What do you need help on? Cancel X
Next  
Close X Character Build FAQ
by Stuflames

Table of Contents

BOOKMARK
Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Character Build FAQ by Stuflames

Updated: 01/20/2016
Highest Rated Guide

Wasteland 2: Directors Cut Character Creation Guide

By Stuflames

Section 1: The Introduction

First off I would like to note that if you are roleplaying, more power to you. This guide is intended to give people who are having difficulty a leg up, to give a beginning outline for power gamers and perfectionists, for people intending to play on Supreme Jerk difficulty, and for general information. On lower difficulties the min-maxing portions of this guide can be ignored, as desired.

What this guide will not do is give you step by step what to do from level 1-50. I cannot determine what NPC companions you will pick up (if any), or at what time you will do so and I am not going to go into what direction to take them, and I will only briefly touch on team composition. For the most part I will assume you will take the advice here and apply it to your own team and goals.

Speaking of levels 1-50, it is highly unlikely you will reach level 50 without some serious grinding or exploits. It is much more likely you will end around 45 (a few less with low Charisma, a few more with higher), so this guide will assume an ending around there, where relevant.

This guide will contain few-to-no spoilers.

First step, if you are using this guide, is to pick a custom Ranger (team).

Name, Gender, Age, Religion, Smoking preference, Ethnicity, Portrait, Biography, and Appearance are all entirely up to you and each have very little, if any, impact on the gameplay or dialogue. Be as creative as you wish. You will pick up different clothing options as you adventure in the wasteland.

Onward we go.

Section 2: Stats and Attributes

Attributes are your base physical and mental abilities. You will gain a single Attribute increase point on levels 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. At character creation you have 21 points to distribute across 7 stats: Coordination, Luck, Awareness, Strength, Speed, Intelligence, and Charisma.

These Attributes, in turn, are by far your greatest determinants of your Derived Stats. Your most important Derived Stats are: Action Points, Initiative, Speed, Constitution (CON), and Skill Points.

So that we might actually understand what distributing your Attributes means, we will get into your Derived Stats first.

Section 2.1: Derived Stats

ACTION POINTS: An important stat for any Ranger. Actions you take in combat all cost Action Points, which you have a set amount of whenever your character starts their turn. Moving in combat: Costs Action Points. Attacking: Costs Action Points based upon your weapon. Healing allies or performing other special actions in combat: Costs Action Points. You get the picture. You can save up to 2 Action Points per character turn, to be used on that character's next turn.

You start with 3 Action Points as your base, and gain Action Points from two main Attribute sources.

The first Attribute source of Action Points is Coordination. For every 2 points of Coordination, you gain 1 additional Action Point. For this reason, we want to end with Coordination on an even number, as a rule.

The second Attribute source of Action Points is a combination of your Strength, Speed, and Intelligence. For every 4 of your COMBINED Strength, Speed, and Intelligence you gain 1 Action Point. There may be advantageous point distributions where these will not combine to a factor of 4, but keep in mind that if you do so you may be losing some efficiency. I might later call these three stats the "Action Point three" and the ideal that their combined total be divisible by 4 the "Rule of 4".

Some power-gaming purists might suggest that you should look up your weapon AP costs beforehand, and only have just enough AP to shoot your weapon on its optimal fire mode (burst fire or precision shots) either one or some other even number of times, and have no more AP per turn to waste. I am not going to say they are wrong, but I prefer having more tactical options to work with than that, and I do not see anything wrong with pushing AP a little more when possible. Still, being ultra-efficient with where you end your AP is a worthy goal, and worth considering. Regardless AP can be generally viewed as very important up to a point, then less useful once you can attack reasonably.

And thats all I have to say about Action Points for the moment. *Phew* Still with me?

INITIATIVE (or, if you want to go by game terminology, Combat Initiative): This is probably the single most important Derived Stat after you have gotten AP to somewhere acceptable. In many turn-based games Initiative only determines who goes first. In Wasteland, it is also your turn speed that is, you will keep on getting more turns faster/more often (or less often) based on your Initiative. Initiative is something worth pushing, and even maxing when possible.

COMBAT SPEED: Combat speed is how far you can move per Action Point. It is important.

