Here goes the list of skills I’ve tried and my feedback on them. It is ve-e-ery essential to select proper skills since the quantity of skill points is scarce and it is unable to reset them.
- Boxing – Did not try, seems to be completely useless because ranged combat is the way better.
- Fitness – Did not try, does not seem essential.
- Stealth – Always picked, at least to be able to do massive damage and it is needed to successfully perform some rare stealth missions.
- Weight Lifting – Picked at first, but found it pointless, since if you loot then you will be over-encumbered always and there are some other ways to bear the consequences than to spoil skill points here.
- Wellness – Also picked it a few times but unless you like to stay under fire you can live pretty okay without it.
- Energy Weapon Dissipation – Never picked since it is just a damage reduction, and you quite always may stand out of trouble or use some in-game stuff to bear the damage.
- Environmental Condition – I’ve mastered that but in general it is useless skill, it might be handy only on one mission and could be substituted.
- Gymnastics – Did not try, probably someone could find it handy but I do pretty fine without it. Zero-G is not too common to face and can be done okay without the skill, fall damage and jump height can be substituted by a single boost pack.
- Nutrition – Did not pick, food replenishes very small amount of health, and even making it 50% stronger is absolutely no game changer, simple medpack is much better.
- Pain Tolerance – Never picked, looks the same as Energy weapon dissipation.
- Cellular Regeneration – Never picked, could be worth taking just the first level, but frankly I was just once in such conditions where I would need that while taking just the first steps in the game.
- Decontamination – Never picked, could be easily substituted.
- Martial Arts – Useful for melee fighters, but I ain’t so I never picked that.
- Concealment – Did not try it yet, I would take first two levels for sneak attack bonuses mostly (mines can be just skipped even if triggered), but level 3 scares me because of chameleon ability. This ability is a disaster when you are aiming.
- Neurostrikes – That is for unarmed combat lovers, never picked it up.
- Rejuvenation – Never picked, could be substituted.
- Commerce – Never taken, find it completely useless. It could be of much more use if it increased the amount of money the sellers have instead.
- Gastronomy – Never tried, it seems connected to obtaining food which is not usually very beneficial
- Persuasion – Must-have skill which will ease your in-game progress in dialogs. But even mastering it, it will not guarantee 100% success, just make it happen more often. Could be partially substituted.
- Scavenging – Tried just the first level, it did NOT do a significant change to credit flow, it feels like the increase was x2 or something, but it does not matter if you find 123 or 246 credits occasionally, it will not make you rich unlike just selling the looted weaponry. Ammo and aid items are more than sufficient in the game and resource highlighting might only help for some crafting newcomers, but you can spot the items of interest with experience or you could always buy them.
- Theft – Never tried since I am scared that I will get caught at low levels.
- Deception – I’ve picked just the first level, it significantly increased the chance to bring contraband, but I think just one is sufficient here, because there are optional substitutions. I did not play too much piracy to utilize the skill more extensively.
- Diplomacy – Never picked, you can always deal with NPCs without it.
- Intimidation – Never picked.
- Isolation – I heard that some people find it useful or even extremely useful for lone play, but since I switched to go with companions it became useless (surprisingly).
- Negotiation – I took it, it gave some options in dialogs, but you can drop it. Could help during persuasion, but mastering it just makes bribery cheaper with no other advantages and money is not really a problem.
- Instigation – Never tried, I can see a limited perspective of using this skill, I barely remember cases where I found it hard just to deal with enemies on my own.
- Leadership – Mastered it so companions became more effective. Obviously, for lone players Isolation is much better.
- Outpost Management – Never tried, the description makes it useless – cargo links could be replaced with cargo chains, adding robots/crew more than you have on start does not seem too much needed at all, as well as extractor production. Just add extractors or go for a mission to pass some time.
- Manipulation – Just do not pick it. I am serious. And it is not a manipulation 🙂 just give a game some time, you will understand why.
- Ship Command – I’ve picked two levels, could be useful to expand your abilities by hiring people with skills you do not have.
- Xenosociology – Did not try it, looks the same as human control skills.
Sorry guys, I did not pay a lot attention here, just can say that it is all individual to what to pick, every weaponry has its strengths and weaknesses, but in a few critical situation I find myself the most comfortable with a particle heavy weapon (sort of machinegun).
This far I think that you can just find a better weapon or modify that, I plan to take some relevant skills in the latest part when I have nothing more interesting to pick.
Still all the skills here look pointing to increase your damage and ability to break down your enemies faster, but weapons in this game are deadly enough already that is why I consider to choose other skills instead.
- Astrodynamics – Never taken, I find it useless, there are no distances that cannot be covered with just a better ship or additional crew with this skill.
