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I've always considered teleportation to be one of the most under-rated super powers in all ways, but at the moment I'm thinking through the ramifications of personal teleportation as a superpower in fights both large and small. The "best" use I've seen for teleportation would possibly be Nightcrawler assaulting the White House in X-Men 2

In that case, teleportation is being used simply to give a large advantage in an otherwise normal fight. I suspect though that there are ways to use teleportation itself as a weapon, aka to injure/kill more directly than simply moving yourself around the battlefield to stab/punch/kick from unexpected locations. The only example I can think of where teleportation was used more directly as a weapon would be in Jumper when a Teleporter (aka someone who can teleport) teleported a moving bus directly at Samuel L. Jackson's character.

At the risk of becoming too broad, I'm interested in ways in which personal teleportation might be used as a weapon in "fights" both small and large, i.e.:

  1. Killing/incapacitating individuals
  2. Killing/incapacitating groups of men
  3. If possible, mass destruction on a large scale (blowing up cities?)

Obviously the options available to a Teleporter will depend on the mechanics of the teleportation. This is world building though, and I am indeed trying to build a world, so I'd like to leave the precise mechanics open. I would accept whatever mechanics allow my character to do the most damage. In general though, I'd limit it to two rules:

  1. The Teleporter can teleport themselves and/or any object (including people) they are touching, with a total mass limit of roughly double their own mass
  2. People/things/self can only be teleported to places which the Teleporter has previously visited in person

Given these limitations, just how much damage can my Teleporter do, and what will be an effective strategy to quickly end fights?

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    $\begingroup$ You can always end fights by fleeing. Though this might not be your desired answer, it is probably the best technique if you're not a martial arts master. $\endgroup$ – Erik Mar 26 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Renan So if "absolute" velocity is maintained during teleportation, then you simply teleport someone to a different latitude or longitude and they instantly die... Sounds helpful! I guess that also means that the Teleporter is limited to short-distance "jumps" themselves - probably limited to teleporting within the horizon. $\endgroup$ – conman Mar 26 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ I am pretty sure there was an xmen movie where some bad dude with Nightcrawlery abilities was picking up government guys, teleporting with them, then leaving them to fall about 500 feet above the ground. Not super creative but effective. $\endgroup$ – Willk Mar 26 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ Anyone else read the question and then start missing massive QuakeWorld frag fests and the sounds of the teleporter rending people in half when 2 bodies try to occupy the same space at the same time? $\endgroup$ – ivanivan Mar 26 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ If his powers are related to his own mass, it sunds like it would be an advantage for the Teleporter to eat a lot. Being bulky or even morbidly obese would mean being able to teleport huge objects or even small cars. $\endgroup$ – kikirex Mar 26 at 17:50

17 Answers 17

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The following assumes that, like in most universes, you cannot simply teleport part of an object or person. That would be... too easy.

Another assumption is that the power is "designed" to be safe for the user, so momentum, pressure etc. are adjusted reasonably well to the target frame of reference.

The environment is your greatest weapon

There aren't many threats that cannot be dealth with by teleporting them into mid-air, the deep sea, space, a sealed mine or a prison cell. Anything your character touches can be considered out of the fight. Sure, some of these locations are more exotic than others, but even if you want to keep the ability secret and cannot accept help from others, a sufficiently effective death trap can be improvised on a budget by e.g. renting a boat, buying a plane ticket or just crossing over a deep pit with a length of rope (that you remove afterwards).

Conventional weapons and transportation work just as well

Logistical limitations don't apply to you. Screw getting your own hands dirty, just provide an army of your choice with a steady stream of personnel, supplies and intel. That'll do more than a single person ever could.

If you don't like other people risking their necks for your cause, get a fast vehicle (refueling at will means unlimited range) or at least heavy body armor for "lucky bullet" protection and stock up on heavy weapons. You don't need to reload, you can switch between weapons and angles of attack pretty much at will and no one can ever take any territory from you because the second you feel like it, they'll sit on a pile of armed bombs. Still too risky? Make contact once, then teleport home and port in a steady stream of drones.

