DC Universe Online Mental Controller Guide

DC Universe Online Mental Controller Guide by TFaithner

Astrid’s How to be a Mental Controller Guide
By Astrid Ionflux (Zero Hour-US)

Welcome to Astrid’s Mental Controller Guide where I will explain what a controller is and how to configure your mental character correctly to aid your team to victory.
My guide’s now been added to DCwiki.us, the format is a lot easier on the eyes and you can jump from section to secton wiki style but it will be delayed when being updated. Here is where you will see the newest changes. Go to www.dcwiki.us then to the Controller page in the Roles section.

0- Mentor News
1- What the Hell is a Controller, anyway?
2- Mental 101: Introduction and Stats
3- Weapons, Bonuses and Combo Mechanics
4- Powers and Skills
5- Your Role in Alerts
6- Your Role in Duos
7- Controller Builds (User Submit)

1 What the Hell is a Controller, anyway?
A Controller is DC Universe’s utility role, they can crowd control in versatile ways, can give debuffs of almost every element, they have group protection systems and most importantly, are energy batteries.
What is an ‘energy battery‘, you say? An energy battery gives back energy/mana through a certain set of powers to the whole group, whether it be in a party or raid. This means healers can heal more frequently, damage dealers can use powers consistently and tanks can use their threat skills constantly. Never underestimate how important a Controller can be for any group.
Controllers can crowd control (CC), have a quick read through your power descriptions if you haven’t already. You’ll find that a lot of them contain [Power Interactions] which contain certain affects or debuffs to boon your party’s potential. Their [Control Role] definitions will contain various energy-regens, stuns and controls. This means Controllers can CC single, cone or mass targets and this can be very helpful to the group when there are certain mobs which are a threat to team-mates.
As their own energy is so vital to return it to others and to CC, Controllers tend to favour the precision stat over might to get high energy return when using their weapons. A Controller’s weapon will be the epitome of their overall damage, they will only use their powers when the time is right. Vitalisation is the most important stat for them, Dominance will also help with the success of their powers, these are the two defining stats you will see on Controller gear.
Learn your role, theorycraft, discuss, test and have fun. Controller’s are highly enjoyable and a really innovative role, so read this guide and please rate and comment because I love reading your constructive criticism and experiences as a Controller. Help me truly make this the Mental Controllers Manual!
For more in depth number crunching about the Mental class please go to frzn’s sublime thread here DC Universe Online Mental Powerset Information Guide

If your playing a Gadgets Controller please check out Tinygod’s fantastic Guide here DC Universe Online Gadgets Controller Guide

2 Mental 101: Introduction and Stats

DCUO officially states the Mental class as being,
Characters with the mental superpower are masters of mind over matter. Using their unique abilities, they can move objects with a thought to defend themselves or damage an enemy. They can also use the force of their will in more subtle ways, such as creating illusions to disorient and confuse. Mental characters love to be where the action is and control the battlefield with their minds.

Illusion’s tree contains a lot of crowd controlling effects which immobilise targets, or ‘terrorise’ and one energy booster while Telekinesis can helplessly juggle enemies in the air while returning a lot of energy. There are different types of controllers which focus on different things so both of these trees can be utilised to do that and we’ll go into more detail about the different builds later.

Mental PROs

– Gives back high amounts of energy to team-mates
– Can immobilise single or groups of enemies for a long amount of time with dominance
– Is able to shield self and party to reduce damage and enable easier escape
– Can still have high damage as a controller
– Increases team-mates damage against targets with certain skills

Mental CONs

– Firing usable items in every direction when using Telekinesis
– Glitch where flying-users melee attacks cause them to rise upwards after using Telekenisis
– Can be useless when not played right
There are many different stats in DCUO but there are a select few that are extemely important for a mental controller. Detailed information from http://dcuniverseonline.wikia.com/wiki/StatsNOTE: Detailed number breakdowns will be added in the future. Feel free to private message me to help out- you will be credited.

Health measures how long a character can withstand being knocked out (KO) during combat. Represented via a bar, once a character’s health reaches zero, they are knocked out until a set time elapses, after which the player can chose to either revive their character where they were knocked out (if another player has revived them) or revive them a set distance away from where they were knocked out. Health automatically recovers when out of combat.-Health is important for any character, make sure you have enough incase a boss targets you to lay down some damage. It is not as important as other stats and you should get enough just by having items your level.

is required to use a character’s powers and is drained as they are performed. Power builds during weapon attacks as shown by the hit counter; Power also regenerates slowly out of combat.
– Static Power on gear will come with pretty much every Controller piece of gear and a lot of items in general, it is necessary but it’s not something you need to focus on. To regen power you’ll have to have high weapon combos this is explained in more detail further down.

