Before you play the Assassin's Creed Unity game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!
Things to Know Before Playing
In 2016 there is no need (or benefit) to participating in the Companion App or Initiates program. All rewards those things offered (i.e. Nomad and Initiate chests, full stop) as well as Companion missions are now unlocked by default.
There are four (down from 5!) "currencies" to keep track of in this game. Livres are the most common, found in chests, looting dead bodies, mission rewards and through CT income (more on that later). You use them to buy consumable items (medicine, ammunition, etc) at shops but also to buy weapons/armor through your Customization interface. Creed points are like experience you get from actions (air assassinations, disappearing from alerts, head shots, etc.). These are used to buy one-time "upgrades" for each piece of gear. Certain gear gives you a % increase in Creed points earned so invest in those early on. Sync points are skill points earned via completing story missions but also via co-op missions. They're used to unlock abilities like being able to use a firearm (!) or double assassinations. Lastly, there are the premium "Hack" points which you can mainly buy through IAP. They can be used in lieu of Livres to buy weapons/gear, or in lieu of Creed points to one-time upgrade said gear. Don't buy Hack points.
- The fifth, Nomad points, are basically defunct as they were the Companion's currency. You can find some in-game but they are really of no use anymore.
- The game is very linear until you finish Sequence 2 (i.e. are initiated into the Assassins. Once you have that under your belt the game opens up considerably: you can more-or-less freely explore all of Paris, unlock all viewpoints, etc.
- When the game opens up, you have the option to progress along the track of the Café Theatre improvement side quest chain. Do so. It gives you a chest that refills every 20 minutes with Livres depending on your progress in that quest chain, and how many Livres you have "invested" in renovating the CT or else acquiring Social Clubs around Paris. It's similar to AC2, and there's a limit to how much the chest can hold (generally about an hour's worth of income). Doing all the CT quests and buying all Social Clubs gives you 10K+ Livres every 20 minutes, so get on that ASAP if you want to get your gear game on point, which you will need to. Combat's quite a bit harder than prior games, especially with crappy gear.
- Fully buying into the CT income takes at around 75K livres IIRC, but there's a lot of small increments along the way for renos. The largest single renos are 3 x 10K, and a single 15K. Companion missions are usually a simple assassination contract, and are a fast way to get Livres, as are Nomad/Initiate chests. You'll want to be unlocking viewpoints to find your Social Clubs around Paris to renovate anyway. Higher difficulty zones have more expensive Social Clubs than lower difficulty zones.
- At first you will have basically no skills beyond single (air) assassination. Not all skills are terribly useful but fans of the franchise will see which to gun for right away. Certain skills (i.e. Lockpicking 2 and 3) are gated behind story progression.
- The level of lockpicking needed to bypass a chest or door can be seen in the lock symbol when you're up close to it (look for the number of small bars on the padlock) but before you get into the unlocking minigame.
- Your overall level rank is determined by your lowest piece of gear's rating, nothing else.
- For reference, generally, level 2 gear's about 250 Livres each, level 3 are 1K each, level 4 are 5K each, with level 5 gear needing $25K Livres each.
- For that reason, mission difficulty isn't always very indicative of how you'll do. For example, the level 5 CT quest is quite doable with a level 3 geared Arno, provided you have a firearm and are patient with your stealthing.
- Rifles are actually pretty solid melee weapons but are generally crap firearms compared to pistols. They're just really slow.
- When shopping for armor, the bars in each category (Melee/Ranged/Stealth/Health) don't really indicate much: you're going to want to focus more on the modifiers they map to. Just pick modifiers that seem useful to you.
- Co-op missions generally require you to at least search for other players online looking to try either that mission or else a co-op mission of that difficulty. If you don't find anyone, you'll be given the option to try it yourself. Newer characters can probably handle up to level 2 co-op quests solo, however tedious they might be. It's a good way to get some Skills out of the way and/or kill time waiting on your CT chest.
- Some co-op missions are Heists. These have a fixed payout that gets better if you are unseen. A new player can tag along with an experienced co-op buddy to get a guaranteed 25K payout on the highest difficulty tiers of these, if you can keep them and yourself alive. You'll eventually come upon Helix Rift missions through the storyline, which are much of the same thing, in terms of grindability. The main gates on these are Lockpicking levels required to get through them easily, but there's usually a longer/harder way for people who don't have sufficient skill.
- Mainlining the story will give you access to quality of life upgrades like the Phantom Blade (i.e. silent ranged assassination) and the Berserk Blade (similar to AC4's Berserk game-breaking darts). If you're beating your head against the wall, try forging ahead for those.
- The Dead Kings DLC takes place after the main game storyline, contains spoilers, and expects Arno to be fairly high level. You can't leave the DLC without completing at least one long multi-stage mission, so take care as to when you access it.