Middle Earth: Shadow of War retains much of the same elements that made Shadow of Mordor a good title but also throws a few wrenches into things. Upgrading your weapons are done with gems now. These gems will just slot into whatever weapons you have and go into specific slots.
The gems will stack onto whatever sword, dagger, bow, armor and cloak you have. These gems will give your character a specific boost that will make things a lot easier for you. Unfortunately, it can be pretty hard to find these gems and even unlocking the spots for them to go into is difficult.
Unlocking additional gem slots costs 1,000 Mirian which can be hard to come across and if you’re trying to stay out of the microtransaction territory, you might have some grinding to do.
The gems come into five different tiers:
You can upgrade gems to unlock the three possible bonuses each gem has. You probably shouldn’t rush into upgrading basic gems but instead holding off until you find a higher tiered gem. You will be able to switch these gems depending on what your playstyle is so it’s important to have good gems on hand.
Gems will give you different bonuses depending on what spot they are in. It’s probably worth spending some time with different gems so you can see what they do in different spots.
As for getting gems, there’s a variety of ways to get them. The best way to get them is to just play the game. Playing through the story will take you places that will give you a better idea on how to get the gems. For example, going through the story revealed that you can get gems by destroying encampments of orcs. Having maxed out gems early on in the game probably won’t matter a whole lot but later on you’ll be wishing you had some high quality ones. Instead of collecting gems in the early game, you can instead decide to unlock spots in your weapons so you will have open spots to put your good gems into when you come across them.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is out now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Shadow of War is an Xbox Play Anywhere title meaning a digital copy on Xbox One will get you a copy on Windows 10 and vice-versa.