Tinkering is used primarily to create or modify artifacts. The resources needed to do this are called bits, which are obtained by using Disassemble on scrap or junk artifacts. Characters planning to branch into this skill are suggested to hold onto artifacts rather than sell them as trade goods.
Tinkering is the largest skill branch with a total of 10 subskills. Deploy Turret and Lay Mine allow you to better utilize weapon artifacts, while the others are meant for the management and creation of artifacts.
Costs 100 skill points. No requirements.
Gadget Inspector Edit
You are much more successful at examining artifacts.
Free with tinkering. Requires 15 int.
Generally if you have gadget inspector breaking artifacts isn't an issue. More info needed on breakage risk chance.
You can disassemble scrap and artifacts for bits. You get 1 random bit from the item schematic plus a 50% chance at a second random bit.
Costs 100 skill points. Requires 15 Intelligence
Vital for obtaining Bits. Since bits make up all of the artifacts in the game you'll be making good use of this. Scrap has weight but bits do not, so try turning on "Auto disassemble scrap" on in the options to cut down on weight. Keep a Basic Toolkit in your inventory to get more bits from disassemble
Reverse Engineer Edit
When disassembling items, you have a small chance to learn how to build them.
Costs 100 skill points. Requires 25 Intelligence
Reverse engineering is one of only 3 sources of blueprints in the game. Generally if you are disassembling the item it's not something you want, but if it's a consumable it may be worthwhile to sacrifice a few in order to have the ability to make more. Candidates for reverse engineering include tonics, grenades, missiles and energy cells. The high intelligence requirement means most won't have access.
Whenever you step over garbage, you astutely rifle through it and occasionally discover scrap. Additionally, you harvest extra scrap from robots you destroy.
Costs 100 skill points. Requires 15 Intelligence
Trash has a small chance to hold scrap, but the types of scrap obtained yield low quality bits. It's useful for passively reducing expenses but trash is not worth going out of your way for. Later on robots may be a source of higher quality bits, but if or how the scavenger skill affects this needs more investigation. On very rare occasions, Scavenger may yield Tier I grenades or partially full waterskins.
Note that the value of the bits and items obtained from scavenging depends on the depth where the trash was found; trash at extreme depths may yield incredible things such as tier-8 bits or Eater's Nectar Injectors.
You may repair broken items with Bits.
Costs 100 skill points. Requires 17 Intelligence
Repair is generally a waste of skill points. You can always bring the broken item to a merchant to fix, or if you're in combat a Fix-It Spray Foam will do the trick. Spray foams are more expensive but it means having vital equipment back up and running as soon as you need it.
Deploy Turret Edit
You may deploy missile weapons as static turrets.
Costs 100 skill points. Requires 17 Intelligence.
Niche use. Possibly good for shooting around corners from cover. Not needed for artifact creation or management. Using the ability takes long time and can't be interrupted.
There is an infinite ammo glitch for any missile weapon involved using Deploy Turret and the Ganglionic Teleprojector. By placing down a turret using an unloaded weapon one can use the Teleprojector to dominate it then fire the gun with no ammo while in control of it, once the weapon is unequipped from the turret and dropped it can be picked up after the turret is killed and will retain the infinite ammo it had while attached to the turret.
If desperate for bits, you can make turrets out of short bows, then destroy them. You can also reclaim used weapon by Dismembering or disarming the turret.
Lay Mine/Set Bomb Edit
You may lay down grenades as mines or set them as bombs.
Costs 50 skill points. Requires 17 Intelligence
Using the ability will prompt you to select a grenade, then an adjacent area to place it. Placing a bomb will allow you to set a timer. Good for trapping halways or killing monsters as you flee.
Not needed for artifact creation or management.
-Placing a bomb will consume 1 turn of the timer immediately.
-There is a bug with the timer. You may input 2 digits when setting the timer, but only the first number is counted. Meaning you can set the timer to 99 turns, but it will blow up in 9.
Tinker I Edit
You may build items from low-tier recipes. 1 free recipe.
Costs 100 skill points. Requires 19 Intelligence
Tinker 1 is the entry to modifying and creating artifacts and unlocks the tinkering menu (default K on the keyboard). Almost all Item Mods are considered tier 1, so even melee fighters can benefit greatly from having this skill, if they have the intelligence for it. Buildable items are considered tier 1 if they use only <ABCD123> bits in their recipe. Most consumable items are tier 1, as well as some simple weapons.
Tinker II Edit
You may build items from medium-tier recipes. 1 free recipe.
Costs 200 skill points. Requires 23 Intelligence and Tinker 1.
Allows learning tier 2 recipes, which are those that use <456>, but not <78> bits. Radio-powered, jacked and phase-conjugate mods are tier 2, as well as many useful artifacts. Note that tier 2 recipes learned through Reverse Engineer or Psychometry (and possibly Water Ritual?) do not require this skill to be usable.
Tinker III Edit
You may build items from high-tier recipes. 1 free recipe.
Costs 300 skill points. Requires 29 Intelligence and Tinker 2
Allows learning tier 3 recipes, which are defined by using <78> bits. A full list of those is as follows: Hand-E-Nuke, Phase Cannon, Nano-Neuro Animator, Small Sphere of Negative Weight, Anti-Gravity Boots, Timecube, and Antimatter Cell. Due to prohibitive Intelligence requirement, it is advised to use Reverse Engineer or Psychometry instead if one needs one of those recipes.