Tips for dominating in combat, leveling up, and beating challenges.
Ubisoft has created a pretty spectacular world in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. It is packed full of interesting questions, places to explore, fun combat, and of course, it looks stunning. Ubisoft’s push in a new RPG direction is a big change for the franchise after 10 years and with it comes new mechanics that even longtime fans of Assassin’s Creed may not be familiar with right away. After pouring hours into our adventures in Ptolemaic Egypt, here are the most fundamental things you should know if you plan on conquering it.
Always Scout Ahead
Classic eagle vision has been replaced with the actual vision of an eagle and it’s a big improvement. Senu offers players a new perspective and better range than before; he can get up high and identify threats and resources. The more places you synchronize in the game the quicker he can spot things including loot chests, enemy position and rank, hidden entrances, and resources. Those are just the things identified in the HUD. Getting a bird’s eye view is great to help you plan the best approach and spot things in the countryside like those tricky to find stone circles.
He is a huge time saver, for instance, where the best place to hunt animal resources is. Senu will spot the creatures that will offer the best yield (usually 4 or 5 times what other similar animals will have). Plus Ubisoft’s Ptolemaic Egypt is just so great to look at, sometimes it’s just take in the view around you. Senu is an important asset in your quest to save Egypt, to the point where you miss him in the few areas of the game he isn’t available.
It seems obvious but it is actually quite a tricky mechanic in Origins. Ubisoft has made the combat system a lot more precise than in previous games. Players have to take into account not only timing but also distance and position when fighting. Add to that, Bayek is not as nimble as assassins of the past. His dodge is not a graceful roll well outside of enemy range but rather a tight shift, left, right or back and one that has to be precisely timed. Too soon and your opponent may be able to adjust and strike you down anyway, too late and you may be caught in an indefensible recovery moment.
For most enemies, you will likely use block and parry rather than dodge. For others dodge is your only effective option, these are the deadliest enemies in the game such as heavies, Gladiator bosses, War Elephants and the phantom jackals in the Anubis challenge or other Trial of the Gods events. Mastering dodge means mastering a razor-thin line between these and often means standing steadfast until the very last moment.
Invest in XP boosting perks early
There are a few perks that give you bonus XP for certain types of kills. There are XP boosters for stealth kills, bow headshot kills, overpower kills, and passive kills (using tools). I took stealth and bow kills early because that fit how I was playing the game. It may not seem like much but those extra points add up.
Here are a few other very useful perks you will want to pick up as soon as possible as well (In my order of importance).
- Eagle Tagging: This is a very basic skill and one that is rather hard not to unlock but don’t think you can get very far without it.
- Regeneration: After a battle, Bayek will regenerate almost instantly but during a fight not so much. Taking this perk helps your health regenerate to the closest large segment as long as you are not actively taking damage.
- Dawn & Dusk: This one is very helpful as enemy bases are much easier to raid at night. There are also a few missions which require a nighttime rendezvous so being able to fast forward is very helpful.
- Call Horse: Very helpful. You can take just about any horse you find with little fuss but when you are stranded its is nice to be able to call in a trusty steed to help you get where you’re going (or out of trouble)
- Adrenaline: The first level of this perks starts your adrenaline meter at 50% full (there is another that starts at 100% but it will take longer to unlock). This is great because it fast tracks your very powerful overpower moves.
More than one way to get ability points
Obviously earning XP and leveling up is the most basic way to earn those ability points you need, but it’s not the only way. You can also earn ability points by finding the handful of Hermit locations, defeating the Elephant camps, and every time you find one of the ancient tablets. It should be noted that you can also purchase ability points from the Ubisoft store, but who wants to do that? There are plenty of old tombs to be raided and the best part is that these rarely have serious threats making collecting those points as easy. These can help you unlock more perks that will boost your stats for taking on enemy camps.
The Tactical Approach
The combat in Origins is pretty fluid and fun, but it can also be challenging, especially if you take one too much at once. Once you have scouted the area and identified all the enemies try to stick to what assassins do best. Stealth.
- Scout. What I said at the beginning, know what you are getting into.
- Thin the crowd by using bushes, haystacks, and whatever else to sneak up and take out as many people quietly as you can. If a fight breaks out there will be fewer enemies to deal with which is a good thing because even lower level enemy damage can add up quickly.
- Use height to your advantage but starting at the highest point in the camp you are attacking. Picking up NPCs high up ensures they can’t spot you when you get to the bottom. It will also allow you to pick off enemies who have isolated themselves. I am a fan of the predator bow for its power and precision, but keep in mind this is only effective when you bow is has a high enough level compared to the enemies. Otherwise, you just risk pissing them off.
- Always try to sabotage the brasier. This is for two reasons, first, that thing is surprisingly easy to light for a massive bonfire and second its fun to see it explode in their faces.
