DC Universe Online Tips from a Veteran

DC Universe Online Tips from a Veteran by rom101

Hey All,

Here is a quick tips guide that I created during the beta. It continually grew from beta tester tip submissions, eventually getting stickied by the Devs. Admittingly I stopped playing beta about 3 weeks before launch so that everything would feel fresh on 11/11. During my time in Beta I leveled up 6 lvl 30 toons…below are some of the knowledge tips that helped me along the way. I apologize if any of this is no longer valid on launch day…please take into account it was created during beta before the last 2 big patches.

And in your travels, if you find you have tips to add to the list, please share in this thread!!!


1) Use the Mouse-wheel during the Character Creation process to see all the options. Scroll bars were apparently recently added, but the Mouse-wheel also works great.

2) You don’t have to hit “E” if you use a mouse. You can just click both mouse buttons at any npc or item that is “E” interactive.

3) Slash commands…there aren’t a lot ingame yet, but here are the ones posted so far (you can hit “o” to get to the chat window):

/say – Say something to anyone in your local area
/s – Same as /say
/groupsay – Say something to members of your group
/group – Same as /groupsay
/g – Same as /groupsay
/party – Same as /groupsay
/p – Same as /groupsay
/tell [name] – Send a private message to another person (use quotes around names with a space)
/t – Same as /tell
/reply – Send a private message to the last person that sent you a private message
/r – Same as /reply
/shout – Shout a message to everyone in the same region (like say but broader)
/invite [name] – Invite another person to join a group with you (no quotes needed)
/leave – Leave your current group
/kick [name] – Kick the specified person from your group (no quotes needed; must be leader)
/promote [name] – Promote the specified person to be the group leader (no quotes needed; must be leader)
/league – Say something seen only by those in your same league
/l – same as /league
/friend [name] – Add a friend to your friends list

Kithkarnon has posted a more detailed list of chat commands here.

4) Regarding Costumes:

  • Costumes are unlocked each time you equip an item or use a costume token.  Using the token will ‘destroy’ the token, but it unlocks the costume in your ‘style’ tab. You do NOT have to have an item equiped in order to see it on your character.  Once the piece is unlocked you can change your look via the style tab.
  • When you hit “esc”, if you click on the “mask” “style tab” at the bottom menu bar, you can change your look without changing the stats of what you are wearing. The “look” of items is dependent on what items you’ve collected and equiped so far. You can sell any item you have previously equiped and still keep the “look” as an option (so you can go to a vendor, buy all the gear, equip it, then sell it back losing a little bit of cash and add all those “looks” to your options).
  • You can now lock or unlock your costume choices.  If you do not want gear changing the way your character currently looks, you can use the ‘lock all’ button at the top of the style tab.  If you want to change a piece of gear later on however, you must unlock your costume, equip the piece, and then lock again (just to be safe) in order for it to appear on your character.

5) You can change the color your costume and player at anytime.  [Added 1/12/11]

Just go into your style tab (see #4) and click on the icon next to each gear type to bring up the color change menu for that item.
  • To change your player colors, including skin, eyes, hair & make-up, just click on the 2nd tab of the style tab.

6) Pressing the Shift key will release you from being crowd controlled (most of the time), as well as provide you with a couple of seconds of immunity.

7) If you hold the Shift key and a strafe movement key, you will do a rolling dodge in that direction.

8) F9 takes a screenshot. You can change your settings if you want the screenshot to show the UI or not (default is not showing the UI). Images are saved to your game folder to your “My Documents” Folder.  Pathing on my computer looks like:

My DocumentsMy GamesDC Universe OnlineDCGame  [updated 1/12/11]

9) Hovering over a gear item in your inventory, via a quest reward offer or via a vendor will now tell you the set type and whether you’ve collected it yet as a style item.

10) Auto-run is available at all levels, in or out of movement mode.

To auto run on the mouse/keyboard, press “num lock.”
To auto run on the controller, press and hold the left thumbstick.
Every movement mode allows you to purchase a “level up” to your auto-run speed via the skill tree, but you can still auto-run without it.
Note: you can’t engage auto-run while in the slower combat movement mode (i.e., if you’ve been attacking or have been attacked within the last few seconds).

11) Pressing the “R” key works the same way as the “Shift” key.