CON(stitution): AKA Hit Points in many other RPG games. You want some health. You will get shot, bludgeoned, zapped, slashed, savaged, and occasionally asploded in your duties as a Ranger. In many cases I do not prioritize this over other more offensive Stats when setting Attributes, but even then it is always worth remembering that your Rangers will need to be able to survive somehow, and CON is a part of that.

SKILL POINTS: You want these. They are determined by your Intelligence. We will get to that shortly.

Alright, on to your Attributes (finally!)

"BUT, WAIT!" You call out to Stuflames in a penetrating voice, full of conviction. "I am on my character creation screen and I see other, important-looking Derived Stats." And then you say "You are going too fast!"

Okay, you do not say that last part. But to address the other derived stats: Crit chance, Evasion, Ranged Chance to Hit, etc. You will get these in due course as we worry about the other stats I mentioned. You cannot get around it. They are, for the most part, not worth worrying about when setting your Attributes. As long as you stay focused on what we have gone over and your Skill Points, they are just good stuff that happens when you set your Attributes.

Section 2.2: Attributes

COORDINATION: Coordination Sets your Action Points and your Ranged Chance to Hit. As good as Ranged Chance to Hit sounds (and is), your Weapons Skill level is by far the greater determinate of this so we will only worry about the first part: Action Points you can get from Coordination. With sufficiently high Strength, Speed, and/or Intelligence you can actually use this as a dump stat, when needed. Still, Coordination is nice to have. You only gain Action Points on even Coordination levels, so try to aim for that in the short and long run. This is a decent stat to increase on level up Attribute gains, though it will only really benefit you after 2 increases (20 levels worth of stats!) and you should look at Awareness first.

LUCK: Better people than I have called Luck a dump stat. And I'm not one to argue with people that are better than me. That said Luck isn't *useless*, per se, but it doesn't reliably govern any of the Derived Stats that I claimed were the key Derived Stats above. 1 is likely a fine value for Luck for your entire main team.

AWARENESS: Will increase your Combat Initiative at a 1-to-1 basis. Didn't we say above that Combat Initiative is, like, super important? If you missed that, it is. This is a great attribute to increase on level-up Attribute gains if you don't already have it at 10, as it will provide an immediate impact on every increase (where many times when increasing other Attributes you will need at least 2 point increases, or 20 levels worth of increases, to see their strongest benefits).

STRENGTH: The first of the "Action Point Three", Strength is also by far the largest determinant of your CON (Hit Points for those that missed the memo). Having a bit of Strength is fine for most Rangers, however for the min-maxed Ranger it can be used as a near-dump-stat for ranged characters as Intelligence and Speed are probably the better of the Action Point Three, and frankly you only have so many Attribute points to go around. For Melee Characters this crosses the line from a near-dump-stat to anything-but-a-dump stat territory, as it's already quite close to the line before it starts heavily impacting weapon damage. Using Strength as a dump stat isn't good for your carrying capacity, but that's what your melee guy or your NPC companions are for. Strength does find additional use with Heavy Armor, allowing you to keep a reasonable movement rate with the heavy stuff. Including the Con bonus, if you want a slower tank-like Ranger Strength does find another niche. The best Heavy Armor will want 7 Strength or you will suffer additional movement penalty (so if planning on Heavy Armor I'd have at least 6). It will only increase CON on even levels.

SPEED: The second of the "Action Point Three", Speed is one of the most fantastic Attributes around and in practically no circumstances should be used as a dump stat. Not only does it contribute to Action Points (with its brethren), it also contributes to the super important Combat Initiative. It is also THE attribute in charge of Combat Speed (very handy) and helps Evasion (which for analysis purposes is ignored but still not bad). Speed should generally be pushed. Speed is much better on even levels rather than odd, as it is on even levels that it will increase Combat Initiative.

INTELLIGENCE: The third of the "Action Point Three". Intelligence only has 4 correct settings, and which one you go for will to a large extent determine what you do with Speed, Strength, and your other stats. Intelligence governs your skill points. You want it at 1, 4, 8, or 10, as only 4, 8, and 10 gives you a skill-point-per-level increase. True combat characters might use this as a dump stat, but 4 is a good amount for more balanced combat-oriented characters. Like the other Action Point Three, this gets set at the start and is not increased on level-up Attribute gains for your created Rangers, and because skill point increases are not retroactive this is even MORE true for Intelligence make sure you have it where you want it from the start.

