Max Remington possesses 4 different Skills. Each Skill reduces the difficulty of playing one of the four Mini-Games in Covert Action, depending on Max's level in that Skill. The level of each Skill is determined when a new character is created, and remains the same throughout that character's entire career.
Skill SelectionEditWhen a new character is created, after selecting Max's gender, callsign and the starting Difficulty setting, the player is shown the Skill Selection screen.
On this screen, you can increase each of Max's four skills as you desire. You have exactly 4 "Skill Points" to spend in total, and may place them in any skills you like.
The four skills are arranged from left to right as follows:
Each Skill has four levels:
- Average (starting level)
Each level increase costs 1 point. Therefore, to raise a skill from "Average" to "Awesome" costs exactly 3 Skill Points.
You may place your Skill Points freely. Therefore, there are only 4 possible outcomes:
- Increase all four skills to "Good" level.
- Increase one skill to "Excellent", and two other skills to "Good".
- Increase two skills to "Excellent".
- Increase one skill to "Awesome" and one skill to "Good".
There is no way to "undo" a skill increase once it's been placed. This is a design flaw. If you make a mistake, the only way to undo it is to restart the game and create a new character. This is fortunately not a big deal, since character creation is a very quick process anyway.
Once all 4 skill points have been assigned, the game immediately closes the Skill Selection screen. Again, there is no way to "decrease" a skill level anyway.
Automatic Skill AssignmentEdit
If the "ESC" is pressed before assigning all 4 Skill Points, the program automatically tries using all remaining Skill Points to raise each skill to "Good" level. It does this from left to right.
For example, let's say we spent 2 skill points on the "Electronics" skill, and then pressed the "ESC" key. With two skill points remaining, the program puts the first point into "Combat" (the left-most skill), raising it from "Average" to "Good". It then does the same thing with the next skill from the left, "Driving".
Using the same logic, if we simply pressed "ESC" as soon as the Skill Selection menu appeared, we'd end up with a "Good" rating in all four skills.
Each skill is associated with one Mini-Game, named on this wiki according to the skill:
- Combat (Skill) : Combat (Mini-Game)
- Driving (Skill) : Driving (Mini-Game)
- Cryptography (Skill) : Cryptography (Mini-Game)
- Electronics (Skill) : Electronics (Mini-Game)
These Mini-Games become more difficult to play as you raise the Difficulty setting for the current career. Skills work to counter this: the higher your skill level, the lower the difficutly of the associated Mini-Game.
- For example, at Local Disturbance difficulty, the Cryptography Mini-Game shows encoded messages as having spaces, punctuation marks, and at least one very common letter automatically decoded for you. At the Global Crisis difficulty however, the decoded message appears with no spaces and no letters solved, making it ridiculously difficult for more people to play. To make the mini-game playable, you'll want to put at least a few skill levels into the Cryptography skill. This will counter-balance the game's difficulty, making the mini-game easier to play (though not as easy as in Local Disturbance).
Read the individual skill pages to see how Difficulty and Skill Level interact with each other. This is slightly different for each skill.
A Note on DifficultyEdit
The "easiest" difficulty setting in the game, Local Disturbance, skills have absolutely no effect, regardless of how many skill points you place into any of them. This is because all four Mini-Games are as easy as they get on this difficulty even when the appropriate skill is set to "Average". Therefore it really doesn't matter which skills you pick, if any, though it certainly will matter if you choose to increase the Difficulty during your career!! Remember that it is possible to change difficulty of a career between Missions, but not possible to change the skill selection at all!
Also, on the "hardest" difficulty setting in the game, Global Crisis, increasing a skill to "Good" level has no effect - the associated mini-game will always be as difficult as it would've been with the skill at "Average" level. Therefore, putting only one point into a skill is a waste. You'll often want to raise two skills to "Excellent" instead, or raise one skill to "Awesome" (to make one particular mini-game easier, usually Combat which is the most important mini-game anyway), and concede to waste the extra point on whatever other skill.