Best Deus Ex: Human Revolution Augmentations

There are a whole lot of augmentations available to users when they first start playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the choices can be daunting. Should I choose enhancements for stealth or go with the greater body armor? Do I really need a million hacking upgrades? How often will I be falling off buildings really?

We hear you, and we’ve come up with a list of the best augmentation loadouts for different player styles. Whether you mean to be a stealthy assassin or a run-and-gun marauder, read our lists and learn what to augment first — and what not to augment at all.

Feel free to adjust our suggestions to your play style. Several loadouts will work well mixed together and may overlap as well, like the Explorer and Stealth packages.

Note: On Hacking — If you’re interested in getting more out of the story of the game or generally just making things easier and more interesting, regardless of your loadout, you’ll want to upgrade your Hacking Capture augmentation early. This is the one that allows you to hack high-level doors and computers, and there’s simply an insane amount of hacking to do in this game. We could put hacking in its own loadout, but really, you should try to dump a few Praxis points into it early to get up to level 2 or 3 right at the start. It’ll give you access to more weapons and items, plus more experience points, early on.

You’ll also want to check out our DXHR Stealth Guide, the Debug Mod, our DXHR Strategy Guide and the big list of DXHR Cheats, while you’re at it.

The Explorer Loadout
If story is what you’re here for, this loadout is for you. These are the augments that will get you into every email, every hidden room and every secret path. If you plan on taking a stealthy approach, Explorer Loadout augments are going to be key, but we’ll discuss straight stealth in a second.

1. Social Augmentation — 1 Praxis
Being able to talk to people will open new avenues in the story, and more often than not, allow you to talk your way into areas you would normally have to sneak through, which will make the guards relax. You can then explore at your leisure and hack things (as long as you avoid being seen) to maximize experience, without the pesky “getting shot” part.

2. Hacking Capture — 2 Praxis (up to level 3)
I know I mentioned hacking earlier, but you’ll need to for all kinds of things. Hacking computers can get you story info, door codes and more computer logins. Hacking doors can get you into areas you couldn’t otherwise reach. If you’re exploring, you’ll want strong Hacking Capture capabilities, although the other Hacking augments can be ignored.

3. Smart Vision — 2 Praxis
Key for seeing hidden paths and enemies, which might cramp your style while exploring. You’ll likely use this augment more than any other.

4. Cybernetic Arms — 3 Praxis
The first upgrade to Cybernetic Arms lets you increase your picking-stuff-up ability, which is extremely helpful for finding vents and paths blocked by larger objects like vending machines and big crates. Once you can move these things, you’ll be surprised at what you find.

Once you upgrade your lifting strength, get the ability to punch through walls. This will allow you to see weak walls that hide hidden paths and hidden rooms.

5. Icarus — 2 Praxis
In the game’s city hubs, the ability to go vertical without the fear of dying as a result can be very useful. Plus, you can stun enemies when you fall on them, if you want.

Total: 10 Praxis

Stealth Loadout
Stealth and exploration go hand-in-hand in DXHR, so you’ll want to look toward your play style and the suggestions in the Explorer Loadout for things that look like they’ll help you. We’re focusing on combat here, with a non-lethal edge.

1. Social Augmentation — 1 Praxis
The best way to sneak into a place is to belong there. Social can also help you find alternate paths to sneak into locations.

2. Smart Vision — 2 Praxis
The key to stealth isn’t about the enemy not seeing you, but about you seeing the enemy and knowing how to react. Smart Vision gives you the ability to see through walls and cover so you always know what to expect.

3. Hacking Capture — 4 Praxis
Invest in hacking to get through levels more sneakily, but also to grab the abilities to shut down cameras, turrets and robots. You won’t need the bot-hacking or turret-hacking abilities till a little later in the game — when Adam flies to Hong Kong — but being able to shut down defenses that can detect you makes getting past human guards a lot easier. Capture obviously is necessary to get into the systems.

4. Cloaking — 2 Praxis
The Cloak ability can’t be used for very long at a time, but it’s great for jumping from cover to cover or getting out of a sticky situation. Upgrade it to make it last longer.

5. Radar — 1 Praxis
Increasing your radar’s strength will make it a lot easier to see enemies coming. With normal radar, enemies only appear once you’ve actually seen them. Upgraded radar lets you ping enemies at twice the distance, whether you’ve seen them or not.

Bonus: 6. Stealth Enhancer
There are a bunch of upgrades in the Stealth Enhancer augmentation that are kind of nice to have, but none of them are really all that necessary to doing well with stealth. One handy one is the vision cone upgrade, but to get any or all of them, you’ll need to dump more points in. At that point, you might want to spread them into Exploration or Combat instead.

Total: 10 Praxis

Run-and-Gun Loadout
Ideal for players who want to just blast their way through everything, the Run-and-Gun Loadout will get you through combat. It won’t make you the Terminator — you still need to hide under cover — but it will make you a force to be reckoned with. Note also that this is kind of the worst way to play the game, in terms of experience rewards. It’ll be harder to level up if you don’t explore and hack, and every kill only nets you 10 experience points.

1. Dermal Armor — 4 Praxis
If you intend to get shot a lot, you’ll want this upgrade. At its highest point, Dermal Armor reduces your damage by 45 percent. Earlier upgrades are 15 percent and 30 percent.

2. Smart Vision — 2 Praxis
Seeing bad guys coming is the first step to effectively blowing their faces off. You can also assess threats before you enter rooms.

3. Cybernetic Arms — 8 Praxis
There are a ton of great upgrades for your arms if you’ve got the points to spend. The first upgrade gives you the ability to pick up large objects, which you can throw at enemies or use as moving cover. Punching Through Walls can give you a surprising attack avenue against groups of enemies. Three upgrades to your inventory let you carry more weapons and ammo — and ammo is key — and two upgrades reduce recoil when you’re firing guns. All of them are handy, although some more than others.

4. Cybernetic Legs — 2 Praxis
Upgrades for running, jumping and landing silently are nice, but what you really want are the upgrades that let you jump higher and run faster. When you’re darting between cover positions or sprinting to get clear of enemies before they can overwhelm you, these upgrades can be extremely helpful.

5. Retinal Prosthesis — 2 Praxis
Get the Flash Suppressor augmentation and go nuts with the concussion grenades. Enemies hardly throw them at you, but your own grenades have a tendency to blind you, especially if you’re close buy. With the Suppressor augment, you can basically be standing on these grenades when you use them, and they’ll send enemies flying while leaving you totally fine. Then you can wander around assassinating bad guys or just capping them in the head as they struggle to get back on their feet.

Bonus: 6. Typhoon — 3 Praxis
The Typhoon is purely for boss fights, because you’ll almost never encounter a situation where you’re surrounded by enemies and not already dead. It basically turns you into a human mine. Upgrade it and it’ll kill just about anything you come up against, including bosses and those huge mechs that show up starting in the Highland Park section of the game. You can damage robots with the lower Typhoon upgrade, but max it out and you’ll take them all out in one blast. You’ll also find lots of Typhoon ammo, so don’t worry about purchasing it.

Augments You Don’t Need

Praxis is precious, and there are a number of augments you can get away with never purchasing, even if you are a hacking virtuoso or a stealthy ghost. These augs can help you, but you can easily get around them with a number of other methods so you can invest Praxis elsewhere.

1. Hack Stealth, Analyze and Fortify
Upgrade to these only if you’re really struggling with hacking. Generally, if you upgrade your Capture ability, you should be able to hack just about everything in the early portion of the game without trouble. Just back out of a hack before you trigger an alarm if it doesn’t go your way. Always hack the data nodes so you can download hacking worms and viruses, which can be used to hack more efficiently.

Stealth and Fortification are kinda handy on higher-level hacks, but instead, just stockpile lots of Nukes and Stop Worms whenever possible. You get them from hacks, from finding them in the world and from purchasing them, and they’re great for helping with a hectic hack. You’ll also get a lot of them, especially if you hack a lot. That means you should be able to skip these Hack upgrades altogether.

2. Typhoon
For most players, the Typhoon is useless. You’ll only rarely get a situation in which there are enemies surrounding you where you’ll be able to use this. Unless you plan to fully upgrade it and use it in boss fights, which kind of weakens those fights altogether, don’t bother with this one at all.

3. Stealth Enhancer
Sure, you can run silently, see enemies’ cones of vision and do other cool things, but if you’re not serious about being Sam Fisher and Solid Snake and would rather crawl through vents, skip this one. Go with augs from the Explorer Loadout instead. These are nice but you really won’t need most of them unless they really match your play style.

4. Rebreather
Finding yourself wishing you had another five seconds of sprint time? No? Then don’t bother with this one. The moments when you’ll encounter toxic gas aren’t too often, so unless you intend to chuck out a ton of gas grenades all the time, you won’t need these lung enhancements pretty much ever. Again, evaluate your play style.

5. Retinal Prosthesis
Apart from the Run-and-Gun Loadout in which you can make handy use of concussion grenades, for the most part the Retinal Prosthesis is extra frills. Sure, you can use concussion grenades, but you’ll rarely find yourself blinded if you’re smart about what you’re doing (that’s sort of an emergency upgrade and goes for a certain play style). The Cooldown timer isn’t necessary either. Sure, it shows you how long alarms will sound for, but you’re going to be stuck waiting anyway — do you need a countdown clock to tell you exactly how long you need to wait?

Spare Points? Upgrade Your Batteries

If you find yourself with extra points and you aren’t sure how to spend them, adding battery cells is almost always a good idea. These let you basically do more things, and are especially handy for melee takedowns, which can get you through areas and levels silently and quickly, both for lethal and non-lethal characters.

You may also want to invest in upgrading your inventory, since dropping something cool in favor of picking up some other cool thing is kind of a bummer. Still, a small inventory encourages you to be smart about what you take with you, which isn’t necessarily bad.

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4 Comments on Best Deus Ex: Human Revolution Augmentations


On September 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

Typhoon not useful? Get your facts together before you bash something – you can blow open all kinds of locked doors AND weak walls (which you would normally need the wall punching aug for)with Typhoon, the ammo doesnt take up much space and is wonderful for boss fights as a stealth character.


On September 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I’ve been playing for over 100hrs now, and I still haven’t killed Bill, or figured out how to punch thru a wall. I’ve got the augmentation, but cannot find out how to use it……a little help please?


On September 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm


I haven’t had it for long but I have found that breakable walls become highlighted with the aug installed and that walking up give a prompt that pressing E (on a pc) activates the punch. Most of the walls so far have been in sewers and places like that.


On January 30, 2012 at 1:57 am

It’s nearly impossible to hack lvl4 and lvl5 locks without fortify/stealth augmentations, unless you are willing to waste like 5 nukes and 5 stop worms on every single lock.

If you are going for level 4 and level 5 capture you should prepare to invest into either fortify or stealth or both.

And yeah, I also couldn’t find any breakable walls. Either they aren’t being highlighted on a hard difficulty or I was looking in the wrong places.