Assassin's Creed Origins: Best Skills to Level

Skills in Assassin’s Creed: Origins are a brand new feature that dramatically modify your playstyle by giving you abilities and access to refining your them to use your weapons and gear in AC:O. Although you lose a lot of the ridiculous assassination moves that are generally Assassin’s Creed’s bread and butter, you gain access to a much more rounded set of abilities that fits Bayek’s more warrioresque style. The skills allow you to compensate for the increased combat difficulty for this new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed universe.

To that end, the skill trees follow a basic setup that encourages players to specialize in either open combat, ranged and stealth attacks, or tools like smoke bombs and poison, each with the intention of giving the player a range of options for their specific playstyle. That doesn’t mean you’re ever locked into a single specialty. As you level up you’ll likely want to diversify, no matter how much you love using your bow and hidden blade, because sometimes you’re either out of arrows, or locked into an encounter where stealth is more trouble than it’s worth.

General Skills that Benefit Every Playstyle

These skills are great all-around utility options that every assassin should consider. They’re either guaranteed to be useful in a pinch, or they’ll help open up options for you, on and off the battlefield.

XP Skills:

There are quite a few skills in this game that give you a bonus for pulling off specific actions, and these skills are best taken early to maximize their effect. Generally, you should choose the XP skill that best fits your playstyle first, and then gather the others in order of importance to the way you tend to play.

For example, someone that is constantly using bows to fight enemies in stealth or open combat should choose the hunter Headshot XP skill. It automatically nets you almost double experience for every headshot you pull off. This bonus might seem small at first, netting an extra 8-10 experience per headshot, but you’ll be killing a lot of enemies throughout Bayek’s lifetime, and thousands of headshots adds up to a hell of a bonus if you take it early enough. From there, if a player tends to focus on their hidden blade when their quiver runs dry, they should pick up the Stealth Kill XP skill followed by the Stealth Kill Streak bonus. If combat and tools are low on your priority list, pick up the Overpower XP skill later on. When you start filling out the combat tree, knab skills that allow you to start a battle with a full or half-full Adrenaline gauge, and the “Tool Kill XP” skill later on when you’re actually using tools to score kills.

Adapt this mentality to actions you find yourself doing the most to give you an edge by the time you hit AC: O late game adventures. Origins is heavily focused on difficulty based on your player level. The earlier you manage to ramp those numbers up the better off you’ll be in the campaign and free-roaming through Egypt’s more dangerous areas.

Smoke Bomb

Although you’ll need three skill points to spare, Smoke Bombs are potentially one of the most well-rounded additions to your arsenal. You can throw a Smoke Bomb at any time, either by dodging and then triggering the reload command or after taking a significant hit. This means that at any given point you can throw up a cloud of blinding smoke around Bayek that’ll massively expand your options on the battlefield.

If you like to play stealthy, a well-placed smoke bomb can stun everyone in an area and give you plenty of time to either pick off a target, or escape from a large group of enemies when you’re discovered. Likewise, for ranged players a Smoke Bomb can give you a chance to pick off several enemies at close range as they cough and sputter in the smoke, or it can disrupt line of sight from large groups of enemy archers, giving you time to reevaluate the situation and either run or pick them off through the smoke. For combat, the smoke gives you a chance to slice and dice through a variety of enemies that are effectively stun-locked, and can give you a chance to doll out some much-needed damage or otherwise thin the herd down from overwhelming odds, to something much more survivable. Even if things are getting too dicey, it’ll let you put boots to sand and run away.

Keep in mind that your tools can all be restocked at either a merchant, or at any stockpile where you might find arrows. This means that while storming a keep you can throw smoke left and right and rarely have to worry about running low, especially if you also upgrade your tools pouch to increase the number of bombs you can carry into battle.

Regeneration

Because there are no magic health potions in Assassin’s Creed: Origins of any kind. In combat you only have two ways to regenerate health on the fly.

The first involves use of weapons and gear that either give health on hit, or on kill. These weapons are few and far between. When things get dicey you occasionally won’t have time to pull off the hits and kills necessary to stock up on life juice again.

As a result, it’s important to pick up the Regeneration skill no matter what kind of playstyle you generally employ. Regeneration will passively restore your health to the nearest bar after a few seconds of not taking damage in combat, which is sometimes the only healing you’ll be able to knab on the fly.

This skill is essential for survival when things inevitably go wrong. If you have to run, if you have to fight, if you have to take cover or try to hide while archers are doing their best impression of the Persians in 300, you’re going to need this passive health regeneration to give yourself just that extra bit of life you need to finish the fight.

On top of it all, regeneration only costs one skill point to unlock, so there’s really no reason not to pick it up.

