Ori and The Blind Forest Abilities – A Complete Overview and Guide to The Ability Tree

Ori and The Blind Forest Walkthrough

Rage-QuitThe Ability Tree:

In Ori and The Blind Forest abilities (aka talents, skills or perks in other games) are used to increase Ori’s attack, defense and exploration capabilities.  They bolster Ori’s effectiveness and are what help make it possible for you to progress through the game. Without a proper investment in them you will find yourself dying a lot more than you should. So to atleast lessen the amount of rage quits (I had many while playing this game 😀 ), it would be best to get a complete understanding of the The Ability Tree. That way when you start dying alot (and you will in this game >:) ), you will atleast know how best to proceed with your next course of action, minimizing your deaths and using your Ability Points wisely.

Do you need help with any other part of Ori and The Blind Forest?  Then check out my Ori and The Blind Forest Walkthrough [Includes a video walkthrough as well as written walkthroughs with instructional videos].

Gaining Ability Points

In order to acquire any of these enhancements from the Ability Tree Ori first needs to obtain an ability point(s).   Ability points can be obtained by collecting Spirit Light after you kill an enemy, collecting Spirit Light Containers or by finding  an Ability Cell pickup.  Collecting an Ability Cell gives you one full ability point instantly, while the other methods help in adding up towards gaining an ability point.  Basically gaining an ability point equates to Ori leveling up, with Spirit Light, Spirit Light Containers and Ability Cells being his XP (experience points).

The Branches

Ori’s Ability Tree is divided into three branches represented by the colors red, purple and green.  Each branch deals with a different aspect of gameplay.  The red colored branch deals with Ori’s offensive capabilities, improving Ori’s attack damage and attack rate with Spirit Flame and other attacks.  The purple colored branch deals with convenience and exploration, which Ori's Ability Treehas enhancements that make it easier to collect most pickups, find them or increase their potency.  Then there is the green colored branch, dedicated to improving Ori’s defensive capabilities and survival.  This branch contains abilities that allow you to re-use a soul link indefinitely, have it heal you upon its creation and a defensive shield that reduces enemy damage.   These are only some of the enhancements each tree provides, to see a complete description of each in detail see the “Branches Overview and Guide” portion of this post.

Branches Overview and Guide

Now that we understand how to gain ability points and the different aspects of game play that each branch is responsible for, lets explore each branch and its abilities a little closer.  Also, keep in mind that you can potentially acquire ALL abilities in game, however it will take some time to do so.  That being said you will want to build Ori accordingly, so that you don’t end up gimped and trying to grind ability points late game.

Tip: If you are playing Ori and The Blind Forest on the PC with a keyboard and mouse like I use to, I recommend that you use a controller instead. Trust me, it makes a world of difference (you will die less 🙂 ). Platformers by nature are designed to be played with a controller, so if you don’t have a Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 or PS4 controller already, you should pick one up on Amazon via the links below:

Microsoft Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows
Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller for Windows & Xbox 360 Console

If you go with a PS3 or PS4 controller, keep in mind that you may have to buy an extra mini Usb cable if you decide to go with the DualShock 3, or an extra Micro Usb 2.0 cable if you go with the DualShock 4. You can probably find one lying around though, but Playstation 3/4 controllers bought on Amazon don’t come with any cables. They will also require that you install extra software to get them to work on the PC, you can view a step by step guide from DigitalTrends on how to do this by clicking here. If you decide to go with Sony you can pick up one of the controllers from Amazon via the links below:

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 – Jet Black
PlayStation 3 Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller (Black)

Attack and Offensive Abilities

Quick Flame:
Allows you to shoot three flames before recharging.
Tier: 1
Cost: [1 Ability Point]
Priority: [Medium]Quick Flame

When you first get Spirit Flame, the skill itself without enhancements is not that great (Its pretty terrible actually).  You are going to want to pick this ability up fairly soon, I would recommend it being the second Ability you choose with the first being Spirit Magnet.  This early in game, Spirit Magnet is the only other ability where you should spend your first Ability Point. But quick flame definitely should be either your second or third choice.

Spark Flame:
Increases the strength of Spirit Flame
Tier: 2Spark Flame
Cost: [1 Ability Point]
Priority: [High]
The Spirit Flame attack in the beginning stages is very weak, so having its damaged buffed is always nice.

