God of War Ragnarok introduces a variety of skills for Atreus in the form of skill trees. There are 3 skill trees for Atreus in GOW Ragnarok, each of which adds a unique layer and feel to the gameplay. However, like most skill trees in other games, you often need to choose which skill you unlock first.
- Author’s Note: After going through God of War Ragnarok for several weeks on PlayStation, I feel confident going into the topic with thorough experience.
The grind to get each skill is often a commitment that you’re stuck with for some time. Hence you need to be careful which one you pick. So let’s jump right in and see my picks for the best skills for Atreus in God Of War Ragnarok!
Best Atreus Skills Compared
All information on Aterus skills:
|The Best Skill For Sharing Aggro
|Atreus draws enemy aggression towards himself when Kratos is surrounded by enemies, giving Kratos time to heal.
|Dive into Battle
|The Best Skill For Closing Distances
|When playing as Kratos, completing a father-and-son combo triggers a prompt, allowing Atreus to use a powerful rope-grapple finisher. When playing as Atreus, he can grapple onto enemies and apply the status effect of the current Runic arrow.
|Soaring Eagle Eye
|The Best Skill For Dealing Multiple Hits
|When playing as Kratos, Atreus has a chance to shoot a barrage of arrows at enemies. When playing as Atreus, he can slow down time after launching an enemy into the air.
|The Best Skill For Charged Shots
|Charge up arrows for increased damage and knockback; deals bonus damage upon successful headshots.
|The Best Skill For Headshots
|Deals additional damage with repeated headshots.
|The Best Skill For Runic Arrows Spam
|Permanently grants Atreus an additional Runic Arrow, increasing his stun and damage potential.
|The Best Skill For Stunning Foes
|As Kratos, Atreus can trip enemies to do a beatdown that applies heavy stun damage. When playing as Atreus, holding the Light attack will trip and strike an enemy to apply heavier stun.
|The Best Skill For Parrying
|Grants Atreus a parry mechanic, allowing him to perform parries for additional stun when timed correctly.
|The Best Skill For Counterattack
|When playing as Kratos, Atreus has a chance to do a counterattack with a powerful arrow shot to the ground after parrying an enemy attack. As Atreus, he can launch enemies airborne after a successful parry.
The Instinct Skills boost Atreus’ attack and combo potential when you’re playing as Kratos. Some Instinct skills also have a separate ability when you play as Atreus. These skills encourage you to use Atreus as a supporting character more often, relying on his toolset and abilities to help you take down enemies and create a strong synergy between him and Kratos.
1. Watchful Protector
In the early game, where you only play as Kratos, I must say, the Watchful Protector is a priority skill to get. This ability allows Atreus to draw enemy aggression towards himself when Kratos is surrounded by hordes of enemies, giving him time to heal.
- Why I Chose This: Watchful Protector is pretty effective in early game as Atreus diverts enemies attention towards himself making combat easy for Kratos.
Reducing aggro towards you is a huge benefit, and that benefit given to you for 750 XP is a steal, making this one of the best skills for Atreus in God of War Ragnarok. Watchful Protector can get you out of tons of trapped situations where you feel like you’re cornered. With Atreus sharing enemy aggression, you can use that to your advantage and take out enemies one by one.
- Draws enemy aggression, best for surrounded situations.
- Sharing aggro gives healing time to Kratos.
- Can not help if Atreus is already dealing with enemies.
- Not activated if playing with Atreus.
2. Dive into Battle
Once you start playing Atreus, I suggest you to unlock this skill early, as this has 2 abilities. When you’re playing as Kratos, completing a father-and-son combo triggers a prompt, allowing Atreus to use a powerful rope-grapple finisher. On the other hand, playing as Atreus, you’ll be able to grapple onto enemies and strike them down, applying the status effect of your current Runic arrow onto them.
- Why I Chose This: Dive Into Battle provides a finisher to Atreus with Kratos and its best utility is unlocked while playing as him to grapple onto foes.
Dive into Battle is a great example of a unique skill that changes its ability according to the situation while maintaining its effectiveness. You can use it in combat regardless of who you’re playing as, and the power itself is also incredibly strong.
- Effective in reducing distance between Atreus and enemies.