CHARISMA: Do not put anything in here unless you get the Leadership skill. Do not get the Leadership skill unless you have some Charisma. Together, though, you will benefit the whole team with major Chance to Hit bonuses and being able to fully control your NPC allies. Considering this can benefit up to 6 other Ranger's Chance to hit and keep your stupid NPC allies from making *very* stupid NPC decisions, I would say this+Leadership is essential on at least one character; unless you're in the unlikely position of not planning on picking up any NPC companions, in which case I'd consider this+Leadership to be merely very good rather than essential. Having high Team Charisma will allow you to recruit some of the pickier Companion NPCs. You may want to research this if you want a specific Companion NPC.

Section 2.3: Starting Attribute Example Builds

So your eyes are bleeding from the above information? Let me give you a few little examples of how the above information might be applied to a build. I cannot guarantee these will be the perfect builds for X weapon or Y team, and these are NOT the only acceptable Attribute distributions for good Wasteland Rangers. These are simply examples of how the above principles might be applied. Min-maxing ahead.

SPECIALIST: This Ranger is a great combatant and if s/he chooses to finish off Awareness can also get up to 20 Initiative by a respectable level 20. This is my single favorite stat distribution for a Ranged, ah, Ranger.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:8
Strength:2
Speed:10
Intelligence:4
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 8
Combat Initiative: 18
Skill Points/Level: 3

On level up: Finish Awareness then probably pick up the remaining in either Coordination or Strength. I tend to favor Coordination unless my Ranger is running into carry weight issues.

ROUNDED: Jack of all trades, master of none.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:4
Luck:1
Awareness:6
Strength:4
Speed:8
Intelligence:4
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 9
Combat Initiative: 15
Skill Points/Level: 3

On level up: Max out Awareness.

SNIPER: This Ranger sacrifices Initiative in the name of Action Points. Each turn this guy gets should be effective, and with the right Perk and Quirk support will allow for multiple potential shots from even high-AP usage weapons, like a powerful Sniper Rifle. Despite its name you do not need to have an extreme-AP build to have a good sniper Ranger (any ranged combatant build listed here should be a good potential sniper), and on the flip side this Ranger can be an effective character even if it specializes in a different weapon type than Sniper Rifles as lots of APs are nice for anyone (though as I've mentioned I do favor Initiative over AP).

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:8
Luck:1
Awareness:2
Strength:2
Speed:10
Intelligence:4
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 11
Combat Initiative: 12
Skill Points/Level: 3

On level up: Let me get a little into weapon specifics here, since that's what this build is all about:

  • The top end-game sniper rifles use either 7 or 8 AP depending on which way you go. Right now this guy has 11.
  • The Deadeye Perk can effectively grant 2 AP on attacks (-1 and -1 again) if you don't move at the beginning of your turn.
  • To attack twice in a turn, without saving previous AP, I'd tend to get the Tinkerer Perk. This will put you at 12 AP, which combined with Deadeye is just enough for the 7 AP sniper rifle.
  • To fire the 8 AP sniper rifle twice every round you will need Deadeye, Tinkerer, AND the Brittle Bones Quirk. That's a lot of investment for something that is really only going to affect the end game, but there it is.
  • Anyway assuming you get Tinkerer you can put all your level up points into Awareness. If you don't get Tinkerer you will want to finish off Coordination, then put the remaining levels into Awareness.

ARMORED: If you really want those extra CON, and want the chance to utilize cool Heavy Armor (the best has a Strength requirement of 7, having less is okay but will reduce your movement speed), something needs to go. I still didn't want to sacrifice much Initiative, so in the below case Intelligence went bye-bye. This guy remains a very strong combatant, and can even achieve maximum Initiative by level 40 if you level him/her to do so. These are also good stats for a higher speed melee character.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:8
Strength:7
Speed:8
Intelligence:1
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 8
Combat Initiative: 17
Skill Points/Level: 2

On level up: After you finish off Awareness move to finish Speed or work on Coordination.

