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The Ultimate Beginner Guide

Table of Contents

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Getting Started

Secret World Legends is a 2017 relaunch of the 2012 MMORPG The Secret World. Although the relaunch has streamlined a lot of the systems and mechanics from the original game, Secret World Legends still stands out from most other games out there in its genre. Below are a number of basic tips to help get oriented to the game, key ways that SWL differs from other MMOs, and some important things to keep in mind as you get started.

Classes and Levels

The Classes

Secret World Legends does not have the traditional MMO classes. Even though you choose a "class" in character creation, this is more of a starter class and not a permanent class. As you progress through the game, you will be able to unlock all the weapons and every single ability they offer, enabling you to customise your character however you want.

Here are all the starting classes:

  • Assassin: Blade + Elementalism
  • Warlock: Blood Magic Focus + Assault Rifle
  • Trickster: Chaos Magic Focus + Pistols
  • Punisher: Shotgun + Hammer
  • Magus: Elementalism Focus + Chaos Magic Focus
  • Gunslinger: Pistols + Shotgun
  • Demolisher: Hammer + Blade
  • Mercenary: Assault Rifle + Fist Weapon
  • Ravager: Fist Weapon + Blood Magic Focus

While you can assume ANY role (Tank, DPS, Healer) with ANY weapon, some weapons are better suited for specific roles, as highlighted above with colours. You should be able to unlock your third weapon relatively early on. Unlocking more weapons will get progressively more expensive, but eventually you will be able to unlock them all.

XP and Levels

There are levels in Secret World Legends. You start at level 1 and the maximum level is 50. Every time you level up, your Maximum Health, Attack Rating and Heal Rating are increased, enabling you to face higher level enemies.

Characters also progress by earning Ability Points (AP) and Skill Points (SP) which can be used to buy active and passive abilities respectively. Characters never stop earning AP/SP, (even at level 50) and eventually you will be able to unlock all the weapons, skills and abilities – you have complete freedom to choose which weapons, skills and abilities to buy and equip.

Characters earn experience points (XP) and AP/SP for completing missions, decks, dungeons, finding legends, killing mobs and other achievements during the game. The XP bar at the bottom of the main screen displays the markers at which your character earns an AP/SP point and your progress towards your next level, both as a result of XP rewards. These thresholds change with each level.

There is a limit on the maximum number of AP/SP you can hold without spending. You can hold up to 50 AP and 50 SP. You can see how close you are to the limit by opening the Ability Window (press N).

Weapons and Abilities

When creating your character, you choose a starting class that grants you two specific weapons. However, you will eventually be able to purchase all weapons and unlock every single ability in the game.

In your character panel, you have two weapon slots. One for your primary weapon (left) and one for your secondary weapon (right). Your primary weapon generates energy twice as fast as your secondary weapon. This means you will be using your primary weapon more than your secondary weapon. This is important to remember when unlocking and slotting abilities. The majority of abilities on your ability bar should be tied to your primary weapon.

Weapon specialities

Additionally, each weapon comes with unique gimmicks called specialities. Press (N) to open the ability window. From there, you can click in the [PLAY] icon in the upper right corner to view a video explaining the speciality of the weapon you are viewing.

Weapon resources

Near the ability bar, you will find both the weapon resource metres and the weapon speciality metres.


Once you have purchased all the active abilities for one particular weapon, you will gain access to the capstones for that weapon. It can be upgraded 9 times and will provide better stats for your character with each upgrade.

However, at first you will only be able to unlock the first capstone. Each time you complete the Active Abilities page of a weapon, you will increase the maximum number of capstones you can unlock for each weapon. This means that you will have to unlock all the Active Abilities for ALL weapons in order to unlock ALL 9 capstones for each weapon.

Character stats

The stats panel you see in the Character Sheet (C) is a simplified summary of the stat gains from your level, your gear and your passive abilities. You can mouse-over each stat to view a tooltip describing how they are calculated and what they do.

However, instead of explaining the simplified summary in the character sheet, it's better to explain the real stats that you find on your gear (talismans, weapons and glyphs). Continue reading below.

Gear stats

A substantial part of your character power comes from your gear. Your character can slot up to 7 talismans and 2 weapons at any given time. The power of each gear item increases with their level and rarity. All gear can be further empowered with Glyphs that add extra statistical bonuses, as well as Signets that grant unique effects.

Talisman stats

One of the following stats are found on each talisman.

  • Max Health - adds to your pool of hitpoints, which determines how much damage you can take before you are defeated.
  • Attack Rating - increases your Combat Power stat in the Character Sheet. This determines how much damage you deal.
  • Heal Rating - increases your Healing Power stat in the Character Sheet. This determines how much healing you do.

