The best Saints Row perks and how to unlock them

Knowing how to unlock the best Saints Row perks and the differences between minor, major, and elite will help you take on the many gangs of Santo Ileso

Saints Row Perks

Want to power up your boss with the best Saints Row perks? The leader of the Saints can make use of many perks during their criminal endeavours, each offering a range of potential benefits. While your list of perks might start off small, by the end of this open world game you’ll have a wide range to choose from. Make sure that before anything though, you check out our top tips for beginners in our Saints Row guide.

The perk system in Saints Row is quite complicated though, because you need to unlock perk slots with one method before unlocking perks themselves comes via challenges. We’ve got all the details on how to unlock perks and perk slots at the bottom of this guide, after our picks for the absolute best Saints Row perks you need to equip yourself with and the complete list of all perks in the game.

The best Saints Row perks by tier

Perks are split into three tiers — Minor, Major, and Elite — which gives a general idea of how powerful each one is. This is also reflected in the amount you can equip at once. While it’s possible to equip two Minor and two Major perks at all times, you can only have one Elite.


  • Dead Eye – This lets you reload faster after a headshot kill, which is incredibly useful for weapons with a slow default reload speed. Pairs well with most combat-related perks.
  • Close Call – Nitrous boosting is something you should be doing on all vehicles once unlocked, and this perk allows you to do it even more often. All it takes is some dangerous driving.
  • In the Flow – Flow is used for all skills (and is needed for a handful of perks), so having it stay with you between battles is incredibly helpful.


  • On the Down Low – Notoriety can potentially build quickly, especially on higher difficulty levels. On the Down Low helps mitigate this by lowering notoriety gain when causing general mayhem.
  • Dual Wield – SMGs can feel a little weak, so having 2 of them is more than welcome. This perk also goes well with the slow, high damage pistols.
  • Eagle Eye – The takedown reduction of this skill is significant, essentially allowing you to instant kill a regular enemy after a few headshot kills. Pairs well with Dead Eye and takedown-related perks.


  • Surgical Strike – Another headshot perk, and one of the earliest Elite perk unlocks. Chaining headshot kills allows you to deal a lot of damage quickly.
  • Rampage – An alternative to Surgical Strike, trading high burst damage for more consistent firepower — assuming you don’t want to use skills at least.
  • Ride Eternal – Makes vehicles almost immortal, especially if they’ve been upgraded a few times.

Full Saints Row perk list

This is the full list of Saints Row perks, from Minor through to Elite.


Perk Name Effects Challenges Needed
Tactical Training You move faster when crouching and when using fine aim. 0
Death Race When you’re close to death, you can run a lot faster. 1
In the Flow You never lose flow except when you perform a skill. 2
Close Call The vehicle you’re driving gains more boost time when you have a near miss. 3
Gunslinger You can shoot from the hip more accurately. 5
Sneak Attack You do more damage when you attack from behind. 6
Fire Resistant You stay in control while on fire and take less fire damage. 8
Dead Eye After you get a headshot kill, your reload speed increases. 9
Loot Grab You automatically pull in nearby cash and ammo. 11
Shock Tactics Tase enemies who hit you with a melee attack. This perk has a cooldown. 12
Trampoline You gain more altitude on a wingsuit bounce. 15
Speed Demon You can boost for longer while driving. 18


Perk Name Effects Challenges Needed
On the Down Low All actions generate less notoriety. 4
Scavenger You collect more rounds when you pick up an ammo box. 7
Full Contact Reduce the cooldown of your takedown when you kick an enemy then kill them. 10
Fast Learner You receive a bonus on XP earned. 13
Nihil Obstat Non-player Saints do more damage. 14
Shiny & Chrome You do more damage when sideswiping in a car. 16
Dual Wield When wielding pistols or SMGs, you hold a weapon in each hand. 19
Back Off! After you kick an enemy, your bullets do more damage to them. 20
Flow Gambit You deal less damage but gain more flow whenever you hit an enemy. 24
Not Dead Yet You can regenerate twice the amount of health in combat. 26
Lust for Life Your health starts regenerating as soon as you kill an enemy. 28
Finishing School Takedowns sometimes make nearby enemies cower in fear. 32
Eagle Eye You reduce the cooldown of your takedown when you get a headshot. 36
Juggernaut [Currently unknown, but will be updated when we know the full description.] 42


Perk Name Effects Challenges Needed
Saving Throw Gain two health bars when your health is depleted. This perk has a cooldown. 17
Surgical Strike Temporarily do more damage for each precision kill (up to five) made in quick succession. 22
Ride Eternal The vehicle you’re driving gains health whenever you destroy another vehicle. 30
Big Finish You gain double the amount of health from takedowns. 34
Dodge Baller You temporarily do more damage after dodging a melee attack. 38
Rampage You do more damage when your flow meter is full. 40

How to unlock perks and perk slots

While perk slots can be bought with money, actually unlocking perks requires skill bank balance. Saints Row perks are unlocked as you complete challenges, with a specific number of challenges required for each. Challenges are accepted from your cell phone menu, under Missions, and are small tasks that can be completed alongside larger missions, such as finding and photographing Saints Row fast travel locations.

  • Minor Perk slot one: “Making Rent” mission completion
  • Minor Perk slot two: Spend $10,000
  • Major Perk slot one: Spend $25,000
  • Major Perk slot two: Spend $100,000
  • Elite Perk slot: Spend $250,000

Now that your boss is kitted out with the best perks, you’re ready to take on all of the challenges found dotted across the Saints Row map, or hunt down one of the best Saints Row cars from our list.