The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners

Whether you’re new or participated in the beta tests, here are our Top 10 Tips for Beginners will help you get started in The First Descendant!

The First Descendant Top 10 Tips for Beginners

Top 10 Tips for Beginners in The First Descendant

The First Descendant is a third-person looter shooter featuring over 14 unique Descendant characters. These are powerful individuals who wield unique skills, powers, and firearms. Furthermore, you can play The First Descendant solo or team up with friends in cooperative mode to tackle gripping story missions and formidable boss battles.

If you’re jumping into the game for the first time, the number of characters, currencies, items, mods, and mechanics can be overwhelming. This First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide aims to help you understand the basics of the game and how to choose and efficiently level your character.

Here are 10 essential tips and tricks when you begin a new game in The First Descendant:

  1. Starter Characters – Choose from one of three starting characters
  2. Unlock Additional Characters – Pay with premium currency or collect materials to unlock
  3. Operations – Finding your way around Albion and getting started in the game
  4. Combat HUD – What all those icons on the combat screen represent
  5. Master Ranks – Only way to unlock additional character and weapon modules, etc.
  6. Descendant Modules – Improve your character’s combat statistics
  7. Weapons/Weapon Mods – Carry three weapons at a time, improve their stats with mods
  8. Armor – Armor pieces are called Reactors and Components
  9. Collecting Currencies – There are five currencies to collect and spend
  10. Junking vs Selling – Junking old weapons will break them down, giving you crafting materials to level later weapons

1. Starter Characters in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Starting Characters screen Lepic Viessa Ajax

Although The First Descendant has over a dozen characters you can play as, only three are available the first time you log into the game: Lepic, Viessa, and Ajax. Unless you’re are choosing to spend real money in order to immediately unlock one of the other Descendants, then this is the character you will be playing with for awhile.

Lepic is a great damage dealer, and his specialty is causing massive area-of-effect damage with his grenades. His passive is a nice survivability bonus, although you cannot actively trigger it, you just have to hope that it procs.

Viessa is also an AoE damage dealer, but her abilities are not as strong as Lepic’s. Instead, she is able to debuff her enemies, therefore allowing the whole team to do more damage.

Ajax is a blend of defense and damage, with tank abilities that allow him to drop Barriers that will protect himself and his teammates. Additionally, he also has abilities which inflict Knockback and Stun, two great crowd control skills.

Overall, both Ajax and Lepic are our recommended choices for starting characters. Ajax offers great survivability and Lepic offers decent damage potential. Viessa unfortunately doesn’t really measure up to either of them. However, if you are coming into the game with a group of friends to play with, then her debuff abilities can offer something to a group.

2. Unlocking Additional Characters in The First Descendant

How to Unlock Lepic in The First Descendant

After choosing your free starter, to unlock any of the other characters in The First Descendant you will need to either pay for them with premium currency called Caliber or collect enough materials and credits to research them.

To receive Caliber you’ll have to pay real money via the in-game shop belonging to whichever platform you are playing on. Generally speaking, prices will range from $4.99 for 250 Caliber to $99.99 for 5750 Caliber. Furthermore, here is a list of what each additional Descendant character will cost in Caliber:

  • Lepic, Viessa, Ajax – 300 Caliber
  • Bunny, Freyna, Sharen, Blair – 300 Caliber
  • Jayber, Gley, Valby, Enzo – 600 Caliber
  • Kyle, Esiemo, Yujin – 900 Caliber
  • All Ultimate Characters – 3,000 Caliber

Additionally, you can also unlock any of the Descendant characters for free by collecting materials and credits and then researching them. To look at any of the available Descendants for researching, visit Magister Anais in the Albion Hub world. Each character will require their own unique Code, Spiral Catalyst, Enhanced Cells, and Sabilizer.

Moreover, these four components are all advanced materials that you will have to craft separately with lesser resources. You can find the specific materials you need for these components by viewing the character in the Research Institute and clicking on them. All of these materials can be found on missions and other gameplay modes, so you’ll just need to play the game to start collecting.

3. Operations in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Albion Map Anais Silicon Deslin Seneca Prime Hands Workbench

Next in our The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide, after your tutorial intro you’ll be dropped into the main Hub World called Albion. This is where you will progress the main story from. Additionally, this lobby serves as your player base where you will find merchants, upgrade terminals, your storage box, and more. Here is a list of the most important Albion NPCs and points of interest:

  • Guide – This is the NPC you will interact often with to advance the main story
  • Anais – Research and unlock additional Descendants and weapons
  • Silicon – Enhance, dismantle, or combine mods with the Module master
  • Deslin – Weapon vendor
  • Prime Hands – Level up your Mastery Rank
  • Workbeanch – Upgrade your weapons and reactors
  • Seneca – Void Intercept Battle game modes
  • Infiltration Operations Terminal – Dungeon mode that unlocks after completing all other missions in an area
  • Special Operations Terminal – Special missions unlocked by completing a map area
  • Mailbox – Twitch rewards and purchased currencies will drop here
  • Storage Box – Use to store items or equipment you don’t currently need but want to save

The Void Intercept Battles are the game mode you want to play the most to farm transcendent mods and gear drops. If you hover over each option it will show you what the percentage drop rate is. Therefore, you can work on a specific build regardless of your current level.

