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Warhammer 40K Darktide Skill Tree Guide

Build your class properly to dominate for the Emperor!
Warhammer 40K Darktide Classes
Image via Fatshark

In October, developer Fatshark reworked how classes operate in Warhammer 40K Darktide, introducing a full-blown revamp of the talent tree system for each class. It’s more than just a hack-and-slash game focused on pure adrenaline-rushing action. Now, we have a role-playing game that allows us to craft builds and benefit the entire team better. But how does the new skill tree work? What skills should you focus on first? Here is our Warhammer 40K Darktide skill tree guide!

Darktide Skill Tree Guide — Combat Abilities, Best Perks, and Build Recommendations

Warhammer 40K Darktide Talent Tree
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

When it comes to the new Darktide skill tree, along with the four existing classes, you have plenty of options as to how you want to build a character. You can focus on passive buffs to improve damage and Toughness Regeneration or take active abilities that help the whole team. It’s a good idea to experiment!

Related: The Best Class in Warhammer 40K: Darktide

Veteran Sharpshooter

Darktide Veteran
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist
  • Combat Abilities:
    • Executioner’s Stance: Enter a Ranged Stance for 5 seconds, dealing +25% Ranged Damage, +25% Ranged Weakspot Damage, and enjoying reduced Spread and Recoil.
    • Voice of Command: Replenish Toughness and Stagger all nearby enemies within 9m.
    • Infiltrate: Replenish all Toughness and enter Stealth for 6 seconds, receiving +25% Movement Speed.
  • Blitz Abilities:
    • Shredder Frag Grenade: Toss a frag grenade that explosives after a short period and applies 6 stacks of Bleed to affected enemies.
    • Smoke Grenade: Toss a grenade that creates a cloud of smoke for 10 seconds.
    • Krak Grenade: Toss a grenade that deals additional damage and sticks to Armoured and Unyielding Enemies.

You’ll note that, unlike the three other classes in Darktide, the Veteran does not have Keystone Abilities in the Darktide skill tree. These may come later, but the studio wasn’t satisfied with the weapon-specific Keystones they initially designed for the class.

The Veteran, however, excels with ranged damage and, as such, you should focus on increasing Ranged Attacks. Personally, for my Veteran, I opted to use the Krak Grenade due to its incredible damage output, along with Executioner’s Stance to double down on the ranged damage I could help my team with.

Zealot Preacher

Darktide Zealot
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist
  • Combat Abilities:
    • Fury of the Faithful: Dash forward to replenish 50% Toughness and gain +20% Attack Speed for 10 seconds. The next Melee Hit grants +25% and is a surefire Critical Hit.
    • Chorus of Spiritual Fortitude: Unleash a holy relic that pulses with energy every 0.8 seconds to grant Allies in Coherency Stun Ummunity and Invulnerability. Every pulse replenishes 45% Toughness to Allies. If at full Toughness, Allies gain +20 Max Toughness up to +100.
    • Shroudfield: Enter a stealth mode for 3 seconds, gaining +20% Movement, +100% Backstab Damage, +100% Finesse Damage, and +100% Critical Chance.
  • Blitz Abilities:
    • Stunstorm Grenade: Toss a grenade that stuns enemies in a +50% blast radius.
    • Immolation Grenade: Toss a grenade that causes area-of-effect damage with a layer of flaming liquid, causing burning and staggering.
    • Blades of Faith: Throw a knife, dealing significant damage to a single target.
  • Keystones:
    • Blazing Piety: When in Fury, +15% Critical Hit Chance.
    • Martyrdom: For each missing Wound, receive +8% Melee Damage, up to 9 Wounds.
    • Inexorable Judgment: Moving grants Momentum (Stacks up to 20 times), and when you hit an enemy, spend all Momentum to receive +1% Melee Attack Speed, +1% Ranged Attack Speed, and +1% Damage per Stack for 8 seconds.

I main a Zealot and, personally, find them to be one of the strongest classes in the game when you build the Talent Tree properly. Multiple nodes increase Toughness Regeneration and allow you to deal additional damage with both melee and ranged attacks early on. You want to focus on these passives.

As for active abilities, I recommend taking Chorus of Spiritual Fortitude, along with the Immolation Grenade and Martyrdom, to help the entire team. The additional damage you deal, especially when low on health, will make you a force to be reckoned with!

