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Combat is an essential element in Dragon Age: Origins and central to advancing the game's narrative as well as gaining experience points to improve the abilities of player-controlled characters.

Attack Types Edit

Characters and creatures in Dragon Age: Origins have two kinds of attacks.

The first kind is a "normal" attack. This action is a default attack that uses no special moves or spells, and expends no stamina or mana. Warriors and rogues attack with their equipped weapon, dealing normal damage, while mages attack with their equipped staff (or physical weapon if the mage is an arcane warrior). Thus, a warrior or rogue using a normal attack is usually effective (depending on their weapon), while a mage is often minimally effective.

The second mode of attack is using special abilities called talents or spells. This mode uses up stamina (for warriors and rogues) or mana (for mages) and can be either a "sustained" or an "activated" ability. Special abilities are useful for fighters in dealing greater damage, allowing multiple strikes, or stunning enemies. However, for mages spells are absolutely essential, their combat abilities being primarily tied to the use of mana for a variety of effects including damage, buff, healing, or control.

Health Edit

Heath is the most critical combat statistic to watch, as it is the amount of total damage a character can take before dying or falling unconscious. The red meter outlining the left side of the character portrait tracks this statistic (percentage left vs. total).

Each level of constitution will increase total health by 5 points.

Stamina Edit

Stamina is the pool which allows warriors and rogues to utilize special skills while in combat. The brown/tan meter outlining the right side of the character portrait tracks this statistic (percentage left vs. total).

Stamina regenerates by itself over time, but will generate more slowly during actual combat.

Each level of willpower will increase total stamina by 5 points.

ps3Icon ps3 There is a glitch where your character will not regenerate any stamina, even when stamina regeneration is boosted with spells until you die.

Mana Edit

Mana is the pool which allows mages to cast spells. The blue meter outlining the right side of the character portrait tracks this statistic (percentage left vs. total).

Mana regenerates by itself over time, but will generate more slowly during actual combat.

Each level of willpower will increase total mana by 5 points.

Health and Stamina/Mana in Combat Edit

A party member falls unconscious when that character's health meter drops to zero, and can only be revived if either the combat sequence ends with at least one party member still conscious, or if a spirit healer mage revives that party member with the Revival spell. Characters can heal themselves with health poultices or by using magic abilities.

Special abilities and spells are only able to be activated if that character has enough mana or stamina, as each ability requires a specific amount of mana or stamina to activate—the exception being that blood mages can use their health instead of mana to cast spells. Mana can be replenished by using lyrium potions. Stamina can be replenished using deep mushrooms (pcIcon pc only). Both mana and stamina replenish over time while in combat. This regeneration rate can be increased by equipping certain pieces of equipment.

Fatigue Edit

Main article: Fatigue

Fatigue is a statistic that affects your stamina and mana usage. Fatigue is increased by equipping armor on a character or activating sustained abilities. Fatigue can be reduced through passive talents such as Powerful or Dual-Weapon Mastery, modifiers on gear such as that on Blood Dragon Plate, or armor set bonuses, such as wearing 3 pieces of Leather Armor.

Fatigue affects combat in two ways:

First, fatigue modifies the cost of activated abilities and spells, with the percentage change in cost being equal to the percentage fatigue the character has. For instance, if a character has 10% fatigue (displayed in red), an ability will cost 10% more (for instance from 30 stamina or mana to 33 stamina or mana), while if a character has -10% fatigue (displayed in white), an ability will cost 10% less (for instance from 30 stamina or mana to 27 stamina or mana).

Second, if the amount of fatigue crosses a threshold where it exceeds what would naturally be "absorbed" by the character [and possibly depending on strength] fatigue will decrease the available stamina/mana available for use in combat. This is called a Fatigue Penalty. The Warrior talent, Powerful, increases this threshold.

Spellpower Edit

Main article: Spellpower

Spellpower is the attribute that determines the effect of many mage spells. Only mages have spellpower. It is calculated as [ Magic - 10 (with a minimum of 0) + 'Spellpower from Equipped Items'] and therefore increases by one point for every point a mage spends on his magic attribute above 10. There are several other ways to increase spellpower including equipping staves, other equipment, and activating sustained Mage abilities Spell Wisp and Spell Might.

Attack and Defense Edit

The probability of a hit is (54 + (Attack - Defense)) / 100. For ranged attacks, the Missile Deflection value is used for defense instead.

Armor and Resistances Edit

See also Resistances and Armor

There are many ways to reduce incoming damage to characters, most notably through equipping armor to reduce physical combat damage and by equipping items or casting spells which increase resistances.

Pausing Combat Action Edit

Combat is performed in real-time throughout Dragon Age: Origins. However, combat actions are each performed according the length of time each action is set to. Because of the wide array of actions available to any given character, pausing to plan or assign actions is generally a must, especially for a mage.

Combat can be paused by pressing the space bar at any time, or by enabling the game's auto-pause function in the "Gameplay" menu. While paused the player can select any of the party members and then issue commands to them. Upon resumption of combat the characters will continue according to the actions they were given and according to their tactics settings. It is not possible to issue chains of commands during a single pause; each character will execute the last command they were given and then continue following their tactics.


You may queue one of the following actions while combat is paused, which then will execute once gameplay is resumed:

  • Drink a healing potion
  • Drink a lyrium potion
  • Use any other type of salve or potion
  • Apply a poison to your weapon(s)
  • Cast a spell / Activate an Ability
  • Issue a Move command

The following actions can be performed without restrictions while combat is paused:

  • Deactivate Sustained Abilities (Note: This will likely cancel the character's current action, but there is no limit to the number of Sustained Abilities you can deactivate at once)
  • Switch between weapon profiles
  • Change Characters or select multiple Characters
  • Change targets
  • Modify your quickbar hotbuttons
  • View the Character Info, Skills, and Talents/Spells windows
  • View (and modify) the Inventory and Tactics windows. This includes changing armor/equipment.

However, you cannot do the following during combat (paused or not):

  • Access the Level-Up screen
  • Save your game (Quick or otherwise). Exception: Changing the Option:Game:Difficulty triggers an auto-save.

Difficulty Edit

Enemies typically become tougher as the game proceeds.

  • If you encounter an enemy that you can't beat after repeated attempts, with different strategies, you may be attempting it too early - try again later when you have better abilities and equipment.

General combat difficulty is set in the Game Options. You can change this at any time. Doing so always triggers an Auto Save.

  • Tip: If the strategy above still doesn't work for you, you can "cheat" by dropping the difficulty level and trying again. You can always restore your desired difficulty after the battle is over.

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