5 Tips I Wish I Knew Before Starting Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition

One of the greatest CRPGs of all time has just made the leap to console, in bold fashion, with the Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition. While many people were skeptical how an RPG made for the mouse-and-keyboard setup of the computer would hold up on console, that shouldn’t be a concern, as Obsidian Entertainment has spared no expense making it one of the cleanest ports in recent memory.

But, with an all-new control scheme, and an all-new audience, both new and returning Pillars of Eternity players might have some growing pains as they learn the ins and outs of this new console experience. Here are 5 Tips you should know before starting.

You Can See All Possible Interactions

As with any RPG, the environments will be filled with a variety of different objects with which your party can interact. This includes chests, crates, objects to examine, free-laying loot and much more. The only problem is that, without getting incredibly close to these objects, you’re unlikely to know they exist.

But, if you hold down X on the PS4 or A on the Xbox One, everything in reasonable distance with which you can interact will be highlighted. This is an incredibly helpful tool for getting the most out of the environments you explore.

You Can Speed Up or Slow Down the Game

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Some of the most exciting moments in Pillars of Eternity will be the battles or tense verbal interactions with NPCs. Make one false move or say the wrong thing one time, and it can drastically affect how the rest of the game plays out (or if you even make it that far). That said, the space in between these encounters can be rather dull.

You’ll have one tense battle or interaction, and then you’ll have to slowly walk to another area far away, making even reasonably short loading screens feel like forever. Luckily for you, there’s a way you can avoid this. Hitting left or right on the D-Pad will slow down or speed up the game, respectively, making those moments where you’re just retreading old paths much more tolerable. Then, when the battles happen, simply re-engage normal mode by hitting the same button.

Bonus tip: use this in combination with the stealth mode (hitting L3), to find hidden secrets while still moving relatively quickly.

Death Isn’t the End (For One Character)

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It’s easy to be fooled by games of this caliber into thinking they’re much harder and more punishing than they are. After all, why wouldn’t they be? Pillars of Eternity is one of the most recognizable games that also as the appearance of being inaccessible. So, if one of your characters is about to die in a fight, you’ll worry about losing that character or getting a game over, so you’ll reload from the last save.

Don’t do this.

For one, there will be no permanent loss of party members unless it’s scripted. For two, if only one character falls in battle, all you need to do is win the battle and then that character will automatically rise. That character will have diminished health, so you’d do well at that point to set up camp and replenish, but there is no need to give up entirely right before that.

Some Items Can Only Be Used in Combat

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You just lost a battle, so you’ve reloaded your save and armed your characters to the teeth with quick-use items. But, before the battle actually starts, you may think about one of those potions that gives your character more accuracy, more might, or more endurance to give you the edge.

No dice. Many items that give your characters buffs can only be used in combat. This means that you have to make yourself vulnerable while doing so. While this may be annoying, enemies would be way too easy to defeat otherwise.

Likewise, some items, such as traps, can’t be used while in combat, and you can only setup one of them. Good luck.

Don’t Neglect Perception

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If you’re like a lot of people who play RPGs, combat will be your bread and butter. You’ll run around everywhere killing everything that stands in your way. So, you’ll beef up the stats that matter: constitution, dexterity, might. You’ll be so strong you that no one will be able to out-muscle you.

But, if you neglect Perception, it will all be for naught. Why? In combat, perception relates to accuracy. This means that you can be doing all the damage in the world, but you might be doing it to the air next to your intended target, rather than the target himself.