Saints Row offers multiple avenues to customize your gangster throughout your playthrough. One of the key ways you’ll do this is with combat skills, which you’ll earn via leveling up.
In this Saints Row guide, we’ll go over all the game’s skills, tell you what they do, and offer some recommendations so you can build the best boss out there.
The max level in Saints Row is 20, and you start at level one, so you’ll be able to level up a total of 19 times. Each level-up unlocks a new skill that’s either passive or active.
Passive skills will increase your stats, specifically increasing your health and Flow (the currency you’ll need to activate skills), and you don’t need to equip them.
Active skills will give you powerful combat abilities and weapons, but you can only equip four at a time. You can swap your active skills to different ones while you’re not in combat by going to the skills app on your phone.
There’s also at least one skill that you’ll earn as a quest reward. This skill is called Quantum Aperture, and you’ll earn it while working to complete the Eurekabator! Venture.
Here is the complete list off skills in Saints Row:
Saints Row skills list
|2||Pineapple Express||Active||Grab an enemy, drop a grenade down their pants, and throw them|
|3||Smokescreen||Active||Drop a smoke bomb at your feet to confuse your enemies|
|4||Proximity Mine||Active||Place a sticky mine that explodes when enemies are near. Damage increases shortly after placement|
|5||Health Upgrade 1||Passive||Maximum health increased permanently|
|6||Tough Mother||Active||Gain a temporary health boost to absorb damage from enemies and negate staggers|
|7||Frag Out 1||Active||Throw an explosive anti-personnel device|
|8||Flow Upgrade||Passive||Maximum Flow increased permanently|
|9||Flaming Punch||Active||Ignite your fist for an explosive punch|
|10||Health Upgrade 2||Passive||Maximum health increased permanently|
|11||Transfusion||Active||While active, heal yourself and your friends by hurting your enemies|
|12||Overscope||Active||Pull out a powerful sniper rifle. Headshots explode and damage nearby enemies|
|13||Impulse Trap||Active||Throw an anti-gravity device that lifts enemies into the air, making them vulnerable to a quick shot|
|14||Flow Upgrade 2||Passive||Maximum Flow increased permanently|
|15||Health Upgrade 3||Passive||Maximum health increased permanently|
|16||Berserker||Active||While active, your melee attacks do more damage|
|17||Intercession||Active||Call in some Saints to help you fight|
|18||Quick Draw||Active||Pull out a powerful revolver then press the trigger to quickly gun down up to four enemies|
|19||D4th Blossom||Active||Spin around and fire bullets in every direction|
|20||Flow Upgrade 3||Passive||Maximum Flow increased permanently|
|Quest reward||Quantum Aperture||Active||Create a window that lets you see and shoot through walls. Applies a damage boost|
Skills we recommend
The skills vary widely in Saints Row from ridiculous goofs to helpful buffs. And while each skill is viable in its own way, here are the six we’ve had the most fun with:
This is the first skill you get, and it lets you shove a grenade down any enemy’s pants and chuck them in your chosen direction. This is not only a ton of fun, it’s also extremely useful. You can grab almost any enemy — even armored ones — and use Pineapple Express to instantly deal massive damage to them. It’s also a great way to clear out crowds quickly if you throw the soon-to-explode enemy at their friends or vehicles.
Frag Out just gives you a grenade to chuck at whatever you want. This may sound boring (and it certainly is when other skills let you shove grenades down someone’s pants), but it makes blowing up vehicles or large groups very easy. This is especially helpful in the early parts of the game when you don’t have a rocket launcher.
Transfusion is a healing skill that lets you leech health from enemies while attacking them. This is a great way to keep yourself alive before you’ve really boosted your health, and it comes with the added bonus of healing your allies too, making it great for co-op.
Overscope just gives you a giant sniper rifle that you can use to shoot enemies from afar. While this may sound like a weird skill to use when you could just equip a sniper rifle to your weapon loadout, Overscope makes you a more versatile Boss. It allows you to put a different weapon (like the jet-powered Thrustbuster grenades) in the special slot where your sniper would normally go without removing your ability to engage in long-range combat. Plus, Overscope headshots make your target explode, and we don’t need to explain why that’s cool.
Intercession lets you call in Saint NPC gang members as backup. This is great for a couple of reasons. First, these Saints will shoot your enemies for you and (most importantly) take bullets for you. Second, you can call multiple Saints in at once over the course of a long battle, giving you an army of characters to do your bidding.
This skill lets you place a big wall down, which increases your bullet damage and lets you see and shoot enemies through walls. Quantum Aperture is like turning on easy mode for any encounters that might be giving you trouble. Dying? Hide behind a car, pop up a wall, and kill all the enemies in a handful of shots, no matter where they’re hiding. Don’t feel like getting in a street fight? Pop the window behind the building where all the bad guys are hanging out and kill them all from afar. It’s an awesome tool that will save your life and make combat encounters finish quickly.