The Best Skills to Get First in Aliens: Dark Descent

In Aliens: Dark Descent, players will need to upgrade their marines in order to beat the game. There are several types of upgrades and attributes players can assign their marines, and that will determine what they can do on deployments. The Colonial Marines will need all the help they can get in order to get off Lethe and avoid the Aliens.


In Aliens: Dark Descent, players assume the role of Maeko Hayes who, after the tutorial, takes on the role of Intelligence Officer. Hayes runs the deployment plans which translates into the player controlling the squad of Colonial Marines as they traverse various levels. The Colonial Marines in question start out with low stats and weakness traits, so leveling them up is quite important.

Related: The Callisto Protocol Shows Aliens: Dark Descent’s Biggest Problem

Best Attributes and Upgrades To Get First

The Pouch Upgrade in Aliens: Dark Descent

The first thing to consider in Aliens: Dark Descent is that there is permadeath when one character dies on a mission. This means that players will have to spend a lot of resources either keeping Colonial marines alive or replacing them. Resources are therefore the most important item to keep track of in the game. Also, remember that there is a maximum number of attribute and upgrade slots, so consider that a valuable resource in and of itself.

There are two common upgrades available to each marine at the first level, Ammo Bag and Pouch. Of the two, Pouch is the most valuable upgrade and one that is desirable for any Colonial Marine in Aliens: Dark Descent. The Pouch upgrade increases the number of resources such as Medkits and Tools that the squad can carry. With a full squad equipping this perk, the squad can carry double what they would have been able to before.

More common upgrades and attributes become available as the Marines level up, but these are the ones available soonest.

The Ammo Bag is a lot less important. While it does increase the Ammo capacity of the marine who has the upgrade, the corporal marines can carry a lot of ammo regardless, and the upgrade is not as important as increasing the amount of healing and welding materials that the pouch can increase. As these are the only two upgrades available immediately, choosing Pouch is the better option as that one will be more valuable later.

The other common upgrade to get first is the Aiming Sight upgrade. It will not be available right away, but it should be available after a character has leveled up. This upgrade gives the Marine five points toward Accuracy. Accuracy increases the success rate of combat by a large margin, which can be even more helpful when paired with flares. The Ammo Bag and the Wider Clip upgrades are the last common upgrades players should be concerned with, and class-specific upgrades will be more valuable in the slots they would take up.

As for attributes, there are three main common attributes players can give their Marines. There are a few things to consider when deciding which one is best to get first. The three attributes are described below:




Removes the negative trait all marines begin with


Increases the entire squad’s movement speed

Looter Level 1

Increases the amount of materials looted when searching

Of these, getting rid of the negative trait with the Redemption Attribute might seem like a waste, but this can actually be a huge buff to certain Marines. Each Colonial Marine starts out with one negative weakness, which can range from a small debuff to accuracy to making them veer off course during missions.

If the Colonial Marine in question has something that impacts their performance more than a minor stat change, this is likely the attribute to acquire first. If not, getting the Looter Level 1 Attribute that can generate the all-important resources faster will benefit the whole squad in the long run. YouTuber Mista FiOth has a video that goes into a more in-depth explanation of each upgrade and why they are important.

There are also unique upgrades and attributes for each class, but these are not available until a marine reaches Level 3. That makes these common upgrades the best ones to get first in Aliens: Dark Descent.

Source: YouTube|Mista FiOth

  • Aliens Dark Descent game poster

    Aliens: Dark Descent


    PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S


    Tindalos Interactive

    Focus Entertainment

    Real-Time Strategy


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