In Days Gone, the hero's skills are divided into three skill trees. In the game, you will find skills related to melee combat, ranged combat, and survival. This section of the guide includes all the information and hints on how to use skills, as well as the complete list of skills.
A separate section titled Best Starting Skills enlists those starting skills we find best to unlock in the initial stages of the game. You should unlock them during the first hours of your playthrough.
General information and hints
In Days Gone new skills can be purchased with skill points. Deacon receives a skill point each time he unlocks a new experience level. There are 45 skills to be unlocked in the game. You can unlock them all during a single playthrough, which means you have to unlock a new experience level 45 times.
You can check your progress in collecting skill points in two ways. First one requires you to go to the skill window with the information on progress towards the next experience level and unspent skill points. The second way involves the mission summary window including the information about how many XP points you received for a given mission.
Each time you receive a new skill point the game informs you about it. You can spend it immediately by pressing the touchpad, or do it e.g. after you complete the current combat sequence. What's important, saving skill points for later makes no sense in Days Gone. All skill points should be spent immediately after receiving them.
In Days Gone, skills are divided into three groups - melee, ranged, and survival. Each category consists of 15 skills divided into 5 levels. You always begin from the first level. In order to unlock the possibility to purchase a skill on a higher level, you need to already have two skills from the previous level. The game informs you how many skill points do you need to spend within a given development tree (example in the screenshot).
We do not recommend focusing on a single skill group, as each development tree includes several important skills. Try unlocking the most important skills between levels 1 and 3 our suggestions can be found under the Best Starting Skills section. Only after you unlock all of the most important skills you can e.g. start working towards unlocking level 4 or 5 skills.
Unlocked skills can be either active or passive. Passive skills serve as the protagonist's stat bonuses and e.g. improve aim or Deacon's stamina. Active skills can add entirely new moves (e.g. slow motion when aiming) or add new actions to the already unlocked moves (e.g. killing an enemy after releasing from his grasp).
Each time you purchase new skill the game displays a short description on how does it work (an example in the screenshot). You can also view this tutorial window in the later stages of the game if e.g. you forget how does a given skill work.
Skill list - Melee
Escape Artist [level 1] - A successful escape from the enemy's grasp results in killing a weak opponent. Utilizing this skill has been described in a separate section titled How to use the Escape Artist skill? - In a short version, you need to complete a simple mini-game. Successful utilization of that skill results in eliminating an opponent or a creature who grasped Deacon.
Field Repairs [level 1] - The ability to use scrap to fix melee weapons. This is a very important skill without which used melee weapons have to be dropped. You are bound to appreciate having this skill unlocked especially after you craft high-tier melee weapons. They deal with increased damage compared to standard weapons, which makes them more useful.
Juice Up [level 1] - Increases initial bonus and extends the effect of Health Cocktail. Purchase this skill only if you like basing your strategy on cocktails in order to replenish Deacon's health bar and strengthen him. Otherwise, you can leave this skill to be unlocked later.
Hard Hitter [level 2] - Increases damage inflicted by crafted and found melee weapons. We recommend purchasing this skill. Increasing the efficiency of your melee weapons will allow you to deal with your opponents with fewer hits, at the same time decreasing the risk of receiving damage. Also, the melee weapons will not require fixing that often.
Busted Lip [level 2] - Regenerates stamina with each melee kill. This skill is useful if you prefer an aggressive approach and like to deal with your enemies in close combat. With regenerating stamina you can perform more dodge rolls to keep Deacon at 100% health.
Talk Shit, Get Hit [level 2] - Allows you to perform longer hit combos with melee weapons. Unlocking this passive skill is helpful when Deacon has to fight stronger enemies or groups of opponents. It is worth unlocking, however, there are more important 1 and 2-level skills.
Lightning Reflexes [level 3] - Allows you to do quick rolls after you fall. This skill becomes useful during the later stages of the campaign - when you fight wolves, bears, and elite monsters, thus you can leave unlocking it for later.
Bull Rush [level 3] - Allows you to stun regular human and swarmer enemies by rushing into them. This is another skill in this particular tree that proves useful if you prefer a more aggressive play style. Remember though that this skill is limited to "regular" enemies only. As you progress through the campaign, you are bound to encounter more and more elite enemies.
The Reckoning [level 3] - Provides a chance to perform a critical elimination of human, swarmer, and newt enemies with melee weapons. The mentioned critical elimination is not performed automatically, as first, you have to successfully complete a mini-game. Still, it is a useful skill allowing you to get rid of regular opponents.
