If you’ve recently purchased Assassin’s Creed 3 and want to up your game a little then why not have a look through our beginner’s guide?
Top 5 Gameplay Tips
#1: Fast Travel
The Fast Travel network is one of the most vital systems in Assassin’s Creed III, as it enables you to skip literally hours of time spent in transit between destinations. Though it is occasionally disabled during main story Memories and certain side quests, this should be your primary method of abbreviating journeys between different areas, or even to move from one side of an individual region to another.
To Fast Travel, press / to bring up the main map screen, select your required Fast Travel position on the map with / , then confirm your choice. After a brief loading break, Connor will appear in your chosen destination. If you would like to transfer to a different region – for example, from the Homestead to Boston – use / to zoom out from the area map to the East Coast map, target the new region that you wish to reach with the cursor, then press / to zoom in to that map. You can now select an appropriate Fast Travel icon to make the journey.
Boston and New York both have unique networks of tunnels that you can explore to unlock new Fast Travel positions. Opening these can drastically cut the amount of time that you spend travelling.
It doesn’t take a great deal of provocation to incite many of your potential adversaries to violence, or to fail from remaining undetected during a stealth approach. In those cases, while fighting for a resolution can be a valid strategy, flight is sometimes a more sensible solution.
There are two new methods of escape in Assassin’s Creed III:
Whenever you espy a building with an open door, you can sprint through it to leave your opponents oblivious to your whereabouts.
If you see a gap below a fence section, run towards it (with / held) to slide underneath.
#3: Stalking Zones
Stalking Zones are patches of undergrowth or foliage where you can hide.
- You must walk, not run, into a Stalking Zone to become concealed. As you cross the boundary where the zone begins, your character will automatically adopt a crouching position.
- In many ways, Stalking Zones function in the same way as Blending with civilians. As long as you remain within their boundaries, you are invisible. However, you enter plain sight the moment you stand up, with no “grace” period to move to another place of concealment. For that reason, ensure that unfriendly eyes are facing elsewhere before you emerge.
- You are also invisible to wild animals in Stalking Zones – a very useful feature when hunting.
Whenever your character is hidden within a hiding place or pressed against a corner, you can press / to have him whistle to attract the attention of nearby guards, who will move to investigate.
· This is obviously a great way to set up Low Profile assassinations, but only if there is a single guard within range.
· If there are multiple targets, whistling might not seem like the most prudent course of action – but it can actually be a simple yet efficient diversionary tactic to draw patrols off course, or pull guards from their posts. If there is no cause to avoid combat, it’s a good way to draw opponents into a secluded spot where conflict is less likely to attract the attention of reinforcements.
#5: Free Running & Climbing
With free running and climbing, route recognition is the key to everything. The real challenge isn’t the use of to move: it’s judicious use of RIGHT STICK to command the camera, enabling you to identify, plan and adapt your route throughout any given pursuit, escape or journey. In short, the essence of becoming a master at climbing and free running is being able to read your environment clearly. As this screenshot illustrates, you shouldn’t just see the world in terms of doorways and windows, or barrels, boxes and stalls, but in a more pure sense as ledges and stepping stones that combine to form routes.
Top 5 Combat Tips
The use of counterattacking moves is the very fundament of the Assassin’s Creed III combat system: without them, and their attendant strategies, battles against large groups of opponents become dispiritingly attritional and difficult. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to master with a little practice at an early stage in the story.
To perform a counter, wait until you see the icon appear above the head of an opponent. This indicates that they are poised to strike with a melee attack. Tap / to set up your counter. (Don’t hold it – this could result in a basic Parry.)
A successful / press initiates a temporary slow-motion state where you must tap a second button to choose one of four counter moves. If this window of opportunity passes, both the enemy attack and the counter attempt fail.
If two enemies attempt to attack simultaneously – both marked by the distinctive overhead icon – pressing / alone will lead you to kill both automatically.
#2: Ultimate Combat Move
If you are finding combat too challenging in later Sequences, the Special Counter move is your salvation. Ensure that Connor is not equipped with a weapon in the Heavy or Blunt categories (that is, an axe or a club – these disable the technique), and select the bow as your active Tool. After pressing / to counter an opponent’s attack, you can then press / to kill them instantly – irrespective of their innate resistances. Special Counters only function if you have ammunition for the selected ranged weapon or gadget, but this is rarely a problem: in addition to the bow, the pistol, Rope Darts, Poison Darts and Trip Mines can also be used to complete this finishing move, which should give you plenty of opportunities to win a difficult battle. You can replenish your depleted stock of consumables by looting dead bodies at the end of a confrontation.
