Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
Stalker: Clear Sky
Stalker: Call of Pripyat
A Controller is a type of mutant featured in all three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. They are slow, possess very high health, and can play with the minds of their enemies.
The secret service’s genetic experiments on criminals generated a new type of mutant. A rare mutant seen near to the center of the Zone, it bears a superficial resemblance to a humanoid with a disproportionately large head. Despite their appearance, they are highly intelligent, possess good perception and the ability to control the behaviour of less developed creatures. Mature specimens are capable of taking control of a human’s mind. This is a formidable enemy, even the most experienced stalkers are afraid of meeting it. According to some stalkers, Controllers can make it seem that you are surrounded by your friends, but actually you are surrounded by zombies; or it might seem that you are walking on a pathway, but actually you are about to fall off a cliff. Fortunately, this is never done by a Controller to the player.
The Controller’s main ability is to launch a psychic bolt that deals high telepathy/psionic-based damage to the player from a great distance. In addition, Controllers seem to generate a small psy-field that affects the player’s ability to aim and causes anyone close by to slowly lose their mind. There is a high-pitched audio cue before the psychic attack actually happens and avoiding visual contact with the Controller can prevent that from happening.
A player may die if struck by a sufficient number of bolts or if they stay around the Controller for too long. For some reason if the player gets too close to the Controller, it will cease to launch bolts and uselessly try to walk away from him, which is the greatest opportunity of attack. On the “Master” difficulty level, the Controller is extremely dangerous as its bolts have a chance of killing the player in one shot. This is especially common in Shadow of Chernobyl where there is no way to reduce psionic damage through armour or use of artifacts.
In general, Controllers are extremely dangerous and should be eliminated as soon as possible due to their abilities that can cause instant death. The best way of doing this by taking them out at extreme range using sniper rifles, where they cannot retaliate, near cover where you can avoid their psychic bolts, or bluntly just using explosives, a controller will die from a nearby hit with an RPG-7u or 2-3 direct hits with a grenade launcher/hand grenades.
In Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat, one can reduce the potency of the Controller’s Psy attacks by using telepathy protection artifacts like the Moonlight and Stone Flower.
In Call of Pripyat, a Controller demonstrates the ability to communicate with the player through the mind. It also gains a powerful melee attack, and can turn certain NPCs against the player.