When and How to Upgrade Gear – Assassins Creed Odyssey

Assassins Creed: Odyssey is a massive game filled with seemingly infinite amounts of gear. Once you get past the very first island, the game starts dumping items on you faster then you can keep up with them.

With the entire gear upgrade system in this game, it made me wonder, when should you be upgrading gear? It’s recommended that you wait until level 15 at a minimum. This is because, by this point, you’ll have more time between levels to use the armor.

Of course, it’s really about your personal preference. If you really like a certain set of armor or weapon, you should definitely upgrade it.

I’ll explain all the ways to know when you should upgrade, as well as how to upgrade them.

Odyssey is such a massive game, and there’s a lot to learn about it. This Official Collector’s Edition Guide on Amazon can help you tremendously on your travels through ancient Greece, so I highly recommend taking a look at it.

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about upgrading in Odyssey.

When to upgrade gear

I have heard from many people that you should wait until your player is at the maximum level. Doing this will make sure you don’t waste resources and time for an item that will be quickly replaced.

If you do decide to upgrade before the max level, there are several things you need to consider.

1. Item rarity

Rarity is a major factor when upgrading. The higher the rarity, the less likely you are to find a similar weapon.

Here are the four rarity tiers and their colors:

  • Common – Grey
  • Rare – Blue
  • Epic – Purple
  • Legendary – Gold

Common gear really isn’t worth much at all, so don’t waste your time and resources on these. You’ll find them pretty much everywhere you go, and they don’t have anything special about them.

Rare gear is a little harder to obtain than Common, but still not worth spending your materials on. Even though they do have some better stats than Common, they aren’t good enough to merit an upgrade.

Epic gear is where things start to get interesting. Since Epic gear has the most number of Engraving slots, there is a lot of debate online on whether Epic is better than Legendary. This is another aspect that is your own preference, as you can choose between whichever stats you like better.

Legendary gear is arguably the best you can get in the game. Again, it’s somewhat of a tie between this and Epic gear; but this tier is definitely the rarest. When you get a full set of Legendary armor, there are some special leveling perks it has that I’ll explain later.

2. Item stats

Every item in the world starts with certain stats that can never be altered. You can Engrave items to add more stats to them, but the stats that come on the weapon by default will always be better than Engraved ones.

Item rarity is another big factor when it comes to stats. Just as you’d think it would be, the rarer the item the better the stats.

Epic gear has more slots for Engravings than any other type, making it possible to have many different types of stats. The stats on a fully Engraved item even have a chance to surpass the stats of a Legendary.

Reasons to upgrade gear

There are fewer reasons to upgrade than to not, but certain things should be saved to upgrade later. Ultimately it comes down to preference because there are more downsides.

1. You like the gear

The first reason you should upgrade a weapon is that you just really like the look and feel of the item. This is really the only reason you’ll upgrade something, as it just isn’t worth upgrading an item you hate.

Scrap all your low level and low rarity gear to get more materials for upgrading your powerful ones. If you don’t clean out your inventory regularly, you’ll end up with it being massively cluttered.

2. It’s Legendary

Legendary items are much harder to find, so you’ll want to save it unless you already have a weapon or armor set you like better. You should also keep all the Legendary armor you find, as you can get set bonuses for wearing all the pieces. These set bonuses will give you thing such as a +30% boost to every type of resistance.

It feels amazing to have your character tricked out with a bunch of gear of the highest rarity. The stats these have can make your character overpowered (until you level up and the enemies get harder).

You can’t dismantle Legendary items for parts or sell the item, making them stick around in your inventory for a long time. Fortunately, there’s a way to get them out of your inventory to reduce clutter. Simply put them into the chest on the Adrestia (your ship).

3. It’s Engraved

Epic items can be better than Legendary items depending on the Engravings you have on it. It really depends on your playstyle, as weapons can make a major difference with how you play.

