For more strategies, read Prima’s Shadow of Mordor Beginners and Advanced tips.

The Ranger in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is capable of killing Uruk without the help of special Abilities, but considering the ferocious enemies you’ll encounter, we strongly recommend spending Ability Points to unlock more powerful maneuvers. 

To unlock Abilities, you’ll need to earn Ability Points, which you achieve from earning XP. In fact, the Abilities screen displays the amount of XP remaining until your next Ability Point. 

To unlock Ability Tiers, you must complete Power Struggles throughout the game, and similar to XP, you’ll find the Power Struggle points necessary to access the next tier.  

With that out of the way, here’s our personal list of the coolest Abilities in Shadow of Mordor, in no particular order.

Shadow Strike Chain: Chain together Shadow Strike attacks (Hold L2 + X) or (Hold L2 + Square). During the attack, push the Left Stick in the direction of your next foe and tap X or Square to carry on with the chain. 

Shadow Mount: With this, you can instantly mount a Caragor or Graug with Shadow Strike (Hold L2 +X). Shoot an arrow and Talion will teleport onto the Caragor. 

Fire Arrow: With your Hit Streak charged, unleash a Fire Arrow (Hold L2 + R1). Why is this useful? Fire Arrows will unleash big time explosions when used on barrels or campfires. 

Resilience: The ability to absorb a single hit without the Hit Streak getting reset. This is great when going for executions, where keeping the Hit Streak going is extremely important to cutting off heads. 

Blade Master: This Ability reduces the Hit Streak threshold for an Execution, Wraith Flash, Combat Drain, Wraith Burn and Fire Arrow from eight to five. Three hits may not seem like much at first, but it makes all the difference when surrounded. 

Brace of Daggers: Upgrades Talion’s Throwing Daggers so three can be thrown in rapid succession (quickly tap L2). Fleeing enemies can be killed by thrown daggers. 

Graug Hunter: Press R1 to mount and then ride stunned Graugs. Sneak up behind an unaware Graug and tap Square.

Caragor Hunter: Gain the option to counter Caragor attacks (Triangle). Talion can then mount a stunned Caragor. In addition, you gain the ability to score a devastating counterattack from Last Chance Struggles with Caragors.

Wraith Flash: With your Hit Streak charged, press Square + X to perform a blast that stuns enemies and inflicts major damage. 

Brutalize: A terrifying stealth kill (Hold R2 + Triangle) that causes nearby Uruk to run away. On top of that, it builds Talion’s Hit Streak.