The release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla joins the launch of the brand new generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and this game comes loaded with tons of missions and distractions for players. There are a lot of new elements and mechanics that the game introduces to players as they progress, but the sheer amount of distractions can be somewhat overwhelming. That's why we're here to break down all of the best tips and hints you need to know before you dive deep into the latest entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise.
Whether you need to know what to build first in your settlement, abilities you need to equip, what to do if you need help with an enemy, ways to open up better dialogue options, and more - you can see all of those tips, tricks, and strategies starting on the next slide.
If you want to know all of my thoughts on Valhalla, you can check out my full review right here and a tidy summary in the video above, and for those unfamiliar with the game, you can check out the full description below.
"Driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources in ninth century AD, players will lead Eivor’s clan of Norsemen across the icy North Sea to the rich lands of England’s broken kingdoms. Players must carve out a new future for their clan, reliving the ruthless fighting style of Viking warriors with a revamped combat system that includes the ability to dual-wield weapons against a greater variety of enemies than ever before. To secure resources, players can lead raids to select locations using their longship to earn much-needed riches and supplies. As the Vikings begin to settle in their new home, they encounter resistance from the Saxons, including King Aelfred of Wessex, who denounces them as heathens and looks to be the sole ruler of a civilized England. Against all odds, Eivor must do what is necessary to keep Valhalla within reach."
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X, Stadia, and Luna, and hits PS5 on November 12th.
Hit the next slide to check out all our tips and tricks, and let us know what you think of the game in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things Assassin's Creed!
Explore, Explore, Explore
Now, one of the things you'll notice quite quickly in Valhalla is a rather clear map. There are symbols that pop up for sure, and you'll get indicators of wealth, mysteries, and artifacts if you use your Odin Sight, but the map doesn't have as much clutter that other games in the series have.
That's because many things won't actually pop up on your map until you get within their vicinity, and other things won't pop up until you fulfill some other requirements, like building a Cartographer at your settlement for instance. Also, wealth won't show you what it is until you get near it, so it will be a gold dot on your map once you've synchronized, but you won't know if it's a Book of Knowledge, a tattoo, a Zealot, or a piece of armor until you actually explore it.
That pushes you to actually venture out beyond what you can immediately see and explore, and the game rewards for it. Take a horse ride into an unknown area or take a boat towards a far off raid and you'll be amazed at what you discover, and it all allows you to further immerse yourself into the world you see and meet along the way since it isn't just you following a symbol on the map at all times.prevnext
You Can Return to Norway
The game opens up with Eivor exploring the places around Norway and their home Fornberg, though despite it being the opening of the game there are plenty of things to see and do here. You'll see icons for wealth, raids, and mysteries here, and a lot of them, but don't feel like you need to do it all before you continue with the story, which takes you to England.
Once you're further in and settled into your settlement in England, you can actually return to Norway to check out all the things there by pulling up the map and hitting the button for the Atlas. It pulls up another menu that lets you select England or Norway, so take your time in Norway all you want, but don't feel like you can't leave until all the shiny symbols are gone.prevnext
How To Handle Barred Doors And Destructible Walls
When exploring you'll find some obstructions in your path, and they often are protecting some sweet treasures or raw materials you can use at your settlement, or even better gear and weapons for Eivor to use in battle. The two most common obstructions are barred doors and destructible walls, and they require two different approaches.
If you use your Odin Sight near a building or area, you might see a red-hued object pop up near a door. This means that the door is barred from the other side with a wood plank, and you'll need to destroy it to get in. This can be done by finding a window on the opposite side of the building or at times higher up in the building and shooting an arrow at it to destroy it, but sometimes that isn't the case.
If you can't hit it with an arrow from a window, try looking upwards for a way in. Climb to the roof and see if there's a hunters perch in a tree, which might let you in. Sometimes the top of the buildings have breakable sections that you can destroy and travel through. Other times there are areas you can slide through lower to the ground, either by moving something out of the way or destroying it with your axe or arrow. Now, if secrecy isn't a problem for you, you can sometimes just give it a slash with an axe and chop the door down, but it will alert everyone close to you.
Now, other destructible areas are made up of bigger rocks and rubble and thus require something bigger to break them down. Look towards the ground if you are near a piece of gear or treasure that says its below you, and you might find one of these areas. Sometimes they will have a hanging platform above them, which can often be shot with an arrow, dropping its contents and breaking through the area. Other times you'll see an explosive jar somewhere near the wall, and you can either take it close to the wall and place it so you can move away and shoot it with an arrow or you can just toss it towards the door and blow it up that way.prevnext
Always Head To Secret Passages
One of the symbols you'll see near fortresses, monasteries, and other areas is one of stairs, and that means a hidden entrance is near you. These always lead to something good, so don't pass them up when you spot them. Now, sometimes they have threats you need to deal with or some other form of danger (like a poison mist for instance), but typically the gear is well worth it, so do it anwyay.prevnext
What To Build
Your settlement is one of the most important elements of the game, and many things are tied directly to it, so it's best to get a couple of raids under your belt early on to get some raw materials and wealth to upgrade it (just watch those Raid power levels). There are many things to build and upgrade here, but there are a few that stand out early on, so if these pop up you will want to go ahead and invest in them early.
