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How to Craft and Modify Equipment in “Dragon Age: Inquisition”

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Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament." She lives in Enoshima and likes to read novels and play video games, especially open-world RPGs.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is an installment in BioWare's popular fantasy role-playing Dragon Age series. The ability to create your own character, choose their race and weapon class, as well as personality with dozens of in-game choices, makes this a spectacular roleplaying experience.

Thousands of players across the world have been charmed by the engaging storyline, unforgettable characters, and replayability of this great series.

"Dragon Age: Inquisition"

"Dragon Age: Inquisition"

One useful yet often overlooked feature of Inquisition is the ability to craft and modify your own weapons and armour. Though there are many items you can find and buy across the game's world, there are some great opportunities with crafting to come up with equipment you need for a specific battle situation, or to boost stats that a certain character might lack.

Crafting and modifying, though, can seem complicated at first. Here is a full guide on making your own weapons and armour in Inquisition and how to use parts such as arms, legs, blades, grips, and more to make your party as strong as it can be.

Where to Begin

You are first introduced to this feature in Haven, after you have examined the rift with Cassandra, Solas, and Varric, and when you are settled in the Inquisition's base. The quest "Haven's Best and Brightest" will be activated automatically, so head to the blacksmith, Harrit, just outside the town gates to activate "The Right Armour" and "Piece by Piece," where you have to craft and upgrade armour, respectively.

The Right Armour

You can use different materials from around the world to craft armour. Armour comes in light, medium, and heavy varieties, and your character's fighting class determines the kind of armour they'll use. For example, warriors use heavy armour and mages use light armour.

You should have some iron in your inventory. If not, you can collect some from just outside Haven. Select the area in the smithy which says "craft armour" and select something you can make. You won't have many schematics yet, but you can find and buy them across the world.

Ideally, you'll craft some armour that your character can use, but if not, another party member may be able to use it. Cassandra can wear heavy armour, Varric can wear medium armour, and Solas can use light armour. Iron will craft heavy armour. Select the armour you wish to make and select the material; you may only have iron for now, but you can also use things like bloodstone, nevarrite, and more to craft better pieces.

Once you've successfully crafted the armour, "The Right Armour" will be complete.

You can also craft parts here to add to your weapons and armour. Craft things like "medium legs" to add to your armour later.

Piece by Piece

Head to the part of the smithy which says "Upgrade Armour" and select it. You will see a list of different pieces of armour that you have in your inventory. You can scroll through each character to see the piece they're wearing.

Some pieces of armour may be greyed out and unable to be selected; this means it can't be upgraded. Hover over one of the pieces and examine the stats on the right-hand side. If it says "Empty Arms" or "Empty Legs," that means you can add upgrades, if you have them. Pieces can also be removed and replaced, but make sure the piece you're replacing it with is better than the original.

As an example, let's use a set of medium armour. It may have empty legs or arms. Select the armour, then select the empty slot. Add some legs and see what the stat changes are on the right-hand side. Some may be green (improved) and some may be red (lost). Adding upgrades to empty slots always means improvement, but check carefully before replacing old parts.

Don't forget to confirm! After you've added or removed a part on some armour, the quest "Piece by Piece" will be complete.

Crafting and Upgrading Armour

Return to this smithy to use new materials you find around the world to craft new pieces of armour and parts to go on them. You can scroll through the characters in your party to make new armour for each of them.

Never send your party out on a difficult mission such as dragon hunting without making the most of their armour's potential. Some materials may give higher resistance to the elements, whereas others give bonuses to health or defense.

Crafting and Upgrading Weapons

Crafting weapons works in pretty much the same way as crafting armour. Choose the type of weapon by scrolling through the menu. Would you like to make a two-handed war axe or a mage's staff? Be sure to check which one your desired character can use; there's no point making an awesome greatsword and then trying to give it to the bow-wielding Sera.

  • Warriors can use swords, axes, and two-handed weapons. Warriors come in two classes (weapon and shield VS two-handed), and although they are interchangeable, characters tend to stick with one if you let them. Cassandra and Blackwall both start off as a weapon and shield warrior and Iron Bull as a two-handed weapon wielder.
  • Dorian, Solas, and Vivienne are all mages, which means they only use staffs.
  • Sera and Varric are rogues, but Varric only uses his crossbow, Bianca. He cannot equip any other weapon throughout the game. Cole is a rogue who prefers dual weapons (one weapon for each hand).
  • Your own character is whatever fighting class you chose at the beginning of the game. It might be a good idea to prioritise the Inquisitor when you're crafting weapons as they are always with you.

To craft a weapon, head for the area in the smithy (or Skyhold's undercroft) and select "Craft Weapons." Find the correct character and their weapon class. Like armour, you can select different materials and schematics to make different kinds of weapons. The better the schematic, the highter the Damage Per Second (DPS) stat will be.

For example, you might select a staff and have the DPS be "93-105." This means your DPS will be anything between those numbers depending on the material you use. Rarer materials will, of course, result in a higher DPS.

Craft weapon parts to add to weapons to improve them. Runes can also be added.

  • For swords, you can add grips and hafts
  • For two-handed weapons, you can add grips, hafts, and pommels
  • For staffs, you can add blades, grips, and runes
  • For dual-blade daggers, you can add grips
  • For bows, you can add grips and runes

Adding these pieces can give you free upgrades to any weapon. Some unique items (purple-coloured in the menu) cannot be upgraded.

How to Upgrade Bianca

Varric's crossbow, Bianca, has a lot of potential to be a powerful weapon if it's upgraded throughout the game. There are a lot of readymade Bianca arms, aiming modules, and grips throughout the world as well as the schematics to build them yourself.

  • Always keep Bianca upgraded with the latest "Arms" (they are numbered; the higher the number, the stronger it is)
  • Experiment with different parts (save your game first!) to see which one is the most powerful.
  • Consider adding a rune. Since Varric never switches weapons, the rune will never be wasted. If you take Varric along with you a lot on your outings, a Demon Slaying rune is recommended to gain power against demons.

Armour Tinting and Dyeing

After you get to Skyhold, there is an added feature in the undercroft where you can change the pigment of your armour by selecting different materials.

Some armour may have fantastic stats, but look ugly. You can change the design in the undercroft by selecting the piece you want to change and browsing materials such as cotton, samite, dragon webbing, weave, wool, and much more.

You can find out more about armour tinting in the in-depth video below.

Give Your Character the Edge

When you get the hang of crafting and upgrading weapons and armour, you can really give your characters the edge against challenging enemies, especially if you're playing at a higher fighting level.

You can choose some epic or hilarious tinting designs for your characters as well. It takes some time to get used to it, but it enriches your Dragon Age: Inquisition experience too!

© 2018 Poppy