TSW Solo Tips: My Builds + New Article

A few months back, I did a post with some tips on how to solo effectively in The Secret World. My helpful traffic chart shows this as one of my most popular posts, and in the time since I wrote it, my soloing skills have only improved, so I’ve decided to do another post of tips on how to solo the dark days.

This time, I’m going to get into the specifics of the builds I use. [This post has been updated to reflect changes made in patch 1.7.]

The best, Jerry:

My Dragon lookin' chill in SeoulFirstly, let’s talk about my Dragon’s soloing build, which uses blades, blood magic, and the quantum BRACE. I’ve been perfecting it for months, and it’s definitely the build I’ve had the most success with while soloing. I used to alter it slightly for nightmare missions, adding more survival skills, but I’m at the point now where I don’t even need to do that. I can handle multiple nightmare mobs at once without much difficulty and can walk the most dangerous areas of the game without fear.

The only exceptions are missions requiring very specific builds. For example, good luck beating the Fata Padurii without hinders, so I switch out my blood magic for elementalism for them.


  • Forking Paths (Blade, outer ring: Point blank AoE builder that heals the player when hitting afflicted targets)
  • Clearing the Path (Blade, outer ring: Point blank AoE finisher with a 40% increased chance to penetrate afflicted targets)
  • Sling Blade (Blade, outer ring: Ranged attack on a short cooldown that causes enemies to be afflicted by a powerful DoT)
  • Bloodshot (Blood, outer ring: Single target finisher that does bonus damage to afflicted targets)
  • Turn the Tables (Upper miscellaneous ring: Self heal)
  • Martial discipline (Blade, inner ring: Defensive cooldown increasing chance for enemies to glance the player)
  • Four Seasons (Blade elite, outer ring: Channeled single target ranged attack that becomes more powerful with every hit, is guaranteed to penetrate, and impairs the target for three seconds at the completion of its channel)
  • Vector-Space (Quantum: Ranged attack that transforms into an AoE if used again on the same target)


  • Breakdown (Chaos, outer ring: All attacks by blade/chaos/hammer skills apply exposed, causing enemies to take 3% more damage and stacking up to ten times)
  • Bloodsport (Fist weapons, outer ring: All attacks cause enemies to be afflicted by a weak DoT, stacking up to three times)
  • Iron Maiden (Blood, outer ring: Penetrating an afflicted target increases penetration chance by 10% for eight seconds)
  • Salt in the Wound: (Fist weapons, outer ring: Applying afflicted causes the target to take an additional hit of physical damage)
  • Flight of Daggers (Blade elite, outer ring: Every fifth attack causes an AoE that deals moderate damage and causes targets to be afflicted by a DoT)
  • Immortal Spirit (Blade, inner ring: Penetrating applies a heal over time effect to the player)
  • Regeneration: (Blade, inner ring: Martial discipline also applies a powerful heal over time effect)
  • Supersymmetry (Quantum: Quantum abilities perform an extra hit on enemies above 50% health)

As you can see, it’s a build focused on exploiting affliction and penetration, with an emphasis on self-healing for survival. It gives me powerful area of effect damage, but Clearing the Path also hits hard even on a single target, and Bloodshot and Four Seasons ensure I’m never wanting for single target damage.

My Dragon blasting zmeu with his quantum BRACE in The Secret WorldFour Seasons is absolutely beastly, by the way. It’s worth using even on enemies that are immune to the impair.

While it’s mainly a melee build, I also have a lot of options for doing damage at range if I need to run out to avoid an enemy attack. Overall, it’s a very well-rounded build with few weaknesses.

For gear, I focus mostly on DPS items, but I use a minor talisman with heal rating and a major talisman with health for extra survivability. It should be noted that I still have some greens, which balance health and attack rating, so that balance may change as I upgrade to full blues/purples.

The one problem with this build is that it’s pretty much solo-only. This would be a terrible build for dungeons — it’s too focused on survivability and AoE, and melee builds generally don’t do well in dungeons. Plus running an impair as a DPS will make tanks hate you.

The gunslinger:

Now we come to my schizophrenic Templar. She’s changed builds countless times over her career, but the current one is the best and most fun yet, and I think it may finally be a keeper.

My Templar by Anastasia's Wagon in The Secret WorldThis build uses hammers, pistols, and whips. It’s a bit weaker in both damage and survivability than my Dragon’s build, but it gets the job done, and I can even solo most nightmares with little or no modification.


  • Hair Trigger (Pistol, outer ring: Single target focus builder)
  • Backhanded (Hammer, inner ring: Single target attack with a short cooldown that generates two hammer resources if you have no hammer resources)
  • Shootout (Pistol, inner ring: Single target focus finisher)
  • Razor Shards (Hammer, outer ring: Point blank AoE finisher that generates additional hate)
  • Turn the Tables
  • Stonewalled (Hammer, inner ring: Defensive cooldown that increases block chance)
  • Gun Crazy (Pistol elite, outer ring: Channeled attack that deals high single target damage with a burst of AoE)
  • Crack! (Whip: Column AoE attack)


  • Dark Potency (Blood, inner ring: Applying afflicted increases penetration rating by 30, stacking up to five times)
  • Finish the Movement (Blade, outer ring: Finishing a focus attack grants a resource for that weapon)
  • Twist the Knife (Blade, outer ring: Penetrating gives a 3% buff to damage, stacking up to three times)
  • Overpenetration (Shotgun, outer ring: Every fourth time you penetrate, you gain +10% chance to penetrate for eight seconds)
  • Flight of Daggers
  • Immortal Spirit
  • Lick Your Wounds (Fist weapons, inner ring: Every time you attack, you gain a weak heal over time effect, stacking up to five times)
  • Jones in the Fast Lane (Whip: All whip ability cooldowns are reduced by 50%)

As you can see, it’s based on many of the same principles as the Dragon’s build, even if the abilities are different. The interesting thing, though, is that it still feels like a very different build. It might function similarly under the hood, but it still feels like a different experience. This shows the power of passive choice.

She's got an axe!My favourite thing about this build is that I generally never have to use more than two builders before each finisher. Three if you want to count Backhanded. Considering you normally need to use five, that just feels awesome.

It’s a little weaker on the AoE, but its single target damage is strong, and having a ranged builder allows you to be very mobile.

Again, the main disadvantage of this build is that it isn’t that good in group situations, though it is a lot better than the Dragon’s as long as you replace Razor Shards with something that won’t make your tank’s life miserable.

I use a modified version of this build with elemental magic instead of hammers for DPSing dungeons. I’d post it, too, but I’m new to dungeons, and I’m sure much better DPS builds are out there. Plus, this post is already really long.

* * *

My reason for posting these isn’t so much to allow people to copy them exactly — though feel free to do so — but just to give some examples of the kinds of builds and synergies that work well in this game. I do highly recommend experimenting with your own builds; it’s a very gratifying experience.

Also, random fun fact: I’ve written a good chunk of this post while in the game so I could make sure all my info was accurate. Advantage of an in-game web browser.Me writing this blog post from within The Secret WorldNew article:

My latest contribution over at WhatMMO is Five More Untapped MMO Concepts. I’d totally play an espionage MMO — I’m picturing No One Lives Forever meets The Secret World.

I’d roll KGB. For the Motherland, comrade!

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