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Skills are a game mechanic in Disco Elysium, determining Harry's abilities and thoughts.

The initial level of a skill is equal to the level of the attributes it falls under. A signature skill, selected at the start, receives a +1. Subsequent increases require spending skill points, and the total times they can be increased are affected by the base attributes that were chosen. Certain thoughts as well as Drugs can raise the cap.

Checks[]

There are two main types of skill checks, both affected by the number of skill points invested in the relevant skill.

Active Checks[]

Active checks require dice rolls to proceed and come in two variations: red checks and white checks.

  • Red checks cannot be retried, and success or failure will impact the story. It is not always a bad thing to fail a red check, even if it may seem to be at first.
  • White checks may be retried after certain requirements are met, or if a skill point is spent on the relevant stat; as such, success or failure will have no impact on the story. Certain white checks, typically more difficult ones, may have unique dialogue for multiple failures.

Unlike passive checks, the number of skill points invested into the relevant skill does not affect whether the dialogue option is available; instead, it affects how high the likelihood of passing the check is. Active checks are affected by modifiers received from buying dice from the Novelty Dicemaker, clothing, drugs, active thoughts, and previous choices.

The formula used to calculate the total is: . If the total is equal to or higher than the required number, the check will pass. The exceptions to this are rolling a critical failure (double ones), which will automatically fail, or rolling a critical success (double sixes), which will automatically succeed.

Passive Checks[]

Passive checks, or passives, appear regularly during dialogue without having to roll the dice and affect whether or not certain dialogue options appear. They are not required to progress the main story, as they mainly provide flavour text, though some may reveal important information or trigger additional tasks.

Passive checks only appear if enough skill points have been invested into the relevant skill (with the exception of "anti-passives," which only appear if the requirement is not met), so there is no reliable way to prepare for them. Passive checks are affected by modifiers received from clothing and active thoughts, but not by previous choices. The formula used to calculate the total is:

Difficulty Total Points Required Skill Level
Trivial 6 0
Easy 8 2
Medium 10 (rarely 11) 4 (rarely 5)
Challenging 12 6
Formidable 13 7
Legendary 14 8
Heroic 15 9
Godly 16 10
Impossible 18/20 12/14

List of skills[]

Intellect[]

Psyche[]

Physique[]

Motorics[]

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