Days Gone skills - Melee, Ranged and Survival

Learn what each of the Days Gone skills do and how to unlock them by earning XP.

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Days Gone skills will allow players to customize the way Deacon St. John engages in melee and ranged combat, as well as his various survival capabilities. This is a key part to players being able to survive the Freakers and other threats in the Pacific Northwest. It’s important to understand how to unlock new skills and to plan to unlock skills that suit individual play styles.


Unlocking Days Gone skills

Days Gone Skills

To unlock skills players will need to earn XP. Earning XP is as simple as performing any in-game action, like killing a Freaker with headshot, or as complex as completing a story mission. As expected, smaller actions will yield less XP, while completing missions and quests will result in more XP gains. It’s worth noting that players who blitz through the story and skip side quests and exploration will unlock fewer skills. A single headshot may not yield a lot of XP, but 100 headshots adds up and allows further exploration of the skill tree.

When players open the skill tree, they will see three options; Melee, Ranged, and Survival. Opening any of these will present that specific branch of the skill tree. Note how there are five columns along the top and three rows along the side. What column a skill is placed under decides the requirements for it to be unlocked. Column 1 would indicate a Level 1 skill.

  • Column 1 / Level 1: 0 skills
  • Column 2 / Level 2: 2 skills
  • Column 3 / Level 3: 4 skills
  • Column 4 / Level 4: 6 skills
  • Column 5 / Level 5: 8 skills

To unlock any skill in the fifth column (Level 5) would require eight other skills to be purchased from that branch but unlocking any skill in the second column would only require two skill be unlocked first.


Melee Combat skills

Level 1

  • Escape Artist: Kill smaller enemies after successfully escaping from a grapple.
  • Field Repairs: Ability to repair melee weapons with scrap.
  • Juice Up: Improves the initial recovery and duration of a Stamina Cocktail.

 Level 2

  • Hard Hitter: Increases the damage of both crafted and found melee weapons.
  • Busted Up: Regenerates stamina for every melee kill.
  • Talk Shit, Get Hit: Ability to perform longer combos with melee weapons.

Level 3

  • Lightning Reflexes: Ability to quickly roll to recover from a knockdown.
  • Bull Rush: Ability to stun a normal human enemy or Swarmer with a melee attack while sprinting.
  • The Reckoning: Melee weapons have a chance for critical takedowns on humans, Swarmers, and Newts.

Level 4

  • Just Roll with It: Drastically reduces stamina cost from rolling.
  • Rock On: Ability to stun weaker enemies by hitting them with a rock.
  • Home Run: Significantly increases the damage of both crafted and found melee weapons.

Level 5

  • Retribution: Increases the chance of a critical hit or takedown by 25 percent.
  • Switch It Up: Boot Knife combos do twice the normal damage.
  • Executioner: Stealth attack heavy Freakers. Kill heavy Freakers or animals while escaping a grapple.

Ranged Combat skills

Level 1

  • Focused Shot: Ability to activate Focus while aiming a ranged weapon.
  • Fight and Flight: Move and aim a ranged weapon with more precision.
  • Vicious Cycle: Ability to follow a melee attack with a ranged attack for massive damage.

Level 2

  • Suppressing Fire: When in Focus, ranged weapons will have increased power to stop weaker enemies.
  • Crowd Control: Reduces the cooldown of Focus.
  • Hyperfocus: Improves the initial recovery and duration of a Focus Cocktail.

Level 3

  • On the Move: Ability to reload ranged weapons while sprinting.
  • Iron Grip: Significantly reduces ranged weapon recoil.
  • Nocked Up: Significantly increases crossbow bolt damage.

Level 4

  • Under Pressure: No longer consume Focus when reloading a ranged weapon.
  • Quick Reload: Reduces the reload times for ranged weapons.
  • Deadshot: Increases ranged weapon accuracy.

Level 5

  • Up the Ante: Increases ammo capacity for all ranged weapons.
  • Two Birds, One Bullet: Increases projectile penetration for ranged weapons.
  • Head Rush: Headshot kills recover health.

Survival Combat skills

Level 1

  • Eye for Detail: Increases the time that icons display in Survival Vision.
  • Hawkeyed: Plants are displayed on the mini-map.
  • Thorn in Your Side: Provides a chance to retrieve some bolts that have been fired from the crossbow.

Level 2

  • Eagle-Eyed: Increases the range of Survival Vision.
  • Thief in the Night: Generates less noise when moving or dropping.
  • Green Thumb: Ability to gather double the plants when collecting them.

Level 3

  • The Butcher: Increase the amount of meat gathered from animals.
  • Catch Your Breath: Reduces cooldown of stamina recovery.
  • Ear to the Ground: outlines enemies in Survival Vision.

Level 4

  • Monkey Wrench: Doubles the effectiveness of scrap while repairing the bike.
  • Second Wind: Gives extra burst of adrenaline when low on health.
  • Carry That Weight: Increases inventory space for crafting components, traps, and throwables.

Level 5

  • The Alchemist: Improves the initial recovery and duration of a Health Cocktail.
  • Shape Up: Significantly increases stamina regeneration rates.
  • Six Feet Over: Regain some stamina when taking damage.

With a full understanding of how the Days Gone skills system works, be sure to visit our Days Gone game guides and walkthrough hub for more help navigating Deacon St. John through this post-apocalyptic mess.

Managing Editor

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He is known for his guide writing and, unsettlingly enough, enjoys grinding out in-depth collectible articles. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his guides.

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