Dragon Age Inquisition: Beginner's Guide and Tips

Check this guide out to get you started in Dragon Age Inquisition!

Dragon Age Inquisition is finally out and it is massive. There are plenty of things to do and people new to the series and even returning vets could get overwhelmed. 

This game explains most of what you need to do, but many times it does not do so until you do something for the first time. For example, Camps aren't explained until you find one for the first time. I'm here to give you some tips on getting starting as well as explain some of the early systems in the game.

This guide will go over starting your adventure in Dragon Age Inquisition including:

Getting Started

Before even starting the game you should be aware of Dragon Age Keep. This website allows you to upload choices from the previous Dragon Age games to the the site using your origin account. If you did not play the previous games, you can still view all the choices and change them to what you want.

After that, save it as a world state and make sure you are logged into your Origin account. Also, make sure your account is linked to whatever platform you are playing the game on.

When you make a character, it will ask you if you want to import a world state, say yes and all your choices will be added to the story.

After the beginning tutorial, you'll find yourself in Haven. The first thing you want to do is search the room you start in. There is loot as well as a special orders location to interact with. If you have the special edition or any DLC, this is where you pick it up.

After picking that up if you have it, you must talk to Cassandra before moving on. Once you've done that, you can explore a bit before going back to the war room.

This is a good time to get acquainted with the town and the crafting. Looking on the map, there are icons for merchants, crafting, and people.

  • The people icons are part of the inquisition and you can talk to them for several purposes, including learning more about them.
  • The merchant icons let you buy things like weapons and armor.
  • There crafting icons are for an apothecary for making potions, a blacksmith for making weapons and armor, and a quartermaster for filling requisitions. I'll go into details on those later.

Go to each of the crafting icons on your map to unlock the ability to do them all. They will also explain how to do them when you go there, but I'll go over the basics for each one.

Apothecary

This is where you can make and upgrade potions. The require herbs to do both. Talk to Adan to get started.

  • You always have Health potions, they are replenished whenever you go to town, or a camp for free.
  • Other potions require herbs to replenish.
  • You can upgrade potions to increase healing, duration and more. The upgrade table shows you what you can upgrade and how many materials you need.

Quartermaster

This is where you fill requisitions for your troops. This increases your power and influence. 

  • Influence and Power are two separate resources. They let you complete missions and unlock main story plots from the War Table.

Blacksmith

This is where you craft and upgrade armor and weapons.

  • You need schematics to craft and make upgrades. If you have upgrades, you also need to come here to apply them to your weapons and armor.

Basic Systems

A nice feature in Dragon Age Inquisition is the item search. I'm playing on Xbox One, so the controls I say will refer to that console only.

Item Search

Pressing the left control stick down when walking around will emit a wave.

  • This highlights any items in the area, even if they are aren't in sight.
  • Use this to gather materials like ore and herbs, or find chests you didn't notice.

War Table

This is where you plan everything, unlock areas, and progress the story. The first quest has you scout the Hinterlands to unlock that area. Once you do that, you'll be able to visit that area, complete quests, and do the story quests.

There is more to do though. You have 3 members that can do missions for you, Cullen, Josephine, and Leliana. They each have their own strengths. 

If you look on the map, you'll notice missions, some need more Power before you can start them. Doing missions can get you gold and other rewards.

  • When selecting a person to send, it will give a description on how they handle the situation as well as how long it will take them to complete it.
  • Some followers can shorten the time they do a mission. Who you choose can also determine how much of a reward you get as well as what happens in follow-up missions.

Combat and Tactics

I will just briefly go over the fighting system and tips to help you early on.

This game is different than most action RPGs. Dragon Age 2 was more action oriented and didn't require much strategy as compared to Dragon Age Origins. Inquisition brings back the need to use tactics.

Some abilities work well with others, take magic for example:

  • You can freeze an enemy, then shatter them with melee attacks or other magic attacks if they are strong enough.

There are also skills that take advantage of certain situations. Rogues, for example, have an ability that increases damage on targets that have lower health than them or when they are panicked.

Some enemies also have weaknesses. Using the tactics display that was explained in the tutorial lets you see these weaknesses. This is also very important for winning at many fights.

If you just run in and attack, you can die pretty easily at times.

  • Whenever you fight 3 or more enemies, or see enemies you haven't fought before, start with the tactics display.
  • Hover over enemies to see their strengths, weaknesses, health, and other helpful info.
  • Choose a party member that can take advantage of a target. For example, use lightning on the templars with shields because they are weak to it.
  • Speaking of shields, the defect all frontal attacks, position your party on both side so you can damage him.

Also, pay attention to enemy archers and mages. You want top take these out on your members that don't have as much defense, plus they are easier to finish. I always save the heavily armored enemies for last.

That's just a small example of what to expect. Always check the battlefield before and during combat and look for ways to exploit the enemy.

Camps

  • The tent icons are camps. These are very important. They recover your health and mana fully, restores health potions, and allows you to replenish other health potions.
  • You can also complete requisitions for tha area you're in and fast travel to camps.
  • Unlocking the camps in an area makes doing quests around there much easier.

Mount up

After going to the hinterlands and completing the main story mission there, you can do a lot fo side missions. One of these allows you to get a horse and unlock mounts.

The quest has you talk to the horsemaster, who is far west of where you start. It is good to do this early to unlock mounts. Once you talk to him, he'll tell you to complete some quests before he will give the inquisition any horses.

He will also give you your own horse before you complete any of the other missions, this lets you travel faster, so it is worth it.

Crafting Basics

I will only explain the basics here because the crafting system is surprising in-depth.

First of all, weapon and armor can have 2 upgrade slots on them. You can find them, buy, or craft them.

  • When crafting weapons, armor, or upgrades, it tells you what and how much of it you need. For example: Crafting a dagger requires metal and leather.
  • When you select the Metal or Leather option, you can choose which metal or leather to put in.

  • The bottom of the screen tells you what bonuses you will get from each one when you select them.
  • When crafting upgrades, you can only put them in gear that has the same item level or higher as the upgrade. Example: level 7 upgrade can't go in a level 5 item.

Helpful Tips

Side Missions

These are more important than you think, especially early on. 

  • You get more experience so you can level faster. This is needed early because you will often find higher level enemies that you can't defeat.
  • Items. Doing this missions can also grant rare items. I got 2 purple quality weapons from the first 2 side missions I did.
  • They also give influence and power for you to sue at the war table.

Enemy Levels

I can't stress this enough, always check the levels of your enemies.

  • Even if you think you're in an area you can kill things at, you'll be surprised. Even a mission I had to close a portal that had level 12 enemies when I was level 4.
  • Checking an enemies level when fighting can save you from death. Just run away if they are too high.

Multiplayer

That's right, the game also has multiplayer. It is completely separate from the single player game, but it is fun and I think everyone should at least try it out.

If you want to know how to unlock the characters, check out my How to Unlock Multiplayer Characters guide.

That's it for my beginner's guide. There is much moe to this game and I will add in-depth guides shortly for several things in Dragon Age Inquisition.

If you have any other questions, or suggestions to add for beginner's, let me know in the comments!

Guide Editor

After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).

Published Nov. 20th 2014
  • Joey_2674
    Helpful guide. My only suggestion is to hire a copyeditor as your text is a mess.
  • Si_W
    Is it really worth getting a horse? I found the little time that I was mounted and racing around the terrain that I missed all the collectibles...
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Yeah it depends on what you want to do. If you want to collect more things and explore, it is easier to walk. The horse is good for getting to places quicker though.
  • andrew_5102
    Thankyou, was very helpful
  • drakeXtheXsnake
    very informative. thank you very much for making this

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