DCUO Travel Power Guide

Travel powers in DC Universe Online are far more than just a zippy way to get from here to there.

Travel powers in DC Universe Online are far more than just a zippy way to get from here to there. They are actually more akin to other powersets offered in the game, complete with progression trees and even special moves that can be used during combat. Whether you've decided to float through the air with the greatest of ease, or be faster than a speeding bullet, there's far more to these abilities than initially meets the eye.

Which is a very good thing because - let's be honest - the pickings are slim. When faced with the meager offering of only three travel abilities to choose from, most DCUO players give a resounding "meh?"

In this guide, I will show attempt to bring to light some of the many customization options that each of these powersets contain. What begins with a mere three options is actually just a gateway into a world of possibilities.

Super Speed

The Flash

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Modeled after The Flash, this is the fastest of all of the available travel powers, but also the most vertically challenged. Jumping under the effects of Super Speed gives you great horizontal distance, but not the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. To overcome this obstacle, this power includes the ability to run along obstacles without the interference of gravity. As long as you remain in motion, you'll be able to zip straight up the sides of buildings and even along ceilings hanging upside-down.

This can be very disorienting. Since your character is pretty much glued to the surface, you'll frequently find yourself running along too close to a nearby trash can or lamp post, and suddenly running along its tiny surface in circles at a 90-degree angle to the ground, unable to proceed along your intended course. To avoid this as much as possible, give yourself plenty of space while using this power. Don't hug corners, and don't try and zip over jagged debris fields. Think of it this way: If you're traveling near the speed of sound, would you really want to trip?

Wall running

Keep moving and you can defy gravity!

The speedster's super-leap is a trick that takes some practice, but when used properly can let you overcome obstacles like small buildings and dangerous areas through the clever use of your surroundings. To initiate this super-leap you must be attached to the surface of an object in such a way that you are "defying gravity" (and will fall if you hold still). Pressing jump at this time will initiate a controllable leap several times more powerful than you basic jump. The easiest way to practice this is to take a run straight at a building, and leap once you're attached to it. Continue pressing the direction you were originally running, and you'll find yourself quickly scaling the building in aerial mode. Using this trick with passing cars, mailboxes and planters takes a bit more practice and finesse, but is very rewarding to learn to do well.

The very first speedster power you'll be able to invest in, beginning at level 9, is a supersonic speed boost that can be initiated while in superspeed mode and drastically increases your rate of movement, finally allowing the power to live up to its name. The next movement-enhancing ability you can invest in gives you the ability to translate falling momentum into horizontal motion, allowing for a type of short-term flight when descending from elevated areas.

The remaining powers available in this tree seem to focus primarily on stunning, pushing and pulling your opponents around the battlefield. Through the use of your incredibly fast reflexes, you can created a vortex that sucks enemies toward you, or propels them away. If you invest your points properly, you can also learn techniques that draw upon the kinetic energy of your enemies to restore yourself and your teammates during a difficult battle, while draining the surrounding enemies of their energy and health.

Combat!

Investing into the top-most skill in this tree enables you the option of becoming a whirling dervish of death, spinning around the battlefield at blinding speeds and knocking any unfortunate enemies away from you while restoring your own energy. And, as with both of the other travel powersets, speedsters can also invest their points into buffs that increase their stability and resistance to knockbacks and stuns. There is also a "bounce back" power that draws upon your supercharge, that will restore a large amount of health and power and render you temporarily immune to control powers. But since supercharge takes so long to build up, I wouldn't personally recommend relying upon this ability on a regular basis.

Up Next:  Acrobatics ...

Acrobatics

Harley

More Powerful Than a Locomotive...

Picking this powerset gives you much more than just Batman-like agility. It also breakneck running speeds fast enough to propel you over the surface of water, and the ability to crawl along walls like your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

Wrong franchise, I know, but I'm afraid I can't think of a DC equivalent. So sue me!

Of course, this ability to wall crawl can lead to the same frustrations as Super Speed - your character will occasionally latch onto surfaces you had no intention of interacting with, and controls get even more wonky when you're near a ceiling or hanging feature like an indoor lamp. The best bet is probably to simply turn this power off while indoors because it's best to live without the frustration of sticking to a wall or object while in the middle of a battle.

The running speed of this powerset is not quite as fast as Super Speed on the ground, but it makes up for that with a great deal of vertical freedom. From wall climbing and double-jumping, you'll find this powerset is a great middle ground between lightning-fast ground action of Super Speed and the total aerial freedom of Flight. In fact, find yourself a high enough perch to leap from and hold down your jump button while in the air and you'll find yourself gliding with ease over huge portions of the city, free from the confines of that pesky ol' gravity.

