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The First Descendent is out, and with it comes plenty of content to play through. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of game it is, you’ll need to be aware it’s similar to Destiny and Warframe, with MMO and looter shooter elements alike. We’ll give you the lowdown of what to expect so you can get to grips with how the characters work, its looter shooter mechanics, upgrades, and more.

Choosing a character

When you first get into First Descendant, you must choose a starter character. You get the options out of three. All the characters are okay, so choose the best option out of the three that better suits your playstyle. The table below gives you a rough outline of what the characters are all about.

CharacterWhat they are best at
AjaxTank character with lots of mobility and defensive tools.
LepicA marine-type character with lots of AOE control and mob-clearing skills.
ViessaA frost mage character specialising in crowd control and then dealing frost damage to the target she slows down.

Once you’ve selected the character, you’ll run through a basic tutorial on how to play your character, how to shoot baddies, and things of that nature. 

A city landscape with players and npcs walking around.
Walk around Albion and get a brief intro to many city features, before heading starting your main story quest missions. Image via VideoGamer / First Descendant.

Welcome to Albion

Once you’re done, you’ll go to the main player hub, Albion. This area is a shared player space filled with terminals and NPCs you can speak to. You’ll find that each NPC typically offers some form of vendor, research, lab, kit upgrade and things of that nature. We recommend spending some time getting familiar with the area. You should definitely check out the research NPC in the bottom left of Albion. This is where you can find the Descendant characters you can unlock, get a little preview of what characters and weapon unlocks you want, and things of that nature

When you’re ready to go, follow the main quest that takes you to the Operations, which are map areas with main story missions, public lobby quests, areas to grind loot for, and much more. When you start the early quests that take you to Operation areas, you’ll get more introduction quests to the new weapon unlocks, armour mods, weapon mods and other parts of your gearing.

As you explore, you’ll also find other features, like the handy, which improves your Descendant the more you play them. There are also weapon sellers, the lab for unlocking and messing around with mod improvements, and more. We’ll cover more detail on the mods later.

You’ll also find various terminals to take part in various pieces of content. There’s the terminal by the City entrance, which takes you to the operation zones. This is where the bulk of your storyline and levelling up takes place via main and side quest missions. It is also for your primary resource farms for grinding currencies, mods, items, researching new weapons and descendant unlocks, and other features.

For other end-game activities, you’ll find the special operations terminal near the landing pad. Special Operation content offers even bigger farms with missions for even rarer currencies, items and other gestures for your high-end unlocks. You can also find other end-game activities like the Instance dungeons, Void Intercept battles, and other end-game content to grind for resources. 

You cna get loot and various rewards and gear from completing missions in Operation Maps. Image via VideoGamer / First Descendant.

The First Descendant gearing explained

Gearing your character occurs in several areas, each focusing on improving areas of your character’s build or weapons of choice.

Gear TypeExplanation
WeaponsYou can hold three weapons of any weapon type and ammo type.
Weapon ModsMods that improve your weapon’s capabilities, such as shotgun shells, weak spot damage, ATK scaling and more.
Descendant ModsMods that improve your character stats, such as defence, MP, and more.
ReactorArmour pieces that improve your abilities and character’s status effects.
ComponentsType of armour pieces that offer players set bonuses or other ways to increase character stats outside of Descendant Mods.

Each area allows you to properly spec up your favourite descendant, and the weapons you love using. You’ll typically get items as you level up by doing all forms of content. In addition, you’ll get rarer mods and resources on harder-difficulty setting content, or during end-game activity content as we discussed in the Albion section.

Moreso, when you get various mods, you can upgrade them via Silion on the far west side of Albion on the map screen. You’ll spend currencies known as Kuiper shards, which drop from all content, enemies, and dismantling mods you no longer need. Remember this for the future, as this is a main part of the game’s replayability for your character progression.

An image of the gun screen in First Descendant
You can get a variety of weapons to customize your loadout in The First Descendant. Image via VideoGamer / The First Descendant.

