Wasteland 2 Character Attributes, Skills and Stats Guide

Tips on Wasteland 2 character attributes, skills and stats to customize your character and party as you progress through the game.

Wasteland 2 presents itself in a classic RPG/turn-based strategy hybrid with little tolerance towards mistakes from your end. One of the most important parts of the game is how you develop your Ranger. This includes your initial selection and how you progress in the game.

In order to survive your hostile environment, you need to educate yourself about some of the different variables involved in shaping your ranger according to your needs. This ranges from the initial attributes you select and goes all the way to every skill point you spend.

In between, you’ll also want to know about derived stats that can affect the performance of your character.

For more help on Wasteland 2, read our Weapons and Armor, Companions Locations and Combat Tips.

Wasteland 2 Character Attributes, Skills and Stats

This guide covers all the essentials you will need to get started with Wasteland 2. First up, we’ll look at some of the premade characters available to you for a quick start.

Premade Characters

If you want to jump into the action quickly, you’ll have a few premade characters to choose from and recruit. These folks are essentially different Desert Ranger archetypes, and give you a quick start to your journey.

Fade is a scout/infiltrator with stealth aspects, utilizing a light submachine gun, and having the innate ability to access areas that others couldn’t. A light, mobile close-quarters character with a keen eye for places that are inaccessible to others.

Starting Skills: Submachine Guns, Lockpicking, Safecracking

Slick is the charmer, the talker, the convincer. It’s not entirely all talk and no action, since a sharp knife is there at the start to make sure there’s a Plan B if the sweet-talk doesn’t work.

Starting Skills: Bladed Weapons, Barter, Kiss Ass, Smart Ass

Big Bert
Dumb, ugly, but extremely strong. Big Bert prefers smashing instead of thinking, so it’s quite easy to know what you’ll be expecting with this big guy. It’s all about throwing, tackling, smashing, and out-powering everything that comes in his way.

Starting Skills: Blunt Weapons, Brute Force, Hard Ass

A steady hand, an eagle’s eye, and a vast experience of handling guns and performing mechanical repairs, Cold-Eye is the ideal sniper archetype.

Starting Skills: Sniped Rifles, Weaponsmithing, Mechanical Repair

Cherry Bomb
BOOM is what you’ll hear when Cherry Bomb is around, though you’ll be left thinking what it was exactly that caused the boom: the shotgun, or the demolitions? If it’s the latter, chances are there’s not a lot left in the area to explore, unless you enjoy the smell of toasted enemies.

Starting Skills: Shotguns, Demolitions, Toaster Repair

When it comes down to patching up your cuts and wounds, Pills is there to provide the services. You’ll need a good medic with you for some clever support. The difference between Pills and a regular doc is how proficient Pills can be with a handgun.

Starting Skills: Handguns, Field Medic, Surgeon

You want a techy character? You got a techy character. Hex is a scavenger who’ll revitalize scraps of technology for his own (or your own) needs. The recruit is smart, and can pack a punch with the trusty Phase Rifle.

Starting Skills: Energy Weapons, Perception, Computer Science

She’s wild, she’s cool, she’s… Okay, she’s not too wild, but she’s a survivor by nature, and an expert in travelling. Of course, she’s not entirely one with nature; you’ll find that out when you get on the wrong side of her rifle.

Starting Skills: Assault Rifles, Hard Ass, Outdoorsman, Field Medic

Widow O’Neill
If you’re not interested in experts and prefer having a more complete recruit, consider O’Neill. She’s a package that contains all sorts of candies inside. Balanced and good at everything, O’Neill will fill the gaps where your Rangers fall short.

Starting Skills: Bladed Weapons, Handguns, Kiss Ass, Perception, Smart Ass, Field Medic

Customized Character

While it’s a good idea to select some of the preset rangers that were shown above, you might want to take the longer but more rewarding route of creating your own customized characters.

It’ll be a bit time-consuming and will need some intuitive judgment, but making a character that suits the way you play RPGs is really the optimal way to go.

Similarly, you could utilize one of the preset Rangers as a ‘precursor’ and simply edit his/her stats.

