Set during the 9th century when Viking warriors from Norway sailed to conquer England, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest title in the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise. Its open-world concept favors more combat-heavy gameplay than the stealth of its predecessors while taking a lot longer to play, providing more of a challenge for even the most dedicated players.
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From avoiding the rookie mistake of spending too much time middling around in Norway at the start of the game to rooting out obscure quests and making sure their horses are fully loaded with upgrades, there are a lot of things that only die-hard fans know about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
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The Rule Of Thirty Seconds
While some fans might gripe about the historical inaccuracy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, die-hard fans know the template driving the developers just by flipping through Assassin’s Creed: The Complete Visual History. Though released in 2015, the book reveals the approach the team took to presenting the historical time periods in which the games are set.
Jean Guesdon explains that after the benchmark set by Assassin’s Creed, “everything in terms of location, people, and events that we wanted to put in the game was determined by the Rule of Thirty Seconds — everything would need to be easily found within that timeframe in a basic Google search.” For instance, if a historical figure in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla died at a specific time in history, that couldn’t just be ignored, but the circumstances around the way in which they died were open to the team’s creative interpretation.
A Covid Miracle
Players have called Assassin’s Creed Valhalla the best game in the series, but die-hard fans know that it was no easy task to bring the game to life, with 17 studios erupting into 1,000 as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Ubisoft studios to close and prepare for a unique system for the final months until completion.
According to Ubisoft, this guerilla approach to working out the final kinks of the game was only possible because of “remote desktop on steroids,” allowing teams to access their PCs remotely rather than lug 4,000 machines to their private residences. As a fun way to commemorate the “unprecedented times,” players can access a series of letters in the game that directly reference the effect of the pandemic “plague.”
Everything Is Better Outside Of Norway
There are a lot of great mysteries to be found throughout Assassin’s Creed Valhalla if fans are willing to embark on side quests, but they shouldn’t get sidetracked spending ten hours exploring Norway. Starting in a low-level zone, even one as detailed, just prevents players from getting to the main storyline in England where the fun really starts.
Spending too much time in Norway (when players can always come back) is a rookie mistake, especially for those wanting to get a sense of Eivor and the core storyline of the game, which needs to be concentrated on building up the settlement in England.
Comrades In Arms
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has a lot of difficult achievements, but die-hard fans have known the franchise has been full of glitches and bugs for years, and how to help their fellow players unlock them with a little elbow grease and teamwork.
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In order to unlock Hall of the Slain, players have to avenge the death of 10 of their comrades via Ubisoft’s built-in Connect platform (which, incidentally, happens to have a few bugs in it). In order to gain the Connect XP, players have to ride to Scotthoh Farm, kill any enemies there, and then wait until Eivor comments. At that point, with a little Odin’s sight, a blue highlight signals the objective and players can confirm the kill on the already dead bodies. Players spawning their bodies for other players to kill earn some IRL XP, too.
Upgrading Your Horse Is Essential
Once players have their settlements up in England, they can lean into investing in things like a Blacksmith and their Health, but they shouldn’t overlook a crucial component; the stables. Upgrading the stables lets players eventually upgrade their horse, and that’s what separates the whiners from the warriors.
By upgrading Swimming and Stamina on their equine, traveling around the map is much easier, and an unexpectedly worthwhile endeavor considering the types of inhospitable environments players will be encountering throughout the game.
The open-world nature of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla provides many distinct locations to visit, and one of the beauties of its immersive environments is all the unconventional locations where hidden treasure can be found. While players can certainly buy maps to tell them where all the major finds are, minor treasure is attainable for the truly curious underwater adventurers.
For those willing to explore the lakes and rivers in search of sunken ships, they’ll find these wrecks are full of silver and runes, and die-hard fans also know not to shy away from the briny depths of the coast to find even more unmarked wrecks while they’re at it.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has a lot of replayability due to the careful planning of the developers; just when fans think they know how the story ends, it can change. Similar to Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offers some alternate endings for players that have finished all the story arcs.
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To unlock the game’s secret ending involving a present-day Basim, players have to complete all story arcs (which includes the Order of the Ancients) and then leave the Animus. If they sit on the bench by the fire, they’ll activate a contemplative scene involving Eivor and Basim.
Catching the sporadic fireflies in the game might seem like child’s play, but only the most dedicated trophy hunters get to unlock the Twinkle Twinkle achievement. Fireflies are small, not integral to the plot, and don’t show up on the map, so they often get overlooked.
Eivor can go searching for fireflies at night beside the lake in Grantesbridgescrie, in Meath, Tara near Inchroe, and more, appearing as small floating yellow dots in eleven overall locations. Luckily, players only need to catch one and release it in their settlement to get the trophy.
Plan Your Skills Ahead
It can be incredibly frustrating to have the large majority of the skill tree only discoverable as players plow through levels, making it impossible to plan their builds ahead. Die-hard fans who don’t have the patience to piece together every skill tree for melee, assassin, and ranged know to find a map of every possible one.
Either they can use one provided by Polygon, or they can simply go down one path, explore it for a while, and respec at any point. Doing that periodically allows them to know if they’ve gone in a direction that’s less than useful.
It Only Feels Like Assassin’s Creed If You Unlock This Skill
The Assassin’s Creed franchise is known for stealth, subterfuge, and assassinating targets. Players can definitely run around like Viking berserkers all they want in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but die-hard fans know the way to make the game feel more like its predecessors.
Achieve the skill of Advanced Assassination and engage in a minigame that lets fans assassinate high-level enemies with one-shot kills. All hail the ability to assassinate your enemies in the way Ubisoft — and Odin — intended.
NEXT: 10 Best Easter Eggs In Assassins Creed Valhalla
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About The Author
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Kayleena has been raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones from the crib. A film buff, she has a Western collection of 250+ titles and counting that she’s particularly proud of. When she isn’t writing for ScreenRant, CBR, or The Gamer, she’s working on her fiction novel, lifting weights, going to synthwave concerts, or cosplaying. With degrees in anthropology and archaeology, she plans to continue pretending to be Lara Croft as long as she can.
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