"Suicide" bombings are also an option, but I don't like those as much because you still need to get in range, and as we've already established, anything within touch range is doomed anyway. And anything a person could reach, a teleported missile or drone will have a much easier time with.

Never underestimate gravity

Assuming you're

  • ok at math
  • able to retain momentum when teleporting
  • able to afford a handful of trips to orbit

nowhere is really safe from orbital bombardment. You'll have to experiment a bit to work out what types of ammunition work best but if you want to flatten a city, that's probably the way to go.

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    $\begingroup$ If you can teleport to where you've been with the momentum you had last time you were there, getting to orbit is incrementally is reasonably cheap. $\endgroup$ – Joshua Mar 26 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ "That would be... to easy." Indeed. $\endgroup$ – reirab Mar 26 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ To add to your list of environmental factors, teleporting someone into the environment - i.e. half way into a wall or directly into the middle of a block of concrete would be pretty effective as well. Or just teleport half of someone to somewhere else. $\endgroup$ – Aaron Lavers Mar 27 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ You can't keep your momentum. You'd be smashed up every time you move from the poles to the equator (or anyhow else). Maybe teleport a few km at a time? $\endgroup$ – RudolfJelin Mar 27 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ @RudolfJelin That's why I wrote "momentum, pressure etc. are adjusted reasonably well to the target frame of reference." Whether that's by fast, incremental teleports or some other measure. Doesn't mean you can't retain some relative momentum, though. $\endgroup$ – Ruther Rendommeleigh Mar 27 at 10:25
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So like Friendlysociopath used, I will be borrowing from anime to answer.

A Certain Scientific Teleporter

In the series A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun we're introduced to a character who can teleport. They're a part of a neighborhood watch-like program (so they don't go about killing people) but they have an unusually high combat incident count. Their main line of attack is to teleport metal darts into the clothes of opponents and pin them to surfaces. Usually they knock them against the surfaces first (satisfying a more narrow application of the "Must have visited this place before" clause). But they have a brevity of application to their powers.

  1. They can teleport objects into people. So if you're a teleporter looking to just end any 1v1 engagement, teleport a needle into their heart or brain. Done. Assuming the "visited this place before" means only that you've physically seen it. But if we're more specific (e.g. you've had to have touched the place before") then we still have the standard option of restraining people with heavy objects once you've touched them.

  2. They can teleport material into structural supports and bring down buildings. Again, assuming you just have to physically have seen your target place before then you can just teleport glass panes from a building's windows to their structural supports and down goes a couple hundred million dollars not to mention the mass panic. Although, this involves changing the orientation of an object in teleportation. Another limitation. But if you have to touch all of the target you're teleporting to then bringing down buildings is a little out of reach. However, you can still cause mass panic because...

  3. You can teleport double your mass to the tops of buildings and have them come crashing down. 140kg dropping 20 stories will hurt a great deal. Again, if you only have to have seen the target, dropping 140kg asphalt balls from the cloud line will be incredibly damaging depending on cooldown times or other physical limitations. The character in question doesn't do this but a Rival teleporter does try to do this to crush the character.


So you have options in combat when it comes to being a teleporter. As others have said you can really abuse the rule and win a lot of fights just by sending an opponent free solo skydiving or jamming their own weapon into their brain. On a less lethal note, dropping 140kg's of sand on someone will buy you time to incapacitate them or kill them. Teleporting 140kg's of industrial staples will pin someone to a surface or fewer metal stakes will do the same. Even just threatening teleporting a needle into someone's brain will stop a lot of fights.

Against groups, like IT Alex stated, teleport them away till you get down to a manageable number then start incapacitating or killing as you see fit. If you have to fight full groups, hope for the environment to be in your favor and teleport holes into the ground in front of people and use that dirt to cover someone. Or start throwing javelins at people.

