Nightingale: Main Story Progression Guide

Shedding some light on how to progress through Nightingale

Nightingale Progression cover

Nightingale puts players in a Victorian-era timeline where humans get access to some strange Magick, but their hubris caused a rupture in reality, sending the remaining survivors scattered across different realms. The game’s progression is fairly straightforward and one that is designed to align with the player’s survival. However, due to the open-world nature of the game, it can get confusing for new players on what to do next to get to the next part of the story. Read ahead as we go through the steps of how to progress in Nightingale’s story.

Starting a new game

Starting a new game - Nightingale Main Story Progression Guide

Upon starting a new game and creating a character, you will be beckoned by a being named Puck to go through a portal with the help of some cards. You will be traveling through a series of realms as the game guide you through the basics of survival and crafting.

After completing your objectives in the third realm, Puck will give you the option to choose the type of biome where you want to set your base in. Choose which ever biome you wish to set up base in or check out our Biome Realm Cards guide to get more insight about the biomes.

Your next step is to head towards the next portal and use the two cards given to you by Puck to reach your home base realm. While the portal is syncing up, you will be faced with the Bound, hostile creatures that inhabit most realms, and this will be your first combat encounter against a hostile faction.

Setting up a base

Setting up a base - Nightingale Main Story Progression Guide

Once you reach your Abeyance realm, you are then free to set up your base or your estate anywhere on the map. Check your map to find the nearest points of interest. It is recommended to set up your estate near the Realmic Transmuter, or generally just build your base in the middle of the map where it is easy to get to the rest of the locations.

After land has been claimed and a small estate has been set, the next objective is to go to the nearby outpost where you can meet an Essence Trader and a potential companion. You can recruit a companion after completing their small side quest. These companions can help you in your journey and even in building your estate.

Essence Traders are NPCs who you can buy helpful materials, recipes, and even Minor Real Cards from. There are several Essence Traders that you can encounter in the other realms, most of them carrying goods that are only found within that realm, so it is best to pay the local Essence Trader as soon as you enter a new realm.

Clearing Sites of Power

Clearing Sites of Power - Nightingale Main Story Progression Guide

The next objective is to raise your gear score in order to go inside the Sites of Power. This is the main driving force of your progression through the main story of Nightingale. Beginners may find themselves stuck at the first part of this process as the game basically let’s players go and do whatever they want after clearing out the first Site of Power.

Start by raising your gear score to 20 in order to gain access to the Antiquarian Site of Power. This can be done by obtaining at least four pieces of gear that has a gear score of 20 or more. Once done, you can then safely get through the barrier at the entrance and take on the Site of Power.

Each Site of Power can be treated like a dungeon that has a boss that you will have to defeat at the end. After defeating the boss, you will obtain the Major Realm Card that is specific to that Site of Power. In the case of the first Site of Power, you will obtain the Antiquarian Card. These Major Realm Cards will essentially be your ticket to reach the other realms.

Though you have to go to the Antiquarian Realm, it does not mean that you will find the next Site of Power there. All of the Sites of Power are located within your Abeyance Realm. The main objective of visiting the other realms is to gather higher tier resources that will be needed to upgrade your gear and get them to the next Gear Score goal. So you will have to travel back to your Abeyance Realm, raise your gear score, and then challenge the next Site of Power to get the next Major Realm Card.

The main realm progression for the story is as follows:

  • Antiquarian (GS 20, T1)
  • Astrolabe (GS 30, T1)
  • Provisioner (GS 40, T1)
  • Herbarium (GS 50, T2)
  • Gloom (GS 60, T2)
  • Hunt (GS 70, T2)

These Sites of Power will also have to be completed in ascending order of their gear scores, so despite having a gear score high enough to access the Herbarium Site of Power, if you have not completed the Provisioner Site of Power, you still won’t be able to get through the former’s barrier.

Raising Gear Scores

Raising Gear Scores - Nightingale Main Story Progression Guide

As mentioned, the Nightingale’s progression is heavily tied to your character’s gear score. The progression cycle for the first three realms, Antiquarian, Astrolabe, and Provisioner, will roughly be the same where you travel to the unlocked realm, gather resources, craft them to better gear, then reach the next gear score quota to challenge the next Site of Power.

To raise gear scores, you will have to craft better gear by unlocking new recipes, not just for the gear themselves, but also for the work stations you will be crafting them from. Work on getting your simple workstations like the sewing bench or the work bench, then upgrade them to their refined versions, and later on into their excellent versions.

Gear can also be upgraded to raise their individual gears scores a bit further with the use of Essences. Essences can be extracted from any resource that you have, or they can also be obtained as rewards for completing activities from the Fae Towers, Bastilles, and even Survivor Quests, to name a few. Using Essences on the gear will upgrade their rarity which also contributes to the overall gear score.

Essences have three tiers and each tier can only be obtained from certain realms:

  • Tier 1 Essence
    • Antiquarian
    • Astrolabe
    • Provisioner
  • Tier 2 Essence
    • Herbarium
    • Gloom
    • Hunt
  • Tier 3 Essence
    • Ascended Realms

Be aware that there appears to be a visual bug at the time of this guide’s writing wherein players find themselves unable to get through a Site of Power’s barrier despite meeting the gear score and completing the previous sites. In case this happens, make sure to check your equipped off-hand as it also contributes to the overall gear score, but it does not reflect on the gear score that is shown.

If the off-hand has a significantly low level than the rest of the gear, unequipping it may help the gear score go up to what is actually being shown on the character window.

Nellie Bly and the Portal Stabiliser Quest

Nellie Bly and the Portal Stabiliser Quest - Nightingale Main Story Progression Guide

After completing the first three realms and completing the Herbarium Site of Power, you will encounter Nellie Bly at the Desert Herbarium realm. Nellie Bly is a significant NPC in the game as she gives you the quest that makes up the second half of the main story progression.

In Nellie’s quest, she will ask you to gather parts for the Portal Stabiliser that she is working on, a machine that could hold a portal that connects to The Watch. This quest will actually give you an option to either do it by killing off the bosses and getting the components as loot, or take the passive route by giving the bosses offerings.

Going through the aggressive route and just killing off the bosses would be the faster route, provided that you are kitted enough to face them. The bosses, Elder Eoten, Automaton Bishop, and Sun Giant, can be found in their respective realm and can be defeated just out in the open.

If you plan to take the peaceful route, you will have to talk to Victor Frankenstein at the Desert Astrolabe realm in which you will partake in his quests. Completing his quests will unlock recipes for the offerings that you can give to the bosses. Though there can still be fighting involved in Victor’s quests, giving the offerings will save you time and effort in facing against the bosses.

After obtaining all of the Portal Stabiliser components, bring them back to Nellie and you will gain access to The Watch. At this point, the game’s main story is essentially almost complete and the next part is the endgame cycle.

The Watch, Ascended Realms, and Beyond

The Watch is a public lobby where you can meet up with other players and take on Vaults. Vaults are smaller realms akin to dungeons where players can team up and take on its challenge. At the very end of each Vault is a boss fight that will have to be defeated in order to clear the Vault. You also have the option to create your own Vault Card that you can defeat by yourself, with friends, or with randoms.

Within The Watch is where you can purchase the Ascended versions of the Major Realm Cards. These Ascended Major cards are the more challenging versions of the previous Major cards and the realms that they lead to are inhabited by much stronger enemies. These realms are also the only sources of T3 Essences which are needed to further improve your gear.

The order of unlocking the Ascended realms follows the same pattern as before, but the difficulty scales up quickly, plus the amount of resources that the higher tier gear need will require a lot of grinding through these realms.