Whether you’re an achievement hunter or a trophy collector, getting all of the accolades in your favorite games isn’t always the easiest of tasks. Dragon Age: Inquisition has its fair share of hard-to-get achievements/trophies, some of which are completely missable if you’re not sure what to do or what choice to make when the time comes.
Fortunately for you, we’ve pulled together the ten hardest accolades to unlock and listed them just below with explanations on exactly how you can earn them. There are plenty of other accolades for this game that are worth checking into, as although they’re not difficult, they can be easily missed.
10 Master Builder — Craft an item from Tier 4 materials in all non-masterwork slots in single-player mode.
This is actually easier than it sounds, but some players might find it difficult if they haven’t been exploring much or doing the additional tasks that net you tier 4 materials, such as dragon hunting.
The item can be a weapon or armor and can be crafted at any station, either in a stronghold such as Skyhold, at keeps, or at various camps. Check the tier of the item before you use it, but essentially all dragon drops are tier 4. If you don’t want to waste these items, save before crafting so you can get your accolade and then reload your save.
If for some reason, you have already defeated all the dragons and sold off their parts, you can purchase more tier 4 items from The Black Emporium, which is DLC that can be downloaded completely for free. Additionally, they can also be sold from the merchant in The Winter Palace during the Trespasser DLC content.
9 Marked for Greatness — Seal 75 rifts in a single playthrough.
Throughout your adventures in Thedas, you will come across green glowing rifts that spew out demons from The Fade. In order to seal these rifts, you must first defeat the demons nearby.
There are multiple rifts on each map, though not in areas such as Skyhold or Val Royeaux, and the rifts become increasingly difficult based on the area they are in, with some of them spawning particularly tough monsters. You can find a breakdown of how many rifts there are in each area just below, most of which also have sidequests tied to them:
- Hinterlands – 12
- Storm Coast – 3
- Fallow Mire – 2
- Crestwood – 4
- Forbidden Oasis – 5
- Western Approach – 8
- Exalted Plains – 11
- Emerald Graves – 11
- Emprise du Lion – 6
- Hissing Wastes – 12
These rifts only amount to 74 in total, however, rifts that you seal as part of the main storyline and other sidequests also count towards your total. In most areas, you will receive “Sealing the Rifts” quests that can be viewed from the world map, so you can see your progress in each area and more easily identify where you are missing some for completion purposes.
8 Stargazer — Unlock 15 astrariums in a single playthrough.
Astrariums are devices that look upon constellations, which in turn offer players a puzzle to solve as they must connect the stars in a “dot to dot” style without overlapping any lines. There are 15 astrariums in total, so this accolade is unlocked by solving all of them. None of the puzzles are outrageously difficult, it’s just more of a grind to find and solve them all.
Just below you’ll find a list of how many astrariums are on each map and the areas in which they can found.
- 3 in Crestwood: Glenmorgan Mine, Forester Homestead, and East Hills/The Flats.
- 3 in the Stormcoast: Great Cove, Apostate’s Landing, and Morrin’s Outlook.
- 3 in the Western Approach: Prison Ruins, Griffon Wing Keep, and Echoback Fort.
- 3 in the Hinterlands: Dead Ram Grove, The Outskirts, and Hafter’s Woods.
- 3 in the Emerald Graves: Western Riverbank, Basin Floor, and Cliffside Path.
7 Botanist — Harvest 50 herbs from Skyhold’s garden in a single playthrough.
This isn’t really a truly difficult achievement, it just involves a lot of time and a lot of grinding as you are limited to how much you can gather and how often. Once you reach Skyhold, you will find the Skyhold Garden Recipe on the desk in the Inquisitor’s Quarters.
You will have to make a choice in making Skyhold’s courtyard area into a chantry or a garden. Either way you choose will result in plant pots so you can start working towards this accolade, however, choosing a garden over a chantry will grant you more plant pots and therefore, you can get this done quicker. Additionally, it’s worth noting that choosing the chantry option does not benefit you or your playthrough in any way.
