Power Icons Legend

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Overview

Many video games which give the player a variety of abilities will use icons or symbols to allow players to identify individual powers at a glance, City of Heroes included. However, unlike many of these games, City of Heroes not only uses these icons to quickly denote individual powers, but also to convey the effects and usage of the powers.

A power icon in City of Heroes has three important components: the inner symbol, the border, and the color. The inner symbol indicates one or more of the powers' effects. The border indicates whether the power requires a target to use and whether it affects an area or a single target. Most powers' borders do not, unfortunately, indicate whether the power affects teammates or enemies; this information must be extrapolated by looking at the inner symbol (i.e. if the inner symbol denotes a positive effect, the power most likely affects allies or the caster) The color of an icon indicates the power set that the power belongs to; every power set has its own unique combination of background and foreground colors, although some colors are shared between primary or secondary power sets and Ancillary Power Pools with similar themes, though never within the same archetype. This is done to reduce the footprint of the City of Heroes installation; for example, by having Frozen Armor use the exact same icon in the Ice Armor, Cold Mastery, and Ice Mastery sets, one icon file provides the art for 3 powers, reducing the size of the City of Heroes install.

Borders

Border Description Example
NoBorder.png
An icon without a border indicates that the power only affects the caster. Reconstruction, Unyielding
STBorder.png
The power is single target; it will only affect the currently targeted entity. Deflection Shield, Power Blast
ConeBorder.png
The power affects the target, as well as every valid target (up to the target's target limit) within a conical area in front of the caster. The exact dimensions of the cone area depend on the power. Shadow Maul, Breath of Fire
PBAoEBorder.png
The power does not require a target; it affects every valid target (up to the power's target limit) within a spherical area centered on the caster. The exact radius of the sphere depends on the power. Inferno, Healing Aura
TAoEBorder.png
The power affects the current target, as well as every valid target (up to the power's target limit) within a spherical area centered on the target. The exact radius of the sphere depends on the power. Exploding Arrow, Snow Storm
TPBAoEBorder.png
The power does not require a target; it affects every teammate within a spherical area centered on the caster, including the caster itself. Assault, Group Invisibility
AllyTAoEBorder.png
The power affects every target (up to the power's target limit) in a spherical area centered around the targeted teammate. The targeted teammate may or may not be affected, depending on whether the power's effect is a positive or negative one. Disruption Field, Sonic Repulsion
SummonBorder.png
The power summons a separate entity at a selected location. Some powers allow the caster to choose the location, while others simply summon the new entity at the caster's feet. Animate Stone, Summon Striker
LAoEBorder.png
The power affects every valid target (up to the power's target limit) within a spherical area centered around a location. Some powers allow the caster to choose the location, while others automatically set the location to be the same as the caster's at activation. Spirit Tree, Burn

Inner Symbols

Damage

The following symbols denote powers meant primarily for dealing damage.

Symbol Description Example Notes
Damage.png
Generic damage power Fire Ball, Fistful of Arrows A generic symbol; can indicate a melee or ranged power.
Damage, Melee, Minor.png
A melee attack that deals light/minor damage. Nimble Slash, Thunder Kick
Damage, Melee, Over Time.png
A melee attack that does damage over time, or strikes multiple times. Flurry, Barb Swipe
Damage, Melee, Moderate.png
A melee attack that deals moderate damage. Strike, Energy Punch
Damage, Melee, Heavy.png
A melee attack that deals heavy/high damage. Thunder Strike, Haymaker
Damage, Assassination.png
An interruptible melee power that does extra damage when hidden. Assassin's Blade, Assassin's Eclipse This symbol is used for Assassin's Strike powers.
Damage, Ranged, Minor.png
A ranged attack that deals light/minor damage. Thorny Darts, Psionic Dart
Damage, Ranged, Minor, Very Fast.png
A fast ranged attack that deals light/minor damage. Neutrino Bolt, Flares
Damage, Ranged, Moderate.png
A ranged attack that deals moderate damage. Lightning Bolt, Power Blast
Damage, Ranged, Short.png
A ranged attack that has a shorter-than-normal range, though usually with heavy/high damage. Blaze, Cosmic Burst
Damage, Ranged, Heavy.png
A ranged attack that does heavy/high damage. Bitter Ice Blast, Mace Blast
Damage, Sniper.png
A "snipe" attack. Zapp, Moonbeam Snipe attacks are interruptible, very high-damage ranged attacks with nearly double the range of normal ranged attacks.
Damage, Chaining.png
A power that does damage to one target and has the chance "jump" to do damage to another target. Chain Induction
Damage, Defeated.png
A damage dealing power that deals damage in an area around a defeated target Unchain Essence Powers with this symbol are colloquially known as "corpse bomb" powers.
Damage, Extreme.png
A damage dealing power that does extreme damage. Nova, Head Splitter Can be used to denote melee or ranged attacks.
Damage, Over Time.png
A power that does damage over time. Night Fall Can be used to denote melee or ranged attacks.
Damage, Weapon.png
A moderate damage melee attack with a (most often elemental) weapon. Fire Sword, Ice Sword Only used in sets that aren't weapon sets.
Damage, Weapon, Greater.png
A high-damage melee attack with a (most often elemental) weapon. Heavy Mallet, Greater Fire Sword Only used in sets that aren't weapon sets.

