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The best perks in Saints Row

The new Saints Row isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel or create a new genre we haven’t seen before. Rather, the goal is to put its own, unique spin on things. Most notably, it takes the modern third-person open-world genre and adds in its own brand of off-the-wall antics, plus a cast of distinct characters, to create its own flavor of mayhem. Aside from your traditional shooting, driving, and incredibly deep level of customization for your vehicles, weapons, and main character’s appearance, you also have a light RPG mechanic of equipping perks.

Perks come in different forms and will unlock as you progress through the various missions and activities available to you in Saints Row. There are quite a few of them, and each offers different bonuses and buffs that can make your Boss a force to be reckoned with. That said, if you want to know which ones are worth your time to create an almost overpowered character, which is kind of the point of this game, then you’ll want to take notes on the best perks you can get in Saints Row.

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How to unlock perks

The main character of Saints Row glides in a wingsuit.

Perks all need to be unlocked, as you might expect, but the way to get them becomes increasingly more difficult as you get further into the game and the perks become more potent. You’ll need to complete a certain number of challenges to unlock them all, which you can see by opening your menu, going to the Missions app, and selecting Challenges. Thankfully, there are many more challenges in Saints Row than you will need to get all the perks. If you find a challenge too … well, challenging … feel free to skip it.

Best perks in Saints Row

The Boss shooting at police in Saints Row.

Tactical Training

This is a very early perk you can get for the low, low price of zero challenges, so there’s really no reason not to slot this minor perk in as soon as you can. With this active, you will move faster while crouched and aiming down sights. It’s not a massive speed buff, but being able to move quickly while also making yourself a smaller target is very handy.

Dead Eye

Another minor perk that doesn’t take long to get, Dead Eye can be equipped after completing nine challenges or more, and you may just keep it equipped for the entire game. If you score a headshot with it on, your next reload will take a fraction of the normal time, letting you keep the pressure on without having to retreat or getting caught with no ammo in a massive fight.


Our first major perk you should look for is the Scavenger perk. Unlocked after beating just seven challenges, this perk synergizes well with any build since it simply increases the amount of ammo you get every time you grab an ammo box. Just like Dead Eye, this is great for letting you stay in the action without worrying about managing your weapons.

Loot Grab

After 11 challenges are in the bag, absolutely swap in Loot Grab to a minor perk slot. This is your magnet-style perk that automatically sucks in ammo and cash drops on the field so you don’t have to awkwardly circle around, scraping up all the enemy drops. It just makes the entire game flow much more smoothly.

Dual Wield

Channel your inner Lara Croft with the Dual Wield major perk after finishing 19 challenges. As you can probably guess, this perk makes it so any time you pull out either a pistol or SMG, you draw a second one in your free hand automatically. This obviously doubles your damage output with these types of weapons but does have the downside of draining your ammo twice as quickly, so consider pairing it with something like Scavenger to avoid running empty too fast.

Saving Throw

Old-school RPG fans will know this term, but for everyone else, Saving Throw is always a good addition to your build. Available after beating 17 challenges, this perk will grant you two bonus life bars if you should ever run out of health, effectively giving you a free revive on the spot. This lets you play with a little more risk, which is perhaps the best way to play in Saints Row.

Surgical Strike

Our last pick for the best perks will take a while to get at 22 challenges needed. By the time you get Surgical Strike, though, you should be more than ready to wield it. How it works is after each precision kill, aka a headshot, your total damage goes up for a limited time. This can stack five times, with the full bonus being a massive increase to overall damage. Considering how many battles in Saints Row are against waves of enemies, you will be building this up in no time and then wiping the floor with whoever is left standing.

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