- Can also apply status effect of Runic arrow equiped to the grabbed enemy.
- The Father-Son combos only occur at special encounters.
- Can not grapple enemies from afar.
3. Soaring Eagle Eye
Soaring Eagle Eye is the next skill you should unlock after Dive into Battle. Once unlocked, Atreus has a chance to shoot a barrage of arrows at enemies when you’re playing as Kratos. Additionally, you could also slow down time after launching an enemy into the air when you’re fighting as Atreus.
- Why I Chose This: Soaring Eagle Eye is best in dealing multiple blows to single enemy and also has a chance of throwing large number of arrows at enemies when playing as Kratos.
Just like Dive into Battle, Soaring Eagle Eye is a multi-purpose skill but with much more variety and usage. For the XP it takes to be unlocked, this skill gives you the most bang for your buck and allows you to squeeze in as many hits as you can.
- Effective in dealing multiple blows to enemies.
- Can stagger enemies, helpful when playing as Kratos.
- During time slowdown, melee is not much effective.
- Slightly high XP cost.
The Archery skills primarily enhance Atreus’ ranged combat. You can use these both when you play as him or Kratos. This is due to their main goal being to extend Atreus’ combos and combo damage via arrows which can be done regardless of who you’re controlling. Most Archery skills will only strengthen either Sigil arrows or Sonic arrows, so I’ll look at those skills that generally improve your skillset.
1. Focus Shot
Focus Shot is a strong beginner skill in God of War Ragnarok that lets you charge up your arrows before shooting them, increasing the damage and knockback of every arrow you charge. This skill also deals bonus damage upon successful headshots.
- Why I Chose This: Focus Shot significantly increases your arrows’ dmg and also increases the status effect of the arrow and deals extra dmg on headshots.
Focus Shot adds another layer of options, where you can choose how effective and quick you want your arrows to be depending on the situation. As such, I consider this skill to be extremely useful since this slight upgrade provides incredible value if you’re reliant on the arrows. And if you’re a good shot, then you’ll surely welcome the additional damage this gives when playing as Atreus.
- Increases the dmg of normal arrows as well as status build-up.
- Knocks back smaller enemies, providing openings for Kratos
- Needs to be charged while playing as Atreus.
- Usefulness diminishes if the shot miss the target.
2. Dextrous Shot
Dextrous Shot is another essential skill that massively raises Atreus’ damage output. This skill deals additional damage with repeated headshots. While the effectiveness of Dextrous Shot is variable when you play as Kratos, it plays a significant role in Atreus’ sections in the game.
- Why I Chose This: If you are good with your aim and can deal headshots more often, then Dextrous Shot would increase your dmg output exceptionally.
With careful aim, you’ll be able to take out stronger enemies easily. Therefore, if you have strong accuracy, I recommend you to make this skill your optimal choice.
- Deals substantially increased dmg upon headshots.
- Makes the already strong headshots even more useful.
- Dealing Headshots is difficult on moving targets.
- Requires multiple precise shots to trigger.
3. Arrow Surplus
I consider Arrow Surplus to be an incredibly powerful skill that permanently grants Atreus an additional Runic Arrow. This ability alone increases Atreus’ stun and damage dramatically, as you can spam these arrows for an increased duration.
- Why I Chose This: Runic Arrows have great dmg and stuns many enemies and Arrow Surplus provides an additional arrow making it possible to spam them.
The sheer amount of potential Arrow Surplus brings to the table makes this easily one of the best skills for Atreus in GOW Ragnarok. It’s an ideal choice against enemies and bosses with a more prominent posture where more ammunition especially come in handy. You can also massively extend your Kratos combos with this skill as well since the increased stun and more juggling will lead to longer air and ground combos against hostiles.
- Runic Arrows provide decent dmg and status build-up.
- Permanently increases your max Runic Arrows by one.
- Has a very high XP cost to unlock.
Aggression Skills are somewhat similar to Instinct, where damage and melee combat take priority. When you play as Kratos, every skill under Aggression has a different ability compared to when you play as Atreus. Hence, I’ll look at the best skills that are great under both circumstances.