Vitalization increases Power healing effects.
10 Vitalization = 1% Power generation increase.-Vitalization is absolutely essential for a successful controller. Skills like Telekinesis and Psychic Blades grant a 20sec buff which will restore 14 energy p/sec (indicated by a green lighting bolt under your supercharge bar). Every ~72 Vitilization will restore 1 energy p/tick. This can crit for 25% extra energy restored but is not effected by any additional stats (like +crit healing/damage).

Dominance increases the number of health points lost by a target before a Control effect ends. At high levels, Dominance must be higher than enemy Willpower to be effective.
2 Dominance = 1 additional damage before control breaks.-With high dominance when using levitation and terror skills your enemies will stay in their helpless/imbolized state for longer and do more damge over time before they are released from the effects.
Hard Alerts that require 200 Dom to be effective: Arkham Asylum, Smallville, Striker’s Island Penitentiary
Raids that require 350 for Dom to be effective: Batcave: Outer Caverns, Batcave: Inner Sanctum, Kahndaq
Possible bug: Dominance may decrease the duration of your debuffs.

Precision increases a character’s accuracy, enabling them to hit more frequently and adds damage to all weapon attacks.
10 Precision = +1 DPS- Hitting targets with high combos will also help to getting back your energy and precision will therefore help with increased accuracy. It also gives you more weapon damage and you can’t complain with that.
As a controller you will find you will have to limit yourself in the amount of powers that you use to conserve your own energy. This is why controllers prefer precision over might as using your weapon will help you gain energy back and costs none to use.

Critical Attack Chance and Damage
is not listed on your stats but it is a second priority stat for a controller. It presumably increases percentage chance of a critical hit, and increases your critical attack damage by a flat percentage as well. This will help your controller contribute to the damage dealt as well as crowd control. For every DoT (damage over time) each tick of damage has a separate chance to crit.

To calculate your dps added by increasing your critical attack chance, subtract your current critical attack chance from your intended critical attack chance and multiply by your critical attack damage and to calculate your dps added by increasing your critical attack damage, subtract your current critical attack damage from your intended critical attack damage and multiply by your critical attack chance (thanks frzn).

Vitalization and Dominance: What’s more important?
You’ve probably noticed by now that Vit and Dom are the defining stats on Controller gear. I’m here to recify which should be focused on after reaching level 30 and gearing for alerts and raids.

Being in Controller Mode you automatically gain 350 Vit and 65% Dominance, because the Vit you gain is a static upgrade it automatically makes it the more important stat to focus on. As Dom increases by percentage you will get a lot more out of less. As a controller being an energy battery is more important than CC, therefore it is reccommended to focus on Vit rather than Dom. A lot of Dom is on controller gear ANYWAY so you’ll find it will get really high without you even having to try.

 3 Weapons, Bonuses and Combo Mechanics
There are several weapons which will help you be a controller I’ll explain the most important ones here but I strongly recommend reading over doctorcomics’ extremely great guide to weapons and role synergy here http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuo…m?topic_id=9793
If you want more Vitalization select Rifle, Dual Pistol, One-handed or Two-Handed.If you want more Dominance select Brawling, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster or Staff.
Weapon Stats

Every weapon gives different stat bonuses, this is from doctorcomics’ guide but I’ve highlighted favoured controller stats. High priority stats are bolded, second priority stats are in italics.

Brawling: +18 Dominance; +3 Restoration; +70 Health; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +12% Critical Attack Damage; +3% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect

Dual Pistol: +70 Might; +45 Restoration; +15 Vitalization; +14% Critical Attack Damage; +1% Critical Healing Chance

Hand Blaster: +18 Dominance; +70 Health; +60 Might; +3 Restoration; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +1% Critical Healing Chance; +12% Critical Healing Effect

One-Handed: +45 Health; +70 Might; +3 Restoration; +15 Vitalization; +2% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Healing Effect

Rifle: +70 Health; +10 Might; +19 Vitalization; +3% Critical Attack Chance; +3% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect

Staff: +30 Defense & Toughness; +18 Dominance; +25 Health; +10 Might; +4 Vitalization; +3% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Healing Effect

Two-Handed: +70 Health; +15 Vitalization; +3% Critical Attack Chance; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +4% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect

Domination and Vitilization Weapons

Domination weapons look like a good choice and Controllers tend to favour the stat at first but after you hit 350 (which is the reccomendation for raiding) then it does not do much for you. This is where it is more important to focus on Vitlization of weapons and gear.