And if you're just in it for the mass panic, you have too many options to count. You can't blow up cities but you can royally mess with them. Teleport small pieces of bridge supports away, drop asphalt boulders from on high, ruin electrical substations, even destroy buildings. You can cause quite a bit of damage in a very short amount of time with little effort.

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    $\begingroup$ Since you are assuming they don't need to see where they are teleporting, I'd also add teleporting something into the ground below a structure or into the infrastructure, such as natural gas or electrical lines. Anything sufficiently large will cause a massive explosion of earth, besides the disruption of the services. $\endgroup$ – computercarguy Mar 26 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ The crux really lies on how you apply "I've visited this place in person before". This is why I gave two distinct ways to deal with problems. If we speak conservatively and you have to have touched the object and the target is a lot different than just having to have seen the target in the past. In this case, if we're being conservative about mass destruction, you can't really teleport something into the ground far enough for it to hit infrastructure (maybe artillery drop it). But liberally you can. It all depends on the rules. $\endgroup$ – GuidingOlive Mar 26 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ Even if we aren't using mass destruction, simply a large mass appearing inside another mass will cause all kinds of stresses that will react similar to an explosion. The harder the material the better, in this case, since a sandy ground might just deform some, but even sufficiently hard limestone should rupture quite significantly. And yes, this would be liberal with where something can be transported, such as the center of a solid object. $\endgroup$ – computercarguy Mar 26 at 21:03
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Air Drop

In X-men: First Class, a guy with Nightcrawler's powers kills people by teleporting into the air with them and then dropping them while he teleports back down. Since he can teleport right up to someone to grab them, there isn't much defense against this. You specify only places he has been, but as long as he's gone skydiving even once, this shouldn't be a problem.

(Others mentioned that specific attack in the comments section. I just noticed, even thought they posted before I did. Credit should go to @Willk and @BKLassen. Or, should I just delete that part?)

Partial Teleport

If your teleporter doesn't need to take the whole object or person with him, he could put his hand on a guy, and teleport away with only part of them. Instant decapitations, or 'Disarming'.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm just considering the implications of a Nightcrawler-like character who has gone skydiving exactly once and continues to use that strategy every time he's in a fight... The number of bodies found piled up in that one spot would start to get a little suspicious... $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Mar 26 at 17:22
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    $\begingroup$ All the person has to do is take a flight across the Atlantic or Pacific. Heck, even a cruise ship will do but it's not as certain. Then they can teleport themselves and the target somewhere where no one will find the body. With the airline flight, the teleporter would be so high that he would have to deal with very low airpressure and extreme cold for a fraction of a second. Off of a cruise ship, the kill isn't certain since they arrive closer to the water and in a shipping lane. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 26 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ The Earth is rotating and orbiting the Sun, and the Milky Way (with the Earth and the Sun in it) is also rotating. Given the density of space, the location he has been to is now with very high probability in outer space, and humans can't survive the cold and the lack of air for more than a minute. This is practical for taking someone to outer space, and thus quickly killing them, but then teleporting back to a safe place will be a problem. $\endgroup$ – pts Mar 26 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @pts Currently we have no absolute reference frame, that is, no point in space which is absolutely "not moving". (We may find one in the future, but probably not.) So we only have relative reference frames to choose from. At the very least, Teleporters will teleport with reference to the Earth, if not with reference to their destination e.g. a moving vehicle. $\endgroup$ – Martin Carney Mar 26 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinCarney We have no absolute frame (although the cosmic microwave background might provide one), but we can certainly distinguish an inertial frame from a rotating frame - and the earth is a rotating frame. $\endgroup$ – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 27 at 11:32
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The Teleporter can teleport themselves and/or any object (including people) they are touching, with a total mass limit of roughly double their own mass People/things/self can only be teleported to places which the Teleporter has previously visited in person

If you've ever watched Darker Than Black the protagonist faces someone with a teleportation power. Except instead of teleporting themselves they teleport a fist-sized bunch of matter- which they typically use to swap pieces of building with the heart of the person they're trying to assassinate.

