Gameplay: Implants
  Stocked up on weapons, armor, gear and ammo and you still cant get that mob down even though its as green as grass? Odds are you've missed out on one of the best ways to get your skills up there - implants, yeah baby!      
  Implants are those things that never seems to fit - those things that you don't have enough treatment for or your stats are too low for.

In this guide we hope to present a few ways on how to make your life a lot easier when dealing with implants.

Putting together the implants themselves require Nano Programming, a skill many inhabitants on Rubi-Ka knows well.

In order to make this guide somewhat easier to browse through, we have broken it up into four different sections, namely these:

  Basics of Implants - Click to read
Covering requirements, basic formulas, and some looks on how implants function as what regards to abilities and skills.

  Planning your implants - Click to read
How to put together a working set of implants using Nano Nanny, explaining cluster clashing,
changing requirements, and balancing out clusters.

  Treatment - Click to read
How to get your treatment up high enough to wear good implants and not walk around with
implants the same level as yourself.

  Implanting Requirements - Click to read
Explaining how to squeeze into a lot higher implants than you can with ordinary buffs, by use
of more implants.

So read on and unveil all the mysteries of implants, what joy they can bring and what to do to keep you from tearing your hair off your head in frustration because you are missing a measly 2 treatment for that QL200 Head implant to get in!

  Basics of Implants
In the first section we are going to explain some basic formulas, look at
how implants work and what ability and skill requirements enter into it as well as looking into
how you can get those abilities high enough to implant your newly obtained set of QL200's.

Implant slots

There are three different slots in every implant, called Faded, Bright and Shining. Every cluster has its own unique position in the implant layout - for instance, a Shining Inner Fire cluster will only fit inside the Shining slot of a Right Hand. Many skills also share the same designated slots, so you won't get all the skills you wanted implanted to the max, but will in most cases have to balance things out. A good example for this is the nano-skills Matter Creation and Time & Space, where you would want both skills to be high, but also of similar values. Since both the clusters for these skills occupy pretty much the same slots, here is where balancing comes into play. Balancing uses a very simple formula :

Faded + Bright = Shining

Since both the shining clusters - those giving the highest skill raise - occupies the same shining spot of a head implant, we can simply use one Shining Matter Creation, one Bright Time & Space, and one Faded Time & Space to achieve the same boost to both skills.

Abilities and Skills differences
You may opt to raise base abilities in your implants as well as skills. The value increase for base abilities are always a lot lower than the raise in pure skills. This is for the balance of the game and would make people able to wear armor that would be considered godlike at some levels.

Dribbling-down Effect
This too concerns abilities. As you might have noticed, hitting yourself with an "Intelligence Boost" buff (general program)) will raise some skills a bit. With a high intelligence, your int-based skills are raised slightly. The same goes for implants, which is a good thing to remember as we will return to this in a little while. Sometimes, all you need is maybe just 8 extra agility or Sense and you will be able to fit your implant, simply because it raised treatment by 1 or 2 ticks - this is especially true at lower levels.

Difference in Quality Levels
When you do shop for clusters, there are a couple of things you will need to keep in mind. The most basic one is the 10% rule. If you are shopping for clusters to go into a QL100 implant, make sure the quality level of the cluster is no less than 10% of the implant.
Veteran builders are looking at this text and going "Haha! He's wrong - its actually 14%" and yes, this is true. However I still advocate 10% simply because of another fact you have to remember when you are making implants, or indeed hiring the services of another player to compile them: If your skill is high enough, the QL of the implant will get raised slightly. So if you are indeed getting those QL77 clusters for your QL90 implant, and then combining them, you will find that the first cluster when inserted, makes the QL90 implant jump up to a QL91 implant, thus rendering your clusters too low to be combined - money down the drain. The only exception to this rule is QL200 implants, since these will never go beyond 200, so you can safely get QL172 clusters for all your QL200 implants.

