Deathloop Slabs: Which Upgrades Are The Best?

Have you been playing Deathloop but don’t know where to start with the slabs? We’ll turn you into a supernatural ninja breezing through Black Reef in no time.

Arkane’s Deathloop has been wracking up glowing reviews left, right and centre, including our very own over on Gamebyte. And for those looking for more like Deathloop, we covered some excellent games you should be checking out.

In its time-looping puzzle, there is a lot of choice and combinations to make with the different Slab abilities. To ease the burden, here’s everything you need to know about all of Deathloop’s Slabs and their upgrades.


How To Gain And Upgrade Slabs

For starters, you’ll need to know how to actually acquire slabs and later upgrade them. You will gain a slab for killing each of the eight Visionaries throughout the game. The exceptions for this are Wenjie and Frank. Each Visionary has a specific slab associated with them, which we’ll detail below. Julianna, however, doesn’t have a specific slab associated with her and can drop any of them.

Once you’ve collected the slab from their corpse, tail it to the area’s exit and you can equip it in your loadout. Don’t forget to infuse it if you wish to use it again on future loops!

After gaining the slab power for the first time, killing the same Visionary again will result in you getting an upgrade for that slab. Each slab has four upgrades, meaning you need to kill each Visionary a minimum of five times if you want to maximise your upgrades. That is, unless you get lucky with Julianna.



Credit: Bethesda

Shift is the most immediately recognisable of all of Deathloop’s Slabs, as it is essentially a carbon copy of Dishonored’s Blink. This ability allows you to teleport instantly, and is great to reach rooftops, high ledges, or even escape.

You’ll nab this one from Charlie in Updaam at noon who can be found to the left of the map, across the bridge. You’ll want to know that as, like all other Slabs, Shift has four upgrades you can acquire by killing Charlie over and over. However, if you are invaded by Juliana, killing her can gift you Slab upgrades.

Swapper and Dropkick are among the funniest of the upgrades. Swapper allows you to switch places with an NPC, meaning you can throw them into mines, off the edge of a cliff or into water. If you kick whilst in the middle of the shift animation, Dropkick will send enemies flying.


However, my personal favourites are Airborne and Reach. Reach simply extends your reach, meaning higher ledges and farther teleportation is possible. Airborne allows you to freeze mid-air and teleport from there. Combining these two abilities with the Spring Heeled double jump perk, mean there is barely a ledge in Black Reef you can’t reach.


Credit: Bethesda

For all your stealth nuts out there, Aether is your best friend. It grants you temporary invisibility, and upgrades can turn you into an unnoticed time-looping ninja. You’ll pick this one up from Egor, who can be found in The Complex in the evening.

Aether is extremely useful while infiltrating areas like Aleksis’ party. With a lot of NPC kicking about it’s easy to get spied by someone tucked in a corner, and Aether covers your back.

Credit: Bethesda

Erase is probably the worst out Slab upgrade of the lot, as it gets rid of the corpses you leave behind while using the ability. Considering that bodies disappear when you aren’t using it, popping out of Aether to stab someone in the back is usually the way to go. If however, you get yourself in a messy situation, Phase is a great upgrade to acquire. With Phase you won’t become visible upon receiving damage, and will even take less damage while using it.

However, the best combination for Aether has to be Flicker and Ghost. Much like Phase, Flicker doesn’t void your invisibility as soon as you shoot. You will be visible briefly, but will immediately disappear again. This is great for when enemies get a little too close for comfort. Ghost is hands down the best perk for Aether however, as it doesn’t drain power while standing still. This means you can plonk yourself in the middle of an area and scope it out, while completely invisible. And with Flicker you can also take out nearby enemies.


Credit: Bethesda

As indicated by the name, Havoc is a power for the more chaotic Deathloop players out their. Havoc not only boost your damage, but also decreases how much damage you can take. This is my least used ability, considering I tend to lean towards stealth, but for those wanting to rip their way through Blackreef, this is the one.


Havoc can be found on Fristad Rock at noon, where you will need to dispose of Fia. The ability is great for those aggressive encounters, but drains power quickly. That’s why you’ll want the Withdrawal ability as soon as possible, as it allows you to extend its use by damaging enemies. For extra length, Bulwark, can work in tandem with Withdrawal as it won’t drain power as you damage enemies. However, with Bulwark, power drains quicker overall.

Credit Bethesda

For those looking to front the charge, Backlash and Euphoria can be a great way to instantly deal with a lot of enemies. Euphoria increases the amount of damage you deal, as you recieve damage. And Backlast let’s out a grenade-like blast when your power finally runs out. Running into a large crowd of enemies with these upgrades is a match made in heaven.


Credit: Bethesda

Nexus is another Dishonored copycat, that allows you to link enemies. This means, if placed well, you can take out a full group with a single bullet. Nexus works well in both stealth and aggressive builds.


You’ll have to take out Harriet to receive Nexus, who will be delivering a toxic sermon in Karl’s Bay during the morning. This is another personal favourite of mine, as it leans into the speedier stealth that Deathloop dons. And by linking an NPC to a Visionary, the typically hardier bosses can be taken out with one shot.

Attraction allows your Nexus projectile to hone in on enemies, however, it’s fairly easy to hit as is. Parasite allows you to gain health while damaging enemies under Nexus’ influence. This can be great if you are trying to take down an overwhelming enemy force, however, if playing stealthy, you shouldn’t need too much health.

Influence and Protraction are the upgrades you want to use. Influence allows linked enemies to move around and join up others nearby, spreading the reach of your shot. Protraction works well with this as it drains less power while using Nexus, meaning you have more time to line up your shot, and for enemies to spread the link.



Credit: Bethesda

Karnesis is another chaotic power, and the one you’ve likely seen shown off in all the trailers. It allows you force push enemies back, left or right, up or down, and is generally a blast to use.

Suiting up for a party is the only way to get your hands on Karnesis, as Aleksis burrows himself in Dorsey Manor each evening in Updaam. Karnesis is great if you are getting a tad overwhelmed, as you can send most of your enemies flying.

Flesh Bomb is the most grotesque upgrade as it explodes enemies like a grenade after being thrown by Karnesis. However, if you want to throw enemies around like ragdolls, Slam appropriately slams enemies into the ground upon a second blow. Suspension however, has the opposite effect, as it leaves enemies hovering in the air. Lastly, Zone is the best for crowd control as it allows your ability to push all enemies in front of you away.


The right combination for Karnesis is hard to say as out of all abilities, this one is really just for fun.

What other Deathloop powers have you been experimenting with? Let us know over on our social channels!

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Featured Image Credit: Bethesda