Eivor is a Viking, and if there’s one stereotype about Vikings that isn’t constantly proved wrong by the internet, it's raiding. While the franchise started as a quiet, stealthy game that took you around the edges of battles, Assassins Creed Valhalla will have to ignite them instead. As well as a bunch of houses.
But this concept of overt violence, looting, and battling might be a little unfamiliar to former assassins, as well as any new players looking to pillage the English coast. So for those of you struggling to find the best loot and be the best Viking you can be, here’s a handy guide with everything you need to know before you burn down a few Saxon monasteries.
I was going to begin this guide with some basic history on the Vikings and the way they operated across Europe and the middle east, but I think we’ll just skip that section. So instead let's talk about Assassins Creed Valhalla and how you go about raiding in the game.
The game itself will introduce you to raids during the Rude Awakening questline during the prologue, though you may have done a few sooner if you went out sailing. It's early in the main quest, and gives you a sense of the fire and blood a true Viking raider needs, although it notably doesn’t include any of the pillage you’ll be hunting for once you cross the north sea.
Raids in Valhalla are started from your longship, so if you’re feeling destructive you’ll have to head back to Ravensthorpe of using your horn to get the ship. On the map, you’ll see the symbol of two red crossed axes. These are the raid locations, but you can also attack more or less any coastal or riverside settlement you come across. Once you’ve picked your target, all you have to do is sail your boat to the shore and press raid when the option appears on the screen. Make sure your longship is facing the coast though, or the game won’t trigger it.
It's also worth checking the power level of the place you intend to raid. England is fractured in Assassins Creed Valhalla and some areas are a lot more dangerous than others. The game will still let you try and attack the location, but it might beyond your level and should probably be abandoned until you’ve got some more skills and better gear.
While you’re on a raid, a set of respawning enemies will rush to defend their churches and the tithes kept within. While you’ll certainly need to thin out their numbers to avoid being overrun, don’t worry and slaying every Englishman in your path. Instead, you’ll want to be using your Odin Vision as often as possible, using the pulses to find every bit of treasure and loot possible.
Once you’ve loaded your pockets, all you have to do is leave. It's that simple, except for the challenges.
Oddly enough, the church doesn’t look too kindly on a bunch of heathens stealing or their… legitimately acquired wealth, and have set up more than a few ways of discouraging you from progressing. The most obvious is the soldiers, but while the mobs might not pose much of a threat, the bosses will.
You’ll recognize them from the title that appears over their head, like yeoman, pikemen, or other such amusingly old-fashioned words. These enemies will have more health, more tricks up their sleeve, and deal more damage. On top of that, the rest of your Viking raiders will struggle against them, so it's normally up to you to find a way to stop them. For more tips and tricks on how to fight like a Viking, check out our combat guide (link).
But these Christian soldiers aren’t just getting in your way, as a lot of raid locations will hide their goodies behind locked doors, with the strongest soldiers often holding the keys. These can be highlighted with the aforementioned Odin’s Vision which makes it even more valuable to use.
Other doors might need to be forced open, which you can do when prompted, but it takes a few seconds and does leave you vulnerable to counterattacks, so it's worth securing the area as much as possible first.
Some of the other treasures though will be secreted away, normally underground. If you’ve got the default exploration difficulty on, the best course of action is to look for the telltale sign of a staircase on the compass and try to discover it. If you’re playing more organically, you’ll need to do some snooping around trying each of the doors and destroying any boxes that might be hiding crawlways. Think about the geography of the place as well as the buildings. If the structure is built on top of a cliff, there might be a cave entrance at the bottom you can use.
In the end, though, it's all worth it for that treasure.
But what is a Viking hunting for when they raid the churches and villages of England? Well, in Assassins Creed Valhalla it isn’t just silver and gold. More important are the supplies and raw materials you need to build up your little town. When you arrive in England you’ll be prompted to perform a raid to help build the blacksmith, and after that, each raid will bring you closer to building up new buildings back at home base. There are two forms of construction currency, and both can be found beneath the golden barrel marker during a raid, they can be found in smaller amounts in unmarked chests, but the easiest way to find a good supply of both is through raiding. But there is more than just that available on your Viking raids.
Weapons, armour, and personal upgrade supplies can also be found on these raids. Most will appear as the treasure on the map, either as the ingot or armour symbol if you scan them with your Odin vision. Everyone likes new weapons and armour, so make sure to find what you can while raiding. Some might be on an enemy much like the key though, so make sure you’re looting the corpses as well as the chests.
But some chests won’t be so obvious. They’ll appear as golden glimmers in Odin Vision but will otherwise be unremarkable. Nevertheless, they are definitely worth hunting out as they will normally have huge caches of leather and coal inside that you can use to upgrade your equipment. These tucked-away supplies are much more available than the handful of coal and leather you’ll collect hunting and mining out in the wilderness.
If you miss anything you can always raid the same location again, but anything you managed to snatch the first time will be missing, so if you’ve cleaned an area out, there isn’t much point in burning it down again unless you really don’t like those particular monks.