Control

The following inner symbols denote powers that have control effects.

Symbol Description Example Notes
Hold.png
Afflicts the target with a Hold control effect. Dominate Held targets cannot use powers or move.
Disorient.png
Afflicts the target with a Disorient control effect. Screech Disoriented targets cannot use powers, but can still move, albeit at an extremely reduced rate. Also known as "Stun."
Immobilize.png
Afflicts the target with an Immobilization control effect. Web Grenade Immobilized targets cannot move, but can still use powers as normal.
Sleep.png
Afflicts the target with a Sleep control effect. Salt Crystals Sleeping targets cannot use powers or move, but will immediately awake if damaged, healed, or moved.
Confuse.png
Afflicts the target with a Confuse control effect. Deceive Confused targets will attack their allies and buff their enemies.
Fear.png
Afflicts the target with a Fear control effect. Terrify Feared enemies cannot use powers or move unless they are attacked.
Force Bubble.png
Repels affected targets away from the caster. Force Bubble
Slow, Movement.png
Reduces the movement speed of the target. Caltrops
Slow, Recharge.png
Increases the recharge time of all the target's powers. Poison Trap
Slow, Recharge and Movement.png
Reduces the target's movement speed and increases the recharge time of all its powers. Shiver "Slow" can refer to a power that reduces movement speed, increases recharge time, or both. "Snare" is used for powers that only reduce movement speed. There is no generally agreed upon term for powers that only increase recharge time.
Knockback.png
The power can knock down the target, leaving them unable to act until they regain their footing. Some powers are strong enough to send the target flying away from the caster instead of just knocking them off their feet. Power Thrust Knockdown is just low-grade knockback. A power that normally does knockdown can cause knockback if used on a sufficiently weak target or if slotted for knockback, and a power that normally does knockback can cause knockdown if used against a sufficiently strong target.
Knockdown.png
The power can cause the target to fall down where they stand, unable to act until they regain their footing. Energy Torrent Same notes from above apply.
Knockup.png
The power can send the target flying straight up in the air. Stronger enemies may only fall down where they stand. Lift Same notes as above two symbols apply, with the exception that the target can be sent flying straight up into the air instead of away from the caster.
Taunt.png
Afflicts the target with a taunt control effect. Taunt Taunted targets can only use powers to attack the entity that taunted them. In the event that more than one entity uses a taunt effect on the same target, the target will only be able to attack the entity with the stronger taunt effect.
Placate.png
Placates the target. Smoke Flash Placated targets cannot attack the caster. Computer-controlled mobs that are Placated will also forget about the caster until the caster aggroes them again.

Buffs

The following inner symbols denote powers that grant the caster or his allies buffs to various attributes.

