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Atomic Heart upgrade guide - what skills to upgrade first


Atomic Heart upgrade guide - what skills to upgrade first

In Atomic Heart, we get a neuropolymer gauntlet that can do a lot: freeze enemies, lift them into the air, create a shield and scatter polymer, slowing opponents and increasing elemental damage. Yes, and it is also possible to improve the skills of Nechaev himself. But what to take in the first place? In this guide, we will look at the best skills and leveling options.

To improve abilities, you need a neuropolymer - a material obtained from defeated opponents. Depending on the “strength” of your enemy, the amount of the polymer will differ: ordinary laboratory assistants (“Vovchiks”) give one or two units of neuropolymer, but their black version, which is much stronger and more dangerous, rewards the player with ten units at once. Therefore, for pumping, you must constantly engage in battle with the inhabitants of the Enterprise.

Luckily, you don't have to worry about getting the wrong skill or not being able to change your play style. Any pumped ability can be “rolled back” and the entire spent neuropolymer returned, so that later the resource can be distributed to other skills without any penalties.

If you rollback one of the first skills in the upgraded branch, everyone dependent on it will be rolled back. For example, if you return the neuropolymer from the skill "Eleanor's Kiss", the entire branch "Character" will be reset. The player will then see the following message.

Therefore, you can change Nechaev's build with peace of mind even in every break room, trying different abilities and styles of play.

What skills are available to Nechaev

A P-3 can use three active abilities in total. Shock is basic and always in the arsenal - it cannot be changed to another skill, as it is often used to solve puzzles. You can activate this ability by pressing the V key.

The other two slots can be filled with four abilities: Chill, Mass Telekinesis, Polymer Throw, and Polymer Shield. Slots for them are located on the Q and E keys.

On what the skills themselves do:

  • "Cold" - releases a stream of cryopolymer from the glove, which freezes enemies and spilled polymer, making it impossible for opponents to move;
  • "Mass telekinesis" - will lift most opponents into the air, and also inflicts quite a lot of damage on them when fully pumped;
  • Polymer Throw - Shoots a stream of common polymer from the glove that can be sprayed onto enemies or surfaces. The polymer can be electrified, set on fire, or frozen.
  • "Polymer Shield" - creates a shield around the character, which absorbs some of the attacks of opponents and charges the character's energy.
What skills are available to Nechaev

What skills are available to Nechaev

What skills are available to Nechaev

What skills are available to Nechaev

What skills are available to Nechaev

The "Character" and "Character Energy" branches are also available in the repair cabinet. In the "Character" branch, you can find very useful abilities, such as a double dash, additional inventory slots, or an increase in running speed. The "Character Energy" contains skills aimed at increasing the amount of energy or the speed of its regeneration.

What active skills to choose in Atomic Heart

But what should you choose first? First, let's decide on a set of skills that we will use in battle. After going through several options, we settled on "Mass Telekinesis" and "Polymer Throw".

"Massive Telekinesis" allows you to keep enemies in the air for a long time, calmly shooting them with ranged weapons, and also get rid of some of the enemies while you deal with the remaining group in hand-to-hand combat. In addition, while leveling, telekinesis deals damage to uplifted enemies and all you need to do is land a couple of finishing blows as soon as they fall to the ground.

"Polymer Throw" becomes a great addition to "Mass Telekinesis", as well as other game mechanics - cassettes. Douse enemies with polymer, use Shock, or set fire to enemies with weapons, then raise them with Massive Telekinesis, and voila! Most of the enemies by the end of the "flight" will be ready for finishing off or completely dead.

What about other skills? Chill is a good option when fighting infected enemies, but its main feature - immobilizing enemies - is often useless. The fact is that for freezing it is necessary for the enemy to stand for some time under the stream. "Mass telekinesis" copes with this task just as well, if not better.

"Polymer Shield" sounds good, but it's still much easier to dodge enemy attacks and keep your distance. And the skill will not protect against really strong attacks at first, which is what is said in the description. Therefore, it is much more efficient to give the second slot for an attacking skill. And since we have already eliminated two of the four skills, the choice is obvious.

Of course, no one is stopping you from using a shield and freeze - if you like these abilities, feel free to upgrade them. But we settled on the option above.

In what order to pump skills in the "Character" branch

Given the ability to “shuffle” the neuropolymer between skills, as well as the number of enemies that Major Nechaev has to fight, sooner or later you will be able to fully upgrade two or even three skill branches. But it is better to do it gradually, opening the most important abilities as early as possible.

