Roguelike top-down indie survival game The Last Stand: Aftermath lets you traverse various zombie-infested areas in search of answers and hope for the future of your colony. As you sneak, fight, and inevitably die, you’ll find meta-progress resources that buy various items, unlocks, or abilities that help future runs that are more likely to succeed — or at least get further.
One of these is knowledge, which you can use to buy permanent skills for radios you find in the world or from the radio in the launch center. These skills are game-changing and necessary if you’re hoping to make it to the end, but some of them are head and shoulders better than the others. If you want to max out your knowledge and choose the best skills, here is a ranking of the best.
10 life lesson
In this game you get XP when you kill enemies, progress in the story or die. As you level up, you’ll get mutations and more items that you can buy with the supply points you get over the course of a run.
You might think that getting something like Life Lessons early is important since it gives you more XP, but it only works when you die and you get XP at a decent rate if you play normally. That being said, if you’re eating a lot of Deaths or just want to get the maximum benefit from this upgrade, it’s still worth getting in early.
Being set on fire is probably one of the most irritating ways to die. Once it happens you’ll have to roll around and try to erase it, as your health will drain quickly, and if your health is too low or you don’t have enough stamina to erase it then that’s it, run over.
This perk can help reduce the risk of dying in flames by giving you fire resistance. Granted, unless you’re particularly careless, it doesn’t happen very often. That is, until you reach the final area in the game, hell when it becomes a far bigger problem.
8th fuel saving
Around the time you unlock a new area you should start putting points into the fuel economy, not only because the three starting fuels you get are a nice head start and open up more paths in an area, but because after you’ve cleared an area, you can drive past stops if you have the fuel to do so.
This means you aren’t forced to loot each level and can move on freely, saving valuable resources not only by not having to fight but also not having to spend time running around meaning you have less time spend filling up your infection meter .
7 machine gun
This ability gives your automatics – submachine guns, assault rifles, and full-fledged machine guns – a damage boost. Combined with the high rate of fire, that means lots of dead Zeds in range.
This is a good ability to max out, but you don’t need to rush it as the weapons affected are relatively rare to start with. As you approach the final area, be sure to max this out, as not only are automatic weapons more common, but so are the enemies that require a lead wall.
6 staying power
Stamina powers so many of your abilities that honing them is a breeze. It allows you to run longer, dodge more often, fight in melee and jump. A high stamina pool can often mean the difference between life and death.
However, if you’re planning on going the gun route or have a bullet-rich barrel, you’ll likely need to rely less on your physical abilities as everything falls under a hail of gunfire. Still, it never hurts to be prepared, and it’s always good to be able to dodge or run away in a bad situation.
5 pistol shooting
Pistols are the most common type of firearm in the game and in most runs, especially after some upgrades, you’re almost guaranteed to start with one.
You should definitely max this ability out relatively early, as it will always come in handy. You can use the relatively weak 9mm rounds in the early ranges against the more common cannon fodder zombies and save the stronger and rarer rounds for the tougher guys.
4 Fast loading
Quick Loading gives you a significant increase in your reload speed, up to 60 percent when it’s maxed out. It’s a simple skill, but one that can be life-saving, as reloading time can mean time spent being mauled by a zombie.
This ability is especially useful if you prefer some of the slower-loading weapons like the Ambrose shotgun or the M249 LMG.
The pack rat’s best friend. Whether you’re lucky enough to gather useful items or just hoard, this upgrade has got your back.
The backpack increases your carry limit, which means you can pack more stuff away without worrying about overloading yourself, a condition that’s tedious to manage as it chews through your stamina pretty darn fast if you find yourself in any Wise effort can be deadly when a horde stumbles upon you. It is significant that this is one of the most expensive upgrades for full leveling.
2 knowledge storage
This is a perk you’ll want to level up as soon as possible, maybe even first and above any other ability. It increases the value of knowledge points you find when looting the world.
You’ll benefit the most from this upgrade if you max it out as soon as possible, because the more knowledge you gain, the more you’ll have to spend on other skills, making every run easier. Eventually, you might even acquire a surplus that will allow you to spend the extra knowledge on useful gear sold by random vendors you might find while on the run.
1 infection resistance
If you don’t maximize knowledge retention first, you better maximize it instead. In any case, you should complete this upgrade early in the game if you want the rest of the game to go well. This upgrade slows down the infection rate and also reduces the infection damage you take along the way.
Since infections are the mitigating factor in any run, and vaccines are extremely rare, you’ll need to max out this upgrade pretty quickly if you want to get anywhere in the game.
Next: The best zombie games