- Wait for nightfall. Assassin’s Creed has a night and day cycle and it does affect NPCs. At night, many enemies head to bed. Which makes it easier for you to sneak about undetected. Now it won’t take much to wake them up, someone finding a body, for instance, will get everyone on alert but use it while you can. I know its probably not the most honorable thing but I like to run around and assassinate them in their beds. The best part is it isn’t hard to make it night time (as long as you picked up the Dawn & Dusk Perk). All Bayek needs to do is meditate for a moment and night has fallen.
- Lastly, if you have started a fight you can’t handle. RUN. Over a wall or into deep water are the best. Really anything that breaks line of sight, allowing you to hide and take a moment to recuperate. If you are patient you can regenerate your health while your enemies assume they have won and go back to their lives seemingly unaware you still want them dead. Often a one or two will try and follow you allowing you to take them out more easily without four others stabbing at you. This attack and reset approach may seem cowardly but it is effective against the game’s tougher commanders and Phylake enemies who can not be killed with a single hidden blade blow. OK, it’s mostly cowardly.
Your weapons are worth more than their resources
Early on, I dismantled every weapon I didn’t need for vital crafting materials like wood, iron, and bronze. I wasn’t going to use them and I needed the materials so it made sense. As I progressed I noticed two things; First, that the cost of upgrading weapons at higher levels was pretty high (also that the cost seems somewhat arbitrary) and second, that Drachmas were relatively more scarce. Sure you can find them all over but usually only a handful at a time. When you need to spend thousands for high-level upgrades that won’t cut it. So as it turned out I needed the cash for weapons much more than I needed the few pieces of metal they might provide.
Instead, I suggest holding onto your spare weapons until the next time you swing by the blacksmith. There is no cap on how many you can carry with you so why not? That way you can sell the weapons and get the Drachmas you need for those upgrades. Besides, there are faster ways to get collect those resources. Remember our pal Senu? Not only will he point you in the direction of the best animal resources but he can also spot convoys carrying valuable materials such as wood, bronze, and iron.
These convoys usually consist of three enemies roaming the streets. They can carry anything ranging from 5 or 10 in the lower level areas like Siwa and Alexandra to 20 or 30 in high-level areas like Cyrene or the Green Mountains. The leader is usually carrying the goods and will try to escape if you don’t pick him off quickly. I am a fan of the headshot or hidden blade before they even know you’re there. Then finish the escort off and escape with your loot.
Also as you level up your enemies will begin to out level your gear. This doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to that great weapon you found will the perfect attributes though. Hang on to it and when you’re done trading in all the junk you don’t need, upgrade your weapons.
Quick Tips on Beating:
There are four (five if you count the two-fer in one camp). They are some of the toughest enemies in the game because they have a lot of health, only a few weak areas, and are VERY aggressive. You’ll want two things to take on these beasts. First a good bow. Pick one that does a fair amount of damage and you are comfortable using. I love my Predator bow. Second master dodge (see above). Missing a dodge or dodging too early with a War Elephants will deal devastating damage.
After those two things, all you have to do is keep moving, be patient (don’t take more shots than you have time for), and aim low. Only the lower third of the elephant is vulnerable with his rear end and belly being the most. They keep this pretty protected though, so shoot for it when you can but otherwise go for the legs and you will get a critical on the belly ever so often anyway.
For the first three events, you’ll face the same enemies you will in the world, so use the same combat mechanics. Save your adrenaline for the heavier enemies and if you can take the perk for chain throw after an overpower kill. This will eliminate two enemies with one quick move. You can also try and lure enemies into traps but with the exception of the floor traps, it often isn’t worth the trouble.
For bosses, patience is key. Each has a different fighting style and you will have to watch them for a bit to find the pattern. Usually, they will make several attacks before a moment of rest – that is your window. Perks that boost your adrenaline or extend your combos are pretty helpful here for shaving down your opponent’s XP.
Trial of the Gods
These are limited timed community events where players can face off against the gods themselves. Defeating a god will grant you one piece of Anubis gear. Collecting an entire set will unlock a special set of Anubis armor. Don’t worry if you have missed one of them. The pieces are not specific to each god and the events will occur frequently and repeat.
Generally, they are all fairly similar, although attacks may vary the key to victory is reading the attacks and adapting quickly. As long as you bring a health buffing weapon to the party and are agile you will be fine. You can read each of my Trail of Gods guides:
PRO TIP: For this challenge, find a weapon that gains you back health points on hit. I have a Legendary light bow simply called a “Composite Bow”. I actually purchased from the Assassin’s Bureau but it can also be rewarded by Reda for doing his missions. There are weapons in every class with health buffs such as ‘health on crit’, ‘health on death’, and best of all ‘health on hit. You can probably find one you are comfortable with.
What strategies have helped you make the most of Egypt?