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The Sinking City guide: Skills and spending Knowledge Points

Making Charles Reed better prepared for the end of the world

Sinking City skills guide Frogwares/Bigben Interactive via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

The Sinking City’s protagonist, Charles Reed, is a human up against supernatural odds — and he’s outmatched in pretty much every fight. Luckily, there are ways you can improve his chances as you play.

This guide will walk you through The Sinking City’s skills system. We’ll talk about the skills available and what they do, and then we’ll give a few suggestions for the skills you should unlock first.

Unlocking skills

As you solve cases around Oakmont, kill Wylebeasts, and progress the story, you’ll earn experience. When you hit a certain amount of experience — you can check your progress in the upper right corner of the skills tab in your menu — you’ll earn a Knowledge Point. These Knowledge Points are what you’ll use to unlock new skills.

Types of skills

The Sinking City skills menu
The skills menu.
Frogwares/Bigben Interactive via Polygon

Skills have three categories:

  • Combat Proficiency. On the left side of this category, the skills improve the effectiveness of traps, firebombs, and grenades. The skills on the right side increase your guns’ capacity, accuracy, and damage.
  • Vigor. The first set of Vigor skills increases your inventory capacity for ammo, first aid and antipsychotics, and grenades and firebombs. The other set increases your health, reduces the amount of damage you take from falling or eels, and increases your melee damage.
  • Mind. The skills on the left side of this category increase your efficiency when crafting. The other set increases the XP you earn, makes your sanity stronger, and gives you a chance to earn double rewards for completing cases.

Best skills to unlock early

Reed is not particularly resilient at the beginning of the game, so put your first few points into Unnatural Recovery, Abnormal Endurance, and Privateye the Sailor — all under Vigor on the right side. Put your next point into Absolute Clarity under Mind, and follow it with Detective Analysis. These will both earn you extra XP, meaning you’ll get more points to spend.

After those, it becomes a question of how you play and what you need. Use skills to help you through aspects of the game you’re struggling with. If you’re constantly running out of crafting materials for ammo or traps, buy the skills on the left side of Mind. If you’ve got the materials, but you keep having to make more ammo, buy the skills on the left side of Vigor. If you’re good at fighting, but you want to get better, grab the skills on the right side of Combat Proficiency.

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