In Dragon Age: Inquisition, you’ll access to nine different party members. A few of them will be available right from the start, while the rest will have to be found and recruited from different parts of Thedas.
Dragon Age Inquisition Party Builds
In total, you will eventually have three Mages, three Rogues, and three Warriors at your disposal.
Managing Individual Members
Like the previous games, it falls in your hands to upgrade the party members, equipping them with Armor, Weapons, and investing in their trees for specific abilities. For this reason, it is always recommended to develop each party member differently, specializing in a specific role when they are with you in combat.
Although you can build your characters in any way, there are special restrictions as far as specializations go. Once your character reaches level 9, you will have specialization quests available to you.
In each class there are three specializations, and you can perform the quest for any one of them.
While you will have to pursue the longer route to specialize, your allies will already have them available when your character reaches level 9 (yes, regardless of which level they are). At this time you should look to build your characters according to their specialization trees.
One highly overlooked thing when playing Dragon Age: Inquisition is party structure. This is basically the type of players you take with yourself during the journey. Regardless of which class you are, you will need to balance your party in-terms of strength, solidity, range, defense, and tactics.
While you can theoretically have a party of 4 Mages (main character, Vivienne, Dorian, and Solas), it is never going to do well against melee enemies. Similarly, having 4 Warriors or 4 Rogues isn’t a recommended thing either.
For this reason, you’ll need to come up with a set of versatile ‘formations’ to bring balance to your party. Here are some formations that I like to play:
Party Build #1
Tank Warrior (Champion Specialization), Two-Handed Warrior (Reaver Specialization), Duel-Wielding Rogue (Assassin Specialization), Support Mage (Knight Enchanter Specialization).
This is generally my most used build. The Support Mage casts the likes of Resurgence, Barrier, and Revival to support the rest of the crew. The Tank Warrior’s sole purpose is to generate aggro and be an absoulute wall in front, utilizing Champion and Vanguard abilities to maximize survivability.
The Two-Handed Warrior is responsible for highly focused damage and aggression, while the Rogue jumps in and out of action with the help of the deadly Assassin and Subterfuge specializations.
Example: Blackwall (Tank Warrior), Main Character (Two-Handed Warrior), Cole (Duel-Wielding Rogue), Vivienne (Support Mage)
Party Build #2
Supportive Tank Warrior (Templar Specialization), Duel-Wilding Rogue (Assassin Specialization), Archer (Tempest Specialization), AoE Mage (Rift Walker Specialization)
This is a slightly weaker build than the previous one, but offers more versatility and improved range. Archers are extremely underrated and surprisingly powerful in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and when they have the Tempest Specializaiton, they become twice as deadly.
For this kind of Build I usually use Cassandra as the tank. She is naturally tailored to use a shield effectively, and the Templar specialization has plenty of ‘selfless’ abilities that would make a Support Mage redundant.
For this reason, using a Rift Walker mage is the best idea for this build. Combine it with a powerful mix of elemental abilities from all three elemental trees (Inferno, Storm, and Winter) and you’ll have a powerful AoE mage that will provide the necessary firepower.
Although this party build looks squishy, it is extremely useful against the likes of demons. Templars are very good at nullifying magic damage, and in Dragon Age: Inquisition it is actually magic damage that is the biggest threat in the game.
Example: Cassandra (Support Tank), Main Character (Duel-Wielding Rogue), Sera (Archer), Solas (AoE Mage)
Party Build #3
Tank Warrior (Champion Specialization), Duel-Wielding Rogue (Artificer Specialization), Crowd Control Mage (Necromancer Specialization), Support Mage (Knight Enchanter Specialization)
Two Mages in single formation seems extremely risky, but if you love playing in the Tactical Mode, this is one hell of a way to attack. It’s an extremely positional formation, with a pure Tank up front, an evasive Rogue who lays traps all over the place, and two mages that provide a mixture of extreme battlefield control and support.
The key here is obviously the mages. The Necromancer specialization is extremely powerful, and thankfully you get a Necromancer (Dorian) in your squad quite early.
Once you have him, he can be developed as a pure Necromancer, while using the more basic elemental abilities from the other trees for the in-between stuff. Then there is the Knight Enchanter, who is a melee/support hybrid, using the defensive aspects of the Specialization along with the more selfless abilities of the Spirit tree.
A lot of people won’t be fans of giving Varric two daggers, but it can actually work wonderfully well. Varric is badly limited with his crossbow, and is often so far away from the action that using traps and all is essentially useless.
It comes down to bad technical design of the character (even though his personality during conversations is always a positive), so the best workaround is the least expected: to hand him daggers and watch him lay traps all over the place.
Example: Blackwall (Tank Warrior), Varric (Duel-Wielding Rogue), Dorian (CC Mage), Main Character (Support Mage)
Party Build #4
Berserker Warrior (Reaver Specialization), Support Warrior (Templar Specialization), Archer (Tempest Specialization), AoE Mage (Rift Walker Specialization)
One other way I like to play is to have two melee warriors and two ranged characters, one archer and one mage. The idea here is not to have a single tank, but to distribute the aggro between the Berserker and a Support Warrior.
The Berserker is basically supposed to play a crazy high-risk, high reward game, using the Reaver Specialization, with minimal health all the time to maximize damage.
The Support Warrior has two functions: to protect the Berserker, and to develop aggro to ease the burden on the fellow melee warrior. This gets rid of the need to have a third melee character who can jump in and out of battle like a Duel-Wielding Rogue.
There will certainly be a considerable gap between the melee attackers and the two ranged characters, but that can be bridged by a mixture of powerful AoE abilities from the mage, and the effective use of Tempest and Poison-based skills by the Archer.
Example: The Iron Bull (Berserker), Cassandra (Support Warrior), Sera (Archer), Main Character (AoE Mage)