Implant requirements
Implants all requires two things - Leets and a Hacker Tool. No. They require Treatment and a Base Ability. As far as Treatment skill goes - max this on every level. We really really mean it. Never ever make exceptions to this rule. Not even if Billybob is threatening you with a shotgun. Treatment can be upped by a number of ways really, we are only going to list the buffs most common here and later on get down to crunching numbers for this.

Doctors have three different buffs for treatment, a +10, a +35 and a +80. These are not part of the doctor class's primary nanoline however, and most doctors cannot cast the +80 until after level 110. In fact, some consider it a complete waste, they don't get it until 180, choosing to go the way of combat/PvP instead. Adventurers too also have a fairly high level nano that adds +60.

Base Abilities are your Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intelligence, Sense and Psychic. Since the 3 different races have different ease or difficulty raising these, as well as their starting skill level, it might be wise to try to keep within your class stats. However - you will find that some of these abilities have virtually no boosts to raise them. For your convenience, we compiled a short reference chart on how each kind of base ability can be raised by program buffs.

+12 General
+20 Iron Circle (Doctor)
+25 Muscle Booster (MA, does not stack with Iron Circle)
+27 Essence of Behemoth (Enforcer)
+40 Prodigious strength (Enforcer, does not stack with Iron Circle or Muscle Boostler)
+12 General
+20 Iron Circle (Doctor)
+27 Essence of Behemoth (Enforcer)
+12 General
+25 Feline Grace (Agent)
+12 General
+15 Enhanced Senses (Agent)
Intelligence &
+12 General
+40 Odin's Eye (Meta-Phyicist, but high-level and self-only)

There is a very nice formula as what regards to base ability requirements on implants, and that formula is :


Which means that a QL10 implant requires 24 for instance - and a QL100 implant requires 204. Do remember however what we said earlier about implants getting slightly higher when combined by someone with a great skill, thus increasing this as well.

Changing requirements on implants
There is good news however - you can alter the requirements on some implants to better suit you. For instance - if you have a Faded Computer Literacy cluster in your right hand - you might find that this implant will require Intelligence as its base. However - if you put a Shining Martial Arts cluster into the same hand, you will find out that it now requires Agility. As a general rule, each and every skill complies with a base ability, that will influence what base ability the finished implant will require. Add in the strength of the cluster and you get a good idea how it works. Inserting only a faded cluster of Computer Literacy into an implant will make it require Intelligence, but add in a shining Martial Arts and the implant becomes Agility required as the Martial Arts override the Computer Literacy.

One thing you will find out here is that while strength is easily the most buffable ability, its also the hardest one to changing requirements to, which is why most people go with Agility or Stamina implants. This also holds true to the majority of the "best" combat natured implants seemingly use Agility or Stamina.

In some cases you might want to outweigh the choice of a high QL implant against a lower QL implant using a slightly lower base ability if the skills inside the implant are such that you desperately need them, a perfect example of this is the ear-implant, which is really hard to play around with.

  Planning your implants
Planning your implants is crucial. Going into the store thinking "Ooh, I'll just grab some" never
works out. This is a very important aspect of the game and while we are not saying you have to
know all the ins and outs of it, having some form of knowledge about it definitely will make your
life a lot easier.

Getting Nano Nanny
Ah yes. Definitely the best tool there is for planning whole implant setups. Nano Nanny is a program available at

We recommend that you download this program as we will be using it in our examples a lot. This program lets you pick the exact skills you want, and automatically, via means of a priority-list, puts them into your cluster setup as well as helping out with the possibility to change the requirements on your implants. In short? You will want this.

Picking clusters in Nanonanny
As you see - after picking the skills you need by adding them to the right column using the drop-menu and then clicking add, you are able to auto-assign them to your setup. When picking the skills you want, we strongly recommend that you pick the most vital ones only. Don't go "shopping" this early on adding loads and loads of skills. Using a max of 5 skills is a good start really. We are going to use a trader as an example. To follow us on this examples add these clusters (in this order as well) to your priority-table.

