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Many artifacts, weapons, computerized equipment, and other machinery in Caves of Qud require power in order to function. Units of power are typically referred to as charge, regardless of the type of power source involved. For example, an item might require 50 charge to be activated, which could be provided by an electric energy cell, a hydraulic power system, or another type of power system entirely. This type of "charge" should not be confused with Charge, the skill.

Types of Power

Electrical power is the most common type of power found in Caves of Qud, but many other forms of power are also found throughout the world.

In some cases non-electrical sources are used to power objects directly, while in other cases that alternate power source is first converted into electrical power through energy cells or other mediums. The Power Usage Examples table gives a rough outline of some of the types of power that are used throughout the gameworld. Conversion between power sources and the borders between those categories are inherently fuzzy, so that table should be taken as a general guide rather than an irrefutable authority on the matter.


The most common way to deliver charge to an item is with an energy cell. The laser pistol, hologram bracelet, and powered exoskeleton are all examples of items that require an energy cell to function.

Electrically-powered objects, as well as electric power generators and storage mechanisms, are always EMP Sensitive, unless electromagnetically shielded.

Electrical power can be found being transmitted by electrical power grids such as those found in Grit Gate, Ezra, or The Yd Freehold.


Main article: Hydraulic power

Power is sometimes carried by hydraulic transmission systems. Grit Gate has one of these, in addition to its electrical power grid.


Some items are powered by liquid as fuel. The exact method of charge production may vary - for example, a combustion cell generates power through combustion, but a blood-gradient hand vacuum produces power through more mysterious biochemical means. For these type of items, one dram of liquid corresponds to a certain amount of charge that can be provided to the object. Liquid-fueled energy cells are also considered electrical power because the liquid is used for the purpose of electricity generation.


Main article: Mechanical power

Mechanical transmission systems use natural forces, such as water or wind, to power machinery. The wooden water wheel and millstone in Joppa is an example of this.

Kinetic / Clockwork

Certain objects rely on bodily movement to generate charge. For example, the fidget cell is charged by being worn on the body for a period of time, and the carcass kneader uses a hand crank to be charged. The player may choose to wind up the carcass kneader by interacting with it.


Main article: Solar power

Solar powered objects convert sunlight into charge. When something is solar-powered, it will only recharge during the day while on the surface, or in areas that can reach sunlight, like the open air pits in the Rust Wells.


Main article: Broadcast power

Broadcast power is available on or near the surface, from satellites (this sometimes being interrupted by atmospheric and orbital phenomena), and from broadcast powers stations, including the one inside Grit Gate. Radio-powered energy cells and a variety of other objects can receive broadcast power.

Zero Point Energy Collector

The Zero Point Energy Collector (ZPEC) is a reality distorting, infinite electrical power source that charges depending on the current world that the object resides in. As long as the item is in "JoppaWorld", which is the starting world that the player starts in, the ZPEC will generate a constant amount of charge each turn, which varies depending on the object. The ceremonial vibrokhopesh, grav chair, and black mote all use the ZPEC.

How the ZPEC exactly works is unknown, but as the process is reality distorting it cannot work under the effects of normality. This means that being in a normality field or normality gas will cause the item to stop charging.

Power Usage Examples

Power Type Inputs Conduits Outputs
  • Body movement
  • Sunlight
(combustion /
(biological /
  • Zero-Point Energy Collector

Charge Estimates

Unless the player character has a telemetric visor or the optical technoscanner, all types of power storage include descriptions stating its vague percentage of charge available. They are separated into 6 sections.

Charge Type
Percentage Electrical Clockwork Light Kinetic Tension Biological
0% Drained Run Down Dark Stopped Slack Exhausted
1-10% Very Low Very Run Down Very Dim Very Slow Very Slack Flagging
11-25% Low Fairly Run Down Somewhat Dim Somewhat Slow Fairly Slack Enervated
26-50% Used Somewhat Run Down Somewhat Bright Fairly Fast Somewhat Slack Fatigued
51-75% Fresh Well-wound Fairly Bright Nearly Full Speed Tense Lively
76-100% Full Fully Wound Bright Full Speed Fully Tensed Vigorous

Note that the fullest value shows up with charge levels as low as 76%. Technoscanning is the only way to see if the cell is completely charged. When seeing the exact percentage, 100% will only display when the cell is truly at max charge.


Unless stated, information comes from XRL.World.Capabilities.EnergyStorage

  1. Energy cells are initially powered by variety of different power types, but use of the electrochemical terminology of "cell" arguably implies that they ultimately provide electrical charge in all cases.