Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is a massive game with lots to do and see. With this scale come lots of systems and many chances to miss out on the obvious. Whilst there are lots of similarities to previous Creed games there are also plenty of new features.
In the list below I’ve pulled together some of the things I’ve discovered as I’ve played that would have been useful to know from the start.
Combat is very different from previous Assassin’s Creed games
On the surface, the combat in Valhalla looks very similar to previous games but once you dig deeper things are very different. Previously you could get away with button bashing, not so anymore.
In Valhalla, you will need to manage your stamina bar in a similar way to Dark Souls games. Heavy attacks and dodging use stamina and if you deplete it entirely you will be left vulnerable. Mastering the parry system is the key to success and once you have that nailed you will find things much easier. There are also lots of unlockable skills that make things more interesting as you progress.
Skills can be remapped at any time at no cost
There are a lot of skills to unlock in Valhalla. The skill tree is enourmous and you can’t see the whole thing from the start so you never really know what you are building towards. There are three broad categories, combat, stealth and range but each branch includes elements of the others.
Thankfully you can respec your skills at any time and at zero cost meaning that you can feel free to experiment until you find a set up that matches your playstyle.
You don’t have to play stealthily
A nice change in Valhalla is that you don’t have to play as a stealthy assassin should you not want to. Previous games would punish you for being discovered, not so in Valhalla. Now, if you are discovered you can either run away or go into full-on Viking berserker mode and mow down everyone in your path.
Stealth can make certain parts of the game much easier but if you want to embrace your inner Viking go for it.
Fire is hot
An obvious statement but how many times in games have you walked into a fire just to see if you take fire damage? To be clear, fire in Valhalla is hot and does a lot of damage to you so be careful around it.
On my first raid, which involves burning down a village and therefore lots of fire I managed to kill myself several times over with my own burning torch until I got to grips with things.
You can raid on foot with stealth rather than using a full on assault
Raids are a big part of the game and you need to complete them to gather key resources. The game encourages you to approach these head-on with your Viking horde. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. You can approach settlements on foot and clear out the guards utilising stealth.
Once the way is clear you can then sound your battle horn and call in the rest of your horde as you will need them to break open certain doors and treasure chests. This approach can add a bit of variety to the game and sometimes makes raids quicker to complete/
Don’t horde your money
Silver is the currency in Valhalla and can be used to purchase a multitude of things. It’s tempting in RPG games to keep hold of your wealth but I wouldn’t recommend it here. Unless you’re saving for something, in particular, spend your coin. I advise stockpiling iron ore and leather as these resources are key to all of the upgrades in the game.
Don’t ignore your settlement
Once you get to England it’s tempting to simply go out, explore and get stuck into things. Whilst this isn’t a bad thing, ignoring your settlement is. As you build each building new assets and quests will become available. For example, if you build the trader you now have quick access to a place to sell your unwanted items but more importantly somewhere to buy upgrade materials right on your doorstep.
The different buildings will also open up new aspects of the game. For example, building the Assassins hut will, not only, give you access to new skills but will also unlock assassination quests.
You can travel back to Norway at any time
Even before you get to England the game is pretty massive. Norway is still a sprawling environment with lots to do and see. As you progress through the story you will naturally head over to England but there is nothing to worry about.
Via the world map, you can choose to fast travel back to Norway at any time meaning you can head back to mop up any unfinished quests or pick up any treasure you may have missed.
The torch is very versatile
The torch can be found inside the ability wheel. It can be used to give light and set fire to things. Whilst this sounds pretty obvious there are also a few other ways to utilise the torch.
As you explore you will find parts of the environment that can be destroyed. More often than not you’ll be tempted to shoot an arrow at these objects you can’t reach but arrows are a finite resource. Torches, however, are infinite so throw a torch rather than shoot an arrow, the object will still be broken but you won’t have wasted any ammo.
You can also use torches to set fire to your arrows. Simply drop the torch on the ground in front of you, swing your notched bow through the fire and voila you can rain down fiery death on your enemies. One step further is to place your torch on a wall and shoot through the flame. The arrows will ignite as they pass through meaning you can shoot a rapid succession of fire arrows.
Different weapon combos do different things, feel free to experiment
Each weapon has it’s own characteristics, daggers are fast and do light damage whilst two-handed weapons are slower but do more damage per hit. Take the time to experiment with different combinations and different fighting styles can you give you great advantages depending on what you are taking on.
Upgrade your ration pouch as soon as you can
Your ration pouch is used to heal yourself on the fly. You start off with only one use available to you and you’ll want to upgrade this as soon as possible. Given the differences in combat in Valhalla you’ll likely find yourself needing to heal more often than in previous titles.
The first two upgrades are quite easy to get but require a lot of resources. You’ll need to get your hands on as much iron ore and leather as possible. The easiest way is to spend all your silver on the these resources at traders but they can also be found out in the game world too.
Helpfully you’ve found these tips useful, happy raiding and may Odin walk with you.