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Assassin's Creed: Valhalla skills list and best skill recommendations explained

What's available to unlock and our picks on which skills to choose first.

Skills are your main reward for levelling up in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.

Skill points - earned every time you level up - not only increase your Power Level when applied, but also can be spent to upgrade stats, introduce buffs, and perhaps best of all, unlock new skills.

From the outset, the skills available aren't visible from the start of the tree, so it's difficult to know which direction to go in and what skills you can find.

This page provides a list of all skills in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, as well as our best skill recommendations if you're stuck for things to unlock.

On this page:

For more help with Assassin's Creed Valhalla, we have pages on changing Eivor's appearance, returning to Norway with the Atlas and some flyting tips.

A look at what's coming post-release in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.

How skills and the skill tree works in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

You gain two skill points every time Eivor gains enough XP to level up, and one for each Standing Stone puzzle and Offering Altar completed, or Excalibur-related Treasures of Britain tablet found. Here's a dedicated page on Power Level and how to get XP fast, if you're keen on grinding these out quickly.

These skill points go into the Skills Tree, and the amount of sections filled in the Skills Tree - available in the main menu - is shown by Eivor's Power Level. Each Raid, Order Member, and Region will have a suggested Power Level, and venturing there while Eivor is massively underpowered is a recipe for disaster and bloodshed.

Most of these slots along the Skills Tree aren't actually skills at all, but instead minor buffs to Eivor's all-around strength.

A little bit more health here, some increased Heavy Attack power there, a sprinkling of fire resistance... you get the idea. These minor buffs are evenly sprinkled throughout the Tree, so aren't included in this page.

Instead, we're focusing on the Skills themselves: for every cluster of these buffs together in a single branch, you get one Skill, which unlocks a specific move.

This might be stomping on an enemy's face, hurling their spears back at them, or the chance to chain your assassinations together.

(Note - these are different from Abilities, which unleash superpowered attacks, must be learned from hidden books, and cost adrenaline. Skills just become part of your regular combat makeup.)

The skills are split into three different sections:

  • Bear (red, or the top branch), orientated mainly towards face-to-face combat
  • Wolf (blue, or the right branch) oriented mainly towards range
  • Raven (yellow, or the left branch) orientated mainly towards ingenuity and inventiveness in battle

These categories are by no means absolute though, as red does include a bow skill, blue has a low health saving skill more suited to a brawler, and yellow has bow and brawler skills mixed in with a lot of other weird ones - like making dead bodies explode.

It's worth noting Valhalla armour sets align with these three types also - with certain skill nodes giving you a stats boost if you equip a matching set.

What follows is a skills list to see which ones suits you, as well as their location within the tree.

Finally, these skill points can be reset and reapplied as much as you like, meaning you can rejig the more combat heavy red skills before a boss battle, but go for the stealth and area based skills of the blue and yellow tree when you want to take a camp without raising the alarm.

Skills list in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

What follows is a list of all available skills in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla in alphabetical order, including their description and location within the skill tree to help you find where to unlock it.

