Jagged Alliance Wiki

This page covers all Attributes, Skills, Personality Traits, and other important statistics that govern a mercenary's performance and status in the Jagged Alliance series.



Health (HLT, or HEA in Jagged Alliance) represents how much damage a mercenary can take before he/she dies. The health bar is a red bar located next to the character's portrait.


  • Health is also one of the stats that affects a merc's maximum amount of action points and energy (blue bar). High health mercs can travel for longer and still enter a sector with a high blue bar.
    • The amount of Health to achieve maximum Energy is 60.
  • In Jagged Alliance and Deadly Games, Health also doubles as a mercenary's strength, meaning their ability to open crates, force open doors with a crowbar and maximum throwing distance.

Health status

The health status displayed on hovering a character means: 0+ - Dying; 15+ - Critical; 30+ - Wounded; 45+ - Poor; 60+ - Healthy; 75+ - Strong; 90+ - Excellent.

Taking damage

  • If a merc is hurt badly enough, they will bleed. Bleeding lowers health by 1 every minute or so and will usualy not stop unless it is bandaged. Unbandaged wounds also drastically affect AP. 1st Aid Kits and Medical Kits can be used for bandaging.
  • Bandaged damage does not count towards current Health. Bandaged mercs do not bleed further but their maximum number of Action Points degrades according to their effective Health.
  • When a merc's health drops below 15 they collapse, immobile. The merc's physical status turns to "Dying" and is indicated by merc's portrait turning grey. In this state mercs will lose a point of health every combat round (7 seconds in real time) causing them to bleed very quickly. While a merc is dying, they are completely helpless, and are unable to drop or pass any items they are carrying.
    • When a merc drops below ten health, he loses consciousness, shown by a black grille over his portrait. The merc will continue to lose health until he hits 0 and dies.
    • While dying, every health point lost to bleeding will be a permanent loss, meaning their maximum health will lower accordingly.
    • Bandaging a dying merc will returns their health to 15 so that they can move on their own (the games don't feature a mechanic to carry badly injured comrades).


  • Lost health can be regained by giving a merc with a high Medical skill who is on the same squad a Medical Kit and giving them the "doctor" order and the "patient" order to the injured merc(s). Note that the doctoring merc can and will heal themselves, too.
  • Health is also slowly regained naturally.
    • In Deadly Games, mercs randomly heal 5-15 HP between missions, so unless you managed to get a merc severely injured, it's not necessary to leave them at the base for treatment.
    • In JA2, the approximate equation for Healing is: (DEX + WIS + (LVL* 10)) * MED / 500, rounded to nearest integer, minus a complex percentage based penalty for Energy and Health. In other words, a skilled yet wounded and exhausted medic will heal slower than if he was in top shape but still faster than an another merc who is top notch but unskilled.


  • In the original JA, at the start of the day, before you hit the 'beach', select the mercenary you want and click on training for health. This mercenary will stay back home and be unavailable for your day.
  • In JA2, the Health stat can be efficiently trained. To do so one should move to a hill / desert map square and give a move order into an adjacent hill / desert map square (i.e. A7 - A8 next to Omerta). In most versions, even if the order is cancelled, the attribute will still register the "journey" and go up - without wasting any in-game time. This works best while carrying heavy equipment and simultaneously trains strength.
  • In Deadly Games, moving around a lot during a mission seems to train maximum Health.


  • Agility (AGI) affects your maximum amount of action points and sneak ability. The higher the stat, the less chances the mercenary drops his weapon when hit in the arms. Also increases interrupt chances. Can be increased by dodging melee attacks and moving while sneaking near an enemy.
  • In BIA 90 or 91 in AGI and Stealth lets you run totally silent but only with very good morale.