If you simply need a technique to defeat the more challenging Grenadiers and Jägers, but do not want to constantly rely on Special Counters, you can experiment with the Rope Dart. Though it takes a little practice to master the timing and targeting, pressing / will cause Connor to pull any opponent to the ground, enabling you to perform a finishing move or attend to other threats before they clamber to their feet.
#3: Kill Streaks
A Kill Streak is a combat technique whereby multiple opponents can be dispatched with instant-death attacks. This aggressive strategy perhaps makes Connor more vulnerable to enemy attacks, but enables you to cut down several opponents with unflinching alacrity.
To begin a Kill Streak, you must either defeat an adversary with a combo attack, or perform a successful Counter Kill. During the killing animation, press towards the opponent you wish to dispatch next (the one highlighted), then press / to “stack” a subsequent assault. If successful, you will automatically move and lash out, killing your specified target. During this animation, you can use and / to select the next victim. This can, theoretically, be repeated until all combatants lie beaten on the ground.
The secret to successful Kill Streaks is to identify a route of opponents that will enable you to kill as many as possible in sequence, adapting your course on the fly as you “join” the moving dots.
#4: Human Shield
Whenever you fight against large groups of opponents where many are armed with muskets, there is a danger that they will form firing lines – and, after observing a preparatory drill, fire simultaneously. If successful, this leads to significant injury. Fortunately, there are a handful of ways in which this can be avoided.
Once they move into formation, icons will appear over the heads of all soldiers in the active line. From this point onward, you can grab any opponent within range to use as a human shield by pressing / . In the final stage before the firing line finishes its preparations, the camera angle will automatically switch to a perspective that shows their position in relation to your character. This is the last-chance saloon: a final opportunity to perform the human shield contextual action to survive without damage.
When attempting to use the human shield move, one problem that some people will encounter with firing lines is a tendency to press / too early or rapidly as gunmen move into position. This can lead to an inadvertent Weapon Swipe or, worse, two instances that knock a prospective human shield to the ground. If you can stay composed, try to hazard a glance to the contextual button display on the right-hand side of the screen as you approach your intended target. In the brief window when the human shield move is possible, a notification will appear in this position. To reach slightly more distant targets, ensure that you hold in their direction. This ingredient is easy to forget, but it improves the success rate considerably.
#5: Enemy Fronts
Whenever Connor faces more than eight opponents at once, you will find that there are two distinct enemy fronts: the inner ring, with opponents actively engaged in the battle, and the outer ring, where opponents are primarily (but not entirely) passive: having numerous enemies in the outer ring increases the likelihood that firing lines will form. Killing assailants in the inner ring of a battle will cause others situated in the outer ring to move forward to join the fray, reducing the probability of a firing line (or, at very least, the number of potential guns). The best way to negate potential firing lines, then, is to start a Kill Streak and focus exclusively on weeding out weaker enemies who are vulnerable to such attacks: primarily Soldiers and Scouts, but also Officers if they are within range. Ignore Grenadiers and, if present, Jägers: just foil their attacks and temporarily stun them with a Counter Disarm, then move back to your main targets. You should also notice that automatic “double kills” are far more common when you are facing a large enemy force. Do your utmost to take these opportunities as they arise by pressing / whenever you see the icon above the heads of two enemies simultaneously.
Top 5 Weapon Tips
#1: Weapon Swipe
Press / to perform a Weapon Swipe. This temporarily breaks an opponent’s guard, enabling you to launch an assault before they recover. This is generally less important in early Sequences, as so few opponents have the ability to deflect the opening blow in a combo. Some adversaries you meet later, however, are effectively untouchable unless you employ this vital “softening up” attack. Performing two consecutive Weapon Swipes on an opponent will cause your character to kick their feet from underneath them, rendering them vulnerable to an instant killing blow as they lie on the ground.
#2: Unarmed Combat
Unarmed fighting enables you to attack at speed, and can be an enjoyable way to fight against weaker assailants, but puts Connor at greater risk – especially as the Parry ability is unavailable.
