Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a very big and rather complex game. It has layers upon layers of systems and mechanics that all tie into one another, and at first, it can be daunting. While the title does do a good job of easing you into the experience -- the entire first island is basically one huge tutorial -- there's still much to learn as you start sinking in the hours.
And so we've put together a hopefully helpful beginner's guide. We're going to go over some key things to look out for in the game, as well as pass on tips and techniques for getting the most out of the experience.
Quests are the best way to level up
There's no denying it, Assassin's Creed has gone full role-playing game with Odyssey, so as you'd expect levelling up is an important part of the adventure. Levelling up in Odyssey is essentially how you progress through the game. Some areas of the map will be home to enemies that are just too strong for you to handle, so you're forced to come back later once you've gained enough experience.
The process of actually gaining said experience is pretty straight forward. Killing enemies, conquering enemy bases or camps, and clearing out locations all grant you experience points, but the absolute best way to gain experience is by completing quests.
Whether it's story quests, side quests, or just basic mercenary contracts, checking them off is the most efficient way to level up. The best part about this is that quests pop up everywhere. Once you're several hours into the game, you'll start running into people with grey markers above their heads. Speak to them, and you'll be able to accept standard mercenary quests. You may have to assassinate someone, clear out a bandit lair, kill a powerful animal -- all the usual stuff. These quests will pop up endlessly throughout the game, giving you a constant source of experience should you require it.
In short, if you need to get stronger, do your job as a mercenary, or, as the game likes to call you, a misthios.
Try to avoid bounty hunters -- at least in the beginning
Assassin's Creed Odyssey has a full law and order system in place -- the first of its kind in the series. You're free to murder, steal, and generally be a bit of a baddie, but get spotted breaking the law and a bounty will be placed on your head. Bounties work in stages, and there are five stages in total. Each stage represents how many mercenaries can be sent to track you down.
Yep, cause too much trouble and tough bounty hunters will be dispatched to deliver justice. They're actually very good at finding you -- they'll even follow you out to sea once your have your ship -- and they're usually a lot tougher than normal opponents.
Killing mercenaries gives you a chance at powerful loot, but at the beginning of the game, they're going to seem near invincible -- even if they're around your level. As such, you'll want to avoid breaking the law and thus avoiding mercenaries if you can help it. At least, until you have decent equipment and a few abilities unlocked. If you do find yourself hunted, make sure to hide in a nearby bush and then leg it when they're not looking. But again, be warned: bounty hunters are incredibly persistent.
Clearing your bounty can make your life a lot easier
As mentioned above, bounties can be serious business. If you've broken the law and you've now got mercenaries chasing you down, then it may be a good time to clear the bounty on your head.
There are two ways of doing this. You can either open the menu and simply pay your bounty off by spending the required amount of gold, or you can hunt down the person that's offering a reward for your death. The bounty's sponsor will appear as a red coin purse on the map. Leave them lying in a pool of their own blood and your bounty will decrease.
However, depending on how high your bounty actually is, killing its sponsor may not erase it entirely. Heck, if you've really be up to no good, there may be more than one sponsor. Indeed, clearing your bounty can be an adventure in itself.
Make good use of your eagle
Ikaros, your trusty eagle companion, should be your go-to option whenever you need more information on any given situation. It can be easy to forget about your feathered friend, but Ikaros is great at picking out secrets. Unlike Assassin's Creed Origins, treasure chests are littered throughout the world -- they're not just sitting in enemy camps. A quick Ikaros scan of the immediate area can reveal these chests and potentially net you some lovely new equipment with minimal effort.
It goes without saying, but if you're playing a more stealthy character, you'll always want to bring in Ikaros to scout an enemy stronghold before you enter. Ikaros can mark guards and other points of interest from the sky, allowing you to see everything on-screen as you explore. Knowing the positions of your foes obviously gives you a huge advantage.
Taking to the seas is a great way to farm materials
Materials are everywhere in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, constantly spawning all across the map. Ore veins and small trees can be found on land and can be gathered with a tap of triangle, while killing animals nets you furs and pelts. Gathering materials is easy enough, but what if you need a lot of them? Upgrading your ship in particular requires a load of resources, and you'll also need materials to upgrade your weapons and armour.
This is where ship battles come into play. Take to the high seas and fall into the role of a pirate for a while. Sink military ships, or, if you're feeling especially dastardly, merchant vessels, and snatch up materials in bulk as they fall to the ocean floor.
It's also worth noting that you can also find materials in bulk by looting supply chests in enemy camps. These are the things that you're usually tasked with burning when there's a war on, but be sure to loot them before you set them ablaze and you'll pocket a decent number of materials.
Don't be stingy with skills
Get a few hours into Assassin's Creed Odyssey and you're going to be presented with a lot of options for building your character. The game's three skill trees offer quite a lot of variety, and there are many ways to develop an effective hero. Naturally, a big part of the process is deciding which abilities to actually buy with your ability points, and working out which skills you want to have equipped.
Obviously a lot of your decision making is going to come down to how you like to play, but the one thing every player should remember is that skills are there to be used. Many special attacks and abilities require adrenaline, using up one bar or more whenever they're activated during combat. However, adrenaline can build up surprisingly quickly, giving you the option of unleashing your skills a lot more often than you might think.
You gain adrenaline through doing damage, parrying, and perhaps most importantly, dodging. Since you can't equip a shield in Odyssey, dodging is your primary form of defence, and it's a great way to build adrenaline quickly, especially if you're up against multiple opponents.
The bottom line is that you should use your skills a lot during combat. In some cases, against particularly tough enemies, your skills are going to be your best way of dealing damage. What's more, many skills offer a very brief period of invincibility when they're activated. If you see an attack coming that you're never going to dodge, it could be worth letting loose with an attacking skill just before it hits. More often than not, the incoming attack will have no effect.
Think before you speak
For the first time in the series' history, dialogue options are a key part of Assassin's Creed. Odyssey presents you with choices throughout the game, and yes, these choices do have consequences. As such, you need to be wary of how you treat people. You can make enemies or allies of characters depending on how you speak to them, and key choices dotted throughout the main quest will alter the state of Greece for the rest of the game.
Our advice is not to worry too much about making the right choice -- it's best to act as you feel and define your hero however you like -- but it's always smart to at least consider your options before pulling the trigger.
Do you have any helpful tips for Assassin's Creed Odyssey? Share your own knowledge in the comments section below.
Want help with choosing the right skills in Assassin's Creed Odyssey? Check out our skills and abilities guide for recommendations.