Early on you might find yourself loaded with tradeable goods from animals that you can't really do anything with other than sell for cheap, but if you build a Hunter's Hut you can then trade them, though this location is immediately available right at the onset.
When this building pops up you're going to want to go ahead and build it, because this opens up a way to reveal specific icons across your map that show you the locations of gear and resources and new abilities. This will clutter things up a bit, but at least you have a choice.
Those who want to learn the ways of the Assassins and unlock the greater overarching Assassins vs Templars conflict will want to build this ASAP, and you can further the story by finding Codex pages throughout the world and bringing them back here.
The stable allows you to purchase different horses, ravens, and other mounts, like an awesome wolf, but the most important thing it allows you to do is train your horse. The most important training you can give it is Swimming Training, which means you can now ride it through deep water without it tossing you off and heading for dry land.prevnext
Valka actually comes to your settlement of her volition once you reach a certain level in your settlement, but once given the chance to upgrade her shop you'll get access to an amazing questline that no fan of Norse mythology will want to miss. This opens up the game in a really cool way (God of Thunder anyone?) so once this quest pops up go ahead and get those resources quick, because you won't regret it.prevnext
Calling For Help
The game does a good job of giving you power level indicators, so you'll see enemies at a higher level than you clearly marked with a red skull. That said, sometimes a quest will lead you there and perhaps you still want to give it a go, and if that's the case, you can get some help.
If you're not too far away from the water you can sound off the horn and call on the help of your raiding party. If you are extremely close they will sometimes just pelt the enemies around you with arrows from the boat, and other times they will come to your aid directly, and it can mean the world when trying to take down a foe a bit out of your league.prevnext
Upgrade Your Rations
There are several avenues for leveling up in Valhalla, and along the way you can pretty much upgrade everything. Resources can be tight though, especially early on, so if you upgrade one piece of equipment do yourself a favor and make it your rations. You only start off with one ration, which means you can't equip any more than that, and you'll go through it quickly. It gets pretty expensive beyond 3 Rations, but try and get yourself there, because it will save you a lot of starting over if you do.
Also of note, if you use up your rations look around for bushes with various fruits on them, because you can heal yourself that way too if you collect enough of them.prevnext
There are several types of enemies you'll face in Valhalla, and most of them you can either evade or counter. There is one exception though, as some enemies have Perilous Attacks, which you'll recognize by a red fiery aura coming from them when they launch it. If you see this attack, the only thing you can do is evade it, as it is unblockable and if it hits it will deal serious damage, especially early on when your armor isn't upgraded as much.
Remember, if you see someone glow red, dodge.prevnext
Stop, Drop, and Roll
Not all threats are the same in Valhalla, and one of the more embarrassing ways to die is by accidentally lighting yourself on fire. Granted, someone can also hit you with a fiery arrow, but more often than not you will find yourself ablaze because you were too close to an explosion or went into a building before the fire was completely gone.
If you find yourself on fire, it can deplete health extremely quickly, so you'll want to hold down the square button and roll, which will help diminish the flames and save you from using up all your rations because you didn't pay attention.prevnext
Get Used to Flyting
Flyting is actually quite fun to do just because, but there is an extremely handy benefit from competing in these verbal bouts too. Flyting is a war of insults that you try and do with wit and rhyme, and you'll find various challengers throughout the land ready for a battle. It's fun to see if you can best someone else's wits, but the thing is if you do you will level up your charisma, and this is of great benefit as you make your way through the game.
Having higher charisma opens up more dialogue options in future character interactions, and can help you reign in someone's price or convince them to give up the information you need without bloodshed. So, if you see someone hanging around who wants a battle, more often than not oblige them, especially early in the game, because it will come in handy.prevnext
Upgrade Your Raiding Party
You will meet some great characters throughout the story of Valhalla, and when you do some of them will eventually join your Raiding party. If they do that's great, but don't forget to equip them! If you build your Barracks at your settlement you can then customize your Raiding party, which includes those characters who have joined your cause. You can also hire other people's Jomsviking here or even bring along your own if you so choose, and if your Jomsviking is used you will get some extra money.prevnext
Weak Points and Dive of the Valkyries
Each enemey has several ways to counter it, either by evading or parrying, but there's also a way to stun them for those who prefer a more precise approach. Each enemy will have a series of weak points, which can be seen in gold highlighted areas. If you target those areas and hit them, you will wear down their meter and open up the chance to hit them with a stun attack, and that does serious damage.
Now, you can also unlock abilities that aid you in combat by finding Books of Knowledge throughout the world, and one indispensable one in particular is Dive of the Valkyries. The ability has you leaping in the air as everything slows around you, and you pounce on your enemy with a big attack. It does great damage and gives you that oh so important moment to breathe, especially against a tougher foe, so if you've got it make sure to equip it as soon as you can.prevnext
Your Wolf Partner
You can actually have an animal companion in the game, and this mission will come via your settlement. At one point there is a child you asks for your help in the settlement, and if that happens go ahead and finish off this quest, and you'll end up with a sweet wolf companion that you can name (mine is named Chewy of course) and then you open up an ability that lets you command your wolf to attack enemies out in the world, which can be not just a nice attack but also a way to distract soldiers when you're trying to sneak into a distrust area.prev