Dragon Age Inquisition Helpful Hints Guide
Dragon Age Inquisition is a HUGE game. There’s a lot to do, a lot of people to meet, and a whole bunch of exploring to…well, explore. I’ve sunk a lot of time into Bioware’s latest epic, and in my time with the game I’ve learnt a few tips that I wish I’d know before starting. Below, you’ll find a few quick, helpful hints to assist you as you journey through DAI.
Import your previous choices using Dragon Age Keep
If you’re a DAI fan, you already know about Dragon Age Keep – a website that allows you to make a decision regarding all the major choices of the previous two games and import this world state into DAI. Did your warden choose Bhelen or Harrowmont to sit on the Dwarven thrown in Dragon Age Origins? Who did your Hawke romance in Dragon Age 2? Dragon Age Keep lets you indicate which way your Warden and Hawke chose for all the big decisions across the last two games (and some of the little decisions as well).
For those who haven’t played either of the previous games, Dragon Age Keep might not be as interesting, and you can simply begin DAI with a default world state without all the fuss. However, I’d recommend taking a look at Dragon Age Keep prior to your DAI playthrough, especially if you want that personalised world state feel.
If you want to check in-game that your world state was successfully imported, you can follow the advice from Lady Insanity in the youtube video set out below:
Take your time when playing
I’ve said it above – Dragon Age Inquisition is HUGE. There’s a whole lot to do, but given this is a Bioware game and Bioware are known for their deft crafting of plotlines and stories, you may feel you need to rush through the game to forward the plot. I’d recommend not doing this. Take your time, savour the game, and enjoy exploring. Just make sure to avoid social media if you decide to take your time, as everyone and their pet nug are talking about this game.
Explore the world
As you and your party adventure in DAI, you’re going to meet a lot of people who want you to do a lot of things. It’s part of the tapestry of Thedas. Pick the quests you want to complete and enjoy exploring a world that is nuanced, deep and unique. There are areas you will visit that are simply breathtaking – as you journey, take the time to climb a hill and look out at the gorgeous view in front of you. Stand on the beach of the Storm Coast and watch the waves crash against the shore. Take some time out of your adventuring to enjoy the world that Bioware have created.
In addition to getting to see the world, you’ll also be rewarded for exploring. Across all the areas of DAI, you’ll discover agents who will offer to join your inquisition. These agents are extremely beneficial as they offer some great perks and can give you bonuses depending on choices you make. Speak to everyone you meet as you explore the world, because you never know what benefits they’ll offer.
This is tied to the above point – as you journey through Thedas, you’re going to find abandoned houses, old ruins, caves and a whole bunch of other places. Explore them and loot everything you find. As you progress through the story, you won’t need to pick up everything you find and you’ll become more selective with what you pilfer, but during that early stage, looting everything and selling it to vendors is going to give you much needed coin. During my time with the game, I’ve found the best items in the weirdest of places, so consider looting that potato sack in that abandoned barn you discovered – it just may have the Ring of Incredible Awesomeness inside.
Valuables in your inventory aren’t always ‘valuable’
If you’ve looked in your inventory, you’ll see that you have a tab labelled ‘Valuables’. Don’t be confused by this – the majority of items in this tab are junk that you can sell for coin to vendors. However – do not sell every item listed here, as there are some items (usually in yellow) that will pop up here that are research items you can turn into the table next to Minaeve (she’s the lady who stands next to Josephine at Haven). I’d recommend visiting Minaeve every time you return to Haven, turning in your research items, and then hitting the vendors to sell your other valuables. Learn from my mistake – don’t stock pile nug charms in the vain hope you can give them to Leliana as gifts. You can’t.
Establish camps as a priority
As you explore different areas, you’ll be able to establish camps for the Inquisition. Do this as a priority. Not only do these camps increase your influence, but you can also select them and fast travel to their location, which is a godsend if you simply want to get to places quickly. In addition, you are also able to re-supply your potions by visiting camps and if you’re like me, you’ll need every potion you can carry as you explore.
Don’t spend too much time in the Hinterlands
The Hinterlands is the first real world area you get to visit in DAI. You’ll want to explore it, but take a tip from me and don’t exhaust every single quest in this area before moving on. There are so many quests available here that if you attempt to complete every one, you will become burnt out before you’ve even dipped your toes into the Thedas waters. My tip to you – establish a few camps, complete a few quests and then head out to Val Royeaux. Previous areas can always be revisited later, so don’t feel you have to do everything in one area before you move on.
Journey to Val Royeaux as soon as possible
Val Royeaux offers a treasure trove of excellent items you can buy, and codex entries if you’re wanting to know more about the world. In addition, you’ll have the chance to pick up two of my favourite party members here – Sera and Vivenne. And you want to pick up Sera. Trust me. The city itself is also beautiful, and it offers a welcome respite for you if you’ve been adventuring.
