Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
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The Ludovico Technique is a passive item.

Effects[ | ]

  • Instead of firing tears, Isaac controls one floating tear that hovers over obstacles. This tear deals constant damage when held in place over an enemy.

Notes[ | ]

  • (except in Repentance) The Ludovico Technique is a special item.
  • Ludovico tear is piercing and spectral by default.
  • Ludovico tear movement speed is determined by the shot speed stat.
  • Ludovico tear hits per second are determined by the tears stat, maxed out at 30 ticks per second.
  • When Boss Death ingameDeath uses his Collectible The Hourglass iconThe Hourglass attack, the tear is slow to respond, but then moves so quickly that it is nearly impossible to use effectively.
  • (except in Repentance) When there are no enemies in a room, the tear slowly floats towards the player.
    • The Collectible Brimstone iconBrimstone ring still follows when the player is outside of it.
  • If multiple Ludovico Techniques are acquired (via (except in Rebirth)Collectible Diplopia iconDiplopia, (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Crooked Penny iconCrooked Penny, (in Repentance)Collectible Bag of Crafting iconBag of Crafting or on a victory lap), then additional smaller tears will orbit the main tear.
    • A maximum of 15 smaller tears can orbit the main tear.
  • The Ludovico tear is larger than normal, but does not gain size from damage as much as normal tears.

Synergies[ | ]

