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Skill System Overview

Last Updated: October 1st 2023

Season 2 - Blacksail

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Torchlight Infinite's Skill System allows you a lot of flexibility during character creation. Changing your Main Skill alters how your build feels to play, or what content it's best suited for.

You have 5 Active Skills, and 3 Passive Skills, each of which can have up to 5 Support slots depending on how much Energy you spend. This gives you a lot of freedom in building your character.

This is a Skill with 5 supports.

To find out more about how Energy works in Torchlight Infinite check out our Energy Guide here.

Where Do Skills Come From?

You get a selection of skills appropriate for your Hero Trait from several quests while leveling up. The problem is these skills are level 1 and not very useful most of the time. Instead get skills by accessing the Skill menu from your Backpack (bound to K by default on PC), or by talking to the Skill Vendor in town.

Assign Energy here.

Use your Energy menu to manage Supports. Always prioritize assigning Energy to your main damaging abilities, then assign Energy to passive skills such as Auras, Imbues, and Triggers. Finally, divide the remaining Energy among your utility skills such as Defensive, Empower, and Mobility skills. You can change this at any time, but for more information on how Energy works refer to our Energy Guide.

Skill Level

Skills begin at level 1 and normally have a maximum level of 20. You obtain level 21 skills from memory fragments such as Aureole Rock or as drops from Path of the Brave.

A skill's potency scales with its level, but this scaling is not linear, and is different for every skill. When you raise a skill's level with talents, items or hero traits these bonuses add on to the existing level. So if you have a level 20 skill and +2 to level of active skills your skill is level 22, exceeding the normal cap. In general more skill levels are better and many skills have a sweet spot between level 21 and 31. To use Whirlwind as an example this skill sees the most significant scaling between level 26 and 30. You can find more information on how each skill scales in our builder here.

Level 21 Whirlwind is 74% of Weapon Attack Damage.
Level% of Weap Atk DmgIncrease
1865%2%
1966%1%
2068%2%
2174%6%
2279%5%
2386%7%
2493%7%
25100%7%
26108%8%
27117%9%
28126%9%
29136%10%
30147%11%
31148%1%

Tags

Understanding skill tags is an integral part of the skill system in Torchlight Infinite. Tags define how your skill scales and are used to quickly sort skills into broad categories or subdivide a category to differentiate specific behaviors. Most skills have multiple tags. For example Split Firebolt is a Spell, Fire, Projectile, Horizontal, Area skill. In this example the Spell tag defines the general scaling, the damage type is Fire, it's a Projectile skill which fires Horizontally (as opposed to Vertical or Parabolic Projectiles), and the Area tag means the skill has some sort of splash damage.

To find out more about how Skill Mechanics work in Torchlight Infinite check out our Skill Mechanics Guide.

Active Skills

Active Skills form the core of your build, most of the time you'll use an Active Skill to deal damage and kill enemies. Active skills are also used for movement, defense, recovery, and temporary damage buffs. Players often refer to their build by the Active Skill they use for damage, such as saying "I'm playing Ring of Ice Thea." You have 5 slots for Active Skills. The first Support slots unlock as you progress through the campaign, and the rest can be unlocked with Energy. Active skills are broken down into a bunch of sub-categories, so always check the tags!

Restoration, Empower, and Spell are different types of Active Skills.

Pro Tip: Active Skills also have a cost which needs to be paid to use the skill. If your available resource is less than the cost the skill fails and you get a warning on screen.

Main Skill

This is a Main Skill

Your Main Skill is a keyword used by the game that refers to the Active Skill in the first slot. Certain effects only apply to your Main Skill including Thea's Predicted Harvest and Youga's Spacetime Illusion. Items like Surging Inspiration have unique effects which only apply to the Main Skill. There are also several Traits which have bonuses that only apply to the Main Skill. A simple way to ensure your build benefits from Main Skill Traits, Items and Hero Effects is to always put your primary damaging ability in the first skill slot.

For various in-game effects the skill slots are labeled from 1 to 5, top to bottom. The Main Skill is always slot 1. The other skill slots and specific order matter for items like Exquisite Box.

Pro Tip: Trigger skills allow you to place Active Skills in support slots on the Passive Skill section. When the right conditions are met these skills are triggered automatically.

Support Skills

Support Skills are placed in the Support slots for your Active and Passive Skills. Supports are often used to modify a skill's damage, for example Spell Concentration has a large 30.5% additional damage multiplier for area spells. Unfortunately it also comes with the downside of reducing the supported skill's area of effect. Many supports also modify a skill's mechanical behavior. Defense Layers for example can be linked to a Defensive Skill to give the skill 3 charges. When you use the skill all charges are used and the effect scaled based on how many were consumed.