Remember to visit Haven to talk to your party members
As you journey through DAI, it’s easy to forget that you have a home base you can visit to chat to your party members and plan your next move with your advisors. Make it a point to visit Haven and talk to your party members every once in a while. They each have some amazing things to say, and the voice acting for each and every one of them is perfect. Chat with them, learn about them and pop in some flirty lines if you’re romancing that special someone. And don’t forget that your advisors are also available to chat with – they’ll also be represented on the map in Thedas and they will need your opinions on a variety of different matters.
Varric loves his lady crossbow, and he won’t put her aside for any other crossbow or bow, so if you want to level Varric up with the archery skill, you’re going to need to remember to upgrade Bianca. If you forget about this, and you keep Varric in your active party, he’s not going to be the help he would be if Bianca was sporting some fancy upgrades. Upgrading Bianca is easy and relatively cheap – visit the main weapons merchant in Haven to buy the upgrades, then visit the Blacksmith and install them.
Read Hard in Hightown and The Randy Dowager
If you come across codex entries called “Hard in Hightown” or “The Randy Dowager” during your journeying – read them. In fact, search everywhere to find them because they are THAT GOOD.
Use the Wartable and assign operations to your advisors
This tip may sound obvious, but with the scope of DAI, you can forget to visit the wartable and assign operations to your advisors. Don’t forget that your advisors exist outside your party, so they are available to run operations as you adventure around Thedas. Operations occur in real time and continue even when the game is turned off, so make sure you take advantage of this. Run longer operations overnight, and if you’re adventuring for a few hours, make sure you dispatch your advisors off on their missions before you set out. Running operations nets you with some nice bonuses, like influence increases, valuable items and coin – and when you’re trying to lead an inquisition, you’re going to need every single one of those things.
Another tip related to the wartable – once you have inquisition points, spend them, but spend them wisely. There are a whole bunch of perks you can pick up by dedicating an inquisition point to them. However, you won’t be able to choose every single perk, so you must decide which perks work best for your play style. Take some time reading each perk to understand what it offers, and consider which perks work well together.
Check out the tavern in Haven
As you progress the plot of DAI, your home base of Haven will start to become a bustling hive of activity. If you visit the tavern here you’ll find a welcome surprise – there is a bard who takes up residence who sings tavern songs. And not just snippits of songs – full songs. If you bring up your codex you’ll find the lyrics to each of these songs and you can sing along with the bard. It’s such a fun thing to do, and you’ll soon find a favourite in the songs. What’s more – these songs often relate to characters you know, so listening to them becomes a geeky-fan girl/boy moment. It’s glorious.
Change up your active party
Let’s be honest – the highlight of Dragon Age Inqusition is your party members. As you journey across Thedas and progress the game’s plot, you’ll be able to recruit new party members. These party members come with their own skill sets and backstories, and they will interact with you and other party members in their own distinct way. As you spend time with each character, you’ll soon find your favourites, whether due to their personality or the abilities they bring to the team. Whilst it’s tempting to pick a party and stick with it, I recommend switching up your party as you journey. The banter you hear between party members is alone worth it, and who knows – perhaps you’ll find a team that works better. Take a group you don’t journey with often and revisit an area to explore – it’s well worth it.
Take Sera and Iron Bull everywhere
Seriously. Do this. These two are just….words can’t describe them. The banter they come up with alone is worth keeping them around. These characters are also potential LI’s for either a female (Sera and Iron Bull) or a male (Iron Bull only) Inquisitor, so having them in your party when you’re actively romancing them also has its own unique dialogue.
Save your game before speaking to party members
Saving your game frequently is a must when playing epic games like DAI. Given that DAI also employs an approval/disapproval check with each party member during conversations, saving your game before you talk with them is key to ensuring those party members you want to like you (if you’re romancing them, for example) continue to like you. If you save your game before you speak with them, and then accidentally choose options they disapprove of, you can simply reload and select other options. I’d recommend saving before you speak to Sera as well – listening to her responses to all the choices is one of the great joys in life. Really.
Listen to your party members
And not just for the awesome banter. As you explore, your party members will sometimes clue you into important things in the area by saying things like “we should investigate here” or “let’s look around”. If you hear this, that’s code for ‘there’s something we want to find here.’ Once you hear this, hit the search button and watch your screen for the direction you need to go (it will show the direction as a gold pulse). Get close enough to the item and it will be highlighted and you’ll be able to examine it.
Use the tactical camera
Making use of the tactical camera is a must if you’re playing on the higher difficulty settings, but even if you’re playing on easy, utilising the tactical camera will save you a lot of grief. In each area you journey to, you will see a suggested level band that is recommended you be within. However, sometimes you’ll be journing through an area and accidentally stumble upon a group of high level enemies who will absolutely annihilate your party if you aren’t prepared. If you make use of the tactical camera as you adventure, however, you’ll reduce the chances of this happening. When you come upon a group of enemies, use the tactical camera to determine their level and their specific weaknesses, and then plan your attack to keep these in mind. You can also more easily heal your party using potions if you utilise tactical camera (and if you aren’t playing as a mage who can heal).
And that’s that. Hopefully these tips assist you as you journey through Thedas.