Saints Row: Best perks

By Luke Albigés,

Saints Row has over 30 perks to unlock, and choosing which to use can be difficult as many of them seem really useful. Here are a handful of the ones with which we've seen the most success.

The Saints Row achievement list includes an achievement for unlocking all 34 perks, so you'll have full run of the perk pool if you're going for the completion. Well, eventually — perks unlock via completing challenges and some of these can be incredibly specific and/or long-winded, so even just getting all of the perks will take some time. Perks in Saints Row are divided into Minor, Major, and Elite tiers, with slots for just one Elite and two of the others available, for a price. Your first Minor slot is free but the others must be bought... don't worry about getting these too early as it's a while before you start to unlock Major and Elite perks anyway, so don't buy the slot until you've at least got something to put in it. With that out of the way, let's take a look at what we think are the best perks in each tier, although bear in mind that depending on how you like to play and what difficulty you're on, others might better fit your needs.

saints row best perks

Saints Row: Best Minor perks

As the lower perk tier, many Minor perks offer relatively tiny boosts, or extremely situational skills such as being able to fight as normal while on fire. If there isn't one that seems like a must-have for your style of play, these ones should always be useful.

In the Flow: Flow is a valuable resource, so a perk that prevents you from losing it by any means other than spending it is obviously really strong. This means you'll have your special attacks on standby more often, in turn improving your survivability. Would likely be the best perk in the tier, if it weren't for the very last one you unlock...

Breakfall: The 34th and final perk you unlock is Breakfall, which feels way too strong to be in the Minor category but perhaps it's just considered a reward for unlocking them all. This negates all fall damage, meaning you can be that much more reckless and aggressive at high altitudes without fear.

Dead Eye: Destiny players might know this perk as Outlaw — precision kills vastly improve reload speed for a short time. So long as you have the aim to get use out of it, the improved reloads are lovely, especially on weapons with smaller magazines.

Trampoline: The weakest of this selection, but still a good perk if you want to get around Santo Ileso more fluidly. This gives a slight boost to the height you gain when bouncing off a pedestrian while using the wingsuit, and while it isn't much, it can often be enough to get you over an obstacle or to another bounce opportunity to continue the glide, so it can definitely be worth considering.

Saints Row: Best Major perks

Stronger and even more situational at times, the Major tier has some fantastic picks. Fast Learner would be a shoo-in here if it unlocked earlier as XP boosts are great in any game, but we were already almost at max level by the time it unlocked, making it rather useless. If you do manage to get it early, though, go for it!

Scavenger: If you often find yourself short on ammo, this is the perk for you. Grabbing ammo packs dropped by defeated enemies grants considerably more ammo, meaning you're less reliant on getting several lucky drops in order to use your favourite weapons throughout an encounter without needing to switch.

On the Down Low: If you're working on things like challenges and story missions and don't want anyone to interfere, give this a go. It reduces notoriety gains, which should mean that cops and gangs will turn a blind eye to a lot more dodgy activity and leave you in peace. Just remember to take it off when you're calling up rival factions for a fight, as it will make getting max notoriety to lure out the boss take much longer!

Eagle Eye: When using this perk, landing a headshot reduces the cooldown of your takedown, and having a takedown on standby can be a life-saver. Better yet, it's just headshots that activate the perk, not kills — grab a weak, fast-firing weapon like a cheap SMG or upgraded Idol pistol and you can stick a full burst into an enemy's face to pretty much get your finisher back on the spot.

Full Contact: Another method of getting your takedown more frequently (and in turn having combat heals aplenty), this gives you a chunk of the gauge back when you kill an enemy after kicking them away. This pairs well with the Back Off! in the same tier (weapon damage boost after kicking enemies) if you'd rather not rely on getting headshots with Eagle Eye to recharge your takedown.

saints row best perks

Saints Row: Best Elite perks

There's barely a bad pick in the small pool of Elite perks, though a couple lean heavily into specific play styles so your mileage may vary with them. The difficult part here is that unlock the other tiers that have two slots each, you only get to equip a single Elite perk, so you need to make it count.

Surgical Strike: If your aim is true, this can put out a ludicrous amount of damage. Each precision kill gives you a damage multiplier for a few seconds, and while that window is very brief, each damage boost makes the next kill easier and quicker, letting you stack this up to five times. If you manage to pull that off, whatever you shoot next is just going to melt.

Saving Throw: If you're finding yourself dying in combat, this second wind might be just what you need. When you take damage that should kill you, you're boosted back up to two full bars and given a second chance, although you will have to wait a while before this can activate again. So long as you have ways to keep your takedown handy and heal up further, this is a decent pick for anyone struggling, or there's Big Finish (double health gained from takedowns) if you're rather try to stay topped up.

Rampage: Damage boosts are always welcome, and this one kicks in so long as your Flow meter is full. If you've got In the Flow in a Minor slot and aren't lobbing out special attacks like crazy, this will have a lot of uptime, especially when paired with cheaper and more situational skills that eat into the Flow gauge less.

Ride Eternal: It's quite easy to get your own health back, but the same isn't true of vehicles. As such, being able to heal your ride upon taking out another vehicle can make some hardier cars almost unstoppable, and it makes a bunch of side mission types a good bit easier as well. Any time you get in a tank or truck, consider switching to this.

And that's your lot... hopefully you found this helpful and found some new perks that will put in work for you!

Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.