Mana Multiplier

Support Skills all have a Mana Multiplier. This modifies the cost of supported Active Skills or Sealed Mana for supported Passive Skills. A multiplier of 100% means no change, some supports such as Efficient Cast ultimately reduce the supported skill's Mana cost. Others such as Greater Multiple Projectiles greatly increase it in exchange for a powerful effect such as firing 4 additional projectiles.

Each support adds to a Skill's Mana cost.

Warning: You can ONLY support compatible skills. If you are unsure what may be compatible with your skill use the rules text on the support. For example, the above support only applies to Projectile tagged skills.

Passive Skills

Your Mana is a resource, use it!

Passive Skills are placed in the bottom 3 skill slots. They include Auras, Imbue, Trigger and Spirit Magus skills. Unlike Active Skills which have a cost, Passive Skills instead seal a portion of your Mana that you cannot access or spend. As long as it remains sealed your character gains a powerful buff from the Passive Skill. In some cases, such as Aura skills, nearby allies and minions also gain access to the benefits.

Unlike Active Skills you can link Passive Skills to another Passive Skill by placing it in the support slot. You can run up to 6 Passive Skills in each slot, if you have enough Mana to seal.

Pro Tip: You can use Seal Conversion to cause the supported Passive Skills to seal your Life instead of your Mana. This allows you to run even more auras by sealing most of your Life and Mana then relying on Energy Shield to survive.

Precise Skills

Precise Skills are special versions of Passive Skills with additional effects, which are obtained from endgame bosses in the Netherealm, Memory Fragments such as Aureole Rock, and Path of the Brave. Precise skills drop at level 16 from Timemark 7 bosses and level 21 from Spacetime Turbulence (T8) bosses. For example, Precise: Precise Projectiles gains a 50% chance to fire +2 projectiles when using Projectile Skills in addition to the normal effect. You should use the Precise version of any Aura and Imbue skills whenever possible. This is another example of how Versatile Torchlight Infinite's Skill System is.

Endgame builds often use multiple Precise skills.

Special Supports

These auras are supported by Restrain, Selfishness, and Stand as One.

Torchlight Infinite has several special Support Skills which drop from Path of the Brave. They offer powerful bonuses to Passive Skills.

  • Selfless
  • Selfishness
  • Stand as One
  • Restrain
  • Precise: Seal Conversion

To find out what else can drop in Path of the Brave and how to beat wave 45, check out our Path of the Brave Guide here.

Trigger Skills

Trigger Skills are a special sub-type of Passive Skills. They do nothing on their own, but when you place an Active Skill into one of the Support Slots of a Trigger Skill, it seals some of your Mana. Then, once the proper conditions are met the linked Active Skill is triggered automatically.

  • Death Pact
  • Auto Defense
  • Curse on Hit
  • Cast while Channeling
  • Cast on Severe Injury
  • Cast on Critical Strike
  • Cast When Taking Damage
Auto Defense triggers Brisk Wind every 5 seconds.

Pro Tip: Each Trigger Skill also has a Precise version which is more powerful. In the case of Precise: Cast on Critical Strike and Precise: Cast while Channeling the Precise version is much more powerful but seals more Mana.

Summary

  • The easiest way to get skills is by tapping the Skill Menu (bound to K on PC)
  • A skill's level is a big factor in how much damage it deals. Level normally caps at 20, though effects that increase skill level let you scale past this. You can also obtain level 21 skills from endgame activities.
    • Tags are the other big factor in how a skill scales. For example, Split Firebolt has 5 tags. Spell, Fire, Projectile, Horizontal, and Area so it scales off of matching modifiers.
  • A majority of the skills you use are Active Skills. Everything from the skill you use to damage enemies, to your movement and recovery skills. Active skills have a lot of sub-categories and correlated tags.
    • The most important Active Skill is your Main Skill, this always refers to the skill in the FIRST skill slot.
  • Allocate Energy to activate up to 5 support slots per skill slot. Support Skills enhance the properties of the Active or Passive Skill they are linked to.
    • Each Support has a Mana Multiplier, which modifies the cost or Sealed Mana.
  • The bottom 3 skill slots are for Passive Skills such as Auras, Imbue, Spirit Magus and Trigger. They seal a portion of your Mana in exchange for giving a persistent bonus.
    • Precise Skills are a more powerful version of a Passive skill with additional effects. Elemental Resistance gives resistances but Precise: Elemental Resistance additionally gives maximum resistance!
    • Special Supports like Restrain are drop only.
  • Trigger Skills are a special type of Passive Skill that can be linked to an Active Skill. When the correct conditions are met it automatically triggers the linked skill.

To find out more about how Energy works in Torchlight Infinite check out our Energy Guide here.

Credits

Written by Tenkiei
Reviewed by Raxxanterax

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