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A guide about the various abilities in Elex 2. I played Elex 2 as a ranged character and as in most PB games, a ranged build is the most fun and the most rewarding way to play. So this guide will be biased towards a ranged build, although I voice my opinion on skills that aren’t related to a ranged build whenever I feel it could be useful.
Abilities that are available as a specialization
Some abilities are available as ‘specializations’ (see dedicated equipment slot), meaning you can increase those skills at any time by 1 by equipping a certain item. This means you don’t need to learn:
• Lockpicking 3/3 or Pickpocket 3/3 -> just wear the specialization while you’re in a hub looting your heart out, and switch to it when you encounter a hard locked chest or an NPC in the wasteland.
• Experienced Hunter -> wear the specialization when hunting in the wasteland.
• Practitioner -> wear the specialization when completing quests.
• Ranged Weapons (medium priority): increase this when you can
• Projectile Master / Powder Master / Energy Master (medium priority): increase these abilities, or at least the ones for the weapons you’re using, when you can
• Ranged Weapons Specialist (low priority): at first this ability doesn’t help a lot but eventually you’ll want to learn it. For example, a weapon requiring 85 DEX and 61 STR all of a sudden requires only 77 DEX and 55 STR. That’s a huge difference.
• Heavy Weapons (low priority): heavy weapons deal so much damage that an additional 10 damage is nothing. But you need this ability if you want the Grenades ability or the Heavy Weapons Specialist ability.
• Grenades (depends): hand grenades deal a flat 200 damage. This ability increases that damage to 500! Sounds great but it’s only useful if you find yourself using hand grenades a lot.
• Heavy Weapons Specialist (depends): you won’t be using heavy weapons most of the time but if you do use them sometimes, you’ll want this ability for the same reason you want the Ranged Weapons Specialist ability.
• Lock Picking (high priority): you’ll come across dozens of locked chests and you’ll want to open them all, don’t you? So increase this ability to level 2 as soon as possible. When you come across a hard locked chest, you can equip a specialization item that increases Lock Picking to level 3.
• Locksmith: worthless so skip it. There are plenty of lockpicks in the game, even though it may not seem like it in the first few hours of the game. You can buy some lockpicks or just be a bit patient until you find yourself having dozens of lockpicks all the time. And don’t forget: until then there’s also the Save and Load spell 😉
• Pickpocket (high priority): you’ll come across so many NPCs you can pickpocket for all kinds of items, most notably their weapons, which will make you a fortune. So increase this ability to level 2 as soon as possible. When you come across a hard locked chest, you can equip a specialization item that increases Lock Picking to level 3.
• Build Weapons (high priority): you WILL want to craft better weapons from the ones you find, especially because the upgraded weapons don’t require higher attributes to equip them (a huge difference with the first Elex game). Also, only using weapons you find in the game is very limiting. And don’t worry: getting the necessary attributes for level 3 will take quite a while, which is necessary for balancing, but getting the ability to level 2 will allow you to create the best weapons you should need for the first half of the game.
• Gemstone Socket: contrary to the first Elex game, gemstones can only be slotted in melee weapons in Elex 2. So for a ranged build the ability is utterly useless.
• Create Ammunition: this ability is worthless because of a flaw in the game. The value/price of the materials to craft ammo is higher than the price to simply buy your ammo. Note: there’s a mod on Nexus that rebalances the Create Ammunition ability so it’s actually useful.
• Build Grenades: since I skipped Create Ammunition ability, a prerequisite for this ability, for reasons explained above, I didn’t check out the Build Grenades ability. Maybe the Build Grenades ability does yield a reasonable number of grenades compared to the value of the materials required to build them and to the price of hand grenades with NPC traders. If that’s the case and if you find yourself using hand grenades a lot, investing one point in the Create Ammunition ability just to unlock this ability might be worth it.
• Chemistry (low priority): I see little reason to craft level one and level two potions, except maybe Mana Potions if you join the Berserkers early on. It’s the level 3 potions you want the Chemistry ability for, as these include the Elex Drink potions (to increase AP) and the permanent +1 bonus to an ability potions (the purple ones). But it’ll take a while before you’ll have the required attributes for Chemistry level 3 and before you’ll have access to the materials needed to craft the purple potions because they each require the heart of a troll or another high-level monster. So don’t worry about Chemistry at first, again except maybe if you want to brew mana potions because you joined the Berserkers early on, and look into it in the second half of the game.
• Hack (high priority): you’ll come across dozens of safes and you’ll want to open them all, don’t you? Contrary to the first game, you’ll find very few codes for safes lying around so you’ll want to get the Hack skill to level 2 as soon as you can.
• Mining: useless ability. By the time you have the LP to spare for abilities like this one, you should have plenty of materials.
