A Guide to Weapon – Role Synergy in DCUO

One of the most common questions I see on chat channels and in the forums both here and at SOE is this: “Is (weapon A) good with (power B)?” This guide is designed to answer that question.

Each of the ten Fighting Styles offer bonuses to your character’s Stats as well as bonuses to things like Critical Hit Chance or Critical Healing Effect. Certain stats are important to specific roles. So certain Fighting Styles offer bonuses to the stats which Healers, Tanks, Controllers or DPS characters are going to want. This guide lists all those bonuses and tries to provide a few different ways of seeing that information and using it to make wise Fighting Style choices.

It is important to remember that, in theory, you can eventually acquire a great many Fighting Styles. Skill points are automatically acquired every other level, but in addition you receive 1 skill point for every 100 Feat Points you earn. A wise player, or one who wants to make his character as strong as possible, earns Feats to collect Skill Points to buy all the bonuses which strengthen his role. For a complete listing of the Feats you have and don’t have, pull up the “Trophy” menu and “Feats” is the first item on the list.


Although developers have stated that the ability to switch weapons “on the fly” is a design goal for DCUO, it is not yet possible. If you have multiple Fighting Styles, you can switch between them by pulling up your inventory (I) and equipping a weapon for the new Style. Most people are not going to want to hassle with this, but it is perfectly viable to have, say, a Melee-focused style which you use solo, and a Ranged-focused style for groups. You can switch between these when you join the group and switch back when the raid is over.

Stat bonuses from your Fighting Styles are passive. They add all the time, even if you do not have that weapon equipped. If you have a bonus to Might from both Martial Arts and One-Handed, you gain the benefits of both, regardless of the weapon you have equipped.

The Short Answer

If you are a Controller (Gadgets/Mental): Select Brawling, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster or Staff for DOMINANCE. Select Rifle, Dual Pistol, One-handed or Two-Handed for VITALIZATION.
If you are a Healer (Nature/Sorcery): Select Dual Wield, Dual Pistol, or Martial Arts for RESTORATION. Select One-Handed, Staff, or Hand Blaster for CRITICAL HEALING EFFECT.

If you are a Tank (Fire/Ice): Select Brawling, Rifle, Hand Blaster, or Two-Handed for HEALTH. Select Bow or Staff for DEFENSE. If you are a Fire tank, and therefore rely on self-heals, see “Healer” above.

If you remain in DPS (Any Power): Select Martial Arts or One-Handed for MIGHT. Select Dual Pistol, Dual-Wield, Brawling, or Martial Arts for CRITICAL ATTACK DAMAGE.

If you are mostly concerned with PvP: Select Bow or Staff for TOUGHNESS. Select Bow or Martial Arts for STEALTH RATING.

When deciding between two Styles which both offer bonuses, think about your play style. Do you want to be Melee-focused (Brawling, Dual-Wield, One-Handed, Staff, Two-Handed), Ranged-focused (Bow, Dual Pistol, Rifle) or have a mix of both (Hand Blaster, Martial Arts). Eventually you will get both, but your first choice is important because you will rely on it while leveling to 30. You cannot even begin to purchase additional fighting styles until level 10.

What Stat is Important?

This is a brief reminder on the role of each stat. I have not gotten into math here; to see this for yourself, open up your Inventory panel (I on the PC, or the symbol that looks like a utility belt) and select the tab that says “Stats”, second along the top. Select each stat for a full explanation of how that stat affects you in play.

Health is your green bar. While every character wants to avoid death, Health is especially important to Tanks.
Power is your blue bar. No Fighting Style provides any bonus to Power.

Might adds to the damage of your powers; that is, the 6 abilities you have in your loadout. It’s most important for DPS characters.
Precision adds to the damage of your Fighting Style attacks. No Fighting Style provides any bonus to Precision.

Defense reduces the damage you take from NPCs. It is mostly important to Tanks.
Toughness reduces the damage you take from other players. It is important to those who focus on PvP. The bonuses to Defense & Toughness provided by Fighting Styles always come together; any Style which buffs Defense also buffs Toughness by the same amount.

Dominance determines the duration of your crowd control powers, such as stuns and confuses, on targets. Various endgame Raids and Alerts have recommended Dominance levels. This is required for Controllers.
Restoration affects your Healing powers. The higher your Restoration, the more you heal. Obviously it is important for Healers, but it is also key to Fire Tanks who use self-heals.
Vitalization affects your ability to restore the blue bar (Power). In DCUO, the ability to “heal power” is a Controller function, so Vitalization is mostly important to Controllers.

Critical Attack Chance and Damage is not listed on your stats and there is no way to really monitor it in battle. Presumably it increases the percentage chance of a critical hit, and increases your critical attack damage by a flat percentage as well. It is mostly important to DPS characters.
Critical Healing Chance and Effect is also not listed on your stats and there is no way to track it. Presumably it affects powers which you activate, whether they target you or someone else. Critical Healing Chance and Effect is important to Healers and to Fire-Tanks.

Stealth Rating affects your ability to go unseen when using Stealth/Hide, Disguise, or Canine Form (available in the Gadgets, Mental,or Shapeshifting trees, respectively). This stat is not tracked anywhere you can monitor, but is only important if you have a power which lets you enter Stealth.

Fighting Style Bonuses

I have listed here all the bonuses provided by each Fighting Style. Each Style has some small bonuses linked to its essential combos, but the real bonuses are available only after “drilling down” for three combos or so.

Bow: +30 Defense & Toughness; +60 Might; +3 Restoration; +4 Vitalization; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +12% Critical Healing Effect; +3 Stealth Rating
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
Dual Wield: +18 Dominance; +60 Might; +48 Restoration; +4 Vitalization; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Attack Damage
Hand Blaster: +18 Dominance; +70 Health; +60 Might; +3 Restoration; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +1% Critical Healing Chance; +12% Critical Healing Effect
Martial Arts: +25 Health; +70 Might; +45 Restoration; +14% Critical Attack Damage; +2% Critical Healing Effect; +3 Stealth Rating
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

Getting the Maximum Bonus

If you are looking to get every single bonus available for a particular stat, this is the place for you. I have listed each stat and all the possible bonuses from Fighting Style.

Health (up to 375): Brawling, Hand Blaster, Rifle, Two-Handed (70 each); One-Handed (45); Martial Arts, Staff (25 each)
Defense & Toughness (up to 60 each): Bow, Staff (30 each)
Dominance (up to 72): Brawling, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster and Staff (18 each)
Might (up to 410): Dual Pistol, Martial Arts, One-Handed (70 each); Bow, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster (60 each); Rifle, Staff (10 each)
Restoration (up to 150): Dual Wield (48; Dual Pistol, Martial Arts (45 each); Bow, Brawling, Hand Blaster, One-Handed (3 each)
Vitalization (up to 76): Rifle (19); Dual Pistol, One-Handed, Two-Handed (15 each); Bow, Dual Wield, Staff (4 each)
Critical Attack Chance (up to +14%): Rifle, Staff, Two-Handed (3% each); One-Handed (2%); Bow, Brawling, Dual Wield (1% each)
Critical Attack Damage (up to +60%): Dual Pistol, Dual Wield, Martial Arts (14% each); Brawling (12%); Bow, Hand Blaster, Two-Handed (2%)
Critical Heal Chance (up to +12%): Two-Handed (4%); Brawling, Rifle (+3% each); Dual Pistol, Hand Blaster (1% each)
Critical Healing Effect (up to +51%): One-Handed, Staff (14% each); Hand Blaster (12%); Bow (3%); Brawling, Martial Arts, Rifle, Two-Handed (2% each)
Stealth Rating (up to +6): Bow, Martial Arts (3 each)

I hope you find this guide useful. I’m sure there are errors in it, so comments, questions, and corrections are welcome.
In the meantime, you can find me at doctorcomics.blogspot.com, where I blog about comics in between classes.

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to Doctor Comics for writing this guide and allowing us to post it on our site. We think this will be extremely helpful for all of the DCUO community members and we hope you will enjoy it. You can also follow Doctor Comics’ blog here, he has some great articles on the topic of superheroes and he actually studies the subject in college.

This entry was posted in guides and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to A Guide to Weapon – Role Synergy in DCUO

  1. Pingback: DC Universe Online discussion

  2. Kent says:

    So let’s say when I create the character, I take brawling (+18 Dominance; +3 Restoration; +70 Health; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +12% Critical Attack Damage; +3% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect), then at level 10 I switch over to one-handed (+45 Health; +70 Might; +3 Restoration; +15 Vitalization; +2% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Healing Effect) on a respec. Do I still get the bonuses for both weapon sets? If so, then wouldn’t I want to respec into all the weapon types to get all the bonuses?

    I know I get offered both weapons types for quest rewards.

  3. Wayne says:

    @Kent – I believe that you get the bonus when you have the weapon on.
    You get the bonus but you don’t get it until you equip the weapon.

    “Each Style has some small bonuses linked to its essential combos, but the real bonuses are available only after “drilling down” for three combos or so.”
    This quote is from above the Weapon stats. Might be helpful to know.

    Also Great Guide! I am not used to this type of system. it is great to know that someone has it down enough to post this. Thanks!

  4. Sonny says:

    Guys you have to read more carefully. Read up…The fifth paragraph clearly states “Stat bonuses from your Fighting Styles are passive. They add all the time, even if you do not have that weapon equipped. If you have a bonus to Might from both Martial Arts and One-Handed, you gain the benefits of both, regardless of the weapon you have equipped.” So to be clear Kent, as long as you have points in it, you reap the rewards from it.

  5. shinrahunter says:

    I’m confused, I just purchased the different fighting styles but I can’t equip them (I’m level 23) o.O

  6. shinrahunter says:

    lol, figured it out – I need to spend a point in the style before I can equip them – doh!

  7. Majin72 says:

    There have been changes to the amount of points of Might and Defense innate skills in the weapon trees. Hope this list gets an update soon to reflect that.

  8. Tindivall says:

    For some reason everywhere I read this type of stuff be it here or on the official forums.. 1 hand gets left out for tank… not sure why because it has the health bonus

    • Tindivall says:

      hmmm ok upon further reflection from this post alone it seems 1 hand is only a +45 increase and the others are +70… will have to look at this more when I can get home and actually get in game and look

      • stunart says:

        An updated weapon guide would be awesome since the weapon tree’s have changed since this. It has become less a focus on what to use as what role but rather what weapon work better for your character power type and role Ex: faster weapons for ice tank to maximize hit counter between power use. Pretty sure that is a big factor on power management. Since most tree have defense or health increases in them (Except martial arts which now has both) it has become much more relevant as to what works better for damage,combos,etc. As opposed to which one do you recieve the most buffs from.

  9. atg315 says:

    um the dominance 4 contollers, controllers should just have the dominance that the raid says cz if a controller has to much dominance theyll draw aggro away frm tanks

  10. LoserGuy says:

    I’ve been using hand blasters on my ice tank since level 1. I recently joined a league to speed up the gearing process and have been informed by multiple members that hand blasters are horrible tank weapons. They said the blasters just didn’t pack enough punch. I thought this was odd since I was a tank and wasn’t responsible for damage in the first place. The speed of the combos for power recovery and the ability to keep non-boss enemies off their feet seemed more valuable than the damage increase afforded by other weapons.

  11. Errors says:

    There’s tons of errors in the stats for weapons on here, since when can you get anywhere near 70 might from the martial arts tree?

    Not a chance, fix it!

  12. anon says:

    This is old forum need to be update now since light n lightning powers is added

  13. Bendrell says:

    Hey I wanna make a sorcery/flight/dual pistol heler for my group. I love the bonus to restoration, and knowing my n00bish party I’ll quest with, it couldn’t hurt. I figure shooting as fast as it does i can keep my combo up high. Is dual pistols optimal? Or is there somethin else you’d suggest?

    • JustRick says:

      I started off with pistols for my flight / sorc healer. They are great for the combos if you are going ‘full healer’, but if you also want to inflict damage, particularly in pvp, they can be a huge let down. I’m currently experimenting with different weapons but i think the best thing to do is have a good pair of pistols AND a good melee weapon so you can chop and change as and when necessary. My recommendation would be dual wield & pistols but again, i’m still experimenting so that may change.

  14. stillclownn says:

    so as a fire tank i reliy on self heals how do i do that as far as stats powers and mods so wat load outs should i have?

  15. AntIdentity says:

    *Attn. Controllers*
    There is now an addition of 1% Critical Power Chance to Cunning in Bow and Martial Arts weapons classes for a total of +6% crit power chance. Don’t know if this had been addresses in a previous comment, but it should be listed here.

  16. g says:

    I dont know wat to be a tank controller or healer and with wat weapon for it please :'( IM IN DANGER

    HELP WANTED

  17. gg says:

    -_- ^_^ (.Y.) ~_~ Ö O.O >;^) >.> >.<

  18. KwLDeL says:

    This is what about 2 yrs behind Dlc 6-7 lost track is about to drop can someone kindly send me a link what stats that for the “Home Turf ” dlc. I’d greatly appreciate it many thanks

  19. 1wickedclwn says:

    i’ve notice from this and some other guides dissecting skill tree and stats, that Percision doesn’t seem to be that important. did i miss something? i’m a electric DPS, so when i’ve run out of power, i have to fall back on my weapon. so wouldn’t it kinda be important that i’m still able to do damage? idk, maybe i’m missing something here.

  20. Archangel Rafael says:

    This guide only encompasses stat-boosts, which is extremely myopic.

    The stat boosts have a marginal impact. The choice of weapon for use has little impact on what stat boosts a character accesses.

    Ranged vs. Melee is a major factor. Fast+light vs. slow+heavy attacks is probably the most important factor relating to role.

    The really, correct answer to the newb-ish question “Is (weapon A) good with (power B)?” is:

    “There isn’t really one weapon that’s better than another for any role or power. With so many variables and such a small bottom-line difference between them, you should just pick the weapon you like the most. It will work out fine.”

  21. Marcus Scott says:

    This is really helpful. You should update it. The best resource I’ve seen.

Leave a Reply

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