Merit Badges are hexagon shaped badges which allow the use of psychic abilities by the owner, and are given to Razputin in Psychonauts and Psychonauts 2 by various mentors. Not all psychic abilities require the acquisition of a merit badge, such as telepathy or mind reading.
Merit Badges can be bound to keys and then by pressing the key Raz can do various activities, some of which are required to finish levels. Some Merit Badges are acquired by ranking up via finding PSI Challenge Markers in the world or making some using the machine. Rank up enough and Raz will get the gift of Pyrokinesis, Telekinesis, and Invisibility. Other Merit Badges are given to him by a staff members once he completes the courses in their mind. These are Basic Braining given by Coach Oleander, Marksmanship given by Sasha Nein, and Levitation given by Milla Vodello. The others Raz obtains while in the minds of Linda, Boyd and Edgar, as a way to get past certain obstacles. These are Shield given by the freedom fighters, Clairvoyance given by Boyd, and Confusion given by Dingo.
There are 8 total badges to collect:
|Marksmanship||Also known as PSI-Blast. It shoots a psychic beam at enemies and requires ammo at lower levels. PSI-Blast will chain to hit three targets at level 40. It chains to hit six targets at level 70. It does not require ammo at level 95.|
|Levitation||Summons a ball of psychic energy that Razputin can ride, jump, and float with. The levitation ball can deal damage at high speeds at level 50 and can deal damage at low speeds at level 75.|
|Telekinesis||Unlocked at level 20. Lets Raz move certain objects or enemies. Telekinesis range increases at level 65.|
|Pyrokinesis||Unlocked at level 10. Lets Raz set certain objects and enemies on fire.|
|Invisibility||Unlocked at level 30. Turns Raz invisible for a small amount of time. Invisibility lasts twice as long
at level 60.
|Shield||Protects Raz from attacks and can bounce back some attacks. The shield knocks back enemies that attempt melee attacks at level 55. The shield damages enemies it knocks back at level 80.|
|Confusion||Makes enemies turn on their allies. Confusion duration doubles at level 85. It does not require ammo at level 95.|
|Clairvoyance||Lets Raz see through the minds of others.|
In addition to the main badges, there are a few badges that don't correspond to abilities but instead provide other benefits:
|Basic Braining||Allows access to the entire camp.|
|Oarsman||Allows the use of canoes on the lake.|
|Mental Magnet||Attracts mental items.|
|Psychonaut||Awarded to cadets that have earned the rank of Psychonaut.|
Merit Badges are now in a diamond shape on the HUD. Marksmanship, Levitation, Pyrokinesis, Invisibility, and another one that is blurred out was shown in the video "Psychonauts 2 Update #8 - Psychic Powers!" In the video it appears that Razputin's abilities all drain from a single psychic power pool shown on the HUD in the video. It also appears that it is possible to bind up to four abilities to keys.
|Time Bubble||Allows the user to slow down time.|
There are two unused badges that didn't make into the final cut of Psychonauts. Their purposes are unknown.