• Animal Trophies (high priority): just like in the first game, this ability will make you a wealthy Jax, meaning you’ll always be able to buy whatever you desire.
There’s only two abilities worth mentioning here in my opinion.
1° Attribute Points, but you’ll only want to look at this ability when you’re pretty far into the game. You’ll come to a point where you have many LP to spare, whereas AP are always welcome. So even though 10 AP won’t really matter that much, it’s better to have 10 AP than an LP you don’t know what to do with.
2° Attribute, but this ability is only useful when you unlock it early on. That means investing your first dozens of AP into Intelligence (you need 50 INT), when you really want to increase other attributes at the beginning of the game (too), and it means spending a second LP for the prerequisite ability Attribute Points, which I just talked about and said it’s only useful when you’re far into the game and have LP to spare, which is not the case at the beginning of the game. You may choose learn the Attribute ability eventually but by that time it won’t be the great ability it seems to be at the start of the game. It’ll be pretty much another ‘level’ of the Attribute Points ability, swapping 1 LP for 10 to 15 AP or so. Still, not bad, but not as good as the ability would be if you’d get it early on. Mind you, you definitely CAN get the ability early on but it’s no fun to have to work towards that, and for what? You’ll have all the AP you’ll need by the end of the game anyway.
All the remaining Personality abilities are completely useless.
Experienced Hunter? Wear the specialization when you’re out hunting monsters. Bookworm? Come on. Besides, there’s a specialization for that one too but I wouldn’t bother. Practitioner? Wear the specialization when you’re completing a quest.
Haggler, Cheaplearning and Advocate? If you pick the right abilities you’ll have more Elexit than you can spend. Trusted is an ability that you’ll only be able to use a handful of times during the game, and even then the 10% or 20% decrease doesn’t even guarantee you’ll be able to pass the speech requirement.
Simple. Max out Mana, Flaming Bow and Rain of Fire.
I haven’t played as an Alb myself yet but the opinions on the strength of the Alb abilities seem to be extremely polarizing. Some people swear Chain Lightning is overpowered, whereas other people say it doesn’t deal enough damage to be worth it. Some people say Harvest Elex means they pretty much have enough Elex to cast any spell at any time, whereas other people say the ability doesn’t yield enough Elex, causing Jax to be short on Elex when you would have liked him to be able to cast his Alb spells. Again, I don’t know from experience so I’ll leave it at this short note that summarizes the impressions I got after reading a number of discussions on the Steam forum and on Reddit.
There are definitely some abilities here that seem very cool, and the whole idea of the rites is a fresh new take on the use of abilities in PB games and I suppose in action RPGs in general. However, to become a Morkon you need a high Destruction level, which clashes with the way I like to play RPGs. Moreover, several Morkon abilities are only useful for melee combat and like I said, this guide focuses on ranged builds.
In Elex 2, Outlaw abilities are limited to being able to craft the 5 chems in the game. But your XP gained is halved while under the influence of chems, which is a major penalty. And also, you can buy the chems from traders or find them as loot so in the very rare situations where you’d want to use a chem you can, even when you’re not an Outlaw.
An insult to all players who were a fan of the Cleric faction in the first game, the Clerics are down to only two abilities in Elex 2. Last Chance protects you from what would otherwise have been a fatal blow (some people report the ability is broken and doesn’t even work !?) and Unweavering increases your resistance to ‘reality damage’, whatever that means. Poor clerics. What a far cry from the various psi abilities they had in the first game.
• Additional Tank (high priority): this is the first jetpack ability you’ll want to learn. It’ll allow you to add Fuel up to 50 times, increasing the time you can fly.
• Floating: after having upgraded your fuel capacity considerably, you may want to invest an LP in this ability. As is explained when unlocking the ability, as long as you press aim (right mouse button by default) while in the air, you’ll stay afloat. While floating, you can shoot at monsters. If they’re flying creatures, they’ll get in your face and retaliate. If they’re non-flying creatures with a ranged attack, they’ll shoot at you. If they’re non-flying creatures without a ranged attack, they’ll look for cover.
Note: you can’t equip Heavy Weapons while flying/floating. Same goes for melee, you can only use one-handed melee weapons for air combat.
• Maneuvering boosters: this ability adds to the Floating ability. While you can just move up or down to dodge an attack while flying or floating, this ability adds the option to pretty much perform a dodge while in the air by allowing Jax to fly to the left or to the right a bit.
• Sprint Boosters: allow Jax to fly around in a horizontal position, as if he were Marvel’s Iron Man. I prefer the classic jetpack feel from the first game so without this ability, but by all means get this ability if it speaks to you!
• Retrorockets: useless ability. If you find yourself falling to your death a lot, this ability may be for you, but allow me to suggest learning to keep an eye on the fuel bar instead.