Gliding

Why didn't I just pick Flight?

While Super Speed and Flight both have abilities that give you an extra speed boost, Acrobatics instead offers you the opportunity to enter what amounts to an "auto-fly" mode which changes your standard glide into a rocket-assisted form of flight with the press of a button. What this means is that, while this powerset begins it's life as the middle-ground in terms of speed, it ends up at the bottom of the pack even if you purchase this enhancement. Furthermore, the height of your rocket-glide is not controlled by the player and instead automatically adjusts itself on the fly using some sort of complicated pathfinding system which makes it a bit unpredictable near bridges or the open-sided parking garages in Gotham City, and utterly useless on interior maps like the Watchtower and Fortress of Doom. Unless you happen to enjoy having your camera crammed into the ceiling.

Grapple

Whip it good!

What Acrobatics lacks in speed however, it attempts to make up for with fancy gadgets and toys. Included in this powerset are a number of grappling hook abilities that can allow skilled players to swing from buildings with ease and scale buildings with blinding speed. You can also use these same ziplines to grab your opponents and pull them in close, or tie them up and immobilize them.

Hangin' Out

Just hangin' out.

And let's not forget that this powerset is inspired by heroes like Batman, Robin and Harley Quinn - the most nimble and dangerous hand-to-hand fighters in the DC Universe. It stands to reason that it would include a few maneuvers that assist in kicking some serious tail, and this powerset does not disappoint on that front! With just a few points into the tree you can be flipping across the battlefield and laying a surprise beatdown on unsuspecting foes with ease, and just a bit more investment makes you the slipperiest sucker around with abilities that stun your opponent while sending you soaring backwards to relative freedom. While you've got some distance, why not toss out a salvo of throwing knives?  Don't mind if I do!

To compliment the standard knockback and stun resistances, this powerset also offers a few different sudden escape options that can be used to break out of the enemies' control powers while at the same time retaliating against such attacks. You can't tie down an acrobat!

awesome!

Up Next:  Flight ...

Flight

Flying

Able To Leap Tall Buildings In A Single Bound!

This is it folks - the quintessential superhero ability. What kid hasn't at one time or another dreamed of soaring into the air like Superman or Green Lantern? What a rush it would be to experience the exhilirating freedom and the majesty of looking out over your city from above like a benevolent deity watching over its subjects, or a bird of prey scouting out for its next meal.

In DCUO, this powerset has the slowest base forward movement speed of the three available sets but more than makes up for this with the combination of total and utter z-axis freedom, as well as forgoing the 'sticky feet' syndrome that tends to plague both Super Speed and Acrobatics. But it's not all sunshine and roses, as you have a great deal of momentum while in the air and fine-tuning your movements can be tricky. I highly recommend running a few of the race courses laid out around Gotham and Metropolis, to get a feel for the unique handling of Flight in this game.

Duck!

He's comin' right at us!

The Sonic Boom ability is definitely a must-have in this set, since it brings this power's travel speed up a respectably "super" level. The remainder of the powerset however, combines aerial acrobatics with a certain amount of control over the air itself, resulting in a strange combination of hands-on and hands-off abilities. It's probably going to be up to your individual playstyle to pick and choose which style works best for you.

In the realm of the up-close-and-personal, we have abilities like a pair of aerial dives that will quickly close the distance with your enemies while knocking them helpless for a few seconds, much the way that Superman crashed into Lex Luthor in the famous DCUO trailer we've all come to adore. Fliers can also manipulate air pressure to cause a vortex that will draw distant enemies into fisticuffs range, as well as an opposite effect that will send all nearby enemies flying away from you. And if you prefer a hands-off approach, there are also abilities that will lift and throw enemies, or simply render them unable to act for a short amount of time by knocking the wind out of them.

And that really seems to be the overall focus of the combat moves for Fliers - push, pull, and knockback. The point seems to be rendering the enemy helpless while he reels from the forces of your wind-based onslaught.
Fly By
The escape abilities of this set, which rely on the aforementioned supercharge mechanics, appear to be extremely devastating. While one knocks all of your surrounding opponents to the ground and deals air pressure damage, the other will knock them all back while shooting you into the air to either escape or prepare for another nosedive assault. Either way, it's sure to keep the enemy off his feet. But if you can fly, that's just the natural state of things.


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But what about tunneling or ice-surfing? Where's my invisible jet?! Got a powerset you'd love to see in DCUO, or a question about an existing travel power? Join the conversation below!

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