Time & Space
Psychological Modifications
Sensory Improvement and Modifications
Max Health

You should now have Nano Nanny present you with the image to the right.

Cluster Clashing!
As you can see, two of our clusters are clashing after you hit the "Auto assign" button. This is normal for clusters, like we mentioned earlier, especially when it comes to tradeskills. The clusters clashing are always marked with a red circle-arrow and an exclamation mark. In our case, we have two clashes - one in shining head, and one in bright eye positions. By clicking on the respective positions you can select the cluster you prefer from the list.

Balancing out the skills
This is where the Faded+Bright=Shining formula really will help you a lot. The optimum goal here is of course to balance all these out. For traders, this means you will want to balance out Time & Space, Psy Mod and Sense Imp. So lets do that. Right now we have all three clusters for Time & Space - which we of course wont need then, so lets drop the shining cluster in the head there and replace it with a Psy Mod cluster. Now we have all three of the Psy Mod clusters in, and only one Sense Imp. We haven't touched the bright eye yet, so lets do that now. Change the bright eye cluster to Sense Imp instead. What we have now is this:

Faded + Shining Psy Mod
Faded + Bright Sense Imp
Faded + Bright Timespace

Now - we have one faded too many for it all to be "balanced out" - the faded Psy Mod. Here's a good tip if you really want to twink your nanoskills up that extra bit - use a Faded Genious cluster in your ear, it will up all of your nanoskills by a small amounts, so by doing this, we have effectively balanced out our skills.

When you are balancing out skills like this - remember to take buffs into account as well. For weapon-users in particular, this is very important. Soldiers, for instance, using a gun that requires 400 Assault Rifle and 300 Fullauto might want to consider there are special buffs for Assault Rifle, but none for Fullauto, so using a shining Fullauto-cluster instead of the Assault Rifle one, can actually get that extra big gun on you.

Selecting Requirements
Selecting and checking requirements we do by clicking on the "Build" tab, bringing up the build-section of Nano Nanny. We only really need to concern ourselves with the lower right part, where it says "Important Attributes".

Lets say that for our trader, we want to use Stamina and Agility for our implants, so we check those two attributes and then click the Build button.


This instantly transfers us to the Results-page where we can see the increase in skills from our implants. Personally, I don't use this page, since it has been known to produce the wrong stats from time to time. We'll make haste into the next Result-tab, the Requirements.

By clicking on the various headlines, you can sort your clusters by requirements, or by implants, or even by type (faded, bright, shining). My personal favourite is "Implant" really, although some prefer it to be by its "Secondary Skill".

As you can see - our setup is mostly agility and stamina already, except for two very naughty implants that will have to be spanked later on, the ear and eye. But hold on! We still have one more tab to check out! The Results - Suggestions tab. As you can see here, to change the requirements on our ear we need to add a Bright Sneaking cluster, and for the eye, we can opt to either put in a Shining Rifle cluster or a Shining Aimed Shot cluster. Both options would be perfectly valid. so return to the Layout tab, add those clusters to your setup, and then go into your Build-tab and click "Build" again - voilá! One set of Agility / Stamina implants. Checking and rechecking like this is never wrong. Please feel free to test a bit with Nano Nanny until you get comfortable with it.

  Getting treatment up there
Like mentioned earlier, treatment is one of the most crucial skills in AO, regardless of which profession you are, simply because of the requirements on implants. Needless to say, you will
need to have NCU's for buffs, as well as some luck, skills, and possibly friends to help you out
when you try to squeeze into implants.


Like mentioned before, docs have wonderful buffs for this. The +80 buff is really something else. Add the +20 general expertise buff, and the +100 you get from the Surgery Clinic and you have +200 already. Since dribbledown on Treatment is based on Intelligence, Sense and Agility, its never a bad thing to hit yourself with those three boosts as well. Possibly even Feline Grace and Enhanced senses.

