[Top 10] Battle Brothers Best Perks That Are Great

Slice down Undead like a boss

Which Perks should I pick in Battle Brothers and why?

Battle Brothers tasks you with building your fledgling Middle-Ages mercenary company into a force to be reckoned with. Every level up provides you not only with increased stats, but “Perk” points, which can be spent on unique abilities for your characters.

These perks are in fact central to building an effective fighting machine, so let’s have a look at some of the best!

10. Student

Student gives you a helping hand with levelling up

Student is a perk which is a little boring on the surface, but extremely handy. Picking Student gives your characters an extra 20% experience until they hit Level 11. When you hit Level 11, you’re even refunded the Perk point to use on something else!

If you’re intending to keep a recruit for a significant length of time, it’s pretty much a no-brainer and it’s sensible to get it on everyone you can.


  • Helps your men to level up faster, useful since enemies get tougher the longer the game goes on.
  • More experience is always useful.
  • Your characters get far more effective when they are levelled up.
  • Minimises the amount of time your men are horribly ineffective in combat.
  • Perk point is refunded once you hit Level 11 and can be spent on something else.


  • Delays you from using the perk point for something else that might be useful for your first level up.
  • Doesn’t help you in combat in any way.
  • Not very useful on poor recruits who don’t have much development potential.

9. Indomitable

When you're on the defence this perk is great

Much of your struggle in Battle Brothers comes from keeping your men alive as they take hits. Some enemies, such as those with two-handed weapons and beastly enemies such as Schrats, can put out a huge amount of damage. Sometimes, no matter your Melee Defence stat, you’re going to have to be able to survive the blows.

Indomitable comes in very handy here. For a cost of 5 Action Points and 25 Fatigue, you can reduce all incoming damage by 50% for the next turn. It also grants immunity to being stunned, knocked back or grabbed for this period.

The skill is most handy against Orcs (as it negates their charging stun attack), Unholds, Schrats and any other opponent who does a large amount of armour piercing damage, such as Barbarian Chosen.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until your character hits Level 8 before you can choose this perk, as it’s part of the final tier of available skills.


  • Reduce incoming damage on one character by 50% for a turn.
  • Prevents you from being stunned when active.
  • Greatly increases survivability against enemies who do a large amount of armour piercing damage.
  • Reducing the damage so much lessens the chance of taking debilitating injuries from enemy attacks.
  • Works best on your “tanks”, characters designed to take hits and distract enemies.
  • Works well in conjunction with good Defence stats.


  • Costs a considerable amount of Fatigue to use.
  • Prevents your character from attacking that turn due to the Action Point cost.
  • Does not reduce your chances of being hit.

8. Gifted

Grabbing some early bonus stats can make all the difference

The statistics of your soldiers are of vital importance in Battle Brothers. In particular, attack and defence skills are key to the effectiveness of your men, and this is where Gifted proves itself an excellent perk.

Early-game especially, your company will be struggling to survive battles and level up. Gifted essentially gives you a free level-up; this is complete with maximum possible dice rolls for your stats on this skill-up, to ensure they get a +3 or +4 boost to each stat you choose, depending on the soldier’s talents.

While an extra +3 to Melee Defence, Melee Attack and Fatigue may seem like a small bonus for the exchange of a Perk point, Gifted can transform weaker soldiers into capable frontliners in the early game. It can also be used to simply further boost promising soldiers and make them useful earlier.

Archers and ranged weapon users typically don’t have such desperate need for perk points in general, so I recommend always taking this perk on them for the additional +3-5 Ranged Attack, which is a big help.


  • Helps you quickly level up important skills on your soldiers.
  • Very helpful early game.
  • Still useful on elite recruits later in the game if you want extra skill points.
  • Very useful for skilling up ranged weapon users quickly.


  • Costs you a perk point that could have been spent on a different skill.
  • Pales slightly in the very late game as you could simply keep levelling up max-level mercenaries, though it takes a long time.
  • Offers nothing other than the stat boost.

