In Days Gone, it’s just you and your bike against the world, so you’ll need all the help you can get. Fortunately, you can upgrade your character with a ton of different skills to get the upper hand on the Freaker hordes.
Each time you take down an enemy or complete an objective, you’ll be rewarded with experience points, which turn into skill points when you level up. By the end of the game, you’ll have plenty of skill points to go around, but you still need to plan which skills you want to get first.
Days Gone: Best Skills To Unlock First
Skills are divided into three categories: Melee, Ranged, and Survival. The first two are combat focused, while the third is more about helping you get the most out of your items. Each category is also tiered. You need to buy two skills from one tier to unlock the next one in each category. We’ll break down all the skills in the game and give you recommendations for which skills to take from each tier to unlock Tier 5 as soon as possible.
Best Melee Skills
- Escape Artist: Kill smaller enemies after successfully escaping from a grapple.
- Field Repairs: Ability to repair melee weapons with scrap.
- Juice Up: Improves the initial recovery and duration of a Stamina Cocktail.
Get Escape Artist and Field Repairs first. It’ll be a while before you can make Stamina Cocktails anyway.
- Hard Hitter: Increase the damage of both crafted and found melee weapons.
- Busted Lip: Regenerates stamina for every melee kill.
- Talk Shit, Get Hit: Ability to perform longer combos with melee weapons.
These are all good skills but Talk Shit, Get Hit is probably the least essential. There are lots of other skills devoted to quickly taking down Freakers anyway.
- Lightning Reflexes: Ability to roll quickly to recover from a knockdown.
- Bull Rush: Ability to stun a normal human enemy or swarmer with a melee attack while sprinting.
- The Reckoning: Gives melee weapons a chance for a critical takedown on humans, swarmers, and newts. Does not work with the Boot Knife.
Again, these are all helpful, but The Reckoning and Bull Rush are essential for taking down enemies quickly and clearing a path when you get overwhelmed. You probably won’t get knocked down enough for Lightning Reflexes to be as useful as the other two.
- Just Roll With It: Drastically reduces stamina cost from rolling.
- Rock On: Ability to stun weaker enemies by hitting them with a rock.
- Home Run: Significantly increases the damage of both crafted and found melee weapons.
You can safely ignore Rock On in this tier. It’s rare that stunning one weak enemy is that helpful, and both of the other skills are fantastic.
- Retribution: Increases the chance of a critical hit or takedown by 25%.
- Switch It Up: Boot knife combos do twice the normal damage.
- Executioner: Ability to stealth attack heavy Freakers. Also adds the ability to kill heavy freakers and large animals while escaping a grapple.
These are all great skills but prioritize Executioner. Heavy Freakers can be a huge pain to deal with, and you won’t want to pass up the chance to insta-kill them.
Best Ranged Skills
- Focused Shot: Ability to activate focus while aiming a ranged weapon.
- Fight and Flight: Move and aim a ranged weapon with more precision.
- Vicious Cycle: Ability to follow a melee attack with a ranged attack for massive damage.
The Focused Shot is essential. It’s a tough call on which other skill to take, but you can probably pass up Fight and Flight, given how often you’ll fire your gun from cover rather than while moving.
- Suppressing Fire: When in focus, ranged weapons will have an increased power to stop weaker enemies.
- Crowd Control: Reduces the cooldown of focus.
- Hyperfocus: Improves the initial recovery and duration of a Focus Cocktail.
You won’t be able to make Focus Cocktails until late in the game, so pick up the other two skills, which are both excellent.
- On The Move: Ability to reload ranged weapon while sprinting.
- Iron Grip: Significantly reduces ranged weapon recoil.
- Nocked Up: Significantly increases crossbow bolt damage.
This is a tough one since these are all great skills. If you don’t like using the crossbow, you can avoid Nocked Up, but you’re missing out on a mighty weapon. Otherwise, save Iron Grip for when you have points to spare. On the Move becomes far more useful later in the game, and it will undoubtedly save your life at some point.
- Under Pressure: No longer consume focus when reloading a ranged weapon.
- Quick Reload: Reduces the reload times for ranged weapons.
- Deadshot: Increases ranged weapon accuracy.
Under Pressure is the safest one to skip here. If you use your Focus wisely and only activate it when you have a full clip, you’ll never have to burn it reloading anyway.
- Up The Ante: Increases ammo capacity for all ranged weapons.
- Two Birds, One Bullet: Increases projectile penetration for ranged weapons.
- Head Rush: Headshot kills recover health.
Another batch of fantastic skills, but Up the Ante is probably the one to grab first. Two Birds, One Bullet will help you against groups, and Head Rush will help you when your aim is on point, but Up the Ante will help you in every firefight.
Best Survival Skills
- Eye For Detail: Increases the time that icons display in Survival Vision.
- Hawkeyed: Plants are displayed on the Mini-map.
- Thorn In Your Side: Provides a chance to retrieve some bolts that have been fired from your crossbow.
Hawkeyed may not sound that exciting, but it’s tough to spot plants without it. Grab that and Thorn in Your Side, which is extremely helpful in the early game. You can come back and grab Eye for Detail when you have points to spare later.
- Eagle-Eyed: Increases the range of Survival Vision.
- Thief in the Night: Generate less noise when moving or dropping.
- Green Thumb: Ability to gather double the plants when collecting them.
Thief in the Night is essential and Eagle-Eyed pairs nicely with some skills you get later. All Green Thumb does is make it, so you have to stop for plants less often.
- The Butcher: Increases the amount of meat gather from animals.
- Catch Your Breath: Reduces cooldown on stamina recovery.
- Ear to the Ground: Outlines enemies in Survival Vision.
This is an easy one. Ear to the Ground and Catch Your Breath are two of the best skills in this tree.
- Monkey Wrench: Doubles the effectiveness of scrap while repairing the bike.
- Second Wind: Gives an extra burst of adrenaline when low on health.
- Carry That Weight: Increases the inventory space for crafting components, traps, and throwables.
Monkey Wrench is convenient, but it’s the obvious one to pass up in this tier. Second Wind gives you a chance to flee or heal when your health is critical, and Carry That Weight’s extra inventory space lets you use your most powerful weapons more often.
- The Alchemist: Improves the initial recovery and duration of a health cocktail.
- Shape Up: Significantly increases stamina regeneration rates.
- Six Feet Over: Regain some stamina when taking damage.
Go for Shape Up, then Six Feet Over. There are plenty of different items that recover your Health, but Stamina is always in short supply.