  • Dexterity (DEX) is a very important attribute for all mercenaries. It affects many things: throwing and catching objects, hitting and dodging in hand to hand or knife fights, disarming traps, lock-picking, bandaging, medical efficiency, combining items, chance to hit, dual-weapon wielding, repairing items faster and getting interrupts more often. It is also one of the two stats governing stealth in Jagged Alliance and Deadly Games. Dexterity can be improved by using the associated skills (doctoring and repairing items), using throwing knives, and tossing rocks and grenades.
  • Dexterity can also be trained by beating up cows, tanks or anything else that can be hit in melee combat. Also trains Strength.


  • Strength (STR) affects melee damage and how much your merc can carry in inventory. The more guns and ammunition, the better. Important attribute for hand-to-hand combat mercenaries. Also affects the maximum distance at which a mercenary can throw grenades. Trained by punching anything alive, force opening locks (crowbar/kicking), and throwing rocks or grenades . Carrying a lot of stuff while traveling raises it.
  • To effectively train Strength make sure you carry a lot - 150% or more would be good. The amount of equipment you have effectively limits this training method (specifically in the beginning before finding any additional equipment) as it drops significantly once you fall below 100%. Travel between rough areas (i.e. hills: A7 - A8). In most versions, the travel command can be cancelled and yet trains. See "Health" for further details.
  • Strength can also be trained by beating up cows, tanks or anything else that can be hit in melee combat. Also trains Dexterity.
  • Strength does not appear until Jagged Alliance 2, in the previous games, it was Health that determined a mercenary's strength.


  • Higher leadership (LDR) allows a mercenary to quickly train militia and other mercenaries, and to elicit more positive responses from NPCs and recruitable mercs during conversation. A high leadership is often needed to convince certain NPCs to do what you need them to, or to recruit an NPC who is willing to join up. Leadership also affects squad morale, as a very high leadership can slow the drop of an unhappy merc's morale, though it does not help sustain high morale.
  • Leadership naturally increases quickly while training militia, or other mercs.
  • In world, leadership is combination of experience leading teams, natural charisma, and familiarity with local natives.
  • The LDR stat does not appear until Jagged Alliance 2.


  • Wisdom (WIS) reflects a merc's overall intelligence. This affects their teachability during training and allows them to gain more points when acting as Student or Practice, and also increases the chances of learning from experience on the field. Overall, a merc with a high wisdom score will improve their attributes very quickly.
  • Wisdom also affects a merc's ability to detect mines and affects their ability to perform meticulous tasks such as lockpicking, repairing, and medical care.
  • High wisdom mercs will usually make a remark upon entering a high-risk sector, usually along the lines of "something bad is about to happen".
  • Wisdom is one the least "trainable" attributes a merc has - actual intelligence in adults, after all, is largely ingrained, and difficult to train without time and care. It can be increased slowly by training militia and successfully doing work with explosives, such as setting and disarming bombs and bandaging patients in the field.
  • In Jagged Alliance you can increase wisdom, agility and dexterity by killing snakes in the water for many times. The best way is to save every time, when the snake puts the merc under water. In most ways the merc uses the knife. If not, load the last save. In the best way, you increase wisdom more than 5 points.

Experience level

  • Experience level (LVL) is a reflection of a mercenary's overall experience and abilities working as a merc. It allows mercs to better know when to be ready for conflict, resulting in more interrupts on an enemy. It also affects the merc's ability to detect traps, move silently and spot camouflaged or hidden enemies. LVL cannot be trained (there is no substitute for experience, after all), and actions which most directly dictate experience include killing enemies, successfully performing tasks, and completing missions.
  • Any gain in LVL will result in a significant raise in the Merc salary.


  • Marksmanship (MRK) determines the overall ability of the merc to shoot and hit a target with a firearm or thrown weapon. Shooting crows or locked doors can train this. Can also be improved by using throwing knives and by shooting locks. Successful hits during combat with either a firearm or grenade will also improve this stat. Affects how likely a thrown grenade is to land on its intended target square, as well as heavy weapons usage. In the original JA, this stat can be improved by placing a gun in the merc's hand and select training--marksmanship.