SkillSkill descriptionSkill locationBranch image
Adrenaline FiendWhen 1 or more Adrenaline Slots are filled, you gain a damage boost and attack speed boost. This effect augments with each slot filledRed (top) branch; To the right of Parry Damage
Adrenaline UpgradePlus 1 Adrenaline ShotRed (top) branch; Same branch as Berserker's Mettle
Adrenaline UpgradePlus 1 Adrenaline ShotBlue (right) branch; To the left of Last Chance Healing
Adrenaline UpgradePlus 1 Adrenaline ShotYellow (left) branch; Down from Guided Arrow
Advanced AssassinationUnlocks the ability to assassinate high-level targets with a timing based attackYellow (left) branch; Down from Backstab
Arrow ReinforcementWith this skill, loosed arrows will never break and may be collected from fallen enemiesBlue (right) branch; To the right of Hunter Bow Combo
Arrow VolleyDischarge all loaded arrows at once by holding and releasing RB with a Light Bow. Each volley has a stamina costRed (top) branch; To the right of Sprint Bash
Assassin's CantripFollowing a successful parry, quickly press Y to throw a smoke bomb at your feet and disappearYellow (left) branch; To the left of Adrenaline Upgrade
Auto LootLoot an enemy automatically after a melee kill or stealth takedownYellow (left) branch; To the left of Breakfall
BackstabLanding a blow directly on an enemy's back will infllict increased defense damage and cause them to staggerYellow (left) branch; The first yellow skill
Battlefield CrematoriumEnemies who perish from a fire attack will continue to burn, dealing fire damage to enemies nearbyRed (top) branch; To the left of Warrior Takedown
Battleground BoltPress Y to pick up the nearest discarded weapon and automatically throw it at an enemy in sightBlue (right) branch; Down from Melee Bow Link
Berserker's MettleFight with reckless abandon. A partially filled Adrenaline Slot will not be affected by an enemy's first strikeRed (top) branch; To the left of Dual Swap
Bow Stun FinisherPress right stick when aiming at a stunned enemy's head to trigger a Bow Stun FinisherBlue (right) branch; To the right of Stealth Adrenaline
Bow To Melee LinkAlternating between bow and melee attacks deals extra damage for a short timeBlue (right) branch; Down from Emergency Aim
BreakfallEivor automatically performs a roll when landing from a dangerous height, reducing the amount of damage takenYellow (left) branch; Down from Advanced Assassination
Brush With DeathDodging just before an attack lands grants you heightened senses, making others around you appear to move slower for a timeYellow (left) branch; Up and to the left of Backstab
Chain AssassinationAfter performing a successful assassination, throw an axe at a second NPC standing in close proximityYellow (left) branch; Same branch as Adrenaline Upgrade
Charged ShotFire two fully charged arrows by press RB with the Hunter Bow. This attack cannot be cancelledBlue (right) branch; To the right of Battleground Bolt
Counter RollDodge towards an enemy's Rune Attack just before it lands to vault directly behind themYellow (left) branch; To the left of Predator Bow Combo
Dual SwapWhen dual wielding, hold RT+right stick to swap weapon handsRed (top) branch; To the left of Stomp
Emergency AimHolding LT will snap your aim to an enemy as they detect you, giving you and opportunity to kill them and remain undetectedBlue (right) branch; To the right of Stealth Recon
Explosive CorpseBooby trap a dead body to damage anyone who investigates it. Hold right stick neat a dead body to load it with explosive powderYellow (left) branch; To the left of Guided Arrow
GritRegain the "red portion" of your health bat when landing succesful melee hits on enemiesBlue (right) branch; In front of Battleground Bolt
Guided ArrowYour mastery with the Predator Bow allows you to perform unbelievable feats of accuracy. Press RB to adjust the arrow's trajectory as it fliesYellow (left) branch; To the left of Backstab
Heavy Dual WieldYou can dual wield heavy weapons. This will alter the stats and handling of each weaponRed (top) branch; To the left of Adrenaline Upgrade
Hunter Bow ComboRelease your arrow as you finish drawing it to make the next one draw fasterBlue (right) branch; To the right of Emergency Aim
Last Chance HealingWhen your health reaches a critical state in conflict, everything around you will appear to move slower, giving you time to heal or fleeBlue (right) branch; Down from Sprint Attack
Light Bow ComboConsecutive shots with a Light Bow deals extra damageRed (top) branch; To the left of Perfect Attack
MiasmaEnemies who die from one of your poison attacks will release a toxic cloud around them, infecting those who enterYellow (left) branch; To the left of Explosive Corpse
Missile ReversalSend it right back at 'em. Catch and throw back virtually any projectile to its sender by pressing LB just before it hits youYellow (left) branch; Down from Breakfall
Parry DamageSuccessful parries also deal damage to the attackerRed (top) branch; To the right of Stomp
Perfect AttackPress RB again during a weapon swing to do more damage on the next hitRed (top) branch; Above Stomp
Predator Bow ComboConsecutive headshots with a Predator Bow deal extra damageYellow (left) branch; To the left of Brush With Death
Sprint AttackPress RB when sprinting to do a sprint attackBlue (right) branch; Down from Stealth Recon
Sprint BashUnlocks the ability to bash through breakable objects and push NPCs to the ground while sprintingRed (top) branch; To the right of Warrior Takedown
Stealth AdrenalineWhile in stealth, gain Adrenaline by looting a chest or pick-pocketing in a restricted areaBlue (right) branch; Down from Hunter Bow Combo
Stealth ReconAutomatically highlight enemies when crouched and undetectedBlue (right) branch; The first blue skill
StompWhen an enemy falls to the ground, press right stick to stomp on their faceRed (top) branch; The first red skill
TerrorAfter a Stun Finisher, weak enemies nearby may cower in fearRed (top) branch; To the left of Light Bow combo
Warrior TakedownAttempt an RT takedown on an unaware enemy with your melee weapon. It will alter all enemies around you but fill your Adrenaline for every one of themRed (top) branch; Above Perfect Attack

DLC skills added post-release in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

As if the above list of skills wasn't enough, more are being introduced over time through patches and updates.

