A Magic Instructor.

A skill is an ability that can be used by any character which is determined on class. Furthermore, a skill is an action you bind (usually) to a key and use. Each class has their own unique skills, and there is only one skill that all classes learn, Retaliate (Level 12).

Learning skills[]

New skills can be learned every even level (e.g.: Level 2, Level 4, etc.), with the exception of two starting abilities which the player is given upon character creation

To learn a new skill, the player must either find an instructor related to their class, or go to their skills menu. There are only two types of instructors, Tactics Instructors and Magic Instructors. However, since TERA: Fate of Arun you can learn skills directly from Learned Skill menu (hotkey K), and finding an instructor is not needed anymore.

Tactical Instructors teach Archers, Berserkers, Brawlers, Gunners, Lancers, Ninjas, Reapers Slayers, Valkyries and Warriors.

Magic Instructors teach Mystics, Priests, and Sorcerers.


A Weapon Instructor

Skill types[]

TERA skills are roughly divided into damage dealing skills, movement, defense like dodges and iframes and blocks; buffs (self or party) including debuffs on enemies; control like stuns, pulls; healing; summoning and passives.

Attack animations[]

Attack skills are meant to deal damage to targeted enemies. This is not an unambiguous category, since most skills than can target or be aimed at enemies deal damage. This includes movement skills like Leaping Strike or Charging Slash that deal damage when they hit. Also most attack skills move the player character and can be used for movement.

Skills have cast time and animation. Skills are made of animation frames and damage is dealt at some part of skill animation. Some skills have multiple hits that deal damage (like slayer's Whirlwind, 2nd hit does more damage, warrior's Traverse Cut can have 13 hits if not interrupted by other skill). It's not entirely clear what zero cast time means in TERA skill descriptions, since those skills clearly don’t finish in an instant. In WoW it has a meaning that skill cannot be interrupted.

After damage is dealt, attack animation can continue, which is wasted time. Therefore skill can be cancelled, which skips the rest of the animation. TERA has a rather complex system of which skills can chain to some other skills to cancel previous animation and this depends on class. This is used for combos. Also there are some skills that always cancel other skills, these mainly include dodges (except on berserker). Warrior apex skill Blade Waltz always cancels previous skill, which makes the warrior gameplay very smooth. On gunner the auto attack skill, Blast can be used to cancel previous skill. (Auto attack in TERA means the skill that is by default bind to the left mouse button. These are rather rarely used.) Least on slayer you can cancel previous skill with a next one before it even does damage. This should ofc be avoided and you should not push buttons that fast.

Also, there are some skills that notoriously cannot be canceled. These famously include slayer's Knockdown Strike and sorcerer's pre-rework Fireblast. They are mostly fixed in late versions of the game.

TERA also has a system where you can queue skills before the current one finishes. This is most notable on sorcerer, where you can spam 1–2 skills ahead before the last one finishes.

Attack skills can have multiple effects on enemies, like stagger (only in PvP), knockdown or stun. They can also reduce incoming damage (super armor), prevent knockdowns, stuns or pushes.

Damage values[]

Damage dealing in TERA (post gunner release by spring 2015 at least) mainly depends on critical hits.

This is thoroughly explained in Attributes#Crit_Rate. Basically, an attack skill has a crit chance. Skills with normal 1× crit chance are useless except as a filler and part of a combo. Many classes have their main damage skills with 2× crit chance and some 3× crit chance, which makes a skill autocritting.

Circa in 2015 TERA you would stack crit rate to reach a value where most of your attack skills crit, and use crystals and Onslaught Scroll to maximize crit power (damage multiplier when attack crits). In post-2020 TERA you could easily reach a crit cap (raising crit rate no longer increases damage) and build power or rather crit power with equipment rolls after that.

It should be noted that damage values in skill descriptions have no connection to the actual damage the skills do. Damage depends on gear. Also skills have been buffed multiple times and descriptions were never updated. Ie. Brawler's Jackhammer was buffed +300% from the original low damage, making it a decent damage skill, and description was never updated, even the damage value on other skills least tells something about the relative damage the skills do.


Movement skills are faster than normal running speed in combat mode. Note that running/walking or jump is not counted as skill.

Common skills are running forward a certain distance, like Charging Slash on warrior, Headlong Rush on slayer, Charging Lunge on lancer, Jagged Path on ninja, Chase on archer. These skills also include class specific side-effects and are used in combos. Another common skill is Leaping Strike (which has a notorious animation lock that has to be cancelled). Magic users generally don't have this kind of skill, but have various jumps and teleports.