HEAVY: Similar to the Armored Ranger, this is what it might look like if you really need this Ranger to have more Intelligence. Might make a good melee/ranged hybrid.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:4
Strength:6
Speed:10
Intelligence:4
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 9
Combat Initiative: 14
Skill Points/Level: 3

On level up: Awareness.

MELEE: I'm not sure how much benefit you'll get from Awareness 3/Strength 10, it might be better, but the below way satisfies the Rule of 4 for Strength/Speed/Intelligence. Might be worth breaking in this case for full Strength, I'm not sure. Either way you should have a boss of a melee character.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:4
Strength:9
Speed:10
Intelligence:1
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 9
Combat Initiative: 14
Skill Points/Level: 2

On level up: Awareness all the way.

SMARTY: For when you simply need more Skills and still want a solid combatant.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:1
Luck:1
Awareness:5
Strength:2
Speed:8
Intelligence:10
Charisma:1

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 8
Combat Initiative: 14
Skill Points/Level: 5

On level up: Awareness is always good, and I'd prioritize it, but if you ever feel you need +1 AP it's only a single Attribute point in Coordination away...

SMARTY LEADER: Sacrifices a lot of combat ability to support the team. You want some skill and charm among these combat-crazed weirdoes though, right? This is not the only way to balance out a Charisma Ranger, and I've gone in a direction here that puts this as a combination Charisma Ranger and skill-monkey with full Intelligence.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:3
Strength:2
Speed:4
Intelligence:10
Charisma:6

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 8
Combat Initiative: 10
Skill Points/Level: 5

On level up: Awareness and Charisma are both the key Attributes you want to look at on level-up here. Each will provide immediate benefits when acquired. Put all in Awareness, or all in Charisma, or split your level ups both ways, all are fine ways to go for this Leader. Get an idea of your base Leadership Range, and decide how important it is to you to get more (Me? I like more Charisma on a support character like this Leader).

ROUNDED LEADER: Another take on a Charisma Ranger, this guy has 4 Intelligence and reasonable Initiative... s/he's not got a full-on combatant distribution like some of these other Rangers but, heck, s/he can still fight better than the NPC companions and will be higher level than any non-Charisma character to boot.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:6
Strength:2
Speed:6
Intelligence:4
Charisma:7

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 7
Combat Initiative: 14
Skill Points/Level: 3

On level up: Again, Charisma and Awareness are both good options with immediate benefits. Charisma gets maxed in 3 so even with full Charisma this Ranger should end with at the very least a respectable 15 Initiative by level 40, and can go as high as 18.

SPEEDY LEADER: For when you want your Leader to muster out all the combat skill they can. A single Combat Skill and Leadership will take most of this Ranger's mental power, but s/he should be able to keep up with some of the fastest Rangers out there when battle is joined.

Starting Attributes:

Coordination:2
Luck:1
Awareness:7
Strength:1
Speed:10
Intelligence:1
Charisma:6

Starting Stats (limited):

Action Points: 7
Combat Initiative: 17
Skill Points/Level: 2

On level up: Max Awareness and the rest in Charisma, if you don't need your Leader to be fast then you probably should have considered a different build. Can achieve a heroic 20 base Initiative by level 30, if desired.

LUCKY?!?: If I ever wanted to make a Ranger hoping to reap the rewards of luck, I would probably take something similar to the Speedy Leader or Rounded Leader and exchange gains in Charisma for Luck.

Section 3: Skills

Skills govern how your Ranger will fight and how capably they will be able to interact with the Wasteland world. With few exceptions you really only want one Ranger concentrating on a given skill. Skills are divided into three groups: Combat, Knowledge, and General. Keep in mind that you can almost always get an NPC Companion to carry a Skill for your team, so don't feel at all bad if you cannot cover everything you want with your base team. Some Skills are more essential than others.

A note on Skill Books: As you adventure you may pick up single-use Skill Books. These will raise an associated skill one level for the using Ranger. These are used most effectively, from an efficiency standpoint, when increasing a Skill from 9 to 10, as that jump requires the most Skill Point investment. Regardless, use any Skill Books you find wisely. Brawling is the only Combat Skill with an associated Skill Book, everything else should have one Skill Book somewhere.

