In Assassins Creed: Origins, the main character, an Egyptian assassin named Bayek, goes on an adventure that will shape the origin of the entire Assassins Creed series as a whole. Ubisoft’s Creative Director Jean Guesdon has even said: “his path, his journey, will lead to the foundation of the Assassins’ Brotherhood as we know it.”
The team wanted to tell a different kind of story with Bayek, calling him a “proto-assassin” and a studied hand at battle instead of a young novice like the Assassins characters who they usually end up using in the games. Bayek is the last of the Magi, the protectors and law-keepers in Ancient Egypt. He also has a pet eagle named Senu who aids him on his quest. Need we say more?
It’s time to take a look at Origins and point out a few key tips and tricks to unlocking the secrets of the ancient world of Memphis, Egypt with Bayek and Senu.
With that said, here are the 15 Things You Never Knew You Could Do In Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
15. Partake In Water fights
You can sail the Nile, and boy, the water features in this game are downright astounding. In Assassins Creed: Origins, you can use Greek fire, i.e. set water on fire. So that’s what all those floating pots are for.
The pots are filled with oil which can be lit on fire– a great method of taking down enemy ships in battle or scattering unwanted crocodiles. This trick isn’t an easy one, however, and you’ll probably sustain some damage to yourself. It’s better to light a pot with a flaming arrow from a good distance away if you can.
As in other Assassins Creed games, you can make your character swim and explore under the water to discover lost ocean treasures… but the waters are dangerous, filled with hippos and crocs looking for a snack.
Make sure to practice using your weapons in the water just in case. You can equip and use your bow if you’re swimming on the surface of the water, and you can even swing your weapon around and enter a combat stance while swimming through the depths. It doesn’t serve as effective damage-wise, but it’s still fun.
14. Unlock the Gladiator Arenas
The fighting pit arenas in the game are super helpful to train and level up. Each arena has pits, traps, and animals to test you, and you’re rewarded with new loot, outfits, and spectacular weapons. The only problem is that a lot of players have been having trouble finding the arenas, specifically and most notably the one that’s been featured in so many press pictures promoting the Origins game: the Gladiator Arena.
You can unlock this special activity with the Krokodilopolis Gladiator Arena early on in the game around level 28-31. Simply head to the Faiyum Oasis in the southern part of the map. Complete the main story quest in level 28, “The Crocodile’s Jaws,” and then a side quest called “The Champion” (found in the northwestern part of Krokodilopolis) to unlock the Arena.
The next available Gladiator arena is the Cyrene Arena in the level 34-38 zone at the far northwest corner of the map. Start the “Lure of Glory” side quest as you reach this zone — there will be an NPC in front of the main gate to the Arena. Do the quest, grab the 2500 of experience, and try your luck in the Cyrene Gladiator Arena!
13. Play as Senu the eagle
Animal interactions feature heavily in this world. There are so many creatures you can interact with — try your hand at battling hippos, taming crocs, and setting wild lions on your enemies in battle.
These animals and more help to make the world of Origins a living ecosystem. Senu the eagle is especially cool to interact with– he can tag foes, distract enemies in battle by dive-bombing them, and scout out nearby objectives. All of these are super useful since the mini map is now gone, but with his eagle vision Senu can do even more.
Before you’ve unlocked fast travel points, it will take Bayek a long time to get from one place to another even from on top of a horse or a camel. This is why Senu comes in so handy. You can put Bayek and his horse on auto-pilot mode — they’ll follow the route without any additional manual assistance — and in the meantime, you can play as Senu the eagle.
12. Unlock the secret Isu armor and the secret ending
Another hidden secret in the game is the Isu armor, which is fairly straight forward to obtain. All you have to do is head over to the bottommost alcove of the giant Sphynx (doing all the tombs first — they’ll help train you for this final objective). Here, there is a map laid out in a kind of spooky sandbox. This is the point where most people get lost– Do you poke the rocks? Shoot at it?
However, it’s easy. Remember the “Align the Stars” mission? It looks a lot like those little rock formations in the sandbox. Complete all 12 constellation stone circles and then return to the map room at the bottom of the Sphynx passageways.
