Skill trees have become a fairly common way to let players choose their own progression path in RPGs. Some are more complex than others, with some basically being straight lines while others are nearly incomprehensible webs, but the better ones are more sprawling and allow for more personalization in what skills you want to focus on getting. Scarlet Nexus frames its skill tree as the Brain Map, which offers a great way to enhance your main character to better suit their strengths and playstyle.
The Brain Map is divided up into three sections to start, each with different skills you can unlock by progressing through them. However, there is one wrinkle in recommending what skills are the best to unlock as soon as you can. Yuito and Kasane share the same Brain Map skill tree, but because of how differently each protagonist plays, they will benefit more from different skills. No matter which character you pick, we’ve narrowed down the best skills to unlock in Scarlet Nexus.
As mentioned before, the Brain Map is you skill tree system and is broken down into three main sections to start: Enhance, Expand, and Support. Each category will have skills roughly related to the overall section it falls under, but even those names aren’t very descriptive. To unlock skills, you will need to spend Brain Points, which you will get from leveling up. You won’t be earning many Brain Points early on, and some skills cost more than one so you’ll need to save up in order to get them, so having a plan on what you want to get can save you a ton of grinding later on.
Eventually, the Brain Map will expand to include Brain Drive and Brain Field branches as well, adding even more choices of skills.
Yuito is the more melee-focused character of the two. He’s quick and deals a lot of damage but is in more danger due to being up close and personal with the enemy. Here are some of his best skills to get early on to keep him alive and the Others dead.
Overkill: Overkill isn’t quite as fun of a skill as it sounds, but getting it early will pay dividends as you go on. What this skill does is give you more bonus XP for hitting stunned enemies. This one is found in the Support branch of the Brain Map, so pick it up as soon as you can to enjoy the bonus XP as early as possible.
Perfect Dodge Attack: Scarlet Nexus isn’t quite on the level of the more hardcore character action games out there, but the Perfect Dodge Attack brings it that much closer. If you’ve played the Bayonetta games then you’ll feel right at home with this skill. By dodging an enemy’s attack at just the right moment, you can trigger an instant counterattack. You can grab this skill early on in the Expand section of the Brain Map.
Power Up: Very similar to Attack Up, which we cover below, Power Up is a straight 5% buff to your Psychokinesis attack damage. It does cost three Brain Points, so while not the most expensive, is still one you will want to plan ahead for.
Brain Crush Change Expand: Costing a major four Brain Points, Brain Crush Change Expand is another passive-type ability that will quickly become one of your favorites. With this skill activated, the amount of time Others are stunned after you empty their crush gauge is lengthened. This pairs great with Overkill, but also helps keep Yuito from getting overwhelmed and makes pulling off his best combos a bit easier.
Concurrent SAS Activation: Our final recommendation for early Yuito skills is Concurrent SAS Activation. Normally you can only use one SAS skill at a time, which are abilities that take advantage of your party member’s abilities, but this skill will let you use two at once. This skill appears twice on the Brain Map, and if you unlock both, that number doubles to four SAS skills getting unleashed at once.
Your more distance, mid-ranged fighter Kasane benefits from many different skills than Yuito. She’s best when upgraded with skills that complement her more support- and Psychokinesis-style approach. These are a few skills that perfectly complement Kasane’s unique strengths.
Max Psychokinesis Gauge Boost: This is another skill you can find twice on the Brain Map, so getting both will just make them even better. This skill will allow Kasane to use more of her psychokinesis abilities in combat, which is perfect for keeping her at range while dealing damage. Filling the gauge requires Kasane to deal damage with her weapons, which is obviously when she’s most vulnerable, so having a bigger gauge means staying safe longer.
Brain Crush SAS Restore: This skill helps you preserve and increase how long you can keep SAS abilities active. Once it’s unlocked, whenever you’re using an SAS, which runs down on a timer, some of that gauge will be restored any time you use a brain crush on an enemy.
Shorten Item Usage Cooldown: The way items are balanced in Scarlet Nexus is via a cooldown system where you can only use an item so often. Kasane, who is a bit more frail than Yuito, relies on these extra healing options more often when things get tough, but if you can’t heal quick enough, no amount of items will be able to save you. Thankfully, you can reduce the time you have to wait between using items with this handy skill.
Brain Crush Money Bonus: Synergizing well with the Brain Crush SAS Restore skill, this one helps keep your pockets full by giving you extra cash for using brain crush attacks. It doesn’t have to be used during SAS, and isn’t going to make you super rich immediately, but will absolutely add up over time. If you’re going to be investing in getting all the best weapons in the game, for example, you’ll be glad to have that extra cash built up early.
Psychokinesis Crush Effect Up: Another Psychokinesis-focused ability, this time allowing your Psychokinesis attacks to drain Others’ crush gauges. Since Kasane doesn’t do as well in the close game where you would normally be draining crush gauges, this is the best way to earn those staggers while keeping a safe distance.
Some skills are great, if not essential, to get no matter which character you have. These are more utility-type skills but are the type of skills you won’t be able to live without once you get them.
Double Jump: Bet you can’t guess what this one does. Sure, it seems basic, and isn’t much use in battle, but double jumping comes in handy so often in Scarlet Nexus it’s hard to understate how important it is to get. The main use will be in reaching some otherwise inaccessible areas that hold some nice secrets.
Aerial Dash: Going hand in hand with the double jump is the Aerial Dash. Again, this one is pretty self-explanatory, letting you dash while in the air. This one does have some combat utility, letting you get in or out of range while in the air, but again is necessary for platforming to new and hidden areas.
Rebound: Of these universal skills, Rebound is one of two combat-focused skills first and foremost. Many games have a function like it, but what it does is give you the chance to remain on your feet after taking a hit that would knock you down, preventing you from having to wait to get back up. This skill, once you get the hang of it, makes combat so much faster and more satisfying since you can get your counterattack off much faster after taking a hit instead of waiting through a long-standing animation.
Attack Up: The other combat skill you should get regardless of character is Attack Up. This simply makes any weapon attack deal more damage, 5% to be specific. That’s not a ton, but it adds up over time, and even though Kasane is more ranged-focused, she still benefits from being able to hit a bit harder when needed.
Additional Plug-In Equip Slots: Plug-In slots are basically your equipment slots. The more you have, up to three total, the more buffs you can put on your character, so these skills are a no-brainer to spend your Brain Points on. The downside is that there are only two you can add, but every bit counts, especially as you get more and better Plug-Ins to equip as you progress in the game.