6 Persuasive — Acquire 10 Inquisition agents in a single playthrough.
Considering there are 21 agents to recruit in the base game, this accolade sounds like it would be pretty easy to unlock. However, most of the agents are tied to the player making certain decisions, selecting particular conversation choices, or knowing where to look for them (especially as some aren’t available once you have progressed past certain points).
Luckily, we have a handy guide of where you can find all 21 agents and how to recruit them, so you can be sure to get this accolade without worrying.
5 Master Alchemist — Upgrade your alchemic potions, grenades, or tonics 30 times in a single playthrough.
This accolade is partially difficult due to having to find all the recipes in order to upgrade the potions, grenades, or tonics, and partially difficult due to the grind of having to collect the herbs in order to upgrade them.
We’ve got a few tips that will make this a little easier:
- Collect all resources you come across.
- Get the Inquisition Perks that increase the number of items you get when you harvest (Optimal Cutting), and make good use of the Skyhold garden for those rarer plants.
- The rarest herb is Prophet’s Laurel, it can be found on the Storm Coast in a cave in the south-eastern corner of the map, or in The Emerald Graves, just behind a tree in the northeast corner of Villa Maurel.
- A merchant in Val Royeaux sells a number of Elemental Resistance potions, all of which have fairly low requirements in terms of plants needed to upgrade, so make the most of these.
- If you have the Trespasser DLC, you can buy most of the ingredients you need from a merchant in The Winter Palace instead of farming for them, but you’ll need a lot of gold.
4 Keymaster — Enter the heart of the Solasan temple.
The Solasan Temple can be found in The Forbidden Oasis, which is tied to the quest “The Temple of Pride”. In order to fully enter the temple and claim the accolade involves collecting all 104 shards that can be found throughout the game.
All open-world outside areas (not Skyhold or Val Royeaux) have shards scattered all over their maps. You can find these shards by using the Ocularum found on each map (a glowing skull atop a pillar).
After using the Ocularum and discovering all shards by identifying the glowing spots in the distance, you can more easily identify their locations by selecting the shard location on the map and setting a waypoint on it. This will then cause a beam of light to appear from the shard in question, which can make the trickier ones easier to discern.
If you’re unsure how many shards you have, you can go to the world map, hover over each location, and press the button to cycle quests to see how many are left to obtain in each area. Once you have all 104, head to the Solasan Temple and use them to unlock doors and gain entry into the heart of the temple.
3 Dragon’s Bane — Slay 10 high dragons in single-player mode.
There are ten high dragons scattered across Thedas for players to find and defeat, a number of which can be particularly hard to kill, especially depending on the difficulty chosen. The location of all the dragons are as follows:
- Hinterlands — Fereldan Frostback
- Crestwood — Northern Hunter
- Exalted Plains — Gamordan Stormrider
- Western Approach — Abyssal High Dragon
- Storm Coast — Vinsomer
- Emerald Graves — Greater Mistral
- Emprise Du Lion — Hivernal
- Hissing Wastes — Sandy Howler
- Emprise Du Lion — Kaltenzahn
- Emprise Du Lion — Highland Ravager
You can find a more comprehensive guide on exact locations and how to beat all the high dragons here.
One of the other things that make this accolade hard to unlock is that it often glitches and only counts nine dragons instead of all ten, but fortunately, you can get around this by killing the extra high dragon included in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC.
2 Belle of the Ball — Gain the full approval of the Orlesian court.
During the “Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts” main quest, you will find yourself amongst the Orlesian nobility and everything you do will be constantly earning or losing you the approval of the court. Your court rating will show on the screen, and in order to unlock this accolade, you need to earn 100 approval in total.
Players begin with a court approval rating of 40, but they will lose 10 points if they are a human mage, an elf, or a dwarf, because of social stigmas. Qunari Inquisitors instead lose 15 points, but human rogue or warrior Inquisitors gain an additional 5 points.
You’ll be able to explore the palace at will, but you will constantly lose court approval while in restricted areas. This can easily be earned back in various ways, such as choosing the correct dialogue options when speaking to NPCs.
