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I am making a video game and I need to explain to the user how a skill tree works.

Basically, when you increase the level of the "up" skill, the skill "below" becomes unlocked, however "up" and "below" is not correct since it can be on the right side like this:

skilltree

So, when the user presses the locked skill, I need to use a little phrase that explains it.

I was thinking something like this "Unlock the previous skill united by the line."

However, that sounds very bad to me.

How do you refer to [something] that is united/joined to [another thing] by [something]?

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The skill that you must unlock before you can unlock the next skill is a prerequisite, or "something that is necessary before something else can happen or be done".

I would probably have the tool tip explain that "a prerequisite is missing" or "a prerequisite skill's level is too low". Here's an example of a skill description that uses "prerequisite" (although not exactly in the same context):

Master Warrior
Skill Point Cost: 1 Skill Point
Prerequisites: Overpower Chain Throw or Kill Loot or Adrenaline 2

  • Or, for an alternative but related phrasing, the requirements for this skill have not been met. (There could be more than one.) Then, when focusing on the particulars, those things would be prerequisites. . . . – Jason Bassford Jun 4 '18 at 19:30
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"Linked Skill" is the most common phrase I have seen in video games that comes to my mind right away. I have also seen these called 'Parent Skills' before.

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"X" Level "N" is required; Then user can follow relations in the Tree to find "X". In this case, I prefer to use "Depends on" or "Related to".

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