How to Get Maximum Approval From Varric in “Dragon Age: Inquisition”

Updated on June 6, 2019
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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 the latest in the epic fantasy roleplaying video game series, Dragon Age by BioWare. One of its many charms is the ability to interact with the characters around you by choosing from dialogue choices, doing personal quests, and even the option to romance them.

Varric Tethras was a companion in Dragon Age II and appeared again as one of the first people you meet in the newer installment. He is a surface dwarf, a renowned author, and has a crossbow called Bianca.


It isn't possible to romance Varric, but his approval and friendship are nevertheless valuable for your character and open doors for new quests as well as engaging dialogue. As one of the main protagonists in the storyline, he is a good person to have as a good friend instead of just a companion. Here's how to get full approval from Varric.

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Gaining Approval in Haven

You first meet Varric when he and Solas are fighting demons near the Breach. He confesses that he was initially a prisoner, like your character, under the responsibility of Cassandra. When all hell breaks loose, Varric stays with your party, no longer a prisoner but as a willing, valued member.

As soon as you can move freely around Haven, approach Varric. He'll ask you how you're feeling after your ordeal. Reply with any response EXCEPT "I'm fine."

If you've imported your own previous game data from the Dragon Age Keep, there is an opportunity to ask Varric about Hawke. If you want to ask the questions available, you can, but keep in mind that all except "Where are Hawke's companions now?" result in a loss of some approval.

Varric's First Personal Quest

As soon as you can, ask Varric everything about Red Lyrium. He'll tell you a bit about his experiences, and the quest "Seeing Red" will appear. When you're out and about on your adventures, you will, at some point, come across Red Lyrium. Destroy it to gain some approval from Varric. If he's at base, he'll slightly approve, but if he's in your party, he'll approve. Try to have him in your party when you destroy Red Lyrium.

Because the Lyrium is scattered across the map, it takes a while to complete. However, be sure to activate the quest so that you can start destroying Lyrium right away. Destroying ten of them leads to the second part of Varric's personal quest.


Choosing the Mages or the Templars

If you decide to go with the Templars and complete the quest "Champions of the Just," Varric will approve if you ally with them, and if you disband them, there will be no approval change. Either choice for the mages' quest, "In Hushed Whispers," will give you no approval change.

Therefore, you're fairly free to choose whichever choice you like in this case, especially if you have a romantic interest in mind whose approval you're also striving for. However, if you'd like a nice approval boost for Varric, go with allying with the Templars.

Chatting with him afterward doesn't earn or lose any approval points until Varric asks you what you're going to do to celebrate your achievement of getting one of the groups on side and gathering enough power to seal the Breach. Reply with:

  • "Catch my breath" or
  • "Have a party."


Gaining Approval in Skyhold

Approach Varric when you can and at some point he'll be writing something. Choose any dialogue option (none of them have approval changes) and when he comments that he never officially joined the Inquisition, respond with:

  • "Just be my friend."
  • When he says "The Herald of Andraste is a symbol bigger than any of us," choose any response you like, then "Please don't sing."

Approach Varric again and he'll comment on Corypheus' return. When he tries to blame himself, reply with "I think you're confused."

Cassandra and Varric's Fight

After meeting Varric's friend, Cassandra and Varric will have an argument. Intervene in the fight for some approval, and stick up for Varric by saying:

  • "Varric's not at fault" and then "we need to work together."
  • Or, if you want a little extra approval and don't mind Cassandra disapproving, you can say "Varric's earned his place" or "That's unfair, Cassandra."

In the quest "Here Lies the Abyss," you have to decide whether your Warden ally or Hawke will stay behind to die to defend the others. If Hawke dies, say "If it helps, tell the story." If Hawke survives, respond with "at least Hawke survived."

Sword & Shields

Once you've gained enough approval from Cassandra, you can see a small scene where you catch her reading Varric's romance book, Swords & Shields. She is mortified that you caught her reading it yet asks you to command Varric to finish the sequel.

Approach Varric and when he expresses his surprise that Cassandra likes his book, reply with:

  • "She's a big fan."
  • "Cassandra seems to like it."
  • "Fine."


Varric's Second Personal Quest

When you've destroyed enough Lyrium and you've completed the quest "Here Lies the Abyss," it unlocks Varric's next personal quest, "Well, Shit." You'll find the reason why he named his crossbow Bianca, and you'll find yourself heading back to Ferelden's Hinterlands.

When you meet his friend, say to her:

  • "It's a pleasure."
  • "We should shut this down."

There are also various war table quests; complete them all for extra approval from Varric.

Varric is a very sweet character who proves to be a nice friend if he has high approval. He's a writer, a believer in the Maker and Andraste, and proves to play an important part in the game's story development. Having him as a buddy is a nice bonus to your character's circle.

© 2017 Poppy


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