It will now be lit up with blue light — click “interact” and a sequence will begin where a doorway erupts from the sand before you. Enter the mysterious new location, called “Eesfet Oon-m’Aa Poo.” It requires 50 silica — which are only found in the tombs — to activate, so make sure you stock up on those before heading in.
11. Use farm animals to make money and materials
To keep your gear up-to-date you’ll need gold and materials, but a cool trick to getting a stash of both is as easy as tracking down an animal den. These areas will have one “king” animal that you’ll need to kill. Once you do, you can keep coming back to pick off the base-level animals hanging around that particular spot. They respawn pretty quickly and can get you around 10-20 leather/skins per visit.
You can also sell trinkets around the animals to vendors for some cash. As you try this with different animals, you’ll notice little quirks about each animal type, like, for instance, the fact that hyenas have the softest leather aside from goats.
10. Change Bayek’s hair and beard style
At first we were just excited about the hood update — for the first time you can choose to have your hood up or down, a fan-debated topic so rabid and intense that garnered Change.org petitions in the past. However, now all of that pales in comparison to being able to change Bayek’s hair and beard at will.
What’s next? Changing facial features? Probably not, because Bayek has ancient assassinating to do and is a predesigned character, but still.
You can change Bayek’s hair and beard from the very beginning of the game, but the way to do it isn’t explicitly indicated. Here’s what you do: open the “gear” menu and press R2/RT + Δ/Y to toggle through the beard and hair options. It’s that easy.
9. Control time
In Assassins Creed: Origins, you can control time itself. There are day and night modes in a full 24-hour cycle, and both have their advantages and challenges. Jump from dawn to dusk instantly to attack enemy camps under the cover of darkness or go just as easily from dusk to dawn to meet someone at a pre-appointed meeting time.
The idea of time as a concept is woven throughout this game and the franchise in general, since Assassins Creed can jump from decade to decade depending on which game you’re playing.
Like in earlier Assassins Creed games, you have the freedom to exit the Animus at any time to play as the modern day protagonist. To do this, just enter the “pause” menu and hold the D-pad. If you’re a hardcore fan, hang out in the tomb and check out secret emails and documents on the laptop to further your knowledge on Assassins Creed lore.
8. Set your arrows on fire
Assassins Creed: Origins is so intricate and expansive that Ubisoft even forgets to tell you some of the cool abilities you have as Bayek. For instance, you can light your arrows from your torch. You read that right: flaming arrows.
The flaming arrows pack quite a punch against the tougher in-game enemies, so they’re a great thing to have in your arsenal as an ancient Egyptian warrior. (Hint: the best class for battle in the new hit-box system is “weapon bearer” and “bow bearer” because you can switch weapons in the middle of a battle without having to stop and go to the “gear” menu/)
Here’s how you do it: Bayek can summon a lit torch from underneath his Assassin’s robes at any time, so grab one of those. Drop the torch on the floor and point your bow at the flame to light your arrows aflame. Congratulations, you can now rain a fiery death of vengeance on your foes.
7. Use your enemies’ own weapons against them
When you infiltrate an enemy camp, why let their powerful artillery go to waste? Use your enemies’ crossbow turret against them when you storm their camp — all you have to do is sneak into a restricted zone and head to the mini ballista which will probably be on a ledge of some sort.
Feel free to fire off a couple dozen rounds at guards until you run out of ammo. Some have a helpful 360 turn radius, but you’ll need about 2-3 shots to actually kill someone so keep that in mind when you’re shooting.
However, the arrow turret isn’t the only thing you can use against your enemies. You can booby trap their brazier with an explosive that you can detonate once enemies are close enough to cause some damage and chaos.
Once you’ve caused adequate amounts of mayhem, steal their loot. Loot is now specialized for certain targets in the game, so take a contemplative moment to think of how a mace works better on a hippo than the tough hide of a croc while you’re setting the camp on fire.
6. Find and use Legendary weapons
The best places to find legendary weapons are later on in the game when you start killing Phlyake bounty hunters — they start appearing around level 20. Each has a unique legendary weapon, so train yourself up to fight them and reap the shiny stabby rewards.
