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. All costume pieces, with the exception of the VEAT-specific pieces, are available to any character. (While the missions for Auras and Capes still exist from the Live game, they are no longer required to use the features which are now available from Level 1.)
Modifying a Costume
Once a character has selected their costume, they 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, Echo Plaza has a sublet of Icon, and the Rikti War Zone has its 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, and contain the Cosmetic Surgeons who can alter the gender, body type, and overall height of a character.
Until level 10, there is no fee for costume changes.
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.
Costume Change Tokens and Coupons
Free Costume Change tokens exist, and can optionally be spent to cover the full cost of a costume change. These tokens are granted every 10 levels during regular gameplay through Level 50, in the Veteran Level system starting at Veteran Level 3, or in Super Packs as a reward drop. Your current count of "free tailor sessions" is indicated in green text upon character log on to the game.
There are also 25% discount tokens which may be gained through the Day Jobs system.
The choice of a free session or coupon discount is available at the Tailor screen beside the "Next" button, which cycles through "Pay Full Cost", "Use Discount Coupon" and "Use Free Tailor Token" (if any coupons or tokens are available, if not, the button won't appear). Clicking Next on the last tab in the Costume Editor confirms the purchase.
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 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.
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 six costumes 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 is ten. Purchased costume slots are account-wide, not character-specific. VEAT slots would continue to automatically occupy one of the ten total slots available.
The last slot (10th) can be unlock either with the Halloween event, or by changing to the opposite alignment, and doing a costume mission there.
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 eleven costumes total, but this is not fully supported. The extra slot does not appear in the costume selection window, therefore it can only be switched to by using /cc 5, described below. The extra slot is a copy of the first non-Arachnos costume slot when the extra 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 eleven unique costume options, as the extra 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
Costume Change 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.
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.