Assassin’s Creed Origins has a new weapons and equipment system. You’ll be glad you took the time to understand it the first time the bounty hunters come breathing down your neck.
Take a quick look over this before you dive into Assassin’s Creed Origins – it’s more of an RPG than you might be expecting, and with the right gear you’ll have a much better time.
In Assassin’s Creed Origins, you get new weapons and shields all the time – from enemy drops, from treasure chests, as quest rewards or via in-game shops. They come in three rarity tiers, helpfully colour coded for easy recognition. The more uncommon a weapon or shield, the more attributes it has, and the more valuable materials you’ll earn for dismantling it. Here’s the deal:
Until you get close to endgame and have all your other equipment upgraded, dismantle your unwanted weapons and shields rather than sell them. You don’t really need money except to upgrade weapons, but crafting materials can be more of a chore. You’ll be glad to have a big stack of them when you want them.
- Blue weapons and shields are common and have one attribute. They dismantle into common materials.
- Purple weapons and shields are rare and have two attributes. They dismantle into rare materials.
- Golden weapons and shields are legendary and have two to three attributes. Don’t dismantle or sell them!
Don’t think twice about dismantling or selling blues and purples, but never dismantle or sell legendary weapons and shields before endgame. These are really infrequent finds and you can upgrade them once you hit endgame and stop finding trash loot at higher levels. Just hang onto them for now, and consult the upgrades section below.
The best source of legendary weapons and shields in Assassin’s Creed Origins is papyrus puzzles, followed by side quests, followed by treasure boxes in tombs, forts and bandit camps.
Quality and attributes: how to tell which weapon is best
With so much loot, it can be difficult to tell at a glance which weapon you should be using.
Each weapon is labelled with its DPS (damage per second), but since each category is used differently, the quality level is a more helpful measure of which one is best.
When it comes to melee weapons, if you’re comfortable using every category of weapon (see below), you can just equip your highest quality weapon, or the best weapon in your favourite categories.
On the ranged side of things, it’s best to hold on to two bows – one for ranged sniping in stealth, and one for when things kicks off into open conflict. More on that in the weapons category section below.
If you have two weapons of the same quality, look to their rarity. As outlined above, the more rare a weapon is, the more attributes it has, and these can make a big different.
Our favourite weapon attributes are critical damage up, adrenaline build rate up, bleed on hit and poison on hit. Looking at the attributes will help you determine which of two otherwise equal weapons is best.
Just once more for the record: never dismantle a legendary weapon or shield. You’ll want something with three attributes when things get tougher towards the end of the game! This segues neatly into upgrades.
Upgrading weapons and shields
If you have an amazing legendary weapon you love using but it’s dramatically lower quality than whatever rubbish blue you’re carrying around, consider upgrading it.
It’s very easy to upgrade weapons and shields: just visit the blacksmith in any town and select upgrade from the vendor menu. You don’t need any crafting materials – just a wad of drachmae.
The higher the level you want to bring your gear to, the more expensive the upgrade. It can get pretty pricey at high levels, and so we suggest saving all your cash and upgrading your favourite weapons when you really need them, rather than every few levels. Until you start facing down really tough enemies, any old weapon will do.
One good strategy is to upgrade a favourite legendary weapon or two right before you go off to challenge a bounty hunter, since these are some of the toughest fights in the game – even when you’re levelled appropriately.
Upgrading other equipment
Remember how we suggested dismantling all your unwanted blues and purples? Here’s why: the crafting materials you’ll get from them can be used to upgrade your other equipment. Your breastplate, bracer, quiver, hidden blade and toolbelt can each be upgraded through multiple tiers, eventually reaching legendary status.
If you’re a stealth player, the most important upgrade is the hidden blade. At legendary level, the hidden blade does way more damage in stealth attacks against enemies you can’t insta-kill, and will even insta-kill some enemies of a higher level than you.
Our favourite upgrade after that is the quiver. Unless you don’t use the bow at all (why!), whether you play stealth or chaotic, having more arrows to hand can be an enormous help.
