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The Surge: How to Use Overcharge

Keys? Where you're going in Surge, you don't need keys. Our guide shows you how to overcharge doors and circuits.


The Surge makes a habit of hiding items and paths behind gates that can only be opened using your Exo-Rig's built-in overcharge capability. You'll learn how to overcharge early in The Surge's first area, but the ways you can use the ability might elude you until later on in the game. This guide tells you everything you need to know about overcharging, including how to do it and how to power up your character's Exo-Rig to overcharge high-level objects.

Understanding Overcharge

Overcharging is a tool you have access to from the moment you receive your Exo-Rig and install its Power Core. Using overcharge, you transfer energy from your suit into circuits that control different areas in a level. By overcharging a circuit, you may open a previously closed door, restore power to dark areas, or supply energy to an elevator or other utility which opens a shortcut you can use to bypass large swaths of a level.

How to Overcharge

As you play The Surge, you'll find panels with large numbers displayed on their screens. That number represents the minimum level of Power Core—or character level—you need to perform an overcharge on the panel. For example, if an overcharge panel reads 70 and your Power Core is at 59, you'll need to level up 11 more times before you can successfully overcharge that panel.

If you meet a panel's minimum Power Core requirements, approach the panel and hold the button indicated (A on Xbox One or X on PlayStation 4) and wait for the meter to fill. Once you finish overcharging, an in-game action will occur: lights will flicker on, elevators will hum with power, a door will open, and so forth.

How to Enhance Your Overcharge

Level up your Power Core. It's that simple. The trick lies in figuring out techniques to farm tech scraps quickly. Try attacking unarmored body parts on enemies to kill them faster, returning to a medical bay to recharge when you run low on healing items.

You also pick up lots of tech scrap as you explore levels. Open your inventory and check for consumable tech scrap to boost your total. Remember to bank tech scrap at a medical bay. Banked tech scrap cannot be lost upon dying.

Now that you know how to overcharge, consult our guide to The Surge to learn how to increase your experience modifier, which allows you to earn tech scrap faster. 

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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