Cerebro (Spanish for "brain") is a machine used by Professor X to amplify his telepathic ability in order to observe all the mutants and humans throughout the world. In turn, Cerebro can also be used to locate any individual as well. It is located at the X-Mansion in the subbasement.
In the early 1960s, Hank McCoy created a machine capable of locating any mutant at the CIA's Division X facility. Calling it "Cerebro", he made Charles Xavier try it out when the Oxford graduate stopped by. It would be used by Xavier to find mutants to oppose Sebastian Shaw. It was later destroyed by Riptide after he, Shaw, and Azazel infiltrated the facility.
Together with Erik Lensherr and Hank McCoy, Charles presumably later built another Cerebro in his mansion's subbasement. In his later years, Xavier would use Cerebro once more to locate Rogue after the mutant had left the X-Mansion. Mystique would later sabotage the machine, incapacitating Xavier after he tried to use it again. Jean Grey eventually fixed the machine before learning that Magneto was located on Liberty Island.
Xavier used Cerebro to locate the mutant known as Nightcrawler. After breaking into the X-Mansion, William Stryker and his men uncovered the machine and used its design to construct the Dark Cerebro at his Alkali Lake base. This Cerebro was later destroyed along with the rest of the base.
- "I'm not the man I was. I open my mind up and it almost overwhelms me."
"You're afraid. And Cerebro knows it."
- ―1973 Charles Xavier speaking with his 2023 older self
Still in grief over the loss of Erik and Raven as well as a multitude of teachers and students from his recently-established Academy, Charles was unable to later use the machine in order to locate Raven. After receiving a vision of his future self and getting inspired, Xavier was finally able to have the strength to use Cerebro before failing to convince Raven from attempting to assassinate Bolivar Trask. However, Raven did eventually spare Trask, changing the future in the process.
Hank McCoy redesigned Cerebro to have the color blue which was meant to represent Mystique's natural color. In the 80s, Charles used Cerebro to locate Moira MacTaggert and later to look for and communicate with Erik. However, Apocalypse catches wind of this and, while controlling Xavier, convinces the entire world to get rid of their nuclear weapons. Havok is then ordered by the professor to destroy the machine in order to stop Apocalypse. Cerebro is rebuilt when Magneto and Jean Grey reconstruct the X-Mansion.
Xavier uses Cerebro to navigate Jean's mind and later to locate her, Magneto and Hank.
- It can be assumed that Charles, Erik, and Hank built the Cerebro in the X-Mansion prior to their final confrontation with Shaw.
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past: Rogue Cut, Mystique destroys Cerebro.