Weapon Combo Mechanics
I bet a lot of you are out there wondering why this Controller has this weapon and says this skill does better damage, while the other disregards him completely. With this little piece of mechanic information you can really show ’em who’s right and have evidence to back it up!!
I will only describe the weapons I believe should be recommended for Controllers which are weapons which have good combo auto-attacks and skills. If you want to see all the weapon combo mechanics, check out LegatusX’s simple and easy-to-understand thread here DC Universe Online Hit Combos and Regenerating Power Guide (Thank you so much for this!!)
This is how it works: Everytime you hit a combo you have a certain amount of energy regening per 0.5 seconds. There are four tiers to combos, and you can tell when you get to the next level when it says “Good!” (2), “Incredible” (3) and “Superhuman!” (4), it even changes colour for you- how handy! The four tiers of your combo meter is modified by your personal Vitalization score (4:1% ratio). Thus,
Initial Combos: 10 power per 0.5 seconds
Good!: 12 power per 0.5 seconds
Incredible!: 15 power per 0.5 seconds
Superhuman!: 20 power per 0.5 seconds
But, SOE wouldn’t be SOE if they didn’t give us some bugs that worked in our favour. In fact Two-Handed, Hand Blasters, Bow, Dual Wield and Staff have their Incredible and Superhuman values reversed. So, when you hit Incredible you get 20 power per 0.5 seconds, not 15 power. Here are the mechanic values from LegatusX’s page to display a Controller’s recommended weapons:
NOTE: The first value is the number of ranged hits required for the power regen, the second value.
Hand Blasters
1-8      10
9-19    12
20-38  20
39+     15

Dual Pistols
1-9      10
10-24  12
25-49  15
50+     20
1-9      10
10-24  12
25-49  20
50+     15

1-9       10
10-24   12
25-49   15
50+      20
Martial Arts
1-9       10
10-24   12
25-49   15
50+      20
Conclusion: THIS is why Hand Blasters get the last lols. You can get to 26 combos with one Pulse Beam (which takes about 5 seconds or so) and is therefore is currently the quickest way to get your power back so quickly as it falls straight into the 20 power per 0.5 secs bug bracket.
4 Powers and Skills

– Choosing Your Skills
– Powers
– Telekenisis
– Illusion
– Iconic Powers

– Movement Skills
  – Flight
– Acrobatics
– Superspeed

– Weapons Skills
– Mechanics
– Fun Facts

[CR] Control Role
[DR] Damage Role
[PI] Power Interactions
[Debuff] Particular Debuff

Here I will list out a Controllers vital and recommended powers and skills. Don’t treat it as a bible but information to help theorycraft builds. In the future other mental users will submit their favourite controller builds and how they use it, that is where you can copy skills power for power.
For every Mental power and fantastic explanations and extra information check out frzn’s guide here DC Universe Online Mental Powerset Information Guide

Choosing Your Skills

Different powers do different things but I find there are some key power types that need to be added to have the best variety and take advantage of the different skills. Remember this is not a bible, simply a suggestion if you’re having trouble theorycrafting your own builds.

Telekinesis/Psychic Blades (Low energy use, energy return, moderate damage, both have CC)
Telekinesis/Psychic Blades (One’s a single-target CC, one’s a group stun- why not take both) OR Low Energy CC (Preferably something that chains directly with Tk/PB for a debuff)
Moderate Energy CC OR Low/Moderate Damage Skill
Psychic Empowerment
Supercharge Power
Aggro Drop OR Shield OR Mass CC

Try and be as versatile as possible, if you take Bastion as your Supercharge move, don’t take Psychic Shield as well. Never be afraid to try things, if you screw up then at least you know why and how you can improve. The best thing about this game is that you can change your loadout AT ANY TIME, even in Alerts and Duos and anything! If you want, keep changing your loadout to suit particular mob groups or bosses.

Powers- Telekinesis

Specialising in this tree grants +1% critical attack chance, and +35 Power. In [CR] you gain 350 Vitalization while your Dominance is increased by 65% and the strength of all controller effects is significantly magnified.

Telekinesis: 200 energy, single target. [CR] Restores Power to group members over time. [Debuff] Helpless 10secs and negative 500 defence
-This skill holds enemies helpless in the air and therefore combos with Psychic Resonance, Telekinetic Push, Telekinetic Bolt, Pyrokinesis . It is a fantastic skill to open with.