Skill costs are as follows:

Level 1: +2 = 2 total
Level 2: +2 = 4 total
Level 3: +2 = 6 total
Level 4: +4 = 10 total
Level 5: +4 = 14 total
Level 6: +4 = 18 total
Level 7: +6 = 24 total
Level 8: +6 = 30 total
Level 9: +6 = 36 total
Level 10: +8 = 44 total

As a final note, to the true power gamer I might rate some of these skills as more necessary than they are. You can get away with(out) a lot, and carry the day with more specific specialization than I might imply is useful.

Section 3.1: Combat Skills

A Ranger needs at least one point in a Combat Skill to use the associated weapon type at all effectively, and will want to specialize in one or at most two weapon types. Despite the in-game descriptions, I wouldn't really worry about the expense of various ammo types too much, and you should find enough ammunition of each type through looting to keep at least one Ranger (mostly) supplied for a weapon type off of Ammo finds, provided you have at least Perception and unlocking skills. If you have more than one Ranger using an ammo type you will need to buy ammo (particularly on Supreme Jerk), but that's not the end of the world either as you will get far more money than you need as the game progresses. Still, overlapping ammo and money is a problem for the earlier part of the game, so can't be entirely ignored.

ASSAULT RIFLES: With range, power, penetration, burst fire, and precision hits this is a top-tier weapon skill. They are somewhat balanced by being unable to perform as effectively in close ranges, but with the associated Melee Shooting Perk and high Skill level they should do alright even in close quarters. Ammo used: 5.56mm, 7.62mm

BLADED WEAPONS: Slash, Slash! Lower AP use and higher critical chance than Blunt Weapons, but lower damage.

BLUNT WEAPONS: Bash, Bash! They have higher AP/use than blades and lower critical chance than Bladed Weapons, but more base damage, better penetration, and more diagonal-attack weapons available.

BRAWLING: Hulk Smash! Logically Brawling might seem like a lesser option than other melee Weapon Skills. It is not. Fist damage scales with the Ranger's level, and will eventually achieve a brutal 100% crit rate. In fact they are only comparatively balanced with the other melee types by having lesser armor penetration and no diagonal attack options.

ENERGY WEAPONS: An interesting ranged type, Energy Weapons get no crits and are less effective against lightly armored enemies. They vastly increase in effectiveness against heavily armored enemies. In the current incarnation of Director's Cut this weapon type unfortunately is outclassed by most any other weapon type, being lackluster in the late game even against conductive enemies (and terrible against non-conductive enemies). There have been some changes to this weapon type and what counts as Conductive Armor since the original Wasteland 2 so take what you read online with a grain of salt. Ammo used: Energy Cells

HANDGUNS: Bang, Bang! Shorter range. The ability to use precision hits with lower AP use per shot makes this a decent support/status weapon. You will eventually want to utilize precision hits on enemy armor with this weapon as penetration is low, but with its perk series and headshots Handguns are capable of solid damage and if lucky enough can do serious hurting. If a Ranger uses this as a primary weapon get a long barrel(if pistol)/scope(if revolver) weapon mod ASAP as that will increase range, which is much needed if there's not another long-range option. Ammo used: .38 cal, 9mm, and .45 cal

HEAVY WEAPONS: Heavy Weapons covers LMG-types, mainly. They can lay down a lot of fire and do good damage, but can't accommodate weapon modifications or use precision shots and suffer close-range penalties. Despite their in-game descriptions as a form of Heavy Weapon, rockets and thrown explosives don't actually use the Heavy Weapons Skill for anything and can be used on any character that wants to. Ammo used: 5.56mm, 7.62mm

SHOTGUNS: Shotguns are an interesting weapon in that they work with a cone-shaped area-of-effect. In practice this is as annoying as it is useful, and most players will consider pistols, SMGs, and the melee Skills as more useful close-range weapons. At least, that holds true until you get the associated shotgun Perks at which point Shotguns become more practical. Ammo used: 12 ga