What follows is a chronological list of new skills introduced to the game, copied verbatim from official patch notes:

Skills added in update 1.1.2 (alongside February 2021's River Raids update):

  • Arrow Looter: Eivor has a greater chance of looting arrows from archers. 
  • Assassin Carry: Automatically carry a body after a successful assassination.
  • Assassin Slide: Slide into enemies and knock them off balance while sprinting.
  • Fight Ready: Always start a fight with an adrenaline-filled slot. 
  • Long Ship Brace: When you are in command of the long ship, the crew will raise their shield with you. 
  • Power Stroke: Trigger a speed boost on the long ship at the cost of stamina. 

Skills added in update 1.2.0 (alongside March 2021's transmog and Easter update):

  • Fearless Leaper: When activated, the leap attack damage has a larger area of effect and can be done at any height.
  • Loot Food: Eivor now has a higher chance of looting food from dead bodies.
  • Raven's Loot: Your raven gathers loot from targets killed with ranged attacks.

Skills added in update 1.2.1 (alongside April 2021's balancing and bug fixing update):

  • Cold Rage: When activated, the leap attack damage has a larger area of effect and can be done at any height.
  • Eye of the North: Eivor now has a higher chance of looting food from dead bodies.
  • Intense Rage: Your raven gathers loot from targets killed with ranged attacks.

Skills added in update 1.2.2 (alongside June 2021's Mastery Challenge update):

  • Mounted Archer: Eivor can use their bow ability while mounted.
  • Shield Master: Eivor automatically rotates to block incoming attacks by holding up their shield.
  • Unstoppable: While in combat, Eivor's sprint becomes unblockable and knocks enemies back at the cost of stamina.

Skills added in update 1.3.0 (alongside July 2021's level scaling update):

  • Light Fingered: Eivor will now automatically pick up nearby loot with a quick flick of the wrist (without having to press the interact button). (Raven)
  • Thrill of War: Gain adrenaline as long as you remain in conflict. (Raven)
  • Heidrun Slam: Press R2 while sprinting to knock enemies back with a powerful knee slam. (Bear)
  • Idunn's Heart: Passively regenerate recent health loss after a short delay. (Bear)
  • Survival Instinct: When at less than a third of health, hold -> for partial healing (Exchange adrenaline for health). (Wolf)
  • Wolf Warrior: Your damage increases the lower your health. (Wolf)

The new DLC is here - and we explain how to start The Siege of Paris, as well as new romance options and Treasure Hoard locations. If you're after end game activities in the full game, we can explain how to get Nodens' Arc, Excalibur, Thor gear and other Valhalla armour sets, Power Level and how to get XP fast, Order of the Ancients locations and all Assassin's Creed Valhalla story choices. If you're looking for things to collect and upgrade, we have lists on best skills and Book of Knowledge locations.


Our best skill recommendations in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla explained

Unsure where to begin? What follows is some of our recommendations to get you started - or if you have a few skill points burning a hole in your pocket.

As each branch reflects Eivor's playstyle, you might find it more beneficial to use the red tree than the blue tree, or vice versa, but overall, these are the skills you'll want to grab when you can:

Stomp - found in the red / top branch

You will knock enemies down a lot, and having Stomp can quickly clear the battlefield.

Warrior Takedown - found in the red / top branch

If you also have a lot of Abilities and have extended your Adrenaline bar, this is a great skill to give you a headstart in battles.

Stealth Recon - found in the blue / right branch

You can get this early and it will see a lot of use, even if you aren't playing too stealthily.

Grit - found in the blue / right branch

Can literally be a life saver in battle, recovering health by going on the offensive.

Backstab - found in the yellow / right branch

Makes attacks from behind more potent, which is very helpful in the carnage of a raid.

Guided Arrow - found in the yellow / right branch

This gives you more control when using your bow, and is crucial for anyone looking to rely on archery.

Explosive Corpse - found in the yellow / right branch

A fantastic set piece, and a very useful trap when scurrying around a camp you're trying to take.

For more help with Assassin's Creed Valhalla, we have pages on changing Eivor's appearance, returning to Norway with the Atlas and some flyting tips.

About the Author

Stacey Henley avatar

Stacey Henley

Contributor

Stacey is an entertainment reporter who has written for The Washington Post, IGN, Polygon, and more. She's an editor for Into The Spine, and spends her free time discovering new worlds and exploring vast terrains, but only in video games. In real life, she mostly stays home.

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