In God of War, many of Kratos’ skills are attached to the weapons he wields, instead of being innate abilities.

Weapon Skills encompass both Kratos’ and Atreus’ weapons, and can be purchased and unlocked once the weapon that Kratos wields is upgraded – which can be done using Crafting at the dwarven blacksmiths.

Skills (not including Bare-Handed and Rage Skills) will steadily unlock over the course of the game as you find the resources to upgrade your weapons. These skills will become essential to your survival, and to unleash combo attacks between Kratos and Atreus.

Video: 7 Skills to Get First

Early on in your adventure, experience can be sparse, so picking the right skills mean change the course of tough encounters you’ll face in the opening hours. Here are 7 Skills you should get early in God of War

Permafrost can be a true blessing when encountering large groups of enemies, especially when you face hordes of Draugr early on that rely on sheer numbers to take you down. By attacking quickly and avoiding getting hit in return, you can build a meter located on your weapon icon in the corner. When that meter is filled, every hit will deal frost damage to your foes – which is essential in slowing down enemies to prevent them from attacking back or flanking you.

Freezing enemies can also lead to increased time they stay airborne, allowing you to juggle an enemy longer with bigger combos – just keep an eye on attack indicators to know when to dodge out of the way or risk resetting permafrost.

By default, Kratos has a four-hit light attack combo and a two-hit heavy attack combo. If you want to get varied between light and heavy hits, Pride of the Frost is the best thing you can get – starting with three light strikes, you can now chain into a heavy finisher that smashes down for a lot of damage that send most enemies flying into the air.

This attack is even better when paired with Permafrost, as you may even slow down enemies enough to keep them in the air after the finisher and get in another combo while they can’t move!

Shields may be a new concept for Kratos, but he adapts rather quickly. Perhaps one of the best skills in his defensive arsenal is the Countering Strike. It allows you to follow up a last-second block (when time slows down for a moment) with an unblockable attack of your own.

A successful counter can deal a lot of damage, and send lesser enemies flying across the room. The best part about this counter is that it can even be used against incoming attacks that would normally break your guard (seen by the yellow indicator). Sure the timing can be risky, but once you get the rhythm down, you can send most attacks right back at them.

3,000 Experience is a lot to spend, but when you do get the chance you’ll find that Countering Blast is extremely worth it. Nothing is more annoying than ranged fighters tossing projectiles at you from afar while your trying to survive other threats.

With this skill, you can block an incoming ranged attack at the last second – just like Countering Strike – and send it hurtling back the way it came. Many times this can outright kill the weak ranged opponents, and you can also redirect the blast at anyone else your facing, using their fireballs to torch their nearby friends. Try it out on Draugr, Nightmares, Reavers – or anyone that tries to hurl something at you from afar.

As you start to learn more about an enemy’s stun meter, you’ll find that sometimes the best strategy is to end a battle quickly with a finishing blow. Atreus can help build up stun on enemies when prompted, but if you want to do it yourself, consider the Guardian Sweep.

This attack is great for two reasons: it can knock several enemies to the floor at once, and it deals a great amount of stun damage. This ensures that while the enemies are floored, they’ll need a moment to get back up and fight, allowing you to keep the pressure on them with more bare-handed attacks to prepare for a finishing blow.

Don’t underestimate Atreus. He may look like a pushover, and starting out he’s not that powerful, but the more you invest in him, the quicker he’ll turn into the most essential weapon in your arsenal. It’s worth getting all his skills as soon as you can, but Teamwork is a great place to start.

Once Atreus starts helping out more in combat with melee attacks, Teamwork allows him to capitalize on your attacks. Certain moves like headshots with your axe throw or sweeping enemies legs with Guardian Sweep will put foes in a vulnerable state – and Atreus will take advantage of this by doing increased damage. Unlike his command arrows, you won’t even have to prompt him, he’ll know when to hit them and when to stay back and shoot.

Equally as important as Teamwork is Ferocity. With this skill, Atreus will have even more to do as he circles the battlefield taking shots at enemies. If he happens to get close to enemies, he’ll start dishing out a lot of stun damage with dropkicks or smacking them with his bow. If you’re alert, you can capitalize on this with quick bare-handed strikes to rack up stun damage and finish a foe quickly.

The following skills can be purchased to give Kratos more abilities with his Leviathan Axe. Note that higher tier skills can only be unlocked as the axe is upgraded using Frozen Flame.

