Marvel’s Spider-Man has a rather simplified set of Skill Trees, separated into three easy-to-follow branches that offer skills covering three core mechanics – engaging in combat (Innovator), defending incoming attacks and preserving health (Defender), and moving around the sprawling city of New York, pulling off aerial attacks with more efficiency (Webslinger).
While some skills are earned within a short while, you need to put in plenty of hours to unlock many of the better skills, and understanding which ones are the most important is going to aid you greatly.
You’ll earn Skill Points as you progress through the story, complete Side Quests and unlock the wealth of Tokens the game has to offer, so you’re never short of options to earn them. Some skills are mere improvements on your attacks and movement, but the following 10 skills will help you gain huge advantages in a multitude of avenues, making the various outposts a walk in the park, and the later missions much easier to complete.
1. Extended Perch Takedown (Innovator)
This skill is essential when engaging in stealth missions thanks to the extra reach it provides, which helps you take out enemies who are quite a distance from you when you're observing your targets from the top of a building or a tall lamppost. Having this skill provides the ability to perform Perch Takedowns from a higher distance, meaning taking out unsuspecting guards becomes a lot easier.
After surveying the area by pressing R3 to deem it safe enough to perform a Perch Takedown, press Square to fire webbing towards your target and pull them to your position, tie them up, and leave them hanging in a constricting web without anyone having a clue what just happened.
2. Rifle, Shield, and Launcher Yank (Innovator)
There are a lot of enemies brandishing weapons of all varieties, and unlocking this skill means that pressing Triangle will result in you using your web to steal them right out of their hands. It can be unlocked relatively early and is vital when facing enemies intent on blowing you to smithereens with rocket launchers or filling you with bullet holes from their machine guns. It renders them weaponless, and enables you to beat them senseless without any real means of retaliation.
3. Collateral Damage (Innovator)
Pressing L1 and R1 together lets you use nearby objects to hurt individual enemies, but unlocking this skill means those objects hurt anyone in your periphery. It’s the perfect skill to hurt large groups of surrounding enemies, and gives you those few precious seconds to focus on each enemy, hurting them and knocking them out regardless of whether they’re armed, shielded, or bulky brutes.
4. Rocket Return (Innovator)
As you progress through the game, certain skills that proved useful earlier on become less effective due to the sheer number of enemies you engage with in battle. You’ll find it difficult to yank rocket launchers out of their hands because they’re shooting at you from a greater distance, so having the ability to press L1 and R1 right after successfully dodging a projectile means you can do significant damage to whoever you throw the stray rocket at.
5. Perfect Dodge (Defender)
This is the most important of all skills in this list because it builds focus when performing a dodge at the right time and becomes a prerequisite for achieving many of the Token Quest’s bonus objectives. When your Spidey Sense turns from white to blue, pressing Circle will perform a dodge that temporarily slows down time and fills your focus bar, allowing you to either regain some health or perform a finishing move.
6. Epicentre (Defender)
If you prefer to engage with multiple enemies by throwing fisticuffs rather than attacking silently from above, the Epicentre skill gives you the advantage right from the point of engagement. Jumping into a group of enemies from high up lands a huge ground strike, sending enemies in different directions and stunning them without any resistance. Just make sure you capitalise almost immediately or else the temporary advantage will have been for nothing.
7. Chain Finisher (Defender)
The Chain Finisher is the last skill to unlock in the Defender branch, but it is the most effective. Pressing Triangle and Circle together lets you perform a finisher on an enemy and instantly knocks them out, but having this skill lets you perform one more straight after on another enemy. When you’re facing the final few waves of one of the many Hideouts, this skill instantly takes out another foe and helps to clear the threat much faster.
8. Quick Zip (Webslinger)
While you can Fast Travel in Marvel’s Spider-Man, you’ll often find that swinging around the huge buildings of New York City is much more appealing. Quick Zip is unlockable within the first few hours and allows you to Zip across the skies once again after the first swing. Zips are essentially quick movements in the air, sling-shotting you across short distances, but they help Spider-Man change direction efficiently, so a second Quick Zip is hugely important to manoeuvrability in The Big Apple.
9. Point Launch Boost (Webslinger)
Point Launches are performed by pressing L2 and R2 to land on specific points of the environment, such as building edges and rooftop vents. Having the Point Launch Boost gives you the skill to launch off specific points with more speed and distance and is perfect for when you’re trying to get across the various Districts with efficiency.
10. Long Strike (Webslinger)
Web strikes are performed by pressing Triangle to pull you towards an enemy and land an attack. Long Strike helps these attacks do more damage, especially when in the air. It’s a great skill to help you take out the flying Sabre agents, or those enemies who are standing higher up and firing their guns or rocket launchers at you.