Whether you’re just getting into multiplayer and are learning the basics, or you have already played some matches, but are looking for some tips to improve, this guide will help you learn a few things more experienced players know and do.
Tips for Beginners
Multiplayer is far from dead, though there are fewer people nowadays, and because of this, it’s also harder to get into it. My hope is that these tips will help some of those who want to experience what multiplayer has to offer.
Most of these tips are based on my few hundred hours of multiplayer experience and some other guides. There are no strict rules as to how to play, though there are several recommendations that could make things easier. There may be certain things that more experienced players know or do better than me or things that some people disagree with, so take these tips with a grain of salt.
- Make sure that you enjoy the base game
This may sound obvious, but many people jump into multiplayer not knowing what it is actually about and what to expect. Multiplayer can be grindy, but that’s okay. There are lots of interesting characters and builds, which will keep you excited for a long time. Just make sure that you generally like the game and its combat system, otherwise, you’ll have a hard time enjoying multiplayer.
- Be prepared that you’ll be weak at first
The first few levels are always hard. At first, even on the lowest difficulty, you will have a hard time being alive and killing things. After getting a few promotions and better items, it still won’t be easy while you’re low level. Don’t worry though, XP is somewhat shared, and even just damaging an enemy or reviving a teammate will grant you some bonus XP, so make sure to be as active as you can. Finding a good party or going on lower difficulties will usually get you started. You can also play on the tutorial-like mode (Proving Grounds) if Routine is hard, though it gives little to no rewards. Also, keep in mind that if you leave early, you’ll lose all the XP you’ve gathered throughout the level.
- Start with a beginner-friendly character
Some of these characters are Legionnaire, Keeper, Reaver, Arcane Warrior, Silent Sister and Saarebas. These characters are easier to play with than others on early levels, especially without decent items. Also, when you see another character that is much stronger and tougher than yours, that’s probably because they have better equipment and more promotions, so don’t assume that you’ll be better off with that character.
- Collect as much gold as you can
Gold is earned from urns, chests, golden nugs, completing objectives and finishing a level. Look for these opportunities, as other than being able to buy chests from the shop more frequently, which is obvious, you’ll get better loot overall from these chests after reaching certain thresholds of total gold collected.
- Save gold for the big chest
The big chest (Superb Requisitions), which costs 2000 is generally the best option, though it is not a waste if you open a few of the smaller chests, especially while you’re short on items.
- Use Heal on Kill items
Items with HoK effect are generally considered good, if not essential. Just get enough to stay alive without constantly having to drink potions. A good low-level HoK item is the blue Ring of Life-Drain.
- Compare weapons by item level and DPS
A general rule of thumb when comparing weapons after being looted is to look at the item level, while in the inventory, look at the DPS. If the item level is higher or lower than your current weapon’s, then that weapon is probably better or worse than yours, and the same can be said about DPS. This is not always the case though, so keep this in mind. If a weapon’s item level is much lower than your current one, then you can safely salvage it without even looking at its stats. Rarity and the extra benefits will also be important later, though these are not as important on early levels.
- Keep items with an item level of 20 or higher if you’re not sure
Some items, especially accessories can easily be overlooked, only to realise that they were salvaged while they shouldn’t have been. If you keep items with an item level of 20 or higher, you will make sure that you won’t get in a similar situation. Superb accessories start appearing with an item level of 20, while most weapons are considered useful from at about 23, but it’s easier to just remember 20 until you get the hang of salvaging higher-level items. I also recommend keeping one of each ability ring, as you never know when you’ll need them. While you only have weapons below item level 20, just keep the best of each type and salvage the rest.
- Make builds based on your items and promotions
There are many detailed guides out there about certain character builds, which also helped me to start out, but most of these are optimised for certain difficulties, items and promotions. Most often you will want something similar, but not exactly the same. As you get new items and more promotions, you will want to change where you put certain points. Go with what works, but check on unused skills every now and then, as they may become useful as you progress, or you may find that you like them more than what you used before.
- Get cooldown-reducing passives
Passives that reduce cooldowns on crit, on attack etc are generally considered one of the best passives. They can do wonders even if you have the basic items and no promotions. Most characters have at least one of these, so make sure to pick them sooner or later. Some of these passives are Gathering Storm and Flow of Battle, but there’s a few more. Passives that increase stamina/mana regeneration can also do wonders, though most of the times only when paired with cooldown-reducing passives.
- Don’t respec unless it’s really necessary
Builds do make a difference, though promoting a character will reset skills anyway, and respecing uses materials, which are very important early on to get decent armor and some extra characters. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you struggle, it does not mean that your build is bad, it may be that you need better gear or more promotions. Just make sure not to spend materials on respecing unless it’s really necessary.
- Promote as soon as you reach level 20
By the time you have some of the best-in-slot items, you will still need lots of promotions to play on higher difficulties effectively. You can, of course, keep playing for a few more games at level 20 to get some items while you’re strong, though I don’t recommend doing so.
