The Pilum (Pila plural) is a mid-range weapon in Ryse: Son of Rome.
The Pilum is a type of javelin that Roman soldiers normally carried alongside their Gladius, making them very versatile in war. Legionaries usually carried two into battle and threw them from a distance to disable enemy shields or interrupt incoming charges before entering close range combat.
In Ryse: Son of Rome, Marius and others can thrown Pila quickly to strike nearby enemies and take out long range targets. Pila can be found in numbers throughout every chapter of the game after Chapter I, from weapon racks, bins, and alongside the bodies of slain soldiers throughout the level. The Pilum is an essential tool for killing enemy archers throughout the course of the game, and is occasionally required to complete objectives. The Pila inventory is sometimes automatically emptied during certain segments, such as boss battles.
(Note: The control scheme used as reference is for the original Xbox One version and not compatible for the PC/Steam version.)
The player aims the Pilum by holding the left trigger and readies the throw by holding the right trigger. When the right trigger is released, the Pilum is thrown. The Pilum can be lowered by releasing the left trigger. While aiming the Pilum, the on-screen targeting reticle will automatically lock on to targets while the player is aiming and can quickly jump between different targets by moving the right thumbstick. The player's character moves very slowly while aiming the Pilum. As the reticle closes in on the target, the shot becomes more accurate and causes more damage to the target. The reticle will close in on the target slower if the player's character is moving while aiming. When the reticle turns red, the throw will be perfect and cause the most damage. A perfect Pilum throw can one-hit kill enemy soldiers, but stronger classes such as the Warrior will survive.
When Marius and his soldiers are in formation, Marius can order all of his men to throw Pila on his command to kill enemy archers. Aiming functions differently while in formation; the player need only hold the right trigger down to have the Legionaries automatically lock onto targets, and then release the trigger to throw. The longer the fire button is held, the more Pila will lock on and hit their target, however taking too long to aim leaves the formation vulnerable to enemy arrow volleys.
The Pilum can also be quick-thrown by tapping aim and fire simultaneously and can shatter the wooden shield carried by barbarian shield infantry. It can also pierce the metal forged shields carried by gladiators and Praetorians in Chapter VII, but cannot break the shield carried by Commodus and his body doubles.
The maximum number of Pila, Marius can carry can be increased by leveling up the capacity skill.
The Pilum reappears in gladiator mode and the maximum inventory the player gladiator can carry depends on the statistics of the equipped shield. The player never starts with Pila.