  • Description: Aim and Press R2 for a powerful attack that freezes smaller enemies for a short duration and inflicts heavy damage to all enemies.
  • Cost: N/A
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: Aim and Hold R2 to charge up the Leviathan Axe and cause an explosion on impact that inflicts Frost Damage.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 2, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Shortens Charge Time – Requires 100 Cooldown

  • Description: After landing a precision axe throw (weak points and headshots), press triangle during the flash to recall the Leviathan Axe and cause the next throw or melee attack to explode on contact, inflicting Frost Damage.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 2, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Unlocks an axe throw finisher after 2 consecutive precision throws – Requires 125 Cooldown
  • Description: Precision Throw Combo now creates a massive explosion on impact.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 3, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

  • Description: Aim and Hold R1 to select 3 targets on a single enemy or across 3 separate enemies.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 3, 1,500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality
  • Description: Increases the maximum number of targets to 5.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 4, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality

  • Description: Increases the maximum number of targets to 8.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 5, 3000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality
  • Description: While Bare-Handed, aim and press R1 to instantly recall the Leviathan Axe and perform a powerful spinning attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 4, 1,400 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality

  • Description: While Bare-Handed, aim and press R2 to instantly recall the Leviathan Axe and perform a powerful slam attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 5, 2000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Adds an explosion of Frost Damage on impact – Requires 250 Runic
  • Description: Hold R2 for a brutal cleaving axe attack that deals massive damage.
  • Cost: 500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Shortens Charge Time – Requires 100 Cooldown

  • Description: Hold R1 for an axe attack that hits enemies multiple times and locks them down.
  • Cost: 500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Inflicts additional Frost Damage during the attack – Requires 125 Runic
  • Description: A Heavy Attack finisher at the end of the Light Attack Combo. Press R1, R1, R1, R2 to perform.
  • Cost: 500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Adds an explosion of Frost Damage on impact – Requires 200 Runic

  • Description: While sprinting, Press R1 to perform a leaping attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 2, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 125 Vitality
  • Description: While evading, hold Left Stick forward and press R1 to perform a quick axe attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 2, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 75 Vitality

  • Description: Performs attacks in quick succession without sustaining damage to power up the Leviathan Axe and inflict Frost damage on every hit.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 2, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: Increases the amount of Permafrost gained on every successful axe hit.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 3, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

  • Description: While sprinting, press R2 to perform a massive leaping attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 3, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Adds an explosion of Frost Damage on impact – Requires 175 Runic
  • Description: While evading, hold Left Stick forward and press R1 to perform a quick boomerang throw.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 3, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Inflicts additional Frost Damage during the attack – Requires 125 Runic

  • Description: Switch stances by pausing momentarily after any Leviathan Axe attack. Once in new stance, pres R1 to perform a sweeping attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 4, 3,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality
  • Description: Unlock a second, follow-up R1 combo while in the switched stance.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 4, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality

  • Description: Switch stances by pausing momentarily after any Leviathan Axe attack. Once in new stance, press R2 to perform a ranged attack.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 4, 1,500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality
  • Description: Unlock a third and final R1 attack while in the switched stance.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 5, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality

  • Description: Switch stances by pausing momentarily after any Leviathan Axe attack. Once in new stance, press R2, R2 to perform a heavy ranged combo.
  • Cost: Axe Upgrade 5, 3,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality

The following skills can be purchased to give Kratos more abilities with his Bare-handed attacks, which include his Spartan Rage. Unlike other weapons, there is no level requirement, as your fists cannot be upgraded.

  • Description: Double Tap L1 to break an enemy’s block.
  • Cost: 500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Creates a massive concussive blast on impact that sends enemies flying into the air – Requires 300 Defense
  • Description: Press R1 after a last-second block to counter the attack with a powerful shield strike.
  • Cost: Block Break, 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

  • Description: Press R2 after a last-second block to counter the attack with a shield slam.
  • Cost: Countering Strike, 1,500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: While Bare-Handed, Hold R1 to sweep enemies off their feet and inflict a moderate amount of Stun Damage.
  • Cost: 1,500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Adds a medium-range concussive blast that inflicts additional Stun Damage – Requires 250 Defense

  • Description: While Bare-Handed and evading, Hold Left Stick forward and Press R1 to perform a quick attack.
  • Cost: 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Adds a medium-range concussive blast that inflicts additional Stun Damage – Requires 250 Defense
  • Description: While Bare-Handed, hold R2 to perform a shield slam and inflict a moderate amount of Stun Damage.
  • Cost: 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Adds a medium-range concussive blast that inflicts additional Stun Damage – Requires 250 Defense

  • Description: Press R2 after performing the Guardian’s Justice shield slam to add a concussive blast to the attack that inflicts massive amount of Stun Damage on enemies.
  • Cost: Guardian’s Justice, 3,000 XP
  • Bonus: N/A
  • Description: While sprinting Bare-Handed, press R1 to perform a powerful running haymaker attacks that sends enemies tumbling along the ground.
  • Cost: 1,500 XP
  • Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 75 Vitality