Movement category slightly overlaps with dodge skills. Generally dodge skills like Evasive Roll have no collision check, so you can dodge past an ally or an enemy and there are iframes that make you invulnerable to damage. Classes that don't have Evasive Roll usually use Backstep for same purpose (in post ~2016 patches you can also Backstep forward when a pressing movement key same time).

Dodges and defense[]

Defense in TERA is based on blocks and iframes.

Block negates damage from attacks from front. It also should reduce damage to an ally who stands behind a player character who uses block. Lancer, brawler, warrior and berserker can use blocks. Lancer uses the skill Stand Fast. Lancer needs Resolve to keep their block up. The warrior block is called Cross Parry and it’s only available on Defensive Stance which is activated mode. Berserker can always use Axe Block and need no special resource for this.

Block on brawler is theoretically more complicated but in reality not. Brawler has normal block skill, but brawler speciality is that the class can block boss attacks and DPS at the same time. Brawler has the special skill Roundhouse Kick, after which the next basic attack skill will block damage. Furthermore after raising their Rage to 100% (which can be done with skill Mounting Rage) brawler can activate Growing Fury. During the time the brawler can keep their Rage up and skill active every attack skill blocks.

There are also some skills to block damage while attacking. Brawler always blocks damage with Ground Pounder, warrior with Torrent of Blows (no stance required) and Apex skill Blade Waltz, and lancer with Wallop and Onslaught. Note that attacking while blocking does not protect other players from damage. In special occasions (like protecting a stunned player from boss attack or Gardan coming after a player in Killing Grounds), the tank must hold block to protect other player from damage.

Iframe (invulnerability frame) is a skill (or technically part of frames of skill's animation), which makes character (almost) invulnerable to damage. All classes have at least one such skill. Iframes are used to dodge an attack you can't move away from or can't block.

On most classes iframe are some form of Backstep or Evasive Roll. Using iframes correctly is a major part of most dungeon's mechanics. Many bosses have area attacks that must be iframed at the correct time.


Some of the control skills include stuns; backstabs, which teleports melee player behind an enemy and stuns or roots (immobilize) them; knockdown, which is usually a side-effect on some attack skills; pull or leash which lancer and warrior have.

Special effect is pulling enemies together, which is used for clearing groups of mobs (crowd control). This is among the abilities of some newer classes, like reaper's Shadow Burst and gunner's Arcane Barrage. Also warrior got this effect for Vortex Slash in class rework. Notorious mass pull in the PvP is the lancer's Giga Leash.

Other effects include

  • sleep (healers, sorcerer), which puts enemies into a long time sleep, unable to do anything;
  • slowing down enemy (mystic, and other classes as a side effect on some skills);
  • immobilize or root (sorcerer);
  • confusion/fear (mystic, berserker), which make enemies run around aimlessly;
  • silence (sorcerer), which make enemies unable to use any skills;
  • exhaustion (mystic or side-effect on some skills), which make enemies skills' cooldowns longer;
  • reducing healing, which is especially used to make healers unable to heal themselves

Any effect a player or monster can have, buff or debuff, is internally called abnormality, which is seen in some patch notes and technical discussion.


There are two types of healing, self healing and for others, which only two healer classes can give. Many classes actually have self healing skills. These are usually side-effects of some other skill and require using expensive glyphs (skill customization).

These skills are most straightforward on tanks. Lancer can just restore HP with button push with Second Wind. Brawler need to sacrifice their Rage to do so. Warrior has only Rain of Blows, which is very weak 0.5% HP per hit and needs expensive glyph.

There actually was a gear stat line effect "restore 0.X% HP per hit", which stopped working sometimes after Dreadnaught gear and was removed.


Summoning skills are rather rare skills that allow creating objects in the game world.

Summoned entities include mystic's thralls and totems, gunner's gun towers and HB healing bot and warrior's shadows. There are also skills to allow limited controls of these, like follow and attack target command.


Toggles are skills that activate some mode (which is a buff, or technically an abnormality). Warrior has two modes, DPS and tank which are activated with Assault or Defensive Stance. Both give buffs, so forgetting to activate a stance is a noob mistake.

Similarly, archer had two modes for dealing with mobs and attacking bosses. Other skill was removed, leaving one you had to remember activate. It was too removed at some point.

There are also toggles for ninja Focus and Overpower for slayer.


Passives are a rather odd set of skills that can't be directly used. Instead they give effects to other skills. Probably the reason they even exist is some peculiarity in the TERA engine.

There are used for effects from various buffs from guild and mounts.

List of skills[]