Unlike most action-RPGs such as Dark Souls, The Surge doesn't ask you to distribute skill points among abilities or attributes to increase your character's strength. Developer Deck13 Interactive went for a learn-by-doing approach that enables you to deal more damage in the field simply by using your favorite weapons.
How to Increase Your Attack Proficiency
The Surge divides weapons into categories: staff, one-handed, heavy-duty, single-rig, twin-rig, and so on. Every time you equip and kill enemies with any weapon in your inventory, you automatically increase your proficiency with that weapon, as well as all other weapons of that type.
As you defeat enemies, your weapon proficiency meter in the bottom-left corner of the screen increases, gradually turning orange. Filling up the meter graduates you to the next level of proficiency with the class of weapon you are using. Every time you boost your proficiency level, you deal additional damage in combat.
Tips for Increasing Your Attack Proficiency
Raising proficiency with your favorite types of weapon may seem as straightforward as equipping a weapon in the class you want and killing enemies. While that is the general idea, there are better, more efficient ways to go about it.
Targeting armored areas on an enemy increases your odds of that enemy dropping crafting materials once you've killed it. However, hitting armored areas deals less damage. If your goal is to increase your attack proficiency, you will do better targeting unarmored body parts to kill enemies faster.
Dedicate an entire run with your character to raising attack proficiency. Get prepared by going to the nearest MedBay and equipping implants that boost your damage as well as increase your maximum health and the number of healing injections you can carry. Next, go along paths with the most enemies and pick them off by whaling on unprotected body parts. When you run out of healing vials, head back to the MedBay, activate the bay to restore your health and vials, and go kill more enemies.
Clearing an entire level's worth of enemies once or twice will raise your attack proficiency quickly. You'll also raise your proficiency organically by exploring levels and battling enemies as you find them.