  • Description: While sprinting Bare-Handed, press R2 to perform a powerful shoulder-ram attack that sends enemies flying back.
  • Cost: 2,000 XP
  • Bonus: Adds a medium-range concussive blast that inflicts additional Stun Damage – Requires 250 Defense
  • Description: Blocking a projectile attack at the last second absorbs the impact and redirects a projectile back towards the attacker.
  • Cost: 3,000 XP
  • N/A

  • Description: Switch stances by pausing momentarily after any Bare-Handed attack. Once in a new stance, press R1 to perform a powerful uppercut. Press R1 again to perform a follow-up slam attack.
  • Cost: 3,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality
  • Description: Switch stances by pausing momentarily after any Bare-Handed attack. Once in a new stance, press R2 to perform a leaping shield attack. After the shield attack, Press R1 to perform a follow-up slam attack.
  • Cost: Guardian’s Revenge, 2,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: Increases resistance to interruption during this attack – Requires 200 Vitality

  • Description: In Spartan Rage, press R1 to perform a dashing punch to an enemy. Press again to repeatedly to deliver a combo of rapid blows.
  • Cost: N/A
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Hold R1 to deliver a forceful haymaker that knocks enemies backward at great speed.
  • Cost: 500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Continue pressing R1 to extend the length of punches after a Fury Strike.
  • Cost: Fury Drive
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Press R2 to jump into the air and slam back down with extreme force, blasting away at enemies in front of you.
  • Cost: N/A
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Hold R2 to perform a more powerful Raging Smash attack with a much wider area-of-effect.
  • Cost: 4,500 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Press L2 to pick up and hurl a large boulder from the ground that explodes on impact and deals massive damage.
  • Cost: Raging Ultimatum
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Press L1 to do a quick stomp that disrupts all nearby enemies.
  • Cost: 1,000 XP
  • Additional Bonus: N/A
  • Description: In Spartan Rage, Hold L1 to charge up a powerful stomp that can launch nearby enemies airborne.
  • Cost: Spartan Stomp
  • Additional Bonus: N/A

The following skills can be purchased to give Atreus more abilities with his Bow, Arrows, and Quiver. Additional arrows skills are unlocked as Atreus learns new types of magical arrows.

  • Description: Light Arrows increase Weakend status effect on enemies.
  • Cost: Light Arrows, 500XP

  • Description: Light Arrows cause larger explosions.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 3, 1,500 XP
  • Description: Light Arrow explosions inflict stun damage on hit.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 5, 3,000 XP

  • Description: Shock duration increased.
  • Cost: Shock Arrows, 500 XP
  • Description: Shock damage can now be chained between multiple enemies.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 3, 1,500 XP

  • Description: Shock Conduit can chain to a greater number of enemies.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 5, 3,000 XP
  • Description: Light Arrows inflict more Stun Damage to enemies.
  • Cost: Light Arrows, Bow Upgrade 2, 250 XP

  • Description: Light Arrows inflict more Stun Damage to enemies.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 3, 1,000 XP
  • Description: Light Arrows inflict more Stun Damage to enemies.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 4, 2,000 XP

  • Description: Shock Arrows inflict more Shock damage to enemies.
  • Cost: Shock Arrows, Bow Upgrade 2, 250 XP
  • Description: Shock Arrows inflict more Shock damage to enemies.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 3, 1,000 XP

  • Description: Shock Arrows inflict more Shock damage to enemies.
  • Cost: Bow Upgrade 4, 2,000 XP
  • Description: Atreus will help Kratos when enemies are in vulnerable states or when Kratos is attacked
  • Cost: 500

  • Description: While Atreus is choking an enemy, he can perform a combo move if Kratos launches or hits the enemy from far away.
  • Cost: 500
  • Description: Atreus can perform a variety of high Stun damage attacks when enemies are near.
  • Cost: 500

  • Description: Increase arrow damage and melee damage.
  • Cost: Bow Level 2, 500
  • Description: Increase arrow damage and melee damage.
  • Cost: Bow Level 3, 1,500 XP

  • Description: Increase arrow damage and melee damage.
  • Cost: Bow Level 4, 3,000 XP
  • Description: Increases the Talon Bow’s firing rate.
  • Cost: Bow Level 2, 500

  • Description: Increases the Talon Bow’s firing rate.
  • Cost: Bow Level 3, 1,500
  • Description: Increases the Talon Bow’s firing rate.
  • Cost: Bow Level 4, 3,000



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