There are a couple of key moments you should know about earning approval. There are times you have to return to the main ballroom, which is indicated by a bell sounding to summon everyone back. Depending on how quickly you return to the ballroom affects your approval rating.
- Returning after the first bell sounds has no approval change.
- Returning after the second bell is considered being “fashionably late” and earns you +10 approval.
- Returning after the third bell is considered rude and you lose -20 approval.
Additionally, there is a point where Florianne comes and speaks to you, be sure to choose the following options to improve your court approval rating:
- “Let’s Dance.”
- “Why don’t you educate me?” (Or alternatively, “Orlais’ war is Thedas’ war.” with nobility knowledge, or “Orlais is everyone’s business.” for a human rogue.
- “Is that what we both want?”
- “Which am I to you?”
- “Who do you trust?”
- “Isn’t everyone?”
It doesn’t matter if your approval is slightly less than 100 when you speak to Cullen before the Empress is due to give her speech, as choosing the option “I’ll talk with Florianne” will push you over that 100 threshold. You must have a court rating of at least 85 for this option to appear.
1 Inquisitor — Finish the single-player campaign on Nightmare without lowering the difficulty
We’re tying this accolade in with the “Herald” trophy/achievement, which requires the player to complete the game on Hard mode as both accolades will stack, so unlocking Inquisitor will also unlock Herald.
This accolade requires players to complete the game on Nightmare mode without lowering the difficulty. Fortunately, Nightmare mode is available from the get-go, unlike other games where you have to have completed the game at least once to get its hardest difficulty mode.
Nightmare mode essentially buffs all enemy stats, making your playthrough a lot more difficult. While there is no right or wrong way to attaining this achievement, there are some tips we can give you to make it a little easier.
Set up: Most players recommend that the Inquisitor should be a ranged attacker, such as a ranged-attack rogue or a mage. Having one tank, Cassandra is considered the best choice, limits the number of people in the melee range of enemies, as your final two companion slots should also be ranged attackers (either rogues or mages). Having two mages ensures you can keep a barrier up for the majority of the battle.
Run Away If You Need To: On Nightmare mode, some of the areas within the game can be pretty brutal. If your party members are dying, run away from combat (made easier if you can stealth away depending on the class you choose) and once you get far away enough, your companions will revive and the enemies will stop chasing. Additionally, the enemies won’t replenish their health.
Always stay stocked up on potions and grenades: This is especially important for areas that you can’t leave until you have completed that portion of the story. Additionally, heal up and use your supplies before you interact with any Supply Caches.
Skip any bosses you can: There are a couple of boss fights you can miss based on decisions you make in the game. See below for some examples of where this is possible.
- Florianne Battle: During the “Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts” main quest, if you collect enough evidence about Florianne’s murder plot and have a high enough court rating (85+) then you can have her arrested before having to enter into combat with her. Simply choose the “I’ll talk with Florianna” option when Cullen approaches you after you have returned from the Royal Wing.
- Calpernia Battle: Siding with the templars instead of the mages at the beginning of the game will see you facing off against Calpernia instead of Samson later in the game. However, if you have completed Leliana’s “Under Her Skin” Nemesis Sidequest that involves uncovering information about Calpernia, you can skip this fight entirely.
- Abelas Battle: During “What Pride Had Wrought”, choose to take the long path that involves several puzzles and later accept Abelas’s offer of an alliance to avoid a battle with him and his sentinels.
- Dragon Fight. There is another skippable battle based on your decision in “What Pride Had Wrought”, but you will miss out on another achievement if you opt to miss this fight. Choosing Morrigan to drink from the Well of Sorrows instead of the Inquisitor skips a dragon fight, but you’ll lose out on the”On Burning Wings” accolade. If you already have this accolade and you are doing a playthrough simply for Nightmare/Hard difficulty completion, then absolutely choose Morrigan.
Next: Dragon Age Inquisition: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Main Story
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
Meg appreciates gaming on all formats, but primarily spends her time achievement hunting to the extreme. Her passion for gaming began as a child, when first introduced to the Amstrad. A collector of gaming consoles past and present, Meg spends as much of her time rediscovering old classics as she does playing the latest releases.
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