weird west best abilities

Weird West Best Abilities

Abilities are my favorite feature of the Weird West. Whether we’re pistol diving in slow motion or savaging our enemies as a werewolf, abilities afford us a vast range of violent solutions. Personally, I find there’s no feeling more satisfying than unloading an explosive shotgun round into a horde of zombies begging for a BBQ.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

In this Weird West abilities guide, I’ll review the best abilities builds for stealth, action, and character-focused players. As a bonus, I’ll detail how to leverage perk points and abuse doctors to keep our murder rampage unobstructed.

Bottom Line Up Front:

Invest nimp relics in the Sentry Silencer and Explosive Shell abilities for a versatile build that can weather stealth and action encounters. Burgle doctors’ shops and unique enemies for invigorating tonics to use abilities mid-combat.

Ability Mechanics:

Reusable powers that cost Action Points (AP) to perform, abilities are active buffs that enable us to empower our weapons, characters, and surroundings.

Class Abilities

Cheap, easily accessible, and fun to use, class abilities are powerful character-specific abilities that enable us to mow down foes and alter the environment.

While these abilities cost just one nimp relic, they only last for a given chapter and can force us to fight an empowered version of our previous character to reclaim our items. I recommend purchasing one Class Ability immediately until we can make it to our last avatar in later runs.

Weapon Abilities

Vital for mowing down hordes of enemies, weapon abilities enhance our pistols, shotguns, rifles, bows, and melee. Whether electrifying our pistol shots or converting our rifle into a silent sniper rifle, weapon abilities dominate most combat encounters.

Although they have a high price of three nimp relics, these abilities carry over into subsequent runs. I recommend purchasing weapon abilities over class abilities to empower our characters across separate journeys.

Bullet Time

Our default ability available across every character playthrough, bullet time enables us to Max Payne our way through the weird west with slow motion, mid-air dive attacks. Bullet time is fantastic for unloading a surplus of pistol rounds into several enemies or making an ultra-precise rifle shot into an eldritch horror mid-combat.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

While other abilities outclass it, bullet time is fantastic against lightly armored enemies like witches and bandits. Also, if we find ourselves gravitating towards bullet time, I recommend investing in the Bullet Dodger perk, which increases our fire rate during bullet time.

Nimp Relics

Ancient remnants of a forgotten alien creature, nimp relics enable us to upgrade our class and weapon abilities.


  • Containers – Every container in the West West has a chance at containing a nimp relic. While we can search every locker and crate like a crazed kleptomaniac, unique chests are more likely to contain nimp relics. I recommend investigating treasure map caches and blowing up rock piles with dynamite to gain access to these excellent sources of upgrade materials.
  • Outside World – A easy and dependable source of nimp relics, we can investigate purple glows in the outside world to find a plethora of the needed upgrade material. I recommend scouring the roofs of houses, abandoned minecarts, and the interior of homes for these precious finds.
  • Quest Rewards – Some quests reward us in nimp relics upon completion. I recommend completing these quests or covertly killing the quest giver for easy access to these valuable relics.
  • Wanderer Caravans – Wanderer Caravans on the world map sell us a few nimp relics for $300 apiece. While this may be our most reliable source of nimp relics, it’s also the most costly. Unless we want to spend hours grinding bounty hunter quests for money, I recommend saving your money for ammo and consumables.


Although you may be encouraged to horde nimp relics for future use, the sudden end of character chapters can deprive us of all our upgrade materials. I advise spending any remaining nimp on weapon abilities before the start of the next chapter.

Action Points

Using any ability requires a given amount of action points to perform. While using our Western powers immediately exhausts our AP gauge, there are several methods where we can generate action points.

Killing Foes – The most economical and morally-questionable way to generate AP, ending lives is our best bet for using abilities. While I’m not advocating murder sprees or wanton slaughter, silently killing foes can give us the powers we need to win our battles. Abandoning our moral compass is a small price for an epic Western adventure!

Invigorating Tonics – The best source of AP, invigorating tonics entirely refill our AP gauge upon use. While these consumables are uncommon discoveries in containers, we can reliably loot them from monster corpses, like sirens, and purchase them from doctor merchants. For free access to several invigorating tonics, I recommend breaking into the doctor’s office in Grackle and stealing all her medical supplies.

Death’s Door Amulet – A rare drop from enemies, chests, and quest rewards, the death’s door amulet lowers the AP cost of abilities when our health is low. While this amulet’s function is nearly worthless in a firefight, intentionally reducing our health enables the economical use of AP for stealth abilities like Sentry Silencer and Heart Finder Arrow.

Sleeping – The easiest method of regenerating our AP, sleeping on any bed fully restores our AP and health. While this method is less exciting than murder sprees, drug abuse, or magical amulets, beds offer a safe and reliable way to restore our AP before a battle. I recommend investigating enemy barracks and townhomes for beds before and during combat operations. Our enemies may not respect us, but they will protect and defend our right to catnap.