- Prioritize playing with your strongest characters
If you have no class preference, go with one that has the strongest weapon. One of your main goals will be to play on higher difficulties since you get more XP and better loot there. This can be achieved more easily if you play the most with one of your strongest characters. Another good method is to get the best armor for one character and play with that particular character until you get some decent items, character unlocks and a few promotions.
- Play in parties that have one of each class
This will ensure that whatever barriers the game generate you can open up and collect the loot inside. If you can, pick a class that the party is missing. Maybe this will make you play with one of your weaker characters, but the extra loot will most often be worth it. You’re not required to do this even on higher difficulties if you don’t want to, though having a party of at least one of each class is always preferred. (Especially due to Murphy’s Law…)
- Pay attention to objectives
Some of them may be harder than others, and sometimes it’s easy to forget about them, but completing them earns extra gold, which is always good. Also, a frequent thing experienced players do that makes newcomers confused is at the torch objective, where they pick up the torch and run through the whole level to light the campfire as soon as they can. Don’t do this if you can’t tank the whole level and don’t follow them if it’s not necessary, instead, just loot the level and kill the enemies you come across.
- Don’t forget to look for breakable barriers
If someone gets close to one, it gets discovered and will be marked with a question mark on the minimap. They require one of the three classes to be opened, and behind them are most often two urns and always a chest that gives an item or some extra gold. It’s okay if you forget about them in the heat of battle, just make sure to check on the minimap occasionally and also respond if your party signals that there is one that needs to be opened.
- Get familiar with the environment
Urns, barriers and golden nugs have pre-defined spawn locations, so you’ll more likely stumble upon them if you memorise some of the harder-to-find locations. Urns also emit a magical noise, making it easier to find them. Golden nugs spawn either on the first or the third zone, so pay extra attention when on these zones, as they give lots of gold. There are also several shortcuts and safe spots throughout a level, so use them to your advantage.
- Play carefully
Rushing towards enemies brainlessly causes the easiest and ugliest death. Get your guard up, use your barrier or just make sure that you are strong enough before you take on a group of enemy. If you are not, find a safe spot or some cover and take them out from there, especially on the final zone. It makes a huge difference.
- Adapt to the type of enemy
Beware the Qunari. Seriously, these guys will block your attacks, dispel your barrier and even jump through walls and through the whole level to get to you. Some other generally very dangerous enemies are the Sha-Brytol. Just pay attention to what type of enemy you’re fighting and adjust your playstyle accordingly. You will definitely be hit by surprise a few times by these pesky flying Qunari before you realize that they can easily be avoided, but that’s part of the fun. Each enemy is unique in some ways, so it takes quite some time until you learn which does what.
Some Extra Tips to Keep in Mind
I feel like these deserve some attention too since multiplayer has its own guidelines and etiquette developed by the community. For newcomers, there’s no way of knowing these other than experiencing them, which could sometimes be rather inconvenient.
Learn to communicate effectively
This is a tough one here since there’s no text-based chat. Players use character dialogues to communicate basic things. If they ask to go somewhere/group up, they most often sign to someone to open a barrier, while other times it may be to gather at a safe spot. When they tell to fall back/retreat, it usually means to continue forward, because the zone is clear (this may sound confusing at first, but this is the best way), while in combat it could literally mean to fall back, though this is rare. When asked to kill an enemy, it usually means that they need help with a guardian. The fourth dialogue is most often used to express gratitude or to compliment. Learning and using these techniques makes team play much better, especially if everyone pays attention to one another.
Don’t wait for others to come when a zone is clear
Experienced players usually stop moving when a zone is clear. This is due to the game teleporting everyone to the next zone anyway when someone proceeds, and not because they don’t want to move on. It actually means that they are ready to move on. This habit is more common amongst seasoned players, but feel free to pick it up anytime. Also, make sure that others have finished looting before going forward.
Leech with discretion
If you want to leech (which generally means being carried on higher difficulties), do it when the party that carries you is clearing the level with ease. Threatening is generally a good option. On higher difficulties, I don’t recommend leeching if you don’t know the people you play with. Also, make sure that the party is eager to carry you and you’re not making it more difficult by constantly dying. If you find a party that is willing to carry you, switch to a class that is missing to help them open barriers in return. If they have one of each class, just select a support character or one that is less likely to die. Also, please note that some players hate leechers, so make sure to respect their decision if they want you out of the lobby. Other than that, most people are probably eager to help boost newcomers or recently promoted characters if they’re not making the game any harder.
AFK with regards to others
AFK-ing is accepted, though make sure that you’re not required to open barriers (eg: there’s another class of yours in the party or you’ve already checked the barriers on the current zone). Don’t AFK on the final zone before reaching the flag, as this will probably get you kicked very soon. If you must go AFK, at least try to reach the flag before doing so.
Don’t be idle for long in a lobby if others are ready
This may sound harsh, but people will usually either kick someone who is idle for a few minutes or find a new lobby just to start playing. I recommend to leave the lobby if you’re in a situation where everyone else is ready and you have many unspent skill points and new items, or just ready up without spending all points and inspecting each item.