Shadowrun Trilogy: Shadowrun Returns Best Class Guide

The Shadowrun trilogy is packed with exciting characters and potential playing styles from the first minute. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. But do not worry. We will guide you through all the classes available in Shadowrun Returns, and help you find the one you want to stay on your journey through this unforgettable cyberpunk adventure!

Shadowrun Trilogy: Shadowrun returns classes

There is a wide variety of classes available here, each focusing on a different aspect of the lawless life on the streets of Seattle. Do you want your runner to be a shooter with dead eyes? A robot genius with drones lurking? An agent of chaos, throwing fire and taking names? It all comes down to what you really want your runner to be, what role you want them to embody. Some classes will make your runner an all-rounder, and others will give you a more specialized skill set.

Gate Samurai

The typical Cyberpunk role. A modern warrior with a code of honor, balanced by hunger for money and recognition. Street Samurai is among the hardest – and hardest striking – hours Shadowrun Returns has to offer. If you roll up a Street Samurai, chances are you do not care less about all that hand-waving and incanting stomachs do, nor the over-reliance on Cyberspace that comes with Decking. For a Street Samurai, the only technology you need to be concerned with is the type that gives you maximum firepower.

Weapons, grenades, knives and blades are the order of the day here. Street Samurai excels in both melee and distance combat, thanks to decent starting results in both Quickness and Strength. You start with both a high body quality and Dodge skill, which means you absorb damage better than just about any other class out there. Continue to invest in these areas, and Street Samurai will be an unshakable destructive force.


The Shadowrun trilogy

Decker is a more specialized class than most in the Shadowrun trilogy. As expert hackers, Deckers is able to connect his consciousness directly into the cyberspace matrix and create chaos on the systems inside. This gives you all sorts of benefits, from temporarily gaining control of nearby machinery, to opening vaults and downloading key information. The Decker is the key to the whole cyberpunk aesthetic, and can be a go-to for those looking for a less direct and more cerebral class to play. The Matrix is ​​a brand new playground for your character to live in, one that sets your Decker apart from other runners in terms of playing style.

That said, Decker’s capabilities lack something beyond cyberspace; it’s worth investing in some physical or varying skills to balance your toolkit. Even just putting a few points in arms can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed in those cases where you can not hack your way to victory. At the very least, the decker starts with some points awarded to body and melee combat, so these are an option to pursue to increase your survivability.


If you’ve ever watched Robot Wars and thought, ‘Man, I wish that could be my job,’ then you’re far from alone. If you’ve ever seen Robot Wars and thought “This competition would be significantly improved if the robots helped in actual fire fighting”, then the Rigger class is for you!

Riggers are mechanical specialists, controlling powerful combat drones and letting them go to town on their fleshier enemies. Like the shaman, Riggers is less about doing the dirty work himself. In a game that is easy for regular companions, Riggers’ drones help turn the tide against a wave of opponents. And they’re not just about overwhelming firepower. Support drones can be used to gain cover, access enemies that could not otherwise be reached, and generally shape the battlefield to your advantage. Add a few weapon skills so that the Rigger itself does not stay in the dust, and you get to the top of the scrap heap in a short time.


The Shadowrun trilogy

Shamans are charismatic cast in the world of the Shadowrun trilogy. Their totemic connection to spirits gives them the power to channel and exercise. As spirit-callers, shamans occupy a niche for pet control. They focus less on doing harm themselves, and more on empowering allies to get the job done for them.

This is not to say that shamans only rely on the power of their spirits to be effective. They also start with points in distance combat, and their body and speed are nothing to sneeze at. Although shamans will be most effective when summoning and polishing allies, it is possible to build them to be more than able to handle the job themselves.

The lack of a designed party system in Shadowrun Returns leads to support characters like the shaman getting the short end of the stick. Dragonfall and Hong Kong both have permanent party members who will get more use out of your polishing options. As such, Shaman is less recommended in Returns than in the trilogy’s later entries.


The Shadowrun trilogy

The Mage is Shadowrun Trilogy’s resident Spellslinger. While the shaman intervenes in the spirit of nature that still lurks in Seattle’s concrete jungle, the magician is a much more direct magician.

There is a wide range of spells available to you as you play belly, from heals and buffs to armor and accuracy with firearms, to evoking lightning and flames, and stunning your enemies where they stand. Magicians solve problems. With enough planning, you will have something in your magic book for every occasion. And since there are plenty of Karma points for leveling in Shadowrun Returns, you can spice up your spellcasting by swapping weapons from time to time if you wish.

Actually, the only thing holding back Mage is its inherent fragility. Fortunately, you can curb it by throwing more karma points into your body. Although you can start with a deficiency in the health department, it does not require too much work to build it up. Even though you may remain a glass cannon in the core, even glass can withstand beatings under enough armor!

Physical adept

In the sixth world, magic and technology are woven together in a troubled alliance. Shots erupt in the neon-wet night. Spells heal and damage to the same degree. To live as a runner means to live a life always one step, one breath away from violence. So why rely on external weapons, when instead you could refine your body into one? The Physical Adept is the Shadowrun Trilogy’s Monk equivalent, a hardened warrior who will strike you with his fists alone, and suck up bullets as if their skin was layered with Kevlar.

Physical adepts avoid external displays of magic, and draw their power from within. By using Chi energy, your physical adept can perform superhuman feats, stand toe-to-toe with any other runner out there. If you want to play as a point of calm in the center of a raging storm, the physical adept is the class for you. Their bodies, willpower and strength start well, and only climb higher with further investment. Continuing to score in Dodge could not hurt either. This class differs from many of the other options you get in the Shadowrun trilogy. If the favorite part of the Matrix was always “I know Kung Fu”, then this class is shouting at you.

Shadowrun Trilogy: Shadowrun Returns – Karma

Before we leave you to get stuck in your new running job, it’s worth briefly touching on Shadowrun Returns’ leveling system. In most other games, Karma will probably make you think of moral choices; Paragon and Renegade, good and bad points that paint a picture of how the world sees your character. Not in Shadowrun. Gray morale is the norm, even the most idealistic runner will probably be drawn into a shady activity sooner or later. Here’s Karma’s name for Shadowrun Returns’ XP.

When you choose your class in Shadowrun Returns, you get a small handful of Karma that you can distribute as you wish among your available skills. If this is your first time playing, it’s almost certainly worth choosing one of the available classes and placing the remaining Karma where you want. But if you’re a recurring runner – or otherwise value full control of your character building – Shadowrun Returns gives you the ability to ignore classes completely and build your character from scratch. If you take this option, you get 34 karma points – with 3 bonus points if your chosen race is human – and you get to place them where you want. If you like certain aspects of a class, but prefer to mix and match it with other characteristics, this may well be the option for you.

More Shadowrun Trilogy content

Here at WePC, we want you to make the most of your time with the Shadowrun trilogy. With our upcoming guides, we are here to help you dive into the sixth world, to survive and thrive while you run these city streets with chrome and chaos in the palm of your hand and a scream in your heart. Welcome to Shadowrun, Chummer! Let us make your stay enjoyable.