Saints Row Guide – All Skills, How to Unlock Them, and the Best Choices

Want to slay tons of foes with ease? Skills are the ticket, but which are the very best? Check out our recommendations here.

Posted By | On 06th, Sep. 2022

saints row

As noted in our previous guide, Saints Row has a leveling system which unlocks new Skills at each level. Some are passive increases to health and Flow, while others are active Skills. The catch is that you can only have four Skills equipped at any given time, so even at level 20 (the level cap), you’ll need to think carefully about what Skills to use.

First, let’s look at all the different Skills and what they do.

  • Pineapple Express: Grab a nearby enemy, put a grenade down their pants and throw them, causing an instant kill via explosion. If tossed into a crowd of other enemies, then kills them too. It unlocks at level 2.
  • Smokescreen: Use a smoke bomb to conceal yourself. Not only does this reduce aggro from enemies, but it allows for repositioning and getting the drop on them. Also handy for when you’re out in the open and taking too much damage. It unlocks at level 3.
  • Proximity Mine: Throw a mine that sticks to surfaces and explodes when enemies are near. Unlocked at level 4, it’s decent for setting traps.
  • Health Upgrade 1: Increases overall health by one bar. It unlocks at level 5.
  • Tough Mother: Temporarily increases health and prevents staggering from enemy attacks. It’s recommended for players who like to go super-aggressive on enemies and unlocks at level 6.
  • Frag Out: As simple as it sounds – throws a grenade that will explode after a brief time. It Unlocks at level 7.
  • Flow Upgrade 1: Adds a Flow point for using Skills. It unlocks at level 8.
  • Flaming Punch: Punch enemies with a flaming fist by unlocking this at level 9.
  • Health Upgrade 2 – Increases overall health by one bar. It unlocks at level 10.
  • Transfusion: Unlocks at level 11. When active, any damage dealt to enemies is leeched as health for you and your surrounding allies.
  • Overscope: Pull out a sniper rifle that explodes enemies on headshots. This is good for those who like sniping but also want an extra slot for other weapons (or just another sniper rifle). It unlocks at level 12.
  • Impulse Trap: Throw an anti-gravity device, which lifts enemies into the air briefly, thus opening them up to damage. It unlocks at level 13 and is good for crowd control.
  • Flow Upgrade 2: Adds a Flow point for using Skills. It unlocks at level 14.
  • Health Upgrade 3: Increases overall health by one bar. It unlocks at level 15.
  • Berserker: Unlocked at level 16, this Skill increases melee attack damage for a brief time when activated.
  • Intercession: Summons other Saints members to act as backup. Along with hunting down enemies, the gang members can draw aggro, keeping the heat off you. It unlocks at level 17.
  • Quickdraw: Unlocks at level 18, and allows you to pull out a revolver and target up to four enemies. Press the trigger and it will kill them quickly.
  • D4th Blossom: An homage of sorts to Reaper’s Death Blossom from Overwatch, this serves as an area-wide attack with the player spinning and firing in every direction. It unlocks at level 19.
  • Flow Upgrade 2: Adds a Flow point for using Skills. It’s unlocked at level 20.
  • Quantum Aperture – Reward for completing Mission 2 of the Criminal Venture, Eurekabator! Unlocking this requires a tier 2 Criminal Empire and $100,000. The mission involves using the tool, which essentially creates a window for seeing and shooting through walls, and boosting weapon damage. It’s useful in almost every scenario, whether you’re faced with tough foes or want to hang back and snipe obscured enemies from a distance.

Everyone will have their preference for Skills, but there are some clear favorites. Up to level 10, Frag Grenade, Smokescreen and Pineapple Express are useful for slaying foes. If you’re feeling too squishy at times or want to rush enemies with little consequence, then Tough Mother is good. It also synergizes well with Berserker and Transfusion.

For almost all situations, Intercession and Quantum Aperture are recommended. The latter is almost like cheating with its utility and damage boost.

Overscope is fine, and scoring headshots to explode enemies is fun, but it may not be for everyone (see: those with poor aim or who don’t like sniper rifles). D4th Blossom feels situational but works well enough with Transfusion and Tough Mother. Impulse Trap is recommended for crowd control until you get Intercession. The latter won’t make foes vulnerable by suspending them in the air, but it will keep them busy long enough for you to deal damage and adds damage on top.

For tips on leveling up and unlocking Skills quickly in Saints Row, head here. You can also read our official review here.


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