GOW Ragnarok: Best Atreus Skills [Tried & Tested]

Atreus has a wide array of unlockable skills for you to use in combat, but some of these skills are much stronger than others, and I'm here to list those.

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.

Best Atreus Skills Compared

Investing in Atreus’ skills in God of War can greatly enhance both combat and the overall gameplay. Out of 28 skills, here are some of my favorite Atreus skills in God Of War Ragnarok:

Skill NameBest ForCostEffects
Watchful ProtectorThe Best Skill For Sharing Aggro750 XPAtreus draws enemy aggression towards himself when Kratos is surrounded by enemies, giving Kratos time to heal.
Dive into BattleThe Best Skill For Closing Distances500 XPWhen 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.
Focus ShotThe Best Skill For Charged Shots500 XPCharge up arrows for increased damage and knockback; deals bonus damage upon successful headshots.
Dextrous ShotThe Best Skill For Headshots1000 XPDeals additional damage with repeated headshots.
Bludgeoning StrikesThe Best Skill For Stunning Foes500 XPAs 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.
Archer’s ReversalThe Best Skill For Parrying750 XPGrants Atreus a parry mechanic, allowing him to perform parries for additional stun when timed correctly.

Instinct Skills

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

The Best Skill For Sharing Aggro.
Type Instinct
Cost 750 XP

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.

Watchful Protector, a great beginner skill
The Watchful Protector skill (Image Credits: eXputer)
  • 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

The Best Skill For Closing Distances.
Type Instinct
Cost 500 XP

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.

Showing the Dive into Battle skill
The Divine into Battle skill (Image Credits: eXputer)
  • 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.

Archery Skills

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

The Best Skill For Charged Shots.
Type Archery
Cost 500 XP

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.

Focus Shot, an incredibly powerful early-game skill
The Focus Shot skill (Image Credits: eXputer)
  • 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

The Best Skill For Headshots.
Type Archery
Cost 1000 XP

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.

Showing the Dextrous Shot skill
The Dextrous Shot skill (Image Credits: eXputer)
  • 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.

Aggression Skills

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

The Best Skill For Stunning Foes.
Type Aggression
Cost 500 XP

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.

The stun-heavy Bludgeoning strikes display
The Bludgeoning Strikes skill (Image Credits: eXputer)
  • 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 Best Skill For Parrying.
Type Aggression
Cost 750 XP

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.

Showing the Archer's Reversal skill
The Archer’s Reversal skill (Image Credits: eXputer)
  • 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.

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.

God of Wae
My Hours in God of War Ragnarok (PSN ID: ELiTExNoGuns)

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.

Summary

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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Haris Umer is a Guides Writer on eXputer who can be seen torturing himself by playing FromSoftware’s offering of Souls games. He speaks about games with overwhelming passion, which readers can spot in his guides. Haris has been avidly playing video games for 15+ years now. You can learn more about his gaming experience through his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors In Medicine And Surgery.

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