Charge Flame Burn:
Improves the radius and damage of Charge Flame.
Tier: 3
Cost: [1 Ability Point]
Priority: [Medium]Charge Flame Burn
Now this is a nice skill to have!  Charge flame damage and AOE potential is average at best in its basic form.  But when enhanced, its strategic capabilities like AOEing groups of monsters from behind cover is a huge advantage.  However, you might want to hold off on this ability until you get Charge Flame Efficiency.  This early in the game spamming Charge Flame can be taxing on your Energy Cells, which you won’t have much of to begin with (best to have when you’ve got at-least 4 to 5 energy cells with Charge Flame Efficiency).

Split Flame:
Allows the Spirit Flame to damage two targets at once
Tier: 4
Cost: [1 Ability Point]Split Flame
Priority: [High]
You attack two enemies at the same time with this ability.  This is a very important ability, as being able to attack two enemies (as opposed to one) while kiting enemies will greatly increase your chances of survival.

Ultra Bash:
Increases damage and allows bashing through enemies
Tier: 5
Cost: [2 Ability Points]
Priority: [High]Ultra Bash
You are going to need this,  its allows you to avoid collision with enemies and go right through them.  Keep in mind the collision is for the enemies you fly towards.  Previously when you used bashed and ended up flying into more enemies you would take damage from them, but with this ability you can fly right through them.  This allows you to spam bash repeatedly among a group of enemies without taking any damage once you time it properly. 🙂

Cinder Flame:
Further increases the strength of Spirit Flame
Tier: 6
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Cinder Flame
Priority: [High]
Having your Spirit Flame do more damage is always good.  This means that it takes you take less shots to take out a monster, which means it dies faster and you live longer! 😀 Great ability so don’t take to long to pick it up.

Ultra Stomp:
Increases the radius and damage of stomp
Tier: 7
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Ultra Stomp
Priority: [High]
Get this as soon as possible!  Stomp is already a high damage ability, adding more damage to it makes it even better! But the best thing about this ability is the increased radius as Stomps default radius is kind of lack luster. If you already know how to make good use of the Stomp skill, after acquiring this ability you will be destroying your enemies. Some enemies (the Rhino for example) can only be killed in a few ways, Stomp being one of them, Spirit Flame isn’t your only means of attack so use stomp more!

Rapid Flame:
Allows the Spirit Flame to be fired more rapidly
Tier: 8
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Rapid Flame
Priority: [High]
Machine Gun Flame!  This ability increases the attack speed of Spirit Flame by a very noticeable amount.  You literally can burn some mobs to ashes in a matter of seconds with Spirit Flame after getting this ability.   Melt faces!

Charge Flame Blast:
Enhances the radius and attack damage of Charge
Tier: 9Charge Flame Blast
Cost: [3 Ability Points]
Priority: [High]

Make Charge Flame your “coup de gras” and wipe rooms!  You should already have Charge Flame Efficiency and a decent amount of Energy Cells first (five the lowest) by the time you reach this ability.

Ultra Split Flame:
Further increases Spirit Flame damage and allows to hit four targets at once
Tier: 10
Cost: [3 Ability Points]Ultra Split Flame
Priority: [High]
As with Split Flame, get this ability ASAP!  Don’t forget that now you also have Rapid Flame, which means you will be machine gunning up to four mobs at the same time with this ability.  x4 Face Melt!

Convenience and Exploration Abilities

Spirit Magnet:
Most pickups now float to Ori
Tier: 1
Cost: [1 Ability Point]
Priority: [High]Spirit Magnet

Get this if you want to gain any Ability Points.  I won’t say that it is impossible to gain any Ability Points (aka level up in this game) without this ability but you will be doing yourself a disservice.  This is arguably the most import ability in the game, without it you will have to manually go and collect all Spirit Light, Energy Shards and Life.  Even if they fall on spikes, lava or toxic water 😮 .  Unless you like swimming in hot lava to collect Spirit Light, I would advise you to pick this skill up first before any other skill. 🙂

Map Markers:
Makes most pickups show up on the Map
Tier: 2
Cost: [1 Ability Point]Map Markers
Priority: [Low]
Nice to have, but you can find all pickups and their locations with a simple search on google, and even this website (once I’m done completely with the Ori and The Blind Forest Walkthrough).  The main reason I would recommend getting this ability is to progress up the Convenience and Exploration branch to Ultra Spirit Magnet.  Only spend an Ability Points on this ability when there is nothing else better to choose from within its cost range.  Once done, spend an Ability Point here so you can get closer to acquiring Ultra Spirit Magnet.

Life Efficiency:
Life pickups will restore twice as much life
Tier: 3
Cost: [1 Ability Point]Life Efficiency
Priority: [Low]
Its nice to have the pickups restore more life cells to Ori, but obtaining the abilities of the same tier from the other branches are a greater priority.  Only spend an Ability Point on this ability when you already have abilities of the same tier from the other branches.  This will bring you closer to the main goal of this branch, obtaining  Ultra Spirit Magnet.

Ultra Spirit Magnet:
Most pickups will automatically be absorbed
Tier: 4
Cost: [1 Ability Point]Ultra Spirit Magnet
Priority: [Medium]

Once you have an Ability Point available, prioritize which ability Split-Flame or Ultra Spirit Magnet is more important you at the moment.  Then choose one of them and after that, the second ability point you get goes to the other, in my opinion you should chose Split-Flame and then Ultra Spirit Magnet (as you still would have the basic Spirit Magnet ability).

Energy Efficiency:
Energy pickups reward 50% more energy
Tier: 5
Cost: [2 Ability Point points]Energy Efficiency
Priority: [Low]
When your energy cells are low, having this ability is a blessing when you desperately need to Soul Link or get through an Energy Gate. Its a fifty percent increase, an energy pickup that would restore half a cell would now restore almost a full cell (75%) or something that would’ve restored three cells will now now restore four and a half.

Ability Markers:
Makes Ability Cells show up on Map
Tier: 6Ability Markers
Cost: [2 Ability Points]
Priority: [Low]
Nice to have but not required,  Ability Cell locations can be found online.  Save those points for more important abilities from the other two branches and then come back to this one.

Spirit Efficiency:
Increases the Spirit Light gained from absorbed Spirit Light
Tier: 7
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Spirit Efficiency
Priority: [Medium]
More Spirit Light means you gain ability points faster.  After taking into account the abilities from the other branches (Ultra Stomp and Triple Jump) decide if you want to get this ability.  You might even want to put this as your top priority when comparing it to abilities in the other branches, the importance of gaining more Spirit Light cannot be underestimated.  In my opinion it is definitely a higher priority than Triple Jump, but still comes a close second to Ultra Stomp (Ultra Stomp is just too bad ass 😎 ).

Life Markers:
Makes Life Cells show up on the Map
Tier: 8
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Life Markers
Priority: [Low]
Like I said with the Ability markers ability, its nice to have but no a must.  All life cells locations can be found on the internet, if you don’t feel like opening two windows to look up the locations of life cells then get this ability.  However, it takes priority after the abilities of the same tier, from the other branches .

Energy Markers:
Makes Energy Cells show up on the Map
Tier: 9
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Energy Markers
Priority: [Low]

See my explanation of Life Markets above, this ability is not required as all Energy Locations can be found online.  You should get this only if you don’t feel like multi-tasking and looking at the game and looking at a YouTube video or website for the Energy Cell locations.  And as you probably already know, its comes last in priority to skills of the same tier from the other two branches.

Allows Ori to see through walls to find hidden areas
Tier: 10
Cost: [3 Ability Points]Sense
Priority: [Low]

The final ability in the Convenience and Exploration branch and as with most skills in this branch, its just that – Convenience.  I  know I am beginning to sound like a broken record here but this skill should take priority only after you have dealt with skills in the other two branches.  All hidden locations in Ori and The Blind Forest can be found online, only spend points on this ability after you’ve gotten all your high-medium priority skills.

Survival and Defensive Abilities

Allows reusing Soul Links and shortens the cooldown timer
Tier: 1Rekindle
Cost: [1 Ability Point]
Priority: [Medium]

Very Important ability, this Spirit Magnet, and Quick Flame will be among the first three abilities you choose. Also when combined with Regroup, and Ultra Soul Link becomes even more valueable.

Creating a Soul Link restores 1 Life Cell
Tier: 2
Cost: [1 Ability Point]Regroup
Priority: [Medium]

Can be used to heal yourself up if you are stocked up on energy cells and your life cells are low.  I would prioritize this after the abilities of the same tier from the Attack and Offensive Abilities branch.

