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Marvel’s Avengers Thor leveling and skills guide

How to make the most out of your god of thunder

Thor headshot Marvel’s Avengers Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Thor is one of the most interesting characters in Marvel’s Avengers. He blends the beat ‘em up style of the rest of the characters with god-like powers and the ability to stun enemies with his hammer like Kratos in God of War.

Thor is also the Avenger you’ll spend the least amount of time with in the Reassemble campaign, so you probably won’t have a good idea of his capabilities when you first jump into the Avengers’ Initiative. But in the right hands, Thor can devastate waves of enemies at once, and clobber some of the biggest baddies with ease.

In this guide, we’ll pass on some knowledge we’ve accumulated while leveling our Thor, to make your time a bit easier. Here are some tips for leveling Thor, including how to use some of his abilities, and which skills to pick up first.

Five quick tips for playing Thor

If you’re diving into Thor for the first time, here are some quick tips to set you up for success.

  • Hold the God Blast button. Thor’s Assault Heroic deals bonus damage if you keep enemies in the storm.
  • Use Bifrost as an escape. Thor’s Bifrost Ultimate is a great tool to get him out of a bad situation and back on the offensive, since it completely removes him from combat.
  • Warrior’s Fury is great for offense and defense. Thor’s Support Heroic makes him invulnerable to damage but also stuns nearby enemies, opening them up to Takedowns.
  • Use your fists. Thor can throw his hammer to pin enemies and then attack with his fists, and unarmed attacks deal great damage and stun enemies quickly.
  • When all else fails, fly. Thor can fly like Iron Man, but he’s less ranged-focused than Tony. However, Thor can still be a powerful Hero even from a distance, safely situated in the air. Fall back take to the sky if things get tough.

10 best skills for Thor

Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

When you reach level 50 in Marvel’s Avengers, you’ll have unlocked your hero’s entire arsenal of abilities. But getting to 50 is a commitment, and there are some skills worth picking up as early as you can.

You can’t access most skills in the Mastery tree until you reach level 15 or 20, so you won’t be able to grab them immediately. Some skills also require prerequisite skills above them, so think of this as 10 skills to work toward. Acquire and use these skills early to help you get a real feel for your hero’s potential.

Mjolnir Cyclone (Primary, Light Attack)

After executing Hammer Spin and Whirling Uru, hold attack to execute one last follow-up spinning barrage that hits all surrounding enemies and inflicts increased damage.

The Mjolnir Cyclone combo is a great early pickup on Thor. It’s your bread and butter combo for taking out groups of enemies or stunning a big foe.

Sigurd Strike (Primary, Heavy Attack)

Press attack, attack, attack, heavy attack to execute a powerful hammer attack that breaks through enemy defenses and flings them backwards with incredible force.

The Sigurd Strike offers a lot of damage in a single hit. It’s useful for taking on big bads and vehicles.

Headstrong (Primary, Hammer Skills)

After throwing the hammer, hold attack to perform a powerful headbutt that leaves enemies open for follow-up attacks.

Your hammer is great for taking out a lot of enemies, but for stun damage, your fists do a lot of work. Headstrong gives you a solid move that applies a lot of stun damage to a single enemy.

Immovable Intent (Primary, Hammer Skills)

Throwing the hammer can trap up to two enemies beneath its immovable might, leaving trapped combatants pinned and defenseless.

One of Thor’s best qualities is his ability to remove an enemy from play by pinning them with his hammer. Immovable Intent doubles that ability.

Power of Uru (Primary, Intrinsic Ability)

Activating Odinforce while the hammer is pinned to an enemy or the world will radiate a periodic electrical pulse, dealing additional damage to the pinned and any nearby enemies.

One of the more frustrating aspects of Thor is pinning an enemy and leaving them with a sliver of health. Power of Uru lets you channel a bit of Odinforce to finish enemies off, or put some damage on someone as you’re running at them.

Precision Bifrost (Specialty, Ultimate Heroic Ability)

Activating Bifrost during peak charge (red indicator) does 50% more damage.

The Bifrost Ultimate does very little damage prior to this skill. But once you have it, you just need to time Bifrost along with the color coding, and you’ll deal a ton more damage.

Heroic Takedown Mastery (Mastery, Melee, Takedown Specialization node)

Performing a Takedown spawns a Heroic Orb.

Lots of Heroes have this skill, and it’s one of the most useful in the game. Heroic Orbs refund tons of ability energy when you pick them up. If you’re using your abilities and combos properly, you should be using Takedowns on multiple enemies each fight, which now spawns an orb, which helps you refund your abilities so you can do it all over again.

Manual Targeting (Mastery, Ranged, Hammer Specialization 1 node)

Hold attack to manually target enemies while aiming Tornado Throw. Disables the ability to pin combatants.

The description of this skill is misleading. It does disable your ability to pin enemies, but only if you charge up your swing. Manual Targeting alleviates one of Thor’s biggest pain points: his inability to deal with ranged enemies quickly. With Manual Targeting, you can select multiple Drones, throw your hammer, and take them all out together.

Guard Breaker (Mastery, Ranged, Hammer Specialization 2 node)

Ranged attacks with the hammer break through blocking enemies.

Guard Breaker lets you pin almost any target, and pinning is a huge help to your teammates.

Lightning Field (Mastery, Intrinsic Overcharge, Overcharge Attack Specialization node)

When Overcharged, surrounding enemies will be intermittently struck by lightning.

You won’t Overcharge your Odinforce much until you invest in some other skills, but the Lightning Field ability deals tons of stun damage, letting you perform more takedowns and refund your skills.

How to level and get gear

With your first character in Marvel’s Avengers, you’ll have a bunch of different quests to complete. They’ll point you in the right direction and net you some serious gear in addition to the mission rewards. But on your follow up characters, you have a bit more freedom on how to gear and level.

Most missions are usually good for one grind and not the other:

  • Hive missions and HARM Challenges net some serious XP, but there are very few chests inside, so you have to rely entirely on enemy drops for new loot.
  • Vault missions are easily the best gear grind, with plenty of chests to loot around each map and multiple chests in the final area. But you only fight a lot of enemies toward the end, so you won’t get a ton of XP.
  • Priority missions, which rotate weekly, usually offer a good mix of both. However, some of them require a pretty high Power Level, so you won’t be able to complete them all until later in your journey.

Focus on gear and Power Level over your Hero Level. We haven’t had a single case of getting to the soft cap of 130 before hitting level 50. Plenty of missions gate you by your Power Level, but nothing requires you to be level 50.