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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

features an original story with the return of Talion and Celebrimbor, who must go behind enemy lines to forge an army and turn all of Mordor against the Dark Lord, Sauron. read more

Top 5 Tips On How To Start Strong In Shadow of War

Author: Nick Banks

Category: Guide

Middle Earth: Shadow of War does everything its predecessor did and more. Much, much more. Which is why it can sometimes be a little overwhelming to get to grips with. With a slew of menu screens and a Nemesis system that is confusingly not fully available to us for a good few hours, it can be easy to make decisions near the start of Shadow of War that will serve you a disadvantage further down the line. So, if you’re just starting out with Talion and grumpy Celegrimbor, here’s a few pointers on how to start strong in Shadow of War.

Top 5 Tips On How To Start Strong In Shadow of War

Be Patient

This may seem a little condescending of a tip to start off with. Yet, it is probably the most important on today’s list. You see, Shadow of War is epic. Its world vast, its enemies plentiful and varied. As a result, it can be all too easy to get sucked into the gameplay momentum that Shadow of War shoves in your face from the get go. But slow down a minute. There’s a tonne of stuff you’ll want to be aware of in the menu system. You’ll want to familiarise yourself with the map and what each of the many icons represent. You’ll also need to take a look at the skill tree so, dependant on your playstyle, you’ll be aware of which skills to unlock first that best serve you. Patience and understanding is key in building the foundations of a stronger Talion as the story progresses. Which leads me nicely onto my next point. 

Don’t Burn Through The Story

You’ll only make things difficult for yourself. Fairly early on in the story, Shadow of War will throw some demanding moments your way. You’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for everything it throws at you in those pivotal scenes. Have you checked back in your inventory for better gear recently? Shadow of War has a great gameplay loop that centres around the grind and levelling up. It expects you to. Across the falling city of Minas Ithil and dead lands of Cirith Ungol (both available in Act 1) there is tonnes for you to get along with. Take advantage of that and get Talion as strong as possible before finishing Shelob’s quests. 
Top 5 Tips On How To Start Strong In Shadow of War - Shelob's human form

Complete Towers To Get Some Perspective

I know, I know. We’re all fed up of tower reveal mechanics in games. Well, the good news is, with Shadow of War, there really aren’t that many of them. So in the opening hours, you may as well wraith sprint from tower to tower and get them all unlocked. Obviously, the first thing this does is give you instant fast travel abilities across the area. When starting out at Minas Ithil and Cirith Ungol, you’ll want that added versatility as it’ll be some time until we’re riding around on Caragors. Also make sure you reveal every item from up there. It can get a little tedious, yes. But once you have everything displayed on your map, the grind is a lot easier. 
Top 5 Tips On How To Start Strong In Shadow of War - Ithlidin

If anything, make sure you prioritise the Ithildin. Go into the wraith world, find all those words and complete the riddle at the area’s burrows. The epic gear you unlock there is going to come in handy for Act 2. 

Make An Effort To Kill Treasure Orcs

These orcs, with a white icon above their heads, carry Miriam or Gems. Talion is going to want lots of both for Act 2. In fact, the game doesn’t do a great job of telling you what all this Miriam is for. If you figure out you can get loot boxes with the in game currency - don’t. When you unlock Act 2, it’s army making time. With all the Miriam you hopefully built up from taking your time in Act 1, you’ll have tonnes to invest in your army for the big siege. Miriam will help you with siege beasts, Caragor squads or even kamikaze’s to blow doors down. Don’t forget, you may as well scrap your obsolete gear for extra Miriam and just about any side activity will give you around 500 of the stuff.

Top 5 Tips On How To Start Strong In Shadow of War - Life gem

Finally, Don’t Buy The Loot Boxes

Seriously, don’t. I’m not saying this from the standard SJW perspective as you’ve likely seen all over the place. I’m saying it from a mechanical gameplay perspective. There nothing in those loot boxes you can’t get in the game on your own. Even if you do buy them, you’re accelerating the pace of the game’s progression system.  Shadow of War is loads of fun so why would you want to lessen its lifespan? As mentioned in the previous paragraph, you could spend Miriam on loot boxes. But take extra caution! You’ll need lots of extra Miriam to burn as your only option is to buy one… or five and up. Don’t let this catch you out, depriving you of things that could be unlocked for the first siege, found later on in the third area - Nurnen, unlocked in Act 2.

How To Start Strong In Shadow of War - Siege

Lots to take in here, I know. But if you want me to feel like I’ve helped in any way here, just remember a basic ground rule. Take your time and don’t be afraid to grind. Try not to let the epic story suck you in too much so you can leverage the game’s many leveling systems to your advantage. Now get out there and hunt some orc! 

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