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Pillars Of Eternity 2 Deadfire Game Guide by

Pillars Of Eternity 2 Deadfire Game Guide

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Active and passive abilities Pillars Of Eternity 2 Guide and Walkthrough

In Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire, your main character and other party members can increase both main stats and develop active and passive skills. Below, you can find the complete list of all skills. We have also added information on how to use them in the game.

General information about skills

1 - Active and passive abilities - Character progression - Pillars Of Eternity 2 Deadfire Game Guide
  1. Initially, your character's skills are at level 0 - they aren't developed at all. However, this can be changed during character creation process. Choice of class and details about your past has an impact on starting bonuses for certain skills (usually 1 or 2 points). For example, after you pick Hunter class, you will start the game with skills such as Alchemy, Survival, Diplomacy, Stealth and Bluff having 1 point.
  2. Party members also have their skills. When they join you, their set of "base" skills is predetermined. However, after that you can develop them freely (whenever they gain a new level).
  3. You can raise skills whenever a character gets a new level. You then always receive 1 development point to upgrade any of your active abilities, and 1 development point to upgrade a passive skill. Note - You don't need more points to further develop skills. Gaining a new level in a skill always costs 1 skill point.
  4. Notice that highlighting a skill in the character screen displays the overall amount of points for that skill - the game adds up all points from every party member. The picture above shows a following example - the Party Assist pool for the Athletics skill is 4 points (1 point from the hero and 3 from the other party members). This is an important mechanic because Party Assist pool can be taken into consideration during party rolls - skill tests where calculations are based on all points for a given skill collected from the entire party.

What are the differences between active and passive skills?

Active skills are those that have a real use during your playthrough - Active and passive abilities - Character progression - Pillars Of Eternity 2 Deadfire Game Guide

Active skills are those that have a real use during your playthrough. For example, Stealth is useful when you want to remain undetected, Athletics gives you access to Second Wind ability which allows you to restore health points during combat, and Mechanics is used in opening locks and disarming traps.

Passive skills are those that are used only during conversations, scripted interactions (the example in the picture above) or while you are examining a newly found and unique item.

Note - Try to distribute skill points evenly between active and passive skills. Don't focus only on one category because abilities from both groups are useful in different situations.

Examples of using different skills in the same scripted interactions

  1. After meeting a group of enemies, you can activate Stealth skill to go around them safely or to sneak behind them and attack.
  2. You can approach the enemies and use passive skills like Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate to convince them and avoid confrontation.
  3. You can place traps in the area before a fight breaks out by using Mechanics active skill to get advantage and deal damage to the enemies right after starting this confrontation.

Almost every situation can be solved in a few different ways so feel free to experiment!

Active skills

The table below features all active skills available in Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire. Some of the more important skills are Athletics, Mechanics, Stealth and Arcana (for mages).

Skill name



Directly linked with using proper herbs, different enemy body parts etc. Allows your character to brew and use poisons, potions or drugs.


In combat, it has an impact on Power Level of a spell casted via a scroll.


Your character gets access to Second Wind skill which can be used once per a battle. This skill restores health points. In conversations and during events on the world map, this skill has an impact on climbing, swimming or jumping over obstacles.


Has an impact on using bombs and other pyrotechnical devices during combat. Having a high level of this ability nullifies a risk of unfavorable rolls, pre-ignitions etc.


Allows your character to open locks and disarm traps. Also, a character with this skill can place their own traps. In conversations and during events on the map, this skill influences activation and deactivation of various machines.

Sleight of Hand

Determines how well you can pickpocket someone. Besides that, it also controls your chances of succeeding at putting something into others' inventories.


Allows you to sneak - the more points you invest in this skill, the harder your character is to detect.

Passive skills

The table below features all active skills available in Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire. There are more passive skills than the active ones.

Skill name

Information about the skill


Affects the ability to use different bluffs during a conversation.


Useful when you want to negotiate or to solve various conflicts.


Gives you knowledge of history and cultures of different in-game races.


Allows you to expose real intentions of your interlocutors, their lies and hidden reasons.


Use it to intimidate other characters while you are talking with them by using extortion, blackmail etc.


A relatively young field of study which deals with adra, animacy, the Wheel, the In-Between, the Beyond and the other realm.


Gives you knowledge about different religions and beliefs present in the game's world.


A so-called "street know-how" which can be useful when you are meeting with unsavory types.


Allows you to show your knowledge about a given area or general knowledge related to nature during conversations and scripted interactions.

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