Ah yes. The medisuit. A complete Omni-Med Suit adds 78 to treatment (remember to wear both sleeves) and complementing it (if you can) with a Biomech helmet for additional +5 treatment isn't too bad either (+10 for a QL200 one, but you will need a ton of PSY and STA for that one). The only drawback here is that you will look like something out of a lampshop. The very same goes for the Biomech cloak as that also gives you yet a slight boost, although doesnt make you look like a walking lamp.

There is a very nifty little rifle in the game, frequently used for this sort of thing, and its called OT-Windchaser M06 Quartz. Its quite rare, existing only between QL22-25 but it adds a very nice +10 boost to treatment. For soldiers, or others with a will to spend IP into Fullauto, Assault Rifle and aimed shot, there is the MTI G-70 Talmo, existing between QL65-74. Requirements are higher, but if you already spent IP into the required skills, this might be a better choice, as it adds 10 just as the Quartz gun does. If you are really stretched on cash, or cant get hold of these guns, you might want to get a trader to go shop in the special Trader only store and pick you up a bottle of Doctor - Sugarfree Rum. It only adds 1 to treatment, but sometimes, thats all it takes, and it has no reqs to wield really, so its very IP non-expensive, and its sugarfree too, so it doesnt rot your teeth.

There are various items that can be used to buff your treatment up a bit, most of these items are items that buff agility, or intelligence however and as a result of dribbledown effects, you get a slight increase in treatment. These items range from the Personal Robotic Brain, to the Virral Triumvirate Egg. All items wearable in your "free" slots buffing Sense, Intelligence or Agility can be used to up your treatment somewhat. One thing that is important to know is that pure Treatment-buff items are usually a lot better than using ability-buff items.
And of course, you haven't forgotten about the newly introduced Treatment Laboratories already have you? If so, please read our guide on how to make one of those.

Note that there are also some profession specific items that can boost treatment (example, the dissasembly clinic for Fixers or Agents in disguise, the Medical Epaulet or Pharmacy Clinics that only doctors can use and so on). This guide will only touch on non-profession specific items though.

So with that in mind, lets see how much we are getting treatment up by without resorting to implanting low QL surgery cluster into the setup..

+80 doctor
+20 general
+5 (or so) from ability boosts buffs, feline grace and enhanced senses
+100 Stationary Treatment Clinic effects
+78 Omni-Med suit
+8-20 Biomech cloak and helmet
+10 Quartz rifle
+10 Treatment Lab
Grand total

Not half-bad if I might say. Of course, holding all those buffs will make it hard for you if you don't have the proper NCU, but then again, if you are level 25 there are always fixers ready to show off their new and highly sought after NCU boost skills, for a little donation to fund.

  Implanting Implants to Implant Implants
Sounds complicated? Its not really as bad as that. In this part, we are going to explain to you
the wonders of using implants to implant other implants.

Ok, so now we have enough treatment to implant half of Rubi-Ka. How do we actually get that trader of ours into the QL200's we want to at level 1, because your base abilities are too low? This is how... no, I'm sorry, I'm lying, that sort of thing just cant be done unless you are using some new form of mathematics involving black holes and creative use of zeroes. However - we will introduce to you the marvel of implanting for the sake of implanting! Welcome to the world of twinks...

The Ability Implants
Ability implants can be a great way to get enough abilities to implant other implants. The key to this if making as many implants dependant on one ability as possible. I would recommend Agility. Yes. Its not the most buffable ability there is, but with the right ability implants, it is really not too hard. The key to implanting is to make implants that are buffing one or two abilities, and relying on a third implant, or buffs, to get these on. To not get too lateral here and try to explain things way ahead, lets take an example.

We need a goal. Lets say we want a level 15 character into QL50 implants. Sounds impossible? Far from it! Cheap? Far from it!