  • Collectible 20 20 icon20/20 / Collectible The Inner Eye iconThe Inner Eye / Collectible Mutant Spider iconMutant Spider: Smaller tears orbit the main tear.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Angelic Prism iconAngelic Prism: While the tear is in contact with the prism, it will fire 4 additional tears in cardinal directions at Isaac's tear rate.
  • Character Azazel iconAzazel: The same effect as with Brimstone, but the damage is halved.
    • Azazel + Collectible Brimstone iconBrimstone: Full damage of the laser ring is regained.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Backstabber iconBackstabber: Much easier to inflict bleeding and double damage on most enemies.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Berserk! iconBerserk!: The tear can't be controlled while berserking, but it can be batted around the room until the effect ends.
    • Character Tainted Samson iconTainted Samson: uses a passive form of Berserk! that works the same way.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance) BookwormBookworm: Causes an additional smaller tear to constantly appear and disappear, teleporting from Isaac's location to the main Ludovico tear in a glitchy manner.
  • Collectible Brimstone iconBrimstone: Tear takes the shape of a very large laser ring. (except in Repentance) The shot speed is ignored. The Tears stat is ignored and the damage is dealt very rapidly at a rate equivalent to 1 tear delay. This ring will always be present and doesn't need charging up like normal Brimstone would.
    • Brimstone + (except in Rebirth)Collectible Incubus iconIncubus: Incubus' Brimstone laser is not affected by Ludovico Technique.
      • (in Repentance) Adds a smaller controllable laser ring in addition to the main one.
    • Brimstone + (in Repentance)Collectible Twisted Pair iconTwisted Pair: Similar effects to Incubus.
    • (in Repentance) Brimstone + Collectible Ipecac iconIpecac: +2 damage, beam explodes when colliding with enemies and obstacles.
    • Brimstone + Collectible A Lump of Coal iconA Lump of Coal: The ring increases in diameter, but not the damage, the farther away it gets from Isaac.
    • Brimstone + Collectible Spoon Bender iconSpoon Bender: The ring reaches out to attack enemies near it, reforming into a ring when no enemies are present.
    • Brimstone + Collectible Technology iconTechnology: The ring is visually identical to a normal Brimstone ring, but the 1.5x damage multiplier applies.
    • Brimstone + Collectible 20 20 icon20/20/Collectible The Inner Eye iconThe Inner Eye/Collectible Mutant Spider iconMutant Spider: no effect.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Compound Fracture iconCompound Fracture: Turns tear into a large bone, which shoots out smaller tears when attacking/touching an enemy. Scattered tears are spectral and piercing.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Dead Eye iconDead Eye: Damage bonus increases until it hits the max of 2x. Since the controllable tear never hits the ground or wall, the bonus cannot be lost.
  • Collectible Dr. Fetus iconDr. Fetus: A bomb is shot out at high speed and can be controlled, another bomb cannot be shot until the previously shot bomb has detonated.
    • (in Repentance) Causes your tears to act like Collectible Epic Fetus iconEpic Fetus and now inherits all synergies Epic Fetus has.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Epiphora iconEpiphora: Moving the tear in one direction for an extended time increases your fire rate.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Explosivo iconExplosivo/Nose GoblinNose Goblin/Collectible Sinus Infection iconSinus Infection: Every tick of damage the Ludovico tear deals has a chance to stick a separate Explosivo/booger tear onto the enemy allowing Isaac to continue controlling the Ludovico tear.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Eye of the Occult iconEye of the Occult: While holding a direction key, the Ludovico tear will constantly shoot out controllable tears in random directions. The air time of these tears scales with the range stat.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Fate's Reward iconFate's Reward: The familiar gains spectral and piercing tears.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Flat Stone iconFlat Stone: The tear starts bouncing at a rate somewhat below Isaac's fire rate, each bounce dealing splash damage.
    • Flat Stone + Collectible Ipecac iconIpecac: Causes a poisonous explosion when it bounces instead of plain splash damage, as per normal Ipecac. The first bounce when entering a room does not explode, allowing moving the tear with less risk of self-damage.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Fruit Cake iconFruit Cake: The tear will cycle through different effects, based on Isaac's tear rate.
    • (in Afterbirth †) If Isaac stays in one room long enough the Ludovico tear will often fill the room with many stationary (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Trisagion iconTrisagion tears that last until Isaac leaves the room. This combination can easily clear most rooms.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance) Character The Forgotten iconThe Forgotten: The tear follows the Forgotten when in its skeleton form. It can be hit with its melee attack to propel it, making it do more damage. When switching to the Soul, the tear behaves as normal.
