If you’ve just started Eivor’s journey, you’ll most likely be looking for some Assassin’s Creed Valhalla tips and tricks to help you out in the early game. There are so many systems in play, and with a shift towards more tricky Souls-like combat, you may need some pointers to get accustomed to the gameplay in Valhalla.
This Assassin’s Creed Valhalla guide will focus on some general tips you should know before you start playing. It’ll help you grapple with the game’s combat and exploration, while also pointing you towards the best available abilities in the game, setting you up for a successful siege of the British Isles.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla guide: 6 top Valhalla tips you should know
Save to upgrade your rations and quiver early
Leather and Iron Ore are two of the most common resources in Valhalla, used primarily for upgrading weapons and armour. But don’t shovel them all into better swords and shields straight away. Instead, save them for building out your rations and quiver first.
Start with rations, as every ration consumed provides a significant bump in health, so getting three at your disposal early is worth it to mitigate avoidable deaths in combat. Once you’ve done that, use the remainder to expand your quiver. Every arrow is essentially a free kill in the early game, and you’ll need the extra ammo, as ranged weapons like the Recurve Bow start with a measly five projectiles.
Match your playstyle with your weapons and armour
Once you’re fit and flush with ammo, ensure you’re not wasting stat boosts by matching your weapons and armour to your playstyle. The game doesn’t explain this very well, but it’s super important. Look at the skill tree and see whether the school of the Raven (Stealth), Wolf (Ranged), or Bear (Heavy) takes your fancy, then check whether you’ve got armour and weapons matching that school equipped.
In each skill tree, there are ‘Way of The X’ nodes that only offer boosts if you’re wearing items from your chosen playstyle. Armour, meanwhile, comes in sets that provide specific bonuses for wearing all five pieces from the same school.
Get every Book of Knowledge in Norway
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla starts in Norway on an overwhelmingly large landmass full of icons, but (spoilers!) you quickly set sail to raid the English coast after the first few story missions. Arriving in England unlocks several essential features including the settlement system, so don’t dilly-dally too much, but you should definitely get every Book of Knowledge in Scandinavia before you leave.
Books of Knowledge give Eivor permanent access to abilities, so you’ll want as many as possible to make combat much easier when you arrive in Britain. There’s a fantastic ability I’m still using in the mid-game called Rage of Helheim. You can grab this by heading behind the waterfall in the easternmost part of Rygiafylke. Mark of Death (found in Alkestrad) is also instrumental.
Get Advanced Assassinations to cheese high-level enemies
One of the best skills you can acquire in the early game is called ‘Advanced Assassinations’, found in the school of the Raven in the lower left of the gigantic skill tree. If you assassinate high-level enemies without it, you won’t kill them outright. But, with Advanced Assassinations unlocked, a quick-time event will trigger during the kill. If you nail the QTE, you’ll kill miniboss baddies and other tricky foes instantly, avoiding the rigmarole of a drawn-out battle. You can leverage this skill to punch above your weight class in raids and get access to high-level resources and gear early. Speaking of which…
Raid early and raid smart
As soon as you land in England, you’ll set up your camp and start the main questline, committing to regions and solving their power struggles. Yet before you dig into the meat of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it’s worth raiding as much as you can, acquiring the supplies necessary to unlock important settlement buildings.
Construction reveals the game’s most fun features, like Reda’s contracts, Legendary Animals, the Order of the Ancients, and more. You should see several raids available to you in your immediate area on the map, many of which may look daunting at first. But if your Power level is in the early 100s, you should be able to manage them with tactical use of stealth and abilities. Raids end when you open up every supply box at the camp or monastery, so lure and assassinate the heavy-hitters first, then blow the horn, force the doors open, steal your loot, and quickly escape. Then head home and enjoy fleshing out your settlement early.
Turn Valhalla into Sekiro
Remember the Mikiri Counter from Sekiro? The ability that let you dash into an unblockable attack to nullify and counter it? Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has its own high-risk, high-reward version called the Counter Roll. Far West from the starting point of the Raven skill tree, you’ll find this ability that makes the game’s unblockable attacks blockable.
Once unlocked, if Eivor dashes into an enemy, they will tumble over their back and open then up to deadly backstabs. When you start encountering Dark Souls-style boss fights, where enemies have big health bars and giant stagger gauges, this skill becomes essential to your survival, keeping you from getting nicked by the tip of a spear and desynchronising.
Lead a horse to water
Once you have enough supplies from your early raids, your top priority should be to unlock the Stable just past the Longhouse. This will let you purchase mount upgrades from Rowan, one of which is the Horse Swimming upgrade. If you’ve ever lived in England, you’ll know its a wet place, but this skill lets your horse plough through the deepest bodies of water with relative ease.
As you might imagine, there’s a lot of travelling by horseback in Valhalla, and you’ll encounter plenty of situations where you’d rather go through than around. As such, this skill is a massive timesaver: Pick it up as early as possible.
Get the Heavy Dual Wield skill to become a monster
In the northwestern part of the skill tree, following the red trail of Aspect of Bear skills, you’ll find Heavy Dual Wield, a perk that let’s you wield two-handed weapons with just one hand. Now you can sport double Dane Axes, or double spears, and these extra combinations are insanely awesome. What’s more, two-handed weapons tend to hit a lot harder than their one-handed counterparts, so you’ll do more damage too.
Turn up the exploration difficulty to make the game more immersive
Exploring England is a lot of fun, but it’s better if you turn off some of the bells and whistles that take a lot of the thought out of roaming around. With the exploration difficulty turned up, items will be harder to locate and you’ll be given less help (like being shown the distance to a nearby item). This might sound frustrating, but it makes Valhalla much more immersive and fun. Now, instead of feeling like you have to check items off of a list, you can just roam around and explore at your leisure, and the world is densely packed with enough stuff that sniffing around mysterious ruins and finding treasure will feel more rewarding and exciting.
Don’t skip out on Flyting challenges
Early on, you’ll be introduced to Viking rap battles—called Flyting—which increases your charisma and occasionally unlocks extra dialogue options. Don’t skip out on these. Without spoiling anything, there are several instances where these extra dialogue options will open up new routes through the story that can be extremely useful—or help diffuse situations where beloved characters are at risk.
Even if you’re not a poet, Flyting is relatively easy. Just make sure your answer rhymes with your opponent’s verse and conveys the same meaning. If they’re talking about what an idiot you are, the better option is the one that turns the insult back on them rather than switches topics entirely.