7. Quick Hands

Need to swap weapons immediately? Quick Hands has you covered

It’s surprising how often you will find yourself wanting to swap weapons or equip some other piece of gear mid-battle. Doing this costs you Action Points; enough to lose you an attack or rob you of the ability to move where you want to that turn.

Quick Hands changes this, by making you able to equip any weapon or item for no Action Point cost once per turn. The only exception is shields, which still cost the usual Action Point price.

This perk is more powerful than it might seem at first. It essentially allows your archers and throwers to “reload” for free, by equipping new throwing weapons or quivers. Additionally, perhaps its greatest benefit is giving the ability to your frontline fighters to switch to a long weapon like a Pike or Longaxe with no AP penalty.

A frontline soldier with Quick Hands later in the game can swap from two-handed close combat weapons to two-tile reach weapons and decimate the enemy’s second row of combatants while ignoring those they’re stuck adjacent to. This can be devastating against enemies like Noble House armies and Southern City State armies. Both enemies rely on tying you up with less dangerous troops and piling on damage with their nasty-but-vulnerable backline of Billhooks, Polemaces and Crossbows. Swapping your frontline easily to your own Polearm weapons counters this.


  • Versatile and useful in many situations. Allows you to pull out a secondary weapon or restock on ammo with no action point cost.
  • Useful for “reloading” with archers or swapping to reach weapons like pikes with frontline troops.
  • Can be used to quickly get your dagger out to steal enemy armour at the end of a fight.
  • Increases the viability of other equipment such as nets.


  • Does nothing to make your men stronger, statistically.
  • Only useful on soldiers who will have a reason to be swapping items or weapons.
  • Takes a while for your frontline troops to have good enough Melee Attack to make switching weapons worthwhile.

6. Rotation

Swap one man for another. Simple but effective

We’ve all seen those action movies where the heroes take turns swapping in for each other mid-fight for dramatic and practical effect. Well, the Rotation perk allows you to do this in Battle Brothers and it’s super useful!

Rotation is best used as a sort of “emergency” ability. You’ll often find in both the early and late game that you can get into very dangerous situations in which the loss of one of your men is imminent. Maybe you took an unlucky mace blow to the head, or perhaps that two-handed cleaver bit into your soldier’s HP pool rather more deeply than expected.

Normally you’d now be in a lot of trouble – trying to move away from an enemy when they are adjacent to you gives them a free attack and would likely kill your character. Sometimes this doesn’t matter, if you have a recruit who is about as useful in a fight as a boiled turnip. On other occasions, though, you may have someone with real end-game skill potential who is about to die thanks to some bad luck. With Rotation, you can simply swap positions with another friendly soldier who is uninjured and fresh, then move your injured man to a safe position.

Rotation also has extra utility on your backline ranged weapon troops; they can get away if trapped in melee and swap position with a dedicated close combat fighter. You can also use Rotation to move tired troops into a better position without tiring them further. Simply use Rotation on another soldier to swap that tired two-handed axeman into a position where he can directly hit the enemy when his turn arrives.


  • Very useful for saving injured troops who are in a bad position.
  • Helps you to counter sudden influxes of damage by spreading it over your troops.
  • Can be useful for keeping archers away from enemies trying to tie them up in melee.
  • Can be used by fresh troops to move tired troops into better attacking positions.


  • Another utility perk that doesn’t contribute directly to better performance in battles.
  • Costs 3 Action Points and 25 Fatigue, so can be tiring to use.
  • You will often need to think ahead regarding which of your men is in danger or tiring out to get the most out of this perk.

5.  Nimble

Specialise in light armour and dance your way out of damage

If you ever wanted your men to twirl around like Legolas from Lord of the Rings, dodging heavy blows and leaping about in their light armour, Nimble lets you do that. Kinda.

When wearing light armour (armour with a combined Fatigue reduction of 15 or less), you gain a reduction in damage taken to Health by up to 60%. This effect diminishes when wearing heavier armour, so you’ll want to stick to armour like chainmail, the like of which can be looted from Brigand Raiders and Noble House troops.

