Assassin's Creed Origins sidequests are pretty plentiful in this game, but they actually tend to fall into one of a handful of categories.
Below, we explain everything you neeed to know about sidequesting in Assassin's Creed Origins, including how to smash through these quest quickly to earn yourself some valuable XP. For more on Assassin's Creed Origins in general, we recommend you take a look at our main Assassin's Creed Origins guide and walkthrough hub.
Assassin's Creed Origins sidequests explained
There are a lot (and we mean a lot) of sidequests in Origins, far too many to cover in great detail, but most of them fall into one or two of a handful of categories so rather than list them all in exhaustive detail we've decided to cover them in a general form. Most sidequests will be made up of one or more of the following types of activity - sometimes it's a simple “rescue the guy” that'll take a couple of minutes, sometimes it's a ten minute multi-step procedure that requires you to find some clues, follow a suspect, clear an area of hostiles, and explore a hidden cave, but they're still pieced together out of the same building blocks.
Rescue the Prisoner
You'll be tasked with securing the release of a prisoner from an enemy controlled encampment. Start by surveying the area with Senu to mark their precise location and tag the enemies that are guarding them - in most cases they'll be being held near one of the edges of the area giving you a safe(ish) route in and out. Most of them can escape under their own steam once you've unlocked the cage, but occasionally you'll have to carry them out; if that's the case, once you've unlocked the cage you may need to clear out a few guards as you can't climb walls with someone over your shoulder meaning you might need to leave via the front door rather than sneaking out.
Collect the Items
Whatever it is you've been tasked to collect it'll either be in an enemy encampment (in which case it's very similar to a prisoner rescue) or hidden somewhere in the environment. Use Senu to scope the search area, and then climb/dive/sneak to retrieve them.
Defeat the Enemies
A nice simple job. As before, take advantage of your bird's eye view to get a handle on numbers and locations, and then either pick the enemies off silently from the shadows or wade in waving a weapon around.
Investigations: Clue Hunting
Once you reached the marked area use an Animus Pulse to flag up items of interest - they'll be given an orange arrow and an Eye of Horus icon indicating their location. Examine them in turn to learn whatever it is you need to learn.
Need more help? Our Assassin's Creed Origins walkthrough and guide will take you through every step of the main story and quests, whilst we also have guides on how to grind XP and level up, plus explainers on how Assassin's Creed Origins sidequests work, alongside how to get crafting materials and animal goods, and even complete solutions and walkthroughs to all Assassin's Creed Origins Tombs, Silica, and Anchient Mechanisms. We also have a list of all Papyrus Puzzle locations, Origins' cursed and legendary weapons and how they're acquired, and finally a detailed page Phylakes, Phylakes' Prey and how to get the Black Hood outfit.
Investigations: Ask the Audience
In the investigation area there will be some NPCs with an Eye of Horus icon above their heads; there are usually three, occasionally four. Speak to them in turn to learn their secrets.
Many gamers will groan inwardly on hearing the phrase “escort mission”, but thankfully these aren't too painful. Your NPC charge actually has a sense of self preservation so if there's any trouble they'll take cover until it's over, and not all the escorting involves danger in the first place. It's not impossible for them to die but you almost have to deliberately set out to get them killed for it to happen.
If you're asked to follow an NPC discreetly just maintain a safe distance behind them - they're not very observant, and unlike previous games you don't have to keep them in sight at all times, so there's no need to follow convoluted paths over rooftops and through bushes. After all, what's more suspicious; just happening to be going the same way as someone, or always bending down to tie your shoelaces or reading a newspaper when someone looks at you?