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The 12 Best Stellar Blade Skills To Unlock First

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Stellar Blade protagonist Eve and her companion drone ride a rinky-dink trolley.

Stellar Blade, the new PS5-exclusive character action game, has tons of skills to unlock like its genre siblings Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. Across protagonist Eve’s five skill trees, some abilities increase your damage, stun your enemies, dodge attacks entirely, let you double jump, and more. It can be daunting, even though you only start with three skill trees before getting the other two later. Don’t worry, though. I’m here to help you pick the best ones to start off with.

Since the game starts you with three skill trees—Attack, Beta, and Survival—I’m only going to recommend abilities from those branches. I don’t want to spoil how you unlock the other two, since that’s tied to a pivotal moment in the story. Anyway, here are my picks for the most crucial Stellar Blade skills to grab first.

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Attack Tree

Ambush, one skill point

There’s no real stealth in the game. You can gently tilt the left stick to walk slowly, but there’s no crouch to, say, reduce the sound of your feet or evade an enemy’s gaze. Still, if you end up behind an enemy, you’re gonna want a way to quickly take them out. That’s Ambush, a one-hit stealth kill you unlock for one skill point. It’s not necessary, but when you don’t want to deal with a tough enemy, Ambush will take them out.

Beta Energy Recharge, one skill point

Beta Energy is a resource for Beta skills, special attacks performed with L1 and any of the four face buttons. You gain Beta Energy by attacking, dodging, and parrying in combat. Since you want to attack more than you defend to, y’know, kill your enemy, getting Beta Energy Recharge for one skill point makes so much sense. It increases the Beta Energy you accrue while attacking, which allows you to perform Beta skills more often, which means you’re killing your enemies way faster. Really a no-brainer there.

Infinite Rush, one skill point

One of the first skills the game will force you to unlock is Rush, a charging move that sees Eve propel herself toward her target with an attack immediately following. You can increase the range of this move by picking up Lightning Rush for one skill point. But if you add on one more skill point, you can further increase Rush’s range as well as its overall attack power by unlocking Infinite Rush. The move will become your go-to combat engagement tool anyway, initiating a fight by closing the distance and keeping you glued to your enemy by chasing them down. So, why not get the best version of it?


Beta Tree

Shield Breaker, one skill point

The game gives you two Beta skills off the rip: a three-strike stabbing move called Triplet and a wide-arcing horizontal move called Slash. For one skill point, you should also grab Shield Breaker, a backflipping kick that stuns enemies and deals damage to their shields with L1 and X. Some enemies hold actual shields as well, and Shield Breaker is great for knocking those back while hurting their protective barrier, leaving them open for devastating damage and lethal executions. It rules pretty hard.

Image: Shift Up / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Shock Wave, one skill point

To complete Eve’s quadruplet of Beta skills, Shock Wave is another great move to unlock. It’s just one skill point and, with L1 and circle, sends out two blade beams in an X pattern. This deals some additional damage up close, since the blade beams and sword hit an enemy at the same time; and if you wanted to get off some hits from range, Shock Wave is great for that, too. In that way, it’s kind of a two-for-one attack.


Survival Tree

Blink, one skill point

Like Eve, enemies can perform lethal attacks as well. These moves shine one of two colors: blue or purple (more on the latter in a bit). The blue moves are unblockable and difficult to evade. However, for one skill point, Blink lets you avoid these attacks entirely. When you tilt the left stick up and press circle at the same time that both the enemy and Eve’s sword flash, you’ll teleport behind the enemy and stun them with a quick slash. Stun moves are a great way to briefly incapacitate your foe, and since so many of them attempt lethal attacks so often, popping behind them like you just executed Instant Transmission and beating them up before they know what’s hit them makes Blink a wonderful starter skill.

Focus Boost, two skill points

You’ve gotta spend two skill points to get this one, but Focus Boost is well worth the investment. It makes the Perfect Parry easier to pull off so you can do it more often.

Perfect Dodge, one skill point

The name says it all. Pressing circle just before an enemy’s attack lands allows you to perfectly evade the strike and totally avoid getting hurt—all for one skill point. If you press triangle right after a successful Perfect Dodge, you can follow up with an attack. That’s pretty good, but the next skill I’m going to recommend is a solid one-two punch.

Stellar Blade protagonist Eve and her companion drone stare at something offscreen.

Image: Shift Up / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

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Reflection, one skill point

Pick up Reflection for one skill point and watch the attack after your Perfect Dodge become even better. Instead of triangle, press square after perfectly evading an enemy strike and Eve will follow up with a stronger counterattack of her own, one that stuns the enemy and temporarily increases her attack speed. This move really lets you go in on your foe, as the stun leaves them completely open for some serious punishment.

Reflex Boost, two skill points

Another investment that’s totally worth it. Reflect Boost costs two skill points, but in exchange for that, the Perfect Dodge will become much easier to execute in combat.

Repulse, one skill point

Similar to Blink, Repulse is a skill that evades lethal attacks. Instead of blue ones, this one completely dodges purple ones for one skill point. Tilting the left stick down and pressing circle will cause Eve to backflip off an enemy. This not only exposes their weak spot for an easy barrage of ranged attacks, but it also temporarily increases Eve’s ranged attack power, meaning you’re dealing double damage to a vulnerable point.

Threat Detection, two skill points

One more skill that costs two points. Threat Detection, like Focus Boost and Reflect Boost, makes it easier for you to perform the Blink and Repulse evasive maneuvers.


With these 12 skills, you’re totally equipped to kick so much ass and take zero names in Stellar Blade. Of course, there are plenty of other skills to unlock that’ll give you an edge in battle based around your starting play style, but eventually, you’ll have enough skill points to unlock all the abilities anyway. Plus, with the option to reset skills at any point, there’s no need to get attached to any one ability. So, I say experiment with what’s on offer. However, if you want to get in and get out with style, then the above 12 skills will serve you well.

 

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