The principal reason to use unarmed combat is to employ the Disarm move, as this will allow you to take your target’s weapon from their hands. Fist fighting can also be employed when you must disable opponents without killing them. If stealth and mercy are called for, sneak up behind an opponent and tap / to incapacitate them with a non-lethal finishing move.
#3: The Musket
Though you cannot purchase or permanently equip muskets, these weapons are easily acquired in most battles. With their excellent range and a cartridge loaded for a “free” ranged shot, they can be collected, used and then discarded without hesitation. As with all weapons, there is a knack to picking them off the ground during active combat: stand above one on the ground, then briefly hold / and tap /.
You can perform a double assassination with a musket: assassinate an opponent with a loaded musket, then immediately press / to shoot through the body to kill a second enemy.
#4: Heavy Weapons
Weapons in the Heavy category are ostensibly slow and cumbersome, but their phenomenal reach and – with the best axes – short combos can make them extremely effective. The primary drawback to using heavy weapons is that, being two-handed, they preclude the use of ranged weapons and related Special Counter abilities. In battles against the most dangerous and gifted enemy archetypes, this can be a massive drawback for players who are less adept in combat situations.
Connor’s Tools may be unavailable while holding an axe, but the button is not left redundant: it is instead assigned to the unique “Slam Attack” instant-kill move. Hold / to charge the assault, then release the button. Connor will slam he axe at the targeted opponent, killing them instantly – but losing the weapon in the process. If you forget to retrieve the axe at the conclusion of the battle, you can reequip it at any General Store or the Homestead Manor.
#5: Blunt Weapons
Blunt weapons are functionally very similar to the axes in the Heavy Weapon category, though Connor’s assaults are tailored to bludgeon opponents rather than shear through flesh and solid bone. Other than this primarily aesthetic variation, they have the same benefits and drawbacks as heavy weapons: the better clubs allow for shorter combos, and easy counterattacks, but reduce your tactical options through the unavailability of Tools and Special Counters with ranged weapons. Instead of the Slam Attack, they offer a throw assault, the Blunt Attack: hold then release / and you will hurl the weapon at the targeted opponent, incapacitating them instantly. Interestingly, this is actually a non-lethal attack: note how enemies continue to writhe on the floor long after the impact.
Top 5 Tool Tips
This powerful and silent weapon is perfect for stealth kills from a safe distance or elevation. You can fire arrows in two different ways. To perform a reflex shot, with reduced stopping power and range, just tap / to fire at Connor’s highlighted target. To exploit the maximum potential of this weapon, you must hold / until the bow string is fully taut, then release it to fire; note that you can cancel a “charged” shot by pressing / before you let the arrow fly. The maximum 25 meter range of the bow is only available if you use Precision Mode aiming.
When employed with the Special Counter move, Connor will block his opponent’s attack, draw the bow, and kill them instantly with a point-blank reflex shot. Arrows used to kill adversaries can often be retrieved by looting their bodies once combat ends.
#2 Rope Darts
The Rope Dart has five combat applications. Three of its five moves enable Connor to reuse a Rope Dart at a later date; we specify the two techniques where a unit of the item is consumed.
- From a tree branch or a beam above a suitable target, hold / to strangle a target situated below.
- From a tree branch or a beam, hold / and press in the appropriate direction to hang a target within range. This “Predator” move consumes one Rope Dart.
- On the ground, while standing behind an oblivious target, hold / to use the Rope Dart to pull an opponent towards Connor; when they stumble within range, he will kill them instantly.
- In combat, tap / to fire a Rope Dart at a target and pull them to the ground. If you are close enough, you can then perform an instant finishing move.
- Last, but by no means least, employing a Rope Dart in a Special Counter is lethal against all archetypes. Using this attack consumes a Rope Dart for each kill.
#3: Trip Mines
To plant a Trip Mine, hold / until the onscreen meter is filled. Potential hostiles who witness this act will immediately move to investigate, which may lead to undesirable consequences – so it’s wise to ensure that enemies are facing elsewhere before you begin. Once a mine has been planted, you will see two concentric circles. The solid inner circle represents the activation zone, while the outer ring indicates the potential blast radius.
The primary use of Trip Mines is to kill targets without being detected, especially if you know their precise patrol route. As a potential added benefit, the explosion will cause all nearby guards to run to investigate, which can be exploited as a decidedly indiscrete but effective way to infiltrate heavily-guarded areas. If your intended target is stationary, you can attempt to lure them into the device by whistling from a corner or hiding place, or by moving Connor into the intended victim’s line of sight to lead them in the required direction.