Psychic Resonance: 300 energy, wide cone. [PI] Helpless enemies take additional damage; enemies in Ice, Nature, Mental or Gadgets encasements will explode and damage other enemies.
-Release a coned pulse at enemies, use after Telekinesis or if are affected by any other controls for extra damage.
Pyrokinesis: 300 energy, single target. [PI]Inflicts Burning to cause damage over time; Helpless enemies take additional damage; enemies Encased by Ice, Nature, Mental or Gadgets will explode and damage nearby enemies. [Debuff] Burning 5secs, DoT 434 dmg over 13 seconds and negative 25% healing to enemy.
– This attack is fantastic if you run with a Fire Tank a lot- especially in Duos, extra burning for them is extra love for you!

: 475 energy, 2 target AoE. [CR] Reduces the targets damage output. [PI] Inflicts Frostbite to make enemies vulnerable to freezing effects; may encase Frostbitten enemies. [Debuff] Encases 2 enemies for 15secs.
– Use on rogue mobs or if your soloing against one, this will make them weaker and may stop them from attacking altogether.

Telekinetic Push: 200 energy, narrow cone. [PI] Helpless enemies take additional damage. [Debuff] Knockback
-A low power move to follow up Telekinesis for extra damage. Good for single or a few targets.

Telekinetic Bolt:
425 energy, wide cone. [PI] Helpless enemies take additional damage; enemies in Ice, Nature, Mental or Gadgets encasements will explode and damage other enemies. [Debuff] Knockback.
-Like Telekinetic Push but uses more energy to hit a wider range. Good for several targets.

Mass Levitation:
400 energy, medium AoE. Levitates nearby enemies helplessly into the air. [Debuff] Helpless.
-High energy move which hits several targets, it is better used as a high damage skill rather than a CC because it doesn’t hold the enemies in the air for long at all. Follow up with Telekinetic Bolt for an awesome combo.

Psychic Empowerment:
300 energy. Restores Power to the three most fatigued group members.
-Mental Controllers most defining moves.

Thought Bubble:
300 energy, single target. Encases an enemy in a force field. [CR] Reduces enemy defenses. [Debuff] Helpless and negative 500 defence.
-Good for picking off a single, possibly troubling, to render them useless. You can also pick up them up and smash them into other targets for a laugh.

Telekinetic Shield:
350 energy, self-target. Surrounds you with telekinetic force, preventing damage.
-Absorbs 600 damage.

Bastion: 50% supercharge. Protects all teammates from damage with ethereal telekinetic bubbles.
-Absorbs 900 damage per group member.

Powers- Illusion

Specialising in this tree grants +5% critical attack damage, and +1 Stealth. In [CR], you gain 350 Vitalization, your Dominance is increased by 65% and the strength of all controller effects is significantly magnified.

Psychic Blades: 200 energy, medium cone. [CR] Restores Power to group members over time. [Debuff] Stun 2secs.
-Your low energy-cost skill similar to Telekenisis. Possible hit single target with all blades.

Menace: 200 energy, self-target. [CR] Increases the stun duration on Terrified enemies. [Debuff] 20% chance to stun 3 secs p/attack while active.
-Adds stun ability to all your attacks, if your target is Terrified then the stun is increased. Great crowd control skill when used right.

Phantom Flames: 300 energy, small AoE. [CR] Reduces enemy defenses. [PI] Inflicts Burning to cause damage over time; Terrified enemies take additional damage. [Debuff] Burning for 7secs and negative 500 defence for 15secs.
-Long duration control which can stun if your dominance is high enough. Also helps your team-mates kill them faster.

Horrific Visage: 300 power, single-target. [CR] Reduces the targets ability to heal. [Debuff] Transformed and stunned for 8 secs, transformation is contagious to other enemies.
-Confuses enemies by diguising one as a monster. Perfect when things are starting to get hectic.

Mass Hysteria: 100% supercharge, aggro-drop. [PI] Inflicts Terror to stun and render enemies vulnerable to illusions.
-Creates 3 illusions which the enemy will focus on.
There’s a possible bug which prevents Tk and PB from returning power after using this.

: 250 energy, single-target. [CR] Reduces the targets damage output. [PI] Inflicts Terror to make enemies vulnerable to illusions. [Debuff] -25% damage output.
-This is a good skill to use if there’s a mob running around and creating problems for your healer or yourself. It can also be used to weaken the blows on the tank.

Mass Terror: 400 power, large AoE. [PI] Inflicts Terror to make enemies more vulnerable to illusions.
-Another great AOE attack if you’ve specced into Illusion, these kinds of skills have high energy consumption so make sure you’re using it in the right situations.

Psychic Shield
: 100% supercharge, targets group. Protects you and your groupmates from damage with a mental projection.
-Absorbs 1050 damage. Bastion is still reccommended because it absorbs 900 damage and only costs 50% supercharge.