1. Bludgeoning Strikes
Bludgeoning Strikes is a stun-focused skill. As Kratos, Atreus can trip enemies to do a beatdown which applies heavy stun damage during combat. Additionally, when you’re playing Atreus, you can hold the Light attack to trip and strike an enemy and apply heavier stun by continuing to hold the Light attack.
- Why I Chose This: Bludgeoning Strikes can effectively stun many enemies and provides great support to clear groups in both Atreus and Kratos encounters.
This skill carries a lot of stopping power that takes advantage of the tripping mechanic. I must say, it’s ideal to use the skill on larger arenas where further stunning the enemy gives you more breathing room so you can clear out the rest of the arena while the stun effect wears off.
- Stuns an enemy, leaving him vulnerable to dmg.
- Useful for both Atreus and Kratos battles.
- Cannot be used on multiple enemies.
- Useless against bosses or strong opponents.
2. Archer’s Reversal
The Archer’s Reversal focuses on stunning the enemy, just like Bludgeoning Strikes, but grants Atreus a very special ability in the process – Parry. The parry mechanic with Atreus works similarly to Kratos with his shields. If you time your blocks well, you get a parry and earn additional stun.
- Why I Chose This: Archer’s Reversal is a must-have Skill if you like to parry your way through the game and stun enemies.
In my suggetion Archer’s Reversal is a must-have skill since a rewarding mechanic like parrying will pretty much become essential after a steep climb in difficulty towards the end game. Having this also means you won’t be forced to have stun-heavy relics like Motsognir’s Call and instead have relics that improve other attributes.
- Parrying can leave enemies stunned for more dmg.
- Parry is easy to execute and the reward is worth it.
- Atreus doesn’t parry often when playing as Kratos.
- Not useful if you prefer to dodge attacks instead of parrying.
3. Warrior’s Reversal
Warrior’s Reversal is the last in my list and the final skill in the Aggression skill tree which further adds to the parry mechanic for Atreus. While playing as Kratos, Atreus has a chance to do a counterattack with a powerful arrow shot to the ground when he parries an enemy attack. As Atreus, however, you can launch enemies airborne after a successful parry mid-combat.
- Why I Chose This: Warrior’s Reversal further buffs Atreus’ ability to parry with a strong counterattack with Kratos and launches enemies upward if playing as him.
It’s important to remember that you need to have Archer’s Reversal unlocked beforehand to access Warrior’s Reversal since it’s the last skill in this skill tree. Other than that, this is a superb skill that justifies its cost with strong counterattacks.
- The counterattack deals substantial HP and stun dmg.
- Can be used to launch enemies upwards when playing as Atreus.
- Has a high cost to unlock.
- The counterattack has a chance to trigger with parrying.
Other Honorable Mentions
Here are some other options to consider while choosing the best skill for Atreus in God of War Ragnarok.
- Cunning Eagle Eye: Part of instinct skill tree, slows down time after a successful parry.
- Hex Debilitation: Empowers Atreus’ Sigil Arrows, causing enemies affected by them to become more vulnerable to Stun.
- Deceptive Eagle Eye: Useful against bigger and tougher enemies, slows down time after a last-second evade.
My Take On The Best Atreus Skills
When playing as Kratos, Atreus’ archery skills are going to be the most helpful, especially the Arrow Surplus Skill, which increases the total number of Runic Arrows. The aggression should get second priority as these not only make him stronger as a companion but also powerful as a playable character during certain sections.
Archer’s Reversal and Warrior’s Reveal are two extremely useful skills that were really helpful in the majority of Atreus Sections. I cannot stress enough that parrying and counter-attacking after a successful parry is essential to beating these end–game enemies as Atreus, which is where these skills come in.
In God of War Ragnarok, Atreus’ abilities have a massive impact on the game itself. Whenever I’m playing as Kratos or Atreus, his abilities are crucial in many situations. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you focus on his abilities just as much as Kratos since major portions of the game focus heavily on Atreus’ combat.
That wraps up my complete guide on the best skills for Atreus in God of War Ragnarok. Be sure to check out my guide to getting Muspelheim seeds in God of War Ragnarok, where you can test out your newly unlocked skills.
You can also consider reading up on my guide on all Draugr Hole locations as another way to put your skills to work. If you instead want to get even stronger and more capable, you could also check out this guide on the best armor sets in God of War Ragnarok and how to get them.
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