Aion: Beginner’s Guide to Skills and Chains

The fifth Aion beta weekend is nearly upon us and this time even more players will be discovering the game for the first time. No one wants to be lost when they start something new, and with that in mind, Dalmarus has created a guide on skills and chains to make the experience easier. No matter which archetype or specialized class you choose, there's something inside for everyone. Whether you're an Elyos Gladiator, an Asmodian Assassin, or a living version of Napoleon Dynamite, you can't get anywhere in Aion without any skills. Sure, you have an auto-attack at your disposal, but if you’re relying on that to fulfill your destiny as an almighty immortal you might want to just quit now. To read the rest of the Aion: Beginner’s Guide to Skills and Chains, click here!

Whether you're an Elyos Gladiator, an Asmodian Assassin, or a living version of Napoleon Dynamite, you can't get anywhere in Aion without any skills. Sure, you have an auto-attack at your disposal, but if you’re relying on that to fulfill your destiny as an almighty immortal you might want to just quit now. Skills are the source of all your power, to both heal and destroy. Without them, not only will you fail in your quest, but you'll also never discover the pure, unadulterated joy in unleashing a chain skill upon your enemies.

I Don't Have Any Skills


This is essentially true in the beginning of your Aion adventures, no matter which archetype/class you choose. You'll start out with a couple of basic skills and be sent out into the world. This early in the game, the skill system works the same way every hotbar-based game in existence does without exception. Simply set the skill you want to use in the hotbar of your choice, then either hit the corresponding key (1, 2, Alt+1, etc.) or click on the icon with your mouse and you'll be on your way.

As you level, you don’t gain skills automatically. Skills come in the form of books and can be obtained in one of three ways. You can buy them for your class trainer, acquire them through drops yourself (after level 10), or purchase them from other players. This last option can be done from the player private stores scattered throughout the land, or through the Auction House.

No matter which method you choose to gather the myriad of books that will reveal the pathway of your destiny, the same technique to harness their power applies to all of them. Once a book is in your inventory, simply double-click it and voila! You have now learned the skill. Pretty simple, eh?

Skills Basics 101


To see which skills you have at any time, click the up arrow beside your hotbar for the game menu list, or hit the "k" key by default. Once there, you'll see a number of different tabs. The three you should be the most concerned with are the Active, Passive, and Actions tabs. The Crafting and Emotes tabs are also available to you, but unless you have a special interest in either one, there's little or no need to use them.

The Crafting tab displays the amount of skill you have in a given craft along with its current maximum rather than any actual abilities you would need. The Emotes tab displays all the emotes available to you in the game. Who would have guessed? For those that use a few of these on a regular basis, being able to move them to a hotbar for easy access actually is useful for them. These aren't the two tabs I wanted to go over with you though.

The least used (but no less important) tab out of the three major players I listed earlier is the Actions tab. At first glance, the abilities on this page appear useless, but before you close the tab in disgust, you may want to move the Rest skill to a free spot on one of your hotbars. I've heard players complain for weeks about not being able to regenerate health and mana at a reasonable rate, even if they're sitting down. It's important to understand that as far as the game is concerned, there is a huge difference between sitting down and actually resting. It may look the same as sitting to you, me, and every other player in the world, but unless you actually use the Rest skill, you're going to be there a very long time waiting for anything to regenerate.


The Passive tab may not be one you'll need to check on a regular basis, but it is important to know you have it. When you use the opportunity to gain some skills in the future, this is the tab all the ones skills not in your Active tab go to restare found. Unlike the Active, Emotes, and Actions tab, none of the skills here can be moved to a hotbar. Like the name of the tab implies, all of the skills listed there are passive so they're always active. You don't have to do anything with them except be aware where they are.

The final tab, and the one that will occupy the majority of your time in relation to the others, is the Active tab. This is where all of those skills you use to heal your friends and crush your enemies reside. Your available skills and chain skills can be found on this tab. When you click on the Active tab, a second window will open beside it with two more tabs of its own: Skill List and Chains. The Skill List tab is just another way to view your skills, but the Chains tab is another beast altogether.

Chain Skills 102


The Chains tab will display not only the chains you currently have, but chains that your current skills will allow you access to in the near future. The chain trees you'll see in the window are set up just like a tree of skills, but flowing from left to right, rather than straight down (or up, depending on the game). There are two possible arrow types showing the path between the various skills/reactions in each tree: solid and light grey. The solid arrow means that the next skill/reaction in the chain will always come up. The light grey arrow means the next step in the chain may or may not occur.

When it comes to both the number of chains and how deep down the rabbit hole they go, all classes are not created equally, so if you're really keen on having a large amount of possible chains, you'll need to investigate this tab for each class. For example, when a Spiritmaster is in their mid-teens, they have far fewer opportunities for chains compared to a Cleric. A Spiritmaster has two possibilities that will always occur since the arrows are solid. At that same level though, a Cleric has a possibility of four chains. Not only do they have more chains, but they're also deeper than those of the Spiritmaster. Deeper chains tend to mean bigger rewards at the end, so keep this in mind when choosing your class.

When a chain is triggered, players only have a few seconds to continue them. They can either click on the icon that will briefly appear on the screen, or click the same button that triggered the chain in the first place. If a Sorcerer cast Flame Arrow I, not only would an icon for Blaze appear on the screen, but the Flame Arrow I icon on the hotbar also turns into the Blaze icon. To the best of my knowledge, the only way to cast Flame Arrow I after triggering Blaze I is to wait for the chain skill to fade away and let the hotbar key revert back. As you progress through your adventures, you'll find there actually are times when you don't want to continue a chain. I haven't discovered a way to cancel them out yet.

Common among all the classes is the addition of certain effects or requirements within their chains. Using the Spiritmaster and Cleric example again, both have chains that end with an effect called Knock Down. Knock Down does just what it implies, knocking the target to the ground and freezing them in place for a few seconds like a Root spell. Unlike Other skills/effects in a chain, Knock Down occurs automatically. There's no need to hit any icon or key. Besides having a chain that ends with it, the Cleric also has a chain that starts with it as well. Classes with these types of abilities may appear to have chains of extraordinary lengths, but they are technically just combining two chains together. It doesn't make the "have nots" feel any better about it, but that's the way it is.


Is there anything you feel I've left out, or a trick with skills and chains I just don't know about? Post a message on our forums or send me an email!


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