Masterminds, like many Scrin units, resemble insects and have a rounded shape that makes them physically larger but no taller than a human. The name of these rarely-encountered alien units is derived from their unique abilities that were initially believed to be derived from extreme psychic acuity, but now has been confirmed to be caused by a piece of Scrin technology known as a "Manipulator Device."
Once in range of an enemy unit - or even an enemy building, bar automated turrets - Masterminds are able to take control of it, no matter how many humans are inside, and turn it against its own side. This way Masterminds have induced panic among attacking GDI forces when their mighty Mammoth tanks have suddenly turned and fired upon their former comrades. It should be noted that Masterminds are only able to control a single unit at a time, and this command will be lost if the Mastermind itself is killed - however, the distance between the controlled unit and the Mastermind once the mind-link has been established appears to be of no consequence. The Manipulator Device is so effective that the Foreman can take control of an enemy construction yard and build a Crane near their Drone Platform so they can use their enemies' own weapons against them.
In addition, Masterminds have also been witnessed teleporting small groups of Scrin units instantaneously from one point of the battlefield to another. This ability is apparently unhindered by the size of the unit being transported(even epic units can be transported this way). If the Mastermind can go into an Eradicator Hexapod, it grants the Eradicator's ability to teleport.
Despite the fear of these units, even the Scrin themselves cannot deploy them as widely as initially believed. Masterminds are not cheap units, so they would be deployed only in the most extreme or dire circumstances.
Encounters with the Scrin subforce identified as "Traveler-59" have revealed a grotesque variation of the Mastermind exclusive to the Traveler sect, codenamed "Prodigy." The Reaper-17 cult however do not use Masterminds due to their favouring of aggressive tactics over subtlety.
|Mind control||The Mastermind warps the mind of its victim, taking permanent control over any structure or unit except enemy Commandos, base defenses, superweapons, and epic units.This ability has a cooldown of 30 seconds and a range of 200 (Ctrl+S).|
|Teleport units||A Mastermind can use its psychic power to teleport any allied unit(s) within a 50 unit radius to a location within 250 of the Mastermind. This ability has a 20 second cooldown (Ctrl+A).|
Interestingly, they seem unable to control GDI or Nod commandos and during the GDI campaign in Italy they were spotted using medium-range anti-infantry disintegrator weapons. Most Masterminds encountered lack a weapon to defend themselves - however, they have been known to be armed with plasma beams that are lethal against infantry and effective against aircraft, such as the case in Rome.
- Can capture any non-epic unit (except commandos)
- Can control buildings, including superweapons, to either sell or use against their former owners
- Very fast
- Can transport units across chasms or into enemy bases
- Unlike commandos, the Mastermind is a serious threat to heavy units
- Can be overwhelmed by cheap, squad-based units
- Does not possess conventional weaponry
- Very difficult to promote
- Can only control one unit or structure at time
- Unable to teleport itself across obstacles
- The Tiberium Wars manual mentions that the Mastermind requires Tiberium to use the "Teleport Units" ability, either from a Tiberium field or an enemy silo. However, this is not the case in the game.