Assassin’s Creed takes things up a notch with its riveting new 2020 title – Valhalla. Other than being set in 873 BC, depicting the Viking conquest of East England from the Nordic north, there is a slew of changes introduced this time to empower the player’s choices and improve the gameplay. One of them is undoubtedly in the way the game approaches Gear.
Although there are various weapons and armor sets that are truly awesome in both form and function, there is no metric to judge these since Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a supremely customizable game. Regardless of what gear you have, as long as you upgrade it to the max, it’s going to be on par with any other weapon that you compare it against.
In this guide, we go through everything related to Gear in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – the gear system, how it is different from previous iterations, how to acquire and upgrade, and lots more. Rest assured, there won’t be any spoilers here.
- What counts as Gear?
- The Valhalla Approach to Gear (Few but Focused)
- Gear Categories (and Skill-Tree)
- How to acquire gear
- Upgrading your Gear
- About Runes
- Why Upgrade Gear
- Best Gear to Upgrade First
What counts as Gear?
Basically, anything that you can pick up and equip or slot in your inventory is considered gear. If you take a look at the Inventory Screen, you’ll see the first two boxes are Quiver and Rations.
The four slots left of your character include your Cloak (hood), Torso, Bow, and your Main Melee Weapon. The four slots right of your character include a Helmet, Arms/Bracers, Legs/Boots, and your off-hand weapon/shield.
Further to its right, you’ll see your satchel that contains some extra resources which can be gathered by basically exploring the wide-open world of Valhalla, completing side-quests, hunting animals, and opening chests.
The Valhalla Approach to Gear (Few but Focused)
Compared to Odyssey, Valhalla has a much more focused approach to gear and what you need in the game. Unlike Odyssey, where every single enemy was a potential loot providing varying stats and perks and you had to go on killing sprees to ensure that you covered your gear, Valhalla keeps things simple.
There are no generic armor and weapons – all are unique and all have a name. Every time you find a piece of gear, you’ll find that it has a particular place in your overall gear system.
What this means is that, should you choose to equip it, it could very well be a part of your whole game. As such, gear takes center stage again and has special prominence in Valhalla compared to previous games.
The simplicity of the gear system is one of the defining factors of Valhalla. It finds the middle ground between acquiring and upgrading your gear and using it in your builds. There are no limits to how much you can equip and upgrade since there are no character levels in Valhalla.
They do, however, have varying starting tiers depending on the location where they’re found. Every location in Valhalla will have its own recommendation in terms of the Power Level and the gear items will follow that.
Gear Categories (and Skill-Tree)
The gear that you own can be categorized based on the purpose that it serves – Weapon, Armor, and Shields. It can be leveled up with Runes. On top of that, every single piece of gear will also have a skill affiliation based on the group that it belongs to. Basically, there are three Skill Trees:
- Way of the Raven (Yellow): ideal for stealth-based gameplay.
- Way of the Wolf (Blue): for those who require a ranged focus.
- Way of the Bear (Red): melee focus, to brute force your way through.
The Skill Tree will further increase the impact of your gear.
Inside the Skill Tree, you’ll unlock Nodes that either increase your basic fighting stats or main skills to unlock passive abilities. The abilities that you unlock in your skill tree will have an influence on the gear item, that is if it matches your learned Passive abilities.
No matter which node on the Skill Tree you upgrade, it is going to improve your character in some way. If you want to go in a particular direction of the Skill Tree, you can always plan ahead as they are more suited towards the playing style that you incline towards (stealth, ranged, or brute).
How to acquire gear
There are a few ways by which you can get gear – by completing missions and quests, looting it from treasure chests, buying it from merchants, or the ever-reliable exploration of the world.
Now, don’t expect gear every time you finish a quest, main or otherwise. But in certain cases, you will receive parts of weapons, armor, and shields upon finishing quests. Many of them are spectacular both in form and function and will give Eivor the much-needed boost to his/her skills.
You don’t have any way of knowing whether you’re going to receive gear before you embark on a quest, so when you do get them it comes as a pleasant surprise.
Explore the World
This ties in perfectly with the breath-taking wide-open world of Valhalla. Regardless of where you are in the story, you can always travel around, including Norway. Every last inch of the map is there for exploring and hunting down gear pieces.
You can even get some assistance from the game’s interface to reveal some treasures that contain gear pieces, ingots, and even new abilities. These will be revealed on the map when you get closer to them as gold dots.
Buy from Merchants
Merchants are found in the bigger towns and cities of Valhalla. But before you can trade with them, you’ll need to establish trust with the leader of the region. In your own Ravensthorpe settlement, you can build a Trading Post.
In the shops, you’ll receive a mix of resources and will have to be traded with silver which is the basic game currency. How do you get silver? Looting, basically, and selling them to the merchants.
