- Modding the game via unoffical patches or otherwise can be a great solution for any player that wishes to balance out Arcanum's combat and polish the gameplay in general. A really good installation guide with all the links you may need is AVAILABLE HERE.
- If you want to have an easier time with the game, switch to Turn Based (or Fast Turn Based) combat. Real Time combat is only useful if your character is extremely strong or if you have a lot of party members.
- When making a character, stick to tech or magic, don't try to mix them. The manual tells us that if a character has a high technical aptitude, then any spells or magical items used by that character will be considerably less powerful and much more prone to critical failures. The same is true of the converse (magical character using tech items).
- If you'd like to add an extra layer of customization to your character, try to make a custom portrait. More information can be found HERE.
- Dexterity is generally the most useful stat in the game for any combat-oriented character. It improves your armor rating, making you harder to hit. It improves your speed, giving you more actions in combat and your character will run faster. A high dexterity is also necessary to learn a lot of useful skills. But be careful not to waste all your level points into the stat as there is a lot of equipment in the game that increase your dexterity for free.
- The easiest and most recommended build for a first playthrough is an Half-Orc / Half-Ogre melee character that has 20 Strength, 20 Dexterity, Master Melee and Master Dodge. Depending on your starting background, your character becomes extremely strong already at around level 15-20. That means you have another 30 levels worth of stat points you can put in anywhere you want (Thieving Skills or Persuasion/Charisma skills or Magical skills or Technological skills).
- Magical characters are generally easier for beginners to the game. You should only choose to play a technological character after your first playthrough simply because it is much harder to play.
- If you have at least 9 Charisma, you can get an ogre from the Inn at Shrouded Hills to join your party. He becomes very strong if you give him a strong melee weapon and some gear that boost his Dexterity.
- There is another powerful sidekick available at Ashbury when you first enter the city. Keep following the city streets to the right until you hear/see a small guy kicking a dog. Order him to stop by either threatening or paying him and you will get the Worthless Mutt, which is a dog that becomes extremely strong if you level him up. The extra bonus is that you don't need an additional follower slot for him.
Alternative to Investing in Intelligence Edit
If you have a technological character and enough money to spare, you may want to choose to purchase many Essence of Intellect potions from magickal traders and boost your Intelligence that way instead of spending character points. The Essence of Intellect will work regardless of your technological aptitude, giving you +10 Intelligence for a short period of time no matter what. Assuming you start with 8 Intelligence and you wish to learn the most complex of schematics (19 IN required for those), you will need to invest nothing but some money and time. A single Essence of Intellect combined with a Vivifier (+1 to all stats permanently, found in the Vendigroth Ruins) will give you +11 IN, enough for all your crafting needs. Be vary that you will need to drink one Essence both when you invest character points, and when you need to craft the related items. There are a total of 64 character points that you can acquire, so saving 11 of them is quite a big deal.
Faster Movement Edit
If you have set combat to Fast-Turn-Based in the options menu and you go into combat mode in any area by pressing R, you can move around much faster than just regular running. This is especially useful if your character doesn't have much speed. However, this technique uses Fatigue so keep that in mind in areas that have enemies.
Regain Action Points Edit
If you're in turn-based combat and none of the nearby monsters have noticed you, you can go in and out of combat by pressing R, this will regain your action points so you can squeeze in some extra attacks. This is especially useful to characters using ranged attacks as you can clear a bunch of monsters from a distance.
Better Magic Loot Edit
The loot in some containers in the game is generated based on your character's name, and possibly other characteristics such as gender, race and background. This means that if you start with the exact same character in every playthrough, you will get the same loot. You can test this as soon as you start the game - on the west side of the Crash Site you will find a Magick Chest. Check its loot with your current character, then make the exact same character (same name, race, gender, background) and check it again.
Also, generic magickal items have 4 tiers:
If the chest you are looting is a Magick Chest, and the game puts - for example - a staff in it, that staff cannot be a Mystic or Arcane staff. It can be either Charmed or Magick.
Unlocking Cantrip Spell Edit
You can use the Unlocking Cantrip spell to unlock containers and portals (windows, doors, etc.) in the game if your Magickal Aptitude is higher than the complexity of the lock. By standing 8 tiles or more away from any NPC which would usually be alerted by your lock picking attempt, you can simply cast the spell and the NPC will not turn hostile. This can be used on any shopkeeper's chest if you find sufficient space to stand away from them (try to lure them away by dropping items where you want them to move) or at the start of the game in Shrouded Hills: simply stand a good distance away from Lukan and his gang and use the spell on the gate to pass freely!