Mediaeval RPG Wartales drops you into a hostile landscape with very little help to guide you. It’s an open-world real-time map, but the battles are small squad, tactical, and turn-based. Each of your squad members can level up, and learn combat skills as well as a crafting profession, but can also be gone forever in the heat of battle. They even have relationship levels with each other, and as their boss, you need to feed and pay them too. It’s a big ask, made a little easier by our Wartales tips and tricks for beginners.
Choosing initial companions in Wartales: Warband Guide
At the very start of the game, you’ll have five choices of starting companions and a few resource choices to make. We would suggest avoiding the Bandits option on your first play (stolen items can make for a sticky start). Beyond this, go for your ideal turn-based setup. You’ll get a team of four from a choice of these classes:
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- Archer: The only genuine ranged option in setup.Can have a chance to hot to hit their companions so need to be used carefully.
- Brute: Tanks, with taunt. They can wear heavy armor and deal great damage. They’re set up to be your main front-line damage dealer.
- Ranger: Oddly named, as essentially the thief or assassin class. Can use poison to DoT and is best at attacking enemies already engaged with another companion.
- Spearman: Useful in tight spots, as they don’t need to be directly next to a unit to attack. Medium armor and can push attackers back to let a tank take over.
- Swordsman: The basic tank class, as more defensive stat-wise than the Brute and often with a useful First Aid skill.
- Warrior: Pretty much a Swordsman Brute hybrid. Solid melee defense and damage output.
Each class has a lot of flexibility as it levels up, and you can add many more companions to your warband as you go, so don’t feel too constrained.
Which exploration mode is best in Wartales?
This is purely dependent on the style you prefer in an RPG:
- Adaptive Mode: This should be your choice if you always want battles to be a challenge. Numbers and levels of mobs will be closely matched to your current warband.
- Region-locked Mode: As you gain experience, you can go back to a fight you failed previously knowing it will now be easier to overcome. Areas keep their difficulty level static.
Wartales is brutal
If a companion dies in battle, they’re dead. If you’ve taken Cannibalism as a trait, you can eat them. Otherwise, you’re going to have to put them in the ground. If you’re the kind of player who gets attached to your troops, be sure to choose the unlimited save option in setup and save often.
Most craft actions have a skill element, with some (such as fishing and lockpicking) seeing you lose items if you fail attempts. In a game where finding the right resources can be tough early on, this can be frustrating. So once again, if that is going to get on your nerves, save before skill attempts.
When and where should I get new companions?
You can find potential companions in many locations you’ll come across, especially towns. If you speak to one, and can’t decide, you can usually come back and hire them later. Note that many companions you’ll find already have a set profession, so if you’re looking for a particular one you may want to shop around. Also, it is worth making note of where particular characters are for future reference.
There are advantages and disadvantages to hiring new companions for your warband:
- Food and wages: Every member of your warband needs feeding and paying to keep them happy. You can’t pick and choose who you feed, so you’ll need to be confident each new companion will be earning their keep.
- Widening your skill set: A full range of skills is extremely useful in the crafting professions. You’ll also find that as you level up in combat, you’ll face choices where you’d like one of each but must choose one. Here, taking on a new companion of the same fighting class can fulfill that tactical need.
- Influence: Hiring companions cost influence, which early on you might want to save to pay for quests from The Informant (see below).
Where should I go to get quests?
You always start on a small plateau that funnels you off to the northwest. After the initial battle with two bandits, go northwest to the nearby Plateau Stables. From here, follow the path northwest a short way, where you will arrive at Stromkapp. Enter the Traveller’s Feast Inn and talk to Emissary Alignia (with the green glow). They will give you paid jobs which give you some nice initial direction. Note that you get a movement bonus when traveling on roads.
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Once you have at least 50 Influence, also talk to The Informant (purple glow). They have four tasks for you that you’ll need to finish to complete this region. These are a little tougher than the easier bounties from Alignia, but you’ll want to do them to progress the main storyline of Wartales.