SNIPER RIFLES: *shlick* Boom! Worse close range even than Assault Rifles, they can partially compensate for this deficiency with their own series of close-range Perks. Sniper Rifles are powerful long range weapons, and a great way to start a fight. Ammo used: 30-08, 7.62mm, and .50 cal

SUBMACHINE GUNS: Rat-a-tat-tat! These have good damage potential for a short-range firearm but can't use precision hits which, combined with mediocre penetration for the most part, is a pretty big deal. If I had to choose between this and Handguns for a close range weapon I'd tend to favor Handguns if you have room for 3-4 perks, but maybe Submachine guns if you have room for only 1 perk, making this a solid secondary weapon choice. There is something to be said for the fun factor of a good SMG spray to an enemy's midsection. Like Handguns, if this is a Ranger's primary weapon they will want a Long Barrel weapon mod ASAP so they can use their SMG at a reasonable range for more tactical options. Ammo used: .38 cal, 9mm, and .45 cal

Section 3.2: Knowledge Skills

Full of good Skills, remember that you can (up to a point) get NPC Companions to cover anything your main team does not cover but that you still want. In this game I tend to rate key Knowledge and General Skills above even Weapon Skills in growth priority.

ALARM DISARMING: Not generally considered a very useful Skill, and probably the lowest priority among all the Knowledge Skills. Mostly you will be able to fight enemies you would alert or find other ways around NPCs that you don't want to fight. This can be used as an alternate way to open Safes for loot in a few checks, but not enough to be reliable. Pick it up if you have excess room only... I'd rate it above Barter at least.

COMPUTER SCIENCE: In my opinion this is a near-essential Skill. Computer Science is used in a small number of looting checks to open safes rather than Safecracking, it is used in a good number of Computer Science skill checks all on its own, and is even very useful *in combat* as you will be able to turn enemy turrets and robots to your own side for the remainder of a battle! A Knowledge Skill that is useful for looting *and* for lots of checks *and* in combat with some annoying enemies? Yes, please. If you do pick it up try it out on a faster, closer-quarters character so that you can more effectively use that Ranger to recruit robots for your fight. Unfortunately end-game enemies aren't as susceptible but that's okay, Computer Science sees a lot of use overall.

DEMOLITIONS: There are tons of mines both in the environment and as traps on doors and chests. The occasional skill check also pops up. A high priority skill, you really do want this skill on somebody, preferably on whoever you get Perception on. I should note that instead you *can* shoot mines rather than disarm them and you *can* heal the burned hand-stumps of whoever is opening your safes, lockboxes, and doors, so if you're really looking to skimp on Skills I guess you might be able to get away without this, but I don't recommend that.

FIELD MEDIC: Used for healing your squaddies. You will want to pick up some levels of this on at least one squad member. A decent place to dump excess skill points in the late game.

LOCKPICKING: Used on various doors and chests. Very useful for both access and looting purposes.

MECHANICAL REPAIR: Used in a small number of skill checks throughout the game. Also used to repair robot allies, for what that is worth. Mechanical Repair can additionally be used to fix locks/safes when you get a Critical Failure on Lockpicking/Safecracking for a second chance at looting. Not a bad skill, worth picking up, but not essential. The less you like to save-scum the more useful it and its associated perk Handyman become when considering looting.

SAFECRACKING: Safes are full of useful stuff, and are common. You will want this Skill on somebody for looting purposes.

SURGEON: Used to revive downed allies. Also used in a decent number of skill checks. This is the one skill you will want to grab 1 rank of on a large number of Rangers so that they can revive their allies, and you will want to dedicate one Ranger to getting lots of ranks for revive/health utility and for the skill checks that are around. A decent place to dump excess skill points in the late game.

TOASTER REPAIR: Toasters are not common, but they are around. They can contain unique stuff, almost all of which can be taken to an NPC for a reward. Do try to fit Toaster Repair on one character or NPC. If you skip this be aware you will miss on the chance for many skill books, a good end-game SMG and Energy weapon (that is acquired relatively early), other weapons that are good along the way, and some other good random stuff and some fun interactions.

Section 3.3: General Skills

Lots of good stuff here, remember that you can (up to a point) get NPC Companions to cover anything your main team does not but that you still want. In this game I tend to rate key Knowledge and General Skills above even Weapon Skills in growth priority.