  • The mechanical (MEC) score is a mercenary's ability to tinker and fix. This affects lockpicking, disarming of certain traps, repair speed, chance of combining and attaching items, and the chance that any shot taken with a jammed weapon will unjam it. Can be trained by repairing items, picking locks, and unjamming guns manually (by force firing it rather than repairing it). Take note that a merc with a high MEC but no Electronics skill will still have difficulty bypassing electronic locks and repairing electronic items.


  • The Explosives (EXP) attribute, affected by DEX and LVL, affects the ability to find, set and disarm mines and explosive traps, mount detonators and work with volatile compounds such as RDX. A merc skilled in explosives is important, as a bad enough failure planting or combing for explosives can set them off right in the merc's face. Does not influence grenade throwing (a merc with 0 explosives skill may still successfully use grenades but said grenade may not detonate). This skill does not affect a merc's ability to disarm non-explosive traps, such as electric or siren traps.
  • In most versions, the easiest way to quickly train this skill is to repeatedly set and disarm a mine, however, some latest released version disabled Exp gained from disarming Explosive device set by the player.
  • In Back In Action, this attribute also determines how likely a grenade is to explode on impact. 25 is needed to plant mines, 50 to defuse them.


  • Medical (MED) skill determines speed, quality and effectiveness of first aid and the amount of medical supplies used during any medical actions - a merc with a higher medical skill uses less supplies. This also affects the amount of health that is healed per hour during Doctor - Patient assignments. Note that a wounded merc can heal himself by assigning him as a doctor. Any mercenary with points in Medical can apply first aid to a wounded character, but that does not mean they can heal health points as a doctor; a large number of the cast cannot heal a single point in that manner, while the mercs with the highest doctoring skill (such as Vince, Dr. Q and Danny) can heal approximately up to 5 health points per hour, to which is added Merc's natural healing (1pt every 2-3 hours, doubled when sleeping);
  • Bandaging trains Medical without significant in-game time loss. Note that beaten up cows and militia can only be bandaged right after being wounded, otherwise they get "bandaged by default".


In Jagged Alliance 2 mercenaries can have special skills. Every mercenary has at least one special skill, and some have more. There are 14 specialties in Jagged Alliance 2, and a custom merc can be created with almost any combination the specialties, depending on how the IMP profiling quiz is answered. For info about creating a custom merc, see this article. The special skills below are in alphabetical order.


The ability to use both hands equally well, allowing the merc to easily use two handguns. Removes penalties when firing with guns in each hand.
Notable mercs:

Auto Weapons

Reduces "to hit" penalties for burst and automatic fire by half. Can be paired effectively with the "Psycho" trait.
Notable mercs:


Grants unlimited camouflage for the merc. Only Shadow has this skill in Jagged Alliance 2.
Notable mercs:


Improves chances (+15) of modifying/assembling electronics (X-Ray Detector), picking electronic locks and disarming electronic traps, and attaching remote detonators.
Notable mercs:


Improves unarmed fighting skill (+15). The skill bonus is smaller than for "martial arts", but the damage bonus is greater (effectively +45).
Notable mercs:

Heavy Weapons

Bonus when using mortars, grenade launchers, rocket launchers and all weapons noted as heavy (+15). Note that mortar firing skill takes into account marksmanship, dexterity, wisdom, and experience level as well.
Notable mercs:


Improved ability with knives and machetes (+30). Helps with knife defense (parrying) as well as attacks.
Notable mercs:


The merc will be more successful (+25) at opening locks using a locksmith's kit.
Notable mercs:

Martial Arts

Improved unarmed fighting skill and damage (+30). Against an enemy with reduced fatigue, the character will perform a "ninja spin kick" animation which deals double damage and cannot miss. This skill also helps with melee accuracy and defense, as well as provides a small stealth bonus while inside a smoke cloud.
Martial Arts also reduces the amount of sleep that a character needs, which also happens to reduce the amount of energy that is expended whilst traveling. This skill is only available to normal-sized male characters. Female or "big" male characters have the skill converted to "hand-to-hand".
Notable mercs:

