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This guide covers the Offensive traits in "Remnant: From the Ashes" which benefit the player with increased damage dealing with direct damage buffs, critical hit buffs, attack speed increases and more. Traits are passive bonuses your character has that can be leveled up, increasing the strength of the effect up to their max level of 20. These bonuses can grant a variety of buffing effects that make your character more powerful and increase their abilities.
Offensive traits are the passives which boost your overall damage output and come in threee varieties. There is one set of traits that benefits both melee and ranged damage with a set of specific traits for each respectively. The general traits, specifically Executioner (crit chance), Kingslayer (crit damage) and Exploiter (weakspot damage) are incredible bonuses that are definitely worth maxing out as soon as possible, since they will increase your damage output significantly in all situations, being further enhanced by the rest of the offensive traits.
Last Updated For: Subject 2923 DLC (August 20th, 2020)
Damage Dealing Traits
- Executioner: Increases critical hit chance.
- Kingslayer: Increases critical hit damage.
- Exploiter: Increases weak spot damage.
- Wisdom: Increases elemental damage. *NEW*
- Armor Piercer: Increases damage against armor.*NEW*
- Last Resort - Increases damage when near death. *NEW*
- Cold as Ice: Increases damage dealt to enemies attacked from behind.
- Tormentor: Increases duration of status effects. *NEW*
- Demolitionist: Increases explosive damage. *NEW*
- Mind's Eye: Increases ranged damage.
- Trigger Happy: Increases fire rate.
- Quick Hands: Increases reload speed.
- Handling: Reduces gun spread and recoil.
- Sleight of Hand: Increases weapon swap speed.
- Rapid Strike: Increases melee attack speed.
- Warrior: Increases melee damage.
- Hard Charger: Increases charge attack damage. *NEW*
Note: Traits are listed in terms of my own analysis of their overall importance and impact, starting with the best trait to max out first (Executioner) and ending with the least important or impactful (Cold As Ice).
Keep in mind, for Offensive traits, this is per category, so ranged and melee damage are not less important than the general traits as a whole, though the first three (Kingslayer, Executioner and Exploiter) should be done prior to branching off to the ranged or melee traits. If you disagree with me or have a reason why this order should be changed, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments section below!
Trait Guides Navigation
- Core Stat Traits
Traits that boost Health, Stamina and Movement Speed
- Offensive Traits <-- You Are Here
Traits that benefit damage dealing with ranged and melee weapons.
- Defensive Traits
Traits that benefit damage reduction, armor, resistances, healing and stealth.
- Mod Traits
Traits that benefit mods, giving bonus damage, duration and power generation.
- Item & Resource Traits
Traits that boost XP Gain, Consumables and Crafting Materials
- Co-Op Traits
Traits that benefit multiplayer situations, like reviving others, exclusively.
Simply the best damage increasing passive trait due to the fact that Executioner lets you cause more critical hit's at a base level, setting yourself up for further insane damage amplification down the road. As great as the next two traits are, it is important to max out Executioner first as this will have the greatest effect overall, and you need to apply the crit damage bonus more often before making it stronger.
|+1.25% Crit Chance Per Level||+25% Critical Hit Chance @ 20|
Executioner is obtained by defeating the Ixilis world boss in Corsus. You can find them in either Story or Adventure Mode.
Once Executioner is maxed out, Kingslayer becomes the next best source of increased damage for your character. Now that you are criting more often, making those hits even stronger, from a +50% base bonus for criting to +75% damage when you land a critical hit.
|+1.25 Crit Damage Per Level||+25% Critical Hit Damage @ 20|
Kingslayer is unlocked by defeating the Undying King world boss in Rhom. You can only encounter him in Story Mode, in the final area of Rhom, when you open the sun temple. You can start the fight with him before or after traveling to Corsus, by denying him the heart (Refuse options).
Most enemies have specific weakspots located somewhere on their bodies, sometimes only vulnerable at certain points in time. If you can learn where these are as you play the game, you will put out significantly more damage focusing on trying to hit them when possible.
Getting Exploiter will increase the damage bonus you get from shooting a weakspot (melee hits cant target weakspots) which in turn, stacks with the multiplier from critical hit bonuses. Because of this stacking effect, grabbing Exploiter after maxing out Executioner and Kingslayer will allow you to land absolutely devastating hits on enemies when you crit them with a weakspot hit at the same time, something that becomes relatively easy to do as you learn where to shoot and have these traits maxed out.
|+1% Weakspot Damage Per Level||+20% Weakspot Damage @ 20|
Exploiter is obtained by defeating 150 enemies through weakspot damage. Landing the killing blow with a weakspot hit is actually quite easy and should happen naturally within a few hours of regular play, as weakspot hits, shown to you in red numbers, do large amounts of damage that reduce their health significantly, if not one-shoting them entirely.
