A novel energy dissipation system that can achieve the amplified damping ratio for a frame-core tube structures is explored, where vertical dampers are equipped between the outrigger and perimeter columns. The modal characteristics of the structural system with linear viscous dampers are theoretically analyzed from the simplified finite element model by parametric analysis. The result shows that modal damping ratios of the first several modes can increase a lot with this novel damping system. To improve the control performance of system, the semi-active control devices, magnetorheological (MR) dampers, are adopted to develop a controllable outrigger damping system. The clipped optimal control with the linear-quadratic Gaussian (LQG) acceleration feedback is adopted in this paper. The effectiveness of both passive and semi-active control outrigger damping systems is evaluated through the numerical simulation of a representative tall building subjected to two typical earthquake records.