How to get skill points in Rise of the Ronin and level up

Rise of the Ronin skill points
(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

Rise of the Ronin skill points, player level and the act of levelling up aren't especially well explained in-game, with the best skills all locked behind either generic skill points, or the tree-specific "Rare Skill Points," specifically called Strength, Dexterity, Charm or Intellect points. There's actually loads of different ways to obtain skill points, but that's sort of the problem - rather than a single standardised system for getting skill points, there's multiple ways to do it, none of which are given any more prominence than any other. 

That's why I'm going to clarify the whole thing in the guide below, so you know how to level up, increase your core stats, and earn skill points in Rise of the Ronin. Nobody becomes a master warrior without understanding self-improvement.

How to get more skill points in Rise of the Ronin

Rise of the Ronin skill points

(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

Skill points in Rise of the Ronin, whether general or tied to the specific Strength, Dexterity, Charm and Intellect trees, are given to the player as they complete certain progression paths. Here's all the ways that'll grant you skill points, either common or rare:

  • Level up through experience gain. The simplest and clearest method: as you gain experience through gameplay, levelling up will grant you Skill Points.
  • Investing Karma in Veiled Edge Banners. Players earn Karma in Rise of the Ronin through gameplay too, then once the bar is maxed out, it can be banked at a Banner checkpoint or automatically once a mission is completed, rewarding you with skill points. If killed before then, you'll have a "Vendetta" with the enemy that slayed you, and will have to kill or critical hit them to get your Karma back, which they've taken.
  • Increasing weapon proficiency. Each of the Rise of the Ronin weapons has a progression bar developed through frequent use, certain levels of which grant skill points as rewards.
  • Using "Treatise" consumables that grant a single skill point. Treatises are one-use books that simply grant you a Skill point, either general or rare, depending on what you find. These can be sold by merchants, found through exploration, or given as quest rewards.
  • Completing Region bond levels. Completing all the activities in a region grants the player some skill points.
  • Completing in-world side quests and tasks. Finding cats, praying at shrines and glider challenges, among others, reward players with skill points. If it helps motivate you, you'll get plenty of Rise of the Ronin Silver Coins doing this too.
  • Increasing your bond with specific characters to certain levels. Allies you acquire throughout the game have "bond" trees, representing your level of friendship with them. As you improve this, certain levels will give you skill points, usually appropriate to that character - a friendship with a geisha improving Charm, or an inventor aiding your Intellect.

Beyond this, players can have certain temporary stat buffs earned through all manner of factors - their equipment, the allies currently on the team, and even the title they use.

All stats in Rise of the Ronin explained and how to improve them

Rise of the Ronin skill points

(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

Once you have skill points, there's a slightly indirect method in which you use them to increase core stats, and how the core stats relate to your actual gameplay abilities. Here's how it works:

  1. Spend skill points to learn new skills
  2. As you acquire skills in skill trees, the core stat attached to that tree will improve (so every few Dexterity skills learned increases your Dexterity score by 1)
  3. Those core four stats then inform passive abilities that affect gameplay (listed below).

Consequently, there's a cyclical little element whereby skills inform stats, which inform factors like damage and defense, which generally make gameplay easier and allow you to earn more skill points. Here's what stat informs what gameplay element:

  • Strength: Improves primary weapon damage and passive defense.
  • Dexterity: Improves secondary weapon damage and stagger power.
  • Charm: Improves poise (resistance to Ki damage), Ki/Stamina recovery and Luck (item drop rate)
  • Intellect: Improves infliction (speed of triggering status ailments on enemies) and Adaptability (resistance to status ailments inflicted by enemies)

Of course, while there's plenty of skills to learn, they're not all equal - which is why we put together a guide on the best Rise of the Ronin skills and abilities here!

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.