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  • $\begingroup$ "People/things/self can only be teleported to places which the Teleporter has previously visited in person" -- I'm pretty sure the Teleporter has not physically been inside their intended victim before, so swapping out internal organs (or even swapping things in) isn't going to happen I don't think. $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Mar 26 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ @DoktorJ, this is not enought to stop this. If you can observe an empty spot you can teleport somethign to this exact spot. If Something is now in that exact spot, it's its problem. $\endgroup$ – xdtTransform Mar 27 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ The asker never indicated what would happen if the Teleporter attempts to teleport into a space now occupied by something else. I'd imagine that if "telefragging" were possible (a la Quake series games where teleporting into a space where someone else was results in the latter player's instant and gruesome death) this would have been mentioned. If that were the case, then the Teleporter would be nigh unstoppable, as no one would be able to approach to any space within line of sight of them so long as they have any matter at hand (even air? embolism, anyone?). $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Mar 27 at 14:27
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Well, one less lethal thing no one else has pointed out is instant incarceration. The teleporter visits a jail cell or a bank vault, which is then locked. The teleporter doesn't even need to be let out, of course, because they can take themselves out at any time.

Once in conflict with someone, the teleporter need only touch their opponent to teleport them away, into the locked cell or vault. (Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.)

For a more lethal version, the teleporter need only enter an incinerator when it's not on, and then have it fired up after they leave. (Tap. You're toast.) This idea could be extended to any dangerous environment where the danger can be easily turned off and on: inside an nuclear reactor, directly above an industrial metal shredder, a large container filled with acid or toxic gas, etc. Heck, the teleporter could even go in a deep sea submarine once, and then teleport people to the bottom of the ocean.

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    $\begingroup$ The pragmatist in me would book a trip on the deepest submersible possible. It would guarantee death (I think the sudden pressure change would kill someone long before drowning) and dispose of the body simultaneously. However, I would rather book a trip into space so I can drop them into LEO. I expect they would fall back to Earth and leave a mess for people to investigate, but it would be way cooler! Besides, who doesn't want to go to space? $\endgroup$ – conman Mar 27 at 0:42
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    $\begingroup$ The novel Jumper uses this strategy, except with an inaccessible cave that opens over a cliff. (Please don't mention the film. Very good book, but a terrible film.) $\endgroup$ – Graham Mar 27 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @conman - the sudden pressure change would be comparitively harmless. The air in the lungs would be compressed to roughly zero volume (well, tenth volume at 100m). That might lead to broken ribs, but not death. ... just checked, record free dive is to 200m so that's clearly survivable without injury; there are tourist trips down to 600m though which might break bones. It would still be the drowning that kills. $\endgroup$ – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 27 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinBonner Hey now, don't go taking all the fun out of it for me! I guess I'll just drop people off in LEO then. If I were on the other side and given a choice I'd personally prefer to suddenly find myself in space rather than under the ocean. Drowning is on the bottom of my list in terms of ways to die... In space you at least lose consciousness extremely quickly. $\endgroup$ – conman Mar 27 at 12:22
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This power would be extraordinarily useful. Anywhere this person has ever been, they can make "anything they touch" appear there.

Convenient death trap: arrange to send folks to kill zones

Make an expedition to the North Pole (which will kill probably even many supers unprepared to be sent there in very short order). Take an airplane ride with a window seat, then simply teleport anyone the person wants to get rid of there.

Or just get a secret lair. Build a sub-sub basement. Surround it with chain link fencing, then flood it with water. Teleport people there to drown. Much less public that way. People just disappear and aren't found in spectacular, publicity-generating ways (like falling out of the sky randomly over the Midwest, or a huge pile of people killed via exposure being found at the North Pole).

If the user doesn't want to kill their enemies, and has resources, like they're Batman, build a prison. Hire a bunch of superpowered guards. Spend a few minutes locked inside a 2-foot by 2-foot square closet surrounded by powerproof glass, and you've got an intake cell where your new inmate materializes. Repeat, and you can handle multiple incoming bad (or I suppose good) guys simultaneously.