Engravings are a relatively simple concept that a lot of people seem to have trouble understanding. I’ll explain this in a little bit, but just know that Engraved items are much better than regular ones.

4. Your character looks dumb

Sometimes different armor combinations can just look terrible. A lot of players don’t want to run around with a dumb-looking helmet on their character, so they might choose to upgrade an older one.

Eventually they will find another helmet, but for now, they can upgrade to a decent looking one. Mixing and matching armors can look ridiculous, so there’s always the option to keep the coolest looking items and scrap the lame ones.

It also is very immersion breaking if you see your character in a cutscene wearing laugh-worthy garb. Unless you want to just mess around and be crazy, wearing a lame outfit in a game just isn’t very fitting.

Reasons not to upgrade gear

In my experience, I would rather save most of my resources for upgrading sets of Legendary armor. Besides that, there are a lot of reasons you should not be upgrading gear.

1. The expense

The number one thing getting in the way of upgrades is the massive expense it is. If you browse any Assassins Creed forum for more than 5 minutes, you’ll more than likely see someone complaining about the cost of upgrading gear.

Their complaints are totally legitimate though, as Ubisoft did this to push people to buy microtransactions. I hate microtransactions as much as everyone else, but in this game, they are somewhat avoidable.

They literally made it so you’ll spend real money on a virtual item that you’ll only use for 20 minutes. Just don’t upgrade your gear until the max level and you’ll be okay.

2. It’s Common or Rare

Rare weapons are pretty worthless to save, and the term “Rare” doesn’t really mean much to the gear. Upgrade materials are so hard to get that using them on these weapons is a massive waste.

Besides, you can dismantle them for a small number of materials that will be useful in the future.

3. You’re a low level

Lower leveled players get so much gear that they don’t know what to do with it. From the minute you set to sail away from Kephallonia, the game will practically be throwing gear at you.

This gets less and less as you progress through the levels. Besides this, you won’t start getting as many rare items as you will later in the game.

A low-level player will probably be playing the game for the first time, so I recommend trying out every type of weapon and armor in the game to see what you like best.

4. You’ll quickly find better ones

Walk 10 feet in this game and you’ll trip over another weapon. All it takes is clearing a fort or defeating a mercenary to get some more great gear.

Following the storyline will also grant you some pretty awesome gear. It’s kind of sad to have an awesome armor combo set up, only to be forced to swap it out for other gear several levels later.

Of course, you can always waste a massive amount of materials upgrading it now, or go defeat a few enemies and get one better than what you have now.

It’s an endless cycle of swapping out gear, so it’s not worth upgrading something that will soon be obsolete.

5. You want some variety

Some people just get tired of using the same gear the entire game. After several hours, the same armor or weapon might start to get boring to you.

For such a massive game, you’re definitely gonna need some variety to stay interested. I personally get bored with items very quickly, so I would never be able to go very long without upgrading my stuff.

There are also seemingly endless different types of weapons and armor, and it’s very fun to try them all out. I really enjoy the variety that different gear gives me, as it helps keep the game fresh and interesting.

How to upgrade gear

When it finally comes time to upgrade your items, you need to know the best ways to do so. It’s a pretty straightforward process that seems more complicated than it really is.

The first thing you need to do is find a blacksmith. In total there are 51 blacksmiths scattered around the world. You can find them in most towns and are indicated by an anvil icon on the world map.

When you go to a blacksmith, you’ll see 2 main options for upgrading: Upgrade and Engraving. Clicking on the upgrade screen will allow you to upgrade the weapon to your current level.

Next, you need to make sure you have the right materials. Without the proper amount of materials, you won’t be able to upgrade. The further you progress in level, the more the item will take to upgrade.

If you find it takes a lot, you have two options: one is to consider whether the upgrade is worth it, and two is to go farm materials until you have enough.

While upgrading weapons is easier at lower levels, you should save your resources for a time when you’ll need them a lot more.