    • The Forgotten + (except in Rebirth)Collectible Multidimensional Baby iconMultidimensional Baby: The second tear acts exactly like the first and can also be hit to propel it.
    • The Forgotten + Multi-shot: Switching back from the Soul to the Forgotten will only remove the main tear, thus creating infinitely persisting tears on the screen. Repeating this process allows suspending arbitrarily high amount of tears.
  • Collectible Godhead iconGodhead: The tear homes towards nearby enemies and gains a large damaging aura. However, the aura cannot damage an enemy that is in contact with the actual tear; barring a high tear rate, it may be better to keep the aura on the enemies instead of the tear.
  • (in Rebirth and Afterbirth) GuppyGuppy: A large number of flies is rapidly deployed whilst controlling the Ludovico tear.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Holy Light iconHoly Light: The Ludovico tear will release holy beams on itself periodically while touching an enemy.
  • (in Afterbirth and Afterbirth †)Collectible Incubus iconIncubus: Isaac gains a controlled tear while also being able to shoot normally with Incubus. Incubus's tears gain piercing and spectral properties.
    • (in Repentance) Incubus creates a second smaller Ludovico Technique tear instead, which can both be controlled by Isaac. The second tear is slightly delayed/ outside of the main tear. This may cause it to not hit enemies sometimes.
    • (in Repentance) Character Lilith iconLilith: Lilith's incubus will fire a smaller Ludovico Technique tear. For each doubled incubus caused by (except in Rebirth)Collectible Box of Friends iconBox of Friends, there will be an additional Ludovico Technique tear that spawns on Lilith's location.
  • (in Afterbirth †)Collectible Lead Pencil iconLead Pencil: The tear blinks red, but the effect is entirely cosmetic.
    • (in Repentance) Tear barrages are launched in cardinal directions, even when not controlling the tear. Proc rate depends on fire rate.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Lodestone iconLodestone: The single floating tear will flash grey to indicate that the magnetism might apply on hit. Like Strange Attractor, enemies tagged with magnetism will also draw the floating tear towards said enemy.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Loki's Horns iconLoki's Horns: The Ludovico tear will sometimes shoot 4 smaller piercing + spectral tears in each cardinal direction. This chance scales with luck and goes up to 100% at 20 Luck.
  • Collectible Lost Contact iconLost Contact: Tear will block enemy tears without disappearing.
  • Collectible A Lump of Coal iconA Lump of Coal: The tear becomes larger the further away it is from Isaac, increasing in damage.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Mom's Eye iconMom's Eye: The Ludovico tear has a chance on each damage tick to fire a smaller piercing + spectral tear in a random direction. This chance scales with luck and goes up to 100% at 10 Luck.
  • (in Rebirth and Afterbirth) Collectible Mom's Wig iconMom's Wig: The item causes spiders to spawn rapidly when moving the tear.
    • (in Repentance) Causes Spiders to rapidly spawn until the cap of 5 is reached.
  • Collectible Monstro's Lung iconMonstro's Lung: Tear turns red and does more damage.
    • (except in Rebirth) Tear becomes a cluster of variously sized tears spread over a small area. The tears move at the same speed when controlled but constantly move around each other.
  • Collectible My Reflection iconMy Reflection: The shot speed multiplier causes the tear to move significantly faster, allowing it to catch up to any fast-moving enemies.
  • Collectible Mysterious Liquid iconMysterious Liquid: Creep continuously oozes from underneath the tear.
  • Collectible The Parasite iconThe Parasite: Shoots out smaller tears when attacking an enemy. Scattered tears are spectral and piercing.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Pause iconPause: The tear deals damage, even if the enemies are stopped. Moving the tear unpauses the enemies.
  • Collectible Strange Attractor iconStrange Attractor: Enemies, items and even most bosses will be sucked to the single floating tear, dealing constant damage while keeping Isaac well away from harm, making this combination extremely effective in almost all scenarios.
  • (in Repentance) Character Tainted Azazel iconTainted Azazel: The same effect as Brimstone, dealing full damage (Tainted Azazel's default laser damage is halved unless (in Repentance)Collectible Hemoptysis iconHemoptysis is used first). Tainted Azazel can no longer use Hemoptysis.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Tear Detonator iconTear Detonator: The tear explodes into six smaller tears, then reappears next to the player.
  • Collectible Tech.5 iconTech.5: The tear controls as usual, and Isaac fires the laser towards the tear relative to his position, rather than in the direction the player is moving the tear. The laser becomes spectral.
  • Collectible Technology iconTechnology: The tear becomes a large laser ring, which visually looks like a shot fired by Collectible Tech X iconTech X. Shot speed is ignored. The Tears stat is ignored and the damage is dealt very rapidly at a rate equivalent to 1 tear delay.

