Anthem Stronghold Guide: Masterwork Gear & Loot Farming

The world of BioWare’s Anthem is a beautiful one, but it’s also quite dangerous. One of the most dangerous things you can do in the game is take part in activities called Strongholds — which are introduced during the campaign and expanded upon in the Anthem endgame.

“Endgame” is the key buzzword when it comes to Strongholds. You don’t really have to worry much about the activities until you finish the story campaign. But once the credits roll on the story of Anthem, it’s time to dig a little deeper into Strongholds and what they contain.

Anthem Javelin Squad

What Are Strongholds?

Strongholds are “pinnacle” endgame activities in Anthem. You could say they’re akin to dungeons in traditional MMOs. To give another direct comparison, though, they are very similar to Strikes in the Destiny series.

In Anthem, Strongholds are a huge part of the endgame grind. There are currently no Raids or similar activities in Anthem at launch. Although an equivalent called a Cataclysm is coming soon. So for not, Strongholds are the next best thing.

You definitely want to get used to Strongholds and how they work, too — assuming you have any plans at all to delve into the Anthem endgame. Outside of Strongholds, the endgame has Freeplay (which does house public and live events), Legendary contracts, and some other contracts that pop up periodically. That’s really about it at launch.

How Do Strongholds Work?

Strongholds play out much like any other mission in Anthem, but with more complexity and some sense of mystery (at first). They also always finish with a big boss fight.

You’ll be tasked with completing a number of activities — like silencing Relics, collecting Echoes, and defeating mini-bosses — as well as clearing out areas of enemies. But what sets Strongholds apart from other Anthem activities is what makes them most important — that sweet, sweet loot.

There are loot chests in every Stronghold in Anthem. The first two are placed after certain encounters or activities within the Stronghold. Meanwhile, the final boss itself drops the most loot once it dies at the end of the expedition. On top of that, the boss always drops at least one guaranteed Masterwork item. So there’s an incentive to play through the whole Stronghold.

Once you’re in the Anthem endgame, and the main goal is to get the best loot possible, the place to find the best and most loot drops is in Strongholds. You’re meant to play Strongholds over and over again, perfecting each run with different and better gear at higher difficulty levels

How Many Strongholds Does Anthem Have?

Sadly, during the Anthem launch window, there are only three Strongholds: Tyrant Mine, Temple of Scar, and The Heart of Rage. The last of which is actually just a modified version of the final story mission. You can and should grind these three Strongholds over and over on multiple difficulties if you want to earn top-tier loot.

Thankfully, BioWare has already revealed plans to add more Strongholds to the game over time as free DLC. In February, BioWare unveiled a 90-day road map for Anthem Season 1 content. In April of 2019, the company plans to bring a new Stronghold called “The Sunken” to the game, free of charge.

You can bet that won’t be all, either. As Anthem is considered by many to be a “game as a service,” more content will come to the game over time (and that Cataclysm is scheduled for some time in May). It’s reasonable to expect even more Strongholds down the line.

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Scott Duwe

Scott has been writing about video games for the better part of a decade, with bylines at sites like PC Gamer, Dot Esports, Red Bull Esports, and more.

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