Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is pretty much the marquee title of the new console generation, at least in terms of the multiplatform, third party offerings. And as you may have guessed if you’ve been playing AAA videogames in the past several years, Valhalla is an enormous chunk of game.
This is a game you can approach from so many angles, from the way you approach combat to the way you even get around the world. In that sense, you’ll be encountering all kinds of details and systems, and not all of them are obvious. So that’s why these beginner’s guides are worthwhile.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Beginner’s Guide: Tips and Tricks
There are a few core parts of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that would be really handy to know about before you start playing. From playing the game over its review period, I found things that surprised even me, and things that ended up being more useful than I expected.
So if you need some help being pushed in the right direction, that’s what we’re here for. Here are some of the things I wish I knew, that the game doesn’t clearly tell you about.
You Don’t Need a Boat
You play as a leader in a clan of vikings, and that means raiding and pillaging. That’s especially the case when you’re traversing the British Isles and trying to build up your new home.
The way the game introduces raids sees you sailing up to the target in your longboat, then getting a prompt to initiate the Raid. But there’s a better option.
You can activate a Raid on foot, thanks to the quick menu. As long as you’re near a body of water, you can call your homies in wherever you are.
You’ll need them too, because any location specifically for raiding will require people to help you open resource chests and certain doors. If you’re having trouble taking down an enemy stronghold by yourself, try calling in the Raven clan.
Your Skill Choices Matter
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you spend skill points on a massive tree that moves in three distinct and color-coded directions. Where you build your tree will dictate what you can and can’t do in combat situations.
For example, specializing in the more physical Bear tree gives you new ways to smash peoples’ brains in, but severely limits your assassination ability.
You can respec whenever you want with no drawbacks, so feel free to experiment. But know ahead of time you’ll need to do some character build thinking as you start progressing.
You Have to Find (Almost) Everything
Valhalla has some significant changes compared to Odyssey. In the former, you found gear in all sorts of ways, built your ability options in a skill tree, and could get upgrade resources in shops and from animals and whatnot.
In Valhalla, there’s still some of that, but anything major you’ll have to find in designated areas, typically locked behind an enemy outpost or some kind of entry puzzle. This includes gear, advanced weapon upgrade materials, and abilities.
If you want to get the most of having options in this game, you have to engage with the map.
Side Quests Aren’t Tracked
Wild, right? In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla you’ll come across “World Events,” which are marked on the map with glowing blue icons. These are comparable to the little side quests you could find in Origins or Odyssey.
But if you run into one you’re going to want to make sure you take care of it right there, because you don’t get to track them in your menu.
Only the main story quests and a few background quests (like all the assassination targets) are trackable. Otherwise it’s up to you to figure the events out, even on the lowest exploration difficulty option.
Settlement Upgrades are Huge
For what feels like (it isn’t, but still) the first time in open world videogame history, you can teach your mounts how to swim. This is done through the stable you can unlock by upgrading your settlement.
It may seem like something you can skip, but hiding behind those resource demands are a number of features and boosts you won’t have access to otherwise.
You can get mount upgrades, a local shop, boost-providing meals, extra map details and more. Raids are fun anyway, so you may as well make the return trip to spend those supplies.
If you’re the kind of player that cares about choices feeding into outcomes, there is a degree of that here. Most of the alliance missions are isolated stories, but you will inevitably make a choice in each one.
And that choice can alter the outcome of that story, leading to new residents in your settlement or unnecessary deaths. There are also key moments in the story that influence the ending, but more on that later when spoilers are less prevalent.
Remember how in Origins and Odyssey, your bird could point out and mark damn near everything? Not this time! Instead, to get around and find things you’ll need to leverage your raven, your Odin’s Sight vision gimmick, and your own powers of observation.
Your Raven will do things like show you the area housing your main objective, and the vague locations of collectibles. Once you get close you’ll need to use Odin’s Sight, which will mark nearby enemies, and make important things glow specific colors.
Odin’s Sight is also surprisingly good for navigating through weird, low visibility areas like underwater passages. If you dive and can’t really see, don’t panic and just call on Odin to help you out.
Related: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Review | Plane Sailing
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to handle whatever Assassin’s Creed Valhalla throws at you. Unless it’s a tough combat situation. Then you’ll need to rely on your own abilities, and our combat guide that we’re working on.
But hey, this is a great start, and will especially be good for measuring expectations if you’re coming off of the previous two games. As always, hit us up on the Prima Games Facebook or Twitter channels!