'The Ascent': How Long to Beat and Full Quest List

The Ascent is a story-driven RPG with multiple side-quests, optional conversations, deep customization options and copious amounts of lore to delve into. As such, you might expect that the title will have hundreds of hours of gameplay, rivaling the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

However, The Ascent is a labor of love from a small 12-person development team, rather than a major AAA studio, so its scope is not quite so grand.

How Long Is 'The Ascent'?

Your mileage with The Ascent will vary depending on how much of its side content you choose to engage with, and also how regularly you are taking advantage of the fast travel system to skip past dungeons.

In addition to the main quests, there are at least 20 side missions for you to complete (some of which take under 10 minutes, while others are far more extensive), optional areas to explore, and valuable pieces of loot to pillage. You can easily sink hours into the various upgrading systems and character augmentation menus, crafting a build that is unique to you.

Another thing that makes it difficult to gauge the length of an average playthrough here is that, to some extent, enemy ambushes are procedurally generated. This means that your progress could be obstructed more often than another player's might be. Also, if you are playing solo (rather than in co-op) it will inevitably take you a little longer to clear certain areas and defeat the tougher bosses.

Despite all these variables, the developers at Neon Giant estimate that a thorough playthrough of The Ascent will take up to 20 hours of your time. Meanwhile, if you are just blitzing through the story campaign you are probably looking at a 12-15 hour commitment.

In our experience, you are going to want to dip your toes into at least some of the side content, so that you are appropriately upgraded when it comes to the main missions. You can check the recommended level for each quest by looking in your codex.

'The Ascent': Mission List

There are 12 main missions in The Ascent and at least 20 side quests. The optional content will unlock after you have spoken to Poon in "Archology Blues."

Main Missions:

  1. Arcology Blues
  2. Mutual Dependencies
  3. Trading Places
  4. Empowerment
  5. Data Miner
  6. Foreign Code
  7. Trace Protocol
  8. Syntax Error
  9. Recompile
  10. Board Meeting
  11. Root Access
  12. Unhandled Exception

Side Missions:

  1. Gear Up!
  2. Anabolic Express
  3. Balls Deep
  4. Bubble Trouble
  5. Double Charge
  6. Humidity Doctor
  7. Silicon Optics
  8. One More Rep
  9. Lost and Found
  10. The Dark Horse
  11. Exotic Dinner
  12. Prison Break
  13. Wash-N'-Go
  14. Casino Courier
  15. Gen 9 H20
  16. You Snooze You Lose
  17. Plug & Play
  18. The Recipe
  19. The Champ
  20. That Guy

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

Correction 8/2/21, 02.33 a.m. ET: This article originally claimed that there were 20 side quests in The Ascent. It has been updated to reflect that this is just a working list of all the side quests that have been found so far.

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