Disco Elysium: Best Skills Explained

There’s no shortage of things to learn in Disco Elysium, all represented by a wide range of skills that you can level up and improve to perform increasingly difficult or strange tasks. We’ve laid out the best skills in our guide below, as well as explaining how skills work.

Read More: How to Get the Body Down in Disco Elysium

Best Skills in Disco Elysium

There’s technically no best or worst skills in Disco Elysium, as the game can be completed (in some form or another) with any combination of skills at any level. The vast majority of objectives have multiple paths that involve different skills and approaches, so no single skill is usually necessary to continue. Not only that, but certain skill checks can be attempted multiple times (though you have to improve the connected skill to try again).

However, there are some skills that come up more than others, or play a more central role. If you’re looking for a streamlined path, you should probably try emphasising these six:

  • Perception
  • Shivers
  • Hand/Eye Coordination
  • Endurance
  • Suggestion
  • Visual Calculus

Not only are these all skills that come up often, there are some key moments that pivot on these skills and on which major events can be changed depending on your success.

Skills and Skill Checks Explained

There are two kinds of skill checks in Disco Elysium - active skill checks and passive skill checks. We’ve explained them both below:

  • Active Skill Checks. These are skills that come up in dialogue that you select from a list of options. You’ll find out in advance how difficult they are and can choose not to do them.
  • Passive Skill Checks. These happen both in and out of dialogue, and happen automatically at certain points with no input from the player. Depending on the check, the player may not even know they’ve happened (such as a passive Perception check to notice a clue failing).

Active Skill Checks can also be red or white. Red checks can only be tried once, and never again - that’s your shot, and if you fail you’ve failed permanently. However, white checks can be retried, but not immediately. Instead, you can only retry them once you’ve increased the related skill.

For example, if you find a white Active Skill Check to evaluate a crime scene that uses Visual Calculus, you might fail and find nothing of note. You can then only try the check again once you level up and improve your Visual Calculus skill (wearing stat-boosting clothes or gaining new thoughts doesn’t count).

Now you got that covered, you should make some cash to stay off the streets. We’ll show you how to make money in Disco Elysium here, or head over here to find your missing badge before you get in trouble for it!

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