4. Combat HUD in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Combat HUD icons explained

Learning the Combat HUD screen and understanding what all of the icons and information mean are essential to becoming effective in fights. Thankfully, the combat HUD in The First Descendant is fairly straightforward. The mini map is in the top right-hand corner of the screen, with the current quest or mission information listed directly underneath.

In the bottom center is the most important combat icons. To the far left is the trigger for your grappling hook, then a melee/sub-attack button next to it. Just to the right of that is a list of icons, each one representing one of your character’s skills. In the First Descendant you will have three main skills and one ultimate skill. Your passive skill gets a small mini icon at the end of the row, but those cannot be actively triggered. Next, on the bottom right-hand side of the screen is the weapon wheel representing the firearms you currently have equipped.

The First Descendant Gameplay settings Show Status Effect Text turn on

Next, depending on the character you are playing, they may have special resource bars beneath the ability icons. For example, Bunny collects Electricity via her passive when she darts around the battlefield. Kyle uses Magnetic Force as his resource rather than the standard MP. You can track how full or depleted their gauge is by watching this bar.

Finally, there are the enemy health bars. The red bar represents their current HP, while the white bars sitting above that represent their remaining Shields. Moreover, if the enemy has been inflicted with a condition such a Burn or Ice Shackle, you will see a debuff timer icon beneath their health bar.

5. Master Ranks in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Prime Hands Mastery Rank up example

Number 5 in our The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide is Mastery Rank, which is one of the most important methods of leveling your character. Confusingly it does not happen automatically. To increase your Mastery Rank in The First Descendant you’ll need to visit the Prime Hands terminal on the east side of the map in Albion. Here you can see what your current Mastery Rank is, how much EXP you need to reach the next rank, and all of the bonuses you’ll receive at the next rank.

There are currently 40 Mastery Ranks for you to earn, and with them you’ll reach a cap of 80 total Module Capacity at end game. Furthermore, Mastery Rank bonuses include additional ammo capacity, new weapon modules, additional inventory slots, storage slots, and more! It’s definitely something you want to make sure you boost so your character receives these general improvements.

You can earn Mastery Rank EXP in The First Descendant by:

  • Completing missions for the first time.
  • Leveling up your character without any Socket Types assigned to any Module Slots
  • Increasing your weapon proficiency

Furthermore, one of the best things about Mastery Ranks is it applies to ALL your characters. Therefore, if you play with Ajax and earn three levels of Mastery, when you switch to Bunny, those same Mastery Ranks apply to her, as well. This means you don’t have to re-grind Mastery Ranks over and over for each character.

6. Modules in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Character Mod basic screen example

In The First Descendant, Descendant modules are essential components that enhance and customize your character’s abilities, stats, and overall performance. Furthermore, modules can be acquired through questing, missions, loot drops, and vendor shops. However, your Module Capacity is a limited resource, so don’t stress to badly if you have some empty slots depending on your chosen set up.

Descendant modules are divided into two subcategories, Skill Modules and Sub Modules. Skill modules are pretty straightforward, as they modify how your skills work. This can include giving your skill a different Condition effect, such as turning Ice Shackle into Ice Needle. Consequently, Viessa’s debuff would now be a damage-over-time ability.

Matrix Recomputation Transcendent Module - The First Descendant

Sub modules can do two things in The First Descendant: change your sub-attack so that you can use certain melee weapons, and increase your maximum Module Capacity.

As you advance, you will also be able to visit the Module Master NPC Silion to further enhance, combine, or dismantle your mods. Breaking down modules will give you a material called Keeper Shards. These can be used to enhance other modules you’re interested in buffing. However, be aware that enhancing modules will increase not only the stats, but also the capacity cost. Therefore, it’s going to take up more space in your Module Capacity, which may mean you have to sacrifice on another mod somewhere else.

7. Weapons and Weapon Mods in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Basic Weapon Modding example

Next in this The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide, is weapons and weapon modules. Each character can equip up to three weapons at a time. Additionally, Descendants also have access to sub-weapons and other equipment, providing various options to enhance combat effectiveness.

Like most other games, weapons in The First Descendant are categorized by rarity: Common (White), Standard (Blue), Rare (Purple), and Ultimate (Yellow/Gold). Ultimate Weapons are the strongest firearms in the game, and you can collect them by defeating bosses, completing dungeons, by taking on specific missions, and even crafting.

