Beginners Guide

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Beginners Guide to Ultima Online:Second Age UOSA.


This guide is intended for the beginning player of UOSA. While this is a great game, getting a new character started can be a confusing process, and certain aspects of the game mechanics are obscure and not at all well-explained. This guide contains information about character creation, templates, making money and various information aimed at making your initial attempts to get establish easier.

Creating a Character

Each character can have 700 Skills points and 225 attribute/stat points (strength/dexterity/intelligence) thus each character is a combination of these two things. This results in the possibility of endless character choices, here are some common character templates.

What should my attributes be?

While your initial eighty points you have to distribute among the three attributes are not sufficient to make you very good at anything, the first few days you spend playing a new character in Ultima Online are going to be split evenly between making money and raising your attributes & skills to a reasonable level. Intelligence goes up slowly, while there are several ways of increasing Dexterity and Strength that -- while still somewhat tedious -- will make them go up relatively quickly. So setting your Intelligence high right off the bat is the way to go if your character will be a heavy magic user. The following is what you should start with for the 5 basic character types:

 Character Strength     Dexterity    Intelligence 
 Bard:        50            10            20
 Crafter:     55            10            15
 Mage:        20            10            50
 Thief:       50            20            10
 Warrior:     50            20            10

What skills should I select?

Generally speaking there are two ways to start a character. The first involves picking the skills relevant to your template that will allow you to begin playing that character effectively from day one, these should be:

Archer:        	    50 Tactics, 49 Archery, 1 Misc*
Bard:               50 Magery, 49 Provocation, 1 Misc*
Crafter:            50 Blacksmithy. 49 Tinkering. 1 Mining
Mage:               50 Resisting Spells. 49 Magery. 1 Misc*
Thief:              50 Stealing, 49 Hiding. 1 Misc*
Warrior:            50 Healing, 49 Anatomy or Weapon Skill, 1 Misc*
Woodsman/Fletcher:  50 Bowcraft and Fletching, 49 Lumberjacking, 1 Carpentry

Bear in mind that almost all characters will eventually require some magery to get around efficiently without relying on public moongates, the charity of others to gate you, or travelling on foot. 50 Magery is sufficient to use the recall spell successfully about 50% of the time, while 25 Magery will allow you to use recall scrolls with 100% success rate.

Once your character is in the game world it is fairly easy to find and NPC[Non Player Character] who will train you in a skill up to about level thirty for a price, usually about 1 gold for every 0.1 in skill trained. Any points after this, however, must be gained through painstaking practice. As a result, it's a really good idea to pick two skills to pump up, one to forty-nine and one to fifty (you need to keep one point free for that third skill, for a reason I'll explain in a moment), then pay someone to train you in the other skills you require later.

  • Your third skill should be selected on a slightly different basis than the first two. All beginning skill selections come with some Starting Equipment. A lot of this equipment is essentially useless, or so close to useless that you'll want to upgrade it at the first available opportunity. Given that you're only going to be putting one point into your third skill (if put zero points in, you don't get the associated equipment), and that a skill with only one point in it is not worth using in the game, your only consideration for picking Skill Number Three should be the goodies you get. This Starting Equipment is also known as "newbie items" and will stay with your character on death, as long as you are not red, and is in the top level of your backpack.

On that basis, I suggest taking either herding for a shepherds crook to raise stats, tracking for some nice knee boots, or hiding for a nice dark grey cloak.

The second way is generally geared towards veterans of UO, or your self once you understand the way skills & templates work in more detail. This involves taking two skill at 50 each, the two skills that are the slowest and/or costliest to gain for the relevant template. Those skill are as follows.

Recommendations for advanced templates?

These characters should not be created until you are establish with your initial character and have a regular flow of gold to train, they are generally considered expensive to create and train and require some more game experience to use effectively:

Animal Tamer:	   50 Animal Taming, 49 Magery
Blacksmith:	   50 Blacksmithy, 49 Mining
Lockpicker:       50 Lockpicking, 49 Magery
Treasure Hunter:  50 Cartography, 49 Lockpicking

Animal Tamers should pick Moonglow and make their way to Dagger Isle[also known as Ice Isle], Blacksmiths should start in Minoc, Britain or make their way to Cove as they need mountains nearby to mine ore. You'll also have to find a forge out in the open somewhere so as to turn the raw ore into iron ingots. Woodsmen should almost definitely pick Yew, which has loads of trees inside the city limits.