Nimble is a fantastic skill, one that fundamentally alters what enemies and battles you can take on. It greatly reduces the threat of heavy armour piercing weapons that would cripple your men ordinarily. However, your lack of armour will leave you much more vulnerable to slashing weapons with high HP damage such as swords. Cleavers are something you should really fear with Nimble characters and try to keep them away from enemies with these weapons if possible. The 20+ stacking bleed damage ignores your 60% health boost, so you’ll take huge amounts of damage from Cleaver attacks and die quite quickly.

These tips also apply in the opposite fashion when you are fighting enemies with the Nimble perk. Use Cleavers and Swords on them to maximise hit chance and health damage.


  • Gets better the more hit-points your character has.
  • One of two crucial skills (the other being Battleforged) that increases survivability of your men.
  • Gives good protection against nasty armour piercing damage (such as dagger “Puncture” attacks, war hammers and Schrats)
  • Effective even with cheap light armour. Great in the early/mid-game.
  • Most effective when used alongside Battleforged characters specialised in heavy armour, so you can tailor this skill for use against appropriate enemies.


  • Bad as a choice on characters who have low HP pools.
  • Not unlocked as an option until Level 7.
  • Cannot be used in conjunction with Battleforged (except in extremely rare cases of strong armour that is very light and easy on your Fatigue stat).
  • Very vulnerable to Cleavers and Whips, which cause horrible bleeding damage.
  • Quite weak against cutting weapons like Swords and Two-Handed Axes, which do a lot of Health damage.

4.  Battleforged

Who needs light armour when you can build yourself into a steel tank?

If Nimble transforms your men into surprisingly tough Health “tanks”, Battleforged morphs them into hulking great armoured behemoths.

The Battleforged perk reduces armour damage by 5% of the total armour value of the helmet and body armour of a character. This may not sound like much, and with light armour the value is negligible. However, with heavier armour (i.e., “300/300”, a helm and cuirass with 300 durability each) you’re looking at a 30% reduction in damage to your armour.

This may not sound like much, but it’s a flat 30%, meaning that damage from Swords and other weapons that inflict only low damage to armour in the first place becomes trivial.

Battleforged is a great all-around damage-mitigating skill against many high-HP damaging weapons in the game. However, unlike Nimble, the protection it offers is lowered as your armour becomes damaged and degraded during a battle.

It also offers no bonus to your Health pool, meaning hits from armour piercing weapons can still do extreme damage to your character. This makes Battleforged characters resistant to Cleavers and Swords but vulnerable to Hammers, Maces and Two-Handed Axes.


  • Very good at mitigating non-piercing damage when heavy armour is worn.
  • The best "overall" protection against damage.
  • Provides excellent protection against most Spears, Swords, and Cleavers.
  • Very effective protection against Bow weapons.


  • Takes a while to acquire the skill (Level 7 upwards).
  • Only useful when wearing very heavy armour that tends to be expensive or difficult to acquire.
  • Totally ineffective with light armour.
  • Still very vulnerable to blunt injuries such as broken bones and concussions that may be incurred through the armour.
  • Piercing enemies like Schrats are still deadly.
  • Crossbows and Throwing Weapons can still do a lot of damage.
  • Cannot be used with Nimble (unless, as above, you have a very Fatigue-light set of heavy armour, an extremely rare circumstance).

3. Killing Frenzy

Killing enemies faster is always useful

A lot of your fights in Battle Brothers come down to putting out the maximum amount of damage on your enemies possible in a short period of time. Killing enemies quickly can be essential for keeping your own men alive and reducing incoming damage.

For this reason, Killing Frenzy is always a solid perk to take. It gives you +25% damage on all attacks for 2 turns after scoring a kill. While the ability is active, it slightly increases the chance for enemies to target the character using the ability over others, but this is scarcely a problem.

Combined with two-handed weapons, Killing Frenzy can be an extremely useful mid/late game perk for increasing the amount of damage you can dish out quickly.


  • A flat 25% boost to your damage for each kill you score (though this bonus doesn’t stack).
  • Helps you kill tough enemies quickly and neutralise the most dangerous soldiers in the enemy ranks.
  • Good on pretty much everyone except dedicated “shield tank” characters.