In order to do create a customized character, you’ll need to click on box on the left hand side of the Character Creation screen. If you want to customize a ranger you have selected, you can do so by clicking on his/her portrait.

The Character Creation screen is made up of two screens. The first is where you will assign the different Attributes and Skills to your character, while the second involves editing the background and appearance. We’re not going to talk about the second screen in this guide, since it’s purely subjective and fairly intuitive.

Character Attributes

The classic system of attributes consists of Coordination, Luck, Awareness, Strength, Speed, Intelligence and Charisma. These attributes all have a starting value of 3, and have 7 points to spend, giving a total of 28 points in the attributes.

Attributes that are considered in the values of 1-2 are poor, 3-7 varying between average to very good, 8-9 is excellent, and 10 is exceptional.

Attributes are less flexible in Wasteland 2 as compared to some of the other conventional RPG games. While they may grow with training and equipment, they won’t be able to completely change their abilities and effectiveness. For this reason, you will need to think carefully when leveling your attributes at the start.

Certain attributes are tied to specific tasks that a Ranger can perform. For example, lacking sufficient Strength may prevent you from using a certain melee weapon, whose requirements will be above yours. Similarly, you might be able to resolve situations easier if you had better Charisma. The attributes along with their functions are explained below:

Coordination is an important attribute as it defines a Ranger’s basic skills, such as hand-eye coordination, balance, and stability. This is the ideal choice for gunslingers and most who prefer ranged weaponry. Coordination influences AP and Ranged to Hit Chance.

Luck is just one of those intangible attributes that edge situations towards favoring you. The stat essentially deals with slightly improving RNGs in the game, such as Critical Hit Chance, Chance to Evade, chance for bonus Action Points in a turn, and chance for bonus CON at level-up.

Awareness is an important attribute, as it allows the Ranger to have a tactical edge in combat. In general, this will improve a ranger’s vision and give them upper hand in most situations, influencing initiative and also improving reflexes. Awareness increases Combat Initiative, Chance to Evade, and Vision Range.

Strength is an attribute that needs no introduction. It’s all about brute force and dealing maximum damage with melee attacks. In addition, strength also improves other areas such as Max Carry Weight, Action Points, Melee Critical Hit Damage, Base CON, and bonus CON per level-up.

Speed doesn’t only determine how quickly you cover distance, but also greatly influences your evasion and reaction time. In Wasteland 2, it is one of the most important attributes to allow tactical movement during combat. Speed influences Combat Speed, Combat Initiative, Action Points, and Chance to Evade.

Intelligence is a very important attribute that influences the bonus skill points your character gets every time he/she levels up. Basically, it is heavily associated with how well and how quickly a character learns.

The attribute itself is more attuned towards helping brainiacs that deal with techs and medicine, but having an intelligent group overall is very useful if you want them to progress in a smooth way.

Intelligence influences bonus Skill Points per level-up, Action Points, and increases one’s ability to read high-level Skill Books.

Charisma is a strange and unique attribute that does not directly impact any kind of derived stat, but it allows one to have better interaction with others in the world and can be vital for recruit companions. Charisma influences Leadership Skill Radius and bonus Experience Point growth.

Derived Stats

Attributes tend to influence different variables known as derived stats. There are numerous different derived stats in the game, and most of them are tied with combat, though not all. These stats are influenced by different factors, attributes being one of them.

The following are the various derived stats:

Action Points
These numbers limit the actions your Ranger can take per turn.

Ranged Critical Hit Bonus and Melee Critical Hit Bonus
This is your chance to score a critical hit on an enemy with the type of weapon you have (ranged or melee).

Combat Initiative
Determines how quickly your Ranger’s turn comes up. I higher Initiative means a ranger is likely to get turns more quickly.

Evasion Chance
Decreases the Chance to Hit for enemies targeting the specific Ranger.

CON or Constitution is your Ranger’s health. MAXCON is essentially the maximum health your Ranger has. Lose it and you’ll enter a critically injured state.

If your Ranger loses further health while in this injured state, he/she will begin to bleed out, and can only be helped by a surgeon using a Trauma Kit. If your Ranger loses all of his/her CON, they will eventually begin to die. There is no coming back once that happens.

