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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey guide to finding the best gear

Finding what’s best for you

Ubisoft via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Managing, upgrading, and making decisions about your gear in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a constant and ever-evolving task. Between shops, looting, and rewards, you’re fairly constantly deluged with new and (possibly) better gear.

Deciding what gear to wear or wield is not a simple calculation, let alone trying to decide what is the “best.” Sure, bigger numbers are almost always better, but there are upgrades and engravings to consider. This guide won’t tell you what the best gear in the game is, but it will walk you through the decisions you’ll be making to decide what gear is best for you.

Armor and weapon stats

We covered all of the basics to your gear in our weapons and armor guide, but we’ll give you a refresher here.

All gear has a level, a stat, and engravings.
Ubisoft via Polygon
  • Level. Gear has a level just like Alexios and Kassandra do. It’s a numeric representation of how basic or advanced an item is. Generally, the higher the number, the higher the DPS (damage per second) stat is. Alexios’ or Kassandra’s level has to at least match to be able to wear or wield an item.
  • Rarity. There are four levels of rarity — common, rare, epic, and legendary. There’s a lot going on with rarity, but generally rarer items are better items. Rarity affects stats, engraving slots, and cost to upgrade.
  • Stat. For weapons, this is shown as damage per second (DPS). For gear, this stat represents armor. An item’s stat is largely dependent on its level.
  • Engravings. Engravings are all the “+6% Hunter Damage” and “+3% Damage with Swords” badges under your gear’s main stat.

Engravings make it complicated

The more rare the gear, the more engraving slots it has.
Ubisoft via Polygon

Engravings add up quick — especially as damage and armor stats go up at higher levels — and you have to consider how you’re dealing damage. There are three kinds of damage — hunter or ranged (bow and arrow), warrior or in-the-open melee, and assassin or sneaky.

In the image above, (our favorite) head hook sword deals 578 base DPS, but there’s also six percent extra from an engraving — making it more like 613 — and another either six or 10 percent more depending on if you’re in the open or hiding.

What all this means is that you can’t just glance at stats to decide what’s the best — even if the game is telling you you might have something better in your inventory.

First, check the total damage, health, and armor numbers along the bottom of the inventory screen. Then, think about how you play and try to generally match the engravings to your style. Do you do a lot of sneaking, but never fire your bow? Assassination engravings matter a lot more than hunter engravings. Do you hate spears? You can ignore engravings that increase spear damage.

Engravings at higher levels

Engravings increase as you upgrade the weapon.
Ubisoft via Polygon

Another complication comes from upgrading your gear at a blacksmith. As you upgrade items, the baked-in engravings — all but the last engraving slot(s) — will periodically upgrade (but not every time).

This means that upgrading not only keeps your gear relevant with stat increases, but you’ll be getting new and better enchantments as well. Through upgrading, even early weapons with useful engravings will stay useful to you — again, try to look for the best enchantments for your playstyle.

The best gear comes from side quests

You can see the rewards if you hover over tasks in your menu.
Ubisoft via Polygon

The rarer the gear, the better the stats — each grade of rarity comes with a bump to the item’s numbers. But it’ll take you forever to deck out your proto-Assassin in epic gear if you’re waiting for random drops. If you want the best gear, you’re going to have to work for it. Completing side quests, fighting mercenaries, tracking down cultists, taking part in conquest battles, and even some side quests will reward you with epic or legendary gear.

The next level of puzzles.

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