Killing it in Kingsmouth - The Secret World Starter Guide

The Secret World launches this week! It's a game unlike any you've played before, so we're giving you some handy advice to help you get on your way to kicking ass and taking names in Kingsmouth.

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alt="Killing It in Kingsmouth - The Secret World Starter Guide">

Regardless of your starting city and faction, in style="font-style: italic;">The Secret World,
all roads lead to Kingsmouth. Kingsmouth lies on Solomon Island, just
off the New England coast. But all is not well in Kingsmouth, as anyone
who enters there (and everyone who plays style="font-style: italic;">The Secret World
does) will soon learn. Ten Ton Hammer's editorial team kicked zombie
ass on the press and closed beta servers for months, and now we're here
to prepare you to rock Kingsmouth as you hit style="font-style: italic;">The Secret World
for early access and launch.


    class="caption right"
    alt="The Ten Ton Hammer team assesses The Polaris." width="300">

  • When you create your character, you’ll be asked to provide
    a first name, nickname,
    and last name. Be aware that your nickname is the one that displays in
    group. In other words, if you name a character Guy “Effin”’ll appear in the group window with the rather uncool name
    Effin. (Yeah. One of us learned that by experience.)
  • Rebuilding a character for some reason? You can style="font-weight: bold;">skip cut scenes by
    hitting ESC. (But don't do that if you've rolled a different faction;
    the opening cut scenes for each faction are unique.) You can also style="font-weight: bold;">skip the Tokyo flashback sequence.
    When you're taken into the sequence, simply run up the stairs and right
    click on the gate (it will be highlighted in yellow when you're close
    to it.).
  • Each starting city, as well as various locations, has style="font-weight: bold;">lore pieces. They're
    floating golden boxes. Right click on them to earn a piece of the lore
  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with the style="font-weight: bold;">default key mapping
    when you first begin playing. The full list can be found in the main
    Options menu, and can save you a bit of frustration.
  • Once you've reached Kingsmouth, you can style="font-weight: bold;">claim your pre-order items
    (if applicable.) Open the menu or hit the comma key [,] to open the
    stores. Click on "Claim Items." Your pre-order items will be in the
    store with a purchase price of $0. Go through the purchase process.
    Items will appear in your inventory. (Keep in mind that there might be
    a bit of lag between the purchase and your item appearing if server
    traffic is high.)
  • Vendors can be found just outside (behind) the Sheriff's Station in Kingsmouth. You'll want to make frequent trips to sell loot you don't need. (Keep in mind that there are a lot of things you shouldn't sell--you'll need them for crafting. Check out our handy crafting guide for more.) You can also make repairs to damaged gear by clicking on the Repair tab in the vendor window.
  • Not happy with the clothing items you selected during
    character creation? Once you've earned a little extra Pax Romana (the
    main currency in TSW) travel through Agartha and head to London where
    you'll find a store called Pangea. This store is full of sales clerks
    (read: vendors) selling gender-specific
    clothing items
    . Be warned that some options can be a
    little pricey for the new player. (Basically, the cooler the item is,
    and the more you want it, the more it costs, just like in real life.)
  • When out of combat, pressing the X key will activate your style="font-weight: bold;">Sprint ability. This
    can greatly reduce the time it takes to traverse larger portions of the
    map. Sprint also holsters your weapon.
  • The tilde key [~] will also style="font-weight: bold;">holster your weapon.
  • The scenery in Kingsmouth is grisly but cool. If you want
    to take a screenshot,
    you’ll need to know that the F11 takes a screenshot and ALT + F11 takes
    a jpg screenshot. ALT + Z hides the UI. Screens are found in
    your program file folder under Funcom.
  • Don't sell weapon drops and old weapons--you can style="font-weight: bold;">disassemble items for crafting.
    (More on that in a separate guide soon!)


    class="caption right"
    alt="The ring on the ground means this undead fireman is about to 'ax' a very serious question."