Combat Speed
This is the amount of distance a Ranger can cover per Action Point.

Skill Points per Level
This represents the amount of skill points you acquire per level-up to spend on your skills.

Maximum Carry Weight
This value represents the maximum amount of weight you can carry. Each item has a specific weight, and the multiple items you are carrying add up. Inventory is not limited by space, but it is limited by weight.

CON per level
This is the amount by which your health increases every time you level up.

Character Skills

There are 29 skills in total to choose from in Wasteland. These skills are divided into three classifications: 10 of them are Weapon skills, 10 General skills, and 9 Knowledge based skills. Rangers are free to utilize any of these skills and are not restricted in how they can build their character.

At the start, you’ll have 12 skill points to spend, and will gain more each level, depending on your Skill Points per Level value.

Skills can be upgraded from 0 to 10, and upgrading a skill depends on the skill level; levels 1-3 cost 2 points per increase, levels 4-6 cost 4 points per increase, levels 7-9 cost 6 points per increase, and 9 to 10 costs 8 points.

For this reason, you’ll probably want to isolate certain skills that suit your play-style and focus on mastering those.

In general it is a good idea to always learn auxiliary skills that may come in handy as Plan B. For example, if you are a ranged sniper who has mastered skills suited to ranged weaponry, you might still want to invest a slight bit towards the later stages in melee, in case enemies close-in on you.

Weapon Skills

There are many different weapons in Wasteland 2, and all the weapon categories have specific skills associated with them. Deciding what kind of weapon you wish to use for a Ranger is one of the more important responsibilities you have at hand.

It is generally best to have a balanced party that can consists of players with different kinds of weapons.

Assault Rifles
The Assault Rifles are the weapon of choice even after post-apocalyptic events. These weapons are versatile, offer good range, good armor penetration, and have multiple firing modes. They do lose accuracy at close range though, and ammo tends to be harder to find for ARs.

Bladed Weapons
Bladed Weapons include knives and sharp metallic things. They have an insane critical hit chance, but their armor penetration and normal damage is pretty low. Of course, you have to be up close and personal to use such weapons.

Blunt Weapons
You can think of all kinds of nasty looking clubs and crowbars when blunt weapons come into consideration. These weapons deal good damage against enemies with armor, but have a generally low critical hit chance.

If it comes to it, you might want to strengthen your fists for some boxing action. Your fists do very little damage, but they barely take up action points so you can land multiple hits in succession.

Still, you’d much rather prefer a blunt weapon or even a knife over your bare knuckles.

Energy Weapons
Energy Weapons are interesting things because they have an inverse relation with armor. This means that the more armor an enemy has, the more damage output. Why? Well, energy weapons fry up the armor, and we know how good metal is at conducting heat.

Result: enemies boil inside the armor. However, you don’t want to be wasting the precious and hard-to-find ammunition on enemies without armor, as EW will barely do any damage to them. These are special-purpose weapons that should be used only when push comes to shove.

Handguns serve a good purpose as primary weapons and also as secondary firearm in case your assault rifle runs out of ammo. Their ammunition is available easily, and such weapons tend to have great Critical hit chance. The downside is their low armor penetration and poor range.

Heavy Weapons
Perhaps the most powerful weapon type in the game, Heavy Weapons deal massive area of effect damage that can take out multiple enemies… and your allies.

Yup, there is a nasty case of friendly fire associated with such weapons, so going trigger happy isn’t always the wisest choice. Their ammo is very hard to find as well, and they take a lot of AP and cripple the mobility of your character.

Having said that, Heavy Weapons can turn a seemingly hopeless battle in your favor instantly when used properly.

Everyone knows how shotguns work: close-ranged, multi-target, and highly damage. Shotguns are ideal against fools who cluster up together in front of you, and deal a lot of damage to enemies at close range. However, they do not have great armor penetration, and have rather large damage fallout the further away the enemy is.

Sniper Rifles
The high precision, long ranged rifles are the weapon of choice for many Rangers. Sniper Rifles have excellent range, very powerful armor penetration, and can one-shot many enemies from distance.