Anywhere the user has, or might have ever, been is not secure

Anywhere they can break into, or might have ever broken into, is not secure. Any place they might have flim-flammed their way past the front desk in disguise (think civvies), even briefly, is not secure. Any place they've ever worked cannot be considered secure. Note that the list of such places is vast because you won't know where they've been. This remains true as long as they live.

They can take a tour of the White House, even the unsecured parts, in disguise. Twenty years later, they could decide 'screw this, time to assassinate the President' and now you've got a problem. They can take a job as the janitor of an office building where someone they're targeting works. Failing everything else, they take a job working for these guys and then pretty much learn how to get anywhere they want.

Seriously, watch the video, it exposes how much even 'secure' locks mostly aren't. All this person needs to do is pop a door when nobody's around, or maybe when people are around and you just do the 'elevator repairman' schtick (again from the video).

TL;DR - This person can get almost anywhere. And if they can, then anyone who can engage their services can also. If you want in, and either can pay, or convince them to help you, a plan can almost certainly be arranged to give the teleport user the ability to get your entire crew in. This person can also assassinate a lot of folks by finding their office, then teleporting hand grenades or nerve gas canisters or even assassin droids in.

Devastating force multiplier

Combat effectiveness is not all about kicking ass and taking names. Some things don't directly bring the thunder, but are good at making the thunder your other folks have got more effective. The military has a name for this; they call it a force multiplier.

In addition to the direct usefulness of teleportation in a fight (being untouchable, being able to kill at a distance, being able to take people prisoner just by touching them, etc) teleportation is a devastating force multiplier.

The way you have set this up, teleportation is a highly effective force multiplier, because the teleporter can bring a whole team of capes along for the ride. And they can get to the scene much quicker than if they had to take the Batplane or whatever. As established above, if the teleporter spends a lot of their time travelling around, considering it their job to spend a lot of their 'off' time expanding their potential teleportation destinations, they (and their backup) will be able to almost instantly appear to disrupt the plans of their adversaries.

Instead of being able to count on it taking (say) between 20 minutes and an hour after the alarm goes off, until the Superfriends show up (because even if they're all on duty right that second they still have to physically go to the place), with Mister Panopticon on their side, they can appear in under a minute. I.e. if you want to attack something they care about defending, you have to assume they will be on you immediately. Smash-and-grabs, where the idea is you're gone before anyone shows up, are out.

Likewise, if the Superfriends want in, you have to assume they can get in anytime they want with no warning. They will simply teleport a whole crew of heavy-hitters somewhere inside your security perimeter. You can't rely on being able to buy time, keeping them tied up at the front door so they don't get into the sensitive parts of your facility. You can't really have a security 'perimeter', you have to have very high security basically throughout any facility you want to keep these folks out of,.

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    $\begingroup$ Have their 'secret identity' - or one of their secret identities - explicitly be as a pen tester. Then you can essentially hand wave their ability to get somewhere that other folks would really rather they didn't. $\endgroup$ – Dayton Williams Mar 27 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ I'd suggest ice cubes with anthrax instead of hand grenades. Slightly harder to obtain, but they leave less evidence behind. You don't want to tip the authorities that something fishy is going on. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Mar 27 at 7:57
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Unfortunately, the limitation of places he can teleport to by having to have been there at some point makes him a better defensive fighter than an offensive. Having sufficient time to prepare, he can literally attack from anywhere within an area.

One on One.

Your teleporter should teleport twice his mass in an entangling object over a wide area (nets, barbed wire, fishing line) to immobilize his opponent. Then, teleport a pointy weighted object on top of them. Having been entangled they will have a hard time dodging and each dodge they succeed will make them more entangled and less able to dodge the next one. Alternatively, teleport behind them and touch them to teleport them to a location that you have sky-dived (without a parachute).