Raising Attributes/Stats

Raising your Attribute as quickly as possible is extremely important, more strength enables you to carry more, hit harder with a weapon and take more damage, more dexterity allows you to hit faster with a weapon and move quicker, and more intelligence gives you a greater mana pool for spell casting and, tied into the meditation skill helps mana regenerate quicker without needing to actively meditate. The best skills for raising each attribute/stat are as follows:

Strength:     Camping, Herding, Mining, Weapon Skill
Intelligence: Camping, Cooking, Herding, Magery
Dexterity:    Camping, Herding, Musicianship, Snooping

As you can see herding and camping are the best all round skills for gaining in all attributes. Snooping is very fast for dexterity, while any warrior will see strength gains just by engaging in melee combat. Herding and camping are recommended for intelligence as they have no skill delay like cooking or mana restrictions like magery. If your making a magery based character you will also see good intelligence gains through the use of all 4 magic related skills, Evaluating Intelligence, Magery, Meditation, Resisting Spells.

Before venturing out into the world its a good idea to spend an hour or two herding or camping to work up your strength to at least 80, no matter your character type. Warriors should be looking for at least 50 dex before attempting combat, and mages who start with high intelligence should raise strength as high as possible. The few hours invested here at the start will make your initial experience much easier.

Magic & Spells

What spells can I cast? Simply having a copy of a spell in your spellbook will not suffice. These other things must be done.

  • First, you can't cast a spell unless you have the necessary reagents.
  • Secondly, you need to have enough mana to cast the spell.
  • Finally you must have the required minimum skill level to cast the spell.

How much skill/mana does it take to cast a spell?

Circle  Min Cast/99% Success Skill  Mana
1:           1.1/40.1               4 mana
2:           6.1/50.1               6 mana
3:          16.1/60.1               9 mana
4:          26.1/70.1               11 mana
5:          36.1/80.1               14 mana
6:          51.8/90.1               20 mana
7:          66.1/--                 40 mana
8:          80.1/--                 50 mana

What spells should I learn? Everyone should know the spells Heal, Cure, Reactive Armor and Recall. The first three are a cinch to learn, but the latter is a fourth level spell and will take some practice. Heal's usefulness should be obvious. Cure is used if you are poisoned by an opponent (like a snake or giant scorpion, or a human using a poisoned weapon).

Reactive Armor, or RA, reflects the damage of the first toe-to-toe hit -- not spells and arrows, in other words -- against you in a fight, and some of further blows for a few more seconds. It can give you a real edge in combat if you cast it just before the fight begins. RA does not wear off until the full amount of damage possible has been absorbed.

Recall lets you bop around the map very quickly, but is especially important as a panic button for escaping dire situations. Keep a recall rune that gets you home within easy reach, and if you're getting your ass kicked, cast Recall on it to escape.

How do recall runes work? While the rune is in your backpack cast the Mark spell on it (if you can: it's a sixth level spell). Double-clicking the rune will let you give it a name, so you can remember what it Marks (single-click it to read the name). When you want to return to the spot where you were standing when you cast the Mark spell, open your backpack and cast the Recall spell on the rune.

What do I do if I can't cast Mark? Ask another player to mark a rune for you, of purchase some mark scrolls from a player vendor, going rate is about 40gp per scroll but most vendors sell in bulk of 10 upwards. You can cast a spell from a scroll that is 2 levels above your magery skill, meaning you may use a mark scroll with as little as 26.1 magery, although it will take several attempts. Most characters should have at least 50 magery however so this is a minor problem. Later on when you have more established characters you can mark runes on your most advanced mage and pass them to your other characters.

Do I lose my spellbook if I'm killed? Not if you keep your spellbook on the top level of your backpack, this will ensure you will keep your spellbook when you die. If you die with your spellbook nested in another bag, however, you lose it.

Making Money

Okay so you have created your character and hopefully worked your attributes up a little, now its time to make some money. Building a nest egg to further train your character is one of the most challenging things in UO for a new player. The following techniques are widely known as solid ways to get started.

