Thymesia: How to Get and Use Plague Weapons
Alongside Talents, Plague Weapons are a vital combat mechanic in Thymesia. They have more customization options and gameplay implications than Talents, and using them can be a bit perplexing given how they're acquired.
Whereas Talents change how your character plays, adding abilities and passives that alter your core combat capabilities, Plague Weapons are abilities that summon a second weapon for one attack that then goes on a cooldown, all at a specific Energy cost. So while you can't equip a new weapon to use in all scenarios, your Plague Weapon can augment how you fight in crucial ways.
Plague Weapons Explained
When you start a new game, you won't have any Plague Weapons. Enemies will use a Knife, a Handaxe, and a Halberd in the Sea of Trees mission. The first time you encounter an enemy, there is a chance they will drop one or more Skill Shards tied to their weapon.
After you acquire three Skill Shards, visit a Beacon or the table across from the bed at Philosopher's Hill. Go to the Plague Weapons screen, and hover over whichever node or nodes have an exclamation point on them. You'll see a video of the weapon's animation and find out which weapon it is. Spend the three Skill Shards to unlock the weapon, then press "E" on PC, "X" on Xbox, or Square on PlayStation to equip it.
There are 30 Plague Weapons, all of which require three specific Skill Shards to unlock. Bosses also have them, so you'll likely need to refight them to get enough shards. Once you've unlocked a Plague weapon, you can upgrade it using its particular shard type, more of which drop from enemies wielding it. You can increase the drop rate using the Luck Talent.
Upgrading usually increases the weapon's damage and reduces its cooldown time or Energy cost, plus other effects you'd expect from the weapon type. You unlock additional effects if you have a high enough score in the stat associated with the weapon (Strength, Vitality, Plague, etc.).
How to Use Plague Weapons
You can activate a Plague weapon by pressing "Q" on PC, "Y" on Xbox, or Triangle on PlayStation when you're in a fight. This will drain your Energy bar by the cost detailed in the weapon's subscreen. The weapon will then go on cooldown and be unusable for anywhere from 5-15 seconds. You can unlock the ability to wield two Plague Weapons using the Plague Weapon Level 2 Talent and swap between them with "C" or Down on the D-pad.
Another way to equip additional Plague Weapons is by Reaving them from enemies. By charging your Claw attack, you can unleash the Predator's Claw, which can Reave a single usage of your enemy's specific Plague Weapon.
Reaved weapons disappear after a few minutes, so use them quickly, but they are an excellent way to find out if you like an enemy's Plague Weapon in the first place.
Which Plague weapon you end up using depends on how you play Thymesia. There are great options for fast, aggressive players like the Dagger or Katar, and there are slower options like the Greatsword and Giant Sword. Which is the best is another article entirely. There are more tips in our Thymesia guides hub, including articles on how to get all endings, how to farm Forgotten Feather, where to find ingredients, and how to beat bosses like the Hanged Queen.