Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Settlement Starter Guide
By Aaron Young
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla brings back the much loved homebase system, something which has been missing from the franchise for a while now. Overall the settlement (Ravensthorpe) does not disappoint. It is actually pivotal to the story and makes the player care about what happens there. This is something I haven’t felt since the brilliance of Monteriggioni. Although much of the story is set away from your settlement, you are constantly encouraged to return in order to progress with the story, and build upon your foundations.
As you progress through the story you will gain supplies and materials to upgrade Ravensthorpe. Most of what you will need can be gained by completing raids as you travel around the map. It does not get anymore Viking than raiding a monastery or village for loot, but thanks to the settlement system, the motives for doing so are more than just aimlessly burning down buildings and fighting.
Once you return from your Viking adventure full of supplies and materials, you will be able to start adding new buildings to your home. Valhalla does not force the player to build in any particular order, and you are free to do what you wish. In your Longhouse, there is a note with suggestions on what might be useful to build next. Alternatively, you can use Sýnin to hover above Ravensthorpe, revealing all possible construction opportunities. Building is fairly easy, and only requires you to interact with the signpost in the specific location.
Edited by Ashlea Buckley
Upgrading your Settlement
What to Unlock
It is completely up to you, however certain buildings will offer you more than others. Your settlement will start small and you will have to progress through six levels to fully upgrade it and have access to everything. Do not worry though, this can take you as long as you like. If you are a real fan of the Ravensthorpe there isn’t really anything stopping you from raiding continually to get the resources to do so.
The Hidden Ones Bureau is another building that can be purchased early on in the game and I highly recommend it. Hytham will be your contact here, and will assign side quests to complete. He will also seek codex pages hidden throughout the world. If you are able to find these then you will be duly rewarded. Some of the codex pages can be located in areas of the map that are a greater power than you. Do not be put off by this, as it is possible to sneak in and find these undetected.
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The Blacksmith system is the only real option when you get started, as it acts as an introduction to the system. For me, it was the first place I would visit upon returning home. Gunnar is the man who will improve your gear, as you level your items towards legendary status. You can add runes and minor upgrades yourself when out in the world. To begin upgrading your equipment, you will need to collect carbon, nickel and tungsten ingots throughout the world. Remember to upgrade every time you return to the settlement, otherwise you will have to travel back to do it. It's worth noting that the Ravensthorpe Blacksmith is the only person in the game who can upgrade your gear.
The Hidden Ones Bureau
For those of you who enjoy customising your character then this will be a must. The shop is run by Svend and Tove. Here you can change your hair, beard and tattoos to modify Eivor how you like. New hairstyles will be available in shops throughout the world, that once purchased can be applied at the Hut. The same principle applies for tattoos, which can also be collected in the form of flying papers, if you are quick enough to catch them.
Everyone loves a place to buy and sell goods, especially with the amount you collect throughout the world. The higher the level of your settlement, the rarer the items will be at the Trading Post. Yanli sells gear, resources, runes and cosmetic items that you can place around your settlement. I have noticed that the selection of runes changes each time I return to the shop after being away, so keep an eye out for new items. The unfortunate thing is that all of the items will cost you silver, something that you will not have a lot of throughout the game. Luckily you can sell unwanted items here which helps boost your money.
Stable & Aviary
Not an obvious choice but one that I built early on in the game. This feature is more for people who like to customise. You can purchase new mounts and different skins for Sýnin. Perhaps the reason I rate this upgrade so highly is because the stable owner Rowan will also let your purchase new abilities for your mount. There are only a few upgrades, but you will want to get the swimming ability ASAP, as England is full of waterways.
Barracks – This will allow you to create your Jomsviking, at the moment the system is a little limited but I expect it to evolve in future updates.
Shipyard – This is a cosmetic choice, here you can change the look of your Longship.
Cartographer – One for the completionist, here you can purchase maps to reveal hidden resources.
Seer’s Hunt – Valka will give you a special potion that will transport you to a unique location.
Hunter’s Hut – This will let you trade in legendary animal kills for runes, cosmetics and resources.
Fishing Hut – I wish I knew that you needed this to acquire the fishing rod. There are events throughout the world where you will need the rod, so get this early if you don’t want to leave a location unfinished.
Museum – This is a place to trade in the Roman artefacts you find when travelling England.
Extras – There are multiple other buildings you can add to your settlement, they don’t really provide much other than to boost your character for a period of time if you ring the bell outside your Longhouse. This calls a feast which will offer Eivor a stat boost.
During your time in the game some additional people/events will take place. Reda the merchant will arrive as you upgrade your settlement. He will offer you contracts in return for Opal which you can use to purchase special gear and cosmetics. These should reset weekly and provide an opportunity to obtain items usually blocked behind a paywall.
About the Author
Aaron is a passionate Assassin's Creed fan who recently joined TOWCB AC Partnership Program as an Online Article Writer.
Throughout 2021, Aaron and other writers will be joining the admin team in a collaborative effort to create an Assassin's Creed Valhalla Guide Database, which you can find here.
Finally there are timed events, such as the Yule Festival which took place over the Christmas period. This was classed as a seasonal event and therefore does not exist within your settlement anymore. That being said, the space still remains and other seasonal events are expected to appear throughout the year. The Yule event brought snow to Ravensthorpe and a few exclusive side quests. A merchant also appeared, who was selling goods in return for Yule tokens which could be obtained through mini games in the settlement.
Largely Ravensthorpe is a great place to explore and build upon as your saga grows. It feels meaningful and it is nice to once again have people to return to after completing quests. Fingers crossed that we will have further settlement content throughout the year.