Dragon Age Origins Solo Guide - Strategy for Soloing in Nightmare as a Rogue - General Tactics Tips and Combat Strategy

Dragon Age Origins Solo Guide - Strategy for Soloing in Nightmare as a Rogue - General Tactics Tips and Combat Strategy
Page content

Why Play Dragon Age Origins as a Solo Rogue?

Dragon Age Origins has multiple game play possibilities. Different characters can be played that have a variety of backgrounds, skills and abilities. The Rogue is a difficult character to play even with a full team of characters. You may have even tried playing solo as an Arcane Warrior with success. Soloing as a Rogue provides you with a tougher challenge and makes you rethink your strategy techniques.

This Dragon Age Origins guide describes what you need to know for success in soloing nightmare with a Rogue character.

Dragon Age Origins Solo Guide - General Character Soloing Rules

It is assumed you have played Dragon Age Origins at least once with a full party of characters. It is also preferred that you have previously played the game at Nightmare level.

Other characters cannot help you with your quest. In sections where you are forced to include additional characters, their tactics will need to be shut off. The exceptions to this rule are the NPC’s that you do not have direct control over. This includes a section towards the end of the game. Shut off tactics by pressing the “select” button and then the R2 button on your PS3 controller. This will allow you to access the tactics/stats menu. Press the triangle button to display the tactics screen. To disable the tactics, press the triangle button in this menu. All of the tactics listed should now appear dark. Next, close the screen with the circle button.

Using any of the other character’s abilities (including creating salves or potions) is not allowed. This is considered cheating. Your solo rogue will be a self sufficient character.

Guidelines for Playing Nightmare as a Solo Rogue

Dragon Age Origins screenshot

Choose a Human Rogue for your character. The Ranger and Duelist specializations will need to be unlocked.

Playing a solo rogue requires the use of a lot of poisons, bombs, salves and such. So, expect to pay a lot of gold for these ingredients. Don’t be stingy on this!

Generally when you are fighting, you are using melee (dual weapon) and wearing heavy armor. When fighting the High Dragon, Broodmother and Archdemon switch to medium armor and a bow to attack. Animals are constantly cast as a distraction.

For enemy groups that have mages, cast and put animal on hold. Character goes into stealth and sneaks up to the mage. Take animal off of hold and bring him to you. This will lure some enemies away towards the animal. Coat weapon with Deathroot Extract (and possibly other poisons depending on enemy). Backstab the mage and use Dirty Fighting to kill him.

Areas with enemies that pounce use Rock Salve to boost up your armor.

While in stealth, set traps to slow enemies down. (spring trap mostly since it is the cheap and easy to make). When needed, use claw trap for extra damage to enemies. This is most effective at the beginning of the game.

If you have 3rd level Stealth and your animal helper dies in the middle of combat, go into stealth and cast another animal helper.

Use Stealth to get the threat of enemies off of you. They will then focus on the animal helper.

Check out the following link if you are interested in a solo rogue guide to Dragon Age Origins Awakening.

Dragon Age Origins Solo Guide: Suggestions for the Beginning of the Game

Dragon Age Origins screenshot - Ogre

The beginning of the game is the most difficult when you solo in Nightmare as a rogue. Follow this part of the DAO guide for some helpful suggestions:

  • During your character’s origin story section in the Cousland castle, look for NPC Cousland soldier characters (these you cannot control so they are okay) to help you survive the combat situations in the beginning of the game.
  • Sell all of Mom’s, Alistair’s and your Dog’s equipment. You will need the gold to purchase important items before the Joining occurs.
  • Purchase a lot of bombs from the merchant in Ostagar before and after the Joining (the merchant restocks after finishing the Krikori Wilds mission). You will need to save these for use against the Ogre boss at the top of the Tower of Ishal. You will probably use 9+ bombs on the Ogre himself.
  • Buy Deathroot Extract, flasks and the recipe for Rock Salve from the Ostagar merchant. Deathroot will be used to create an effective poison that can stun your enemies (when coated on your melee weapons). The Rock Salve recipe is important for protecting your character against pouncing during combat situations. Also, no merchants carry any Rock Salve potions in their inventory until you are at the Landsmeet.
  • Combat Tactics – Use Dirty Fighting to stun. Then attack from the back and backstab your enemy (mostly used in the beginning of Dragon Age Origins in the Cousland section of the game).
  • Another good tactic is to lure enemies. Get your character into a corner when outnumbered for the best attack advantage.
  • Keep any injury kits found in Ostagar and use them to heal yourself quickly in a pinch later

Other Important Tips

  • Before visiting the Circle of Magi (and starting the main quest there), be sure your solo rogue has plenty of spirit bombs available in your inventory.
  • When visiting merchants, pick up lots of trap triggers and iron shards to create traps
  • Find and wear the heaviest armor you can. Heavy armor protects the character from a lot of damage due to pouncing by enemies. The only exception to wearing heavy armor is when you need to use a bow. In this case you will swap it out with a medium or light chest piece (for faster bow attacks). Note: Be sure not to throw out any good light or medium chest piece out of your inventory
  • When you have the Ranger specialty, always use the animals as a diversion for enemies and for extra damage to your enemies.
  • Once you get past the Ogre in the Tower of Ishal, the game becomes easier (but not that easy). Also, when you obtain the Lifegiver ring, the game becomes even easier.

