While you’re raging through the streets of Neu-Paris in Wolfenstein: Youngblood killing Nazi supersoldiers, there’s a lot you can upgrade and tweak. You’ll be earning silver coin, XP, and Ability Points that will let you customize your weapons and your character’s abilities in your Journal menus.
It’s a lot to keep track of. Skills and abilities in Wolfenstein: Youngblood are pretty easy to understand, so we’re going to start this guide with our list of the best ones (our favorites), before we continue with a quick walkthrough of all the Abilities to upgrade under the Character tab.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood’s best skills
You’ll earn plenty of Ability Points as you play the game to buy every skill by the end. But you don’t earn them fast enough to just grab skills in any order. Here’s our list of the best and most useful skills.
- Health + (Mind) and Armor + (Muscle). The entire row of Health and Armor upgrades increase your stats by 25 each — up to 200 total. Health and Armor are always useful.
- Supersoldat Hunter (Mind). This adds the ability to take down stronger enemies with a silent takedown. The stealth elements of Wolfenstein: Youngblood are brief — you’ll invariably get noticed pretty early and have to start shooting — but being able to take out a tough enemy with one action before the fighting starts is a huge benefit.
- Super-Kinetic Throw and Blade Annihilator (Muscle). These skills are the rest of the tier after Supersoldat Hunter. They make your thrown weapons hugely powerful. And there’s just something satisfying about throwing a grenade that knocks over a Nazi, and then watching as the grenade falls in his lap.
- Crush, Brawler, Two-Time Crush, and Quake Crusher (Power). This is the entire row of Crush upgrades. Crush is just the most useful and powerful Power and improving it up to four times the damage is just smart. Crush will let you handle wooden crates faster, knock down enemies, or even explode low-level enemies just by running into them.
- Far Grabber (Mind). This is a third-tier ability, so it’ll take you a while to unlock it, but it makes you pick up more ammo, armor, and health without a lot of extra running around.
How skills work
Buying new skills requires Ability Points. You’ll earn these by completing the various main story and side missions you get as you travel around Neu-Paris. You can see how many Ability Points (and XP and silver coins) each mission will earn you in your Journal on the Missions tab.
The skills are broken into three broad categories: Mind, Muscle, and Power (the names are only tangentially related to the skills under them). We’ll break them down below.
Mind skills focus on movement, finding things, and your sister’s health. There are four upgrade trees:
- The first row focuses on interacting with your sister during revives and Pep Signals.
- The second row increases your max health.
- The third row is about looting and finding things. The first three increase the amount of ammo, health, and armor enemies drop. The fourth adds collectibles to your mini map.
- The final row is mostly about movement. These add a rapid sidestep, increase your speed while crouched, increase the radius for automatically picking up items as you run over them, and adds an automatic reload to non-equipped weapons.
Muscle skills are generally about fighting — armor, weapons, and toughness. There are four trees here, too:
- The first row increases your max armor.
- The second row increases how much ammo you can carry (and the third one increases how much damage grenades do).
- The third row makes your thrown weapons more dangerous. The first lets you take down tougher enemies with a silent takedown. The second and fourth add speed and damage to thrown melee weapons. The third increases the number of thrown weapons you can carry.
- The fourth row adds the ability to carry heavy weapons (the ones dropped by supersoldiers). The second tier lets you move faster while carrying them. The third tier lets you put them into your gun pocket (weapon wheel). The fourth tier isn’t about heavy weapons. Instead, it keeps you from getting knocked down.
These skills focus on either your Cloak or Crush ability. Both trees increase the effectiveness of that ability. There’s not much to say about them besides choose Crush, and only focus on Crush — like we suggested in our beginner’s guide.
There is a third Power that unlocks very late in the game (after completing all three Brother Tower raids) called God Key. We won’t go into what it does to avoid spoilers, but we will say that it’s very useful.