To get started, pump the skills "Mass Telekinesis" and " Polymer Throw", opening the very possibility of using abilities on Q and E. This alone will greatly increase your attacking abilities, especially in the early stages, when there is almost no ammunition for firearms.

Then go to the "Character" tab, which opens during one of the first meetings with Eleanor's repair cabinet:

  • The Boar skill will increase your health, which is always useful;
  • The "Neurocompression Paratrooper's Backpack" skills will increase the maximum number of slots in your inventory by 20 units in total and save you from the need to constantly clean your inventory.
To level them up, you first need to buy the Volumetric Cassette Players ability, which is a nice addition. This skill increases the number of hits or shots that will deal elemental damage when using a cassette.

To use cassette guns, the weapon must have the appropriate upgrade. You can open the cassette installation menu by middle mouse button (MMB), select the desired option with the wheel, and press the right button (RMB) to install.

We advise you to pump the “Morning Runs” skill at the moment you enter the open world since the increased running speed in the future can save you an hour or two and speed up the exploration of the world of Atomic Heart. But if you do not have enough speed inside the first complex, you can take the skill already then.

Then we open the skills "Second wind" and "Slippery type". The first will allow you to make two consecutive dashes, which greatly increases your mobility on the battlefield. "Slippery Type" allows you to completely ignore some of the attacks of opponents and even bosses, making you invulnerable during a dash. The main thing is to guess in time the moment when the enemy's attack touches you.

Other useful skills are Cell Division, Parkour, and Sleight of Hand and No Cheating. But each of them can be attributed to rather situational.

Passive regeneration will save on first-aid kits, but there are quite a lot of them in the game at medium and high difficulty levels. You don't have to jump from high places very often, but changing weapons happens pretty quickly anyway. But if you experience problems in any of the situations described, feel free to buy.

The left side of the branch is given to skills that increase your survivability - resistance to various types of damage, and maximum health, and allows you to heal with one hand, shooting back and fighting off opponents. Pump up these skills if the enemies kill you too quickly.

The order of pumping active skills

Mass telekinesis

Branches of active skills can be pumped in the order in which you want. Among the skills of "Mass Telekinesis" it is worth highlighting the abilities "Barotrauma" and "Power Boost". The first just allows you to inflict periodic damage to enemies hovering in the air, and the second will allow you to lift heavy opponents.

polymer cast

In the "Polymer Throw" branch, it is worth taking a closer look at the "Composition Efficiency" skill, which increases the damage of an electrified, ignited, or frozen polymer. The rest of the skills are generally equally useful, and when pumping them, you should focus on the style of the game.


The "Shock" branch should also not be bypassed. The skills "Chain Lightning" and "Advanced Topology" will allow you to hit three opponents with lightning at once. The Resistor Failure ability increases incoming damage against electrified enemies and works well with the Composition Efficiency skill from the Polymer Throw tree.

Character energy

Finally, from the “Character Energy” branch, we may only need the first ability “Specific Energy Consumption”, which increases available energy. At least, at the average level of difficulty, we did not experience problems with the energy of the character.

Of course, this is only an approximate direction. Upgrade your skills the way you see fit, based on possible opponents, your equipment, playstyle, and difficulties.

Alternative - "Cold" and "Polymer Shield"

If you feel like changing your playstyle and trying out new skills, you can replace one of the active abilities or even both.

"Cold" is especially useful against living enemies, who are worse than robots to endure low temperatures. Useful skills from this branch will be "Intensive Spray", "Absolute Zero" and "Careful Dismantling".

Intense Spray will increase the speed at which enemies are frozen. "Absolute Zero", by analogy with the skill from "Mass Telekinesis", will deal periodic damage to frozen opponents.

"Gentle Dismantling" is in some way a unique skill that allows you to increase the amount of loot dropped from enemies if they were destroyed in a frozen state.

If you decide to pump "Polymer Shield", we recommend that you pay attention to the skills "Neuropolymer Reflector" and "Improved Kinetic Reflector". The first will allow you to reflect any ranged attacks back at the enemy, and the second will unlock the potential of the shield, allowing you to block strong attacks, as well as return damage to opponents.

* * *

Atomic Heart encourages experimentation and gives the player the opportunity to try all existing skills. Once again, we repeat that you need to focus primarily not on the guide, but on your own tastes. Chop robots into cabbage under the Soviet remixes is always more interesting if you act on instincts, and not according to someone else's training manual.

We would be grateful if you could describe your character builds and how you feel about the game - maybe we missed some powerful abilities.