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The best skills in Rise of the Ronin

While you do pick a starting class of sorts in Rise of the Ronin, that doesn’t lock you out of using any of the game’s numerous weapons or abilities. That initial choice simply determines your starting stats and skills, and you can still freely mold your ronin’s proficiencies with as much detail as you can their appearance. Previous Team Ninja games have had some less-than-friendly UIs for their leveling system, and while it is much better here, it is still quite overwhelming. You have multiple branches of skills spread across the four main categories, plus most skills can be leveled up more than once. If you’re ready to learn the ways of the samurai, enter our dojo to learn which skills are the best.

The best skills in Rise of the Ronin

Skills are broken down into the Strength, Dexterity, Charm, and Intellect branches. Some skills just require normal skill points, while others must be unlocked using that section’s specific skill points.

Best Intellect skills

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

A major part of the time period of Rise of the Ronin involves the introduction of outside influences on Japan, with firearms being one of the biggest disruptors. Along with your katanas and bows, handguns and rifles can be equipped and used in fights. The Handgun Critical Hit gives you a second option when you deplete an enemy’s ki 9basically a stamina and stagger bar). Instead of doing a powerful melee attack with whatever weapon you have, you can pull the left trigger to deal an even stronger finishing move with your pistol. It’s flashy and deadly.

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

It doesn’t make a lot of business sense, but some shops are hiding their most valuable wears. The only way to get the full scope of what’s on offer is to invest in the Discernment skill. This opens up a lot more chances to buy stronger gear and consumables that are normally hard to come across.

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

Medicinal pills are your estus flasks of Rise of the Ronin, but these temporary buffs are crazy powerful if you utilize them right. Craft Bolstering Medicine opens up the option to use all those materials you have to make items that buff your strength, endurance, and ki. These last a decent amount of time, plus don’t cost a lot to make, so you won’t feel like you wasted one if you die.

Best Charm skills

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

Your main character is mostly silent during the game, but there are quite a lot of dialogue choices that pop up in both the main and side missions. Early on, you will notice that several options are locked behind specific skills, including “lie.” Of all the speech options, we like lie the best because it can be used to get into or out of trouble depending on the situation and is just fun to see what you can get away with.

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

A lone ronin like yourself is going to be doing a lot of killing and a lot of shopping for better gear. Coins aren’t hard to come by, but tend to be doled out in small increments when you’re paid for clearing even a group of foes. Each level of this skill gives a substantial boost to the percentage of cash you get for all that killing you have to do anyway.

Best Dexterity skills

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

Dexterity skills focus on the more stealthy and ninja-focused skills. Quietness is a little vague, but essentially makes your footsteps silent when moving. You will still need to crouch when you get really close to enemies, but only if they’re not isolated and someone else would notice. If not, you can walk right up behind them and get an easy and fast assassination.

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

Most skill trees have at least one level of Refill in there, so pick whichever you can reach faster. Or better yet, target all of them. Refill simply increases how many medicinal pills you start out with when hitting a checkpoint or reviving after death. Three is a pitiful amount to start with, so make it a priority to get at least one or two levels in these skills to have some breathing room in battle.

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

Getting ganged up on in Rise of the Ronin kind of breaks the combat in a way. You’re not equipped to take on three, four, five, or more enemies at once, so in some ways it makes sense. That’s why a big emphasis is put on stealth and thinning out enemy numbers before going loud. Your normal stealth attack is fine, but always leaves you exposed afterward. If you grab the Rope Assassination skill, you can stalk the rooftops and pull a Spider-Man by yanking an unsuspecting enemy up to their death without anyone else being the wiser.

Best Strength skills

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

Weapon proficiency is vital if you intend on taking on the tougher missions and difficulty levels of the game. Odds are you will want to experiment with a bunch of different weapon types at first, so grabbing this skill early will let you get a feel for which weapons you like. You can then start grinding out their proficiency levels as fast as possible.

The skill tree in Rise of the Ronin.
Team Ninja

We’ve all reached that moment where we just want to get through the trash mobs and get to the real challenging enemies. No matter how weak they may be, you always need to go through the routine of attacking, parrying, and chopping down an enemy (or stealthing them slowly) to get by. Not with Killer Blade, though. So long as that enemy can be taken down with a critical hit, you only need to approach them and hold triangle to not only strike them down in a single strike, but also cause any other enemy around to cower in fear.

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Jesse Lennox
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