Once you have those two out of the way, choose from the others according to your playstyle. Upgrading your breastplate increases your health points, while a better bracer means more weapon damage. Tool upgrades mean more inventory, but you obviously shouldn’t bother with that if you haven’t unlocked abilities stored on the toolbelt, such as sleep dart, poison dart and firebomb.
How to get crafting materials like carbon crystal or silica for upgrades
You’ll need a big stack of common, rare and legendary crafting materials to upgrade all your equipment.
We strongly suggest dismantling all spare blue and purple weapons and shields until you have fully upgraded all your equipment, after which you can sell them for drachmae. This goes a long way towards filling your pockets with what you need to complete all your upgrades.
After that, you have two options to collect crafting materials:
Senu is your best friend for that second option. Tap up on the D-pad to enter eagle mode, and scan around to locate crafting material symbols; hover with the left trigger for easier spotting. Animal goods like leather and hard leather can be found on, well, animals. Wood and metals like cedar and bronze are carried by guard convoys, and you’ll have to beat them up to take their goods.
- Use two ability points to unlock crafting materials for sale at general vendors.
- Find crafting materials for free in the open world.
In general, better quality crafting materials are found in higher level areas. That said, legendary crafting materials – carbon crystal and silica – can not be looted from animals or guards.
When you need them, you can find legendary crafting materials in treasure boxes in tombs and forts or bandit camps. Visit these locations and use Senu to locate them.
If you have plenty of drachmae, you can also buy legendary crafting materials from the nomad vendor, although there’s an inventory limit each day.
Weapon types: melee
There are several melee weapon types in Assassin’s Creed Origins, and each has its own moveset and adrenaline attack. Play around with them all and see which ones you like using. If you enjoy chaotic play and have invested in the Warrior end of the skill tree, you’ll want to unlock to carry two melee weapons and switch between them at will, so you’ve got a heavy weapon to bash through tower shields and something more suited to crowd control.
Weapon types: ranged
- Normal swords and Sickle Swords
The default weapon choice, with medium speed and medium damage. The two categories have different overpower attacks. Useful in almost any situation.
A decent all round weapon with medium range and quick attacks, but not quite as damaging as swords and won’t hack through shields.
- Dual blades
Very fast, but with short reach; you’ll want to be good at positioning and dodging, and avoid big crowds.
- Heavy clubs and heavy blades
Both slow but extremely powerful and good at staggering heavily defended enemies. It’s hard to hit more agile enemies, though.
The longest reach of any weapon type and reasonably quick, but does bugger all damage. Very good for keeping a crowd under control as you move into a better position, but definitely not a main weapon choice.
If you like using bows at all, you should immediately start spending ability points to unlock the second bow slot. Bows come in four different varieties, and are variously weighted towards chaotic conflict or stealth play – so you’ll want one for both situations, probably.
Here’s a hot tip: each bow category has its own ammo pool, so if things go pear shaped and you empty your quiver, just open your inventory and equip a different category of bow for a fresh supply. Don’t forget to switch back and to refill your ammo supplies when things settle down.
- Predator bows
The pure stealth option, predator bows have a very shallow ammo pool but do extreme damage. They have a unique reticule aiming system which is a little trickier than the auto-aim on other bow types, so give yourself time to aim and attack from cover. If you like this style of bow, upgrade your quiver as a priority and check out the Hunter end of the skill tree for some neat abilities.
- Hunter bows
A compromise option, hunter bows can be fired quickly enough for use in open conflict, but do way more damage if you draw them back fully, which is most easily achieved in stealth.
- Warrior bow
The ancient shotgun, warrior bows fire multiple projectiles at once. The spread on the arrows is huge so you really want to use them at close range, and invest in the upgrade that reduces spread if you draw fully. Not that great, if we’re honest, except against big heavy solos.
- Quick bows
Low damage but rapid firing, light bows are perfect for peppering your enemies in open conflict. Equip one, lock on, and ping away at a hippo’s head as it rush towards you. You might get away with it!
Shields are extremely straight forward. Equip the best one you have, with lots of bonus attributes if possible. Remember to use the block button. Shields won’t protect you against heavy attacks, though, so remember the dodge command, too.