  • Barding: Probably the best source of income for a new player, spend a few days raising your Musicianship and Provocation, then go use Provocation to cause monsters to fight and kill one another. Good income once Musicianship/Provocation are at or near GM level. 70+ magery also helps with escaping PKs.
  • Bowcraft and Fletching: Boring to the extreme Bowcraft and Fletching can none the less provide a steady flow of gold to a new player, by gathering wood and turning it into bows, then selling to NPC smiths and bowyers. Steady if dull.
  • Fishing: Slow to raise and will require a boat to raise the last 5 points from 95-GM, fishing is quite profitable once your GM, fishing up MiBs[Message in a Bottle] provides good loot.
  • Hunting: The old fashioned way of beating stuff up, then selling all the armour, weapons, gems and scroll your may gather from the dead monsters.
  • Mining: Iron ingots are always in demand and sell for between 6-7 gold pieces per ingot. Mine yourself 5k ingots and you have 30-35k gold to get started.
  • Tailoring: Collect as much cotton, flax and wool as you can, use a spinning wheel & loom to turn it into bolts of cloth then make fancy shirts which should be sold to NPC tailors. While shirts dont sell for huge ammounts, the profit margin on them per yard of cloth is very good.


What should I carry?

The simple answer is: nothing your not prepared to lose. Anything your carry is always at risk from thieves, PKs and death from any number of things. However you should never leave town poorly equipped, in can and will cost you your life and loot.

Things you should always carry

  • Rune to a bank or town. NEVER to you house.
  • 100 Bandages for warrior.
  • 50 of each reagent for heavy magic users. 25 of each for light magic users.
  • 3-5 of each relevant potion.[See Potions below]
  • Recall Scrolls.[If your magery is under 70.1, but over 35.1 this gives you 100% recall ability. Tamers should carry gate scrolls]
  • 10 Trapped pouches.[Use the spell magic trap to trap the smallest pouchs you can buy from provisioner's and tanners, should you become paralysed opening one of these will break the paralysis. Never, ever go anywhere without these]

Things you can carry if you have them

  • Magic Jewellery.[Magic reflection, invisibility, teleport rings]

Things you should NEVER carry

  • Runes to your house.
  • Runebooks.
  • Keys to your House's or Ships.
  • High value items.[Rares, large amounts of resources etc]


How do I know what a potion does? Potions are colour-coded by ability:

Potion Colour	Effect	
Black          Night Vision
Blue           Increase Dexterity Temporarily
Green          Poison
Orange         Cure Poison or Paralysis
Purple         Explosion
Red            Refreshes Stamina
White          Increase Strength Temporarily
Yellow         Healing

Any tips on what potions to carry? Always carry a few Yellow healing potions, Orange cure potions in case you run into a poisonous opponent (snake, Giant Scorpion, player with poisoned weapon etc), and Red total refresh potions in case you get “blocked” anywhere by players or monsters.

Players or partake in PvP should always carry Blue agility and White strength potions to buff up their maximum hit points and dexterity. This serves several functions, in the case of Blue agility potions, higher dexterity means you can swing your weapon faster, for White strength potions you have 20 extra hit points, and 20 more strength points, making you hit harder with weapons, and harder to kill due to having more life. The effects of these potions expire after 2 minutes.

Purple explosion potions are again a staple of PvP, both for the PK and the anti PK, the large amount of damage inflicted in a short time is a good opener or closer in any PvP encounter.Black potions are close to useless, mostly because you can use an option in razor called “light filter” to make it permanently day time, thus negating the need for nightsight potions or spells.

Anything else I should know about potions? You can only drink one healing potion every ten seconds.

Training & Macroing


How do I get trained in other things? Non-player characters in the game will gladly teach you things in return for gold. Click the NPC to find out his name, the walk up to him and say "<name> teach". This will make him tell you the skills that he can teach; each NPC knows three or four that are usually related to his occupation.

Now then, suppose the NPC names a skill that you're interested in (let's say it's Mining). Say "<name> teach mining" to him, and the NPC will quote you a price. Take any amount of gold, up to the whole amount quoted, and drop it on him. For every gold piece you spend, you should get 0.1 of a point increase in the named skill. Note that there is no reason to shop around for prices. The different prices just reflect the different amounts that that NPC can train you. For two hundred gold, you're going to get 20 full points of increase, seven gold gets you 0.7 points, and so on.

In practice you'll find that most NPCs can train you up to a level of 25 points in their skills. Some NPCs aren't as good as this, however. If you train up in something only to find that you're still rated well under 25, keep an eye out for other NPCs with the same skill who might be able to train you a little further. Also, some NPCs are real experts in their fields and can train you more than the usual limit of 25. Levels as high as 35 are found on rare occasions, usually from NPC Guildmasters, a mage Guildmaster will be able to train your magery skill higher than a plain mage, for example.