Lets say we make all our implants based on agility. In order for us to get agility as high as possible, we decide to implant it, for the sake of getting the agility-based implants on. Also - we don't want the agility buffing implants to be QL50, because that might be a bit bothersome to get on, and we would need yet another set of implants. We'll keep it simple, and use QL30 implants for the agility-buffing implants. The first thing we would do is to create three implants for agility - Shining, Bright, Faded. These three implants consists of this setup (as checked with Nano Nanny, and tested in-game)

Waist : Bright Life , Faded Agility

Leg : Shining Agility , Bright Stamina , Faded Max Health

Feet : Bright Agility , Faded Ducking

Now. As you probably see if you enter these into Nano Nanny, they are stamina based. To get stamina up to 64 (which is the requirement for QL30 implants) you will need for the level 14 character to get an essence, or an Iron Circle buff. This step isn't too hard. This will add quite a lot of Agility to our character.

The next step would now be to get our QL50 implants in. These would require 110 Agility at most (since QL's are raised, some of the implants after creating them turned out to be QL53). By getting a Feline Grace buff from a friendly agent, as well as the regular boost, we are now at approximately 110 agility, slightly higher actually by a point or so.

This procedure shows how you can insert high quality implants into your frail body and not having to worry about updating them every so often. The procedure itself requires some lateral thinking, but after you get the hang of it, you will be able to think more than just these two steps ahead.

By doing this, in the exact same way and with the exact same agility implants as described here, we took the liberty of testing this theory in-game, and this is the result of the trader we ended up with (not counting the waist, leg, feet mind you):

At level 1 we had QL 10 implants in
At level 14 we had QL53 implants in
At level 32 we had QL93 implants in
At level 50 we had QL115 implants in

This is where we stopped levelling the character as we were starting to feel he was demonically posessed walking around chanting about implants and buffs and acting generally insane. Mind you - this is only one way of implanting implants to implant, and it DOES mean you will have to make some sacrifices - you will have to be prepared to use only the most important buffs for your profession, focusing around a pretty tight amount of skills. For our trader - we chose to go with Martial Art skills and plunder/divest nanos. The rest of the skills range we put aside, in order for all the implants to become agility based.

Implanting missing treatment
Of course, by implanting one thing, like the ability buffing implants before, makes you lose some skills in other areas. The same goes for implanting treatment. There might be times when you are missing a lot of treatment, especially at higher levels, and implanting Surgery-implants as a means to buff this, will be pretty much the only way to raise your treatment by the extra 40 points missing. However - if you have been looking at where the Treatment clusters are located, you will find they are all located in the same positions as some really crucial skills. Excepting the faded right hand cluster, more about that in the next paragraph. Its perfectly possible, even recommended, that you implant a shining and bright Treatment combination to get your implants on, but you will have to realize that since you have to take those off in order to implant your head and eye implant again, you will not be able to get into all your high implants. We recommend that if you are trying to get into QL200 implants or so, that you consider letting your head and eye implant be somewhat lower, maybe as low as 170, all depending on which level you decide to implant them on.

The one cluster you should never omit
Oh, yes.. there is one of these, believe us. The faded treatment in your right hand you will need to have in there, no matter what really. It will help you further down the lines when inserting implants.

Agility is my friend
I admit it - I'm an agility freak, so sue me. Agility is easily one of the easiest ways of implanting what you want. Agility is by far the most friendly implant-base since nearly all implants can be made into agility. If agility isn't your choice, I would recommend Stamina as the next best thing.

Final word
There is no substitute for experience. No guide can ever cover all the ins and outs of implants, and to really get down and dirty yourself, implants will be hard at first - No doubt about it. Everything will be made more and more clear by every implant you make, so have fun out there, test yourself, and remember - you don't have to squeeze into QL200 implants at level 1 to have a good time out there (wait atleast until level 100 =)

Last updated 19. February 2003