1: Don't bother to clear points of interest until you've finished all quests in a hub
Assassin's Creed Origins has been really smartly constructed in that side quests take you through almost all the major points of interest around the hub or region you find them in.
For example, on your way from the starting village of Siwa to the city of Alexandria, you pass through an area of desert where a couple of those tantalising question marks may lure you from your path.
Ignore them and stick with the road until you reach the Temple of Sekhmet at Yuma just up the road, however, and you'll find a stack of side quests that take you through the nearby bandit hideouts – and even lead you right to where you need to be to solve the local papyrus puzzle, which are Assassin's Creed Origins' treasure hunts.
By waiting to tackle these points of interest until you're ready to get back on the road, you save yourself a stack of backtracking and repetition, and it's very easy to mop up the few remaining bits and bobs, without ever feeling like you're doing chores.
2: Senu is a huge help, so learn to use her properly
After you reunite with Senu, Bayek's eagle, tapping up on the D-pad puts you into bird's eye mode. From here you can fly around checking out the scenery, marking points of interest, and even fast travelling. It's pretty cool.
Hold the left trigger, though, and you go into hover mode. This makes it way easier to scan the environment, and any baddies or notable objects like treasure, arbalests and alarm beacons you look over while hovering will be highlighted in Bayek's view – even if they're on the other side of walls or underground.
A direction indicator points you towards objects you may be interested in – white for general objects, gold for mission objectives. Move towards it and a shrinking circle appears; the smaller and more focused it gets, the closer you are to the hidden object. Use this to track down treasures.
Performing synchronisations increases Senu's perception, by the way, which makes it way easier to scout baddies and locate objects. And you can also upgrade Senu through the abilities Skill Tree, for either Hunter, Seer or Warrior.
3: Dismantle your blue and purple weapons and shields
You need a stack of crafting materials to upgrade all your stuff, and by far the easiest way to get them is to dismantle unwanted gear.
If you sell all your stuff, you'll eventually come to a point where you want a better quiver or hidden blade and have to laboriously chase down guard convoys or fork out cash for crafting materials at frankly inflated prices. Avoid the whole situation in advance by building up a nice stock.
As long as you have one decent weapon to use at any given time, there's no point hanging onto blue or purple stuff when new and better loot is always just around the corner. Just break it down and craft yourself a better hidden blade, already. It's embarrassing that you can't assassinate some grunt one level above you.
4: Do not underestimate animals
Crocodiles do not mess about. If you're nice and safe on a rock they can't climb by all means just headshot them; they stupidly stand there roaring at you until they're nearly dead. But if they can reach you? Oh, wow: make sure you're not out of your depth level-wise. They will fuck you up.
Lions also do not mess about. It's not that one lion is such a big deal so much as that whenever you get one lion you almost always get about four more. If you don't have a spear handy, you're in trouble. See also: hyenas.
You know what else does not mess about? Hippopotamuses. Responsible for more tourist deaths each year than any other animal, according to our hazy memory for trivia from 1990's cereal boxes, these cuddly looking beasts actually like nothing better than to smear you into jam. No thanks!! Go around.
5: Unlocked fast travel points are marked with a green dot
Most of the UI in Assassin's Creed Origins is perfectly straight forward, but there's an unfortunate overlap. After you discover a location, it appears as a dark icon on the map, but once you clear out the optional objectives there, it is greyed out.
Seems sensible, right? But for some reason, when the location in question is a synchronisation (fast travel) point, it is greyed out until you synchronise, instead of afterwards.
Happily, the green dot at the top of the icon indicates both a completed synchronisation and a general fast travel location like a city hub, so you can make sure you have actually visited all of the perches in a hub before you wander away and find you can't fast travel back.
6: Fire is your friend, except when it's not
You can do some really clever things with fire in Assassin's Creed Origins. Grass, wood and many structures will burn, and small boats especially go up beautifully – not to mention you can set enemies on fire. You can also use fire to open wooden barricades and ceiling patches.
The easiest way to get a blaze going is to aim (but not draw) your bow and dip the arrow tip in a fire. Most camps, forts and towns have camp fires you can use, but you can also do this on the oil lamp on the mast of a boat, or pull out and then drop your torch and use that (for best results, drop it on a low ledge so it's easier to get the arrow down to it.)
Be warned: you are also flammable, and fire eats through Bayek's health really quickly. At higher levels with an upgraded breastplate you may survive if you mash the dodge key, but in general you'll want to get into water, fast.
7: Don't spend drachmae on outfits and mounts
Every hub is home to a weaver and a stable, ready to sell you common and rare outfits and mounts.
The thing is, though: none of them do anything. The descriptions say stuff like “won't attract attention” and “runs like an arrow”, but in effect, they're all exactly the same. Buying them is just a waste of your precious drachmae, which you should be hoarding for endgame. You get new mounts and outfits in sidequests, anyway.
Speaking of hoarding money: you don't really need to buy weapons, either. Save all your cash for upgrading legendary weapons and shields when they're under-levelled for your current task.
8: Your mount does not understand restricted zones
Assassin's Creed Origins has a great travel system where your mount can be set to run along the road automatically, and with a further button press, to navigate to your quest or custom marker.
As well as making it easier to fight while mounted, since you don't have to steer, it's fantastic for when you've gone out of your way needlessly (see tip #1 above, ahem) and have a long trip back, because you can admire the scenery at your leisure, and it's stunning.
Unfortunately, your mount is an animal with no respect for human laws, and will run right through forts and bandit camps. Check your map and don't tune out, lest you find yourself in more trouble than you anticipated.