Understanding Dragon Age Inquisition Abilities, Tactics, Attributes, Behaviors

By   /   Nov 19, 2014

Controlling and managing your party members is an extremely important part of Dragon Age: Inquisition, for which you’ll need to make yourself aware of most of the content in the Hero Menu.

The options is strictly related to how you behave and function in combat, and the character leveling and inventory system is also embedded in it.

For more help on Dragon Age Inquisition, read our Specializations Quests, How to Gain Companions Approval and How to Romance All Characters.

Dragon Age Inquisition Abilities, Tactics, Attributes, Behaviors

In this guide will look at the concepts behind the Abilities, Tactics, Attributes, and Behavior parts of the menu, all of which will become very important regions of exploration and management in your campaign.

Dragon Age Inquisition Abilities
The Abilities tab in your Character menu is where you will get your core skills from.

Inside the abilities menu, there are many different skill trees which branch down into multiple connected abilities. This is essentially the active leveling system for all your characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Each ability tree contains active abilities, upgrades, and passive abilities. Active abilities are in the shape of a diamond, while passive are circular.

Many active abilities are also flanked by smaller abilities attached to them – these are upgrades for the ability they are attached to, and boost them in a certain way.

Characters in Dragon Age level by earning experience, which is acquired through either killing enemies or completing quests. When you level up, you gain one ability point, which can be spent in any of the abilities in the tree of choice.

Note though that these abilities are in ‘tiers’, and are interlinked, so you do not have access to all of them at the start. You’ll have to invest in the more preliminary abilities before you can make it further down the tree.

Once you learn an Active ability, they are automatically slotted into a hot-key or button when learned. However, you can change it to your liking by customizing the button for the ability you need.

All you have to do is select a learned ability from the tree followed by the Apply function, then press the desired key or button to map it. You can only map eight abilities at one time, in two sets of 4, so make sure you choose wisely.

Dragon Age Inquisition Tactics

Tactics are the tab after Abilities, and are pre-set orders that you can assign your party members to carry out during battle.

Tactics are designed to make battles more convenient, as you do not have to individually control, place, and attack with every party member. Note that Tactics only really apply to party members that you are not in control of.

During this time, they will automatically choose which attacks to carry out according to the abilities you have selected and prioritized in the Tactics menu.

In this menu, all the active abilities that a character has learned will show up. At this time, you can decide which abilities the character should prioritize, which he/she should use, and which one he/she shouldn’t use at all.

Dragon Age Inquisition Attributes

Attributes are more subtle aspects of your characters, and define various stats as well as any offensive and defensive bonuses.

Bonuses to attributes are often seen in certain weapons and equipment, which will boost a specific attribute. There are multiple types of attributes, which are detailed below.

Basic Attributes

The character’s physical strength and ability. Each point increases attack (warriors only) and guard damage bonus.

The character’s agility, reflexes, and coordination. Each point increases attack (rogues only) and critical damage bonus.

The character’s connection to the Fade and ability to manipulate it. Each point increases attack (mages only) and barrier damage bonus.

The character’s intelligence and deviousness. Each point increases critical chance and ranged defense.

The character’s strength of mind and personality. Each point increases attack and magic defense for all classes.

The character’s physical robustness and endurance. Each point increases health and melee defense.


The attack stat increases all damage that a character does.

Guard Damage Bonus
Increases the damage against enemies under the effect of guard.

Armor Penetration
Each point of armor penetration ignores one point of the target’s armor when inflicting damage.

Barrier Damage Bonus
Increases the damage against enemies that are under the effect of Barrier.

Critical Damage Bonus
Increases the extra damage inflicted with a critical hit.

Critical Chance
The chance to score a critical hit for each attack.

Main-Hand Damage
How much damage the weapon in the character’s main hand inflicts with each hit.

Off-Hand Damage
How much damage is inflicted by the character’s off-hand weapon.

Bleed on Hit
The chance per hit to inflict a bleed effect on the target. The effect lasts a few seconds.

Stagger on Hit
The chance per hit to stun the target. The effect lasts a few seconds.

Heal on Kill
Amount of damage to be healed by each killing blow.

Flanking Damage Bonus
The damage bonus, as a percentage, when attacking a target from the side or behind.


Magic Defense
The percentage of damage resistance to all magical or elemental attacks.

Melee Defense
The percentage of damage resistance to all melee physical attacks.

Ranged Defense
The percentage of damage resistance to all ranged physical attacks.

Cold Resistance
The percentage of damage resistance to cold damage attacks.

Electrical Resistance
The percentage of damage resistance to electrical damage attacks.

Fire Resistance
The percentage of damage resistance to fire damage attacks.

Spirit Resistance
The percentage of damage resistance to spirit damage attacks.

Enemies must first damage the character’s guard, if any, before they can damage health.

Armor Rating
Physical damage is reduced by a character’s armor rating.

Armor Rating Front
Physical damage inflicted on the character from the front is reduced by armor rating before being applied.

A character whose health drops to 0 falls unconscious and is unable to attack.

Maximum Health
The maximum amount of health a character can regain from healing.

Bleed on Being Hit
The chance per enemy attack on the character that the attack inflicts a bleed effect on the enemy.

Stagger on Being Hit
The chance per enemy attack on the character that the attack stuns the enemy.


Focus is a resource that you gain each time someone in your party deals damage. Each party member has a personal focus meter, but all party members gain focus when a single member deals damage.

Maximum Focus
The maximum amount of focus this character can generate.

Focus Gain Bonus
Focus gained from all sources is increased by this percentage amount.

The current amount of mana/stamina a character has.

Maximum Mana/Stamina
The maximum amount of mana/stamina a character can have.

Combat Experience Points
The character’s current experience points.

Character’s current combat level.

Cooldown Modifier
Reduces the cooldown on all of the character’s abilities.

Dragon Age Inquisition Behaviors

Lastly is the Behaviors Screen. Behavior is essentially an extension of Tactics, except that instead of focusing solely on active abilities, it focuses more on utility.

This can range from the way a character manages his/her stamina to the frequency of potion consumption, and more. Like Tactics, these behaviors are more evident when you are not controlling a party member.

Mana/Stamina % Reserve
If mana/stamina falls below this threshold, the party member will stop using abilities that require it.

Targeting Behavior
Choose targets by following another party member’s target or by prioritizing threats to another party member—use this to make the selected character follow or defend a party member of your choice.

Healing Potion Reserve
Party member will not use healing potions if this many or fewer remain.

Healing Potion % Threshold
When the party member’s health falls below this threshold, they will use a healing potion.