Atomic Heart skills take inspiration from the likes of Bioshock or Fallout, bolstering various aspects of your loadout. While melee and ranged weapons can be upgraded via crafting machine NORA, your character utility and polymer glove abilities can only be enhanced by unlocking skills in the relevant skill trees. Not only can Atomic Heart skills strengthen the core elements of your kit, they can also open up new synergies, making build experimentation viable as you battle through Sechenov’s synthetic creations.
You can unlock Atomic Heart skills by spending Neuropolymer, though the amount you’ll need for each upgrade differs. Starting from the middle of each skill tree, you can unlock more skills whenever you like, provided you have the requisite Neuropolymer in the FPS game. Here’s everything you need to know about the best Atomic Heart skills.
Best Atomic Heart skills
Here are the best Atomic Heart skills and their categories:
- Amplified Modulator – Shok
- Second Wind – Character
- Morning Exercise – Character
- Neuro-Compression Tactical Backpack – Character
- Juggler – Character
- High Pressure – Frostbite
- Forced Defrost – Frostbite
- Forced Fall Acceleration – Mass Telekinesis
- Increased Power – Mass Telekinesis
- Mixture Efficacy – Polymeric Jet
- Overload and Destabilize – Polymeric Shield
- Kinetic Reflector – Polymeric Shield
- Energy Density – Energy Management
- ATP Recycling – Energy Management
Atomic Heart skill trees
Atomic Heart skills are divided up into the following skill trees:
- Mass Telekinesis
- Polymeric Jet
- Polymeric Shield
- Energy Management
The hexagonal nodes that appear in Atomic Heart skill trees indicate active skills that must be installed in order to be used. Only two active skills may be installed at any one time, and you can only see their effects when using them out in the open-world game.
Conversely, the connecting square nodes are passive skills that offer specific buffs to yourself, your Atomic Heart weapons, or your polymer glove’s abilities. They don’t need to be installed or activated – once they’re unlocked, you’ll feel their effects immediately.
An electromagnetic ranged attack that can disable Pchela’s and Dandelion cameras with one blast – all robotic targets are especially vulnerable to this, including Atomic Heart bosses. It can also be used to activate mechanisms.
Everything that isn’t related to a specific ability. These skills allow you to increase your inventory capacity, maximum health, grant you an extra dodge, damage resistance, and more. As our Atomic Heart tips guide will attest, what these skills lack in flavour, they make up for in utility.
When you unlock the Cryo Jet ability, you can fire cryopolymer at enemies to freeze them in their tracks. Skills here allow you to increase the effectiveness of this, including range and the damage targets receive when they defrost. It’s a great elemental ability to have on hand – literally – without having to shell out for Atomic Heart cartridges.
This allows you to raise all enemies in the vicinity into the air and suspend them there, but make sure you get Forced Fall Acceleration to deal damage when they crash into the ground. If you’re having trouble with managing telekinesis via your polymer glove, check out our guide on how to throw in Atomic Heart.
Much like Cryo Jet, Polymeric Jet sprays combat polymer. This can be manipulated by the elements – fire, electric, and freeze – to deal damage of that type to all enemies hit by the polymer.
Fancy having a forcefield around you? The Polymeric Shield essentially reduces the damage you take, and the available skills add things like an explosion when you disable it, redirecting ranged projectiles back to enemies, and more.
Energy Management is fairly simple – it’s all about getting more energy through power cell upgrades, recycling lost health into energy, consuming less energy per shot, and more.
Before you get too wrapped up in the upgrades for your favourite Atomic Heart skills, ensure your own rig doesn’t require an upgrade first by checking out the Atomic Heart system requirements. We’ve also got all the answers when it comes to an Atomic Heart romance, as well as the complex Atomic Heart endings, which vary depending on the decisions you make.
Developer Mundfish has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after it was alleged that the Russian government stands to gain financially from the release of Atomic Heart. This is due to the fact that investors involved in financing Mundfish include GEM Capital, an investment fund whose founder has ties to Gazprom and VTB Bank, both of which are majority-owned by the Russian state.
Further, Mundfish is partnering with VK (formerly Mail.RU) for the Russian release of Atomic Heart, evading sanctions on Steam. VK is also majority-owned by the Russian state through Gazprombank, and Mundfish’s CEO is a former Creative Director at Mail.RU.
With Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, many players are choosing to boycott the game in protest and donate money to organisations like The Ukraine Crisis Appeal, International Rescue Committee, and the British Red Cross.