Aside from that, legendary weapons can be earned as quest rewards. They are sometimes given from fort commanders and a couple can be gained from scroll quests. Barring all that in mind, you can get a few from pre-ordering the game and buy them as microtransactions.
Once you do have these weapons, don’t just sell them once they become obsolete. Instead, just head over to the Blacksmith and he can upgrade them for you. They’re more than worth holding onto and keeping around for an upgrade since legendary weapons have valuable perks that can help give you the upper hand in battle. As you face tougher and tougher challengers, they will be very useful.
5. Use Senu to detect treasure
Senu the eagle can scout out enemies and narrow down the locations necessary to progress on your quests, but he can be especially helpful when you’re looking for treasure.
Senu uses a bright yellow circle to scout quest objectives, but that circle also changes in thickness while it’s in the normal grey mode– the thicker it gets, the closer you are to a “findable” objective like an enemy captain, a secret entrance, or treasure chests.
This is insanely easier than just wandering around looking for sparkly things in the desert — you can use his vision to scout the chests from Senu’s vantage point up in the air. He can even detect them if they’re underground or under the water.
4. Learn Horse tricks
The world is chaotic and crazy — the city life has a hustle and bustle that can help you get away or interfere with your carefully laid plans. It takes a lot of stamina and dexterity to move around in such a crazy environment, but luckily Ubisoft imbued our old pal Bayek with just such skills.
Bayek can duck and weave with the best of them, plus he’s an amazing jumper — Bayek can jump from building to building with insanely accurate agility and even slide down the side of the giant pyramids.
This skill leads into one of the more awesome tricks of the game: taking a sprinting leap onto your horse. Once you’re on there, you can fight from any direction on your mount — just hold the block button and move the camera respectively — or auto-set it to ride by itself as you fight.
3. Beware of the horse whistle
One thing that has got every fan confused in the forums is the particular hose-related question: why isn’t my horse coming when I whistle? Remain calm, everyone. We figured it out. There are actually two kinds of whistles that you can do in Assassin’s Creed: Origin, and the game doesn’t tell you much about them, thus making them very easy to confuse.
Pressing down quickly on the D-pad makes Bayek whistle in a way that will attract a guard to look his way so that Bayek can take him down. However, in order to summon your mount, you’ve got to hold down the D-pad hard. If you don’t press long or hard enough, you’ll end up with the wrong whistle and your horse will abandon you.
2. Unlock a unicorn
Ubisoft has provided players of Assassins Creed: Origins with the ability to own and ride a unicorn. Now, there are a few different ways to get ahold of the mystical creature. The easiest method is to buy it with Helix credits in the extra content store. If you happen to buy an edition of the game that comes with a season pass, you’ll get 500 Helix credits (exactly the cost of a unicorn in the game).
Simply use those credits with “upgrade your mount” and get yourself a magical beast from the menu. Now you’ll have to complete the first 15 minutes of gameplay up until the point where you call your mount. When that happens, open the available mount selections and pick unicorn.
If you don’t have enough Helix credits, you have a few other options. One of them isn’t that fun — paying real world money. While the online stores aren’t live yet, for reference 500 Helix credits in Assassins Creed Unity ran for $4.99. Not too bad, but it feels sort of like a cop out.
1. Unlock fast travel points for a big payoff
The latest site of the Assassins Creed franchise is ancient Egypt, which is huge and breathtaking. The designers at Ubisoft have outdone themselves with a gorgeous and fantastically intricate open world that gives The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a run for its money.
A side-effect of this huge landscape — one of the biggest worlds Ubisoft has created to date — is that you’ll need to find some way to get around the map fast and easy. How? Fast travel points.
We’ve seen the basic elements behind this feature in past games — towers are scattered along the map, marked with eagle icons. When you climb a tower all the way to the top, you can click “interact” and synchronize with it.
Now you are able to instantly travel between that point and wherever else you go on the map. Make sure to unlock all of the “fast travel” viewpoints as soon as you enter a new area, since it will make traveling much easier. It will also unlock 100 experience points and an increase to Senu’s perception skills.
Can you think of any other secrets and tips for Assassin’s Creed: Origin? Sound off in the comment section!
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