Order of Quests

Dragon Age Origins screenshot

The following is the recommended order you should follow to complete quests when playing this Dragon Age Origins game solo as a rogue:

  • Redcliff – This is one of the easiest areas to play, especially with a solo character.
  • Denerim Side Quests – Complete as many side quests as you can in Denerim for gold and experience. It is important you include Sergeant Kylon’s quests – After completion of the first side quest for him “Pearls before Swine”, you will have an encounter where you will have to fight Cristof, the leader of the mercenaries. Once you defeat him, you will pick up a great weapon that your character needs – the Adoh axe.
  • Circle of Magi- This area is easier for the solo rogue (especially in the Fade)
  • Orzammar – The first time you visit here, you will not be completing the main quest. Instead, obtain the 20 gold sovereigns from the smuggler in Dust Town (this is the one who has been smuggling Lyrium to a mage in the Circle of Magi). You will need to kill him to get this gold. Next you will go to the Orzammar Shaperate to obtain the Gloves of Diligence. These are located in a locked chest at that location. Note: Another important item in Orzammar is the Lifegiver ring. You will need it, but it is very expensive to purchase and will most likely get it after you complete the Brecilian Ruins area.
  • Brecilian Forest and Ruins – The Dragon in the Brecilian Ruins has 20 gold sovereigns in his horde of treasure (you will need to kill him first to get it). Note: After completion of this area you should have enough gold to purchase the Lifegiver ring from Orzammar.
  • Warden’s Keep (optional)
  • Haven- Urn of the Sacred Ashes Quest
  • Orzammar for main quest

Dragon Age Origins Solo Guide: Important Items to Purchase

The following are crucial items you will need to succeed while soloing in Nightmare as a rogue:

Weapons, Tomes, Armor and Runes

  • Lifegiver Ring- Located in Orzammar in the Commons area
  • Spellward Amulet – Purchase from Bodan (camp)
  • Wades’ Superior Dragonbone Plate Armor Set
  • The Roses’ Thorn Dagger – Located in Orzammar Commons
  • Grandmaster Paralyze Rune – (Useful with Coupe de Grace skill and in general). Located at the Wonders of Thedas in the Denerim Marketplace
  • Expert Paralyze Rune for your secondary melee weapon.
  • 3 Tomes of Physical Technique
  • 2 Tomes of Skill and Sundry
  • Grandmaster Flame Rune – High Dragon
  • Grandmaster Frost Rune
  • Master Dweomer Rune (2) – Brother Genitivi will give you one of them as a reward for finding the Sacred Ashes of Andraste.

Dragon Age Origins screenshot

Grenade Recipes

  • Fire Bomb, Freeze Bomb, Acid Flask, Shock Bomb and Soul Rot Bomb

Poison Recipes

  • Venom, Deathroot Extract, Concentrated Deathroot Extract, Demonic Poison, Magebane and Concentrated Demonic Poison.

Potion Recipes

  • Lesser Health Poultice, Health Poultice, Dwarven Regicide Antidote (cures nasty spells cast on you. It is located in Orzammar)
  • Rock Salve, Incense of Awareness and Swift Salve

Gaining Levels 1 through 9 – Skills, Attributes and Abilities you will need

Use this part of the rogue solo guide for selecting the skills, attributes and talents in the first 9 levels of the game:

Level 1

Note: At Level 1, you start off with the following attribute points: Strength 15, Dexterity 16, Willpower 12, Magic 11, Cunning 15 and Constitution 10

  • 1 point in Poison
  • 3 points in Combat Training
  • Dirty Fighting
  • Dual Weapon Training
  • Dual Weapon Finesse

Level 2

  • Dual Weapon Sweep
  • 1 point in Herbalism
  • 2 points into Dexterity
  • 1 point into Strength

Level 3

  • Flurry
  • 3 points into Dexterity

Level 4

  • Trap-Making
  • Momentum
  • 3 points into Dexterity

Level 5

  • 3 points into Strength
  • 1 point into Constitution
  • 2 points into Stealth

Level 6

  • 3 points into Strength
  • 1 point into Poison
  • 1 point into Lock Picking

Level 7

  • 3 points into Strength
  • Ranger Specialization
  • Summon Wolf

Level 8

  • 3 points into Cunning
  • 1 point into Herbalism
  • 1 point into Stealth (3rd level)

Level 9

  • 2 points Strength
  • 1 point Cunning
  • 1 point Lock Picking (2nd level)

Final Dragon Age Origins Solo Rogue Character Statistics

Dragon Age Origins screenshot

At level 20 your solo rogue should have the following attributes, skills and talents:


Strength 61, Dexterity 35, Willpower 16, Magic 12, Cunning 24, Constitution 15


3rd level Coercion, 2nd Level Trap Making, 4th Level Herbalism, 4th Level Poison, 4th Level Combat Training


Row 1 - Dirty Fighting, Combat Movement, Coupe de Grace

Row 2 - Below the Belt, Deadly Strike, Lethality, Evasion

Row 3 - 4th Level Lock Picking

Row 4 - 4th Level Stealth

  • Ranger specialization is maximized
  • Dualist Specialization - Level 3
  • Power of Blood (from Warden’s Keep) Dark Passage and Tainted Blade - Optional

Dual Weapon

Row 1- Dual Weapon Training, Dual Weapon Finesse

Row 2- Dual Weapon Sweep, Flurry, Momentum


Strategy based on game play by Christopher F. Robinson.

Game screenshots created by Sheila Robinson.

This post is part of the series: Dragon Age Origins Rogue Class Guides

Read this guide on how to play the Rogue in Dragon Age Origins.

  1. Dragon Age Origins: Playing the Rogue
  2. Getting Started as a Rogue in Dragon Age Origins
  3. Guide to Rogue Talents in Dragon Age: Origins
  4. Rogue Combat Guide for Dragon Age: Origins
  5. How to Play Dragon Age: Origins Awakening Solo as a Rogue
  6. Dragon Age Origins: Guide to Soloing Nightmare as Rogue