Multiple opponents.

Survival should be paramount in a one on many fight. Teleport and touch a combatant and put them literally anywhere other than the fighting location until it is 1v1. You could even use the mid-air approach from previously. The key is to not fight disadvantageous fights and instead make every fight fair or in your favor.

Mass Destruction.

No more so than the average person. The only caveat is that what would normally be a suicide attack for most people is now survivable via teleportation.

Most people would be unable to track and/or stop your teleporter. If he can teleport as fast as he can think then he would be able to (with practice) eliminate people within seconds.

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    $\begingroup$ Kamikaze teleporters sounds cool. $\endgroup$ – Malkev Mar 26 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ Huh, You made me think of something. What if he concentrates hard enough to constantly teleport anything that touches him for the most miniscule of moments, therefore gaining invulnerability from shrapnel and bullets alike because they will not have enough time to impart energy! $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Mar 26 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ That implies that he has super reflexes too. $\endgroup$ – Malkev Mar 27 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Malkev More like a continuous stream of teleportation instead of reacting to a hit. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Mar 27 at 12:11
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My answer works on Three assumptions:

1: The person using the teleportation power can teleport parts of a object he/she is touching.

And/Or

2: There is little/no cool-down in-between teleportation attempts.

And/Or

3: If the teleporter can choose how precise the "location he has been" part is.

Most organisms cannot function in combat without a brain. So if assumption #1 is correct, then you can not only quickly kill them, but also merely incapacitate them by removing things such as clothing, weapons, limbs, or possibly just all the air in their lungs.

All people need a defense, whether it is armor, wits, luck, or a combination of said three. Teleporters have a fourth if assumption #2 works: By constantly teleporting the area near them away, you create what essentially is a wormhole that they control in order to not only prevent damage, but maybe also send the damage right back at the aggressors!

If you have in combat and holding a sword (example item), you could teleport the hilt of the sword right next to the opponent's forehead, with the blade orientated towards the brain. Voila! Sword has now been stabbed though whatever armor the guy has, and is now in the brain.

This answer focuses on on-on-one and can be extended to one-on-multiple.

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Other answers have covered fairly well the options for one to one combat, and even vs groups. This answer poses a solution to mass destruction.

The only restriction is enabling partial teleportation.

Here's a few ideas, depending on how extreme you want to go.

1) Shockwaves. Teleportation should always produce a shockwave. Consider, what happens to the air that used to occupy the space the teleported object now does? As you've defined the ability (must be touching thing to teleport) they could not possibly swap the air and the teleported object. So the air must remain, pushed out at hyper velocity by the sudden presence of something teleporting in. Boom, shockwave!

2) Since you are already moving matter out of the way (air) what happens if you teleport an object into something more... substantial? Imagine teleporting a 200 pound block directly into the same space already occupied by another 200 pound block. A rather impressive explosion should result as most of the chemical bonds in whatever used to be there are suddenly broken all at once. At the very least, it generates a shockwave as before, only with a large amount of shrapnel mixed in.

3) Let's take his to the logical extreme: use simulations partial teleportations to compress an object down to a single point. Literally. Depending on how precise and accurate your teleporter can be, this should result in a nuclear explosion, as the an entire 200 pounds of atomic nuclei are forced into the same space, destabilizing them and causing them to break up. This should result in a nuclear explosion. Depending on material teleported, it may just result in irradiating the surrounding area with exotic particles (you might even want this outcome, kill the people, leave the buildings...). Alternatively, it also might form a black hole and destroy the Earth. Be careful with this one...

As a disclaimer, I haven't run the numbers on any of these situations. They just seem like logical consequences based on my understanding of physics. I'm be happy to be corrected if someone else cares to do so.