What skills should I train in?

This is dependant on your character type. As a general rule train which ever of the following that you did not start with at 50/49:

Slow and/or Costly to Train

The following skill are generally considered slow and/or expensive to train due to requiring resources, a great deal of time or both.

  • Alchemy [Requires around 50k nightshade/150k gold]
  • Animal Taming [Requires bandages & 2nd account healer after 85, is also one of the slowest skills to raise]
  • Archery [Requires 6k arrows, slow firing weapon]
  • Blacksmithy [Requires around 50k ingots]
  • Bowcraft and Fletching [Requires many boards. Exact number would be appreciated anyone?]
  • Carpentry [Requires around 70k boards from 50 skill]
  • Cartography [Requires around 10k gold, many hours]
  • Healing [Requires around 20k bandages, many hours]
  • Inscription [Requirements unknown, but many reagents and blank scrolls. Anyone has this data please add it here]
  • Lockpicking [Requires around 800 lockpicks, 50/50 Carpentry/Tinkering and GM Carpentry/Tinkering box to reach 95. 95-GM requires many hours picking level 4 dungeon chests.]
  • Lumberjacking [Requires many hatchets and hours]
  • Magery [Requires around 80k gold in regents]
  • Poisoning [Requires around 60k nightshade/180k gold and many hours. Should be raised in conjunction with Alchemy.]
  • Resisting Spells [Requires around 80k gold in reagents to reach 90. After that several hours of resist session training.]
  • Stealing [Requires a pack animal, pouchs, bottles and many hours.]
  • Tailoring [Requires around 20k yards of cloth, 40k leather/hides]
  • Tinkering [Requires around 20k ingots]
  • Veterinary [Requirements unknown as of now, but many bandages, more than healing.]

Fast and/or Free to Train

The following skills are generally considered "free" to train as they require little to no resources other than time or minimal raw materials:

Useless Skills

The following skills are generally considered useless due to having little to no worthwhile uses in game or on a character template, or techniques that negate their use.

  • Begging [Makes very little money, no real benefit to using skill.]
  • Camping [Great for raising attributes/stats, after that useless.] Most players prefer simply to recall to their house, or another safe place to log out.
  • Cooking [Good for intelligence gains, or if you want to make pies and cakes but generally useless.]
  • Herding [Great for raising attributes/stats, after that useless.]
  • Remove Trap [Dungeon chests can be opened from 1 tile away without taking damage, treasure chests with telekinesis and 4 tile distance from chest. Requires detect so needs 200 skill points for something that can be achieved with 9 mana. Can, however, be of use to a stealth lockpicker.]
  • Spirit Speak [Used to communicate with ghosts, guild/party chat and IRC/instant messaging programs make this pointless. Can be used to gain intelligence at low skill level 0-10.]
  • Taste ID [Identify's potion types. Generally not needed due to player vendors, from which greater potions and kegs are purchased, always making clear keg contents.]



Every character you create has their own personal bank account, or bank box, anything placed in this box is 100% secure unless removed, and cannot be accessed by anyone but the player character. To access your bank box find the nearest bank and say "bank" within range of a banker NPC. Banks are global, in that your box is accessible in any town, at any bank, an item placed into your bank box in Britain is still accessible at Moonglow bank. Bank boxs have no weight limit, but do have a 125 item limit. Additionally all gold stored on the top level of you bank box does not count against the item limit.


In the inevitable event of death, don’t get frustrated, everyone dies in UO, and generally quite often when new. Your main goal upon being killed is to get resurrected as soon as possible and try to get your belongings back, having guild mates is a huge advantage here, or having another character on your 2nd/3rd accounts that is capable of gating and resurrecting. If you don’t have access to either of these options you need to find a healer and quickly. If your very far from a healer it can be quicker to use the Help Stuck option in the help menu to teleport to a town, this will take 2 minutes, restock as quickly as you can and get back to your corpse as fast as possible.

Be warned however that on occasion other players will happen across your corpse while you are away and will loot your belongings, sometimes they will wait around to return your items, but this is the exception rather than the rule.You can loot your own body while hidden or invisible via the 6th circle magery spell, be warned however you cannot loot any other corpse, player, monster or NPC without being “revealed” by the action of dragging items from a corpse. A good tactic is to cast invisibility before entering the area you died in, leave the targeting cursor up and run to your corpse before targeting the spell on your self and then looting your body.

