Rise of the Ronin – 9 best skills to unlock early and get first

Rise of the Ronin – 9 best skills to unlock early and get first
Jack Webb Updated on by

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Want to know the best skills to unlock in Rise of the Ronin? There are a ton of RPG elements in Ronin, and the skill tree and levelling stats are a huge part of that.

Rise of the Ronin handles skills a little differently from previous Team Ninja games, so we’ll lay out how that works to avoid any confusion. Within the main menu, you have four skill trees. There are a few nodes on each tree and you need Skill Points.

Elsewhere, our tips and tricks will help you get started. After finishing the game for our review, we have some insights into the best skills that help make things easy on you to begin with. Now, these are the best skills to unlock in Rise of the Ronin.

Rise of the Ronin best skills - both Blade Twins pose together
Rise of the Ronin best skills – Image by VideoGamer

Speechcraft (Intimidate) – Strength skill

When playing Rise of the Ronin, you will encounter several dialogue options. Sometimes, you can have special answers if you unlock the corresponding skill to open these as dialogue options. While they don’t do a ton in practice, it is fun to use Intimidate to provoke or avoid fighting during certain options.

We recommend this skill along with the other Speechcraft options since it feels bad to see locked dialogue options. They do have a benefit and you will more often than not get something out of using these choices during dialogues.

Killer Blade – Strength skill

Killer Blade lets you perform a brutal execution on an enemy who has no Ki. This is different from the normal finisher move and can outright kill weaker enemies in one fell blow. Not only is it satisfying to pull out this move, but each weapon and stance has different variations of this finisher. This helps combat feeling fresh and enjoyable, and it’s a great way to quickly dispatch enemies when you’re outnumbered.

Rise of the Ronin skills - the skill tree showing the Killer Blade skill
Rise of the Ronin skill tree – Image by VideoGamer

Refill Medicinal Pills up – Strength skill

Your Medicinal Pills are your lifeblood in Rise of the Ronin. This is your main healing resource and as you play the game you will get more Medicinal Pills to restore your HP. You are limited, to begin with, but unlocking this skill will help increase the number of heals you have. When you rest at a Banner in Rise of the Ronin, your consumables are automatically restocked, and this skill helps you get more healing items.

Rapid assassinations – Dexterity skill

Rapid Assassinations is one of the best skills in Rise of the Ronin. When you get a sneak kill on a foe, you can immediately use another one on any enemies around. This lets you chain together assassinations and deal with small groups much more efficiently.

This is fantastic at avoiding fights where you’re outnumbered – which is most of the time – and weak enemies will die in one hit to these. When you get an assassination, enemies nearby will be stunned and open to an instant kill.

Health up – Strength skill

The most standard and simple skill on the menu. Obviously, putting points into the Health up skill will increase your HP pool. Your HP will naturally increase as you gain levels, but this skill will help you out if you feel like enemies are killing you too fast. This skill can be upgraded four times, for a total of 18% HP increase. While we don’t recommend getting to max rank immediately, grabbing this skill early will give you a huge survivability boost.

Rise of the Ronin best skills to unlock - the health up skill in the skill tree
Rise of the Ronin best skills – Image by VideoGamer

Grappling rope assassinations – Dexterity skill

Another tool you have access to in Rise of the Ronin is the grappling rope. While its usefulness in combat is up for debate, this skill gives it a ton of value. The Grappling rope assassination lets you stealthily assassinate foes by snagging them with your rope. This skill can only be used from above and while it doesn’t work on tougher foes. However, it is great at clearing out patrols and enemies who have strayed far from a group.

Increased healing efficacy – Intellect skill

As mentioned earlier, the Medicinal Pills are the main way to restore your lost HP. This skill is simple and grants more HP restoration from all sources of healing. We will caveat this skill’s usefulness because obtaining it depends on the difficulty option you choose.

There is an in-game option to increase how much HP is restored from healing, so if you have that on, you don’t need this skill. On harder difficulties, this is an extremely valuable skill to have, which is why we recommend getting it as soon as possible.

Speechcraft (Persuade) – Intellect skill

The ‘persuade’ skill seems to be the most useful Speechcraft ability in Rise of the Ronin. It can actively influence many dialogue options and help score Bond points with your companions. Outside of unlocking several dialogue options, Persuade also reduces the price of items at shops.

Rise of the Ronin - skill tree showing the Persuade skill
Image by VideoGamer

Assassination (Glider) – Technology Development skill

This skill is a little different to the others, insofar as it is unlocked through Technology Development instead of skill points. Inventions help you upgrade various contraptions – such as your Glider – and this skill is one of the best. Unlocking this skill lets you perform an assassination while gliding, which is a great way to make an entrance. Enemies don’t have a lot of line of sight when it comes to gliding so you can exploit this for easy kills.

✓ Jack’s advice

Unlocking Inventions

Inventions aren’t available at the start. You will need to progress through the story until you meet Igashichi lizuka in Yokohama.

That’s it for the best skills to get early in Rise of the Ronin. For more, read our guides covering the best companions and our guide covering how to get skill points.

Rise of the Ronin best early skills FAQs

How many skills are there in each tree?

It varies between each tree, but usually over 20 is the number.

Can skills be upgraded more than once?

Yes, you can upgrade some skills several times. You will see in the menu if a skill as several levels to invest in.