The first 8 show you incremental upgrades. These increase in cost the more your upgrade them. The first upgrade will cost 1 merit, the second upgrade will cost 2 merits, and so on. They have a max upgrade count of 10 and are more or less very useful.
From here, you can use your merits to/for:
- Increase your Nerve bar by 1
- Increase casino tokens gained each day (+5)
- Increase critical hit rate (+1%)
- Increase awareness
- Masterful looting
- Improve stealth
- Increase interest
- Hospitalize for +5 minutes
You will get more information and a warning about merits being unrefundable when you click upgrade.
The next 8 are non-incremental upgrades. They always take 1 merit to upgrade and stay that way. However, you can not tell which merits have been used on these upgrades. They are:
- Increase your life by 50 x level
- Increase crime success rate
- Respect bonus +10 on current faction
- Strength bonus +10 x level
- Defence bonus +10 x level
- Speed bonus +10 x level
- Dexterity bonus +10 x level
Many people in Torn City will suggest that you use your merits on statistics.
If you notice, lots of these upgrades rely on your level. The higher your level, the better the upgrade. It may be wise to wait if you want to use these upgrades.