Additionally, all talismans have the Protection stat which increases your damage mitigation. The higher this stat is, the less damage you take. This stat is divided into two subtypes; Magical Protection and Physical Protection, however, this distinction is not important in most parts of the game, so you can treat the Protection stat as one unified stat most of the time.

Weapon stats

All weapons have the stat called Weapon Power, which together with Attack Rating and Heal Rating increase Combat Power and Healing Power respectively.

Glyph Stats

The following stats are gained from Glyphs, which can be inserted into Superior (blue) or higher talismans and weapons.

  • Hit Rating - decreases the chance that your attack with glance your enemy. Glancing reduces the damage you deal by a significant amount, so decreasing the chance of that happening is beneficial. The more Defence Rating your enemy has, the more Hit Rating you need.
  • Defence Rating - increases the chance that incoming attacks from enemies will glance you, thereby dealing significantly less damage. The higher your enemy's hit rating is, the more defence rating you need to achieve this.
  • Critical Rating - increases the chance that your attack with critically hit your enemy or that you healing ability will critically heal your friendly target.
  • Crit Power Rating - increases the power of your critical hits and critical heals.
  • Evade Rating - increases the chance that you completely evade incoming attacks, thereby avoiding all damage.

Gear properties

Each talisman and weapon have 3 properties that determine their power:


All talismans and weapons start at level 1 and can be upgraded to higher levels by feeding them other gear and distillates using the Empowerment window.


Once an item has reached the maximum level (which is level 20 for the first rarity), you can fuse two max-level items of the same kind into an item of higher rarity. The level is reset to level 1, but with the increase in rarity it will still be more powerful. The rarities are as follows:

  • Standard - max level 20
  • Superior - max level 25
  • Epic - max level 30
  • Mythic - max level 35
  • Legendary - max level 70

Glyphs and Signets are limited to a maximum level of 20 for all rarities.


The quality is represented by the number of pips at the bottom of the item icon, ranging from 1 pip to 3 pips. The quality determines a very slight variance in the power of an item. This variance increases proportionally with the level and rarity. The only way to change the quality of an item is to purchase an Anima Imbuer for 2,500 Aurum in the Fusion window.

Talisman qualities: Faded, Luminous, Radiant
Weapon qualities: Mk I, Mk II, Mk III
Glyph qualities: Crude, Simple, Intricate
Signets only have ONE quality (no pips).

Gear Empowerment

Upgrading the level of an item

To upgrade a gear item to a higher level, simply feed it other gear that you don't want to keep. Talismans can only be empowered with other talismans, and weapons can only be upgraded with other weapons.

Empowering a talisman or a weapon with an item of the same subtype will make it grant 2.5x as much XP. For instance, empowering a Hammer with a Blade may give 100 XP, while a Hammer will grant you 250 XP (those numbers are just examples).

Gear Fusion

Fusing two max-level items into a higher rarity item

The first time you upgrade an item to level 20, the game will give you a broken Level 20 item of the same kind that you can use to upgrade it with. However, for all items beyond that, you will need to level up two items of the same type to the max level, then fuse them together to create an item of higher rarity.

Two level 20 Standard Head Talismans will fuse into a Level 1 Superior Head Talisman.
Two level 25 Superior Hammers will fuse into a Level 1 Epic Hammer.
Two level 30 Epic Occult Talismans will fuse into a Level 1 Mythic Occult Talisman.
Two level 35 Mythic Assault Rifles will fuse into a Level 1 Legendary Assault Rifle.

Important! The item you put in the upper left corner of the Fusion window is the item that is upgraded. You get the Quality, glyphs and signets that the item in the upper left corner has. For example, when fusing a Radiant talisman with a Faded talisman, make sure that the Radiant talisman is in the upper left corner and the Faded talisman in the lower slot. The Faded talisman in the lower slot will then be permanently consumed, which upgrades the Radiant talisman to the next rarity.

Glyph fusion

Talismans and weapons of Superior (blue) or higher rarity can have a Glyph inserted into them. The glyph will provide you with secondary character stats, which are Hit Rating, Critical Rating, Crit Power, Defence Rating and Evade Rating.

Use the Fusion tab in the Empowerment window (Y) to insert a Glyph into the glyph slot of a talisman or a weapon.

Signet fusion

Talismans of Epic (purple) or higher rarity can have a Signet inserted into them, in addition to the glyph. Signets work differently from Glyphs in the way that they provide unique effects (which are often conditional) instead of raw stats. Signets are inserted the same way as Glyphs, using the Fusion tab in the Empowerment window (Y).



Access the Dressing Room (Shift + I) to access your clothing options. A lot of clothing can be bought directly from within the Dressing Room as well, for either Marks of Favour or Aurum.

In the left window, you can browse the various slots (torso, jacket, pants, etc.). The dots on the right side of the list indicate wether you own the clothing piece or not.