*Requires Subject 2923 DLC
One of several new traits released with the Subject 2923 DLC, Wisdom provides a nice bonus to all of your elemental damage, something that should benefit anyone using at least one boss weapon or elemental offensive weapon mods. This trait still isn't as global as the others above it, but combined with the others, can help keep pushing your potential dps to ridiculous heights.
|+0.5% Elemental Damage Per Level||+10% Elemental Damage @ 20|
The Wisdom trait is unlocked as part of the story mode progression in the Subject 2923 DLC. When you first finish unlocking Resium by removing the Root Heart covering the portal in Ward Prime, you will receive Wisdom.
Another new trait added in the Subject 2923 Pre-DLC patch, Armor Piercer helps increase damage done to armored sections of enemies, usually seen by their grey damage numbers. Stands in line with the Kingslayer, Executioner and Exploiter traits to help provide a considerable flat bonus to your damage dealing.
Not all enemies have armored sections on them and even those that do, you should always be trying to aim for their unarmored or weakspot sections anyways. Since nobody's perfect of course, or when facing enemies that have an abundance of armored areas (like the Iskal Queen) Armor Piercer helps you out in those moments for sure.
Armor Piercer's Effects
|+1% Damage To Armor Per Level||+20% Damage To Armor @ 20|
Finding Armor Piercer
To unlock Armor Piercer, you need to deal a collective 5,000 damage to the armored sections of enemies. The fastest way of getting to that number would probably be playing through Rhom and going through the outdoor areas where you'll find a lot of the spear-men and large elephant tusk melee guys, that wear the deer skull masks. Those masks are their armored sections, and they are easy to see and focus on, netting you a lot of progress towards Armor Piercer.
Another alternative to try to farm if it is more your liking, the Unclean One boss in Corsus has a big armored belly that is easy enough to shoot. It could be possible to unlock the trait in one or two battles if you focus on aiming at his armored sections, given the large amount of health it has.
Other than those two fast options, Armor Piercer is definitely going to unlock through normal play, even if you don't go out of your way to get it, since you'll frequently end up contributing to it just attacking the things you normally do.
*Requires Subject 2923 DLC
The first thing to point out about Last Resort, is the "Low Health Damage" it refers to, basically just means this damage bonus does not kick in until you are down to 15% of your total health pool. This is uncomfortably close to death to make significant use out of as a build, even with great gear and traits, however it is very handy when you are facing down a boss or elite enemy that is charging you, and you both have just a sliver of health left. Having a 20% buff kick in right when you need it might help tip the scales a bit more in your favor in those last ditch moments.
Last Resort's Effects
|+1% Low Health Damage Per Level||+20% Low Health Damage @ 20|
Finding Last Resort
Last resort is unlocked after beating the final boss of the Subject 2923 DLC, Harsgaard. You will only find this boss in a story mode run, as they do not spawn in Reisum adventure mode. Like the Dreamer, this is also a two stage fight.
Cold as Ice
Cold As Ice can be both difficult to get and limited in its use, however when it comes into play, can help with the other stacking bonuses along with a lucky critical hit, to apply big damage to a target. Definitely more valuable for people playing a lot of co-op games, since you'll rarely see the backs of enemies in single player, unless they haven't yet aggressed you.
Since this works on enemies already engaged as long as you are shooting or striking them from behind, it makes you able to take advantage of a boss chasing one of your alies around, limiting the amount of kiting they'll have to do, which I'm sure they'd thank you for if they could.
Cold as Ice's Effects
|+0.5% Backstab Damage Per Level||+20% Backstab Damage @ 20|
Finding Cold as Ice
To get Cold As Ice you will need to encounter the world boss Brabus in Earth Story Mode, with a co-op player coming along with you. When you encounter Brabus you will be commanded to fire on your team-mate before the fight begins, unless you have the Pocket Watch, which provides a friendly outcome that results in the Bandit Armor Set received, and must be used in this interaction, then the world re-rolled, with Brabus found again without the Pocket Watch in your inventory, to allow the fight to happen.
You will need to win the fight against your team-mate and down them to unlock the Cold as Ice Trait. Only the winning player will receive it, so having more than one team member is not advisable if you can avoid it, unless they are working with you. Also choosing not to fight your ally, which eventually starts the boss fight itself, will not result in anyone getting the trait.
