warhammer 40k rogue trader initiating a skill check
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How do Skill Checks Work in Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader?

If you're confused about succeed and failing on dice rolls, here's how do skill checks work in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader.

The Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader CRPG, like the TTRPG version, utilizes skill checks when your characters are attempting actions. This system happens in the background, but learning how it works will give you a better idea for optimization. So, how do skill checks work in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader?

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Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader Skill Checks Explained

As in the TTRPG, this version of Rogue Trader uses a d100 dice roll (Two d10s, one for double and one for single digits). This is true for all your dialogue, exploration, and combat skill checks. The dice is rolled in the background, but it’s basically a random number generator between 1 and 100. To succeed on a skill check, all you have to do is roll below your skill score.

For example, I was trying to remember obscure information about chaos demons with my Lore (Warp) skill. Furthermore, my character’s Lore (Warp) skill was 40. Without any difficulty modifiers, I would have to roll 40 or below on my d100 roll. Rolling above 40 fails the skill check.

How Difficulty Ratings Influence Skill Checks

The trick is that each skill check has a difficulty rating, which modifies your roll. For example, if the skill check is deemed “Easy” by the game, I get a +30 modifier. With my Lore (Warp) being 40, now I have to roll below 70 on my d100, drastically increasing my chances.

warhammer 40k rogue trader skill check in progress
Screenshot by GameSkinny

On the other hand, if the check is deemed “Difficult”, I get a -10 modifier, which means I have to roll 30 or below. These labels are from the TTRPG, but nonetheless, they’re present in the game based on the difficulty of the check. 

The neat part is that all of this is done automatically in the CRPG, but knowing the system allows you to better track your success, failure, and the causes of both.

Which Party Member Performs the Skill Check?

Additionally, the party member with the highest relevant skill will always be chosen to roll. This allows you to build a varied party where each member is great at one type of skill check whether related to Fellowship, Intelligence, Perception, etc.

Skill Check Tips in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader

To perform better on your skill checks and to generally understand the system more, I have some more tips for you. These guidelines will give the best chance when performing actions, putting luck (more) on your side.

Round Out Your Party

Your Rogue Trader character doesn’t have to be the best at every skill. That’s what your companions are for. Only the character with the highest relevant skill in a skill test will perform that check. I would highly recommend that, instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, you specialize each character in your party for a specific skill type, (i.e., Intelligence, Fellowship, Agility, etc.)

For example, my Rogue Trader is great at Tech Use and Lore skills, while my Argenta has excellent Demolition, Idira covers Medicae, and Abelard covers Fellowship skills. All of these different skill categories I mentioned are common and highly useful as you explore, whether for unlocking or blasting through doors, healing your party, or dealing with social situations. 

Leverage Skill Bonus Modifiers

If you ever come across the game saying Skill Bonus Modifier, this is just the number generator from your overall skill score’s first decimal. For example, if your Perception is 50, your Perception Skill Bonus Modifier is 5. I’ve found this useful for a quick overview when picking up talents that scale with the Skill Bonus instead of the total skill score.

warhammer 40k rogue trader skill log
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Check Your Log for Success and Failures

By pressing and holding R1 or clicking in the lower right corner on PC, you’ll be able to access the Log. Here, you can track each skill check and its Success or Failure Tag. You can even inspect it to see how you did on the d100 roll and what the number to beat was.

This is also available in dialogue where you can inspect the Success or Failure tag to see your attempt on the skill check and gain a better understanding of why you failed or succeeded.

All in all, it’s better to make each member of your party a specialist in one or two skill types than to spread your skill points too thin, since only the member with the highest relevant skill is used in a skill check. In the early to mid-game, I recommend focusing on Tech Use for opening locked doors, Awareness for spotting hidden objects, Demolition for disarming traps, and Fellowship skills for alternate dialogue choices.

Remember that you can always hover over your Success or Failure tag in the log or dialogue, or access it with Triangle on the PS5, to check the results of your skill check. But that’s how skill checks work in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader. You can find more tips and tricks, such as pointers on combat, the best companions for your Voidship posts, and more in our Rogue Trader guides hub right here.


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Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.