Just Roll With It [level 4] - Rolls use much less stamina. This passive skill is useful when fighting single strong or groups of weaker enemies (including hordes). Rolls are perfect to avoid injuries, and you should depend on them throughout the entire campaign.
Rock On [level 4] - The ability to stun weaker enemies by hitting them with stones. This is not a very useful skill, as it only works if you aim right and hit your target. This might be troublesome, should your target be moving. Moreover, distracting enemies with stones is more than enough e.g. to get behind them and plunge a knife into their backs.
Home Run [level 4] - Significantly increases damage dealt with melee weapons. This is an important skill that develops the abilities coming from Hard Hitter [level 2] skill. Now, you can deal with your opponents even faster and use the same melee weapon longer, as it takes longer to decrease its efficiency.
Retribution [level 5] - Increases chances of a critical hit or elimination by 25%. Do not wait with unlocking these skills, as critical hits are very helpful when eliminating enemies. A single critical hit can instantly kill an attacked enemy or deal significant damage.
Switch It Up [level 5] - Hit combos with boot knife deal twice the damage. This skill is quite unique, as it requires you to use the weakest melee weapon Deacon is equipped with from the beginning. In our opinion, it's better to go with crafting more powerful melee weapons you can easily fix.
Executioner [level 5] - Allows you to attack heavy freakers stealthily. It also allows you to kill heavy freakers and large animals after freeing from their grasp. This skill proves useful when confronting e.g. Breakers and bears. Stronger monsters and animals appear in the latter phases of the campaign. This is when you should unlock this skill.
Skill list - Ranged
Focused Shot [level 1] - Allows you to use focus when aiming a ranged weapon. This is the most important skill to unlock - purchase it right after receiving the first skill point. Without it, you cannot use the focus bar. Upon activating the focus, a slow-motion mode is turned on allowing you to e.g. aim more precisely and as a result eliminate an opponent in a faster and safer fashion.
Flight and Fight [level 1] - Ensures more accurate moves and aiming. This is another important 1-level skill. It becomes even more useful when you have to attack enemies and move at the same time - usually after Deacon is spotted. We do not recommend waiting too long with unlocking it.
Vicious Cycle [level 1] - Allows you to perform a ranged attack right after a melee attack to deal significant damage to the enemy. This skill might be highly efficient if you make sure to perform both attacks properly. In our opinion, there are more important skills to be unlocked.
Suppressing Fire [level 2] - Each ranged weapon used during focus has a higher chance of suppressing weaker enemies. This is a useful passive skill, and it's a good idea to unlock it early on. You should use focus on nearly every fight. With this skill, it will be much easier to win battles.
Crowd Control [level 2] - Decreases the latency of focus regeneration. This is a highly useful passive bonus, especially due to the fact that it is not difficult to deplete the entire focus bar. Do not forget to use the injectors located at NERO outposts that permanently extend the focus bar.
Hyperfocus [level 2] - Increases the initial bonus and prolongs the focus cocktail effects. Purchase this skill only if you want to depend on the cocktails to replenish Deacon's bars faster. Otherwise, leave it for later.
On the Move [level 3] - Allows you to reload ranged weapons when sprinting. A useful skill. You will appreciate it when Deacon is forced to move, especially when facing hordes and strong monsters.
Iron Grip [level 3] - Decreases ranged weapons recoil. Having this skill is helpful regardless of the type of firearm, however, it is most useful when using weapons with high recoil. In the latter stages of the game, it is worth to spend a skill point to purchase this particular skill.
Nocked Up [level 3] - Significantly increases damage dealt with crossbow bolts. Crossbow bonus is important, as you can use this weapon to kill all regular enemies with single shots without headshots. Even if you're dealing with stronger enemies, it proves useful as it allows you to deal more damage than usual.
Under Pressure [level 4] - Reloading ranged weapons uses less focus. This skill might prove useful when using weapons requiring frequent reloading, as you will not "waste" focus. In our opinion, there are more important skills for you to purchase.
Quick Reload [level 4] - Shortens the ranged weapons reload time. Quick reloads are useful, especially if you're using crossbows, shotguns, and other weapons with long reload. Purchase this skill if slow reloads are an issue for you.
Deadshot [level 4] - Increases the precision of ranged weapons. This is yet another not very original, although highly useful passive skill. With more precise aim, your attacks can be more efficient and you might lose less ammo.