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  • $\begingroup$ The only downside I see is that you have to be touching the teleported stuff. Presumably at both ends. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Mar 26 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, yes, that would make a difference. I was assuming you had to be touching it on the sending end, not the receiving end. Still, if there's no cool down, the teleporter might have time to jump away in time...? $\endgroup$ – jpgo5000 Mar 26 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ A 140kg black hole would have a Schwarzchild radius of 10^-24m - the gravitational effects would be utterly irrelvant. The only problem is that it will have a Hawking radiation temperature of about 10^21 kelvin, with a power of about 10^28 W, so it's the bang as it evaporates that will kill you. $\endgroup$ – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 27 at 11:45
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Flechettes as anti-personnel weapons

Your best bet for taking out groups of individuals in the open in a dead-simple way is WW1's air-dropped flechettes:

Seven steel flechette darts

They weighed about 20g each, so you could easily teleport a box of about 7,000 of 'em up into the sky above whoever's day you want to ruin:

A box of half-released flechettes

They're pretty effortlessly lethal over an area of a few hundred square yards.

A flechette, protruding from a thick tree branch

And unlike the poor airplane pilots, you don't have one box of 'em, you have as many as you need. And if custom flechettes are out of your budget, just teleport boxes of nails. Those are free w/crime. :P

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A lot of cool answers here. I was thinking in little different approaches.

Reactive components

You can have two recipes of chemicals not dangerous but reactive between each other. (like metal and chlorine, for example) And just teleport with both hand in the face of your enemies.

No hands

You can have some flammable liquid, like gasoline, in a camelbak, and just suck it and teleport it with your tongue. Now you only need some type of ignition. (Maybe like in the previous point)

Sand, gravel or any amount of small objects

You only can teleport something of double your mass, but one grain of sand or a little peeble it's ok. Now... put your hands on the ground and you basically can start a nonstop rain of sand, gravel, stones or whatever.

Same but with water

Same as before. One drop of water is nothing and you are basically able to flood a fucking country with the water of a sea. That's a massive destruction.

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    $\begingroup$ I like it. Follow-up thought: who says the touching has to be with your hands? You're already touching the ground you are standing on. Teleporting away the ground you are standing on may take some getting used to, but it might let you bury your enemies without having to actually move yourself... I can't decide if that would look weird in a movie or awesome... $\endgroup$ – conman Mar 27 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ And it's a defensive move too, because you are creating a hole cover. $\endgroup$ – Malkev Mar 27 at 14:24
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The question of what happens to the atoms at the destination of the teleport when the person appears. Clearly they must at the very least be moved out of the way, if not exchanged (i.e. moved to the place where the teleporting person came from) or destroyed.

That makes merely teleporting into the space where a person or object is a powerful weapon, as all or part of them will be instantly displaced.

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Consider the original Jumper book, not the Hollywood mess. In the book his teleportation is limited to what he is carrying.

He uses it for combat in two ways:

1) Grab someone, tip back (so their feet come off the ground) and teleport next to a cliff (in the book he can only teleport to where he's been or where he can see) next to water. Let go, teleport away. If you want a lethal combat option (he didn't) the same idea but without water.

2) Swing a weapon, teleport while it's swinging.

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You really need to read the entire Jumper series. In the interest of answering the question, spoilers abound:

In the first one,

Davy figures out how to grab people and teleport them over a pit in the middle of nowhere. Very effective at taking out terrorists.

The second book has

Davy chained up and fitted with a debilitation pacemaker. He figures out how to flicker back and forth really fast, what he ends up calling twinning. A side effect of this is that fluids can sneak through with him. He ends up destroying the house he is kept in by flooding it with water from the ocean.

In the third book,

Davy's daughter is now a teleporter, and figures out that instead of just matching speeds with a destination like Davy realized he automatically does in the first book, she can alter her speed. In the climax of this book, she is held from behind by a garrote. If she jumps normally, she would take the attacker with her and die. She adds velocity backwards, escapes the garrote, and nearly kills her attacker.

In the fourth book,

well, she can fly now. So she does the only logical thing and finances a new type of spacesuit so she can start her own space program. I'm sure dropping things from orbit could be considered weaponizing teleportation.