Night Ops

Short for Night Operations. Better night vision and hearing (+15). Each +10 represents one additional visible square, so "night ops" is +1, but "night ops (expert)" is +3 squares. Benefit from Night Vision Goggles is also increased as well as a small additional hearing bonus during the day, and a higher chance of interrupting enemy soldiers moving in the dark. Lastly, Night Ops reduces the amount of sleep that a character needs.
Notable mercs:


Bonus to hit with firearms when positioned on a rooftop (+15). This is in addition to a built-in bonus for firing downward. Very few mercs have this trait.
Notable mercs:


Less chance of making noise or being being spotted by the enemy while moving stealthily (+25). Gains an extra bonus while inside a smoke cloud. Two levels of this makes you as stealthy as a bloodcat.
Notable mercs:
Stealthy is the only skill that predates Jagged Alliance 2. Although it did not appears in Jagged Alliance, no matter what some mercenaries' biography implied, an Extra Stealthy skill was finally introduced in Deadly Games and given to a handful of mercs, specifically Magic, Elroy, Snake and Mouse.
Granting an estimated bonus of +20 to a mercenary's Stealth stat, this skill makes Magic a tad stealthier than Mike, and bumps Snake, Elroy and Mouse all the way up with the likes of Scully, Len and Spike in term of stealth.
The formula that determines a mercenary's Stealth stat in Jagged Alliance and Deadly Games is: (DEX / 2) + (LVL * 5)
In BIA 90 or 91 in AGI and Stealth lets you run totally silent but only with very good morale.


Bonus to overall teaching skill (+30). Also increases the merc's skill by 20 when the merc is assigned to train that skill to another merc. The merc's skill must still be higher than the Student merc in order to begin training them, but training will proceed much faster. Also grants a bonus when training militia and when learning (both with hands-on and being taught).


Bonus to hit with thrown objects (+12) such as grenades, rocks and throwing knives. Improves maximum range and accuracy with knives and grenades, and increases chance of instant death from a stealthy knife throw by 10% per skill level. (Instant death requires that the attacker not be heard or seen, and that the target is the head or torso if your mercenery is facing an enemy, but if you've been heard you still can dispatch an enemy with an instant kill if knife was thrown from behind. The difference between the chance of hitting and the to-hit "die roll" determines the base percentage chance.)
Also grants a range bonus when tossing items to other mercs and decrease the odds of inflicting a -1 damage to the receiving mercs.
Notable mercs:
There is no hidden skill or trait in Jagged Alliance or Deadly Games that allows certain mercenaries to throw grenades and rocks farther than other. Strength and throwing distance in Jagged Alliance is entirely determined by a merc's Health. This is the reason why mercs such as Wink or Hurl can throw grenades as far as Mike (although with much less precision).

Personality trait and attitude

Throughout the series, many mercs come with positive and negative personality traits that will affect their performance under certain conditions.


As it reads on the tin - no positive or negative personality effects.


Like Optimists, morale increases with Aggressive mercs are greater than normal. Morale decreases are suffered as normal, however the merc is instead more difficult to suppress and pin when the bullets are flying. Adversely, the merc will suffer twice the morale loss that would be suffered when retreating from a battle. Common amongst bruisers and psychotics. Also negatively affects interactions with NPCs and recruitables.

Notable mercs:


Negatively affects interactions with NPCs and recruitables. Unknown other effect, if any.

Notable mercs:


Seems to have no effect other than severely affecting interactions with NPCs and recruitables.

Notable mercs:

Big shot

Unknown effect, if any.

Notable mercs:


The merc's total AP and effective experience level is lowered any time the merc is in a confined, underground space such as an underground bunker, mine or cavern. If left alone in such spaces, the merc can suffer a panic attack, which will seriously drop the merc's morale.

