Complete Guide To Archetypes In Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

While a character’s signature abilities will be determined by their Origin in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, it’s their Archetype that determines most of their run-of-the-mill combat powers. Each character can have up to three Archetypes by the time they reach max level, and their choices will determine whether they’re suited to the frontline or the rear, and whether they focus on damage, tanking, or support.


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Think of Archetypes as specializations- they have the most influence on how a character approaches combat, and they’re designed to hone each party member into en elite, precise component in your overall strategy.


What Are Archetypes?

the archetype section of the character creation process in warhammer 40k: rogue trader

Each character starts with one of the four basic Archetypes; Warrior, Soldier, Operative, or Officer. As they gain levels, they’ll be able to unlock new abilities from their current Archetype, enhancing their overall power. When a character reaches Level 16, their starting Archetype is completed; having mastered it, they’ll move on to one of the advanced Archetypes.

There are six advanced Archetypes, but each basic Archetype can only progress to three of them. A Soldier can never become a Grand Strategist, for example.

At Level 36, characters complete their second Archetype and progress to the Exemplar Archetype, a final evolution that makes them stand out as one of the deadliest fighters in the galaxy.

Basic Archetypes

Jae leaves the Liege's Palace, walking past the Lord Captain's retinue in Warhammer 40k: Rogue Trader

The four basic Archetypes establish a character’s core abilities, determining their overall battlefield role.

Officer

Most Important Stats

Upgrades To

  • Vanguard
  • Master Tactician
  • Grand Strategist

Officers are charismatic leaders, able to push their companions to the heights of their abilities. Voice Of Command gives an ally a bonus to all their stats for one round; additionally, the Officer’s other powers trigger a bonus effect when used on an ally affected by Voice Of Command.

By setting up a teammate with Voice Of Command and other buffs, then giving them an extra turn with Bring It Down, you can give your hardest-hitting characters more chances to attack.

Very few recruitable companions are Officers, so giving the Lord Captain this Archetype can help fill a major gap in your composition for the first chapter and beyond.

Operative

Most Important Stats

Upgrades To

  • Assassin
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Grand Strategist

Operatives set up enemies for defeat by inflicting them with Exploits, then using those Exploits to debuff them or to deal extra damage to their chosen targets. Most Operatives will start their turn with Analyze Enemies, then remove the inflicted Exploits using Expose Weakness, practically ensuring a hit. Alternately, an Operative could finish off a wounded enemy, then use Expose Weakness on another target to set up another teammate’s attack.

Operatives can excel both in melee and at range.

As they level up, Operatives gain more ways to use Exploits, including allowing their allies to take better advantage of them.

Soldier

Most Important Stats

Upgrades To

  • Bounty Hunter
  • Master Tactician
  • Arch-Militant

Soldiers excel at mobility and ranged attacks, and can be specialized for nearly any type of firearm you come across. They’re best-suited to burst-fire weapons and area attacks, as these make it easier to trigger their Revel In Slaughter ability.

Whether you choose to remain in cover and methodically pick off enemies or rush into the thick of it with guns blazing, most fights will end with the Soldier racking up the highest body count.

Warrior

Most Important Stats

  • Weapon Skill
  • Strength
  • Toughness

Upgrades To

  • Assassin
  • Vanguard
  • Arch-Militant

The Warrior is the consummate melee fighter. Charge allows them to close the distance between themselves and their enemies and get a free strike in at the same time. They can be built for damage or tanking, and perform admirably in both capacities.

Melee attacks in Rogue Trader don’t have an inherent miss chance, but an enemy with a high Weapon Skill or Agility can parry or dodge. The same goes for your team, especially the Warrior!

Warriors have one of the best Heroic Acts in the game. Daring Breach removes their attack limit for a turn, potentially letting them carve a bloody path across the battlefield!

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Advanced Archetypes

a lens of the final dawn in warhammer 40k: rogue trader

Advanced Archetypes are heavily-specialized, meaning it’s a good idea to plan your party’s progression ahead of time. Having a balanced team is a good idea in any RPG, so make sure everyone in your retinue is the best at what they do!

Arch-Militant

Most Important Stats

  • Weapon Skill
  • Ballistics Skill

Upgrades From

The Arch-Militant can use melee and ranged weapons with equal proficiency, and they’re at they’re best when they frequently swap between the two. Arch-Militants get a bonus to both Weapon Skill and Ballistics Skill whenever they make an attack of a different type than the one they used last.

A former Warrior using Charge to take out a lone enemy, then switching to a ranged weapon, can build up stacks of Versatiilty in a hurry.

Each Arch-Militant will favor the combat style from their previous Archetype, but in either case they’re the undisputed masters of the battlefield.

Assassin

Most Important Stats

Upgrades From

Assassins are similar to Operatives in that they can prime an enemy with Seek The Opening. They deal the most damage when they can attack an enemy from multiple angles in a single turn, making mobility an important part of their strategy.

The damage boost from Seek The Opening is a percentage of the target’s maximum health. That makes Assassins especially deadly against bosses!

Assassins are a melee Archetype that rely on dodging to keep themselves out of trouble. A high Dodge chance also enhances later attacks like Death Whisper.

Bounty Hunter

Most Important Stats

  • Ballistics Skill
  • Perception

Upgrades From

Bounty Hunter is a methodical Archetype, bringing down one target at a time with precise, called shots. They’re perfect for sniper builds.

A Bounty Hunter can mark a target as their Prey. Killing the Prey will earn the Bounty Hunter bonus health, increased crit damage, or both, depending on the tier of the target.

Bounty Hunters don’t get any benefit if a teammate kills their Prey. Keep this in mind, especially if you have multiple Bounty Hunters in the same party!

Grand Strategist

Most Important Stats

Upgrades From

The Grand Strategist is one of the most unique Archetypes in the game, mechanically speaking. They can designate areas of the battlefield to grant buffs to allies standing in them. Knowing your tactics ahead of time and forcing the enemy to engage in your chosen areas makes fights much easier.

As they level up, the Grand Strategist can target their designated zones for additional buffs, creating an unassailable defensive position or a perfect killzone.

Master Tactician

Most Important Stats

Upgrades From

The Master Tactician relies on building up Momentum alongside the rest of the team. Momentum is gained by damaging and killing enemies, and some powers (notably those of the Ministorum Priest) grant additional Momentum.

Since you want to build up Momentum to trigger Heroic Acts anyway, having a Master Tactician lets you double-dip. Using their Press The Advantage ability, they can deal massive damage, especially if you can reliably increase their crit rate.

Vanguard

Most Important Stats

  • Weapon Skill
  • Toughness
  • Fellowship

Upgrades From

The Vanguard is the ultimate tank Archetype in Rogue Trader. They can shrug off the deadliest attacks, and each attack against them speeds up the team’s Momentum gain.

You’ll always be outnumbered, but a Vanguard can hold down an entire flank on their own. Be sure to give them a Medkit or two, though – just in case.

Exemplar Archetype

a statue of an imperial saint in warhammer 40k rogue trader

The Exemplar is the final Archetype, and it’s the same for all characters. It allows them to choose Talents and other abilities from their basic and advanced Archetypes that they passed on before. By the time a character has reached the end of the Exemplar path, they’ll have fully mastered their combat style.

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