With Assassin's Creed Valhalla debuting a brand new way of working its traditional skills, here's everything you need to know about the game's Skill Tree.
Get your axe because you're going to need it to chop down the massive Skill Tree in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Ubisoft's long-running role-playing adventure series returns and is heading back in time for this time-travelling tale of battles and bloodlust. This time, players are sent hurtling to 873 AD and the middle of the Anglo-Saxon war with Viking raiders.
Here, Valhalla sees you put on your best armour and warpaint as Eivor - making the character either male or female - and attempt to conquer these new lands. When it comes to skills, there's a similar system to what we've seen before in other Assassin's Creed titles. The Skill Tree will show Eivor's Power Level, while each area of the map will have a recommended Power Level you should reach before entering. Sending an underpowered Eivor into an overpowered region is akin to tossing them into a Pagan ritual.
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As the game progresses and Eivor's story branches out further through side quests and the main campaign (which we won't spoil here), gathering skill points and upgrading your abilities will become key to victory and hopefully being welcomed by the gods into the mythical realm of Valhalla. Even those who've previously played an AC game will need a rundown of how skills work in Valhalla, so sharpen your blades because here we go.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla - how to get more skill points
By now, most of those parting with their cash for Assassin's Creed Valhalla will know how the skill progression system works. In the likes of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you branched out across a map of skills that was split into Hunter, Warrior, and Assassin options. Must-unlock skills included Sixth Sense, the fan-favourite Spartan Kick, and Battlecry of Ares.
Valhalla mixes things up even further as you head out across the cosmos and unlock clusters of skill constellations. Unlike most RPG games where certain skills are unlocked at a specific XP level, Assassin's Creed Valhalla will award loyal Vikings two skill points per XP milestone they reach. It's then up to them to decided where to spend their hard-earned points.
Similar to Assassin's Creed Odyssey, skills are split into Melee, Ranged, and Stealth. These are then divided further into stat nodes (smaller points) and main skills (larger ones). Lurking in the centre of each constellation are the named perks. Highlights include Berserker's Mettle (which sends Eivor into a blind fury), Explosive Corpse (turning a dead body into a booby trap), and Battleground Bolt (picking up the nearest discarded weapon and throwing it at an enemy).
This method of spending skills has an element of luck as you never quite know where you're going to end up. Spending points to unlock a cluster won't reveal what upgrades are inside until you've used them. The unpredictability of the Skill Tree means some players will battle through hours of the main campaign without some major skills that others unlocked as soon as they could.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla - How To Reset Skills
With it being so easy to make a potentially wrong turn, players might want to go back to the beginning and try again for a faster route to your favourite skills. Even if the Skill Tree is a little divisive, there's the ability to reset for a second round. Respeccing an individual skill involves finding it on the Skill Tree, highlighting it, and pressing the respec button (X/Square)
Be warned, respeccing any skill will also axe anything that has been unlocked after it, meaning you should be careful at looking what comes after it on the Skill Tree branch. If you want a complete overhaul of skills, this can also be done with what's effectively a factory reset of the Skill Tree. In the bottom right-hand corner, there's a full reset button (X/Square) that will remove all your currently attached skills.
To be honest, you probably won't want to completely reset unless you've really messed up your pathway or want to drastically change your play style. When it comes to an individual skill reset, fans are definitely going to use this a lot when they realise they're veering off the skill path they originally wanted.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla - How To Get More Abilities
Spending skills is one of Assassin's Creed Valhalla's few gripes as gamers have groaned about the grind to unlock all the skills they want. There is another way around this boost your Eivor thanks to finding abilities littered around the map.
Unfortunately, for those hack and slash players who don't fancy themselves as a treasure hunter, searching every crevice probably isn't high on their priority list. Believe us; you'll want to break every vase and enter every cave because you never know when a new ability will drop into your lap from seemingly nowhere with a Book of Knowledge. These Books of Knowlege are usually found behind closed doors in towns, in caves, or raid locations.
Like loot, Books of Knowlege will be highlighted on your map with a gold icon and appear on your compass. Unlike the Skill Tree, you won't earn a point from books. Instead, they're assigned to specific areas, with each one teaching a specific ability. For example, the book containing the handy Throwing Axe Fury is found in the Nottfall town in the Rygjafylke region, while Vengeance of Thor is in the town of Oxeneforda.
Abilities of Eivor are then assigned to an individual button on your controller, can be used in battle, but will cost you adrenaline. Finding a second Book of Knowledge will unlock a stronger version of this ability (there are two levels for each ability). Coupling skills and abilities together will help you create a formidable force that should strike fear into the hearts of even the Norse gods themselves. Now you know where to start, it's up to you to help Eivor climb the skill tree. Happy hunting, Vikings.
Images via Ubisoft