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Upgrades and Devices in Champions Online

Updated Thu, Jul 23, 2009 by Sardu

Like many other aspects of Champions Online, itemization blends familiar elements from previous MMOGs with a unique take on the concept, custom tailored to suit the unparalleled customization options present in the game. To help give you a better understanding of how these items, called Upgrades or Devices, fit into the grand scheme of things we’ve put together a handy guide full of useful information for your super-heroic enjoyment.

Upgrades Pt. 1

Champions 01

Upgrades are items that your character can gain in a number of different ways, including but not limited to: loot drops, crafting, quest rewards, PvP rewards and Perk rewards. Think of these items as a means of enhancing your character in ways similar to obtaining new gear, only in most cases they won’t affect the visual theme you’ve no doubt painstakingly pieced together at character creation. In other words, you gain the benefits from equipping a new piece of equipment, only you don’t end up looking like a hobo rather than a hero in the process.

So think of upgrades as new elements that you’re adding to your preexisting costume that increase its overall effectiveness in some way without altering the appearance. There are, however, certain upgrades, such as some of the above mentioned PvP rewards, that will ‘unlock’ new costume options. Equipping the upgrade itself won’t automatically alter your appearance, but rather allow you to utilize the new costume piece by visiting your friendly neighborhood tailor.

There are three main categories that Upgrades can fall under:

Offense – This type of upgrade make your attacks more powerful or allow you to alter the way in which your offensive powers work in some way. For example, you might obtain an Offense Upgrade that adds a brief stun component to your attacks, or may even have additional benefits such as increased health or reduced endurance decay.

Defense – This type of upgrade can make your hero tougher and can grant special defensive abilities. An example might be a damage shield that has a chance to activate whenever you become damaged by an attack in combat.

Utility – This type of upgrade will often add a special ability that is not directly related to combat, such as the ability to see enemies on your mini-map or making your hero harder to detect.  

Within these three categories, upgrades will come in one of two distinct flavors which can be slotted in either a Primary or Secondary upgrade slot. To equip an upgrade simply press the “I” key to open your inventory, and then drag the upgrade to its associated slot which by default will be located at the lower right corner of the screen. The UI will intuitively highlight the specific slots that an upgrade can be placed into once you begin to drag the item. Alternatively, you can also right click on an item and select ‘equip’ from the dropdown menu.

Upgrade and Device Slots

In the above image, Primary Upgrades will fill the three leftmost slots along the bottom row, while the two rows immediately above will be used for your Secondary Upgrades. You’ll also notice that the primary upgrade slots are mapped to the 8-0 keys on your keyboard. The main reason for this is that throughout your travels you might come across certain upgrades that can be used similar to your other powers, such as granting a small heal or allowing you to throw smoke bombs that can confuse your enemies.

A last thing to note on the difference between primary and secondary upgrades is simply that secondary upgrades typically grant smaller bonuses to your stats or resistances, and won’t have an active power or benefit associated with them that can be manually triggered via hotkeys.


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