: 200 energy, self-target. Fills neaby enemies with awe compelling them to attack other targets, frees you from control effects and prevents damage for a short time.
-Back up skill to use when your dominance is attracting enemies to you, be sure your team-mates are aware when you use it so the healer or dps doesn’t get a surprise.

Psychic Shock: 250 energy, small AoE. [CR] Reduces enemy defenses. [PI] Electrifies enemies, making them vulnerable to Electrified Power Interactions; Enemies afflicted with Terror have their maximum health reduced.
-A good skill to use against AOE groups after using an AOE terror.

Reflect Pain: 350 energy, self-target. Deflects damage back at your attacker when you are not blocking.
-Absorbs 250 over 5 secs and returns damage to 4 enemies over 5 secs.

Powers- Iconic Powers

The first three tiers of Iconic Powers are useless for Controllers, most of them are purely for Damage Roles. There are some skills like sheilds and reflectors but you already have similar skills as a Mental class so I wouldn’t bother. If theres a skill in there that you really really want, by all means, but there could be something better on your bars.

Innate Priorities

Intimidating Gaze: Permanently Gain: +25 Dominance

Wisdom of Solomon: Permanently Gain: +25 Vitalization +100 Power

Weapons Expert: Permanently Gain: +3% Critical Attack Chance

Tactical Genius: Permanently Gain: +10% Critical Attack Damage
Nanoweave Armor: [Innate] Permanently Gain: +50 Defence +100 Toughness

Movement Skills

These skills are low priority, so get them if you can afford the skill points but making sure your getting your Innate stat bonus’ first. You should also already have your Numlock skill to use when moving from place to place.

Movement – Flight

Stun Recovery: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout on a stunning effect; only one movement recovery effect may be active at a time.
-Flip yeah.

Restraint Recovery: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout on a root or encasement effect; only one movement recovery effect may be active at a time.
-Double flip yeah.

Downdraft Attack: A vengeful wind that knocks nearby enemies to the ground, inhibit movement modes, and cause damage over time.
-Not a bad knockback attack but you have better things to use.

Air Burst
: Violently detonates a low pressure region to blast enemies into the air and free you from control effects. [PI] Using the Air Burst while restrained or knocked into the air will gain you 200 power over 10 seconds.
-Crowd controlling and breaking free from control effects is awesome in instances with high enemy CC. Oh and free power, what up.

Oustoff: Shoots you into the air, spreading a shockwave that knocks down enemies while rendering you immune to most control effects and damage for a short time.
-Fantastic move when lots of enemies are trying to control you and are giving you a lot of pressure. Supercharge skill.

Vacuum Bubble
: Releases a violent pressure wave to damage and stun enemies.
-Stunning and damage skill when you can’t afford to use energy.

Movement – Acrobatics

Knockback Recovery: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout on a knockdown, juggle or push effect; is not effective when other movement recovery effects are active.
-Fantastic innate for free power.

Stun Recover: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout on a stunning effect; only one movement recovery effect may be active at a time.
-See above.

Breakout Mastery: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout in addition to any other movement recovery effect.
-The fact that this is an innate makes this skill awesome.

Glide Line
: Fires a grapple line to swiftly pull you to a nearby wall.
-Getaway skill if you’re near walls.

Backflip Attack: Kicks your target into the air as you flip away backwards; Helpless enemies take additional damage.
-Enemies grappling you? Never fear, the backflip attack is here!

Throwing Knives: Throws an arc of knives to knock enemies down.
-Easy knockdown skill, but I’d reccommend some of the Mental stuns over this.

Launching Roll: Releases you from control effects and launches a counter attack against nearby enemies. [PI] Using this power after being knocked into the air or stunned will allow you to recover 200 power over 10 seconds.
-Good if you’ve been pulled into the thick of it. Now with more energy regen!

Perfect Poise: Provides a swift escape and protection from crowd control and damage for a short time.
-One of the best escape skills, use for instances with high enemy CC.

Movement – Superspeed

Intertial Flywheel: [Innate] By holding Jump as you drop, converts falling energy to forward speed.
-Enables you to double jump and is fantastic when needing a quick getaway.

Knockback Recovery
: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout on a knockdown, juggle or push effect; is not effective when other movement recovery effects are active.
-Free energy? Wham bam thank you mam. Just make sure your actually using the breakout skill!

Restraint Recovery: [Innate] Allows you to recover 75 power over 10 seconds when you use Breakout on a root or encasement effect; only one movement recovery effect may be active at a time.
-One word: yummy.

Speed Drain: Drains kinetic and metabolic energy from nearby enemies to cause damage over time and restore power to you and your allies.
-Supercharge skill which restores power to others.

