The player's character can build their seven main skills through the same methods. The stats are measured through the customizable character's Lifestyle. Stats are determined indirectly through choosing character's allocation of hours spent on daily activities. These allocations have direct stat analogy relationships as listed bellow.
How long the player can run, swim, or cycle at full speed before losing health due to overexertion. Increase this skill by practicing any of these disciplines. Every 18 yards (or 16 meters) the player runs or minutes they swim, the stamina skill will raise by 1%. This skill is extremely useful as the player will have unlimited stamina after maxing out this skill.
The player's skill in handling firearms. Dampens recoil, reduces reload time, heightens accuracy, and increases ammo capacity. Increase this skill by landing hits on enemies, scoring head-shots, and successfully completing Shooting Range challenges. The player can raise their shooting skill with the gun challenges. It will raise at 3% for gold medals, 2% for silver medals and 1% for bronze medals.
The player's physical power and resilience. Boosts melee damage, speeds up ladder climbing, improves sporting agility, and reduces damage taken from various sources (Including damage to armor). Increase by scoring hits in melee combat and practicing sports. For every 20 punches the player land, the strength skill will raise by 1%.
The player's skill at remaining undetected. Move quickly and quietly when in stealth mode. Tapping the sprint key once while stealth walking will make the player go a little faster. Increase this skill by remaining undetected and performing silent takedowns when in stealth mode. The player can raise this skill by performing stealth takedowns and walking while in stealth mode. For every two stealth takedowns the player lands, the stealth skill will heighten by 1.5%, while every forty-yards the player walks in stealth mode will heighten it by 1%.
Stealth will remove the player's blip on the radar in deathmatches (the blips are determined by noise and line of sight).
The player's skill in the cockpit of various aircraft. Take off, land, and manage turbulence more easily. Increase this skill by flying for sustained periods and succeeding at flight school challenges. The player receives a 3% to 5% increase of the Flying skill for every gold medal they get in flight school. For those who do not wish to participate in this activity, for every 10 minutes spent flying, the Flying skill will raise by 1%.
The player's skill behind the wheel or handlebars. Pop wheelies more easily and retain more control while airborne. Increase this skill by holding wheelies and landing squarely out of big jumps. Every second spent in the air while driving the Driving skill will raise by 1%. Also every successful Stunt Jump gives the player around of 2 or 3%. It can also be increased simply by driving vehicles without hitting anything. Driving head-on through oncoming traffic going the opposite way, without hitting any cars raises this as well.
How long the player's character can hold their breath underwater before losing health. Remain submerged for longer. Increase this skill by diving and swimming underwater. Every minute spent swimming underwater the Lung Capacity skill will raise by 1%. Unranked, a character can hold their breath roughly 15 seconds before taking damage. Every 20% milestone grants 5 extra seconds the character can hold their breath for. Using Scuba Suit or Rebreather while underwater will also contribute to increasing the skill.
|Asleep||Stamina, Strength, Stealth, Lung Capacity||--||12|
|With Friends & Family||Stamina, Strength||Shooting||4|
|Playing Sports & Working Out||Stamina, Strength, Lung Capacity||Shooting, Driving||8|
|Doing Legal Work||Stamina, Stealth, Flying||Driving||10|
|Sitting on the Couch||Flying, Driving||Stamina, Strength, Lung Capacity||8|
|Partying||Shooting, Stealth||Stamina, Strength, Flying, Lung Capacity||8|
|Doing Illegal Work||Driving, Shooting||Lung Capacity||10|
In the original release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, a starting character has 24 Hours to distribute among twelve activities. A minimum of 4 hours must be spent on sleep.
These selections determine the stats of the character, as well as affecting his or her physique. Lowering some times and raising others, will adjust stats accordingly. For instance, doing a lot of legal work will increase flying skills. It should be noted that hourly selections also affect starting clothing.
All skills except lung capacity, which are displayed on the mission screen, have their own unique level title depending on what percentage each one is at as listed below:
|Stamina||Lethargic||Out of Shape||Healthy||Athlete||Tri-Athlete|
|Shooting||Untrained||Spray-and-Pray||Police Training||Military Training||Dead-Eye|
|Flying||Dangerous||RC Pilot||Commercial Pilot||Fighter Pilot||Ace|
|Driving||Unlicensed||Sunday Driver||Commuter||Street Racer||Pro-Racer|