Game Guides

The Ascent: Best Skills For Your Character

The hands-down essentials.

by Victor Vellas


There is a good amount of builds you can try out in The Ascent, but without question some of the best skills you can spend your points into, are simply essential to say the least, for any setup. The Ascent doesn’t provide the player with a ton of different skills that they can increase, the ones that do exist though matter a lot and do change your playstyle quite a bit. While you can mess around with any of them and you do have the freedom of choice with the possibility to reset them at any time, with a fee of course, some are simply too good to pass on.

Best skills to look out for in The Ascent

The game has eight different core skills you can spend your Skill Points into, which are the following:

  • Tactical Sense – Improves your Tactical Equipment recharge rate
  • Critical Hit Rate – Improves your critical hit rate with any weapon
  • Weapon Handling – Improves the reload speed of any weapon
  • Aiming – Reduces the spread of your weapon’s projectiles
  • Balance – Reduces the amount of time you spent in an immobilized state and lets you move faster while shooting heavier weapons
  • Evasion – Makes your Evasion’s (roll) cooldown shorter
  • Vital Signs – Raises your maximum HP
  • Body Battery – Raises your maximum Energy

Every single skill mentioned above, falls into a different attribute category with a total of four:

  • Cybernetics: Tactical Sense/ Critical Hit Rate
  • Motorics: Weapon Handling/ Aiming
  • Frame: Balance/ Evasion
  • Biometrics: Vital Signs/ Body Battery

These are important since they affect the power of your Augmentations. To explain it properly with an example, your Hydraulic Smash you receive very early on, is affected by your Motorics attribute level. The higher it is, the more damage that Augmentation causes, and so on. This takes place for every Augmentation in the game, so if you are aiming for a certain build, you need to consider these as well.

With all that said, let’s jump back into our main subject. Which of those skills are the best to raise, especially early on before you are able to reset freely using Ucred. Those would be the following:

  • Weapon Handling
  • Evasion
  • Vital Signs

These three skills will be your bread-n-butter, in the order they are mentioned here. Weapon Handling is by far your most important skill, as it significantly improves your reload speed. At first, against weaker enemies it may not seem as much, but as your progress further you will realize that having your weapon ready at all times, with be vital in a lot of group fights. It’s easy to be swarmed by enemies, and having your weapons at a reload state at that moment, will more often than not end up with you dying. Next we have Evasion, which is also a tool for survival, as having your roll ready faster will be key to lots of fights. Enemies tend to be fast, especially Ferals, so being able to avoid them at all times is crucial. Finally, we have Vital Signs which is self-explanatory. The more HP you have, the better your chances are to live another day.

Best Skills based on your build

The following are arguably the best skills you can have, depending on your build of choice. These come after the core skills mentioned above, or in conjunction with them as you level up. Just put a couple of skill points whenever you feel like you need them and you have some to spare.

Machine-guns as main weapon

  • Aiming
  • Critical Hit Rate
  • Body Battery

Reducing the bullet spread of your machine or sub-machine gun is crucial for any build using these types of weapons, so this is a no-brainer. Combine it with Critical Hit Rate, due to those weapons’ rapid-fire mechanics and you will be scoring kills extremely fast. Vital Signs is suggested because machine-guns don’t have that burst damage you may need at certain times, and being able to throw lots of Augmentation abilities in sequence can easily save you in a tight spot.

Heavy guns as main weapon

  • Aiming
  • Balance
  • Tactical Sense

Heavy guns tend to be masters at controlling the field, as they can easily pin down enemy groups with their constant rate of fire. Balance helps immensely with this, since it makes you faster with your movement and lets you escape easier crowd control attacks from your enemies. Aiming is there for reasons we mentioned in the above build as well, and due to the nature of heavy weapons, Tactical Sense compliments them really well as they can further control the flow of combat with stuns and stasis effects.

Launchers, Pistols and Shotguns as main weapons

As these types don’t receive any significant boost from the offensive or technical skills at your disposal, it is suggested to just improve the core skills of your character further, if you plan to use them as your main weapon of choice. Those are Weapon Handling, Evasion and Vital Signs. After you covered these to the maximum, just branch out to whatever you feel like it’s going to improve that specific weapon you upgraded the most.

For any other weapon you may find, it is advised to simply mess around based on what you currently have. It’s important to note that your Augmentations play a major role to your build, so it’s advised to check which attribute improves that Augmentation, and level it up accordingly. As there are tons of builds based on your Augmentations that you can try, it’s hard to mention the absolute best for every single one. Just keep trying lots of them until you find the one that suits you the most. If you don’t like the choices you made, you can just reset your skills for a certain fee, based on the amount of points you’ve spent by vising the respective shop in Cluster 13.

The Ascent is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows. For more related content about the game, feel free to check out the rest of our guides right here.


- This article was updated on July 30th, 2021

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