Psyker Psykinetic

Darktide Psyker
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist
  • Combat Abilities:
    • Venting Shriek: Unleash warp energy that staggers enemies and reduces 50% Peril.
    • Telekine Shield: Spawn a shield before you for 15 seconds, blocking Ranged Attacks.
    • Scrier’s Gaze: Activates Scrier’s Gaze, which grants +10% DAmage and +20% Critical Chance. For every second, you also gain +1% Damage up to +30%.
  • Blitz Abilities:
    • Brain Rupture: Unleash critical damage to a single enemy, dealing +50% damage over Brain Burst.
    • Assail: Throw projectiles made of psychic energy at enemies.
    • Smite: Unleash Bio-Lightning that deals high damage and impact to a single enemy, or release a stream dealing low damage but high impact to multiple enemies.
  • Keystones:
    • Warp Siphon: Kill a single Elite or Speciality Enemy to acquire a Warp Charge for 25 seconds, up to 4 stacks, to reduce the cooldown of Combat Abilities by 7.5% per Warp Charge.
    • Empowered Psionics: Kills grant a 7.5% chance to Empower Blitz, dealing additional damage and granting Peril Reduction.
    • Disrupt Destiny: Enemies within 25m have a chance of being marked, which, when killed, grants 10% Toughness, +20% Movement Speed, and a Precision Bonus for 15 seconds. Every Precision Bonus awards +1% Damage, +2% Critical Damage, and +2.5% Weakspot Damage.

The Psyker is a distance-based magic class that excels when tucked away from close-quarters combat. Their abilities, like Bio-Lightning, prove most effective when dealing damage to an entire crowd instead of a single target. This allows you to help the team take down mobs with ease.

I recommend taking Telekine Shield, as it helps teammates, Smite, to deal with single-target and mobs using Bio-Lightning and Disrupt Destiny for the buffs.

Ogryn Skullbreaker

Darktide Ogryn Skullbreaker
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist
  • Combat Abilities:
    • Indomitable: Charge forward, knocking down enemies and staggering them. Gain +25% Attack Speed and +25% Movement Speed for 5 seconds.
    • Loyal Protector: Taunt enemies within 8m, forcing them to focus on you.
    • Point-Blank Barrage: Swap to and reload your ranged weapon with a +25% Rate of Fire and +70% Reload Speed for 10 seconds.
  • Blitz Abilities:
    • Big Friendly Rock: Toss a chunk of rock or junk at a single enemy, dealing additional damage every 60 seconds.
    • Bombs Away!: Throw a box of grenades, dealing high damage to a single enemy. The box breaks open upon hitting an enemy, releasing 6 grenades around the area.
    • Frag Bomb: Throw an Ogryn-sized grenade with a 16m blast radius, dealing increased damage the closer an enemy is to the center.
  • Keystones:
    • Heavy Hitter: +5% Damage for 7.5 seconds on Heavy Attacks, stacks 5 times.
    • Feel No Pain: 10 Stacks of Feel No Pain, each granting +2.5% Toughness Replenishment and +2.5% Damage Reduction.
    • Burst Limiter Override: There is a 5% chance of triggering Lucky Bullet and consuming zero ammunition on ranged attacks.

As the tank-like class of Darktide, the Ogryn excels when barreling through entire mobs of enemies, causing Stagger and Knockdown, and taking the heat for the whole team. With a shield, the Ogryin becomes a walking fortress that can distract single-target enemies as the rest of the team sweeps in from behind for a flank.

For the Ogryin, I recommend taking Indomitable, Bombs Away!, and Heavy Hitter. These talents allow you to maximize damage output, clearing mobs so the team can focus on objectives or more formidable enemies.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide is an often complex game when you scratch the surface, and a Darktide skill tree guide like this one from Gamer Journalist is only the beginning. We also recommend exploring the best ways to parry in the game!

About the author

Brandon Morgan

Brandon is a freelance writer with Gamer Journalist. After jumpstarting a professional writing career in 2012, Brandon went on to cover video games for Prima Games, OnlySP, MP1st, The Nerd Stash, and countless other online publications. For a short period, he worked in digital marketing, learning search engine optimization that helps improve his video game guides today.

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