Combat Skills and Playstyles

Players that are interested in fast paced combat over stealth have a wide choice of skills to choose from depending on how they want to run their character. The melee tree itself is pretty straightforward. You’ll want to dive directly into unlocking skills like “Charged Power Attack”, “Parry,” and then dive into maxing out the effectiveness of your adrenaline gauge. Specifically, you need to focus on making sure that you start every battle with a full adrenaline gauge by moving down the right side of the tree after unlocking Weapon Bearer. Focus on getting your hands on Adrenaline 1 and Adrenaline 2, then snag Extend Combo, then loop back around and grab Overpower Combo and Overpower Chain Throw.

With these skills in hand you’ll have plenty of options that let you go aggressive right out of the gate.  With Adrenaline 1 or 2 you’ll be able to either open with, or chain, a few combos and then kick off a overpower attack to instantly kill an enemy, or trigger another weapon effect to deal massive damage to a number of enemies by going berserk.

With Overpower Combo you’ll be able to dole out massive single target damage to big enemies, and Overpower Chain Throw will let you snag a quick kill after every Adrenaline one-shot kill. These all combine to turn you into a force of nature on the battlefield. allowing you to chain massive combos and dole out heavy damage to a number of enemies right out of the gate.

Of course, this is only the beginning. Your next focus is on picking up a secondary set of skills. This basically comes down to whether you want to become a beast tamer that sows chaos by bringing an animal companion to the battle, or a combat archer that manages to swap seamlessly between bows and blades.

Beast Tamer:

Becoming a beast tamer involves taking a stroll down the Seer tree. We recommend grabbing Sleep Darts first, then moving down the Smoke Bomb chain until you reach Animal Taming.

You’ll need Sleep Darts to tame animals, but then they’re your friend and combat companion for the coming battles. Alternatively, you can move directly down the dart tree and snag Berserk and Poison Darts along the way. They give you an instant mid-battle DoT, and to give you a chance to convert an enemy soldier to your side before the start of the battle. 

Of course, if you’re planning on engaging in melee, Smoke Bombs are already going to be your best friend. Berserk and Poison Darts have a decently high cost that while valuable, are not as valuable on their own as Smoke Bombs and Fire Bombs in terms of raw combat potential. If you do want a bit of help from Senu, you should also pick up Eagle Harass so that you can send Senu to distract enemies and for the occasional helping hand from your feathered companion mid-battle.

Combat Archer

If bows are more your style, consider jumping directly into the Hunter tree to become a Combat Archer, after filling out your combat skills. Our advice at this point is to race to get your hands on Bow Fury by investing in Headshot XP and Hunter’s Instinct. These two skills aren’t essential to Combat, but they will help you plan your attacks, gather a bit of extra experience, and more importantly it’s the cheapest path to Bow Fury. Bow Fury will allow you to increase your ability to rip apart enemies in the first few moments of combat.

Bow Fury slows down time after you nail a stealth headshot with a bow, giving you a chance to chain a second headshot to another enemy in glorious bullet time. As a result, it’s possible to immediately charge into a battle and wipe out two or sometimes more (if you’re more skilled than we are) enemies right off the bat, and still have a full Adrenaline gauge to use immediately afterwards. It’s a method that guarantees three or more kills right at the beginning of an encounter, after which there are usually so few enemies left in a group that you shouldn’t have much trouble cleaning up.

After Bow Fury, we recommend backtracking and picking up Bow Bearer and whatever other bow skills seem relevant to your playstyle. Light bows are great for spraying down large groups of enemies, but the ability to break an enemy’s block with your hunter bow is also ridiculously powerful mid-combat.

Stealth Skills and Playstyles

Stealth in Origins is ridiculously powerful because it generally allows you to avoid combat altogether. Of course, this path isn’t for the faint of heart. Early game stealth can be difficult until you get your hands on the hidden blade, and you’ll often find yourself hurting once things really kick off if you choose not to focus on any real combat skills. As a result, a stealth player is often defined as much by their subclass as their patience while they stalk their prey.

As far as basic skills go, your focus for a stealth character is on recon and chain skills that allow you to track your enemy and then take them down without being spotted. As a result, you’re going to want to immediately dive down the Hunter tree’s two bottommost branches. Starting with Stealth Kill XP and making your way down the line until you unlock Chain Assassination. From there save up and knab Bow Fury, and then make your way back to nab Hunter’s Instinct and Eagle Harass.

The most difficult part about a basic stealth build is when you run into situations when you need to clear out three or four enemies that are all close together with overlapping lines of sight and patrol paths. Hunter’s Instinct and Eagle Harass help with this. They allow you to see an enemy’s patrol path, and it lets you distract and draw the attention of an enemy before you perform a sneak attack or while you’re sneak attacking someone else. Chain Assassination and Bow Fury help smooth out these situations even more. You can potentially full off a Chain Assassination to wipe out two enemies and then, before the bodies even hit the ground, whip out your bow and finish off two more enemies in the resulting slow motion of both detection and Bow Fury’s effect.

