Shadow of War - How Do Gems Work?

Find out what you can do with Gems in Shadow of War.


Shadow of War doesn’t have a complicated system when it comes to upgrading your weapons and armor for bonuses, but it might take some time for you to wrap your head around all the same. While upgrades and Gems are not the same, they both provide bonuses, with Gems being a bit more difficult to come by. Today, we’re going to talk about Gems and teach you what you need to know to take advantage of them.

How Do Gems Work?

To access the Gems menu, pause the game and open your inventory. There, you’ll see slots for your Sword, Dagger, Bow, Armor, and Cloak. Below each of these items you’ll see a slot for a Gem. Unfortunately, it will cost you 1,000 Mirian to even unlock each Gem slot for use, but it’s worth it.

Once you’ve unlocked a Gem slot, click on the slot itself and it will open the Gems menu. Here you will see that there are three types of Gems that you can choose from; Potency, Vitality, and Wealth. Each of these categories has several tiers of Gem, with each successive one offering more and better bonuses to Talion’s abilities than the one before. The Gem tiers are as follows:

  • Basic Gem
  • Carved Gem
  • Polished Gem
  • Refined Gem
  • Perfect Gem

For example, the first Gem you receive in the game might be the basic Warrior Gem. If the Gem slot is unlocked, you could slot this Gem into your Sword slot and receive the first of three bonuses that this Gem offers. If you were to find three more basic Warrior Gems, though, you could use them to build a Carved Gem and receive more bonuses. The same process applies to all tiers of Gems; you need three of the prior tier in order to build the next one. Three Carved Gems can be made into one Polished, and three Polished Gems into one Refined.

So how do you go about getting Gems? The best way is to play the game, as they tend to drop quite often just by killing enemies. Obviously, the higher the level of your foe, the more likely they are to drop you an item that’s more valuable. This isn’t a concern in the early game, as your first order of business will be to unlock all the Gem slots for your gear and get some type of bonus in there as quickly as possible. You can concern yourself with getting higher tier and upgraded Gems once you’ve unlocked each of the slots.

It's also worth noting that you can remove a Gem and use it in a different slot. You don’t lose it if you replace it with another, which is a gentle way for the game to not punish you for making decisions about Talion’s specific build or skills as you go. For instance, you might have a fully upgraded Perfect Warrior Gem in your Sword slot, but decide to move it to your Dagger slot because you’re going for a stealth build and the 30 percent extra damage will serve your Dagger well during stealth attacks.

For more on Shadow of War, including how to upgrade your Gear, be sure to visit our Shadow of War walkthrough and guide.


Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He is known for his guide writing and, unsettlingly enough, enjoys grinding out in-depth collectible articles. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his guides.

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