12) During the openning movies, you can hold down ESC to skip past them.  During the cutscenes after boss fights, you can hold down the LEFT mouse button (or whatever is the equivilant on your controller), to skip it.  [added 1/18/11]

13) You can cancel a race by hitting ‘/’.  You don’t have to finish it or let enough time pass if you wish to end the race early. [added 1/19/11]
1) Don’t fly through doors…just don’t…

2) Something I learned because of #12. If you get stuck anywhere, just use your map (M) warp buttons to port yourself out of that stuck spot.

3) In acrobatics, to use the Grapple line climb abilities mount a wall and press and hold SPACE to zip up a wall. To use the grapple wall be near a wall and hit space to grapple and pull yourself to it while falling. To use the auto move abilities move forward and hit NUMLOCK.

4) With acrobatics, you can double jump by pressing jump again while in the air. If you hold jump down on the second tap, you glide.  Tapping spacebar a third time with the crosshairs on any climbable object within aggro range will shoot a zipline and take you to that location. [updated 1/13/11]
5) In combat, your energy recharges and your supercharge meter fills up based on your combo. The higher your hit counter, the faster they fill. Your supercharge meter currently appears as a colored overlay on your hotbar’d supercharge powers. This is not final, and will be replaced with a real meter eventually.

6) You can switch roles using “T”, these can be configured in the Loadouts screen. Note: Some loadouts are for illusions/transformations, to get to these you have to use specific abilities. You can hit “P” to change your loadouts by dragging powers around.

7) Might increases the damage of your powers. DPS and Precision increase the damage of your abilities and weapon attacks.

8) Pet commands:

To summon: Activate the ability like you would any other
To change tactics from aggressive to passive or back: Activate the ability again while the pet is summoned
To dismiss the pet: Hold the button for the ability until the pet goes away

9) You can enter flight mode by holding down the spacebar instead of hitting “F” (if you have the flying travel form). I believe you can activate the other travel modes the same way.

10) Enemies who are trapped by Encasement control effects (freezing, stasis field, etc) can only be damaged by certain powers — specifically, ones that say they do heavy damage to Encased enemies in the power description. Normal attacks and powers will not cause any damage, and will in fact break the Encasement faster.

11) Current Stats & Descriptions that effect powers, abilities and weapon attacks.

Note: These are found by going to your inventory tab (i) and clicking on the stats tab.
Health:Health measures the amount of damange you can take before being knocked out. Enemy attacks can reduce your health. You automatically begin regenerating health when you leave combat.
Power: ower is required to use super abilities and is drained as they are preformed. Power is recovered quickly when using weapon attacks to drive up the hit counter. Power returns slowly when out of combat.
Defense: Defense reduces the damage received by attacks made by non-player enemies.
Might: Might increases the damage caused by super powers.
Restoration: Restoration increases the potency of all health recovery effects you activate.
Vitalization: Vitalization increases the potency of all Power recover effects you activate.
Precision: Precision adds to the base damage caused by all weapon attacks.
Toughness: Toughness reduces the damange you receive from attacks made by enemy players.
Dominance: Dominance makes your control effects such as stuns harder to escape. Dominance increases the damage an enemy must take before control is broken.

12) Stat Formulas

Precision: 10 Precision = +1 Weapon DPS
Might: 4 Might = +1% increase in base damage or healing
Restoration: 4 Restoration = +1% increase in base amount healed
Vitalization: 4 Vitalization = +1% more power generated by any effects you cause
Dominance: 2 Dominance = +1 additional damage an enemy must take before control is broken
Defense/Toughness: As you gain levels more Defense/Toughness is required to maintain the same protection. Roughly 15 Defense at level 1 and 71 Defense at level 30 = +1% more damage prevention.

There are hard caps but you shouldn’t be able to reach them. They are more or less just there in case the devs flubbed up somewhere.

13) passive bonuses available in the weapon trees are ALWAYS ACTIVE. You don’t need to be using a 1-Handed weapon to get the Precision bonus. If you buy a box you get that bonus no matter what weapon you’re using.

