Create your perfect build with this Wolcen skills primer

wolcen skills
(Image credit: Wolcen Studio)

How do skills in Wolcen work? Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem is an ARPG with many skills to unlock, but it's easy to be intimidated by them all when you first create a character. You start with one active skill, but the first time you open up your passive abilities you’ll be presented with an intensely complicated Wolcen skill tree, an intricate web of nodes which can be hard to parse. 

But while the Wolcen skills can be overwhelming at first, I'm here to help you digest it all. Here's everything you need to know about how skills work so you can create your dream Wolcen build as easily as possible.

How Wolcen skills work

Skills come in two types in Wolcen: active and passive. Actives are abilities with which you fight: they come in various forms, and rather than being based on the stats you’re using, they are dictated by the weapon in your hands. In other words, you can change classes at will. Passives give you stat boosts and can be found in the 'Gate of Fates' menu.

Wolcen active skills

Active skills are acquired by using items called Enneracts. Using one destroys it, but bestows on the wielder a new skill. However, you can only have five active skills equipped at once. Each can be levelled up, gaining new modifiers as they're progressed. 

If you choose the right modifiers, you can change the way a skill behaves entirely; they’re the foundation on which you discover your playstyle. As I said, you can use different skills based on the weapons you have equipped, so staves allow you to use spells, while a melee weapon lets you unleash crushing blows.

(Image credit: Wolcen Studio)

Wolcen passive skills (Gates of Fates)

This is the complex parts of Wolcen skill system. Passives are all contained within the Gate of Fates menu, which is essentially a giant interlocking web of buffs. Naturally they vary in significance, from tiny health boosts to dodge tweaks. All are worthwhile, but you have to get the preceding ones to unlock the ones further into the web, so it pays to take some time to investigate further down the passive Wolcen skill tree to avoid wasting points.

The good news, and perhaps the most important thing to remember, is that you can respec both your stats and skill points. If you think you’ve made a mistake, or you simply want to try out a different build, it’s easy enough to do.