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Item Skills

Many items in Grim Dawn are imbued with fantastic powers that await a hero who would wield them. These item skills go beyond what is available in the Mastery trees and provide yet another deep layer of customization.

There are over 250 item skills to discover in Grim Dawn. They come in two types: Active and Auto-Cast.

Active Item Skills

Active item skills are just like skills from your Mastery in that they must be placed on the Quickbar to use. These can range from skills that go into your regular attack rotation to emergency buttons to auras that you activate for the benefit of your entire group. In order to use an Active Item Skill, the item must be equipped on your character.

Active Skills are an excellent way to complement your skill set, whether that is by filling in weakness in your build or by providing you with more ways to deal damage when your other attacks are on cooldown. You can also unlock powerful summons that are not available to any Mastery.


Auto-Cast Item Skills

Auto-Cast skills will cast automatically when the triggering event occurs. There are many different triggering events in Grim Dawn with varying probabilities of activating. Each Auto-Cast skill is a separate instance with its own chance of activation, so if you have two 5% On Attack Fireball skills on your equipment with a 2 second cooldown, each Fireball can trigger independently and will go on cooldown separately. They can even both go off on the same attack!


Triggering Events

  • When Hit – Chance to activate when an enemy strikes you
  • When Hit by Melee Attacks – Chance to activate when an enemy strikes you with a melee attack
  • When Hit by Ranged Attacks – Chance to activate when an enemy strikes you with a ranged attack
  • When Hit by a Critical – Chance to activate when an enemy lands a critical hit
  • On Attack – Chance to activate when you land an attack
  • On Critical Attack – Chance to activate when you land a critical hit
  • On Block – Chance to activate when you block an attack
  • On Low Health – Chance to activate when your health is low
  • On Low Energy – Chance to activate when your energy is low

Auto-Cast skills are ideal for players who wish to add more attacks to their arsenal without having to worry about additional keys to press. They are also an excellent way to customize your play style by adding skills that trigger based on your favorite stats. For example, if you collect several “On Critical Attack” skills, you can make them trigger more often by stacking offensive ability. Likewise, you can equip several items with “When Hit” effects and then build an indestructible tank that relies on enemies hitting you rather than dealing heavy damage yourself.