14) Certain select powers require the meter to be at a set level (full, half, etc.) before they can be used. The icons for these powers is grayed out if there is insufficient Supercharge, and they have a coloured outer ring that fills as you gain Supercharge. Once the ring is full the icon is no longer grayed out, and the power can be used. Mouse over the various power types to see if they require 50 to 100% of your full supercharge meter. The Supercharge Bar (and the Power Bar) is filled through the standard attack combo counter.

15) You do NOT get your designated second role/loadout until level 10. After that you can use “T” to switch roles outside combat.
1) Make sure to click on all the investigation items before you leave an instance. You may not be able to get back in later until after you hit 30 or unless you have a mission still inside that instance.

2) Repair after you complete a series of missions, especially if you get knocked out a lot. Nothing feels worse then getting to a boss only to see that “your gear is broken” message.

3) When you get to a mission zone, fly around the area and look for secondary side quests (a “?” on your mini map). Most will have something to do with that current mission and you can end up getting more XP just completing your main mission.

4) Level 30 is the current level cap for Heroes and Villains. Once you hit that level, you get a new mission to see your mentor. That leads you on a quest series that activates the ability to access end game content (raiding and such).

5) Green Investigation items (outside of an instance) are normally around the quests zones so while looking for the secondary quest givers (Noramlly 1 or 2 at each area but not always) look for the Green symbols.

6) If you can’t re-find a side quest giver, go into your journal and activate the side quest so you get the directional arrow on your mini map. You can later go back in and re-activate your main mission.

7) After the majority of boss fights, there is a path to a quick exit that opens up. You don’t have to run all the way back to the beginning to get out. Just look at your mini map.

8) World bosses are often in the lvl appropriate quest areas so watch it while doing them.

9) You can reset any instance (before the last boss is defeated) by logging out of the game. This will put you back outside the instance with it reset.

10) Group sizes: Solo, Duo, 4-man and 8-man

11) The Skull and Red Arrow means that a near by enemy is readying a powerful attack…good time to block or dodge (covered in the turtorial, but good to remember).

12) Regarding Quest CreditEveryone who has contributed to an encounter gets credit for all secures or deliveries.

  • If you need to KO + secure some guys and someone comes up and secures one while you’re fighting the other, you BOTH get credit for it!
  • If there’s an object you need to deliver. But there’s an NPC guarding it. While you’re fighting that NPC, someone grabs the object and delivers it. You BOTH get credit for the delivery.
  • If there’s an encounter with a KO, a secure and a delivery and you’re fighting the KO and two other guys come up and do the secure and the delivery, guess what? That’s right, you get credit for both the delivery and the secure.
  • If there are three NPCs and a secure. Two people KO one guy, three other people KO the second and a lone guy number six KOs the third. Meanwhile a seventh hero does the secure. All seven people get secure credit and the ones that helped KO a guy get a single KO credit a piece.

13) Completing investigations automatically sends you Mail that appears to show no gear attachment. If you “take attachment” you will still get the gear reward (check your inventory).

14) If you leave an instance to join an alert that you were queued for, when the alert completes will be ported back outside the instance with it reset. This may be true for other queued items. You do not reset the instance by queing for an alert or pvp, just by joining them once called.

15) Combat Controls:

Left and right mouse buttons for melee and ranged combo attacks.
1-6 keys to activate your super powers.
7 to use consumables.
8 to use trinkets.
Left-shift to block and breakout (hold shift + WASD to dodge)
Left-ctrl to gather loot.
Tab to hard lock your current target.
Tab / Q for cycle left and right through targets once you have hard lock.
C to Clear your hard lock.

16) Roles:  (Credit for this goes to RONIN13 over in the PS3 forums. Thank you sir!)
“Powers determine “roles” (jobs/class). Fire and Ice are Tank roles. Gadgets and Mental are Controller roles. Magic and Nature are Healer roles.  Every class has a “damage” role. That is the default dps role. So anyone can DPS. A Tank’s job is the same here as in any other MMO. He draws enemies to him and take the hits for the team. Healer heals. Controller’s hold enemies via stuns and what have you. Controllers keep too many enemies from swarming the group. Controllers also have a few powers to replenish the group’s power bars.
Anyone CAN dps. How much you do is up to you. But you can only be Damage Role (DPS) or Tank/Controller/Healer Role at one time, not both.  At level 10 you get stances.
Your powers work a bit differently when you’re in Tank/Controller/Healer role.  Make sure to read the descriptions of each power carefully and note the differences.
When grouped up it is advisable to switch out of the Damage role and into your Tank/Controller/Healer role. The three roles were made with synergy in mind.  Having 4 people in damage role in an Alert is not well advised.  You may be able to power through it, but you’re more likely a lot better off playing your role and acting as a team.  This becomes crucial at level 30 for raids.”
As mentioned previously, hit ‘T’ to change your roles.

