Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 offers an excellent superhero adventure that exists in its own continuity. Much like the Batman Arkham games it so often gets compared to, there are a ton of powers, skills, and abilities to choose from. So how do players know what to prioritize when playing *Spider-Man?
As Peter Parker gains experience and levels up as Spider-Man, he can unlock abilities in three separate Skill trees: Innovator, Defender, and Webslinger. The first focuses on gadgets and web attacks, the second general combat, and the third, webslinging (duh!). Every level-up awards the player one Skill Point. More advanced Skills require more points, and many of them have prerequisites — so even though many of the skills on this list are considered the best, players will have to acquire other ones first.
All that being said, here are the 16 best Skills players should focus on getting ASAP when they’re playing Spider-Man:
Innovator Skill Tree
This being 8 years into Peter Parker’s career as Spider-Man, he’s spent a lot of time and energy innovating new gadgets to accentuate his spider powers. As such, the Innovator skill tree is full of many Skills that focus on Spider-Man using his gadgets to do fun things like web up enemies or electrocute them. Many of these skills feel a bit flashy or even superfluous, but here are a few that feel totally essential:
Extended Perch Takedown
Perch takedowns allow Spider-Man to sit atop buildings and other heights to string enemies up quietly. This is easily the most efficient way to stealthily take out enemies, and this particular skill drastically increases its range. So this one’s a must-have.
Unless a specific Challenge requires a certain kind of stealth takedown, the Web Strike Takedown — executed by hitting Triangle from a distance — should be the most commonly used method of taking down enemies stealthily. It also gets a lot of use in the midst of combat. Surprise Attack makes it so that Web Strike Takedown creates a slight area attack that knocks back nearby enemies. This particular upgrade has more use in combat, but it’s a welcome one nonetheless.
Objects litter the landscape of Manhattan in Spider-Man, so throwing them with webs is a great means of crowd control. Spidey can grab boxes, manhole covers, and random boxes. He’ll swing them around his head, knocking back enemies, and then fling the object at a target. Collateral Damage makes it so that any given object’s impact damages all nearby enemies.
Defender Skill Tree
Spidey might be a NYC-based hero, but he’s not quite a Defender in the contemporary sense. This Skill tree, generally speaking, focuses on combat abilities. As such, many of them are totally essential in a game where combat is the core experience. Here are all the best:
With Perfect Dodge, Spidey gets a small window during each enemy attack when his Spider-Sense allows him to executive a perfect dodge. Further abilities, and some suit powers, stack with this foundation skill. It is perhaps the single most essential Skill in Spidey’s entire arsenal and should be a top priority..
The opposite of Perfect Dodge, Perfect Hit lets the player press Square every time an attack lands to deal extra damage. Hits will glow a slightly orange hue. Any player who has good reflexes for timing attacks like this should definitely consider this upgrade.
This ability increases timing window for Perfect Dodge and Web Shot Counter, making Perfect Dodge easier to execute. Therefore, this one’s also a high priority.
In every combat scenario, Spidey builds up a combo based on the number of successful hits before he takes damage. (This mechanic should be very familiar to gamers who’ve played similar games.) With this skill, he gets more Focus the higher that number gets. For players that dodge enough to never get hit — which should be everyone — this means a lot more Focus. And a lot more Focus means more Finishers to quickly take down enemies. The combat trend should be emerging here: dodge, punch, dodge, kick, gain Focus, trigger Finishers, rinse and repeat.
This one’s eventually required for a side mission anyway, but Ground Strike is perhaps the best way to initiate the vast majority of combat encounters in the game, especially any crime engagements. From a great height, Spider-Man shoots webs at the ground and slams straight down, dealing a huge amount of damage in a large area and knocking enemies back. Few things feel more badass in this game than webslinging at great speeds through the city and then performing a Ground Strike down into a pack of enemies from 30 stories in the air.
Put a star next to this one, because Payback allows Spidey to instantly take down any enemies with a ranged weapon after he executes a Perfect Dodge. It’s basically like getting a free Finisher move against any ranged combatants. This is far preferable than several Innovator Skills that let Spidey rip weapons out of enemies’ hands.
Easily the most important ability in the end-game, Chain Finisher allows Spidey to do two Finishers for the price of one. For this reason, the Defender Skill tree should be the first one that players finish.
Webslinger Skill Tree
There’s a reason why Spider-Man is so often called the Webslinger — his signature webs are everything. The main mode of travel for the duration of the game will be swinging through the buildings of Manhattan. Several of these abilities integrate into combat nicely, but some of them just make traversal more efficient or just straight-up faster. That might seem unimportant at face value, but many of the crimes and missions force Spidey to chase enemies — or even … pigeons — through the city. Do yourself a favor and don’t neglect these skills.
This one gets great usage in combat. After leaping into the air, the player can hold Square to make Spidey swing and double-kick an enemy in the chest. It’s a great way to close the distance between Spidey and some enemies. After getting kicked, the enemy will remain suspended in the air for a moment, so Spidey can follow it up with aerial attacks. (Another Skill makes aerial attacks generate more focus, so there’s nice synergy there.)
This one’s hugely important for city traversal whenever Spider-Man is chasing an enemy or car, allowing him to press R1 to web zip twice without losing altitude. Rather than swinging in long arcs, he’ll shoot a web string straight ahead and pull himself.
Air attacks deal more damage and generate more Focus with this ability. Holding Square to attack will launch enemies into the air, and so will Swing Kicks. With Air Marshall, following up with a few mid-air hits becomes an essential cheap means of generating Focus when low on health.
For the XP-obsessed out there, Air Tricks lets Spidey do aerial tricks while swinging through the air to gain a small amount of bonus XP. Changing up the tricks mid-fall also offers a combo bonus. The gains are fairly negligible, but if you’re doing a barrel roll with every swing, you’ll gain a lot of XP.
Point Launch Boost
This one’s a real game-changer in terms of traversal. Targeting a post, rooftop, or water tower with L2+R2 makes Spider-Man shoot forward with a double webshot. Normally, hitting X when he lands would give him a leaping boost of forward momentum — that’s a basic Point Launch. Point Launch Boost enhances this a lot, making Spidey erupt with a huge burst of momentum. This comes in handy during some of the game’s many chase sequences.
This one’s simple: Long Strike increases the damage and range of Web Strike, enhancing an already essential part of Spidey’s combat arsenal. Web Strike has a lot of use in the middle of combat and when being stealthy, so this one’s definitely worth the investment.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is available now exclusively for the Sony PlayStation 4.
Watch us livestream the first 30 minutes of Spider-Man: