Builds in Rogue Trader are player-made configurations combining the most convenient Classes, Subclasses, Features, BackgroundsWeaponsArmor, and Skills into each Build in order to help the player gain a big advantage towards completing the game. Every player is free to choose how they want to build their characters, but players new to the genre may need some guidance, as the Build mechanics in Turn-Based RPGs like this are usually too complex to get at the beginning, and maybe even for veterans. These Builds will help you simplify the work of making complex decisions when you first create and customize your character.

Creating a Character in Rogue Trader

Before you begin traveling into the different planets in the Koronus Expanse, players will go through the Character Creation tab which will introduce them to the various aspects of a character. Choices that you make during the creation of your character will matter greatly later as you travel through the planets in the Koronus Expanse. Rogue Trader puts an emphasis on creating the finest Rogue Trader and has added various mechanics that will affect the character's skills, modifiers, stats, talents, and features.

Players are presented with an opportunity to create a character from scratch or pick from 1 one of the 3 available pre-generated characters. This will include Hecata, Darrius, and Bahardor, each of these characters has a different combination of Backgrounds and Abilities, but they are created just in case players get overwhelmed by the massive choices available during Character Creation.

2 homepage pre made character warhammer 40000 40k rogue trader wiki guide

A Pre-Generated Character can help new players get settled into the game and begin playing in a short amount of time. Players can still customize these characters but will be presented with pre-existing combinations. Players can choose from three different Archetypes: Marksman, Operative, and Warrior. The fourth and considerably the most difficult archetype to master was excluded from the selection which is the Officer.

Can you Respec in Rogue Trader

Respecing is available once you gain control of the Von Valancius ship by talking to the High Factotum. You can only change chosen talents within an archetype, some companions may have talents you can't respec. Characteristics and skills assigned when creating a character can't be changed.

WH40K: Rogue Trader Archetypes

Archetypes are the four different paths that your characters can follow. Each Archetype encapsulates a unique set of skills and expertise and represents a specific combat specialization-- from the frontline warrior to the indispensable leader preferring to command from the rear. Archetypes in Warhammer 40K allow you to choose who you want to be in the grim dark future of Rogue Trader. Archetypes are divided into 3 categories: Basic, Advanced, and Exemplar.

12 archetypes homepage wiki warhammer 40000 rogue trader wiki guide 

At Level 1, players can choose from the 4 Basic Archetypes:

  • Warrior
  • Officer
  • Operative
  • Soldier

As players gain experience and explore the expanses, they will be able to progress and level up their Archetypes once they reach Level 16. They can now choose from the Advanced Archetypes before moving on to become an Exemplar at Level 36.

  • Assassin
  • Vanguard
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Master Tactician
  • Grand Strategist
  • Arch-Militant


Rogue Trader Builds


Generic Building Info


Building characters in rogue trader is about combining talents, characteristics, items and even convictions once you are in the later stages of the game. With so many talents and items, having a general strategy and improvising as you go will save you a lot of time. However that doesn't mean giving up on an optimal setup.

The first time saver is excluding talents which aren't effective at your current character level. Many talents in the list don't gain relevance until later levels, or require other talents in order to be good. Others lack potential and a strong synergy unless you find a specific item. Talents that scale with characteristics and skills or need certain conditions in order to activate are generally more relevant on higher levels. For example, the talent Combat Insight activates when you reach a perception characteristic bonus of 10, otherwise it has no effect. This talent effectively requires other talents which give you perception n order to work, as the alternative is to reach a perception stat of 100. This talent is available to pick way sooner than you would normally be able to reach such a perception score; in other words it's possible to pick a talent that's currently useless. Such talents can be ignored until you are higher level, unless you intend to commit and get more talents to make it work, Insightful Precision is one such example. Point being that there are several talents which don't do anything on their own, which can be ignored until you have a full build in mind. 


Character creation, Early game and late game build strategies


When leveling up early in the game, picking whatever gives you the most power in the present is enough, you don't need to consider what those talents will build into later, as when you're higher level and have more room for combinations, you can respec at the Voidship. As such, the origin and even home world you choose is important since it gives access to new talent combinations but also because you can't respec or change these later. Picking between Ballistics and Weapon Skill during character creation is similarly irreversible. Theory crafting the perfect build before even creating a character is difficult and time consuming, therefore it's best to use origins and home worlds to set a general direction. The Crime Lord origin is good if you want a character who excels at delivering a single high damaging attack, which is good for sharpshooters or area damage builds (meaning those based on shotguns, flamers and certain psyker abilities), yet it also gives you a higher weapon skill stat, so you get something out of it if you're going for a melee build as well, especially benefitting those focusing on AOE cleave attacks. This added weapon skill bonus is not wasted on ranged characters however, as it stills increases the power of Surefire Plan, which ranged characters still benefit from. As you can see, all origins have a degree of flexibility, however they still have their own general focus and identity, so pick carefully. The same thing goes for home worlds.

Later in the game you can build in a role oriented matter (debuffer, tanker, crowd control etc.) or stack a lot of talents sharing the same keyword or purpose, leveling up and taking a +10% damage talent may only make you marginally stronger than you were last level, but keep stacking damage across an entire campaign and you'll deal impressive damage. Unfortunately, many talents are worded in confusing ways and aren't as strong as they look. Others look weak but there's a single word or two that are easy to miss which reveal them to actually be quite strong. Putting a star on skills that look good whenever you level up and iterating on this list, removing skills you may have put a star on before you had the knowledge to realize was bad, or add skills you previously overlooked, will give you a head start whenever you respec at a high level or have to make a big build decision.


General things to note about making builds:


  • The green triangle on skills and characteristics don't indicate it's something you should put points into, though it often is, the green triangle means you already have a bonus to that stat. Idara will have green triangles on her perception and intelligence characteristics, however this does not mean that putting points into these is the correct or intended path, it is just one of the ways you could build her. Depending on what you want Idara to be, willpower could be better even though it doesn't have a green triangle.


  • The talent lists are long and take a long time to navigate normally. It's recommended to click the star icons on skills you want to remember or grab in the future. There is a tab for starred skills, as well as tabs for other talent categories such as offensive talents or origin talents. Use these to make leveling smoother and less time consuming. When choosing a common talents, you can't see talent categories but the talents you've put a star on may still be available to pick.


General talent advice for different archetypes:


  • Archetype "Talent" slots pull from a pool of all talents shared between archetype, universal features, origin and homeworld specific talents. "Common Talent" slots can only be filled by origin, homeworld and universal features. This distinction is especially important for psykers, as putting a psyker talent in the archetype "Talent" slot can more easily be wasted. Many of the universal feature talents give bonuses to specific weapons, defense stats or characteristic, which is less relevant for a ranged spellcaster (if that's what you're building), since you don't use weapons and mostly only need willpower to deal damage. Armor type or defensive talents are also less relevant if you're going to be a backliner. Therefore it can be more efficient to put psyker talents in your "Common Talent" slot instead of the "Talent" slot. 


  • "Universal feature" talents are the most relevant for archetypes who get most of their power from their items. Which mostly means soldiers and warriors. An example of this is the weapon specific talent, Solid Projectile Weapon Expert, for soldiers who rely on burst attack weapons with a high rate of fire but low damage, this weapon talent gets a lot more value than it would for another archetype, (soldier abilities like Rapid Fire also let you get more value out of weapon talents). Soldier can make many weapon attacks per turn and hit many enemies, therefore talents which increase the power of the soldier's weapon is really efficient. Putting the best guns you can find on your soldier is also more valuable than on another character for this reason. Warriors on the other hand benefit more from straight number boosts, having more wounds, more MP, more deflection, more armor etc. Warriors are mostly simple, run around the front lines and take a lot of damage, therefore talents like It Will Not Die is more efficient on a warrior than on other characters. Items that increase stats in one way or another will see more value on warriors. As a side note I will mention that Ramming Speed and Rigorous Training are good warrior talents. Despite these archetypes benefitting more from universal features, all archetypes generally need talents from their own archetype in order to thrive, so don't neglect them.


  • Flat damage bonuses benefit characters who make burst attacks, or attack several times every turn, a lot more than they benefit characters who deliver a single hit. +1 flat damage gives 7 value if you attack 7 times. Likewise, characters who make a single high damage attack see more value from percentage damage increases than flat damage increases. +10% damage on a 100 damage attack gives 10 value, whereas +10% damage on a 10 damage attack only give 1 value. That being said, despite this principle being good when deciding which talents to prioritize on which archetypes, all characters benefit from a mixture of flat damage- and percentage damage talents in the long run.


  • Don't pigeonhole all psykers into the role of backline spellcaster, psykers can fit many builds. Warrior psykers get a lot of benefit from biomancy and pyromancy. Operator Psykers can get a lot of benefit from telepathy, either from stacking debuffs with Sensory Deprivation and Exploit Weakness, or removing exploit stacks to deliver a nuke with Psychic Shriek and aftershock.


  • Operators benefit more from archetype specific talents, they're all about building up stacks of exploit on enemies and then removing them for in different beneficial ways. Their power doesn't lie in weapons as it does for soldier, or straight stats as it does for warrior, operators rely on their class abilities, therefore you want to upgrade these as often as possible, putting points into MP or armor is therefore more often a missed opportunity. As operators more or less have two different builds, remove exploit stacks in order to deal damage or remove exploit stacks in order to debuff the enemy. Intelligence dictates how many stacks of exploit you apply with Analyze Enemy but perception dictates how effective the resulting stacks of exploit actually are. If you want to deal damage, focusing mostly on perception is the way to go, though you shouldn't neglect intelligence completely. If you want to debuff, an even division between intelligence and perception is better. However, an alternative way to build a debuffing operator is to put all characteristics points into perception and then rely on talents in order to apply more stacks of Exploit instead. Alternatively you can have one Operator that goes all in on intelligence to maximize the amount of Exploit given, then another who goes all in on perception to maximize the amount of Exploit removed. However this is not recommended unless you have a way to manipulate the turn order, as this strategy relies on the intelligence Operator going first. Talents that give you more exploits per turn, such as Continous Analysis and Passive Learning can be useful, though in the mid stages of the game you will have likely have multiple source of gaining bonus turns, especially through the talent Savor The Kill for Bounty Hunter which lets you use Analyze Enemy multiple times every turn, or talents and abilities given within the officer related archetypes. Concentrating many stacks of Exploit on a high value target is usually better than spreading Exploit stacks evenly between all enemies. Therefore passive exploit gain talents becomes more redundant. Instead, talents which make triggering exploit more effective, such as Ballistics Calculation, become more important. Something to note is that the perk Tide Of Excellence is on it's own a weak talent, however if you attack multiple times a turn and with many instances of damage, big area attacks or high rate of fire burst attacks, the talent can eventually grant a lot of power in an extended fight. However for sharpshooters who only attack the same target every turn, often only triggering exploit once, the talent is not worth it.


  • If you want to put a lot of points into officer talents and focus on providing buffs, you can put a lot of points into fellowship and archetype talents. However if you're mostly interested in officer because of Bring It Down, you can get More Than Possible and one other supplemental officer talent and then put everything else into improving the character's own combat prowess. Though once you unlock advanced archetypes, fellowship becomes a lot more important.


Companion Specific Talent And Ability Combinations 


Cassia: Mastery Of Time (talent) + Reveal The Light (ability). Can have synergies with vanguard through for example Beacon Of Might, Reckless Strike, and Inspire Courage (talents). Besides that, Notch Of Purpose, Point Of Curiosity (abilities) and Perilous Ways (talent) is an amazing combination that offers both utility and damage. Unblinking Stare (talent) can add to this if you have a melee character in your party.


Heinrix: Edge of dawn (talent) + Enfeeble (ability) + Deterioration (talent) is a great combination that makes enemies around him take a lot more damage. As a tank he can hold down enemies and soften them up, which goes well with Vanguard (archetype). Beacon Of Might and Reckless Strike can then be combined to deliver massive nukes on enemies. Especially considering that biomancy grants you Iron Arm, increasing the effectiveness of Reckless Strike. If you double down and choose Strength at every possible junction, getting either Open Engagement (talent) or Impetus (talent) for warrior can be a great idea. However if you build him this way, I suggest not grabbing any psyker abilities in the Warrior archetype wheel, ensuring you get both Taunting Scream and Reckless Strike. Then getting Enfeeble in the Vanguard archetype wheel later and possibly Invigoration or Warp Speed and Metabolic Overload (abilities). However if you're grabbing psyker abilities for Heinrix, the talent Adrenaline Surge (talent) is strongly recommended. Making Heinrix an Assassin can be good, especially since Elusive Shadow (ability) will make enemies walk away from him while threatened, giving him a free attack of opportunity. However being an Assassin will conflict with having Reckless Strike, as you can't use it with Killing Edge (ability). So the synergy it has with the warrior archetype isn't great, which means you can fill your ability slots in the Warrior archetype wheel with psyker abilities instead.


Argenta: All the heavy weapon perks from the Universal Feature and Arch-Militant pool, especially Heavy Gunner (talent). Combining this with Rapid Fire from Soldier then Wildfire and Reckless Advance (abilities) from Arch-Militant. The talents Always Ready and possibly Discipline help a lot. You can get a heavy bolter from the Drusians without needing much reputation. The Blessed Bolter Casing is a good necklace to wear as you will be doing one single shot every round. The idea is that you start combat every round by buffing yourself in this order Reckless Advance --> Wildfire --> Rapid Fire (--> possibly Controlled Shot) then attacking with a burst attack followed by a single shot with your single remaining action point. As long as you both burst fire and single shot every round, your stacks of Versatility will increase. The damage you can gain by holding many stacks of Versatility can get absurd.


Yrliet: Assassin focusing on Killing Edge is probably her best build. In My Sights can be used at the end of a turn to setup a kill on her next targets and the talents you get for this ability is probably put to best use by the Assassin archetype. Otherwise the ability isn't as useful.


Pasqal: Skirmish Protocol has good scaling for melee attacks if that's what you want to go for. In that case it's best combined with his unique talents which grant MP, to compensate for his lack of a charge ability. You get more than enough MP to make up for it. Plasma or Melta weapon builds aren't strong until you have a good weapon with which to use it with, whereas the axe he starts with is good early on, starting him off as a melee character and then rebuilding him as a hybrid or ranged fighter later on might be the way to go.

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    • Anonymous

      Build Cassia around Mastery of Time. Willpower +5 at each bonus turn. Have two officers in group and see her melting everything away by turn two.
      I passed Kiava Gamma with fabricator being dead in second turn, Commoragh arena was enemies had zero chance to do anything.

      • Anonymous

        A question - How many long battles are there in this game?
        I haven't gotten far, but thus far at the longest the character gets to (naturally, excluding extra turns) act is 3 times in one battle.
        This makes many talents laughable.
        The game offers many build-up talents and abilities but there's barely any time to build them up let alone use them long enough to warrant taking.
        Good example is the Fortress world and it's "never stop shooting" feature. I planned a whole build around the "never stop believing" talent but it never starts working. If you're lucky you get to kill 2-3 t1 enemies before turn 2, then you might get lucky and actually proc NSS, which is great, sure and then NSB resets the stack to half your willpower, but by the time it's your 3rd turn (if that even happens) there's nobody left alive for more than one hit anyway.
        You look at guys like vanguard with their +1 resolve on getting attacked up to 15, or soldier with +1% crit damage on causing damage talent or pyro with +1% crit chance on dealing damage, or assa with his +lethality every time you deal 5 direct damamge, and you start thinking this game was made with longass battles in mind.
        Like this was some last stand game or alien shooter or some such, where you kill by the waves of dozens. But I'm not seeing any of that and thus not seeing any point in all those long wind-up abilities.
        Am I just hasty with my conclusion or is this actually the case?

        • Anonymous

          Not far into the game, only level 21 chars, but I find it relatively effective to have a couple strong frontliners, like Hendrix skilled into Arch Militant, with some badass hammer, and steady superiority heroic talent. Everything is pumped into weapon skill, obviously. As support, I like having some kind of officers with bring it down, and move, move, move! I'd give them some sniper rifles or status inflicting stuff. Then idk, maybe a couple of psykers.

          My main point is... we go - run up to someone with your frontline - smash their heads in. With militant you also have devastating attack which shreds ****. Make sure to get your momentum up asap so that you get to tap the steady superiority... then it's all a breeze. Imagine this...

          Charge (that's one hit), or walk up and kill someone in one hit, and use charge for a free strike. Spend the rest of the APs on raining doom on your melee range enemies. At best, this is so far 2 strong hits. Now, pop the Steady superiority, that is an extra attack. Boop them in the head. End turn - pop support "move, move, move!" - which actually gives you one extra attack, since your first attack on EVERY possible action is free. When done with "move, move, move!" go for another fun one, and add a bring it down. That's an extra attack, but hey, that is also an extra action, so there we have two extra attacks. Which at level 20ish bring your frontliners able to do a whooping 6 melee attacks in one turn. And did Imention that charge can be used to reposition just to get in range for the rest of the moves? You miss out on an attack, but eh...

          Can probably tweak this better, I am honestly not theory-crafting, just stumbled over this, but so far it is shredding early game.

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