Assassin’s Creed Origins crafting and upgrading is more streamlined than in previous games. But the introduction of an RPG level system means there’s a wider context to how much damage you do.
You might be a lower level than your enemy, but if you’ve targeted a specific playstyle and upgraded gear accordingly, you can still win.
Different upgrades also share the required materials. It’s possible to play without grinding. But you’ll have to make choices about where you spend that iron, and that ultra-rare carbon crystal.
Choose Your Focus
Upgrading different parts of your gear will have the following effects:
- Bracers: Increase melee attack damage.
- Breastplate: Increases maximum health.
- Hidden Blade: Boosts hidden blade damage.
- Quiver: Increase arrow storage capacity.
- Stabilizer Glove: Increased ranged attack damage.
- Tool Pouch: Increase carry capacity for darts and bombs.
One special note here is the hidden blade. Because Origins operates on an RPG level system, stealth attacks against enemies of a higher level are not guaranteed to kill.
When playing stealthily, the difference between a one-hit surprise kill and simply taking off 80 percent of their health is massive. In some cases, it can set off a chain reaction of alarms — not a good place to be when the enemies have a few levels on you.
Upgrading your hidden blade can keep you ahead of the curve on this one. You’ll be able to instantly take out enemies around two levels above you, but still might want to avoid the more powerful characters.
Different upgrades will cost different materials, but the higher tiers of all of them will require carbon crystals. You can find this hidden in tombs, as rewards for quests, or by solving papyrus puzzles.
You can see the rising costs of each upgrade here, or check out our wikis for the full tables:
The hidden blade and your chestplate might be the most important upgrades, with melee and ranged damage coming in after that. Upgrading the quiver and tool pouch should only be a priority if you’re targeting that playstyle.
How To Get Materials
You can dismantle unused weapons in Origins for a little bit extra. Once you’ve got the appropriate skill, you can also buy them from vendors. This isn’t a long term strategy, though. Do it when you’re just a few bronze shy of an upgrade.
The best way to get what you need is to hunt. And the best tool for hunting is Senu.
Ideally, this is something you should do while making your way from one quest to the next. Questing alone and defending yourself will bring you about 80% of what you need in the early game. The rest you’ll have to proactively target.
Hippos and crocs will drop hard leather, and smaller animals will drop soft leather. Pelts come from scarier predators like lions. Senu has a brilliant habit of spotting prey that has already been killed, which can be handy when hunting groups of the larger predators. Often when you arrive there will just be some carcasses waiting to be looted.
Long story short: Pick your next destination based on questing, and on the way use Senu to hunt. If you do this all game, you’ll never be behind.
Of course when I say “hunt,” I don’t just mean hunting animals.
The most lucrative sources of metals and pelts will be the convoys travelling from Point A to Point B across the map. These usually consist of three riders: Two guards and a courier. Later on, the courier will be riding a chariot.
You can surprise kill one rider and if you have the appropriate talent, it’ll chain into an instant kill of the second rider. The last one shouldn’t be too much trouble, but you’ll want to take care that he doesn’t run away from you.
When they start running, usually it’ll be towards a highly fortified area. If they reach their drop-off point, the resources disappear and you’re just fighting for closure.
In areas with large lakes, you can also rely on boats to be carrying healthy amounts of resources. Sometimes these are two-person boats, and sometimes they’re larger ships with a larger crew.
The larger targets are actually easier, as there’s room for stealth play, surprise kills and rolling around. On the smaller boats, there’s no room to move.
It’s worth noting that in my game, some of the convoys appeared to be “mined out” after a while. They just stopped appearing. This might mean you have to go to a different zone to rob soldiers. Boats, however, always seemed plentiful.
Legen — Wait for It — Dary
When it comes to upgrading weapons and shields, you can visit the blacksmith to just pay some straight up drachmas. This gets more expensive as time goes on.
If you collect a legendary weapon halfway through the game, hang onto it. It’s worth saving some money to upgrade it closer to endgame — especially if it really nails the playstyle you’re going for.
Much later in the game, you can have all talent trees pretty much maxed out anyway. But if you sense yourself coming up to the true enemy, or if you’re about to embark on a big arena spree or something similar, it’s a good time to splurge on the resurrection of your favourite hurtstick.
There’s a finite amount of carbon crystals in Egypt. If you want to upgrade everything to its max, you’re going to need most of what exists in the game.
If you’re following the main questline, you’ll often sneak through fortresses or bandit camps that have carbon crystals hidden in treasure chests. Senu can help you find these — just press LT to zoom in while flying, and follow the direction the cursor is pointing. When you hover over a point of interest, it’ll flag it. Some of these are chests.
Tombs are also a good source of carbon crystals. Occasionally quests will take you inside one of these, but you may also have to seek some out purely for crystal hunting.
The Nomad’s Bazaar store carries 30 carbon crystals. This is a wandering merchant which you can find by looking for a blue camel icon on the map.
If all else fails and you’re having a hard time finding the necessary materials to upgrade, there’s a very natural form of upgrading in the level system. Just level up! By far the most efficient way to do that is questing, and thankfully most of the quests in Origins aren’t the “collect 10 boar tusks” variety.
That makes it feel less like a grind, and the stat increases that come with an extra level are akin to higher quality gear. But if you’re aiming to take on quests or enemies multiple levels above you, crafting is what will help you the most.