Tormentor is one of the five new passive traits added in the Subject 2923, pre-dlc patch. Benefiting the duration of status effects you cause, it is one of the least direct increases to your damage dealing, but still has a powerful effect when you consider that enemies you cause Bleeding to or light on Fire, will now take damage for 30% longer than they would have before. Of course, you have to actually use a weapon or mod that will cause these effects and Tormentor is less helpful if your build happened to be keeping those effects up frequently to begin with.
|+1.5% Status Duration Per Level||+30% Status Duration @ 20|
To find Tormentor, you have to apply 100 status effects on enemies. If you are utilizing weapons that deal with these effects, it will happen soon, but if you want to rush it, I would recommend the Corrosive Armor mod for it's quick stack application and the Spitfire mini flamethrower gained by defeating the Singe world boss on Earth. Both of these items can quickly apply multiple stacks of their status effects, making the time to unlock Tormentor relatively short.
One of the new traits added in the Pre DLC Subject 2923 patch, Demolitionist gives a flat bonus to all explosive damage. There aren't a lot of weapons that use explosive damage or can benefit as far as I am currently aware, so this is a bit limited in it's benefit. Some of the items that do benefit are the Explosive Shot mod and the Pride of the Iskal pistol.
|+0.75% Explosive Damage Per Level||+15% Explosive Damage Dealt @ Level 20|
To unlock the Demolitionist trait, you need to kill 100 enemies with explosive damage. The fastest way I have found of doing this, is using the Pride of the Iskal boss weapon pistol you can get from defeating the Iskal Queen, as it's primary fire actually deals explosive damage, the only weapon I know of to do so. As mentioned above, you can also use Explosive Shot mod obtained from the earth boss Brabus.
While I am not certain if other weapons can qualify, I would recommend trying to unlock this with any weapon or mod effect that has an explosive effect to it, like Spore Shot, if the above two options are not available to you.
- Ranged Damage Traits -
Mind's Eye is a great, basic buff to all of your ranged damage, best taken after the crit chance, crit damage and weakspot damage bonuses considering their multiplicative effects and the overall lower percent bonus of Mind's Eye compared to the other traits.
The one downside is Mind's Eye is locked behind the final story mode boss fight, however if you have maxed out the 3 traits I mentioned already, it makes fighting the Dreamer MUCH easier. The reason for this is that during that final boss fight, you can get damage buffing stacks that stack with crit and weakspot buffs, along with nice good windows of opportunity to lay into weakspots.
Mind's Eye's Effects
|+0.75% Ranged Damage Per Level||+15% Ranged Damage @ 20|
Finding Mind's Eye
Mind's Eye is unlocked by fighting and defeating the final boss in the Story Mode, The Dreamer. You can not find this boss in adventure mode.
On the Dreamer Boss Fight: In the first Dreamer stage of the fight, shoot his head for weakspot damage. In the second stage, the Nightmare version will expose the dreamer as though it was it's "heart" at certain points. Shoot the dreamer at the center of the monster to deal insane damage numbers.
Were it not for the fact that ammo is such a big limiter to damage dealing in this game, Trigger Happy would be farther up on the list. Unfortunately spending bullets faster isn't always a good thing in Remnant, but if you focus on the other traits first, you should have progressed enough to be able to afford Ammo Box consumables to replenish your bullets when you run dry between checkpoints or during boss fights.
Incredibly powerful with the Bandit Armor Set because of it's effect that essentially refunds you bullets. If you plan on using this set heavily early on, it might be more worth your while to prioritize Trigger Happy over some other offensive traits.
Trigger Happy's Effects
|+1% Fire Rate Per Level||+20% Fire Rate @ 20|
Finding Trigger Happy
Trigger Happy is unlocked by leveling up any of the normal (non-boss) ranged weapons to level 20. This requires progressing through the game a fair bit to get the higher crafting materials and finding a Simulacrum for the final level 20 upgrade.
While Quick Hands increases your damage application by reducing the downtime between clip reloads, you'll find the biggest relief in that you won't be wrecked as hard anymore when you suddenly have to reload your gun while enemies are charging you. That alone was a big enough reason to max out this trait for myself personally.
Pro Tip: Remember you can reload while dodging, so if you trigger the reload, then roll away from an enemy, you can be ready to fire again by the time you stand up, thus limiting your vulnerability there.
Quick Hands' Effects
|+1.25% Reload Speed Per Level||+25% Reload Speed @ 20|
Finding Quick Hands
Quick Hands is unlocked by defeating either The Ent or Singe, both world bosses on Earth that can be found in either Story or Adventure Mode.
