After completing the tutorial in Deathloop, you’ll have the entire Blackreef Island to explore and 8 targets to assassinate. Many of your targets carry special items called Slabs — Slabs imbue the user with an innate supernatural ability. The protagonist, Colt, begins the game with his own unique slab that allows him to revive twice before dying. If you want to take on the Visionaries, you’ll need all the Slab powers you can get.
If you can’t decide which Slab ability to unlock first, we’re here to make some recommendations. You can equip two Slab abilities at any given time, and you can swap them while travelling between zones or before a new cycle begins. Before you can actually retain Slab powers, you’ll need to go to Wenjie’s Lab in The Complex (Afternoon) and complete her quest — basically, you need to defeat all the Wenjies and use the Residuum collector. After performing this experiment once, you’ll be able to infuse weapons, trinkets, or Slab abilities to keep them forever. Otherwise, you’ll lose the Slabs you’ve found permanently after a cycle.
When you’re ready to start collecting Slab powers, these are the powers we think you’ll want first.
More Deathloop guides:
How To Unlock Delivery Booths | How To Keep Weapons & Slabs After Each Loop | How To Kill Charlie By Changing The Rules Of The Game | How To Kill Frank With A Slab Ability | How To Kill Fia Without Causing A Meltdown | How To Kill Egor With The Nullifier | How To Kill Aleksis With The Meat Grinder | How To Kill Harriet With Poison Gas | How To Kill Every Wenjie In 90 Seconds | 0451 Easter Egg | All Queen of Riddles Solutions
How To Collect Slab Abilities
Slab abilities are dropped by certain Visionaries — your 8 targets. Some of them will always drop certain Slab abilities. To keep a Slab ability, you’ll need to escape the area alive and Infuse the Slab to make it a permanent addition to your arsenal.
- To Collect Slabs: Defeat the listed Visionary. When assassinated, they’ll drop a unique weapon, lots of trinkets, Residuum, and their Slab power.
- To Collect Slab Upgrades: After a Slab has been collected and infused, future assassinations on the same target will guarantee a random Slab Power upgrade of the same type.
- Julianna always drops a random Slab Power upgrade of any type of Slab ability you’ve currently unlocked.
Slab abilities come in many different forms. Some are used to help you traverse environments. Others are offensive powers that make you better at destroying enemies, while others can make sneaking a lot easier. We’ll list all the Slab abilities in order of effectiveness… and which ones are my favorites.
Which Slabs To Get First
Not all slabs are created equal. These are the slabs you’ll want to get right away.
- Shift: Allows you to teleport short distances.
- Dropped by Charlie in Updaam (Afternoon).
Completely silent. Gives you access to previously unreachable areas, and can teleport through lasers or enemies to perform a stealth kill. Future upgrades allow you to teleport longer distances, and one cool upgrades lets you swap places with your shift target.
- Nexus: Launches a blast that connects multiple NPCs together. Damage dealt to one NPC will be dealt to all of them.
- Dropped by Harriet in Karl’s Bay (Morning).
Incredibly useful for clearing out large groups of enemies. Launching a Nexus orb will not alert enemies, but it will drain your power meter as long as it is active. Once your power meter is drained, the Nexus effect will be disabled. This power is very good for taking out closely knit groups of enemies, but with a few upgrades it can wipe out entire posts with a single Nexus and charged nailgun headshot.
- Aether: Turns you completely invisible. Drains your power as long as it is active.
- Dropped by Egor in The Complex (Evening).
If you’re hungry for a perfect stealth approach, Aether can be handy — turning invisible for a moment can make all the difference. If you’re quick with Aether, can you safely infiltrate some of the toughest lairs. Fia, the Wenjies, and even Aleksis have lairs that are much easier to deal with if you can employ a little Aether.
- Havoc: Activate to give you a boost in damage and defense.
- Dropped by Fia in Fristad Rock (Afternoon),
Another all-around useful Slab that you really don’t need right away. Havoc is great for getting out of a jam, and especially useful when Julianna crashes your party. When you activate Havoc, your power meter drains until you’re dry — while you’re in Havoc mode, you deal much more attack damage and your defense is significantly higher, so you can always shoot your way out of a bad situation. Get this one after Shift / Nexus, and enjoy unleashing a lot of firepower. Great for taking out the Visionaries in a fight.
- Karnesis: Allows you to grab and throw enemies.
- Dropped by Aleksis in Updaam (Night).
In my experience, the least essential skill is Karnesis. While it is very powerful, there’s nothing it can do that a strong gun can’t. Karnesis can become a wrecking ball ability once you get upgrades, but in its standard form, I recommend getting it later. It won’t keep you alive longer, or let you access areas that are previously cut off. Save unlocking it for later.