Interactions[ | ]

Overrides The Ludovico Technique:

Overridden by The Ludovico Technique:

Overridden by The Ludovico Technique, other than stat changes:

Other interactions:

  • Collectible Blue Baby's Only Friend icon???'s Only Friend / Collectible Robo-Baby 2.0 iconRobo-Baby 2.0: The tear and familiar(s) travel together, as they are controlled in the same way. Because the familiars' travel speeds are not affected by Isaac's shot speed, they only travel in the same spot when Isaac has exactly the amount of shot speed to sync them up.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Almond Milk iconAlmond Milk: The tear will rapidly teleport in a small area around it, making it difficult to aim.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Bag of Crafting iconBag of Crafting: Swiping the bag at the Ludovico tear will bat it in the direction of the knockback.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Bird's Eye iconBird's Eye: Isaac will occasionally shoot a flame towards the Ludovico tear.
  • Collectible Blood Clot iconBlood Clot / Collectible Chemical Peel iconChemical Peel: The tear steadily cycles between red and "normal," dealing more damage when red.
  • (except in Repentance)Collectible Chocolate Milk iconChocolate Milk: The tear can't be charged, but reduces Isaac's tear delay by 20%.
  • Collectible The Common Cold iconThe Common Cold: The tear pulses green, poisoning enemies.
  • (in Rebirth and Afterbirth)Collectible Explosivo iconExplosivo: Not recommended as the tear will alternate between "normal" and black. If it touches an enemy, it will stick to it, grow in size, then explode. The tear can not damage anything or be controlled when stuck to an enemy.
    • (in Afterbirth †) The tear will grow very quickly when stuck to an enemy and pop without dealing damage, instead of the normal Explosivo delay and explosion.
  • (in Rebirth and Afterbirth)Collectible Fire Mind iconFire Mind: Tears retain the ability to ignite enemies and explode. Tears reappear at Isaac's location after exploding.
    • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance) Tears do not explode on contact with an enemy.
  • (except in Repentance)Collectible Ghost Pepper iconGhost Pepper / Collectible Red Candle iconRed Candle: Created fires will destroy the tear and cause it to reappear at Isaac's location.
    • (in Repentance) Fires generated by both items do not interact with the Ludovico tear. However Ghost Pepper will create fires quickly when the Tear is moved.
  • Homing Tears: The Ludovico tear will slowly move towards an enemy. This can make it harder to control towards a different enemy or for enemies that hide underground.
  • Collectible Mom's Knife iconMom's Knife: The tear becomes a controllable knife that deals double Isaac's damage. Effective shot speed is lowered. Tears stat is ignored and the damage is dealt at a rate equivalent to 4 tear delay.
  • (in Rebirth and Afterbirth)Collectible Multidimensional Baby iconMultidimensional Baby: No effect.
    • (in Afterbirth †) An additional Ludovico tear is created when it passes through Multidimensional Baby, at the start of every room, and persists like the Ludovico tear itself. However, it cannot be controlled; it instead slowly follows Isaac.
      • (in Repentance) The extra tear stays completely still where it appeared.
  • (in Afterbirth †)Nose GoblinNose Goblin/Collectible Sinus Infection iconSinus Infection: Not recommended as the tear can occasionally stick to an enemy. This leaves Isaac defenseless until the enemy dies or a minute has passed causing the tear to pop and a new one to appear.
  • (except in Repentance)Collectible Notched Axe iconNotched Axe: The Ludovico tear cannot be moved while Notched Axe is held up.
    • (in Repentance) The tear can be moved by swings, without any special effect happening to it.
  • Collectible Proptosis iconProptosis: The closer the tear floats to Isaac, the larger it is. The farther away, the smaller.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible Pupula Duplex iconPupula Duplex: Decreases the tear size by taking the form of a Pupula Duplex tear; however, it travels faster.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Sulfuric Acid iconSulfuric Acid: The Ludovico tear occasionally becomes acidic and can destroy objects.
  • (in Repentance) Character Tainted Lilith iconTainted Lilith: Collectible Gello iconGello shoots a smaller Ludovico tear which disappears if he retreats back into Lilith. However, the automatic aiming of Gello interacts with the manual control of Ludovico, making the tear uncontrollable while fighting enemies.
  • (except in Repentance)Collectible Technology 2 iconTechnology 2: The tear controls as usual, and Isaac fires the laser towards the tear relative to his position, rather than in the direction the player is moving the tear. Technology 2's damage penalty still applies. The laser becomes spectral.
    • (in Repentance)Technology 2's tears penalty applies instead of damage.
      • Technology 2 + (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Analog Stick iconAnalog Stick: Laser is fired directly at the tear while it is being moved, instead of being limited to cardinal directions.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Technology Zero iconTechnology Zero: No effect without additional items. Extra tears orbiting the main one or familiar tears will generate arcs to the controlled tear.
  • (except in Rebirth)Collectible The Wiz iconThe Wiz: A smaller Ludovico tear will appear and revolve around the main one. Also, the Ludovico tear moves diagonally, up is up-right, down is down-left, left is left-up, right is right-down. This can be counteracted by holding the keys or d-pad in its associated path (up-right to make it go up and so forth with the other keys).
  • Collectible Tiny Planet iconTiny Planet: Tear orbits around Isaac, however, the orbit can be grown or shrunken, sped up or slowed down by using the firing keys.
  • Collectible Tough Love iconTough Love / (in Repentance)JawbreakerJawbreaker: Tear occasionally flicks to being a tooth, which deals 3.2x Isaac's tear damage, before immediately returning to being a normal tear. The frequency at which the tear very briefly transforms into a tooth increases with Luck, permanently becoming a tooth at 9 Luck. (in Repentance)JawbreakerJawbreaker does not change the tear appearance.
  • Collectible Trinity Shield iconTrinity Shield: The controls of the tear and the shield overlap, making it impossible to consistently control both.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Tropicamide iconTropicamide: No size increase effect. Ludovico tear size scales with damage, and not with size multipliers.

In-game Footage[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • The Ludovico Technique is a reference to Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange and Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation, where it was referred to as "Ludovico's Technique." The technique involved headgear which forced the patient's eyelids open (hence "Controlled Tears") while watching violent films under nausea-inducing drugs, conditioning them against violence.
  • It is possible to control the tear with the mouse; just open the options.ini file in C:\Users\USER\Documents\My Games\Binding of Isaac Repentance and change MouseControl=0 to MouseControl=1.
  • The sound of firing a tear with The Ludovico Technique can be heard in the splash screen of a boss room, before it is possible to control your character.

Gallery[ | ]

Bugs[ | ]

Bug Bug! (in Afterbirth and Afterbirth †) Mom's Knife + Collectible Technology iconTechnology: Creates an uncontrollable laser ring centered on Isaac. The knife becomes stuck under Isaac and cannot be fired.
Bug Bug! (in Repentance) Inside any crawlspace, including the Rotgut fight or the Beast and Ultra Harbingers fight, the tear generated by Ludovico Technique will disappear and reappear on top of Isaac occasionally.
Bug Bug! (in Repentance) At exactly 30.00 fire rate, the tear can only tick once on an enemy, potentially causing softlock due to lack of dps.
Bug Bug! (in Repentance) If Isaac is holding fire and has Collectible Technology 2 iconTechnology 2 while pulling out Collectible Urn of Souls iconUrn of Souls, another Technology 2 laser is created in the direction being fired that persists until the urn is put away or the room is left.


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