Notable mercs:


A coward's morale drops much faster than normal mercs', and faster even than a pessimist's. They will, however, suffer no morale drop from retreating in battle. Ideal for scouting missions into occupied sectors where engagement isn't the plan.

Notable mercs:


This is a separate flag in a merc's profile that governs how the merc's stats change. Most mercs have "normal evolution", gaining stats from related experience.

Reversed evolution

This trait is held by old mercs who are way past their prime. Their stats (except experience level) will decrease with time and exercise rather than increase.

Notable mercs:

No evolution

The merc cannot gain stats in any way. In JA1, this trait is also held by all Metavirian guides.

Notable mercs:

Fear of insects

The merc's crippling fear of bugs will cause a minor drop in performance in thick Jungle and Marsh sectors, and will usually cause a panic attack when the merc catches sight of the Crepitus, dropping AP, with a chance of seriously dropping morale.

Notable mercs:


The Merc occassionally will forget orders and stop in their tracks, before asking for them again. This trait also appears in Jagged Alliance and Deadly Games. In Jagged Alliance 2 it happens only in tactical view.

Notable mercs:


Positively affects interactions with NPCs and recruitables. Probably improves morale.

Notable mercs:


Will get a small bonus when selling items to some NPCs and get small discounts when buying.

Notable mercs:


Will cause vocal complaints when the ambient temperature is above a certain degree. No other effect.

Notable mercs:

Heat Resistant

In contrast, some mercs can resist hot temperatures better than others and lose their breath less quickly during heat waves. Notable mercs:

Hopeless Shot

This trait appears only in Jagged Alliance and Deadly Games. The merc is functionally incapable of improving their marksmanship skill, whether through training or experience. While their marksmanship can slowly improve, it is far (approx. 3x) slower than that of others. Notable mercs:


No effect in game, unfortunately. In v1.13, this trait grants performance bonuses if the merc is working alone.

Notable mercs:


Character doesn't like to be alone, meaning that he/she should not be put into a squad by themselves or positioned far from other mercs. If the merc's morale is low, and they are left alone, the can suffer a phobic attack that will drop their morale will drop even further. This trait also appears in Jagged Alliance - while there is no morale in Jagged Alliance, Speck (the only merc with this hidden trait in JA) vocally protests often during combat due to this trait.

Notable mercs:


Character doesn't like to swim at all and will lose breath five times faster when wading or swimming through water. Also has a small chance of dying instantly when reaching waist high water depth.

Notable mercs:


A gung-ho attitude causes every morale increase earned to be greater and every morale decrease suffered to be smaller.

Notable mercs:


The opposite of Optimist, every morale increase earned is smaller and every morale decrease suffered is greater.

Notable mercs:


The psycho trait appears in Jagged Alliance, Deadly Games and Jagged Alliance 2

Jagged Alliance

A Psycho or "Over-Enthusiastic" merc will refuse to follow orders once they are engaged in a gun fight - the only order they will follow is orders to shoot the same target they were shooting before, and any orders to the contrary result in a verbal brush-off. They will remain so until the target is dead or moves. This can be bypassed by moving their in-hand weapon to a different slot. In Deadly Games, the only way to bypass this is by replacing their gun with a melee weapon.

Another undesirable trait of Psycho mercs is their penchant to kill fellow mercenaries they don't get along with, whereas normal mercenaries will simply refuse to work with someone they hate, Psycho mercs will gladly accept an assignment and disregard any doubts or issues they may have with the player, just to get the chance to kill a merc they don't like in between missions.

Deadly Games also added an extra quirk to Psycho mercs, a need to kill that can result in the merc quitting if it is not satisfied. Every Psycho merc come with a Kill Rate stat that ranges between 5% for the tamest psycho to 40% for the most psychotic. Of all the enemies, civilians and fellow mercs that have been killed by your team ever since a Psycho merc entered your employ, should the Psycho merc have killed less than his Kill Rate, he will resign. To be fair, this is only calculated at the end of the mission where your team scored its 20th kill after a Psycho merc entered your employ, and at the end of every mission afterward.