From there, if there’s anyone left you can usually just run, or use smoke bombs to make an even safer retreat when things get dicey, if there’s even anyone left. Also keep in mind that the above mentioned four-person combo can be difficult to pull off. We recommend using Senu as a distraction on an enemy on the far side of the group before beginning the stealth kill chain.

From a basic stealth build, your choices then become much more focused on how much you love stealth versus combat, and how much you like whittling down enemies from the shadows.

Opportunist:

The Opportunist is really a combat rogue. They focus on using Stealth to get a much of an advantage as possible, but then don’t mind getting their hands dirty once they’re discovered.

As a result, Opportunists fill out their stealth skills as mentioned above, then move down the combat tree to nab Adrenaline 1 and 2, and to boost their Overpower abilities to taste. This lets them pull off wild and crazy stealth kills, and then wipe out whatever’s left with sharp steel and bloody promises. Opportunists should also consider moving down the Seer tree to get their hands on Berserk and Flesh Decay, for their ability to distract and whittle down enemies before the battle kicks off.

Trickster:

Tricksters are stealth players that are interested in wiping out groups of enemies without ever using a sword, and are often willing to go to great lengths to do so. Think of them as anti-combat rogues. They love poison, fire, and turning friend against foe, often attacking, disappearing and causing havoc, then reappearing a few moments later to attack another group of enemies on the other side of a fortress.

Tricksters are going to want to immediately fill out their dart and Berserk abilities by going down the Sleep Dart branch of the Seer tree. Flesh Decay, Sleep Darts, Berserk, and Poison Darts, all give you a lot of fun options. You can either knock enemies out of the battle, create a small battlefield full of enemies fighting enemies, and poison dead bodies for enemies to later come investigate and be poisoned themselves. Mid battle, poison darts and sleep darts give you the ability to drop or whittle down enemies before running away or using a smoke bomb to create a distraction.

Smoke Bombs and Fire Bombs are your next big focus, if you haven’t already grabbed them just as a matter of principle, invest in them now, and then work your way up to Pyromaniac and Smoke Screen Damage, because nothing says hit and run like a smokescreen that kills people. Additionally, Pyromaniac gives your fire bombs a massive boost, which for a trickster is a serious bonus. If you haven’t started throwing Fire Bombs at any red pots and haybales enemies are standing near as you sprint through a fortress you should really give it a try, because it’s a lot of fun.

When you’re forced to fight big baddies that won’t go down to a stealth kill or another one of your tricks, stacking DoT’s is your best option. Throw a Fire Bomb to start the party and then follow it up with a Poison Dart, if they’re still standing, change that by using a Smoke Bomb to knock them down and deliver even more toxic damage. Rinse and repeat while laughing maniacally and you’ll find the fight is over before it ever really got started.

Ranged Skills and Playstyles

At this point, you should know which ranged skills will help fill out your abilities, but for posterity, your focus should be on moving down the trees to get your hands on Bow Fury. Then you should immediately switch to the Bow Bearer branch so you can equip a second bow and purchase skills that enhance your favorite ranged weapons.

Predator bows are absolutely beastly for taking out enemies at extreme ranges. They hit like a sniper rifle, so focus on using them combined with the Enhanced Predator Bow skill. Use this to guide arrows through the air and snipe commanders, big baddies, and anything else that looks like it wants to kill you from the safety of 300 yards away.

Light bows and warrior bows are your backup for when enemies spot and rush you and you need to crank out a lot of damage in a large area, without worrying about precise aim. The Enhanced skill for the light bow effectively increases its magazine capacity. The warrior bow’s enhanced ability makes it a great close-range substitute for the Predator Bow, allowing you to fire several arrows like a shotgun into a strong enemy’s skull. It’s a little harder to use on the fly, but if you get good at the timing it can be deadly for taking out enemies in a variety of situations.

As you would expect, your hunter bow is your default workhorse. It makes it stupidly easily to pull off stealth kills from a distance, once you get used to aiming and pulling off headshots. Mid-Combat, mastering the ability to pull off quick headshots lets you wipe out weaker enemies and whittle down larger enemies without any real trouble. The trick is often to pull off a combo with your sword to stagger an enemy. Dodge out of the way and immediately sprint about ten meters away, whip out your bow and target anyone that’s either drawing their bow to shoot at you.

You should also consider branching into the Pyromaniac and Smoke Screen Damage, to enhance your Smoke Bombs and the effectiveness of your Fire Bombs. These skills will give you a backup ranged weapon. You have a chance to shut down large groups of enemies with carefully placed headshots on stunned enemies, or just cause havoc with the help of environmental fire hazards like haystacks and oil jars.

Subclasses for ranged classes already match up pretty well with the ones we’ve listed previously in this article. For a more ranged based Combat Archer, just focus on filling out your adrenaline gauge and Warrior tree. For a more ranged option, focus on Opportunist or Trickster to get your hands on Sleep and Poison Darts, and then fill out your ability to use Senu to perform recon or provide support by picking up the Hunter’s Instinct and Eagle Harass abilities.