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Dragon Age: Origins Tips and Tricks: A Starting Guide for Dragon Age

Updated on May 27, 2012

The just-released Dragon Age: Origins for the XBox 360, PC, and PS3 was long expected to be one of the top selling games of the year. What no one expected was just how difficult it would be! Here is a Dragon Age: Origins guide to help get confused new players struggling with the difficulty on their feet. Dragon Age: Origins tips will come in handy when you start your new character and can help change the flow of combat immensely.

Be aware before you start that there are significant differences between the console and PC versions of Dragon Age. In the PS3 and 360 versions of Dragon Age, players will be unable to zoom out to a top down view or pause the game the same way you would in the PC versions. This Dragon Age guide is written assuming you are playing the PC version.

Console players can follow these Dragon Age tips and tricks with a few changes. First, positioning characters will still be important but concentrate more on careful use of skills. The tactics you use should reflect the difficulty of moving between characters.

Players looking to find out how to recruit all the party members in Dragon Age should read more here.


Dragon Age Character Creator
Dragon Age Character Creator

What Class Should I Choose in Dragon Age: Origins?

Your initial starting class in Dragon Age can make a huge difference.  Players can choose between Warriors, Rogues, and Mages, each of which can choose between 2 of 4 specialization paths over the course of the game.  Every party needs a rogue, but the player may wish to leave that task to one of the two party members who can join and provide much the same skills.

A warrior is a very versatile class with a number of different options.  Early on, it is also one of the easiest ways to ensure your character will always have a chance to survive in any situation.  Choose your talents wisely as it will be unlikely that you will be switching between two-handed weapons and sword-and-shield by the end of the game.  Get a good idea what type of character you intend to play before you throw talent points around as they can not be reset.

Mages, however, provide players with the most customization.  Although the game includes two very different magic users, the player can still make their own that is vastly different from anything else seen in the game.  Their spells and abilities are the deepest out of any class in the game.  Players looking to see something truly unique to them should focus on mages.

Dragon Age Battle
Dragon Age Battle

Dragon Age Tricks and Tips: Battle Tactics and Strategy

Dragon Age: Origins can be shockingly hard at times.  Even on the normal setting, players can expect a grueling but exciting battle. Players in need should take advantage of these Dragon Age tips to help them fight their way through the hordes of monsters.

When starting a battle, it is very important to pay attention to position.  Archers and mages should be at least ten feet to the side.   Mages in particular should be moved back and to the side to make sure they can safely use their area effect spells without hitting the other party members.  Make sure your front line warriors are able to hold the line safely.

Don't use all of your abilities at once, even if you have the energy for it.  Often a well timed stun knockdown skill can save your party a significant amount of hassle when it interrupts or stops powerful spells or enemy attacks before they can go off.  There is only a few seconds warning before these enemy skills go off, so don't waste time: use your stopping skills immediately.

Having a dedicated healer is ESSENTIAL.  It is the number one Dragon Age tip anyone can give you.  Early on, health potions might cut it but they quickly become insufficient.  Either one of the two mages should have some type of healing skill or your main character should be healing.

If you have multiple front line characters, there's no harm in having one briefly retreat to avoid dying and heal up as long as they return to the fray within ten-fifteen seconds.  Pause the game and reissue commands to help compensate for the change in formation.  Keep an eye on all the units to make sure they don't drift towards the melee if they are ranged attackers or other support classes.

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    • profile image

      Argoth the Argonian 4 years ago

      Well, I have Leliana but not Zevran. You get Leliana before you get Zevran, so you have more time to level up Leliana. Plus, I found a weapon she can equip that does like 30 to 50 damage.

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      Akash Deep Satpathi 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tricks but how did you find these all?

      http://www.trickytechs.com

    • profile image

      anon 5 years ago

      Great hub i was wondering though who am i better off having in a battle leliana or zevran

    • RussellLHuey profile image

      RussellLHuey 6 years ago

      Useful hub.

    • profile image

      ameenia 6 years ago

      @Eric

      I have read all the guidlines from http://dragonageguides.com/ i found all the stuff interesting there.Eric i will personally recommend you to take help from there.

    • profile image

      Something 6 years ago

      Well I'm kinda surprised, the best way to play this game in my opinion is on nightmare and no else.

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      Haakon 6 years ago

      I put everyone one stand-still, and switch them over to range-weapons. Then i approach the enemy hold-out with Wynne. I use her quake-magic when they see, and set after her. As I retreat, they stumble about in the quake-zone, and then I make sure the rest of the party shoot arrows and bolts at them. Wynn can also join in for extra damage.

      When the quake ends, or the enemies start to pass it, I switch to free-move, and make sure everybody switches to swords, except maybe Leiliana and Morrigan.

      But I am not good at this game, even though I try to avoid it, I sometimes have to switch over to "casual" in order to get through. The black-vial wraiths (The mean things that come out of the glass-balls that break when you attempt to pick them up)that pops up every now and then, have so far outclassed me on normal.

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      Sean 6 years ago

      @ Daniel

      I also have the 360 version. there are two simple ways to change Oghren to attack. You could switch to his character using RB or LB and get him to start attacking. another way, though a little more time consuming but also more effective, is to go to the level up screen in the menus and press Y on him to change his tactics. From here you can set him to do certain things in certain situations or you can use one of the default sets (since you are trying to get him attack, you would probably use the aggressive set). also, just for future reference, Oghren is the dwarf, Morrigan is the mage, and Leliana is the rogue. I hope I helped you.