Up to the Ante [level 5] - Increases the ammo capacity of each ranged weapon. This is an important skill, as default ammo capacity can be easily depleted when using different guns with low fire rate. Until you purchase this skill you have to install pouches onto your motorcycle that can carry ammunition.
Two Birds, One Bullet [level 5] - Increases the penetration ratio of your ranged weapons projectiles. There is a reason for this skill to be a level 5 skill, as this is the most powerful one when it comes to confronting hordes. Deacons can use less ammo to kill freakers, as more bullets are bound to pierce through incoming monsters.
Head Rush [level 5] - Killing an enemy with a headshot restores health. Unlocking this skill increases your chances of survival if you use carbine and shotguns to kill most enemies with headshots. During intense combat sequences involving e.g. hordes, there is no time for that unless you use to focus.
Skill list -Survival
Eye for Detail [level 1] - Extends the time that icons display in Survival Vision. This proves useful when looking for interactive loot, especially when exploring the buildings' interiors and other location with a lot of potential loot to gather.
Hawkeyed [level 1] - Plants are displayed on the minimap. This skill can make your life much easier. Finding more plants results in replenishing crafting materials faster. Moreover, you can deliver the plants you gather to the cooks across camps.
Thorn in your side [level 1] - Grants a chance to retrieve some bolts you shot from your crossbow. This is a useful skill but only if you use crossbow a lot, also to kill enemies in direct combat. If you use the crossbow only for ranged surprise attacks, you for sure will not use many bolts, thus you will have no problems with finding crafting materials necessary to craft new bolts.
Eagle-Eyed [level 2] - Increases the range of Survival Vision. This is not a priority skill, however, you should not linger too long with purchasing it. Finding more interactive objects makes the game easier, as you will never suffer a lack of supplies or crafting materials.
Thief in the Night [level 2] - Decreases noise from moving and falling. This is the most important stealth related skill. We recommend purchasing it early on in the campaign. Most importantly, it decreases the risk of getting detected by the freakers who are more sensitive to sounds from their environment than human opponents.
Green Thumb [level 2] - Doubles the number of plants you pick up. Collecting plants is not a priority in Days Gone, however, with this passive skill, you will be able to gather more crafting materials as well as items you can sell. We recommend saving this skill for later.
The Butcher [level 3] - Increases the amount of meat you retrieve from animals. This is a slightly more important skill than the one described above. The animal meat is more valuable than plants. Moreover, Deacon can retrieve now more than 2 pieces of meat from a single animal, and eventually get some money after selling it to the butcher.
Catch Your Breath [level 3] - Decreases the latency in stamina regeneration. This is a highly useful passive skill, especially that depleting the entire focus bar is not that difficult and you might find yourself in a tight spot (you might be unable to sprint or roll). Apart from purchasing this skill try locating NERO outposts hiding injectors that permanently extend the stamina bar.
Ear to the Ground [level 3] - Survival Vision now marks enemies. In our opinion, this is one of the least important skills. You can also mark enemies with binoculars before entering a location they roam.
Monkey Wrench [level 4] - Doubles the scrap efficiency when fixing the motorcycle. This skill is as important as you care about your bike's condition. If you avoid crashes and jumps that might damage the bike, using more scrap to fix it will not be that bothersome. In that case, you can ignore this skill.
Second Wind [level 4] - Adds an additional adrenaline shot when health drops to a certain level. We suggest unlocking this skill later on in the game. This might prove useful when attacking hordes as it decreases the risk of Deacon's death. When playing the campaign "normally" you should not find yourself in too many difficult situations.
Carry That Weight [level 4] - Adds room in your inventory for crafting materials, traps, and throwables. This is an important equipment bonus. After purchasing it, Deacon can carry more scrap, crafting materials, Molotovs, bombs, and proximity traps. This will make your life easier when playing the game and engaging larger battles (e.g. with hordes).
The Alchemist [level 5] - Increases the initial bonus and prolongs the effects of health cocktail. Purchase this skill only if you want to use cocktails often to replenish Deacon's health and strengthen him. Otherwise, leave purchasing this skill for later.
Shape Up [level 5] - Significantly speeds up stamina regeneration. This might be extremely helpful when Deacon is exposed to the significant manual effort, especially when confronting freaker hordes and in combat.
Six Feet Over [level 5] - Regenerates a portion of stamina upon receiving damage. This bonus is useful when confronting hordes, as you might receive a lot of direct damage when chaotically fighting a lot of monsters.