Charge Flame Efficiency:
Halves the cost of Charge Flame
Tier: 3
Cost: [1 Ability Point]
Priority: [High]Charge Flame Efficiency
Charge Flame in its original state isn’t viable to be used often, especially if you don’t have that many Energy Cells yet. However, after getting this ability its viability increases with each Energy Cell you have (If you have five cells, thats 10 Charge Flame bombs you can drop).  The more Energy Cells you have the more spamable the ability becomes. Combined with  other abilities like Charge Flame Burn and Energy Efficiency you can become a double jumping nuke bomb taking out everything in your path.

Ultra Soul Link:
Creating a Soul Link restores 2 Life Cells
Tier: 4
Cost: [2 Ability Points]Ultra Soul Link
Priority: [Medium]

Its basically the same ability as Regroup except it restores two Life Cells instead of one.  Nice to have if you are stocked up on Energy Cells and low on Life Cells.  I would check the Attack and Offensive Abilities branch to see if I was interested in what they to offer first though.

Water Breath:
Allows Ori to breathe in clean water
Tier: 5
Cost: [2 Ability Points]
Priority: [Medium]Water Breath
Ori has a small wind sack, maybe because he’s so tiny?  At first glance you might think this skill isn’t that important and that you can just swim back up for air.  I thought the same thing, I was wrong.  With slamming underwater pillars closing in blocking your path while trying to crush you, and giant piranha trying have you for dinner – you will need this ability. Not to mention every time the fish attacks you, it knocks you back deeper underwater so if you don’t die from the piranha you will most likely drown to death.  Did i mention Ori has a small wind sack? Get this!

Soul Link Efficiency:
Halves the cost of Soul Link
Tier: 6
Cost: [2 Ability Points]
Priority: [Medium]Soul Link Efficiency

Decent enough ability, I don’t know why its so high up the Survival and Defensive Abilities branch but it  isn’t that bad. While not completely useless its not that awe inspiring either.  I guess it can come in handy if you really need to save in an emergency and you’re really low on energy, or don’t feel like running back to your previous Soul Link.   Remember with Re-Kindle you can use any previous Soul Link over and over again without any cost.  Prioritize this ability after seeing whats available in the Attack and Offensive Abilities branch and hell, maybe even the Convenience and Exploration branch first. This ability isn’t worth the ability point cost in my opinion and should not be so high up the Survival and Defensive abilities tree, I don’t know what Moon Studios was thinking here.

Triple Jump:
Allows a third jump in the air
Tier: 7
Cost: [3 Ability Points]
Priority: [Low]Triple Jump

Allows you an extra jump after double jump, combine this with the Charge Leap skill and Ori can gain some serious air and hang time with this ability.   A really great ability that deserves to be this high up the Survival and Defensive Abilities branch, unlike the one before it! However, you should definitely check out Ultra Stomp and Spirit Efficiency in the other branches before taking this one.  Its nice to jump high but and increased Spirit Light gain and a more powerful Stomp is more important.  Nice to have, but it isn’t a serious requirement.

Ultra Defense:
Reduces the damage inflicted by enemies
Tier: 8
Cost: [3 Ability Points]
Priority: [Medium]Ultra Defense

This!  Ori can take a lickin and keep on tickin! Get this as soon as its available and you have enough points for it.  Not that you should be letting enemies hit you, but with this ability Ori basically becomes unkillable to certain enemies.   Keep in mind, this skill is only reduces damage dealt to you by enemies and not by things in the environment like lava, spikes and boulders dropping on your head. 🙂

Share Your Thoughts

So how do you plan to build Ori while leveling?  Which Skill Tree branch or Abilities are most important to you?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 🙂

Also, if you have any questions, comments, suggestions or if you disagree with something in the guide, let me know in the comments as well. I will continue to tweak and modify this guide depending on your feedback or if things in the game change.

Don’t forget to share this game guide with your friends who could use it.


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Note:  Let me just say that this ability tree guide is just that, a guide – a template to follow and keep in mind when you are building up Ori. You are free to build Ori however you see fit, and you are not required to agree with everything you see here. You should always play the game the way you find most fun to play.  I am just providing information based on what I’ve experienced during my playthroughs of the game.  All abilities are compared against abilities of the same tier while going up the three branches (I think its the most accurate/fair way of comparison).  For example, Quick Flame, Spirit Magnet and Rekindle are the first abilities from the 3 branches and are therefore Tier 1 abilities.  They should not be compared to Spark Flame, Map Markers or Regroup, which although cost the same amount of Ability Points, are Tier 2 abilities as they are the second set of abilities from the three branches.

If you need more help, check out the written/video guide series of the game.


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Change Log [Last Updated: 12/5/2016]


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