re looking for the Animus Anomaly locations, you can use your raven to scout out the map and see if that glimmer in the distance is an Animus Anomaly, or if it’s just some nudist looking for revenge…
And there you go, some top tips to send you on your way in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Enjoy!
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)