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Once you get through the first couple of missions, you will have a few very basic powers. You learn more powers as you play through the game, typically one Power each time you re-establish the circuit on a transformer during one of the sewer missions. Most Powers can be viewed by bringing up the game menu (Start button) and selecting Powers.

Powers earned

A quick reference list of what powers are available when:

  • Beginning of game: Lightning Bolt, Shockwave, Thunder Drop, Reduce Damage, Melee, Electric Drain, Gigawatt Blades (pre-order bonus only)
  • First transformer: Pulse Heal, Bio Leech, Arc Restraint
  • First Good/Evil mission: Overload Burst or Arc Lightning
  • Second transformer: Shock Grenade
  • Third transformer: Induction Grind
  • Fourth transformer: Precision
  • Fifth transformer: Static Thrusters
  • Sixth transformer: Megawatt Hammer
  • Seventh transformer: Polarity Wall
  • Eighth transformer: Lightning Storm

Menu Powers[edit]

These are the Powers that show on your Powers menu. Some powers and their upgrades are influenced by your Karma; others are neutral. There are three ranks of Karma for both Good and Evil:

  • Good Karma: Guardian, Champion, Hero
  • Evil Karma: Thug, Outlaw, Infamous

To purchase upgrades for most powers, you will need to spend experience points (XP). The powers are listed below in the order they appear in the Powers Menu from left to right. Powers are either available from the beginning of the main game (i.e. after you have completed all the mandatory opening missions); or, they are learned after restoring X number of power transformers.

Lightning Bolt[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game

Cole's basic attack is a bolt of lightning from his fingertips. This attack uses no energy (unlimited ammo) and is very effective. Hold L1 button to enter aiming mode and then press R1 button to fire. Good characters, especially, will love Lightning Bolt and you can recharge yourself at Hero level just by shooting bad guys.

Good upgrades
  • Guardian (400 XP): Righteous Blow — Restores a moderate amount of energy each time you successfully hit an enemy.
  • Champion (2,900 XP): Righteous Shot — Head shots chain electricity to nearby enemies.
  • Hero (12,000 XP): Righteous Strike — Restores a significant amount of energy each time you hit an enemy. Head shots also restore health.
Evil upgrades
  • Thug (400 XP): Sadistic Blow — Defeated enemies have a chance of triggering an electric explosion before dying.
  • Outlaw (2,900 XP): Sadistic Shot — Increases the radius of the electric explosion.
  • Infamous (12,000 XP): Sadistic Strike — Head shots automatically trigger an electric explosion.

Shockwave[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game

The Shockwave is a basic method of crowd control and object manipulation. To use Shockwave, hold L1 button to enter aiming mode and then press Cross button. Each Shockwave uses energy. Shockwaves pulse out and physically push or throw objects away from Cole. Used against vehicles, it can move cars and other obstacles from your path. Used against people, it can temporarily (or permanently) incapacitate others.

Good upgrades
  • Guardian (800 XP): Reverse Magnetism — People caught in the core of the blast temporarily float in the air.
  • Champion (1,800 XP): Increases blast force.
  • Hero (2,800 XP): Increases blast range.
Evil upgrades
  • Thug (800 XP): People or objects caught in the core of the blast are electrified.
  • Outlaw (1,800 XP): Increases blast force and range.
  • Infamous (2,800 XP): Cars hit by blast explode.

Overload Burst[edit]

  • Available: After you finish the first Good or Evil mission

Overload Burst is a highly charged beam of energy that chains off conductive surfaces and can strike enemies using metal objects (such as cars or heating ducts) for cover. To use the power, hold L1 button to enter aiming mode and then press and hold R2 button. A second aiming reticule appears. Wait until the two reticules are aligned and then release to fire the burst. Overload Burst is only available to players with positive Karma and you must complete a certain number of Good side missions for each level of the power.

Upgrades
  • Guardian (5 Good side missions): You must purchase this level to use the power.
  • Champion (10 Good side missions): Doubles the damage.
  • Hero (15 Good side missions): Increases damage and reduces charging time.

