Control: How to beat Salvador and cleanse the Benicoff TV
Control's combat isn't especially challenging for the most part, but as you approach the game's later stages you'll go up against some brutal and borderline frustrating boss fights. One of the hardest of these is against Salvador, the Bureau's chief of security.
You'll face Salvador as part of the "My Brother's Keeper" mission, on your way to cleanse the Benicoff TV, and depending on your path through the game before this battle, there's a chance you may die more often during this fight than you have in the entire game up until this point.
Resist the rising frustration, take some deep breaths, and read these tips. You'll get through it.
Survey the battlefield
Salvador and his henchmen won't activate until you actually touch the ground, so you have a chance to stand on the platform just inside the room and look around a bit first. The general battlefield consists of a raised perimeter around a sunken central area, and you'll most likely want to keep moving around this perimeter for most of the fight. There's also a rear area to the arena, closer to the TV itself, but there isn't much cover here, so you can ignore it.
DO NOT GET HIT BY SALVADOR
In many of the fights in Control leading up to this one, taking a few hits isn't that big of a deal. Your health might dip a bit, but at the same time you'll be killing enemies and picking up the glowing blue health elements, so you stay alive unless you get really sloppy or unlucky.
This is not the case with Salvador. His telekinetic launch ability will devastate you, easily taking off two-thirds of your health bar with a single hit. Two hits from Salvador will almost certainly kill you, and even one puts you in a danger zone that makes it a lot easier for the grunt enemies that join the fight to finish you off.
The single most important thing to do in order to survive this fight is to keep cover between you and Salvador. Even if that means you're taking shots from grunt enemies, that's okay - nothing in this battle will kill you as quickly as a shot from the boss.
Use Launch, Shield, Pierce, and Grip/Spin
Your telekinetic Launch ability will get a workout in this fight, as it's a fast and effective weapon against Salvador's shields and to clear out the waves of backup enemies. If you're struggling with this fight, you might want to consider personal mods or spending ability points to improve Launch's damage.
Shield is also critical to survive, as you'll want to activate that when you're out of ammo with the service weapon or when you want to dash for health pickups (more on that in a second).
Pierce is the best setting for your service weapon when firing on Salvador, as it will let you get through his shields in order to do real health damage.
Grip/Spin should be your alternate fire setting, because Pierce isn't useful against all the smaller grunt enemies that will be continually flanking you.
Charge (the rocket launcher mode of the service weapon) is risky in this fight. It can do a lot of damage, but there's so much junk flying around this room you're just as likely to hit something to close to yourself, inflicting self-damage. You should probably avoid this firing mode.
The regular enemies are limited in number - take them out while avoiding damage
Waves of grunt enemies will drop down to join Salvador and will try to flank you and force you out of cover during this fight, but they are limited in number. If you keep killing them and avoiding the big attacks from Salvador, eventually you'll be one-on-one against the boss, which makes the fight a lot easier.
Critically, killing these enemies will also litter the battlefield with health pickups. Keep moving, killing, Shielding, and running through health pickups in order to stay alive.
The basic strategy
Get a Pierce shot or two on Salvador as soon as he lands at the start of the fight, then start pelting him with Launch obstacles early and often, while MOVING BACK INTO COVER SO HE DOESN'T HIT YOU.
The smaller enemies will start flanking you. Staying safely behind cover, switch to Grip or Spin to kill them. Seize can also be good here, to get an enemy on your side and distract the others, but it can be hard to pull this off quickly enough without a Seize speed upgrade personal mod.
Keep killing and moving, as Salvador will move around the area and try to get a clean shot at you. When you do take any significant damage (like below half health) put your Shield up and make a break for a patch of blue glowing health pickups. Run around the refill as much as you can, then get back into cover.
Repeat this process. Kill smaller enemies, take shots at Salvador if you get a chance (Launch is good for this, and faster and safer than trying to aim with Pierce).
Eventually all the smaller enemies will be dead. At this point, you can afford to be patient. Use whatever cover remains, and finish Salvador off with Pierce and Launch.
There's no trick
If you came to this guide hoping to find "one weird trick" to beating Salvador, I'm sorry to say there isn't one. You really do just need to stay aware of your surroundings, avoid Salvador's super damaging attacks, and use the right weapons and abilities to slowly clear out the battlefield and then bring the boss down.
Consider doing some side missions to level up first
This might be the first point in Control that requires some "grinding" before you're able to take it on. If you've attempted the fight following all the tips in this article and you still can't make it happen, pursue some side objectives or Board missions first, to get some ability points and better weapon and personal mods. As a general guideline, if you don't have all three personal mod slots unlocked by the time you face off against Salvador, you should strongly consider doing some other missions first.
When you do get ability points, you'll want to spend them on the powers that are the most useful in this fight. We recommend having your Launch damage boost up to at least 50%, and increasing your Shield effectiveness can also help you stay alive.
Personal mods that increase the health gained from health pickups are great in this fight, and you might even consider stacking multiple higher-tier health pickup bonus mods on top of one another for extra survivability - and remember that you can swap these out on the fly in the pause menu, to put a more useful mod in place when the health pickups start drying up.