Guardians of the Galaxy: Which Abilities to Unlock First

The best abilities to choose first in Guardians of the Galaxy.

by Thomas Cunliffe
Star-Lord using an Ability in Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy features 4 ‘Abilities’ for each of the 5 Guardians, including Star-Lord, the only playable character. Star-Lord can, however, command his fellow Guardians to activate this ability on whatever target(s) the player chooses. Each Guardian has one Ability from the start and two are purchasable with Ability Points. The final Ability for each Guardian is hidden and automatically learned at different points throughout the game’s story.

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With so much choice, it can be hard to choose which to learn first. In this guide, we’ll detail which abilities to unlock first in Guardians of the Galaxy and if you are able to unlock every Ability before the end of the game.

Which Abilities Should You Unlock First in Guardians of the Galaxy?

We recommend unlocking abilities with stagger first. Stagger is an important mechanic in Guardians of the Galaxy and one you will be facing a lot. You can read about it in our ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: How to Stagger Enemies‘ guide. Having all of your team members have an Ability that is able to Stagger is essential with the number of enemies you will have to Stagger the further you progress.


Some Guardians will also be unavailable to use during story missions, making it even more vital to have backup options should your main Stagger user be unable to perform. As a bonus, you will also receive a trophy/achievement for each Guardian learning at least one Ability each. You can visit our ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: All Achievements/Trophies‘ guide for more information on others like this.

Only Drax will have a Stagger ability at the start of the game, with the other characters having one ability that is able to Stagger unlockable for 3 Ability Points. Rocket has ‘Glowing Pains Grenade‘, which shocks and deals Light Stagger to several enemies, as well as increasing the Stagger damage taken under the effect. This is the ability we recommend unlocking first due to its versatile use and crowd control.

Other Stagger abilities include Groot’s ‘Mammoth Grab‘, which grapples an enemy in place and inflicts Moderate Stagger. Gamora has ‘Stagger Wave’, which deals Moderate Damage to a single enemy and Moderate Stagger to all enemies behind her target. Finally, Star-Lord has ‘Eye of the Hurricane‘, which launches the player into the air and lobs grenades at enemies below, inflicting Moderate Damage and Heavy Stagger. This is a very powerful ability and one we recommend learning as soon as you can. ‘Fan The Hammer’ is also a powerful ability that offers heavy damage and full control.

All of Drax’s abilities inflict Stagger and will be your main Stagger user throughout the game. Unlocking all of his abilities is definitely recommended, but not before having all of your Guardians have a Stagger ability each. After this, the order in which you choose your Abilities is purely up to personal preference, as you will unlock every Guardian Ability long before you complete the story.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch and GeForce Now.

- This article was updated on November 1st, 2021

About The Author

Thomas has been a freelance writer since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 145,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat in 2015, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as AOTF, PC Invasion, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing every quest in World of Warcraft (yes, all of them), and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about various topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, and exploring the latest AAA and indie titles.