A more limited bonus depending on the weapon you're using, Handling definitely has a greater effect on rapid fire weapons prone to missing shots on medium to long range targets due to their kick. Weapons like the SMG, Assault Rifle and Chicago Typewriter will obviously benefit the most due to their rapid fire nature, with others like the Shotgun and Coachgun getting a reduction to their kickback making for better follow up shots. This trait does not increase their range, so while it may make the shot spreads tighter (haven't confirmed this fully) it still wont prevent the sharp falloffs of damage experienced with those weapons at range.
|-1% Spread & Recoil Per Level||-20% Spread & Recoil @ 20|
Handling is automatically unlocked after acquiring any 10 ranged weapons with your character. You can purchase a couple of the basic ones from the Ward 13 vendors. From there, most bosses killed will drop a crafting material that allows McCabe to craft a boss weapon for you, many of them being ranged.
Sleight of Hand
Sleight of Hand might be worth moving up a notch or two on the list in terms of priority, considering the way mods work, you are also swapping between you're two slotted skills. Part of what has this down the list some for me is just the reason that it's kind of a pain to get unless you naturally use all the weapons often enough to get this through regular play.
Getting the kills needed across all the weapons for Sleight of Hand is complicated, as mentioned below, due to the fact you cant tell how many kills you've gotten per weapon (correct me if I'm wrong please). Once it is unlocked though, a 50% speed increase is pretty considerable, allowing you to more safely pop off-hand mods or swap to your other weapon that still has ammo when one runs dry.
Sleight of Hand's Effects
|+2.5% Swap Speed Per Level||+50% Firearm Swap Speed @ 20|
Finding Sleight of Hand
To unlock Sleight of Hand, you will need to acquire 100 kills each, with 10 different weapons. This can actually be a bit tricky to keep track of, since as far as I know, the game does not give you any read-out as to how many kills you've made with each weapon. Personally I just tried to stick to using a pistol and long rifle I haven't used much before, for long periods of time before switching out to a different one.
If someone knows of a way of seeing the exact number of kills each weapon has made I would love to know in the comments section below!
- Melee Damage Traits -
Rapid Strike wins out over Warrior for damage increasing because while the base damage increase of Warrior has a stronger DPS effect, Rapid Strike also has a defensive benefit in keeping you moving faster, thus less susceptible to attacks from monsters assisting your targets or just getting whacked on in general because you were still in a melee animation when you needed to dodge.
Definitely gets a plus since its worth some level of utility alone for the ranged players, since it helps with breaking objects faster and making your emergency melee strikes quicker to follow up from.In addition, should you choose to level up the Arcane Strike trait, your melee weapon will generate extra mod power over your ranged ones, giving you a means to more quickly fill the casting circle in a pinch.
Rapid Strike's Effects
|+0.75% Attack Speed Per Level||+15% Melee Attack Speed @ 20|
Finding Rapid Strike
Rapid Strike is unlocked by leveling up any of the non-boss melee weapons to level 20, which requires finding a fair bit of all four tiers of crafting materials, and a single Simulacrum for the final level 20 upgrade.
Of course we have the base damage increase to Melee weapons, only last on it's list due to the fact there are only two melee specific traits and the other, Rapid Strike, has benefits besides increased DPS to consider. Like the Ranged damage buff, Mind's Eye, maxing this out once you have Executioner and Kingslayer maxed out, you can deal some pretty high damage numbers.
With the release of Subject 2923, melee weapons were changed to apply weak spot damage, but at a significantly reduced amount, bonus wise, than their ranged counterparts. While this allows you to take some advantage of stacking bonuses, it still doesn't help with the fact its probably hard to hit a lot of weak spots in melee.
|+1% Melee Damage Per Level||+20% Melee Damage @ 20|
Warrior is unlocked via the Ward 13 vendor Ace for those choosing the Scrapper class. For the other classes, players will have to find the random event, A Tale of Two Liz's on Earth in either Story or Adventure Mode. You will find this in an area called Land's End, connected via The Warren, and inside you will be tasked with defending two sisters from several waves of enemies. Saving at least one sister will unlock the Warrior trait, however saving both gets you a key that leads to receiving the Chicago Typewriter.
*Requires Subject 2923 DLC
Hard Charger grants a damage bonus to melee charge attacks, which are the powered up swings your character makes when holding down the attack button. Since it stacks with the other melee traits, it is worth fully leveling those before putting any points into this trait, as the others benefit you with normal strikes as well.
Hard Charger's Effects
|+1% Melee Charge Damage Per Level||+20% Melee Charge Damage @ Level 20|
Finding Hard Charger
Hard Charger is unlocked after defeating the World boss duo, Brudvaak and Vargr, found in Reisum. You can encounter them in either story or adventure mode and as they are the only world boss of Reisum, are guaranteed to spawn.
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