In the climax (this really needs its own spoiler section, so mouseover with care)

she is strapped down in a dungeon that is waterproof in case she tries her dad's water trick. But, uh, you remember how she's just spent the entire book developing her space program? Yeah, she attacks with the cold, dark vacuum of space. Even more brutal than the water.

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  • $\begingroup$ I may have to try the series. I enjoyed jumper just because of the premise of teleportation, despite having Hayden Christensen as the lead. Books could only be better... $\endgroup$ – conman May 6 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ Much better than the movie. The first one was on my shortlist of books I would just spontaneously reread before I found out there were more. The fourth one is probably now the book I've reread more than any other book. $\endgroup$ – Trevortni May 6 at 3:24
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simply calculate the coordinates of where your enemy is and teleport a screw or any other object to his neck

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  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the OP's question. The OP specified that teleportation was personal, meaning the teleporter can teleport him/herself. You're talking about teleporting something else, which can't be done. (And in a fight, you might be surprised how complicated and time-consuming "simply calculate the coordinates" really is. It's one of the reasons we built computers in the first place - to calculate ballistic trajectories.) $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 27 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH My understanding of the OP's rules is that a teleporter can relocate an object s/he is touching to a place s/he has previously been. The rules do not state that the teleporter has to move with the object. As such, this answer falls within the rules as laid forth in the question. Further, the location is not stated to require exact coordinates; "That point I'm looking at and was standing in 30 seconds ago," should be sufficient. This is a valid answer to the question, if a bit short. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Mar 27 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre, the teleporter has never been inside the neck of his adversary. And I'd question the mechanics of the solution if the teleporter could be that precise. Even if, for the teleporter to remember an exact cubic inch sometime in the past on the off-chance an adversary walks through it, we're stretching his rules something awful. We need OP input. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 27 at 21:10
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Teleportation in gradually increasing stages:

This answer aims to complement other answers by mentioning how the ability to teleport can progress in methodology and power. The assumed limits are: Mass is limited related to the users' mass (twice the mass as baseline), can only teleport to places one visited.

  1. Self-Teleportation: The user can teleport himself in and out of combat. He'd use weapons and the environment to his advantage. Requires preparation by visiting the area. Nice for retreat and utility, not really effective in combat.

  2. Teleport objects and others: The user can teleport others he touches. Still needs to get close to the target and touch it for a sufficient time (which would be the main difficulty). But this is a potential kill move already.

  3. Able to negate and redirect (but not create) kinetic forces. Allows jumping off cliffs and teleporting without suffering fall damage. With enough training it would allow flight, by redirecting falling momentum.

  4. Increase teleportation range beyond touch by connection via air - which requires an understanding how to teleport gases. Efficiency diminishes over distance and air density.

  5. Able to teleport other objects not only by touching, but with any body contact. In addition the required teleportation time could become near instant. Able to protect oneself by teleporting incoming projectiles away or even reflecting them.

  6. Grasping how and why objects can only be teleported as whole objects, and surpass that limitation by learning that with enough force applied objects can be ripped apart via teleportation, effectively toying with atomic/molecular bonds itself.

  7. Ability to increase the "already visited" area by focussing and expanding it through vision, however rather slowly.

  8. Instead of only being able to negate momentum, the user harnesses the ability to negate cosmic forces working all around the universe in a local area, effectively speeding up objects locally upon teleportation to potentially extreme velocity in any direction. This would weaponize relatively small objects to devastating projectiles melting themselves through anything and creating apocalyptic explosions.

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I don't know, that sounds overpowered and a bit silly. Teleportation with limits is much more interesting. Like not being able to teleport others out of danger, or not being able to teleport sufficiently far away or more than a few times in quick succession. In Project Horizons there was a character who would teleport behind someone, stab them with a sword, grab their gun and shoot their buddy, use them as a shield, teleport above another guy, crash stomp them, shoot another guy in the head, drop a grenade and teleport out the door and stroll away all while singing a happy song.

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