You can lay traps that consist of multiple Trip Mines, but we strongly advise caution in areas that feature civilian traffic. Any non-allied NPC can trigger these devices, which will lead to Desynchronization if you kill too many innocents in quick succession. You should also note that, while Connor and his allies cannot trigger these devices, they may be injured if caught in the blast radius. If required, you can retrieve unused Trip Mines: stand over a device and tap / to pick it up.
#4: Poison Darts
With the exception of a select few individuals who enjoy story-mandated immunity, Poison Darts incapacitate an afflicted target instantly – but it’s what happens afterwards that is perhaps most interesting from a tactical perspective. To throw a Poison Dart, press / when your intended victim moves within range, or use Precision Mode aiming to throw them over slightly longer distances. The affected adversary will instantly lose all interest in Connor and stagger in a given direction (following an existing patrol route, if applicable), attracting the attention of everyone within range. When the dart’s payload finally overwhelms them, they will collapse to the ground, causing all guards within the vicinity to move to investigate. If you need to eliminate a target and move on without raising the alarm, or to create a localized diversion, Poison Darts are one of the most powerful weapons at Connor’s disposal.
Using Poison Darts in combat disables a target instantly. If employed with a Special Counter, Connor will simultaneously stab the target and hurl them aside (in a manner identical to a Counter Throw) in a single movement. Though they will clamber to their feet, their effective presence in the battle will be over; after a time, they will collapse. If a poisoned target is still standing after you kill the final active enemy in a battle, note that open conflict will not officially end until they fall to the ground.
#5: Smoke Bombs
Depending on the demands of your current situation, a Smoke Bomb can be employed to create confusion and paralysis, allowing effortless kills of affected opponents, or to facilitate an easier escape. If flight is a prerequisite, dropping a Smoke Bomb in a confined space will incapacitate all pursuers who enter its area of effect.
Though Connor and his allies are immune to the effects of Smoke Bombs, opponents inside the cloud (or those who enter it) are blinded, stunned and unable to move until the smoke dissipates. Anyone knocked outside the cloud will recover immediately.
Top 5 Hunting Tips
Hunting is an excellent way to gather hunting resources and generate income. It requires little investment (other than restocking Tools), it’s never particularly demanding and, occasional attacks from Predators and random guard encounters notwithstanding, rarely dangerous once you are accustomed to the challenges faced in the Frontier. The hunting spoils that offer the most profit when traded via convoys are the Bear Pelt and Beaver Pelt, which have a base value of £240 and £160 respectively. If you load a convoy with these items, you can make incredible profit – even at an early stage in the story.
While hunting is not a particularly complicated activity, the following tips will nonetheless be of great service:
- Though Connor can obtain multiple resources from a single animal, the method employed to kill it determines the quality of the pelt obtained. Pristine pelts are by far the most valuable items that you will gather while hunting, while pelts damaged during the hunt – particularly if you use firearms – are worth significantly less. The cleanest kills are performed with the Hidden Blade via assassination moves. Aggressive animals slain with the Hidden Blade via the timed button press minigame always yield perfect pelts. Other suitable killing techniques are the Poison Darts, bow, and snares.
- To increase the spawn rate of animals in a location, look for clues in Eagle Vision. Once you examine these, animals may appear in greater numbers, and the individual creature referenced when Connor scrutinizes the clue will be highlighted on the mini-map with the icon. Using bait near clues can attract multiple animals.
- As a rule, animals will not see Connor if he is concealed within Stalking Zones, hiding places or situated out of sight in higher branches. A few animal types also have a blind spot directly behind them. As a general rule, though, most creatures will detect Connor immediately whenever he moves in the open.
- One of the easiest hunting strategies is to find the start point of a tree-based free run course, examine nearby clues, then make your way to a high branch and remain still. You can then air assassinate animals that pass beneath Connor. If creatures are not moving within range, toss bait to the floor below to attract them. You can optionally set snares in suitable positions before you begin to potentially gather animal resources with maximum efficiency.
- Whenever you are travelling through the Frontier or Homestead, have the bow or Poison Darts and Hidden Blade equipped in anticipation of opportunistic kills. It’s amazing how many animals will inadvertently move within range, and fast reactions can provide you with welcome bonuses.