Its advisable that to facilitate quick return to you body you should always have a runebook of your favourite hunting grounds in your bank, never remove it from the bank box. Failing that a rune to a rune library will allow easy, rapid return to the area you died in.I suggest that you have an emergency back-up set of 50 of each reagent in a bag, in your bank, ready to use in this scenario.

Once you get a system figured out that suits you, corpse retrieval becomes fairly painless.

Logging Out

Yes, but if you aren't in a safe location your character hangs around in the game world for about five minutes before timing out. He'll defend himself if attacked, but he's generally a sitting duck. Thieves, in particular, like to pick on people who've done this.

To avoid this, find an inn, walk into one of the rooms, and then log off. Your character will disappear immediately under these circumstances. You may also safely log out in a house you own or are friended too.


One of the unique things about UO is the opportunity to own houses and ships. These are luxuries you can invest money in, here are the relevant wiki guides:

Other Players


There are three colours that denote a players current state, the players name will appear this colour, and their characters and health bars will also highlight this colour:

  • Blue: Cannot be attacked freely, unless perma grey.[more on that later]
  • Grey: Has committed a criminal action in the last 2 minutes, or is perma grey and has commited a criminal action against your person previously.
  • Perma Grey: Has previously stolen from an innocent (blue) and is freely attackable by all. Perma greys are tough to spot as their name appears blue unless you attack them, upon which point they remain grey to you until they die. A player must be in the NPC thieves guild to qualify as a perma grey. Be warned, attacking a non perma grey thief will be considered a criminal action. The most confusing colour flagging system.
  • Red: Murderers, also known as PKs[player killers] highlight red and are freely attackable by anyone. Reds cannot enter towns, apart from Buccaneers Den.
    See Murder Counts:  Murdering 

Criminals & Murderers aka Greys & Reds

I've been killed by another player. Now what?

You will be given an opportunity to report the murder. If a player accumulates five or more murders, he is tagged as a Murderer and basically has a really hard time of it from now on (he will be killed on sight by the town guards, charged five times as much by vendors, only resurrected by evil healers, and more).

You are also given the opportunity to contribute gold to a bounty on the murderer's head. You don't have to, but there's a certain satisfaction in it. The money will be withdrawn from your account, and anyone who kills the murderer later can take his head to a guard and claim his reward.

Can I attack someone?

Players can't be freely attacked just because they have low karma titles. They must be grey[criminal] or red[murderer]. Out of town you can attack anyone, blue, Grey or red without consequence, other than their potential retaliation. In town attacking a blue character will result in guards being called and you being insta killed. Buccaneers Den, having no guards, is the only exception to this.

How can I tell if someone is a criminal?

Criminals have grey names when you use the AllNames macro, and highlight in grey when you are in combat mode

Player Trading

How do I trade with another player? Drag the item you want to trade on top of him, then let go. This will open a dialog on each of your screens. He will place his end of the deal in the dialog too. You can click any item on this dialogue to confirm that it is what you think it is. If you agree with his offer, click the blue jewel next to your name on the dialogue. If he then clicks his jewel, the trade is complete. For large gold value trades house deeds are often used as a form of currency, like a cheque. Its advisable to use a broker for anything extremely valuable or high value. To find out who are trustworthy brokers make a post in the trading section of the forums on

How do I trade a house with another player? Double click the house sign, go to option and click "Transfer ownership of the house" and target the new owner. Its not as simple as that however, house trades have no two way secure trading window. You should ALWAYS use another trusted player as a broker when doing house trades.

How do I trade a pet with another player? Say "<petname> transfer", this will bring up a targeting cursor, target the receiver of the pet. Like housing this has no two way secure window.

How do I give something to a player? Giving is the same as trading. The receiving side just doesn't put anything on his side of the offer.

Player Vendors


Original version of this guide by Paul Drye. Previous versions of this guide were made better through the efforts of Faith LeFebvre, "Wags", Nick Sanders, Duane Fields, a Brit named Earl and "Feedback X of Vesper/Baja".

Disclaimer This material is copyrighted. Please do not reproduce it in any form without the consent of the author. I am amenable to seeing this posted non-commercially elsewhere, so feel free to drop me a line if you like at

Heavily Edited & Updated for UOSA Jan 2010. Thanks to Derrick for forwarding pdf.