Arc Lightning[edit]

  • Available: After you finish the first Good or Evil mission

Releases a continuous stream of lightning. To use this power, hold L1 button to enter aiming mode and then hold R2 button as long as you want to stream the lightning. Arc Lightning uses energy and is only available to players with negative Karma. You must complete a certain number of Evil side missions for each level of the power.

Upgrades
  • Thug (5 Evil side missions): You must purchase this level to use the power.
  • Outlaw (10 Evil side missions): Unlimited branching and increases damage.
  • Infamous (15 Evil side missions): Weakened enemies explode.

Shock Grenade[edit]

  • Available: After second transformer is online

Just as the name implies, Cole throws a grenade made of electricity. The grenade does take a few seconds to detonate and enemies will run from it; however, if your aim is good, you can stick a grenade to an opponent or object (such as a vehicle). Grenades use energy. To throw a grenade, hold L1 button to enter aiming mode and press Square button. To throw your grenades farther, aim higher up to lob them at your enemies.

Good upgrades
  • Guardian (800 XP): Increases knockdown time.
  • Champion (1,900 XP): Increases blast radius and damage.
  • Hero (5,500 XP): Increases damage and weakened enemies are automatically restrained.
Evil upgrades
  • Thug (800 XP): Grenadelets — cluster of three Shock Grenades that separate on impact and cause splash damage.
  • Outlaw (1,900 XP): Grenadelets — cluster of five Shock Grenades.
  • Infamous (5,500 XP): Grenadelets — cluster of seven Shock Grenades.

Megawatt Hammer[edit]

  • Available: After the sixth transformer is back online

Basically, a guided rocket. Hold L1 button to aim, then press Triangle button to fire the rocket. Rockets do a lot more damage than your Lightning Bolts, but they do require energy.

Good upgrades
  • Guardian (800 XP): Redirect a rocket by firing a Lightning Bolt or Precision (R1 button) at the target you want to hit. Rockets home in on moving targets including, but not limited to UAVs.
  • Champion (2,500 XP): Enemies caught in the blast temporarily float in the air.
  • Hero (5,300 XP): Increases blast radius of rocket.
Evil upgrades
  • Thug (800 XP): Adds a pair of smaller rockets that attach to their targets before exploding.
  • Outlaw (2,500 XP): Adds four smaller rockets.
  • Infamous (5,300 XP): Adds six smaller rockets.

Thunder Drop[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game

Cole causes an explosion when he hits the ground. To use Thunder Drop, just jump from a high object and press Square button on the way down. This is a neutral power, and a very good one. Shooting at enemies from above and luring them under you is an effective tactic. You can also use Thunder Drop to help take out turrets and turret trucks.

  • Level 1 (800 XP): Increases blast range.
  • Level 2 (1,300 XP): People and objects in the epicenter of the blast get electrified.
  • Level 3 (3,200 XP): Increases blast force.

Reduce Damage[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game

This is a neutral power that is always active. Each level purchased decreases damage done to Cole. These are good upgrades to purchase, especially in Medium or Hard difficulty as you will take a lot of shots.

  • Level 1 (600 XP): 10% reduction in damage.
  • Level 2 (1,800 XP): 20% reduction in damage.
  • Level 3 (2,600 XP): 30% reduction in damage.

Melee[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game

This is a neutral power that is always active. Each level purchased increases melee damage. Considering how useless melee attacks are, you can probably ignore these upgrades.

  • Level 1 (600 XP)
  • Level 2 (1,000 XP)
  • Level 3 (1,500 XP)

Electric Drain[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game

This is a neutral power that is always active. Each level purchased increases the rate at which Cole drains energy from objects (thus restoring his energy and health). Probably a good purchase especially at Hard difficulty; you'll have less time to heal up when constantly under fire.

  • Level 1 (800 XP)
  • Level 2 (1,400 XP): Automatically recharge when grinding on electrified wires or rails.
  • Level 3 (2,000 XP, Hero/Infamous rank): Enables Karmic Overload – once your Karma meter is at full Good or Evil, press Left dpad to have unlimited energy for a short period of time.

