The best Saints Row Skills to unlock and use

Saints Row skills pineapple express grenade
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Picking the best Saints Row Skills to level up and use in combination with others can really boost the power and abilities of your character. There are a total of 19 Skills that can be unlocked in Saints Row through earning XP, but as you can only have four active at once through the app on your in-game phone you need to choose them wisely, as well as ensuring that you have sufficient Flow points to spend on them. With the right Skills you receive powers such as a flaming punch, stuffing grenades down pants, and launching enemies into the air with an anti-gravity trap. Here's the lowdown on how to unlock Skills in Saints Row and which are the best ones to use.

How to unlock and use Saints Row Skills

(Image: © Deep Silver)

Skills are unlocked as you level up by earning XP in Saints Row. You can see all the Skills by looking at the Skills app on your in-game phone. Once you reach level 2, you’ll be able to unlock your first Skill – called ’Pineapple Express’ – and from then on, you’ll unlock one Skill per level up to level 20, so there’s no need to make any tricky decisions about which Saints Row Skills to unlock whenever you level up. Skills are also not to be confused with Perks, which offer passive benefits and are unlocked through challenges!

Saints Row skills slots in combat

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

However, you can only have four Skills equipped at once. This means you’ll need to decide which four Skills you want to have prepared and ready to use by holding R1/RB and then tapping the relevant face button that you’ve bound the Skill to. You can freely change these Skills around too, in case you want to try out new ones and find your ideal setup. Some of the Skills are also just Health Upgrades that make you a little harder to kill, and Flow Upgrades that increase the number of Flow points you have to spend on using Skills.

All Saints Row Skills

Saints Row skills phone app pineapple express skill

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

These are all the Saints Row Skills you can unlock. Six of them are passive upgrades to your Health and Flow, so you’ll need to choose four of the remaining 13 to occupy your Skill slots that you can use in combat by spending Flow points.

  • Pineapple Express: Unlocked at level 2. Grab an enemy, shove a grenade down their pants, and toss them away.
  • Smokescreen: Unlocked at level 3. Drop a smoke bomb to briefly hide yourself and confuse your enemies.
  • Proximity Mine: Unlocked at level 4. Toss out a sticky mine that detonates when enemies are nearby
  • Health Upgrade 1: Unlocked at level 5. Adds an extra bar to your total health.
  • Tough Mother: Unlocked at level 6. Gain a temporary health boost that can also negate staggers.
  • Frag Out: Unlocked at level 7. Toss out a frag grenade that detonates after a few seconds.
  • Flow Upgrade 1: Unlocked at level 8. Grants an extra Flow point to spend on Skills during combat.
  • Flaming Punch: Unlocked at level 9. Attack with a powerful, fiery fist.
  • Health Upgrade 2: Unlocked at level 10. Adds another bar to your total health.
  • Transfusion: Unlocked at level 11. Activate to convert damage you deal to enemies into health for you and allies for a short time.
  • Overscope: Unlocked at level 12. Equip a powerful sniper rifle that causes enemies to explode when hit with a headshot.
  • Impulse Trap: Unlocked at level 13. Toss out an anti-gravity device that makes enemies vulnerable by lifting them into the air.
  • Flow Upgrade 2: Unlocked at level 14. Grants another Flow point to spend on Skills during combat.
  • Health Upgrade 3: Unlocked at level 15. Adds one more bar to your total health.
  • Berserker: Unlocked at level 16. Temporarily increase the damage of your melee attacks.
  • Intercession: Unlocked at level 17. Call in a few Saints as reinforcements.
  • Quickdraw: Unlocked at level 18. Equip a powerful revolver, then fire to quickly target and shoot up to four enemies.
  • D4th Blossom: Unlocked at level 19. Spin and flip wildly while firing guns to send bullets in all directions. The D4th Blossom SMG is also one of the many Saints Row weapons that you can buy.
  • Flow Upgrade 3: Unlocked at level 20. Grants one more Flow point to spend on Skills during combat.

The Best Skills in Saints Row

Saints Row skills phone screen overscope skill

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

From what I’ve played of Saints Row, I found these Skills to be some of the best so far. If you have a preferred playstyle in mind, you might find that other Skills suit your style a little more, but these ones are sure-fire hits when it comes to combat.

  • Pineapple Express: This is the first Skill you unlock, and it should definitely be one of your go-to Skills to use in a fight. Activating Pineapple Express guarantees a kill on the person unfortunate enough to get a grenade in their trousers and then has the potential to deal lots more damage, provided you’re able to toss your victim into a crowd of other gang members. It’s also very funny.
  • Frag Out: Tossing out a frag grenade is as simple and effective as it sounds. It’s not massively powerful but always comes in handy if you need to destroy vehicles or clusters of foes, particularly if they’re behind cover. The Proximity Mine is a good alternative, however.
  • Smokescreen: Depending on where you’re fighting, good cover can be a bit hard to come by, so the Smokescreen Skill gives you a good opportunity to briefly obscure yourself to reach safety or disorient the enemy enough that they won’t be able to land a killing blow on you.

Of course, sometimes the best skills depend on context. If you're working with a friend, the powers that heal your allies will go down very well. And if you do plan on playing with friends, check out our Saints Row crossplay to see what hope there is for cross-platform compatibility!

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.