Age Of Wonders: Planetfall Best Hero Skills Guide

Want to maximize your hero's capabilities and annihilate the enemy factions? We show you all the best skills to pick so you don't waste any precious skill points!

Like its predecessors, the sci-fi 4X Age Of Wonders: Planetfall lets you customize your heroes with a wide range of skills so you can decide how you want to play.

Whether you prefer your heroes to serve as a support role for an army or take center stage as a melee or ranged powerhouse, carefully selecting your skills can mean the difference between defeat and victory.

Obviously, not all skills are going to be as useful as others. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the skill list before you start spending points when leveling up. Below we list all our favorite skills so far for each faction in the game.

Having trouble surviving against the AI or making nice with the NPC factions? Check out our beginner's strategy guide to winning scenarios in Age Of Wonder: Planetfall instead.

Best Planetfall Commander / Hero Skills 

While many of the skills below are objectively better than others, some are more subjective and can vary in importable depending on the situation.

It's important to note that a skill critical in specific campaign maps may be utterly useless in others. If you are on a map with few environmental hazards and enemies that usually don't use negative status effects, then obviously Iron Discipline is just a waste of skill points.

Some skills are also significantly more useful in manual tactical combat rather than auto, while others require extra planning on your part. The skills that boost Integrated units for instance aren't worth anything if you haven't researched and placed a mod on your units to give them the Integrated quality.

For the most part, the skills we've selected below are useful in a broader range of situations.

Vitality 1 / 2 / 3

  • Skill Points: 2 / 4 / 6
  • Required Level: 1 / 1 / 1
  • Faction: Any

For the auto combat fans, you can't go wrong here.

Your heroes will constantly be doing the most damage and using some of the best abilities, so you want them alive as long as possible. Even with a lineup of low tier units, an upgraded hero with more hit points can easily defend a colony or defeat NPC units guarding resource caches.

Field Medicine

  • Skill Points: 4
  • Required Level: 1
  • Faction: Vanguard

Hands down, Field Medicine is one of the best skills in the game, and it should absolutely be your first pick when playing a Vanguard hero. Any unit in the hero's army automatically recovers 6 hit points per turn, keeping them alive much longer while exploring the map.

That doesn't just mean you have combat-ready units even after repeated battles -- it also means you will be spending less energy to produce replacement units. In terms of cost to benefit, Field Medicine is frankly overpowered for a measly 4 skill points.

While its not as user friendly, the similar Amazon skill Renewal is also worth taking if it you went with that faction over the Vanguard. Unfortunately it doesn't get applied automatically every turn, and instead must be used manually in combat to heal a unit, but its worth the effort.

The Assembly faction instead has Battlefield Repairs, which heals eat unit in an army 12 hit points -- but only after completing a battle, which rewards playing aggressively.

Shrouded Step

  • Skill Points: 3
  • Required Level: 4
  • Faction: Kir'ko

Whether you are getting torn up by ranged attacks or have an important melee unit getting flanked, Shrouded Step is sort of a "get out of jail free card".

It lets you get your hero into position for flanking ranged attacks (or teleport them into the middle of a cluster of enemies to distract them from their ranged attacks) and makes it harder for enemies to hit whichever units were close to your hero. Used strategically in manual combat, this can completely shift the tide of battle.

Guiding Presence

  • Skill Points: 8
  • Required Level: 12 
  • Faction: Kir'ko

For manual combat players who have paid attention to the movement and firing ranges of various units, Guiding Presence can be used to soften up or easily take down far away enemy units without them ever getting into range to strike back.

It takes patience and cautious backward movement in short distances to be truly effective -- which obviously isn't going to be the preferred play style for many players -- but those with a mind for tactics can use Guiding Presence to devastating effect. 

Dimensional Feedback

  • Skill Points: 6
  • Required Level:
  • Commander Type: Voidtech 

If you like a tanky melee hero, Dimensional Feedback is absolutely the way to go since they will reflect back half of their damage to any enemy unit. You absolutely want to combine this one with Vitality, Close Quarters Specialist, and Counter Attack to maximize melee damage opportunities.

Call Of The Wild

  • Skill Points: 8
  • Required Level: 12 
  • Faction: Amazon

Any skill that brings additional units onto the battlefield is absolutely worth picking up, because it gives you extra firepower and army survivability for free.

Whether you summon at the beginning to use your wildlife unit as a pin cushion to draw enemy fire or bring them out at the end for a surprise flanking attack, you can't go wrong here.

Juggernaut

  • Skill Points: 2
  • Required Level: 1 
  • Faction: Dvar

Do you have a total lack of subtlety and don't like dealing with ranged combat at all? Juggernaut is for you, although it's hyper useful in some instances and totally useless in others

When attacking a location that has a lot of obstacles -- like walls, lava rivulets, or other obstacles that funnel units into a specific path -- Juggernaut lets you decide the course of battle so you can get your units where you need them with minimal fuss.

Spore Feeding

  • Skill Points: 4
  • Required Level: 6
  • Commander Type: Xenoplague

If you get a xenoplague commander, this skill rewards aggressive manual combat. If you keep your units close to the enemy (and preferably flanking) you can remain at full health regularly so there's less need to spend energy on replacement units.

Deploy Cerebral Control Colors

  • Skill Points: 6
  • Required Level: 
  • Faction: Syndicate

The equivalent of the Charm skill from Age of Wonders III, Deploy Cerebral Control Colors is a must-have for Syndicate missions as there are far fewer options to mind control enemies in Planetfall

If the skill is successful, you get to keep the unit after battle, which means you can readily acquire new units for free. Unlike Charm however, it remains useful even if it fails, since it puts the unit out of commission for a round.

Reassemble

  • Skill Points: 5
  • Required Level: 
  • Faction: Assembly

The ultimate in healing abilities, this nifty little skill should be picked up by any Assembly hero as soon as you hit level 8. 

While it only works on ground targets and not flying units, it gives you ultimate flexibility near the end of a combat to either massively heal a high tier damaged unit, or bring a dead unit back to life so you don't need to build another one later.

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These are our top picks for the best Planetfall commander skills, but obviously there are many other possible options depending on your faction and commander type. 

What are your favorite Age Of Wonders: Planetfall skills and did we miss any great combos that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Featured Contributor

Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.

Published Aug. 9th 2019

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