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Best Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader Soldier build

The Warhammer universe was made for you to go pew pew in. Our Soldier guide details exactly how you can make the most of a staggering arsenal.

rogue trader shooting in official key art

What’s the best Soldier build in Rogue Trader? For those of you that like sniping, burning, exploding, or just generally blasting your way through your enemies, Rogue Trader’s Soldier class was made with you in mind. With an impressive amount of weapons in the game – from powerful alien sniper rifles to flamethrowers – Soldiers have the most options available to them when it comes to equipment; furthermore, they’re not half bad with a melee weapon or two if enemies get too personal. While a bit easier of an archetype to build, the Soldier nevertheless requires a bit of nuance to make the most out of as you explore the dangerous Koronus Expanse.

If you’re a fan of guns but not the Soldier’s kit, check out our Operative archetype guide, which also works incredibly well with long ranged weaponry. Otherwise, our Officer guide details how to prepare the archetype for the use of guns. And if you want to forsake ranged weaponry all together in Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader, our Warrior guide has you more than covered. If you’re still keen on a Soldier, read on for the best build.

rogue trader soldier best characteristics in character creation

Best Soldier Build in Rogue Trader

The best Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader Soldier build is:

  • Homeworld: Fortress World
  • Origin: Astra Militarum Commander
  • Characteristics: +10 Ballistic Skill, +10 Agility, +10 Perception
  • Talents: Rapid Reload, Fired Up, Exploit Surroundings, Rack and Ruin, Tactical Disengage
  • Abilities: Controlled Shot, Dash
  • Advanced Archetype: Bounty Hunter

Best Soldier Homeworld

The best Rogue Trader Soldier homeworld is the Fortress World.

Your homeworld provides a bit of background lore for your character, a feature, access to a handful of talents that you can select later, and, most importantly, some buffs and nerfs to starting characteristics. Outside of allocating your characteristics, it’s the most impactful step toward making an effective Soldier; however, you definitely can get away with choosing a homeworld for roleplaying purposes if you’re careful with future level ups.

The easy choice for a Soldier’s homeworld is the Fortress World option. While it doesn’t offer a bonus to Ballistic Skill, the main feature and talents provided are too beneficial for the archetype: Never Stop Shooting builds a resource that, after every kill, improves the chance of an attack not ending your turn or costing any action points. It also comes with a handful of beneficial talents to boost this effect. With a Soldier, shooting more means winning more.

Best Origin for Soldiers

The best Rogue Trader Soldier origin is the Astra Militarum Commander.

Origins provide context for your character as you navigate the Koronus Expanse. It is perfectly fine to choose an origin that interests you from a role-playing perspective, or, if you want to wield some unstable magic powers, become a Sanctioned Psyker.

However, the best origin is the Astra Militarum Commander because it offers a Ballistic Skill and Perception bonus without any detractors. Quite simply put, you’ll want to have both those characteristics as high as possible to make your Soldier an unstoppable damage dealing machine. Furthermore, the Regimental Tactics feature provides a great damage buff for you and your allies once per combat, and it comes with a handful of talents that further benefit a ranged attacker.

selecting soldier talents from a list in rogue trader

Best Soldier Characteristics

You’ll have 30 points to spend in any characteristic of your choosing in chunks of 5. Placing +10 in Ballistic Skill is a must, and so is raising it whenever you have the opportunity as it directly affects your chance to hit. +10 Agility gives you a greater chance to act early and dodge incoming enemy fire. Finally, +10 Perception will decrease your enemies’ chances of dodging your shots. As area-of-attack shots are rather inaccurate, this will help you mow down more foes.

Here are the best characteristics for a Soldier, including the Fortress World homeworld and Astra Militarum Commander origin bonuses:

  • Weapon Skill: 30
  • Ballistic Skill: 45
  • Strength: 30
  • Toughness: 30
  • Agility: 40
  • Intelligence: 30
  • Perception: 50
  • Willpower: 35
  • Fellowship: 25

When leveling up, advance your characteristics in this order: Ballistic Skill, Agility, and Perception. As long as you keep your Soldier out of sight of enemies, you shouldn’t need to raise the Toughness characteristic.

Best Talents for a Soldier

While leveling up the Soldier archetype, you will be able to select 3 common and 5 Soldier talents as you progress to level 16, where you’ll move on to an advanced archetype. The common talents available to you will depend on your homeworld; however, for when you can select a Soldier talent, prioritize these:

  • Level 4: Rapid Reload
  • Level 5: Fired Up
  • Level 8: Exploit Surroundings
  • Level 10: Rack and Ruin
  • Level 13: Tactical Disengage

Rapid Reload is essential for maintaining a full clip and dealing tons of damage. Fired Up and Rack and Ruin, as you’ll be nailing lots of enemies with bullets, will make you more threatening the longer combat goes on for. Exploit Surroundings provides cover bonuses. Finally, Tactical Disengage gives you mobility along with the Dash ability to reposition and stay out of harm’s way.

Common talents are a bit more important for a Soldier build because you’ll want to grab the Fortress World options, including Spare Magazine and Combat Addict, but you’ll also want one of the many weapon expertise talents. From plasma to alien weaponry, the choice is yours, but flame weapon proficiency goes a long way toward clearing out hordes of squishy foes, such as zombies and random henchmen.

Best Abilities for a Soldier

Twice, you’ll be able to select a new ability – a usable skill – for your Soldier. The class automatically comes with Run and Gun (bonus to movement and action points) and Revel in Slaughter (bonus to damage based on agility). If you choose the Sanctioned Psyker origin, you can select a powerful Psyker spell. For a non-Psyker Soldier, select the following:

  • Level 6: Controlled Shot
  • Level 11: Dash

Controlled Shot allows your companion to avoid your area-of-effect shots, of which you’ll be using a lot, and Dash allows you to disengage from enemies safely and reposition.

rogue trader soldier using flame shot against xenos

Best Advanced Archetype for a Soldier

The best Rogue Trader Soldier advanced archetype is the Bounty Hunter.

There’s no difficult choice to make here. Soldiers have access to three advanced archetypes: Bounty Hunter, Master Tactician, and Grand Strategist. The best of the bunch is the Bounty Hunter archetype, which will allow you to mark prey and receive bonuses for defeating them based on their difficulty tier; furthermore, this advanced archetype has several other features, such as Claim the Bounty, which provide extra attacks.

Master Tactician is a good alternative because the advanced archetype builds stacks of tactical advantage, which can be spent to increase the potency of you and your allies. However, you’ll want to spend your action points on attacking rather than buffing, thus the Bounty Hunter is a better choice, and you can have a Master Tactician companion provide the buffs on your Bounty Hunter anyway.

With all this in mind, you’ll have no trouble gunning down all the horrors of the warp and dastardly xenos you come across as you explore the Koronus Expanse. For more on Rogue Trader, check out what we thought about the game in our review; otherwise, our best games like Baldur’s Gate 3 guide has more RPG goodness for you to discover.