ANIMAL WHISPERER: An interesting skill. Animal Whisperer is used in a small number of skill checks throughout the game. It can also make enemy animals run away if you use it on them, and you can even get animal allies out of the neutral animals present in the game (such as goats, chickens, cows, etc.). Animal allies will follow you around and give you an Attribute bonus, based on the animal type. I would not call this an essential skill by any means, but it is worth looking at after the better Skills if you can spare the points.

BARTER: Makes vendors buy and sell at more favorable prices. I consider looting skills (lockpicking, safecracking, perception, etc) more essential and versatile, and with good looting skills you should have plenty of Scrap after about the first 10-20% of the game. Barter is a low priority for precious Skill Points in my opinion. In fact, it's rock bottom.

BRUTE FORCE: Hmm, I am not sure how highly to rate this skill. On one hand, I know it is non-essential. It is used only a few times in Skill checks. Most barriers you can Brute Force you should also be able to bash, shoot, blow up. or navigate around. Many Lockpicking targets can be Brute Forced, and vice-versa, but there are a decent number of Lockpicking targets you cannot Brute Force. However, Unlike Lockpicking, Critically Failing a Brute Force check doesn't break anything but your body, which will recover with enough time/patience allowing unlimited chances to Brute Force a target (for the anti-save-scumming type). It encompasses a series of Perks which add a chance for status effects to your melee Skills. Experienced players might look at this twice when planning out team composition and if you have the Skills and Perks available Brute Force might be useful on a melee character, but because this guide is written to. . .guide. . .newer players I'll label this for the moment *interesting but non-essential* and *pick up only if you have room*. Your mileage may vary.

HARD ASS: One of three conversation skills. None are essential but you should really have at least one conversation skill, if just for fun, and all three is nice.

KISS ASS: One of three conversation skills. None are essential but you should really have at least one conversation skill, if just for fun, and all three is nice.

LEADERSHIP: Great to have on at least one Charisma-heavy Ranger. Leadership can increase your Chance to Hit on up to six other Rangers. When considering precision attacks and unfavorable elevation, more Chance to Hit is always welcome. Equally importantly it will prevent your stupid NPC companions from making stupid NPC decisions by preventing them from going "rogue". Even its associated %enemy hit-rate perks are decently nice if you have the available Perks on your leader. Note that multiple leaders will NOT stack, and this is a waste. I've even heard that having multiple characters with Leadership is actively bad and will negate bonuses entirely. Either way, only have one Ranger with Leadership.

OUTDOORSMAN: As far as I am concerned this Skill is essential, hands down. Pick it up on a Ranger or NPC Companion. You will get in a *lot* of fights otherwise when traveling on the world map. If you have the mental stamina I guess this could be considered non-essential, but I've never tried playing that way and I don't particularly recommend you do either. Playing without it could potentially be dangerous for your team, depending on how beat up they are and run down their supplies are after completing an area, or when going to a new area with harder enemies.

PERCEPTION: Another essential skill. You will get much more loot with Perception finds, will at least know the presence of about a bazillion mines (rough estimate), and it's used to find hidden areas and in a few checks. You want it, you might even *need* it.

SMART ASS: One of three conversation skills. None are essential; but you should really have at least one conversation skill, if just for fun, and all three is nice.

WEAPONSMITHING: A great skill. Weapon modifications make a noticeable difference. Plus they are cool. Pick it up on someone.

-------Secret Skills--------

Notice those two slots that are blank? You have to wonder what the secret is, and if you read ahead then shortly you will!

COMBAT SHOOTING: A straight increase to a Ranger's Critical Hit rate, making anything that's not an energy weapon have 100% crit rate (maybe less if you picked Heavy Handed Quirk). Learnable from a findable skill book in-game (late-game). This makes some weapons truly insane, to the point where I personally might consider it a little cheaty. The associated book that teaches this will give you the full 10 levels of this Skill, no further investment required.

SOUTHWESTERN FOLKLORE: Available by code to the Kickstarter backers of Wasteland 2. This will give enhanced descriptions to the in-game. . . descriptions. Of things. Pretty cool. The associated book that teaches this will give you the full 10 levels of this Skill, no further investment required.