Best Weapon Abilities


Sentry Silencer – Easily my favorite rifle ability, Sentry Silencer enables us to silently snipe enemies with a 150% bonus to unaware targets. In practice, this skill allows us to kill an enemy, wait for the guards nearby to calm down, then snipe the next guard until an entire settlement is safe.

Even if some foes have more armor, we can use this ability in conjunction with the ambusher perk to deal upwards of 250% damage to unaware targets. I recommend using this perk to wipe out hordes of enemies from afar before combat has even started.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Heart Finder Arrow – Heart Finder Arrow enables us to negate foes’ protective armor and bleed them out. The bow’s utility as a stealth weapon enables us to leverage this ability as a Stealth weapon to one-shot nearly every boss, beast, and cult leader. I advise employing Heart Finder Arrow against posses leaders to compel any surviving posse members to flee.

“Photo by JT Hussey”


Explosive shell – Unleash a wide-range explosive shotgun shell upon a cluster of nearby foes. Explosive Shell is terrific for knocking down large sets of attackers and striking them while they’re down. Better yet, Explosive Shell enables us to conserve our ammo instead of other skills that encourage us to dump dozens of rounds in seconds. I recommend employing this ability to combat multiple armored-up foes and preserve ammo when our supply runs dry.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Rapid Reload – Fire your shotgun without having to reload for several seconds. Rapid Reload turns our double barrel shotguns into a veritable death machines, helping us make quick work of enemies with large health bars. Take your remaining shotgun shells into consideration when using Rapid Reload, however.

This ability blows through our shotgun shells, thus making this costly ability to reuse. I recommend using Rapid Reload against formidable opponents and foes in tightly packed corridors.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Lightning Rounds

Shock your foes with electric pistol bullets. Lightning rounds are fantastic for stunning ranged enemies sniping us from afar. This ability is excellent so long as we have extra pistol rounds to spare. I recommend lightning rounds against ranged groups of widely spaced enemies.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Best Character Abilities

Bounty Hunter: Charm

Bring enemies onto our side for a brief time. Charm enables us to turn large groups of foes against each other, giving us a brief respite to lay explosive charges and blow them to bits!

However, this ability only lasts for a few seconds, so we’re better off turning on our temporary allies as soon as possible. I recommend employing this ability against large groups of tightly packed enemies like in mines, caves, and underground ruins.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Pigman: Rubber Skin

Turn your enemies’ weapons against them, causing bullets to ricochet off your skin into nearby foes. Rubber Skin is fantastic when paired with a potent melee weapon, enabling us to charge gun-wielding opponents without fear of reprisal. While this ability is worthless against melee foes like zombies and sirens, Rubber Skin is excellent for aggressive playstyles and ending combat quickly.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Protector: Cousin Bear

Summon the spirit of a great bear to tear our foes asunder! While our bear only lasts 15 seconds, they can quickly decimate ranks of lightly armored enemies. Better yet, we don’t have to worry about our animal spirits dying like other companions whose deaths can impact the story. I highly recommend this powerful summon whenever we feel surrounded or feel that a fight is inevitable.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Absolutionist: Werewolf Transformation

The default power for our werewolf avatar, we can turn into a furry monstrosity and charge our terrifying foes. While this transformation lasts briefly, it functions as an excellent panic button if we fail a stealth section. I recommend using this ability against hordes of formidable foes and abusing the werewolf sprint function to close the distance between faraway enemies.

“Photo by JT Hussey”

Oneirist: Astral Projection

Summons a doppelganger to bear the brunt of enemy attacks enabling us to make a speedy getaway. This ability is excellent for distracting foes so we can escape combat encounters or steal the nearest horse.

Especially with the Oneirist’s low health and lack of necessary fights, we’re better off running away from enemies than engaging them. I recommend employing this ability in challenging combat encounters with too many foes to take on.

“Photo by JT Hussey”


Question: What is the best ability in the Weird West?

Answer: The Oneirists’s astral projection ability is arguably the best in the weird west. This power enables us to distract enemies, escape combat, and prevent taking any damage for the remainder of our journey.

Question: How do I reclaim my nimp relics in the next playthrough?

Answer: Meeting up with our previous avatar, found on the world map enables us to reclaim our nimp relics and other possessions. Be warned that completing a character’s journey in a certain way, i.e. embracing the spirit of greed or empowering the blood moon, turns that character hostile, forcing us to fight them for our gear.

Question: Where can I find nimp relics?

Answer: While we’ll find most of our nimp relics in containers, corpses, and chests, the world map has a few fixed locations for nimp relics. When exploring new areas, look for a faint purple glow hiding the site of a nimp relic.

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