What professions should I choose?
Each of your companions can learn a profession. There are 10 in total, which slowly become available as you explore the game. We suggest considering the following when you start out:
- Tinkerer: A great choice and immediately available. You can assign one to your workshop in camp and they will create Raw Materials every night. These are constantly useful, as they’re used to repair armor. Can also make essential camp items, such as the Cooking Pot.
- Angler or Cook: Either go to a fishing spot by a lake or a Cooking Pot. Food is another constant requirement, so being able to fish or create better food from ingredients is great early on for saving money. Fish can be eaten raw, so you don’t need both. However, there won’t always be a fishing spot nearby.
- Blacksmith: Go to a Forge. Very useful, as you can immediately upgrade some of your base gear (such as shields).
- Thief: Attempt to steal, or pick a lock. Even if you don’t want to go down the staling route, you’re going to find Lockpicking useful. Sooner or later, you’re going to need a thief.
Food, Krowns, Fatigue, Compendium, and Paths
There’s a lot to take in when playing Wartales, but these are the essentials to keep track of early on.
- Food and Krowns: You’ll find both of these at the top right of the screen. Hover over them to find out how much food your troops will need when you rest next, and how much they’ll need to be paid on the next payday. You’ll want to meet these demands every time. Otherwise, your companions will lose happiness.
- Fatigue: This gauge drops as you move around the map and have battles. When it runs out, you’ll have to camp and pay the above costs. If you don’t, you’ll face a massive combat debuff. There’s also a reminder (a red exclamation mark) on the camp icon when you need to rest.
- Camp: You can enter the camp at any time, whether to rest or craft. You can cook and tinker here, and once you’ve made a Camp Chest also store items (this doesn’t increase your weight capacity).
- Compendium and Paths: If either of these has an exclamation mark, it means you’re due a bonus of some kind. These can be a big deal, such as giving new skills or reducing costs, so you should take advantage of them as soon as possible.
Wartales companion level-up tips
Each time you level up, you’ll be given a choice of Attribute Increases. On average every two levels, you’ll additionally receive a Specialisation.
- Attributes: You’ll have three choices, but one will be twice as beneficial (marked with a ++). Early on, you’re best advised to take the double bonus unless you really don’t think it will help the character.
- Specialization skills: These have square icons and give you a new skill. Note that some will consume Valour, others not. Don’t take too many that use Valour unless you also intend to take passives that will get it back (see below).
- Passive skills: Some passive specializations allow you to earn Valour during battles each time you do a particular action, such as engaging in combat or killing an enemy. Putting these on the right characters and following through on the ability can make a huger difference in battles.
Wartales basic combat tips
You do get some tips early on in battles, but these facts are brushed over:
- Before you do anything: You can drag and drop your units, including allies you’re not controlling, to any blue square. You can even check movement distance by clicking the move button or weapon range for archers, etc. However, as soon as you actually do an action, that sets your starting positions.
- Valour: Good use of Valour (1, image above) can swing a battle. You can gain Valour by resting and doing actions with particular companions in battle once you’ve gained a few levels. Use them wisely, but once you can generate them, use them, as you also have a Valour cap.
- Galvanization: You’ll gain Galvanisation when you’ve defeated enough opponents to pass the first line on the bar (2). This gives a great bonus, as all your party’s damage is increased by 50 percent for the rest of the battle. Take out as many weak enemies as you can fast, then use the bonus to help take out the tougher ones.
- Turn order: This is set for your enemies, but not for you. At the start of each round look o see which order their troops will act and how many of yours can act beforehand. That way you can try to neutralize or at least engage them before they act.
- Engaging and Surrounding: Once an enemy is engaged it will focus on that troop until unengaged, so get your tanks into place before your lightly armored troops are targeted. Be careful of your companions who inflict knockback, as this can disengage an enemy allowing them to focus on a new target. Also, try to surround an enemy as you’ll do extra damage and decrease the likelihood of knockback.
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