Pillars of Eternity Wiki

In response to patch v1. to Pillars of Eternity (June 6, 2024), the random loot tables shown on the wiki have been updated. These changes may take time to propegate.

As a result, random loot data is no longer accurate to old versions of the game, including all console ports. We'll be working to provide a mechanism to switch between pre-patch and post-patch loot for console players.


Pillars of Eternity Wiki

Abilities in Avowed are special skills and powers that your character can learn and improve upon. Abilities are a core part of combat, and accompany the use of the various weapons available. The game categorizes abilities into a series of separate trees that may be sampled from to build a character that suits your preferred combat approach.

Activation types[ | ]

Active[ | ]

Active abilities are those that the character may choose to use. These abilities may be used or cast in the midst of combat, with some taking a long time and requiring both free hands to cast, and some having a short cast time, able to be cast even with your hands full.

Using an active ability requires Essence, a mana-like resource drawn from a limited pool. The amount of Essence required is relative to the strength of the ability, higher level abilities generally require more to cast. After an active ability is cast, the Essence is spent and the ability is placed on cooldown, rendering it unusable for an amount of time.

Abilities are cast with a single pre-assigned key or button press, each with their own dedicated button. This extends to companions, who have context-sensitive abilities that the player can ask to cast.[1][2]

Passive[ | ]

Passive abilities are those whose effects are automatically granted without needing to cast them. Some passives provide a permanent bonus, or are automatically triggered based on a condition or as a response to an effect on the character.

Progression[ | ]

As you earn experience and level up, you're granted points that can be spent to unlock new abilities. Abilities are grouped into tiers based on their required player level. New ability tiers may be unlocked at level 1, 5, 10 and 15. Some abilities have additional unlock requirements, such as a prerequisite ability.

Points can also be spent on upgrading existing abilities instead of learning new ones. Most abilities have 3 ranks, the first rank is granted when the character learns the ability, and the second and third ranks can be unlocked at later levels.

Ability level Learn level Required player level at rank
Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Level 1 1 1 5 8
Level 5 5 5 8 10
Level 10 10 10
Level 15 15 15

Ability trees[ | ]

Three trees contain abilities that correspond with the fantasy archetypes: fighter, ranger and wizard. Each tree contains abilities that complement a particular playstyle[3]

  • Fighter: Melee combat particularly two-handed weapons, stamina buffs, shield use and blocking, medium and heavy armor
  • Ranger: Ability, ranged combat particularly bows and guns, stealth, crowd control, light armor.
  • Wizard: Area of effect spells, crowd control, essence buffs, use of wands and other magical implements. Many spells can be found in a grimoire, which may be used to cast those spells without learning them in the wizard tree. equipped before they can be cast.

Two trees contain special abilities:

  • Godlike: Unique abilities that the Envoy learns as a godlike.
  • Companions: For companion abilities. These trees are much smaller than the player's, and contain abilities that fall into whatever the particular archetype for the companion is. For example, Yatzli's tree has abilities that suit a wizard, while Kai has abilities that suit a fighter.

Gallery[ | ]


  1. Robert Purchese (January 27, 2024). "Obsidian interview about first-person RPG Avowed" - Eurogamer.net.
  2. Adam Vitale (June 25, 2024). "Avowed Interview - Talking Companions, gameplay, and world with Obsidian's Carrie Patel and Gabe Paramo" - RPG Site.
  3. Steve Vegvari [@Consolecreatures] (June 20, 2024). "Creature Cast - Obsidian's Carrie Patel & Gabe Paramo Return To Discuss Avowed", Creature Cast - The Official Console Creatures Podcast - YouTube.