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Upgrade Circuits are special items found in Dead Space 3. These are found scattered across the environment and, like the Power Nodes, they are uncommon. Because of the new upgrade system, Circuits effectively replace all Power Nodes and can no longer dictate a tool's specs like before. Instead, any and all upgrades committed are based largely on the player's preference.
Circuits, unless found in storage crates or in the world, are stored in green wall lockers resembling those of Power Nodes. With the right amount of resources, Circuits can be crafted. Special forms of Circuitry are unlocked once the required difficulty have been cleared, the required number of logs/artifacts collected, etc...
Circuits factors into the player's completion grade of the game, though ones that are crafted, unlocked, retrieved by Scavenger Bots or spawns in a previously opened storage chest does not count.
- Upgrade Circuits upgrade the performance of your weapons when installed. They are sorted into four categories: Reload(RLD), Rate of Fire(SPD), Damage(DMG), and Clip(CLP). Any Circuit can contain any one or two of the aforementioned categories with values ranging from -1 to +3.
- When a new Upgrade Circuit is found, the plans for making that particular Upgrade Circuit are added to the player's Bench interface. Any found circuit can be reproduced, provided the player has sufficient resources.
- There is no cost to add or remove Upgrade Circuits, allowing you to swap them out at will.
- Except for Reload upgrades, Upgrade Circuits added to the upper tool do not affect the lower tool, and vice versa.
- Reload Upgrade Circuits affect both upper and lower tools, culminating in a faster reload for the entire weapon for each Reload upgrade, regardless of whether placed in the upper or lower tool.
- Since Modules (such as a Rotary Cuff) don't shoot on their own, only Reload and Rate of Fire upgrades provide any benefit in lower tool slots when using a Module.
- Rate of Fire upgrades will increase the rotation rate of a Rotary Cuff, although the values of doing so is limited.
- Obsolete Circuits can be recycled into resources.
- If a tool's ammunition is partially/fully depleted, but hasn't been reloaded yet, taking out and putting in an Upgrade Circuit will replenish the capacity to full again without wasting any clips in the inventory, thus serving as an efficient source of free ammo, especially on harder difficulties.
- The action will only be confirmed if Isaac or Carver goes through the "building sequence".
- The action is carried out for both the upper and lower tools at the same time, but only if this technique is applied to a tool that can attach tips.
- If a tool already had one of its specs maxed out, do NOT try to raise it further, instead reserve the remaining slots for other functions that might help boost its efficiency. Adding DMG Circuits to a maxed out Seeker Rifle won't make it any more powerful. Although this has not been proven.
- However, adding CLP Circuits to a maxed out spec will still increase the clip size as there is no definite cap limit.
- Only craft Circuits when your resource supply is abundant, as some costs a lot more than others. +2 and +3 Circuits requires a hefty amount of Scrap Metal and Tungsten to forge which; on higher difficulties or on Pure Survival, can lead to catastrophic shortage.
Reduces the time it takes to reload. 1 point reduces the reload time by about 13.5%. Tips determine the initial reload time, but Frames and Attachments can modify it.
Rate of Fire (SPD)Edit
Reduces the delay between each shot. 1 point increases Rate of Fire by about 13.5%.
Increases the amount of damage each shot inflicts. How much 1 point is worth is unknown at this time, beyond the fact that the effects of these circuits are affected by your Tool's starting specifications. However, in this game, it's less about how many points of damage are inflicted and more about how many shots it takes to kill a Necromorph.
Increases the ammunition capacity of the weapon. How much 1 point is worth varies depending on the weapon, but the first point is guaranteed to add at least 1 shot. Weapons that have an initial capacity of 4 or less typically require multiple points before they increase in capacity again.
- Extensive testing indicates that the ammo capacity increase per point is approximately 12.5% of the original capacity. (OriginalCapacity * 0.125 = Capacity Increase per Clip Upgrade). This is not 100% accurate, but it's close. For example, if the original capacity is 8, then you can expect the capacity to increase by 1 for every Clip Upgrade point. It does not compound. If the original capacity is 16, then expect the capacity to increase by 2, etc. This only applies after the first Clip Upgrade point.
- Testing also indicates that regardless of the weapon or how many Clip Upgrades are added, fully reloading an empty weapon always uses 4 Universal Ammo. This in turn means that increasing a weapon's ammunition capacity will decrease the amount of ammo used per shot.
- On the other hand, reloading a partially depleted weapon will always use at least 1 Universal Ammo, so reloading a weapon that holds 30 shots when it has 29 shots left is a tremendous waste.
Any lower tool that has at least +6 for Rate of Fire will make the Upper Tool inaccurate.
There are a number of Upgrade Circuits that can be unlocked for subsequent playthroughs, but are not available at any point during your first playthrough.
- +3 CLP Circuit Set - Unlocked by completing the game on Casual difficulty (or harder).
- +3 RLD Circuit Set - Unlocked by completing the game on Normal difficulty (or harder).
- +3 SPD Circuit Set - Unlocked by completing the game on Hard difficulty (or harder).
- +3 DMG Circuit Set - Unlocked by completing the game on Impossible difficulty.
Items missed during your first playthrough can be obtained in a subsequent playthrough. Refer to your Progress and Unlocks menu within the game to see where you missed any. There are also many videos on Youtube showing where every collectible is located. More information on these sets will be added over time.
- EarthGov Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all EarthGov Artifacts.
- Unitologist Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all Unitology Artifacts.
- S.C.A.F. Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all S.C.A.F. Artifacts.
- Alien Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all Alien Artifacts.
- Research Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all Text Logs.
- Comms Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all Audio Logs.
- Crafter's Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all weapon parts.
- Builder's Circuit Set - Unlocked by collecting all blueprints.
- In the Dead Space 3 Demo, +4 circuits were available in the weapon crafting arena. These were taken out before the release but the items and scripts can still be found in the game files.