Notable mercs:

Jagged Alliance 2

The merc gets an overall bonus to hitting their target with any attack, including in melee. Psycho also causes the merc to occasionally go on a small shooting rampage: if firing on single-shot, they will spontaneously switch to full auto, and when firing in full auto, they will spontaneously add more shots, often emptying the entire magazine in a single, sustained burst. If the weapon isn't able to fire in either burst or auto, the merc will instead suffer a small drop in morale.

Notable mercs:



This trait appears only in Jagged Alliance and Deadly Games. A snitch will inform you after each day or mission if there are murmurs of dissatisfaction amongst your team, and will name any mercs who are thinking of quitting and their reasons for wanting to do so. These mercs are especially loyal to the commander and will never quit or steal money.

Notable snitch mercs:


Improves the friendly merc's performance when others are closeby. When alone, no morale is gained. Also positively affects interactions with NPCs.

Notable mercs:

Summer Legs

This trait appears only in Deadly Games. Mercs with the Summer Legs trait are much more likely to slip while walking on ice in maps using the Winter tileset. Notable mercs:

Other traits

Mercs and NPCs in Jagged Alliance 2 and Unfinished Business have six additional traits that have an affect on interaction between characters and their morale when working together: Appearance, Refinement, Nationality, Hated Nationality, Sexism, and Racism. Also, each trait from Appearance, Refinement, and Hated Nationality has three degrees of care: None, Some and Extreme.

Appearance types and character examples:

Refinement types and examples:

Sexism types and examples:

Racism types and examples:

All characters have a nationality, and some characters have a nationality that they dislike or hate. Examples:



Indicated by the Blue Bar next to the merc portrait, energy indicates how winded or tired a merc is. All mercs have 100 energy, and anything that the merc does consumes energy. Certain actions such as forcing open crates, moving while overloaded, and taking bullets impacts while wearing armor will quickly consume energy, making them winded. Mercs with little left in their bar will express a need to slow down, or take a break, and once energy hits zero, will collapse on the ground until they have had a chance to regain their breath. Consumed energy can be quickly regained by drinking out of canteens.

In Jagged Alliance 2, energy is expanded upon - over the course of a day, an active merc will naturally tire, and unable to do as much without becoming winded, reflected in their maximum energy decreasing, shrinking their blue bar. This can be recovered through inactivity, or very quickly through sleep if a merc is tired enough - mercs with a max energy near 100 will not be tired enough to sleep. Below a certain amount of max energy, a merc will begin to complain of tiredness and the need for sleep, and if they are travelling or performing a passive task, will stop whatever they're doing to get some rest. Rest will not only recover their max energy, but very gradually recover any lost health they may have sustained.


A merc's overall mood and dedication to the task at hand. Mercs with high morale will immediately begin performing much better, and mercs suffering from low morale will often be too distracted to fight properly.

Mercs with good morale will often emit laughter instead of their usual line when killing an enemy. A merc with poor morale will begin to verbally complain when things are taking a turn for the worse, and their acknowledgements will become noticeably less spirited. Mercs with truly dismal or critically low morale and no extended loyalty to the player (such as IMP mercs, and certain recruitable characters) will quit.

Morale is earned by winning battles, killing enemies, accomplishing tasks, pairing mercs with people they like, and drinking alcohol.

Morale is lost when battles are lost, mercs are killed, a merc spends any amount of time with someone they hate, and when the alcohol wears off and they become hungover. Morale loss can be curbed by pairing mercs with people they like, and having a merc with high leadership on their team.

Morale (BIA)

In BIA morale seems to be a flat multiplier to all stats and skills. Very good 20% good 10% so on.

If your merc is wounded his moral drops until healed. Other than that, traits like nightops increase morale during that time the conditions are met such as a full squad (6 mercs) for "Team Player" or 6 women for "Amazon". Likes and dislikes towards other mercs also in/decrease morale by 1 point each.