'The Ascent': Weapon Upgrading Explained

The Ascent is a cyberpunk-influenced twin-stick shooter, with dozens of weapons for you to experiment with.

In the action RPG, you play as a gun-for-hire in a futuristic city that divides its population into separate districts, according to their social class. The entire metropolis is consolidated into one skyscraper, with the inhospitable basement floor reserved for those with the least economic wealth, while the rich and powerful live comfortably at the very top.

Over the course of the game, you will gradually fight your way up these levels, encountering better-outfitted enemies the higher you go. For example, the maintenance tunnels are home only to feeble mutants that do not pose much of a threat. Directly above them, there is a crime-ridden slum district where you will fight against ill-equipped bandits with cheap gear. Above them is the territory of a Yakuza-like gang known as the Rojins and, if you ascend higher still, you will eventually be facing off against the military-grade droids of the city's elite.

Given that combat will be getting progressively tougher as you go, it is vital that you have a suitable loadout for every occasion. Some enemies are vulnerable to fire, while others do not like energy weapons, and you need to make sure that you are ready to take them all on.

How to Upgrade Weapons in 'The Ascent'

Between looting guns in chests, receiving them as rewards upon completing quests, and purchasing them from vendors, your arsenal will build up rather quickly in The Ascent. Depending on how you choose to spend your credits, you could own 10 different weapons within the first couple of hours of gameplay.

While you might subsequently be tempted to neglect your older gear, it is important that you always retain a diverse loadout. For this reason, we would recommend that you only ever sell duplicate firearms in The Ascent, as you never know what tool is going to be best suited for the job at hand.

Sometimes a close-quarters riot gun might come in useful, while on other occasions you might benefit from energy or fire-based weaponry. You should probably even hold on to your starting revolver, as you can keep on modifying this throughout the campaign so that it does not become obsolete.

Speaking of which, to upgrade your weapons you will need to amass components that are found scattered all over the map. These items will glow purple when you are nearby and are often found behind shop counters or in enemy dens.

Once you have enough components, you must then track down a gunsmith, who will be able to use this resource to tinker with your weapons. These vendors are represented on the map by a blacksmith's hammer icon and one of them can be found early on in the Cluster 13 district, right in front of the grafter who can respec your character.

What Happens to Duplicate Weapons?

When you upgrade a gun in The Ascent it is a permanent improvement, even if you later decide to sell it.

This is because your upgrades apply to every single duplicate of the firearm in question. For example, if you own 7 Habdefender PPWs they will all have the exact same stats as each other and the weaponsmith will tinker with them simultaneously. So, if you upgrade one of the submachine guns to its Mk. 5 model, then they will all upgrade the Mk.5 model.

Furthermore, the next time that you pick up a Habdefender PPW, it will inherit all of the upgrades you have already purchased. Even if you sell every single Habdefender PPW in your inventory, this progress will never reset.

In other words, you do not have to worry about managing duplicates of the same weapon here and can confidently sell them all. The Ascent does explain all of this in its tutorial mission, but it is arguably a little too early as you will only have a couple of firearms at that point, and you will not meet a weaponsmith for at least another hour.

Incidentally, another thing that you might not be aware of straight away is the existence of a fast travel mechanic, which will help you navigate the archology in a more timely fashion.

The Ascent is out now for PC and Xbox consoles. It is also featured as part of the Xbox Game Pass Service.

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