  • Only available from Level 8 onwards, so you’ll need to level up a lot to get access to it.
  • Doesn’t add anything except pure damage output.
  • Only triggers upon killing an enemy.
  • Not very useful on soldiers who you aren’t using to deal large amounts of damage.

2. Berserk

In the Middle Ages anger management wasn't a thing

Berserk is a skill that gives you an extra 4 Action Points after killing an enemy a maximum of once per turn, once per turn, after killing an enemy. It is either extremely useful or extremely limited depending on the Fatigue level of your character and the state of the battle when it triggers.

Primarily Berserk is good for increasing the damage output of your main damage dealers, such as two-handed weapon users. It’s possible to get an extra attack with a two-handed weapon after scoring a kill, and this obviously increases your damage output enormously.

However, swinging that weapon again requires more Fatigue. You will often find heavily armoured characters become exhausted after killing an enemy and you simply cannot use the bonus provided by Berserk to do anything, limiting its use.

The utility of Berserk still makes it very useful. It can be good to give to men equipped with Pikes or other reach weapons, as they will be able to step forward, kill an enemy and then retreat to safety again with the extra AP. Otherwise, it can boost your two-handed weapons to the extent that they can kill one or two more enemies at the start of a fight and take the pressure off you early into the battle.


  • Gives you almost an entire extra turn every time you kill an enemy (once per turn).
  • This extra 4 AP can be used to launch another attack, allowing you to do more damage.
  • You can also use the 4 AP to use Rotation, retreat or move your soldier somewhere else where he is needed.


  • Becomes very exhausting to use, especially as a battle drags on.
  • Not so useful on characters who are weighed down with armour and have low Fatigue.
  • Not always useful if you cannot move to a useful position or effectively strike another enemy.

1. Duellist

Behold one of the most useful perks in Battle Brothers

Duellist is one of the simplest perk skills in the game, but by far one of the best. It simply allows 25% more of your weapon’s damage to totally ignore enemy armour when a one-handed weapon is wielded with the other hand free (or carrying a tool, like a net).

This may sound rather insignificant, but when paired with the extra 25% damage already given by default by wielding a one-handed weapon like this, it makes one-handed specialists extremely lethal.

Equip a Duellist character with a one-handed mace, for example, and suddenly 65% of their damage is ignoring enemy armour instead of 40%. This is easily enough to inflict very nasty injuries through helmets or even through chest armour. Combined with other skills like Killing Frenzy and Berserk, you can suddenly kill even heavily armoured enemies with relative ease when this skill is used properly.

The trade-off is you cannot use a shield and the effect does not work with two-handed weapons, which are the other go-to for dealing high damage quickly. Duellists are therefore more specialised against highly armoured enemies than even your average two-handed weapon specialist.

Additionally, Duellists can strike twice per turn with their weapon rather than the once per turn mandated by most two-handed weapons. This means they have extremely high damage output, but also tend to tire very quickly. This is the main weakness of the Duellist playstyle.


  • Allows your weapons to ignore 25% more armour, a very powerful bonus.
  • Makes weapons like hammers and maces especially effective and lethal.
  • It becomes easier to inflict debilitating injuries on armoured enemies with Duellist.
  • You can still carry a net in your free hand and get the bonus. This allows you to throw nets on enemies to restrain them, and then pile on a lot of damage.
  • One handed weapons can swing twice per turn, making Duellists able to deal very high damage quickly.


  • A Level 8+ perk, so you’ll need a lot of levelling up.
  • Specialises your soldier to exclusively use one-handed weapons.
  • You’ll need good Melee Defence to survive without a shield.
  • Swinging a weapon twice a turn will tire your men out eventually, even with high Fatigue stats.
  • You’ll need high Fatigue to really make use of this over just using a two-handed weapon instead.

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Matt was first gleefully introduced to gaming when he beat his Dad at Tekken. Whether it's wearing sunglasses at night in Deus Ex or cursing hit chances in XCOM, it's been his hobby ever since.
Gamer Since: 1995
Currently Playing: Battle Brothers
Top 3 Favorite Games:System Shock 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, XCOM: Enemy Unknown