Polarity Wall[edit]

  • Available: After the seventh transformer is online

Polarity Wall is a shield that blocks bullets and grenades. It requires no energy and can be used while running, gliding, grinding, etc. The only time you can't hold the Wall up is when you're in aiming mode. You also can't climb while holding the Wall, though you can hold it while clinging to a climbing surface. To hold the wall, hold R2 button. There are two levels of upgrades to Polarity Wall.

  • Level 1 (1,600 XP): Converts blocked damage into energy.
  • Level 2 (3,000 XP): Increases the size of the Wall.

Pulse Heal[edit]

  • Available: After the first transformer is online

This is a touch-based power gained after the first transformer. To heal a pedestrian, stand next to the person, press and hold R1 button to lock on, then press and hold Triangle button until you administer shock therapy. There are no upgrades for this power. Using Pulse Heal earns positive Karma points and some XP.

Bio Leech[edit]

  • Available: After the first transformer is online

This is a touch-based power gained after the first transformer. You can leech energy and health from downed opponents or pedestrians. To leech energy, stand next to the person, press and hold R1 button to lock on, then rapidly tap Square button to fight the person for their energy. There are no upgrades for this power. Using Bio Leech earns negative Karma points.

Arc Restraint[edit]

  • Available: After the first transformer is online

This is a touch-based power gained after the first transformer. You can restrain downed opponents or pedestrians. To restrain someone, stand next to the person, press and hold R1 button to lock on, then press Circle button. There are no upgrades for this power. Using Arc Restraint is a neutral action, though it is sometimes required to complete certain missions. Restraining live enemies earns additional XP.

Precision[edit]

  • Available: After the fourth transformer is online

This is an enhancement to your Lightning Bolt gained after the fourth power transformer is online. Precision mode allows you to slow down time and zoom in on distant opponents. Precision mode slowly drains your energy and shots taken using Precision mode use energy, so make sure your aim is good. To use Precision, press and hold Up dpad and then press R1 button to fire. There are no upgrades to this power.

Lightning Storm[edit]

  • Available: after the eighth transformer is online

Lightning Storm is a serious incarnation of Cole's powers. Press and hold Down dpad to unleash the Storm and tilt the controller left and right to steer it. Requires energy – and lots of it. Lightning Storm only works outside, so no using it in the sewer mission where you learn it. Or on things underneath the train tracks.

Gigawatt Blades[edit]

  • Available: From the beginning of the game if you have a pre-order code

Gigawatt Blades are a neutral melee upgrade only available as add-on content from the the PlayStation Store. The Blades are a pre-order bonus given by some retailers and not (currently) available to all players. Gigawatt Blades are, essentially, one-hit kills when activated; however, activating them requires energy. To activate the Blades, press Right dpad. The blades last for a limited time. You must purchase at least Level 1 Blades to use them at all.

  • Level 1 (600 XP)
  • Level 2 (1,000 XP)
  • Level 3 (2,000 XP)

Non-menu Powers[edit]

These Powers are learned by re-energizing transformers or buying upgrades to menu powers; however, they don't show on your Powers menu and don't have any upgrades.

Induction Grind[edit]

You learn this ability after re-energizing the third transformer. You'll then be able to quickly traverse any wires or train rails in lit-up areas of town. When riding the rails, remember the trains on the inner tracks run clockwise and the trains on the outer tracks run counter-clockwise; so, grind in the same direction as the trains. Also, the Level 2 Electric Drain Power allows you to recharge yourself as you grind wires or rails.

Static Thrusters[edit]

This is a "flying" ability learned after the fifth transformer (first in the Warren) is re-energized. While in the air, press and hold R1 button to glide slowly downward. You can use this Power to more quickly traverse the rooftops of the city as you will be able to cover some of the larger gaps between buildings where no wire is available. Using Static Thrusters consumes no energy.

When gliding, you have limited lateral movement. You cannot turn around and glide back the way you came. Static Thrusters are mainly useful for covering wide gaps.

Karmic Overload[edit]

To use this Power, you must purchase the Level 3 upgrade of Energy Drain and have a full Karma meter (Good or Evil). With a full Karma meter, press Left dpad and you'll have unlimited energy for a short time. When the timer runs out, you also will have lost some Karma points and will have to earn them again to use the ability again.