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.

Killing It in Kingsmouth - The Secret World Starter Guide

Regardless of your starting city and faction, in 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 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 The Secret World for early access and launch.


    The Ten Ton Hammer team assesses The Polaris.
  • 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 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 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 lore pieces. They're floating golden boxes. Right click on them to earn a piece of the lore puzzle.
  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with the 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 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 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 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 disassemble items for crafting. (More on that in a separate guide soon!)


    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 lifesavers! Double-click a directional key to dash in that direction to avoid monster attacks. (There is a brief cooldown associated with dashes.)
  • Monsters have “tells,” 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 monsters can create harmful environmental effects by doing things like laying down lingering fields of toxic gas or electrifying the water. You’ve been warned!
  • 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 grouping is not only more fun, but also your friend. The Secret World is one MMO that seems to reward group play.


    Edgar and his junkyard dogs, Tango and Cash, have some missions for you.
  • 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 puzzles, 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 types. 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 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 phase.
  • There's no need to run back to an NPC when you complete a mission; simply click the button on the right of your screen that says "Send Report." 
  • 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

    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 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 The Secret World. Look for synergies--abilities that complement each other. See our 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 fulfill more of a traditional tanking role, select weapons and lines labeled as Survivability.

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

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

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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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