However, they have very high AP cost, which generally means you can do very little apart form shooting. Sniper Rifles also tend to be less effective when used in close range.

Submachine Guns
Small, portable, and highly inaccurate, these guns are ideal for those who like to spray bullets while close to enemies. They have very little armor penetration, but their rapid fire-rate and ease of use at close range make them great weapons. The ammo for such weapons is also available in abundance.

General Skills

General Skills are more suited to every day needs and not necessarily combative.

Animal Whisperer
With this skill you’ll be able to talk to animals. Certain small sidequests would require you to have this skill. They are pacified when you have it and sometimes can accompany you for small durations.

This skill is associated with how good you are at trading, and works well in reducing the prices of the items you buy. You don’t need to raise the barter on every Ranger – just make sure the ranger with good Barter skills is in close proximity to the one doing the trading.

Brute Force
Brute Force is the Ranger’s ability to kick down, smash and destroy objects around the area. This can be doors, pillars, and even cows. A pretty fun skill to have, and quite useful if you want to break down locked doors, though you might end up destroying some of the content behind them.

Hard Ass
Hard Ass is the ability to talk tough and be highly intimidating during conversations. It gives you more options in conversations and can help in turning situations to your favor.

Kiss Ass
Kiss Ass is the exact opposite of Hard Ass; instead of intimidating, you will be able to persuade people with sweet-talk and flattery.

Leadership is an important skill as it gives the ability to command others and inspire confidence. Some recruits will be reluctant to listen to you in battle or behave erratically, and even leave under certain circumstances. In order to keep your group together, you’ll need good Leadership qualities.

This is a skill for those who enjoy traveling in the World Map. This will reduce the water consumption, and also decrease the chances of random encounters.

Perception is related to observation of your environment. The game will take into account your Perception when you are highlighting objects in the environment around you. Higher perception will allow you to isolate essential items more easily, and give you more options to investigate when you do so.

Smart Ass
Smart Ass comes in between Hard Ass and Kiss Ass. With it, you’ll have options in conversations that will either convince people to agree with you, or simply manipulate and confuse them.

With this skill, you’ll be able to strip down useless weapons for multiple parts. Most of the times these parts will be useless and only good for selling, but at times you can find a modification which can be applied to your weapons to make them more powerful.

Knowledge Skills

These are witty and clever utility skills that are based on intelligence and cleverness. They can vary from lockpicking and alarm disarming to technical stuff like computer science and surgery.

Alarm Disarming
This will allow rangers to safely disarm alarms to get through otherwise inaccessible areas. There are some essential places in the game that require this skill, so make sure you have at least one party member who knows how to disarm alarms.

Computer Science
This tech field allows one to repair and hack computers and electronics, allowing you to take control of systems. More adept CS experts can actually hack robots to join them in battle.

Demolition experts need no introduction. They have two purposes: arming bombs, and disarming them. In the field, you’ll be disarming lots of bombs. Pairing this skill with Perception is very useful, as you’ll be able to spot bombs and mines easily and then disarm them.

Field Medic
Such a skill will allow you to give decent yet limited medical attention to wounded allies. Field Medics restore CON and can use some items to remove certain status ailments.

Needs no real introduction. If you’re a gold digger, you’ll want a good lock-picker in your team to access those closed doors and chests.

Mechanical Repair
This skill gives your ranger the ability to repair machines, engines, and other mechanical appliances. It’s a highly situational skill.

While lock-pickers generally tend to limit themselves to conventional locks and doors, Safecrackers are experts in accessing highly secure safes and vaults. These vaults and safes cannot be destroyed with conventional explosives and gunfire, so you’ll need an expert by your side for such a purpose.

Surgeons are highly specialized rangers who perform surgeries on post-traumatic allies. This means that when a ranger goes down due to injury or is bleeding out, it is only a surgeon who can repair the excessive damage and get him/her back on the feet. Surgeons will also remove and status effect that is gained during injury.

Toaster Repair
This odd skill deals strictly with repairing and dismantling toasters. Who knows, you might just find some weird and interesting stuff inside those bread burners.

Don’t forget to share your own tips with us by commenting below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...