Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader Best Skills Guide

Here's a best skills guide in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader for the early game.
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Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader, like any CRPG, can be a bit daunting as you learn how the skill system works. There are various stats that fuel abilities and you may be uncertain about which ones to pick. Don’t worry. Here’s our best skills guide for Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader.

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The Best Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader Skills Detailed

Rogue Trader has various skills that are used throughout dialogue, exploration, and combat encounters. Some skills are more commonly used than others based on their application in social and combat situations.

  • You should prioritize Weapon Skill for melee builds, Ballistic Skill for ranged builds, and Willpower for Psykers, with Toughness not being left behind due to survivability.

In my experience, the general rule of thumb is to prioritize core combat skills, then common ones, and finally, pick between your favorite situational ones.

It ultimately depends on the build you’re playing and your party. For example, if you’re the Officer Archetype, Fellowship skills like Persuasion are a natural choice due to your Archetype’s abilities scaling with Fellowship. I play an Operative, so I’m prioritizing Intelligence skills like Tech-use and Logic since my class’s abilities scale with Intelligence.

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Best Core Skills to Pick

Whenever you’re faced with a Skill increase in the Level Up section, if you have a choice between WS/BS and other attributes, I highly recommend picking up the former. This is because while some situations can be solved with social skills and without combat, fighting is the main part of the story. For example, you won’t be able to solve most Chaos encounters with Persuasion.

  • Weapon Skill: Prioritize this stat for melee builds, as it will increase both your to-hit chance in combat and your Parry potential to avoid damage against melee attacks.
  • Ballistic Skill: Prioritize this stat for ranged builds, as it will increase your to-hit chance and critical hit chance in ranged combat.

There are some situations where picking other skills might be more useful but in general, you can’t go wrong with increasing these two.

Best Common Skills to Choose

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Based on your preferred stat, here are some skills to boost that appear quite commonly during play:

  • Awareness (Perception): If you’re a ranged character like the Operative, chances are your Perception will be decently high. The Awareness skill is highly utilized to prevent ambushes and notice hidden items in a level. The latter can lead to some unique loot.
  • Tech-Use/Demolition (Intelligence/Agility): These two are almost interchangeable and appear commonly when accessing locked chests or doors. I’m building a lot of Tech-Use on my Operative for finesse access to locked stuff. However, sometimes my Abelard’s Demolition skill also comes in handy when I want to watch the world burn.
  • Persuasion/Coercion (Fellowship): These are much more common social options than Commerce and can open up fun dialogue options for your Officer or other Fellowship-based characters.
  • Medicae (Intelligence): While it’s only needed for Old Injury healing via a Medikit, Medicae is always useful to keep your party’s Wounds high.

Situational Skills to Consider (But Maybe Not Use)

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These are some less impactful skills that are nonetheless highly useful in specific situations where they appear.

  • Lore (Intelligence): In my experience so far, Lore hasn’t been the most impactful skill, though I could be wrong. I’ve found that it’s incredibly useful to gain some knowledge of the world and receive alternate angles for some situations. That said, the skills above offer much more mechanical advantages.
  • Athletics (Strength): Athletics is incredible when a situation to use it appears. You can gain access to alternate angles of attack for a major advantage in combat. That said, it’s not the most common skill-check during exploration.
  • Commerce (Fellowship): Allows you to score better deals on resources in certain scenarios, though Persuasion and Coercion end up being used much more frequently. 
  • Logic (Intelligence): Similarly to Athletics, Logic is amazing when you get to use it but in reality Persuasion and Coercion ended up being more common in my playthrough.

Note that your Rogue Trader doesn’t have to have a high rank in each skill. That’s what your companions are for. Whether it’s a combat, exploration, or dialogue scenario, the character with the highest relevant skill is the one used for the skill check. I thank the Emperor for my Argenta since she saved me countless times with her bomb-defusing skills. My RT Operative’s Demolition sucked.

Those are the best skills in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader. I would highly recommend specializing each member of your party in one specific skill. This will maximize the value of the fact that only the character with the highest relevant Skill is tested in a Skill-check. For more helpful articles on the game like our skill-check tutorial, check out our WH40K Rogue Trader guides.

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Author
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.