Some of the crucial conflict in the latest Assassin’s Creed game stems not from the classic Templar versus Assassin deathmatch politics, but instead between the competing powers of Athens and Sparta. While the cult is an omnipresent concern in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey regardless of whether or not you want to throw your lot in with the Athenians or the Spartans, the map-wide mechanics and a lot of the intrigue are focused centrally on the push and pull of military might between the two. The game not-so-subtly asks you to fight for either Sparta or Athens as part of the story but mostly in the side content. Our AC Odyssey Sparta vs Athens guide will tell you about the difference between supporting Athens or Sparta, and if there’s a particular one which you should ride or die for.
AC Odyssey Sparta vs Athens Guide – What You Should Know
Before you make a decision about which political power deserves your undying loyalty and service, it’s probably a good idea to dispel any ideas that you may have about the choice affecting anything in the late-game. While the skirmishes between the factions and overthrowing either Sparta or Athens in a particular region make up the majority of the side quests and the murderous parkour aspect of AC Odyssey, the reality is that siding with one or the other is going to do absolutely nothing at the end of the game, and not be very impactful during the course of the game either.
You’re a mercenary in AC Odyssey, which means that you can destabilize either faction in any particular region without any consequences. You’ll be treated the same by each faction when you choose to enter their bases or strongholds. They’ll be aggressive, even if you’ve just spent the better part of the last in-game hour helping them gain a foothold in the region over the competing political power. In essence, you’re just a third party that gets hired to take out the trash by whichever faction is reigning supreme, and even if you help out, the nature of your mercenary work means that no one trusts and everyone wants to kill you.
In essence, picking Sparta or Athens really just comes down to the sort of quality of loot that you want to achieve. We’ll explain the mechanic below, but the culmination of the power struggles in each region are the only times where fighting for the region that has the upper or the lower hand really has any impact on your game. The Assassin’s Creed games don’t rewrite history, so it would have been unrealistic from a narrative perspective to have a Greco-Roman superpower influenced by the main character’s actions.
AC Odyssey Sparta vs Athens Guide – What Loot Does Your Choice Get?
As we’ve mentioned above, picking one faction over the other to support really results in one thing regardless of the choice that you make—destabilization of the region to the point whereby there’s an all-out grab for power out of desperation by the party that’s lagging behind. At that point, even if you may have just helped Athens seize control of a particular area, you can still make the choice to fight for Sparta when the going gets tough; the only difference is that it’s going to be a bit of an uphill battle for you. Essentially, fighting for the side that’s been disadvantaged by regional power play is something that will get you additional resources and rewards compared to the relatively easy experience that you would have if you fought for the side that was already mostly in control.
Once you get yourself to the scene of the conflict, which will be indicated on your minimap by flags, you’ll be given the choice of which side to fight for. You’ll also be clued in on the variety of loot that you’ll get based on your choice. If you’re someone that always wants to get the upper hand in terms of gear, it’s probably smarter to fight for whichever faction you didn’t spend valuable time strengthening—this will get you the most rewards, and give you the most bang for your buck when you’re kicking butt and taking names during a skirmish.
It will probably also lead to a more challenging overall experience when it comes to the presence of enemy lieutenants and the like. However, the gap in the rewards that you receive is negligible based on the speed by which AC Odyssey blesses you with gear anyway, so it really just comes down to the flavor of your playthrough that you’re wanting to go for.
By and large, there won’t really be any effect on the overarching narrative of your Grecian odyssey based on whichever faction you choose to kill for. The fact that you can pick a different faction to aid from region to region really drives that point home, but it can still be fun to have a story in your head where you’re the champion of either Athens or Sparta during the course of your journey. Now that we’ve given you a bit of a breakdown in terms of what to expect from picking your faction, go forth and conquer for your respective city-state!