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Assassin's Creed Odyssey skills: how to unlock the best abilities

Become a better warrior

Skills can make all the difference to your fortunes in Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Some focus on upgrading your melee or ranged combat skills, while others can make Alexios or Kassandra a master assassin. Assigning the right set of skills can make your time a heck of a lot easier. New skills are able to be purchased each time you level up, though some skills will come into their own after multiple upgrades that need you to spend more points. Some skills are better in certain circumstances than others, so this guide will go over how to unlock the best abilities, why upgrading them is important, and how to use them well.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey skills guide

With the newest Assassin's Creed comes a whole new set of skills, taking advantage of your Spartan heritage in combat, as well as ranged and assassin skills learned as a mercenary. Some are definitely worth picking up, particularly if you're new to the game. If you'd like to learn more about how to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey, in case you've not played the revitalised Origins and want to get back into the series, head to our Assassin's Creed Odyssey guide to get up to speed.

Kassandra is using Predator Shot to make the arrow move in mid-flight, targeting the male Ibex.

The best abilities in Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Some skills aren't exactly created equal. With so many on offer, there are certain builds that make combat a heck of a lot easier. Assassin skills are work a little differently, so in our Assassin's Creed Odyssey stealth guide, I go over a few of the choice assassin skills in a lot more detail. There are plenty of other skills that are more combat orientated to unlock that will get you out of a pinch.

Best warrior skills

For the early game, a really good warrior skill to unlock is the Sparta Kick. This allows for you to kick an enemy away from you to prevent yourself from getting surrounded, making encounters against multiple enemies a little easier. You can also use the Bull Rush skill for knocking down multiple foes at once, but the kick flings them further away and is a non-lethal attack. If you want to recruit a certain mercenary to your crew, you can kick them into submitting. Hitting level 5 will also allow you to unlock Shield Breaker, which makes enemy shields a joke, while Second Wind allows you to heal 25% of your health, making combat a bit easier. Second Wind can be upgraded further as the game progresses.

Another fantastic beginner's skill to unlock is Venomous Attacks in the Assassin tree. This imbues your weapon with poison for a short time, with consecutive attacks contributing to poisoning the enemy. It does have a recharge time, so be sure to take advantage of it when you've got the upper hand. It can be more potent if you unlock the Poison Mastery skill at level 5, which makes each hit more potent, carrying it even further into the game. Flaming Attacks is also a good thing to invest skill points on as the damage can be explosive.

Upon reaching level 16, you also have access to the Overpower Attacks which deals a lot of damage in a short burst at the cost of three bars and makes fights a lot more trivial. You can use the ability to interrupt certain unblockable attacks, as well as combine with fire or poison to deal even more damage. Combine this with the Battlecry of Ares that can be unlocked at level 23 as well as fire to deal the maximum amount of damage.

Best ranged skills

While close combat is generally better for most players, there are instances where attacking from afar too helps get that extra bit of damage off. One very early skill that's incredibly useful is the Predator Shot. For those that have fond memories of Sniper Elite, it allows for players to control where the arrow goes in a first-person perspective. Pressing the skill button once you're aiming with the bow will change your viewpoint, while holding the fire button will allow you to influence the direction of the arrow by moving it.

Other skills include Multi-Shot which allows for you to target multiple people with a volley of shots at once, particularly handy for those instances where you have multiple enemies bearing down on you. Ghost Arrows of Artemis allows you to shoot through walls, but requires both Archery Master and Overpower Bow Strike to unlock.

Kassandra is fighting an albino bear.

Assigning your abilities

You have three paths for upgrades. The first is Hunter which governs your ranged attacks, while Warrior helps with Melee combat and Assassin helps with stealth. After every level up, you will get an ability point to spent on abilities, each of which can be upgraded. Some are gated behind level requirements, while others are linked to unlocking the previous skill. so keep an eye on your level to see if there are upcoming unlocks you need to keep an eye on. For more on combat itself, head to our Assassin's Creed Odyssey combat guide.

Abilities unlocked this way can be mapped to the skill slots (face buttons on controllers or numerical keys on Keyboard), with the bow having its own weapon wheel. Up to four abilities can be selected at any time for both melee and ranged skills. You can eventually unlock a second wheel for melee skills, bringing the total number of skills you can equip to 12. The good news is that if a particular spec isn't working, you can re-specify your abilities at any time. After reaching certain parts of the story, you'll be able to upgrade these abilities so that they last longer or are more potent, so make sure you keep an eye on them just in case you can upgrade them.

Upgrading your skills

Some skills allow for further upgrades and it's worth investing some skill points into. With each upgrade, there comes another perk on top of the original skill. Shield Breaker for example deals 150% warrior damage and breaks small shields at the first rank, but in the second rank breaks all shields, deals 160% warrior damage, and stuns the target. Others have incremental upgrades for the second rank, but get amazing buffs in the third. All the skills will get an additional buff, so it's worth reading the highlighted green text to see just how each one gets better.

Spear of Leonidas

At some point during your odyssey, you'll encounter a forge created by the "ones who came before". This allows you to use Artefact fragments obtained from slain cult members to upgrade the Spear of Leonidas that your chosen hero has in their possession. Upgrades to the spear are for health and adrenaline management; specifically increasing maximum health and allowing more segments to be unlocked so you can keep using skills. Keep tracking down those pesky cultists to amass more of them to increase your potential further, more on that in our Assassin's Creed Odyssey cultists guide. Once you've upgraded it to level 5, you'll be able to fully upgrade every skill.

Those skills should keep you going through the early game, but be sure to experiment with other combinations. In the meantime, those looking for more hints on certain side quests should check out our Assassin's Creed Odyssey side quests guide. Alternatively, if you just want to know where Zeus's big statue is so you can clamber around on it, go to our Assassin's Creed Odyssey The Blind King guide.

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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About the Author
Dave Irwin avatar

Dave Irwin

Former Guides Writer

Dave was a guides writer for Rock Paper Shotgun from 2018-2020. He previously worked as a freelancer for TheSixthAxis, Tech Advisor and Kotaku, producing hundreds of guides to help people get better at their favourite games. He now writes guides for PCGamesN.