Phase Dodge
: Deflects even block-breaking attacks by vibrating your molecules at fantastic speed, forcing the attack to simply pass through.
-Could be useful, in theory, but there’s room for better skills.

Metabolic Boost: Accelerates your metabolism to heal damage, restore power, and rebuff control effects for a short time.
-Good in Duos if you don’t have a healer or when riding solo.

Whirling Dervish: Spins you like a maniacal gyroscope, tossing aside enemies as you turn; cancels most control effects and recovers 200 power over 10 seconds.
-Crowd controlling and energy restoring. Careful though, doing this may annoy the flip out of your team-mates.


See above for detailed explanations on what innate skills are in which trees. Usually the preference for a Controller would go:
Vitilization > Critical Attack Chance or Dominance > Health or Critical Attack Damage


This will be somewhat of a growing section, it’s going to be pretty small at the moment with just a few random things, but once it grows I’ll make it a section in itself. Hopefully this will help people understand the maths of a mental controller.
Psychic Empowerment costs 300 and gives 300 x 1.(your vit) / (# of people in group who aren’t at 100% power)
eg, if you’re in an alert with 545 Vitilization then when you use PE you’ll give back 300 x 1.545 / 3
Thanks Mandrakia!

5 Your Role in Alerts
I find Controllers are a little under-rated at the moment but they are one of the most important classes in the game, especially in Alerts. By being the class that you are you are taking on a big responsibility- so remember to be confident and look after your team-mates.
You may notice  I say the words TEAM, TEAMWORK and for your TEAM-MATES, this is because as a Controller you are a serious team-player, like the healer. Here I’ll explain your top priorities while controlling in Alerts. I will try and keep this as concise as possible.

First Things First

YOU ARE NOT A DAMAGE ROLE. Okay? Okay. Forget about the flipping dps; if you come in second place at the end of an Alert it’s a bonus but do not expect it. You are an energy-giving, crowd controlling, utility class and that’s why the others love you. Do not fret as you will do damage, but you will be using your weapons to build stacks to regen energy; this is why Controllers favour Precision over Might. Unlike the other classes being in your utility role does not reduce your damage output, so it’s nothing to worry about.
Your Energy
This is the most important thing by far. Before you can be a good controller you must learn to manage your own energy. You need high energy at all times to pass it on to others. Our staple move, Psychic Empowerment takes a flipton of energy to use so you need to conserve energy when you need to use it as well as any of your other skills. Here are some fail-safe tips:

– If your energy is below 20% stop casting and start stacking combos. A couple of attacks later and your at 0 energy which makes you USELESS.
– Keep an eye on your energy and the team’s energy at all times, using Psychic Blades and Telekenisis between combos keeps energy constantly regenning, when things get rough use Psychic Empowerment.
– Spec into all available Vitalisation skills, when things start to get hectic you’ll thank yourself for it.

Ranged Weapons
Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but ranged weapons are highly reccommended, almost essential. Bosses and most things are extremely dangerous and unpredictable at close range, you also have a lot of Dominance so your more likely to pull aggro while attacking. This also enables you to run while stacking combos which is vital when damaging items are being thrown around or you need to get your energy up without being interrupted at close range.

There are a couple of ways to target, and as a Controller you’ll find you may need to jump from target to target to CC or to not focus on the boss. The first way is free-targeting what I call “Aiming” where you hover your crosshair over the mob you want to target and it should (hopefully) start focusing on it after 1 or 2 weapon hits/skills- it’s a little laggy but if you find it’s the easiest way then by all means use it. The more you play, the more you’ll subconsciously know how to aim correctly, even if it’s a shade to the right or left of the mob.
Tab targeting is a little erratic in this game, you’ll tab once and it will cycle to some other mob in the middle of nowhere, but if you can tab fast enough and land on the correct one without tabbing too far then I would recommend it- also if your throwing something or specifically CCing a mob and you want to get rid of any chance to fail- tab target. All in all, do what feels most comfortable, because that will probably make you better than trying to tab uncomfortably.
As the tank holds aggro, the dps does the big damage and healers are keeping everyone alive, it doesn’t give them much time to go around and click the use items. In fact, if they’re clicking use items while there are enemies to be fought they are not doing their job. Controllers are extremely handy in this respect and do have the time to run around and get secures. While doing this use Psychic Blades, Telekinesis or Psychic Empowerment between secures when needed. Your team will love you for it.
Don’t worry about these too much, they’re more of a dps’ job. If you’ve chosen flying as your movement type you may also have to do it but if your not by your group you’re not regenning energy to the healer and tank and that’s bad.
Crowd Controlling
Mental users have a lot of useful powers which double up as crowd controlling skills. Helpless and terrified enemies are useless and can take the edge off on the battlefield. Make sure you’re using them on the right targets though- punting enemies the tank is focusing on in the air is extremely annoying for them so use them to keep other mobs at bay.
When to Use Damage Skills
During general trash sequences you’ll find there will probably be a lot of captures to be done while your tank and dps rip though the enemies with ease. In these laid back times it’s fine to chuck in a skill or two, but stick to weapon attacks as much as possible.