- Geology – I’ve taken it in the early game, but now I think it is rather useless, if you need resources – just put an outpost and build extractors, you can mine the resources required or even buy them.
- Medicine – I’ve picked it once as well but I find it useless if you can stay out of trouble.
- Research Methods – Used this as well but it it useless, it is better just to spend additional resources rather than to spend additional skill points in this game.
- Surveying – This I took and I find it handy for surveying the in-game worlds, it is useful if you plan to build sustainable outposts.
- Botany – Mastered this one, in the end in order to survey plants it is sufficient just four specimen and it increases a chance to get additional organic resources, good for outpost development and crafting
- Scanning – Useless skill at least for me – detecting resources on planets does not mean surveying them, just where to land to obtain them, but you could do just more landings and see what outpost there will give you. Also if you want an outpost to produce several types of resources at a time, you can only rely on land expedition. I did not use ship scanning, can’t see the real point 🙂
- Spacesuit Design – It is useful to enhance your armor, so I find it as a good to have starting the mid game. Level 3 is sufficient here, you will not (probably) utilize this skill much so you could just get additional resources
- Weapon Engineering – Also useful to enhance weaponry making it deadlier. Good to take in a mid game. Of course, you can find weapons with installed modifications, but sometimes you can find a weapon with unique effects which will not possess the modifications, so modifying it will definitely be a game changer. Unlike Combat skill tree, it affects all the weapons with just a four skill points.
- Zoology – Mastered this one as well, similar to Botany but about our lesser brothers and sisters, could be useful for outpost development and a must have for planet surveying – finding additional specimen sometimes could be very hard, and when you need to find just four – it is miraculous.
- Astrophysics – I deem this a must have skill, because you have a greater chance to discover a planet trait – while scanning in the space, which is very fast, – and discovering the trait gives you extra XP
- Chemistry – Since it is about making chems that are already a lot in the system and I do not utilize it too often since it is not really necessary except a few, I think it is useless
- Outpost Engineering – I took it up to level 3, I could produce additional (better) resource extractors, power generators and fabricators, sounds useful for outpost development, making it easier and more productive in general.
- Aneutronic Fusion – I like this vanity of having additional engine power but I think that spending skill points here is not very necessary, it would not be a game changer.
- Planetary Habitation – Essential if you plan to set up an outpost network.
- Special Projects – Essential for outpost development as well since you need just a huge amount of manufactured items. Also some weapon engineering projects require this skill.
- Ballistic Weapon Systems – Seems logical to have if you like ballistic ship weapons.
- Boost Pack Training – Must have to take the first level, did not notice any considerable change on level 2 – they say backpack expends less fuel, maybe it is, but effect is too small to make a real change. Consequentially, did not pick levels 3 and 4.
- Piloting – A must have skill, mastering it will make you able to fly class-C ships, better to take it earlier because it will require a lot of space combat occasions.
- Security – A must have skill, taking it to level 4 just makes the process a bit easier, especially when you tired of solving same puzzles again and again.
- Targeting Control Systems – Did not pick it yet, could be useful for space combat, but space combat is quite easy on class-C ship with good weapons, so this skill does not look to necessary.
- Energy Weapon Systems – Pick it if you focus on energy ship weapon.
- Engine Systems – I did not find it too useful, you already can drop of missiles by just a bit boosting and talking of speed, adding 5 points to engine from Aneutronic fusion skill will get you much more speed than 20% from this skill.
- Payloads – I find this skill useless – some companions have it. Besides, you can always just add more cargo holders to your ship.
- Shield Systems – Did not pick it yet, might help you survive the space combat, but I encountered good achievable modules in game so this skill is not essential for me.
- Missile Weapon Systems – I did not find missiles a good option here, it requires targeting for a success due to the low speed.
- Particle Beam Weapon Systems – But I like this type of ship weapon, it is deadly enough and can be used non-stop unlike ballistic/energy weapons, just put a few more devices and you will crush your opponents in no time.
- Robotics – Did not pick it and I find it mostly useless, turrets and robots are easy to break on a battlefield.
- Starship Design – Essential skill if you want to do serious customization for your ship. However, on high levels when you have a lot of money you can buy a ship with top modules making this skill useless unless you want to play a starship designer.
- Starship Engineering – Since it is about repairing the damage done through your shields I find more useful to have stronger shields rather than investing in hull repairs.
- Automated Weapon Systems – I don’t like turrets since you don’t have controls and the enemy ship needs to be locked, I prefer doing the damage by my own.
- Boost Assault Training – Might look handy in rare jet combat but I never picked that, does not look essential enough for me to spend valuable skill points on that.
- EM Weapon Systems – I used EMs a lot only while getting the achievement. Looting ships is not fun when you do it a lot, besides selling the ships does not bring you a lot of money.