Everything about Assassin’s Creed Origins is bigger, both in scale and complexity, than the rest of the series. The same goes for Bayek’s weapons as well. Since he’s not (quite) an Assassin (yet), Bayek doesn’t have a specialized set of weaponry. He uses anything he picks up.
There’s nothing new in the way Assassin’s Creed Origins handles weapons and gear. You’ve probably seen it in other games. But it’s different than previous Assassin’s Creed games, so it’ll take you a minute to adapt to it.
Below we’ll cover the basics of Assassin’s Creed Origins’s weapons, what the numbers and colors mean and how to find your favorites. Then we’ll talk about improving them and what to do with your old weapons.
Also, a quick note: shields are included here, but armor is not. You pick up shields just like you do weapons — via random loot drops or by purchasing them from a store. Armor is something you craft yourself.
There are three kinds of gear you’ll find as you play Assassin’s Creed Origins — bows, melee weapons and shields. We’ll break them down further below. You’ll find gear by looting areas as you explore the world, killing and looting enemies or buying it from a blacksmith.
All gear has a few stats that you need to focus on. First is the level. This is the minimum level you need to have attained to equip the gear. It’s the “you must be this tall to ride” for the item. Basically all you need to worry about is higher level tends to be better.
The next obvious stat on each piece of gear is the quality. It’s not tied to damage or rarity. It seems to only determine how many crafting materials you get from dismantling the item and the rarity of those materials.
Each piece of gear also has a colored background that corresponds to its rarity. Blue is regular, purple is rare and yellow is legendary. This affects two things about the item. The more rare something is, the more it’s worth — either to buy or to sell.
Rarity also determines how many extra features an item has. These are things like extra likelihood of a critical hit, added (and lingering) poison damage or extra damage from more than 20 yards out with a bow. Regular rarity items have up to one added feature, rare have up to two and legendary have up to three.
Shields are simple. All shields work the same — they block incoming attacks. The stat that matters is the shield’s HP. This doesn’t actually have anything to do with the shield itself. This HP gets added directly to Bayek’s max HP. The better the shield, the more health Bayek has.
This makes picking your shield pretty easy. More hit points are better. You do have to consider the added features of rare and legendary shields, but you’ll almost always want those hit points in a tough fight.
There are four categories of bows in Assassin’s Creed Origins, and each serves a different function. Bows have limited ammo based on the size of your quiver (which you can upgrade), but they’re also your most versatile and powerful weapons.
- Hunter bows. Hunter bows are your all-purpose bows. They’re average in speed, strength and range, but that just means they can be useful in most situations. Think of hunter bows as your workhorse pistol.
- Warrior bows. These are your shotguns. Warrior bows fire a spread of multiple arrows. That makes them devastating up close and for crowd control. But they eat through your arrows quickly and aren’t useful for distant targets.
- Light bows. Light bows allow you to fire a rapid series of arrows. They’re your SMG-type weapons. They don’t have great range, but they let you deal a lot of damage to one enemy very quickly.
- Predator bows. Predator bows are your sniper rifles. They’re slow to hit and use the least amount of arrows in your quiver, but they’re devastating when you land a headshot, and they have the longest range.
Melee weapons are the most diverse. There are several types, each with their own benefits and weaknesses. But it all comes down to speed and damage. That’s shown in the weapon’s damage stat. It tells you how much damage you can deal per second. More is obviously better.
When comparing two weapons of similar level, you’ll notice that slow weapons deal more damage per hit and fast weapons deal less. Everything averages out, so there’s not necessarily one kind of weapon that’s better than the others in terms of damage per second.
The other consideration for weapons is reach. Weapons like a dual swords have short reach and can usually only hit one enemy at a time, while spears have a long reach and can hit multiple targets. This is important because of the new combat mechanics in Assassin’s Creed Origins — you’re dealing with hit-boxes now.
- Regular swords. Like the in-game description says, these are “balanced weapons.” They’re the most accessible and the easiest to use.
- Dual swords. Dual swords have a short reach, but they let you deal damage quickly. You don’t have your shield when you’re using them, so be ready to dodge a lot.
- Sickle swords. Sickle swords behave a lot like regular swords, but they have a chance to grab your enemies and spin them around. This opens up their unprotected back to attack.
- Heavy blunts. These are weapons that act like warhammers. They’re slow to swing, but they’ve got a better than average reach and they deal a ton of damage when they hit.
- Heavy blades. Heavy blades are long axes. They’ve got good reach, and they’re not as slow as you’d expect from something heavy. Heavy blades are a really good weapon to use as your secondary melee weapon.
- Spears. Spears have long reach but only average power.
- Scepters. Scepters also have a long reach, but they’re fast weapons.
Choosing the best weapon(s) for you
Like we said earlier, the damage you can deal per second tends to average out over comparable-level melee weapons. Choosing the best melee weapons in Assassin’s Creed Origins, then, comes down to how you play.
- If you’re a pretty middle-of-the-road player, stick to the regular swords or sickle swords. They let you keep your shield for blocking and don’t require the planning of a slower weapon.
- If you like big, decisive hits and you’re good at planning your swings for the right moment, heavy blunts and heavy blades are for you. You can deal massive amounts of damage with just one hit. You just have to watch out for counterattacks and interruptions.
- If you like being sneaky and dodge-y, you can’t go wrong with dual swords. They let you get up close and slash away. Just be prepared to back away and dodge incoming attacks because you don’t have a shield and you have to get close to the enemies to hit them.
Unlocking the weapon bearer skill in Bayek’s Warrior skill tree means you can carry two melee weapons and swap between them quickly. Mix up the weapons you carry. Use a big, heavy weapon to break shields and open up defenses, then switch to something quicker to finish off your enemies. Have fun with it.
Bows are a little harder to choose favorites. It helps to think of them like in terms of the gun comparisons we used earlier.
- You can’t go wrong with a hunter bow in one of your slots. When you unlock the bow bearer Hunter ability, you’ll have a second ranged weapon slot. What you put there is up to you.
- If you find yourself sniping from a distance a lot, a predator bow is good to have handy.
- If you like to use your bow in tight quarters for crowd control, pick a warrior bow.
What to do with your old gear
You’ve got three choices for bows, weapons and shields you don’t use anymore.
- Dismantle. From your gear menu, you can dismantle any item of less than legendary rarity. This turns it into crafting materials that you can use to upgrade your armor and quivers.
- Sell. You can also just sell your old stuff for cash at any shop.
- Upgrade. A blacksmith will upgrade any bow, weapon or shield to your current level. How much it costs you depends on the item’s rarity — regular items are pretty cheap to upgrade, while legendary ones cost thousands of drachmas. This raises all of the items stats (except for rarity) and can keep your favorite pieces up-to-date.