Symbol Description Example Notes
Buff, Accuracy.png
Increases accuracy or tohit. Aim Most powers that buff tohit also buff damage, so the use of this symbol normally means that the power is either an accuracy buff, or the tohit buff is particularly large.
Buff, Damage.png
Increases damage. Build Up
Buff, Defense.png
Increases defense. Dispersion Bubble
Buff, Defense, Melee.png
Increases defense against powers typed "melee". Ninja Reflexes
Buff, Defense, Range.png
Increases defense against powers typed "ranged". Combat Training: Defensive
Buff, Defense, AoE.png
Increases defense to powers typed "area of effect" (AoE). Evasion
Buff, Defense and Accuracy.png
Increases defense and tohit. Invincibility
Buff, Hit Points, Timed.png
Increases maximum hit points Dull Pain Would seem to indicate a healing over time effect (HoT), but is normally used to indicate a buff to maximum HP. In Issue 13 a power was finally added that actually is a HoT, but only when used by one archetype, and then only in PvE.
Buff, Hit Points.png
Healing power; restores lost hit points Heal Other
Buff, Endurance.png
Restores lost endurance. Transference Also used in the icon for Conserve Power, which reduces the endurance cost of all powers while active.
Resurrection.png
Revives a character from the "unconscious" state. Resurrection
Buff, Mega.png
Large buff to defensive attributes. Elude Typically used for tier 9 powers in defensive power sets. Powers that use this symbol generally grant such a large buff to defenses that the affected character is effectively undefeatable under normal circumstances, hence the colloquial term "god mode power."
Buff, Multiple.png
Increases both offensive and defensive attributes. Vengeance
Buff, Range.png
Increases the maximum activation range on non-melee powers while active. Boost Range Boost Range is the only power that uses this symbol, and indeed that has this effect.
Buff, Recharge.png
Reduces the recharge time of all powers while active. Hasten
Buff, Regeneration.png
Increases the rate at which lost hit points are naturally regenerated over time. Instant Healing
Buff, Recovery.png
Increases the rate at which spent endurance is naturally recovered over time. Stamina
Buff, Secondary Effects.png
Increases the duration or strength of mez effects and most buff and debuff effects. Power Boost
Buff, Run Speed.png
Increases the running speed of the target. Speed Boost
Sprint, PrestigeSprint.png
Increases running speed and jump height Sprint This is the Sprint symbol; the only powers that use the symbol are Sprint and its Prestige variants.
Buff, Jump, Height.png
Increase to jump height and speed. Inertial Reduction
Jump, Distance.png
Increase to jump height and speed. Super Jump The only power that uses this symbol is Super Jump.
Flight.png
Grants the target the power of Flight. Fly
Stealth.png
Provides a small amount of stealth to the target Stealth Powers that use this symbol don't render the target invisible, but the target will be able to get closer to enemies before they aggro.
Invisibility.png
Provides a large amount of stealth to the target. Superior Invisibility Powers that use this symbol render the target invisible to most enemies.
Intangability.png
Renders the target intangible or phased. Dimension Shift Intangible targets can't affect or be affected by other targets. Phased targets can only affect and be affected by other Phased targets.
Resistance, Smashing and Lethal.png
Increases resistance or defense to smashing- and lethal-typed damage. Temp Invulnerability
Resistance.png
General symbol for an increase to resistance. Dark Embrace
Tough.png
Power that provides resistance to smashing- and lethal-typed damage. Tough
Resistance, Fire and Cold.png
Increases resistance or defense to fire- and cold-typed damage. Sonic Haven
Resistance, Cold.png
Increases resistance or defense to fire- and cold-typed damage. Permafrost
Resistance, Energy and Negative Energy.png
Increases resistance or defense to energy- and negative energy-typed damage. Glacial Armor
Resistance, Energy.png
Increases resistance or defense to energy-typed damage. Murky Cloud
Resistance, Negative Energy.png
Increases resistance or defense to negative energy-typed damage. Crystal Armor
Resistance, Psionic.png
Increases resistance or defense to psychic-typed damage. Minerals
Resistance, Mez.png
Grants protection to control-type effects. Practiced Brawler
MezProtect.png
Grants protection to control-type effects. Clear Mind Powers which use this symbol as opposed to the symbol above typically grant other exotic boosts on top of mez protection, such as resistance to slows or increased perception. These powers are also exclusively ally-granted.
Shapeshift.png
Power that shapeshifts the target to another form. Black Dwarf

Debuffs

The following inner symbols denote powers that debuff enemy targets.

Symbol Description Example Notes
Debuff, Accuracy.png
Debuffs the target's accuracy or tohit. Hurricane
Debuff, Damage.png
Debuffs the target's damage. Darkest Night
Debuff, Defense.png
Debuffs the target's damage resistance or defense, or both. Sleet
Debuff, Hit Points.png
Drains hit points from the target Life Drain Kind of a pointless symbol, since "draining HP" is just a way of saying "dealing damage," and a symbol for drains, etc., also exists.
End drain.png
Drains endurance from the target EMP Glove
Megadebuff.png
Reduces the target's offensive and defensive attributes. Noxious Gas
Debuff, Perception.png
Reduces the target's perception. Smoke
Debuff, Recovery.png
Reduces the rate at which the target naturally recovers spent endurance. Short Circuit
Heal suppression.png
Reduces the target's responsiveness to heal-type powers. PVP Heal Decay

Summons

The following inner symbols denote powers which summon an entity to fight alongside the caster.

Symbol Description Example Notes
Summon, One.png
Power that summons a single pet. Fly Trap
Strong pet.png
Power that summons a single, strong pet. Commando
Summon, Two.png
Power that summons two pets. Call Reinforcements
Summon, Three.png
Power that summons three pets. Zombie Horde
Summon, Multiple.png
Power that summons a large number of pets. Gang War
Summon, Extraction.png
Summons a new pet from a defeated target Soul Extraction
Summon, Fear.png
Summons a pet that primarily uses fear abilities. Spectral Terror
Summon, Taunt.png
Summons a pet that primarily grabs and maintains aggro. Phantom Army
Summon, Equip.png
Grants new powers to the targeted pet. Train Ninjas
Summon, Upgrade.png
Grants new powers to the targeted pet. Kuji In Zen Powers granted by powers with this symbol are generally stronger than those from powers with the above symbol.

Miscellaneous

The following inner symbols do not fit easily into any other categories.

Symbol Description Example Notes
Exchange.png
A power that does something to the target and something else to the caster. Energy Transfer An eclectic symbol, it typically indicates a power that damages or heals the caster and heals or damages the target.
Teleport.png
Power that teleports the caster. Teleport
Teleport, Group.png
Power that teleports the targeted teammate. Recall Friend
Teleport, Target.png
Power that teleports the targeted enemy. Teleport Foe

Inaccuracies

Many of the power icons in this game do not follow the guidelines described in this article. Forum-goer Vanden has created an "add on" (data files that replace in-game images or information) that fixes most of the inaccurate icons.

External Links