Weapons and mods explained

Weapons are an important factor as you can use up to three weapons at a given time. These can be in the form of Handguns, Assault rifles, SMGs, LMGs, snipers, scout rifles, DMRs, shotguns, launchers and many more. You can select whatever weapons you want to use for your loadout, and find answers to various combat tasks for the missions you’re planning on going into.

In addition, there are a few different types of ammo, with various guns and weapons using different ammo types. 

AmmoDescription
StandardThe lowest DPS ammo type but you can stockpile lots of it.
Impact RoundsMiddle damage and middle ammo stockpile.
High Energy RoundsLowest stockpile and drop chance but highest damage dealt.

The standard ammunition rounds are your bread and butter, often associated with pistols, handguns, assault rifles and SMGs. You’ll get a lot of these types of weapons, and carry a large stockpile of those rounds for the bulk of your killing. Impact rounds are stronger weaponry type, typically seen on the likes of Scout rifles, DMRs, LMGS, and other such weapons. These are the middle points for fairly strong damage type, and you get a fair amount of the ammo on your travels. Meanwhile, high-energy rounds are very limited in the amount you can pick up, however, when you fire these, they’ll do incredibly high damage. These are often associated with shotguns, snipers, launchers and other heavy ordinance weaponry.

It is important to balance your three weapon choices and their ammo types appropriately.

To further modify weapons, you then need weapon mod. You’ll find a button to the right of the weapon slots in your inventory. In the new screen, you can then place weapon mods you want for each weapon. However, be aware that each weapon has its own module capacity, and each mod has a cost. You can only place as many as you have mod power. You’ll increase this over time with weapon mastery XP for your favourite weapons. But, make sure to slot in better modifiers for the role that gun has in your build.

A image of inventory screen management in First Descendant.
If you take anything from this The First Descendant beginner’s guide, it is that the Reactor is the most important piece of gear for your skills. Image via VideoGamer / First Descendant.

Armour mods and gearing

Now that weapons are done, you have descendant mods, alongside other gearing tools. Descendant mods are your main ways to improve your character. They’ll cover a broad range of modifiers, such as health, shields, regen effects, MP modifiers and more. Like the weapon mods, you can only have so many mods based on your module power, so get experimenting and fitting the best possible buffs for your build and playstyle.

Over on the right side of your inventory, you’ll find the Reactor slot. This is the main item that affects the strength of your skills and status effects. Each descendant character has two status effects they like, such as frost, electric, fusion, fire, singular, and many others. Typically, these reactors have a colour code attached to them to indicate the best-in-slot reactor type for your Descendant. For example, Viessa will like the light blue one since that contains frost, while Lepic like the red one for its fire and singular effects. Check the Descendant you’re running and see what reactor gives you a double tick and look for reactor colours matching to get the best improvements for skills.

Finally, we have the components. This is your typical RPG gearing, as you can get set bonuses or rather strong character buffs from these slots. You’ll often get these as rewards for missions across the Operations, dungeons loot, or other forms of end-game content.

Go to the main research NPC in Albion for your unlocks, you can find out how to get the parts you need for your unlocks from there. Image via VideoGamer / The First Descendant.

Target farming

Now with most of the core gameplay features covered, you’ll find that moving from the beginner’s guide will require target farming. When you go to the research station or some other form of Albion interaction, you need various currencies. These currencies and items can be collected from missions. For the most part, the research lab with its exotic weapons and descendants unlocks requires physical items. Feel free to check the item or descendant you want, then look for the items you need to start researching it. You’ll find special buttons you can press that tell you what area and activity these items have a chance to drop from. So, you now know what area of the game to target farm.

This allows you to really hone in on moving from being a beginner, running around, to a more dedicated grinder. With that said, you’ve got the introduction you need from our The First Descendant beginner’s guide, and now you can run off into the sunset farming the items you want and need.

About the Author

Craig Robinson

Craig is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. He is a big-time MMO fan, with interests in competitive games like League of Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege. When he’s not sweating games, you can find him get

The First Descendant

  • Release Date: 2nd July 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, RPG