Journey to the Savage Planet has a big skill tree to climb. With plenty of things to upgrade, you’ll want to make sure you go down the optimal branches. From the Advanced Battery to the Triple- and Quadruple-Jump Thrusters, these are the best upgrades to unlock early.
We put in over 20 hours with the game, and you can check out our comprehensive review of Journey to the Savage Planet here if you’d like. But if you’re already sold and ready to launch into space with Kindred Industries — fourth-best in space, they’ll have you know — lets set off and discover which are the best upgrades to unlock first.
The Best Upgrades in Journey to the Savage Planet
The upgrade and skill tree in Typhoon Studios’ debut title is broken down into five categories, weapon, item, gear, backpack, and visor. Each section has a few upgrades to prioritize. There are even some to avoid or put on the backburner for a while.
We’ll break down the best upgrades by these five categories, starting with visor because of its importance. We’ll also include a sixth one to recommend some of the upgrades you can leave for much later in the game.
- Orange Goo Detector
I consider this and the next upgrade the most important of any on this list. That’s because Orange Goo is what gives you more health and stamina. Your hero’s health bar is pitiful at the start of the game, but by the time you get to the boss, you may have increased its size fivefold or more, giving you a fighting chance against the latter levels’ creatures. Do not wait to unlock this.
- Alien Alloy Detector
Like the Orange Goo, Alien Alloy is in short supply and high demand. Normally, it takes some kind of puzzle or combat to earn them, but just finding many of them is tricky by itself. After the first round of upgrades, they all seem to require Alien Alloys too, so having an early abundance is going to set you on the right path from the moment you have the ability. Do not wait to unlock this.
- Advanced Battery 1 and 2
The battery in your pistol directly affects your ammo capacity, so while the game starts at a lowly 8 rounds per charge, you can eventually double that if you go all the way down the skill tree. We’d recommend you lend some resources to at least the first two levels of this skill as that will bring you to 12 rounds per shot, increasing your ammo capacity by 50% and making some of the game’s challenging bosses that much easier.
- Improved Damage 1 and 2
Like the battery, you’ll want to consider enhancing your gun’s damage, as it starts out feeling a bit like a peashooter. By the end of this four-level branch, you can blow away most anything with a single round or two, but some of that is more power than you need. Still, we’d recommend at least upgrading this twice, with the bare minimum being once if you want to outduel the game’s predators.
- Fast Reload 1 and 2
This one is also pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised just how much of a difference it makes. No spoilers, but you’ll not want to be caught with your chamber empty during the final boss. Upgrading this at least once feels crucial and twice will really give you a leg up against some of the game’s toughest baddies.
- Bombegranate Booster
A bit like a more colorful and comedic BioShock, your adventures on the titular savage planet demand you always have a secondary item in your left hand. Sometimes it’s a gassy grenade, or a big syringe (for science!), or, most enjoyably, it’s a cleverly named bombegranate. Though they do good damage at the base level, you’ll definitely want to upgrade them to bring a bigger boom to the biggest foes.
- Better and Best Utility Belts
Early in the game, you’ll only be able to carry three of each item like those mentioned above. Three is pretty restricting. Five is better, and 10 is best. Upgrade your belt with those named improvements and really reap the benefit of a more expansive inventory. It makes different completing experiments and finding secrets much easier.
- Precious Stuff Magnet
This bluntly titled vacuum-like upgrade literally sucks up elements “dropped” by the creatures of the savage planet, so you don’t have to run around scooping them up before they disappear. They do remain on the ground longer than you may expect, but this is still a great time saver, even if it’s on the lower tier among these other necessary upgrades.
- Triple- and Quadruple-Jump Thrusters
Every Metroidvania game has that awesome moment when you unlock the game-changing new platforming ability. Maybe it’s a grappling hook or a ground pound. Often, as it is in Savage Planet, it’s double-jump. And what’s better than double-jump? Triple-jump. But don’t stop there. Typhoon even lets you unlock a “level design-breaking” fourth jump. If you’re planning on 100%-ing the game, you’ll need these anyway, but they’re just so handy no matter what.
This upgrade cluster makes finding all of the game’s Orange Goo and Alien Alloy locations that much easier.
- Advanced Launch Boosters
You’ll get the base level launch boosters from the story, but take them all the way, and you’ll find you can reach a lot of important hiding spots, usually hiding that precious Orange Goo or other secrets. You can even use this one in conjunction with your extra jumping, which gives you awesome aerial reach.
Upgrades You Can Wait On
The upgrade tree is often a difficult decision on wants versus needs. It asks you to balance your play style as best you can with limited resources. For that reason, don’t spend crucial resources on items that won’t do much for you. While you prioritize the above unlockables, you can put these three on the backburner.
- Landing Impact Nullifier
- Fuel Detector
- Faster Refuel
In the case of the Nullifier, it removes fall damage, which is nice but far from necessary since even a basic well-timed double-jump will spare you that pain if you engage thrusters shortly before you hit the ground.
The Fuel Detector is nice too, but a completionist run won’t need the fuel until the very end. I found four out of five fuel tanks without this upgrade anyway, and I don’t want the fifth until it’s the last thing on my checklist.
As for Faster Refueling, it allows you to jump more often, but I didn’t see any issue with the speed of that recharge anyway, not even once I unlocked quadruple-jumping. It’s pretty fast by default. How often do you actually plan on jumping? It’s not a K-Pop concert.
With all of this before you, you’re now fit with the insight to take on those massive monsters, clear that vast gap, locate those crucial collectibles, and endure another silly commercial — okay, maybe we can’t help with those. Good luck!
For more on Typhoons Studios’ action-adventure exploration game, be sure to check out our other Journey to the Savage Planet guides. Here are a few you might find useful:
Be sure to check out our official review of the game, too, where we said, “With an intriguing world and creature design, the right amount of retro principles, and a surprisingly long post-credits tail worth chasing, Journey to the Savage Planet is a light-hearted, charming debut from a promising new studio.