Each captain's ability is represented by 14 base skills, all of which are measured from 0 and up. At level 2.0, a captain may pick a master skill out of the currently available ones related to the base skill. Each skill affects the game differently, though some skills affect the game in ways that are more noticeable than others; the same is true for master skills.
All of the skills can be improved by performing tasks associated to those skills, but there are others ways to increase the skills such as reading books, consumables and SR training.
A player's overall level, although not explicitly stated to other players, is presented as a division. These divisions give you an indication of a player's skill range.
The anarchist skill is a measure of how far a captain opposes the establishment, such as attacking Transitional Government vessels or stealing from structures.
Unlike most other base skills this skill cannot be improved through standard Substitute Reality training.
The commander skill represents the captain's ability to command their friendly team in combat and giving them buffs in combat.
The demolitions skill shows the captain's aptitude at taking down structures, which is essential for taking over sectors in a hostile manner.
The engineering skill is not to be mistaken with the craftsman skill because the engineer skill is dedicated to working on infrastructure, deconstructing structures and dismantling Null Space Minefields.
The entrepreneur represents the aptitude at making dealing with longer distance exchanges. Such as placing items on the market and buying them.
Explorer is self explanatory, it shows one's experience in exploring the unknown, such as uncharted sectors, unexplored planets and pushing back the frontier.
The fighter skill represents a captain's capability at fighting, it is the most general among the more combat oriented skills as any form of fighting increases it.
The freelancer skill is a measure on how successful you are at completing missions and other work with a higher level unlocking more advanced missions.
The marksman skill is a measure of your situational awareness, accuracy and reliability in combat. The higher this skill the more likely you are and the more damage you will deal when landing a critical hit or using an ability that does system damage.
The miner skill is related to mining affecting the captain's yield with higher levels. The miner skill increases through mining and as such it is one of the easiest skills to improve.
The strategist skill is a measure of a captains tactical and strategic ability both in and out of combat. The ability governs many factors throughout the game.
The trader skill, unlike the entrepreneur, is more about face to face bartering affecting the prices you buy and sell for at trading structures such as merchant stations and asteroid bars. And as such getting advantageous deals is one of the ways to improve the skill.
The vigilante skill largely represents a captain's willingness to aid those in need such as a distress signal which is one of the ways to improve the skill.