Groups of mobs is where you can come in handy if your specced for it, you have some great AOE skills like Mass Levitation, Mass Terror which can take the edge of as large groups can be difficult for the tank to get a complete hold of.
During boss fights you should only be attacking the boss if there is nothing else around, if there are other mobs running around, go and kill them. You can hold them in the air or terrify them as a controller and they’ll barely get a hit on you if your ranged. You’re more than just an energy battery in this case, you’re making sure the tank doesn’t have any extra pressure on them.

Please ask me to re-write, expand or explain any of these sections in the comments if you’ve found the explanations confusing. I don’t have the largest vocab and I will tend to re-use words or phrases a lot. However, I hope you cant take something away from it.

6 Your Role in Duos

Controllers can be versitile and powerful partners with tanks, dps and healers alike, the dynamics change with certain classes. I will use the same layout as I have previously, again if anyone has trouble with it or if its too confusing please leave me a comment about it and what you’d prefer to see.

Duos with a Tank

Your Energy
Luckily your energy will be a lot easier to manage now, skills like Psychic Empowerment spread through the three people, so if your only using it on one person you can give back massive amounts of energy back in one burst. You’ll be able to attack other targets that your tank may not have picked up in their AOE which will really help to your own energy regen.

Ranged vs Melee Weapons

Mobs in Duos aren’t as intimidating as they are in Alerts, in fact, you can even take a beating from several and still survive fine. Thanks to this, ranged weapons are not a must and if you prefer to use a melee weapon to lunge from target to target then that’s a completely valid choice. Sometimes boss’ close range AOE spells will hurt so make sure your able to breakout from any controls and get out of there in time to survive. I would still reccommend a ranged weapon while your learning the Duos but after you’ve learned the dungeon changes it’s fine to use any weapon you please.

Secures and Captures

There are few secures in Duos and therefore no way near as important as it is in Alerts. Share the workload out- usually a tank will be closer to the secures anyway. With captures, there are even less of them than secures in Duos.
There is one boss fight in OMAC Base, OMAC Sigma, where you need to secure bouders then pick them up, run them to a charging station then drop it off to destroy the boss’ barrier. While this happens there are balls of electricity floating around doing damage to you and interrupting you- you can either have one person secure them all and the other captures or you can both secure and capture working from the outside in.

Crowd Controlling

Communicate with your tank, get them to let you know which mobs are an issue for them, eg, in HIVE there are the Killer Bees and in OMAC there are the OMAC Nanosynths. This is where we can do our best work, learn to hold them helpless or terrify them and switch back to help your tank, or if the mob is has low health, damage it down yourself.
Sometimes mobs that need to be CC’ed are quite difficult to kill on a Controller with average gear- if this is the case keep it CC’ed and wait for your tank to move over to it. This is when skills like Thought Bubble are really useful.

Damaging and Energy Return
You are not only a Controller but also a dps in this case, giving energy back to your tank is of course priority, but this can be easially achieved by using a cheap cone skill, like Psychic Blades, and getting 5-10 combos during its cooldown. If you repeat this during trash (when theres it’s a blood fest and theres nothing to CC) you will keep your tank’s energy more than half constantly and you’ll find yourself barely running out of energy. If your tank decides to burst then just boot him back up with a Psychic Empowerment.
Tanks do a lot of AOE so if you trust your tank don’t put an AOE on your bars where it could be spared for another CC or aggro re-route. With will definately help in your own mana conservation and you can concentrate on giving them back enough to do their own AOEs.
There will be some cases when you are required to kill other mobs while your tank focuses on something else. This is where you can use a shield (if you want) and then use damaging skills like Telekinisis, Psychic Blades and another cheap damage skill to kill the targets solo. You will find that because of a controller’s high presicion (if you’ve geared correctly) that most of your damage will come from your weapon and not nessesarily your skills, ie saving energy for when you need it most.

