Robot cores are one of many collectible items in the Mega Man RPG Prototype and are relatively easy to find. Cores can either be thrown at enemies to deal elemental damage like an attack, or can be sold to Reggae in his shop for large amounts of zenny.
Robot cores are primarily used to defined which abilities any given robot is capable of using in battle. Each robot has a core inside of them with a type matching one of the 20 types available in game and can be equipped with any ability that matches that type.
Weapon Energy and Damage Bonuses
Robot cores also boost the effectiveness of abilities sharing the same type as the user in battle, not only increasing damage and recovery but also decreasing the required weapon energy for certain abilities.
As an example, Ice Man is a Freeze Core robot and that allows him equip same-type abilities using the Robot Editor. When using these Freeze abilities in battle, Ice Man will deal 50% more damage and/or recovery and require 50% less weapon energy to use when compared to other abilities that do not match his core type (like Neutral type abilities).
While Copy Core robots like Mega Man, Bass, and Proto Man are undoubtedly more versatile in battle, those with elemental cores like Ice Man tend to be much more effective when used properly.
New Core Throwing Mechanic
Thanks to the April 2016 update, it is now possible to throw robot cores at your opponents! A core can be used one time like any other item before an attack and thrown at an enemy on the opponent's side of the field to deal percent-based elemental damage.
This new mechanic replaces the old one wherein a Copy Core robot would change colours mid-battle and the Field Multipliers would change upon using one of these items.
Robot Cores Posted by Adrian Marceau on April 28th, 2013 at 7:37pm Viewed 1643 Times
First off, I should make clear that a legitimate question shouldn't be disregarded and written off as "stupid" right off the bat, if a community encourages the idea of "Well that's an obvious question don't ask it" then we wouldn't get anywhere with people actually seeking an answer to the question they asked because they actually want to know. If people are going to provide an answer then at least attempt to make it an answer, not a complete disregard, especially since the question has been proposed as a feature and will likely be added to the main build eventually. There's no issue in asking a question and I don't want to allow the stigma that for some reason it is.
@kqueen : Now, hopefully you've read through the information this very thread provides in explaining the basic notion of Robot Cores--At the end of the day, if you've played the Pokemon series before, it essentially acts in the same way types in that series works. However, if for whatever reason you don't understand, please feel free to ask for further elaboration. At the moment, a Robot's Core is unchangeable and they're stuck with the elemental type that they're given. Emphasis on "At the moment" though, as there's currently plans to allow collectible items that can add a typing to the robot.
For example, collecting a flame core item now will only allow you to throw it for damage, but if an upcoming update follows through, you could also have the option to equip it to a robot like Ice Man, who's naturally a Freeze-core. Equipping that flame core will allow Ice Man to gain a secondary typing of Flame along with his natural typing of Freeze, thus he could use a weapon like Heat Man's or Fire Man's, or really whatever Flame-core you can think of! This can allow for a variety of strategy in battle, and lead to crazy results and type-mixing without limit! This mechanic would work a little differently for robots like Mega Man, Proto Man or Bass, but in that situation I'd like to ask that you wait until the news post that will accompany the update to understand how that works, and it'll also bring you any clarification that you need.
Also, I don't know if anyone's said this yet, but welcome to the Community!! Hopefully you're enjoying Prototype! :)