Fighting like a Viking in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a brutal and bloody affair. It requires a knowledge of the basic systems and skills to be able to build upon these with your special abilities, but in time you’ll be slaughtering the Anglo-Saxons as if you were Ragnar Lothbrok yourself. Eivor is a skilled warrior, but sometimes even the slightest mistake can be costly. Below is a basic understanding of the core concepts of combat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, with a few tips to help you out along the way.
Watch your stamina
When your engaging with multiple enemies, it’s tempting to use a flurry of melee attacks to dispose of them. The problem with this is your stamina bar will deplete, leaving you vulnerable to attacks. By composing yourself and attacking only when the opportunity presents itself becomes more worthwhile. Battles are won with precision and patience, not with mistakes and reckless abandon.
Understand your enemy’s attack
You’ll encounter many different types of enemies during combat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Some are big and brutish that won’t hesitate to knock you down in a heartbeat. Others hold shields that can be tough to defeat, some hold spears that given them a range advantage, whereas archers can attack you from a distance. Making use of all your attacks can be important, especially when trying to penetrate a guarded soldier. Using heavy melee attacks can knock their shield (and even break it), providing a chance for you to do some damage to their exposed body. Using your bow to take out archers is a great way to drop them from a distance as they tend to be pretty weak. Think logically and always make use of your arsenal.
Make use of the parry
It can be a devil’s playground when on a Raid, with enemies swarming around you like a flock of crows. Using the parry/block button (L1/LB) just as the enemy attacks you can provide a brief window for you to land a killer blow. It’ll take practice for you to get the timing right, but once you get into the swing of it you’ll be destroying your foes with ease.
Know which attacks can be blocked
This feeds on from parrying and blocking. Some enemies will attack you and no matter whether you try and parry or block, they’ll do significant damage to you. A red rune will appear around them when they go to land an unblockable move, so make sure you dodge out the way to avoid losing a lot of health.
Aim for the light
One of the most useful weapons in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the bow and arrow. They are great at long range, and also come in handy when you’re trying to infiltrate a fortress in silence. One thing you might not be aware of is that certain body parts will be illuminated as you aim at an enemy. This indicates a weak spot, meaning if you fire at it the damage it does is more significant than aiming elsewhere.
Become a whisper in the wind
Stealth is just as important in combat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as it is always has been in the series. Sneaking into camps and taking out enemies one by one can take time, but sometimes it is a much better approach than blowing your horn and calling in reinforcements. Using Odin’s Sight (pressing the right stick) is one of the best tools at your disposal. By doing so, it highlights any enemy soldiers within close proximity in red, meaning you know exactly where they are hiding. Take out the archers first (normally around the perimeter), then go in and deal with the rest.
Don’t Raid in unmarked lands
Whilst Raiding is a lot of fun, attempting them in counties you have yet to spend any time in often means the soldiers you will encounter are going to be too overpowered. You’ll get to a level eventually that means you’ll no doubt destroy them, but going in early can be demoralising. An enemy’s level is denoted by a mark above their head. If it’s red, you’ll likely suffer a heavy defeat. Just be mindful of Raids that are some distance away on the map.
Utilise your special abilities
Throughout the world of Valhalla, you’ll find Books of Knowledge that grant you special abilities. These can be so useful in battle, especially when facing multiple enemies. You have an adrenaline bar above your health bar that fills up when you attack successfully or collect mushrooms that fill it up. Once it is full, you can hold in either the left trigger (special ranged attacks) or the right trigger (special melee attacks) that do heaps of damage. You can jump into the air and land a heavy blow on the way down, send your raven to peck at an enemy, or throw a selection of hatchets at two or three nearby enemies. These are just a few of them, so get used to mixing and matching what works for you.
How health works
Our last tip relates to health and how it has changed since previous Assassin’s Creed games. If you suffer an attack, you can press right on the D-pad to replenish lost health. Levelling up your health grants you another layer, meaning you can stock up on rations to fill it up. Being mindful of how much health you have is important because the game doesn’t use your rations automatically.