Disclaimer: This guide is a work-in-progress…

Days Gone is an action adventure game with a vast open world. It’s also filled with a ton of tough enemies and Freaker hordes that will end you quick.

Fortunately, your hero Deacon St. John can get buffed with Skills and NERO injections to stand a chance. But which Skills from the game’s three Skill Tree types should you invest in first? Glad you asked: here’s our advice.

NERO Injections: What To Focus On First

Every NERO checkpoint contains one NERO injection that can improve either your Health, your Stamina, or your Focus (for bullet-time aiming). Since this game relies on your Stamina meter to do your running and dodging, aim to get shots for your Stamina first. After 3-4 shots, improve Health for the next few permanent boosts.

You will die a lot in the game when getting the hang of how Freakers and the wildlife attack, so you should at least boost the Stat that prolongs your survivability a tad longer via skilled reflexes.

Skill Trees


Generally, you will need to spend 2 Skill Points here to unlock the better Survival skills in Tiers II and beyond. These include:


  • Thief In The Night (Tier II): Stealth kills can help save bullets. So sneaking around quietly when moving or dropping is always a plus.
  • Green Thumb (Tier II): Get double resources when gathering plants. Cash in plants for more money and encampment trust.
  • Ear To The Ground (Tier III): Using Survival Vision now lets you see enemies behind walls. Perfect for stealth ambushes and “wall-hacking” opportunities.
  • Catch Your Breath (Tier III), Shape Up (Tier V), Six Feet Under (Tier V): Stamina is pretty important in this game, so any skill that reduces cooldown and also increases regeneration rate for Stamina is a must-have.
  • Monkey Wrench (Tier IV): Us less scrap to repair your bike. You’ll need scrap to repair your melee weapon often, so it’s best to go for this skill to keep your bike in tip-top shape.
  • Carry That Weight (Tier IV): More space equals more opportunities to craft.


If you’d rather just go straight to bashing Freakers up, go for the first two skills.


  • Field Repairs (Tier I): A must-have. This lets you repair melee weapons with scrap. Your weapons will break easily, so repairing them on the go is useful.
  • Busted Lip (Tier II): Regenerates Stamina for every melee kill.
  • Lightning Reflexes (Tier III): Roll quickly to recover from a knockdown. Best when dogpiled by Freakers.
  • Just Roll With It (Tier IV): Drastically reduces stamina cost from rolling. Perfect when fighting enemies with hard-hitting attacks with long recovery time, since you can dodge, shoot/melee, and repeat without running out of stamina too fast.
  • Home Run (Tier IV): Save scrap from repairing melee attacks by making them hit harder than usual.
  • Retribution (Tier V), Switch It Up (Tier V), Executioner (Tier V): Assuming you’re starting on the Melee Skill tree after the Survival tree, these three abilities are a must-have. The former lets you crit more than usual, while the latter makes your weakest default melee pretty formidable. Executioner makes it easier to sneak-kill larger zombies and wildlife that you usually avoid when you’re early in the game.


Bullets are hard to come by early in the game, so I suggest saving this Skill tree for last after Melee and Survival.


  • Vicious Cycle (Tier I): Melee enemies, then combo it with a gunshot for extra damage. Guns don’t wear out like melee weapons, so it’s a good skill to have to save weapon usage.
  • Focused Shot (Tier I): Slow down time around you while aiming a ranged weapon.
  • Suppressing Fire (Tier II): Useful when stopping running Freakers and Runners; this allows your shots to hit harder and stop weaker enemies when in Focus mode.
  • Crowd Control (Tier II): Like Focus mode but wished you could use it more? Get this skill!
  • Nocked Up (Tier III): The crossbow is the only special weapon where you can create ammo out of crafting materials. Might as well add a skill point here to make them hit harder, especially when you get the Drifter Crossbow later in the game.
  • Deadshot, Quick Reload (Tier IV): It’ll take you a while to get here, but these two skills will up your gunplay significantly once you face bigger enemies.
  • Under Pressure (Tier IV): When you want to take on the Hordes in the late-game, this is a must. It lets you pause Focus drain when reloading.
  • Up The Ante, Two Birds One Bullet (Tier V): More ammo + high chance of bullet penetration = saved shot and best way to deal with Hordes via machine gun.

NEXT: How To Take Down A Horde

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