    • profile image

      Daniel 6 years ago

      I keep on dying in the Branka boss fight, she's to strong and i only have 4 heal potions, the dwarf man, the mage from the woods and the Rogue lady that i hired at a tavern. I'm playing in my xbox 360 and i acccidently set the dwarf on non-combant mode (when i first got him) i can't seem to find the way to make him fight, he just stand around and gets hit by enemies.

    • profile image

      fart 6 years ago

      if you have dual wield Mastery

    • profile image

      shawn 6 years ago

      can you duel weild to longswords???

    • cdub77 profile image

      cdub77 7 years ago from Portland Or

      Great hub and all good tips, as well. Love Dragon Age; can't wait for Dragon Age 2. I also did a hub on this game for my series on RPGs for the PS3. Glad to see other people into Dragon Age.

    • profile image

      ALL BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP DRAGON AGE  7 years ago

      Is sten worth having as a tank or should I send him on his moody way .

    • profile image

      Stryker 7 years ago

      Another good tip, but this one is for experience points. but this tip can only be done BEFORE you become a Grey Warden. When at Ostagar, you are given the quest by Duncan to aquire three vials of darkspawn blood and to retrieve the treaties... if you get the vials and go back to Duncan and speak to him again he'll ask you about the task...select "I have the vials, not the treaties" or what ever it says...it'll go through a little dialogue, and Duncan will tell you to get the treaties. but here's the catch, you still get the experience for the quest. you can do this over and over again to level you character and allistar, and you dont have to reload between screens, just keep "talking" to duncan.

    • profile image

      Warlock 7 years ago

      Wildman, For extra Gold, while buying items press left mouse button then right, drag item over to sell while holding down left & right ms/b, release right ms/b then left ms/b, go and buy back the item, this give you extra money.

    • profile image

      Person 7 years ago

      What is arrow of slaying?

    • profile image

      fast leveling 7 years ago

      Great hub, Len Cannon.

      I love Dragon Age, you can play it all over again and actually develop the world in a totally different manner.

    • profile image

      rogue leveling guide 7 years ago

      I made Wynne my main healer and Morigan dealt almost all damage alone with some heavy AoE power.

      Nice hub, keep on posting!

    • oksoum profile image

      oksoum 7 years ago from ny new york city

      Savia you that Dragon Age is based on my favorite games pc games and also play the world's most http://hubpages.com/t/14f069

    • profile image

      andy man 7 years ago

      wats the arrow of slaying

    • profile image

      darkspawn hero 7 years ago

      make alistair the tank and get the treaten talents (soaks up most of the damage) wynne should be ur healer (she already has spirit healer spec) and 2 DPS's i suggest one rouge using a bow and a 2 handed warrior but the warrior is optional as a AOE mage is just as efective just takes a little more strategy to keep guys off of 2 mages

      @ kyle if u have arrow of slaying leliana can do 400 damage easily

    • profile image

      Wildman 7 years ago

      Another tip I would suggest is use the collision to your advantage. Some range units will stand in place and try to fire at you through barriers. This also works great for controlling the crowd and drawing them into your squeeze play or endless traps of death. What I would like to know is the best way to make some gold in this game. After buying supplies, I never have more than 10 g at any one time.

    • profile image

      Chrisanne 7 years ago

      you switch between party members using R1

    • profile image

      josh 7 years ago

      how do I switch between party members

    • profile image

      Kyle 7 years ago

      Keep in mind that allistir is a phenominal fighter when maxed out on his templar skills. Don't worry about constitution with your characters. When they are powerful enough it is hard to kill them with the right strategy and skills. Lelania is a great archer and I've seen her deal upwards to 90+ damage with her bow.

    • profile image

      killa 7 years ago

      ancient elven helm i obtained by trading the crazy hermet in the elven forest. i forget what the forest is called.

    • profile image

      chris owens 7 years ago

      I need some help in knowing how to obtain the ancient elvish helmet, to tie it in with the rest of the armor can anyone help me?

    • profile image

      Eric 7 years ago

      where did u read staff? wtf

    • profile image

      Ted 7 years ago

      Set your dogs tactics to overwhelm mages

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      Skitz 8 years ago

      I beleive Aaron was refering to the skills, as in the abilitly to make potions" which she can do, and starts off with a point in it anyways, which i can only assume is why he suggested her:)

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      Morrigan is a mage Aaron. Only mages can use staves

    • profile image

      Aaron 8 years ago

      Another tip is to make your eney come to you. Select your team to hold positon and set traps and get them ready. (make sure each character builds up specailiztion in one thing like a rogue in poision - one in potions (Morrigan)and one in traps) Send out a rogue as a scout to disengage traps and lure enemies with bow shots then get your mage ready to blast them (Moves like blizzard are great area effect spells but will hurt your party so you can send them out as a lure as well like through a closed dorr you know an ambush is waiting) This strategy may seem cheap at first but the game sets up traps for you to make it a necessity. Use it to save supplies and focus on one enemy at a time or take out the major threat like archer's and blood mages.