In the right window, you can see an image preview of the currently selected clothing piece. If there are multiple colour variations, you can also browse through them there. Clicking on a colour option will allow you to preview the clothing on your character in real-time. To stop previewing, simply click the colour option again or preview something else.


You access an overview of all Pets in the Pets window (Shift + P). The pets you don't own will be greyed out. Many can be purchased directly from the Pets window for Marks of Favour or Aurum. When selecting a pet, you can view the Source in the description, which explains where you can obtain the pet.


The overview of your currently owned Sprints (and the ones you don't own) is found in the same window as the Pets. Select the Sprints tab. The sprints you don't own will be greyed out. Many can be purchased directly from the Sprints window for Marks of Favour or Aurum. When selecting a sprint, you can view the Source in the description, which explains where you can obtain it.

You can also upgrade your Sprinting speed directly from the Sprints window. Click on the green + icon near the top of the window of purchase the next Sprint upgrade. The first 3 upgrades can be bought with either Marks of Favour or Aurum, while the last 2 upgrades can only be bought with Aurum (though you can exchange MoF for Aurum on the Exchange to avoid spending real money).


The quests in this game, known as missions, require a bit more thought and may seem a little more difficult than in many MMOs. A mission may mark a particular area on the map, but may leave you to your own devices to solve certain puzzles or perform certain actions. The game is asking you, the player, to use your noggin a bit to figure things out. Remember what the quest giver told you in the cut scene, look at your mission log and/or lore for clues, sometimes use the in-game browser (B) to look up information.

Missions may test your critical thinking, reflexes, build/deck flexibility, situational awareness, understanding of the mission, your own character abilities or your knowledge of (or at least your ability to research) Egyptian Hieroglyphs! Even the Action missions can have a bit of thought involved; if you find yourself getting knocked on your rear repeatedly, it’s probably because you have forgotten a key element that will help you get through the situation (you’ll probably kick yourself after you find out what it is, too!). Missions are perhaps one reason why some talk of SWL being similar to single player games – mission challenges do share qualities with that genre. That said, there are plenty of group challenges (more on that below).

Contrary to other MMOs, it's often not necessary to “return to the hub” to turn in missions in SWL – you have a cellphone and can complete missions from anywhere. Think instead of the mission points as breadcrumbs rather than hubs – you can wander through the zone picking up as you go.

Missions usually have multiple tiers. You can have one Story mission, one Dungeon mission, one Action/Sabotage mission, one Investigation mission and three Side missions at any one time.

The Story mission carries through the entire game. You will not be able to complete it in one fell swoop. The story will frequently require you to reach a higher character level, which you can achieve by doing other missions in the various adventure zones.

Action missions are combat oriented while Sabotage missions typically require that you avoid combat and may involve some timing and dexterity. Investigation missions require puzzle solving and research skills and can take some time if you want to avoid using walkthroughs.

All missions with the exception of Side missions will have a cut-scene. In TSW watching the scene is much more important than in many MMOs; some key information may be revealed. Plus, they are generally quite entertaining and funny!

You can pause a mission by clicking on the Pause icon in the Mission Journal (J). When you resume the mission later on, it will be saved at the same tier you left it at. You can also check your Mission Journal (J) to see which missions have been paused.

Your Journal also saves the images you sometimes view at the different tiers of the mission, so you can always open it up to review them again; they often contain important clues.


Daily Challenges







The Wallet

To access your wallet, open your Inventory (I) and click on the "Wallet" button in the bottom right corner of the main inventory window. The wallet provides an overview of your current stock of all the various currencies.

The currencies explained

Aurum is the game's premium currency, either bought with real-life money or with Marks of Favour on the Exchange (H). Aurum can be used to purchase a variety of items and services, such as Ability Points, Skill Points, Cache Keys, Dungeon Keys, Scenario Keys, Lair Keys and much more! Aurum can also be exchanged into Marks of Favour on the Exchange (H).

Mark of Favour is the main currency earned ingame. You earn Marks of Favour by completing the Daily Challenges (Shift + J). Free players can earn up to 10,000 Marks of Favour from challenges every day, while Patrons can earn 20% more. You can earn even more Marks of Favour by selling items on the Auction House (H). You can sell up to 10 items every day.

Anima Shards is the secondary currency earned ingame. You earn Anima Shards by completing missions, killing monsters and from selling items to vendors.

The Exchange

On the Exchange (H), you can trade Aurum for Marks of Favour and vice versa. You can specify your own Unit Price, but you should try to match the list of Offers and Requests.

Auction House



To access your bank, go to the Agartha Mall and interact with one of the bank tellers.

In the Bank window, you can access your personal bank, as well as the cabal bank (if you have joined/created a cabal).


You can access the Activity Finder (Shift + V) to sign up for various endgame activities.

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Museum of the Occult

The Museum of the Occult is located in London, right next to Temple Hall.

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Patron Rewards


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