5 reasons you should be playing The First Descendant

James Lynch
Enzo cover art in The First Descendant

The First Descendant has some stiff competition in the looter shooter genre, but with impressive gameplay and intuitive buildcrafting, there’s a lot to like. Though there are some gripes, there are also plenty of reasons to jump on and give it a go.

The game has steadily improved since its full release. Server issues at launch have been addressed while balancing and weapon viability are receiving regular, positive updates. The community is also thriving, with the concurrent player count consistently sitting at over 100,000.

To briefly address the biggest issue with The First Descendant, some players have criticized the lengthy grinds involved in some of the game’s progression elements. These can be bypassed in exchange for real-world currency, but this transaction model has proved unpopular in some quarters.

All of that said, the game certainly delivers on thrills, combining spectacular combat with a compelling story to create a package that feels distinct from other genre entries.

These are our five biggest reasons to play The First Descendant.

Descendant choices offer many ways to play

Bunny cover art in The First Descendant

When logging in for the first time, you will be asked to pick one of three Descendants. Descendants are humans who have unlocked new powers via a secret in their genetics known as Arche. This elevates them far beyond their usual abilities, improving their strength, speed, and stamina.

Each of the three choices on offer gives you a different way to play. Ajax is a great support character with excellent stun potential, Lepic leads from the front with immense explosive attacks, and Viessa is a great choice for traditional shooter fans and those interested in more complex mechanics.

There are a lot of different Descendants to unlock beyond those three, and each has its own distinct playstyle and strengths. Though earning them can take a little while, there should be a little something for everyone here. Whether you’re looking to support your squad with a character like Yujin or zip around the map with Bunny, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Weapon and build customization is broad

Best Thunder Cage weapon build The First descendant

A lot of looter shooters have some form of weapon customization, but The First Descendant adds depth to the system via Modules. These do several things, from improving base ATK to Critical Hit rate, with the developers prioritizing these tangible benefits over the inclusion of more cosmetic customization options.

While a certain amount of grinding is involved in getting the best ones, they drop enough that it feels worth pursuing. Their relative rarity also allows the game to retain that rewarding feeling when the module that you’ve been searching for finally drops. This is a feeling that’s been lost in other looter shooters, so the developer should do everything they can to retain that for as long as possible.

Squad play rewards cohesion

The First Descendant squad

One of the coolest design elements in The First Descendant is the emphasis it places on you playing a role in an overall squad. Though set roles like Healer and Support are obviously nothing new, the way this idea has been integrated into The First Descendant gameplay loop is genuinely impressive.

Many skills and abilities provide direct benefits to teammates, but this can be further added to via modules. These can increase the overall efficacy of skills, as well as adding extra effects and buffs that massively improve chances of success in difficult activities. Beyond this, guns like Nazeistra’s Devotion restore ally’s shields, all of which make the game feel rewarding if you’re on top of mechanics like that.

The First Descendant is a huge game with a lot to do

The First Descendant Blair skills

One thing The First Descendant can’t be accused of is lacking in things to do. There is an immense amount to pursue across the board, with much of it related to direct progression. Whether you’re searching for new materials to craft weapons and unlock Descendants or taking on a mighty Colossus, you should find that you’re always moving forward.

Admittedly, some of the activities are very repetitive, but if you find yourself bored, there is always something else to do that proves useful in your overall journey. Regardless of what you choose to do, you’ll always be leveling your character and weapons, so there is literally no chance of wasting your efforts entirely.

Set piece fights are impressive

The Pyromaniac boss in The First Descendant

The big appeal of The First Descendant is its set piece fights against enormous opponents. The best examples of this come throughout the story and during Void Intercept battles, where players take on enormous Colossi. These foes provide an immense challenge at higher levels and reward skillful play, thanks to the presence of Weak Points.

These enemies are also hugely varied in their design, so previous experience against one Colossus one necessarily be beneficial against another. At the time of writing, these enemies provide the most immense challenge available and the greatest sense of accomplishment that The First Descendant is currently able to provide. Combat is solid overall, but fights against these huge enemies are where the game truly shines.

That’s our list of the biggest reasons to give The First Descendant a go right now. If you’ve decided on a character but aren’t sure how to take full advantage of their skills, we have build guides available for Bunny, Ajax, Freyna, Jayber, Lepic, Viessa, Blair, Valby, Kyle, and Gley. If you aren’t sure who to go with, check out our full tier list to see who is performing the best.