At some part of the story, the shady merchant Reda will appear. His offerings are quite unique that prop up both your gear and the way you look. However, he deals only in Opal that can be obtained after you complete his and his associates’ contracts (they are in every town’s market). Opal is also found through map explorations in small amounts.
Do note that his offerings are at a higher tier than whatever you can find in the world, which is why they are also quite expensive.
Related: How to Fish in AC Valhalla
Upgrading your Gear
Every single gear piece can be upgraded 10 times which is highlighted by small rectangles in the item’s description.
They all come at different levels based on where you find them. Some of them will come partially upgraded when you get them from quests in the later game which does compensate for the time and energy you’ve spent in acquiring them. That means you don’t have to upgrade every single piece of gear from the very beginning.
How to Upgrade Gear
Go to Inventory and find the gear that you want to upgrade. To level up, navigate to the green slot and interact with it to upgrade.
Every gear will require the necessary resources to upgrade it. The slot will become unlocked and available only when you have the item.
Upgrading Gear Tier
While we’re on upgrading gear, it is also important that you upgrade their tiers. Some of the items will require a higher tier to upgrade than others. This is quite logical since gear pieces are found at different stages of the game and in different regions of the map.
All in all, there are four of these tiers:
- Tier 1 – Fine: Basic tear with 2 level slots; No runes.
- Tier 2 – Superior: Upgrade till level 4; 1 Rune slot.
- Tier 3 – Flawless: Upgrade till level 7; 2 Rune slots.
- Tier 4 – Mythical: Upgrade till level 10; 3 Rune slots.
To upgrade your Gear Tier, you need to, first of all, build a settlement and visit Gunnar.
In his smithy, you can simply hover over the item you wish to upgrade and find out what the next Tier will look like.
You will also require Ingots to upgrade the gear tiers. For the first Basic to Superior Tier upgrade, you’ll need the Carbon Ingot.
For the Superior to Flawless Tier upgrade, you’ll need Nickel Ingot.
For the Flawless to Mythical Tier upgrade, you’ll need Tungsten Ingot.
Gear Upgrade Resources – Where to Find them?
A simple gear upgrade will require things like Leather, Fabric, Ore, and such things (which aren’t that hard to get). They can easily be acquired by exploring the world.
Hunting animals will get you Leather. Mining glowing rocks will get you ore. Fabric and Titanium (which are rarer) are found in chests, so make sure you never let a chest go unpopped, even underwater.
Ingots, on the other hand, are some of the rarest resources to find. These, too, are found in treasure chests or be bought in shops.
Starting from Tier 2, you’ll start receiving Rune slots. Runes will let you increase specific stats boost perks.
There are two types of runes, based on their slot shapes – circular and rectangular. The former is usually found as loot, while the latter can be a tad harder to find. Rectangular runes will drop from Order of the Ancients members. The shops will start offering them as well when you reach a higher Power Level. As you level up, the offerings in the shops will also get upgraded.
How many rune slots an item has will depend on the gear type and its tier. Weapons and Shields can have one rectangular and two circular rune slots. All armor items have three circular rune slots, except for the torso which has one rectangular and two circular rune sots.
The main difference between these shape-based runes is that the rectangular one will only provide a temporary boost while the circular ones are permanent.
Why Upgrade Gear
You can only go so far before you’ll have to upgrade your gear. Gears at a higher tier will ensure that you can augment Eivor’s abilities and insert Runes into your gear to further diversify what it can do. Upgrading a whole armor set will also ensure that you get additional bonuses.
Even though it may seem a bit of a hassle to upgrade your gear, it is still far from being as frustrating as it was in Odyssey. Besides, gear in Valhalla serves a broader purpose and gives you a sense of direction in your gameplay. You can pick out your weapon and armor set and stay with them for the entirety of the game.
Since you can upgrade just about everything, even if you start with something as small as a dagger, it will be as formidable a weapon as a giant ax or a sword by the time you’re done upgrading it completely. It all depends on what you put your resources into.
Best Gear to Upgrade First
So you don’t have enough resources but still want to ensure that you choose the best option when deciding which piece/item to upgrade first. We’d suggest you begin with your Weapon.
Defense becomes unnecessary when your offense is on point and you are careful enough to dodge incoming attacks. That is definitely the case in the earlier level when resources are hard to come by. But the exact item that you upgrade will depend on your play style.
- Where to Find the Nickel Ingots in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Armor in AC Valhalla: Full List, The Best Ones, Tips, and More
- How Randvi in AC Valhalla Impacts Your Game [Explained]
- AC Valhalla: Who to Give the Silver to and Why?
- Cent Mysteries in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Locations and Guide
- AC Valhalla: Holger and Rowan: Choices and Consequences