  • You can make
    a hot button
    of sorts for consumables. Open your
    inventory [I]. click the + sign on the upper left to open a new bag,
    drag consumable items to that bag, position the bag where you want it
    on your screen, then click the padlock icon on the upper left to lock
    it. You can now easily click on consumables to activate them.
  • Holding down the right mouse button while moving with your
    directional keys allows you to strafe
    in whatever direction you’re moving, which is handy for avoiding
    monster attacks.
  • Dashes are
    ! Double-click a directional key to dash in that
    direction to avoid monster attacks. (There is a brief cooldown
    associated with dashes.)
  • Monsters have
    letting you know when they’re going to launch a
    big attack. Early on, the game will point them out by putting markers
    on the ground showing you the radius of the attack and warning you to
    get out of the way. Pay attention! These markers are used as a learning
    tool, but later in the game you’ll only have visual cues to let you
    know when a monster is about to lay the smack down.
  • During combat, the environment can be both your friend and
    your enemy. Sometimes you’ll find useful items to help you fight (such
    as gas cans--handy for igniting and blowing up hordes of zombies). But style="font-weight: bold;">monsters can create harmful
    environmental effects by doing things like laying down
    lingering fields of toxic gas or electrifying the water. You’ve been
  • Take
    advantage of “states”
    when you’re working in groups. Your
    partners can use abilities to put an enemy into a certain state
    (example: hindered) that your abilities may be able to exploit. Know
    what you can do, and figure out creative ways to work together.
  • There are surprises around every corner. Expect to die as a
    result, and don’t take it too personally. Remember that style="font-weight: bold;">grouping is not only more fun,
    but also your friend. The Secret World is one MMO that
    seems to reward group play.


    class="caption right"
    alt="Edgar and his junkyard dogs, Tango and Cash, have some missions for you."

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Finding missions
    in The Secret World
    isn't as straightforward as it is in other MMOs. There really isn't a
    central quest hub. The game encourages exploration, so rather than
    gathering a bunch of missions and then setting out, you’re
    going to have to find things to do all around Kingsmouth. Not only will
    NPCs give you missions, but so will interactable objects. Look around!
  • When attempting to solve
    , be sure to check your immediate surroundings for
    additional clues. Listen to what NPCs have to say, and remain
    observant. It really helps if you can get yourself into the mindset of
    an agent--stay sharp and keep your eyes and ears open.
  • Many missions
    can be repeated
    after a certain amount of time passes so
    don’t hesitate to revisit some of your favorite NPCs. In fact, you may
    have to in order to gain enough AP/SP and obtain enough gear to move on.
  • There are different mission
    There are action (red icon), sabotage (yellow) and
    investigation (green). Of these types you can only have one at a
    time--accepting a new mission of the same type will cancel whatever
    mission you have active. (You'll get an on-screen warning.)
     These missions are generally given by NPCs. Item missions
    (gray-green icon) are found on items placed around the
    environment--keep a sharp eye out. You can have up to three of these
    active at any given time. Your story mission is represented by a blue
    icon. Dungeon missions display a purple icon (you'll generally receive
    the mission from an NPC just outside the dungeon).
  • Don't try to rush through your style="font-weight: bold;">story mission. Story
    missions are more complex and usually more challenging. Make sure
    you've gained enough Abilities and Skill Points, and that you've
    increased your gear Quality Level (QL) before you charge into the next
  • There's no need to run back to an NPC when you style="font-weight: bold;">complete a mission;
    simply click the button on the right of your screen that says "Send
  • Find your
    next mission
    by scouting the location where you finished
    your last one. Chances are very good you'll find
    another nearby.

Character Development

    class="caption right"
    alt="Check out Decks (pre-made templates) to get a look at weapon combinations and builds."

  • You'll start the game with a single weapon, but can
    ultimately equip two. You
    don't actually have to buy your second weapon
    ! One of your
    earliest missions will send you to a training area to choose a starter
    weapon. After you've chosen your weapon and completed the quest, zone
    out, and then immediately zone back in. The weapon crates containing
    various weapon types will now be unlocked and you can right-click them
    to choose another weapon and add it to your inventory...for free.
  • To get a better feel for how you can style="font-weight: bold;">combine active and passive skills
    for two weapons, to better fit a character concept you're
    aiming for, be sure to open the Decks panel. This displays as a
    vertical tab option on the ability screen [N], and includes some
    premade deck examples that help illustrate various build concepts.
    These templates are a great learning resource.
  • It's quite possible to make a bad, ineffective build in style="font-style: italic;">The Secret World. style="font-weight: bold;">Look for synergies--abilities
    that complement each other. See our href="">Ability
    Wheel Guide for more information.
  • Make sure you
    can use new gear
    . Early on, you'll want to carefully
    consider where you spend your skill points. For example, to equip
    higher grades of Talismans, you'll need to spend points in the Head,
    Major, or Minor Talisman lines. So, if you've spent all of your
    available points in your weapon lines, it will take a lot longer to
    start equipping new talismans that drop towards the end of Kingsmouth
    and heading into Savage Coast. Sometimes it's best to wait to
    spend skill points until after you've received a new drop or
    quest reward so you can ensure you're able to use it.
  • Damage and Healing weapon skill lines are fairly
    straightforward, but if you're looking to style="font-weight: bold;">fulfill more of a traditional
    tanking role, select weapons and lines labeled as

Have you discovered additional tips and tricks for new players
entering The Secret
? Share them in the comments below!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our The Secret World Game Page.

Last Updated:

About The Author

Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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