Additionally, Weapon Mods in The First Descendant By will enhance the weapon’s stats such as damage, accuracy, or add special effects. You can see the mods you have for each weapon by going to the character screen and then clicking on the small tab just to the right of each weapon. Within this new weapon module screen you can customize your equipped mods as you like. However, if you are a beginner in the early game we recommend clicking on the ‘Equip Recommended Module’ selection in the top right for a quick and easy boost to your weapon’s stats.

One of the most important aspects of affective builds in The First Descendant is that you MUST be sure to match your weapon with your armor. (Reactor, see below). This is critical for min-maxing your power and you will cripple your damage output if you don’t make sure to equip weapons and a reactor that compliments your character’s Attribute.

How to Upgrade Your Weapons in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Weapon Level Transmission explained The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide

Finally, if there is a low level firearm you really like, you can keep it relevant by upgrading it. To upgrade your weapons you’ll first need to reach Mastery Rank 3, and then head over to the Repair Station Workbench on the west side of Albion. Mastery Rank 3 will unlock Weapon Level Transmission, and you can use the Phase Exchanger item to transfer the stats of a higher level firearm to a lower level weapon. You can craft Phase Exchangers with Anais in Albion with the Superalloy material, 2,500 credits, and a bit of time.

8. Armor in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Reactor screen choose correct type The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide

Armor in The First Descendant is made of of different pieces called Reactors and Components. Reactors are equipment pieces that improve your abilities and character’s status effects. Components are other pieces that offer you set bonuses or other ways to increase your character stats outside of Descendant Mods.

Reactors will be the most significant armor selection you will make in The First Descendant. The best reactors for your character will match their Descendant Attribute. These can be Electric, Fire, Fusion, Tech, Toxic, etc. You want to make sure that the reactor you are using on your character is meant for them, otherwise they won’t be able to reach their full potential.

Bunny Reactor The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide

Moreover, each reactor comes with an “Optimal Condition,” which requires a specific weapon type to be equipped to activate. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure that your primary weapon matches this type. This is absolutely vital in order to deal the most damage as possible, and without it you will miss out on a huge bonus.

Therefore, using Bunny above as an example. First, you want the Optimzation Condition section to match her equipped weapon. Secondly, you want the Skill Power Boost Ratio section to match her Electric attribute. Finally, there are the two traits listed at the bottom. These are random and will change each time the weapon drops. Ideally, you also want those to match your Descendant’s attribute power.

9. Junking/Dismantling vs Selling in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Dismantle weapons and modules for crafting materials The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide

If you’re following our The First Descendant: Top 10 Tips for Beginners guide, then to upgrade your weapons and modules you are going to need a lot of crafting materials. You get those materials by dismantling your extra pieces of equipment. Credits (the in-game currency) are not difficult to earn, so you shouldn’t need to sell your equipment for the coin. Therefore, it’s better to dismantle your weapons and gear so that you can collect the crafting materials from them.

You craft materials for upgrading your weapons and gear with the same NPC you can research additional Descendants, Magister Anais. Furthermore, while you’re playing the game you should try to always stop by and craft something with her. Crafting isn’t instant in The First Descendant, and even low level materials will need a few minutes to complete. Start those timers before you begin a mission and they are likely to be done by the time you are finished.

Finally, you can make sure that you don’t risk dismantling any of your essential equipment by locking or ‘favoriting’ certain items. In The First Descendant you have weapons, weapon mods, reactors, and components that can all be dismantled. It’s a lot to keep track of and you want to make sure you don’t dismantle something you’re planning on using.

10. Collecting Currencies in The First Descendant

The First Descendant Battle Pass example screenshot Beginner Guide

The First Descendant has five different currencies you can collect and spend:

  • Caliber – Main premium currency
  • Bonus Coins – Second premium currency
  • Supply Coins – Buy cosmetics in the Battle Supply Shop
  • Credits – Standard in-game gold
  • Kuiper Shards – Used to upgrade your Modules and Descendants

As mentioned above, Caliber is the game’s premium currency and the only way you can gain it is by paying for it with real money. Bonus Coins are another premium currency in The First Descendant that you can only get by leveling up the Battle Pass with the Premium Upgrade. You can use these to by rare resources in the Bonus Shop rather than spending time crafting them.

The third premium currency are the Supply Coins, which are also connected to the Battle Pass. However, you won’t be able to unlock the Supply Coin pages until you reach Season Levels 50 and 96. To earn Supply Coins, you will need to complete Weekly or Seasonal Challenges.

The basic gold currency in The First Descendant is called Credits and you will mostly be using it to cover crafting frees for Phase Exchangers to new Descendants. Credits are relatively straightforward to collect, simply by playing the game you’ll get credits from defeated enemies, bosses, and by completing missions and Special Operations.

You will need lots of Kuiper Shards to upgrade your modules and Descendants. Thankfully you can readily collect them by defeating enemies, and dismantling extra Modules.

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