  • Fire is Damage
  • Shield is Tank
  • Plus is Healer
  • Diamond is Controller
Note: This can not be done in combat. 

17) A few tips for PvP

  • Tank counters Controller
  • Controller counters Healer
  • Healer counters TankAs for Combat –
    Blocks countered by Block breakers
    Block breakers countered by Lunges
    Lunges countered by Block
    Ranged avoided by Dodge roll
    Dodge roll countered by Lunge
    Every hold and stun is countered by tapping block
    Hold and stun break costs energy so must be used carefully, or you end up with no energy and dead.

1) On the Watch Tower, there are consoles in the place formally call the Habitat that you can respec with. The best way I’ve found to get to them is traveling from the Tech wing to the Meta wing or vice versa.

2) Teleport portals for Gotham are in the tech wing. Teleport portals for Metropolis are in the meta wing (pretty obvious, but didn’t click right away they were by wing). It is the same for the Watch Tower and Hall of Doom.

3) As you get to later levels, go to the Watch Tower for the better potions (healing/mana). The initial portals in the Meta and Tech wings have vendors just outside the door. One sells potions.

4) Your map contain 2 buttons on the bottom left where you can teleport to the nearest rally point or teleport directly to the watchtower. Cooldown for Rally teleport is just about 8 minutes. Cooldown for HQ teleport is 1 hour.

1) Itemization Coloring:

Gray = not useful to you; sell it to a vendor
White = okay, but has no stat bonuses
Green = has good stat bonuses
Blue = has really good stat bonuses
Purple = has really, really good stat bonuses
Orange = Legendary

2) Regarding clickable “?” item in the World Environment

Collectible item = Yellow
Investigation item = GreenBrief = Blue

3) During Beta not all audio voices are in game yet. Many NPCs will have wrong voices until the actual voices are added to the game…This explains why Supergirl sounded over-dosed on Testosterone. I’m happy to report this appears fixed.  Please report if you find any voices overs missing ingame.
4) Falling does no damage. It doesn’t matter how high you fall from, you will take no fall damage ingame. One fun thing to do is fly up really high and turn off your flight ability (f) and just fall to earth. The devs decided it wasn’t very epic to die ingame via falling.

5) Badge Types:

Distinction – earned thru 8 man raids, used to buy “t2” iconic armors (note that just because it queues under the raid tab doesn’t mean it’s a raid)
Triumph – earned thru duos and 4 mans, used to buy “t1” iconic armors
Victory – earned thru pvp arena, used in conjunction with pvp cash to buy iconic pvp armor
Courage – earned thru pvp Legends, used in conjunction with pvp cash to buy pvp weapons and armors from the high level PD/Nightclubs

6) Pre-Order bonus items…once you have entered your code to your account via dcuniverseonline.com or soe.com, your pre-order items can be retrieved ingame by hitting “ESC”, then hitting the store icon (bottom right).  You click on the item, and hit claim.  So far in my tests of 7 items, all items are available to all characters…this could be different for some items.

7) HOW TO LEAVE A LEAGUE:  Open up the menu, go to the social tab and find your name.  There is an option to ‘leave league’ there.

8) Regarding Costume choices…you don’t start with everything unlocked; you get basics via the character customization, and then you have to acquire the rest of the gear in-game.

9) Double Vault Visit…When you hit lvl 6, Ambush Bug gives you a mission to visit his Vault.  This first visit actually allows you to visit TWICE in 24 hours.  Hit “Y” and click on “Vault” to do a vault run.  After you finish, equip the consumable ticket that the Ambush Bug gives you via accepting his quest.  Order does not matter. Until the marketplace starts selling vault tickets, this is the only time I know of that you get a double visit.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very very useful… congratz!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Alot of this is useful. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How.. how are there no comments? These tips are amazingly useful for a guy who just started. Thanks for all the work!

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