7 Controller Builds and Fun Facts (User Submit)
I am definately not the best controller around. This is why I’m opening this section so other members of the controller community (Mental and Gadgets if they’d like) can share their builds to help any other readers of the guide who are confused with how they want their build to look or just general diversity of loadouts. Have fun and I hope you submit your own build!
Controller Builds (User Sumbit)
Astrid’s Flavour of the Moment

Power: 1340, Vit: 746, Prec: 93, Dom: 262


1: Psychic Blades
2: Telekinesis
3: Menace
4: Psychic Empowerment
5: Bastion
6: Grandeur
Trinket: Bracing Brew
Main Rotation: Menace (kept up at all times) then PB (if multiple enemies)/Tk (if single enemy) > Pulse Beam to 20-30 combo > PB/Tk > Pulse Beam to 20-30 etc.
Other Information: Psychic Empowerment when two or more group members are below 10-20% health. Bastion when self or another group member is about to die. Grandeur when aggroing multiple tough mobs or boss.

Build Overview: I chose this build because I try to be as energy efficient as possible. Now that the pistol glitch has been fixed people are using a lot more skills then they were. Some people also use skills TOO much (most classes should be able to somewhat control their energy consumption but they will always be players who disregard this) so not using much energy myself gives enough leeway for that.

I take bothe PB and Tk because whether its single or multiple target damage dealing I’m ALWAYS giving energy back at all times. Menace is used in conjunction so when I do my Pulse Beam combo the enemies have 20+ chances to be stunned. It’s a fabulous energy-returning, crowd-controlling rotation. If I use just this main rotation I will always be above 90% energy.

With my vit I’m able to get any team from under 10% to over 60% with my main rot, PE, rot, PE, rot. Bastion is key for a utility class, and is a good backup if your running with a Sorc healer. Grandeur can sometimes offload the aggro onto your healer so I usually use it and Bastion together.

Overall as the game works at the moment I can’t think of a more useful build to use in duos, alerts and raids, and even though I don’t have any true damage skills I can still end up 2nd on the damage dealed in hard alerts.

Power Switches: If I’m doing Duo’s it’s usually with a Fire Tank so I’ll take Pyrokinesis instead of Menace, if thats not the case then I’ll take Telekinetic Push.

Related Articles

7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    oh and i also wanted to share one of my favorite power combos. i usually only use it in duos, missions or for fun. i never use it in alerts, raids or anything serious unless my team mates are hard pressed AND THEN only if i have the power to spare in that moment. i'll find a nice tight cluster of mobs and cast thought bubble. 2 to 3 will usually become encased turning them into bombs! then i immediately cast psychic resonance which will detonate all encased targets (not just my mental encasement…ALL encasement) for some serious wow aoe damage. mobs that don't kick the bucket are usually stunned. i'm certain other mental controllers have figured it out, but this technique helped me solo a lot of story threads. I love being a troller. i'm currently working on a earth tank. it's completely different. i can appreciate how all the roles fit together in DCUO. it's amazing. thanks again for letting me share.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Astrid! thank you for this guide. i play on ps3 but i'm going to assume the mechanics are the same. the power building hand blaster combo works like a charm! only thing is, i'm level 29 about to hit 30 and my Vit is poop. it's like 449. i tick at about +110 when i use telekinesis. i have a question: if i spec rifle just for the Vit innate and stick to hand blasts will that Vit+ still apply while i'm using hand blasts or do i HAVE TO use rifle? (i don't like rifle) i've only started playing a month ago and everythings new to me. but i have enough confidence in T1 and T2 alerts to know what i'm doing, thanks to your guide. i just want to be raid worthy. thanks again for the great advice!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I still cant decide if mental powers are better or not against nature

  4. Anonymous says:

    thx for this i want to learn more im focusing on illusion skill only

    and i try to budget my skill points i want support battle type or battle type only ^^

    most of my illusion skill already have

    im a bow type char mental im planning on raising my dps same with power but my might is higher omg its that ok ^^

  5. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely amazing! I saw this first on the DCUO forums and found this link. Love how you gave credit where credit was due for others and even posted links to them. This guide taught me how to use a controller properly and im getting props every time im on a team. I even come back here for my other characters because half of this i can still use on them.

    Big suggestion: Once you're reached level 30 and start getting involved with hard alerts/duos/raids invest in superspeed's speed drain and metabolic boost. They can take so much preasure off when your team is in a tight spot(especially healers) and be amazing for single/duo fights (drain for team, boost for solo)

    -America,pve/pvp sever, villian, mental-controller, EatsCrayons)

  6. Iby says:

    Thank you very much for this guide. It helped me a lot to understand the spells or even the whole class, as the tooltips are just a vague describtion. Would like to have your comments on pvp.



  7. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic work, one question. Pulse beam option you use is, I assume for the hand blasters??If you use dual pistols , does the full auto skill work well in its place??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *