One of the greatest strengths of City of Heroes is the wide variety of costumes that are possible during the character creation process. The costume creator is extraordinarily deep, with customization available for all aspects of a character's appearance.
Costume sets and pieces are available from many different sources, with some being harder to obtain than others. Some sets and pieces can be accessed through more than one method, and some pieces are not available as part of a larger set. The different types of sources are:
- Standard - Accessible by all players, regardless of their subscription status, without having to perform or purchase anything special.
- Earnable - Accessed by spending tokens in the Paragon Rewards System, or by also being a VIP Player.
- Unlockable - Accessed by performing specific in-game actions, such as earning badges, crafting recipes, or selecting from mission reward tables.
- Purchasable - Accessed by spending points on the Paragon Market.
Click on the chart below to view details on each costume source.
The basic costume category customization options available to all players, regardless of subscription status, are as follows:
- Main article: Costume Sets
Costume sets are pre-selected combinations of costume pieces that fit a particular theme. They can be used as quick-and-dirty costume choices, or as starting points for even further customization.
|Standard||Full Masks||Hats||Hoods||Helmets||Half Helmets||Full Helmets||Medieval Helms||Monstrous|
|Helmet Detail 1|
|Helmet Detail 2|
|Tight|| Tops With Skin
|Armored||Robotic Arm 1||Robotic Arm 2||Robotic Arm 3|
| Bottoms with Skin
| Skirts / Shorts
|Tucked In||Tight Pants||Pants||Armored||Monstrous|
|Skirt / Shorts|
|Battle Axe||Broadsword||Claws||Dual Blades||Katana||War Mace|
|Right and Left Weapons|
|Riot Shield|| Round
|Targe||Tech Shields|| Tribal|
Modifying a Costume
Once a character has selected his or her costume, he or she may change these selections at a special store known as a tailor. In Paragon City, there is a chain of stores called "Icon," which has branches in Atlas Park, Steel Canyon, Independence Port, and Founders' Falls. In the Rogue Isles, there is a chain of stores called "Facemaker", which has branches in Mercy Island, Cap au Diable, and St. Martial. In Praetoria, Rita Mayfair is in the Imperial City neighborhood. Additionally, Pocket D hosts Trina the Body Sculptress in the Tiki Lounge, and the Rikti War Zone has their own Icon employees.
Additionally, all trainers are tailors as of Issue 21. There are still players who make the dangerous low-level runs to the regular tailor stores, but caution is needed to avoid aggro from the much higher level enemies in these zones. The regular tailor stores are also the contacts for granting four more costume slots.
For a fee at a regular tailor NPC, any character may change almost any aspect of his or her appearance, except for the fundamental properties of gender, body type, and overall height. A character may change any costume pieces, as well as any size and scaling properties except the ones mentioned, any number of times and at any level. Only special tailors called Cosmetic Surgeons can alter the gender, body type, and overall height of a character. To allow changes of these three aspects, the purchase of Super Booster III: Superscience prior to Issue 21 or the Super Tailor from the Paragon Market after Issue 21 is required.
Additionally, for those who have the Good Versus Evil Edition of the game or have purchased the Pocket D VIP Pass Teleporter from the Paragon Market, Trina the Body Sculptress is in the VIP Room of Pocket D, which is accessible via Kings Row or the VIP Pass teleport power, instead of having to dodge enemies. Note that both of these easy-access tailors are also Cosmetic Surgeons.
Changing major style categories, like from "Full Masks" to "Helmets", is relatively expensive. Changing textures is less expensive, and changing color patterns is even cheaper. Individual color changes are free. Changing any face or body shape sliders costs a very high fixed price, no matter how many change or by how much. There is also one small, fixed overhead charge regardless of anything else. All these fees scale with the character's level.
Free Costume Change tokens exist, and can optionally be spent to cover the full cost of a costume change. These tokens are claimed through the Paragon Rewards Program. They are also given automatically to all characters when a patch or Issue modifies costumes in a major way. There are 25% discount tokens which may be gained through the Day Jobs system, and the Tailor Discount reward slot includes a permanent 50% discount on all tailor fees. These discounts do not stack - if a player has the Tailor Discount reward, the character will no longer be able to select the 25% discount tokens, even if they have one on hand.
Saving and Loading
Issue 13 released a Save and Load option in the costume edit screen, both at character creation and at the tailor. These options allow players to save a character's costume into a Costume File and load it onto another character of the same body type.
- Only costume options that have been unlocked will load. This includes in-game and account-based unlocks.
- Only costume options that are editable in the tailor screen can be loaded. Height changes and model changes are not allowed.
- The "load" option is unavailable when:
- Trying to load an off-model costume like male pieces to a female model.
- Trying to load a costume file that has illegal costume pieces, such as Statesman's unique faceplate, or typos.
Capes and Auras
Note: All items purchased through the Paragon Market are available automatically from level 1.
At level 20, a hero or villain may earn a cape.
- Heroes should visit City Representative in City Hall in Atlas Park to undertake a mission to unlock capes.
- Villains should visit Mr. Rodney in Cap au Diable to undertake a mission to earn the right to wear a cape.
At level 30, a hero or villain may earn an aura.
- Heroes should visit the City Representative in City Hall in Atlas Park to undertake a mission to unlock auras.
- Villains should visit Mr. Rodney in Cap au Diable to allow them to "unlock the power of the destined ones."
Note: The following capes and auras are available automatically from level 1.
- The Single-Shoulder capes unlocked as part of the Paragon Rewards Program through the Shoulder Capes slot.
- The Valkyrie cape options available as part of the Mac Special Edition.
- The Combat auras in Super Booster I: Cyborg.
- The High Collar capes in Super Booster II: Magic.
- The Alpha and Omega auras in Going Rogue Complete Collection.
- The Origins-based capes and auras of the Origins Pack.
Extra Costume Slots
At level 20, 30, and 40, a hero or villain may earn extra costume slots, which allow that character to have more than one costume defined at a given time. New costume slots are initially identical to the character's first slot.
At level 20...
- Heroes should visit Serge in the Steel Canyon branch of Icon.
- Villains should visit The Facemaker in the Cap au Diable branch of Face.
At level 30...
- Heroes should visit Lauren in the Independence Port branch of Icon.
- Villains should visit Gorgeous Glenda in the Cap au Diable branch of Face. (She is in the room at the end of the hall.)
At level 40...
- Heroes should visit Carson in the Founders' Falls branch of Icon.
- Villains should visit Lovely Linda in the St. Martial branch of Face.
During Halloween Events, participating players are able to earn Halloween-themed Event Salvage. A full set of this salvage can then be turned in to unlock an extra costume slot at any character level. This extra slot stacks with all existing slots, resulting in a possible total of five slots when a character reaches level 40. Although new costume salvage only drops during Halloween Events, the NPCs who accept it are permanent contacts, and the salvage itself can be saved, traded, or bought and sold through the Auction Houses.
To turn in Halloween Event Salvage for the additional costume slot...
- Heroes should visit Annah in Croatoa.
- Villains should visit Granny Beldam in Nerva Archipelago.
- Praetorians should visit Acantha in Imperial City.
The maximum number of costume slots was increased to ten (over the five standard slots) with City of Heroes Freedom/Issue 21; the five extra slots are available for 800 Paragon Points each on the Paragon Market. Purchased costume slots are account-wide, not character-specific. VEAT slots would continue to automatically occupy one of the ten total slots available.
Soldiers of Arachnos
An Arachnos Soldier's or Arachnos Widow's original costume slot is forced to include unique, AT-specific accessories that give it a distinct appearance. To balance this, these Villain Epic Archetypes have one additional way to earn an extra costume slot, starting at level 10, by running missions for Brick Johnson in Port Oakes. AT-specific accessories cannot be added to any costume except the first slot. For this reason, the first newly-gained costume slot begins as a plain set of tights for these ATs, with only details like color scheme and facial features copied from the first slot. After this costume is modified, it becomes the default for all further alternate costumes.
Soldiers of Arachnos can use both this extra slot and the Halloween Salvage slot to achieve six costumes total, but this is not fully supported. The sixth slot does not appear in the costume selection window, therefore it can only be switched to by using /cc 5, described below. The sixth slot is a copy of the first non-Arachnos costume slot when the sixth slot was opened and cannot be edited at the Tailor. The first non-Arachnos costume slot can then be edited at the Tailor, allowing the character to have six unique costume options, as the sixth slot will not change to match.
The Crab Spider Backpack
The first costume slot operates oddly with Arachnos Soldiers who have Multiple Builds. If one build contains any powers from a Crab Spider power set, then all builds automatically use the Crab Spider backpack accessory in the first costume slot. This even causes it to replace the unique cape that would normally show on a build that contains powers from the Bane Spider power set. Positron describes this as an "unfortunate effect" of how the game currently works, though it's on the Known Issues list and may be fixed in the future.
Swapping Between Costumes
A character can swap between costume slots by typing the following into the chat command line.
To utilize different slots, replace the pound sign (aka hash mark) with a number from 0-4. For instance, the first costume slot is:
If a character has five costume slots, the last slot is:
A hero or villain must wait 30 seconds between costume changes.
Costume change emotes
With the release of the Magic Super Booster, Costume Change Emotes were introduced to the "City Of" franchise. These specialized emotes, accessed through the costume change screen or the /cce command, combine an animation and visual effects with the costume change. In Issue 15, seven Costume Change Emotes were added, four of which are inherent to all characters and three which are unlockable.
NOTE: Like all emotes, these may be interrupted by performing another action, and will sometimes not play at all. However, your costume will be changed regardless of any interruptions.
In addition, a player can set any of their costumes to appear differently while in Supergroup mode. This is done through a separate screen available at any time through either the Supergroup window, settings button, or at the tailor screen by selecting it over the "colors" options. Changes between Supergroup mode and normal costumes are limited to colors (using either or both of the two supergroup colors in place of any or all colors on the normal costume) and whether or not to use the "Supergroup chest detail", the Supergroup icon decided on by the Supergroup's leaders. This is individually selectable for each costume since Issue 13. Prior to that, Supergroup settings for costumes were across all costumes, and often led to bugginess if a costume shared a color with the Supergroup colors.