Getting more materials

To upgrade anything in Odyssey, you’re going to need LOTS of materials. I’ve spent a while searching for them in-game, and have compiled a list of every material you’ll need, as well as the best ways to acquire them.

Before you go out and start farming, be sure to check out what the local blacksmith is selling. Each blacksmith will at random sell different types of materials, so you can purchase some with Drachmae if you wish.

Soft Leather – The number one method of getting soft leather is by farming animals. My favorite way to farm it is to navigate East of Grand Mount Parnassos in the Phoki region. Here you will find a massive herd of deer that will get you lots of soft leather.

Olive Wood – You can get small amounts of this material by dismantling items such as bows, as well as by harvesting small bushes around the world. The way to keep the most quickly is by destroying ships. Each ship you destroy will give you a good amount of Olive Wood, so head out to the open seas for some wood gathering.

Iron Metal – This can also be obtained by dismantling your equipment. Looting ships is a fun way to do it, and you can also get some other materials while you do so. My favorite way to get Iron Metal is by exploring caves. Certain caves you come across will have an abundance of Iron Ore laying around, so grab as much as you can find.

Obsidian Glass – The top ways to get Obsidian Glass is by fighting against either Athens or Sparta. Nation chests, war supplies, and forts all hold this material. To get the most at one time, participate in a Conquest Battle. You’ll get a good amount of material as well as some new gear.

Precious Gems – These materials are probably one of the most fun and rewarding type to farm. The first and slowest way is by dismantling your Epic gear. Collecting Bounties and defeating Mercenaries will reward you with a good amount of Precious gems.

Legendary set upgrades

Save your Legendary set farming for a higher level, because of this type of gear levels all at the same time. To do this, you must need one remaining piece of the set you haven’t gotten yet.

As soon as you get the last piece, the leveling begins. Whichever is lower (either the final piece or your character’s level), the entire set will immediately jump to that level.

If you are a low level or pick up low-level gear, it’s going to be a massive resource hog to upgrade them. The auto-leveling only applies to armor sets, and not to Legendary weapons.

How to Engrave gear

Engraving gear is possibly one of the most confusing parts of this game. The confusing part isn’t how to do it, but how Engravings actually work.

1. Getting Engravings

To get Engravings, you need to complete various missions and challenges around the world. Items called “Ainigmata Ostraka” can be found in places such as forts. These items present you with a riddle to solve and give you an Engraving upon completion.

Once you unlock an Engraving, you can put it on whatever item you wish. You can use it on an unlimited number of items, and will never be consumed.

2. How Engravings work

First off, you can only have a certain number of Engravings on a weapon. Legendary Engravings do not stack with each other, but normal Engravings do.

You can overwrite any engraving at any time if you don’t like it. Any Engraving is going to cost you both money and materials, so refer to the material guide I wrote above.

Each Engraving gives you a boost to a certain stat, such as increases to your hunter stat or bow damage. You should figure out which ones suit the way you play, then put those on all your weapons.

3. Upgrading an engraving

You can also upgrade Engravings to a higher level. In turn, this will also increase the amount of benefit you receive to the stats.

When you look at the Engraving section in the inventory menu, each Engraving has a little section which tells you how to upgrade it to the next level. For example, one challenge could be to defeat 20 Mercenaries. The item will require re-engraving each time the level is increased.

As you progress through the game, you’ll receive tons of these to make your character even better. You will eventually figure out your favorite ones, and you’ll be able to apply them to whatever you’d like.

Conclusion

The upgrade system in Assassins Creed: Odyssey has a lot to it, but it’s not complicated. It’s too bad that Ubisoft designed it with microtransactions in mind because it had potential to be a really great system.

At least they gave you the option of keeping your favorite gear viable throughout the entire game. It may not be the best system in the world, but Odyssey is an awesome game with so much to see and do.

Jay Simmons

I love writing about games and sharing helpful info with others. Whether it be exploring a vast open world or uncovering lore, I always enjoy learning about my favorite games.

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