Deus Ex: Human Revolution Hacking Guide

In the newest Deus Ex, there’s no getting around hacking. Hacking is everywhere, on every locked door and security console. If you want to be sneaky, hacking is the only way to go. You’ll be hacking a significant portion of the game, and the better you are at it, the more rewards you’ll get. A good hacker can get bonus XP, bonus credits, and bonus programs to help make hacking easier.

Look below to get a quick and dirty guide to hack your way through Deus Ex: Human Revolution. For a deeper look into the campaign, check out Game Front’s text and video walkthrough. For even more secrets, tips, and tricks — click on our cheats!

Hacking Guide

The Basics

Get to know hacking. Adam Jensen will be forced to hack at several points through-out the game, and find himself blocked out of paths and rewards without the proper security level. Each computer or panel you interact with, if it’s locked, will have a set security level. You begin the game with the Hacking: Capture augmentation already unlocked and set at security level 1.

The minigame shows a series of nodes connected by pathways that are either two-way or one-way. Solid lines are two-way, while dotted lines are one-way. The nodes are connected to your starting point, an IO node, represented by a blue sphere icon. The computer icons are empty nodes that just get you to the critical nodes, which look similar to your IO node.

The goal is to either capture the critical nodes, or the red tower icon called a security node. As you capture nodes, you’ll see each has a set security level, which gives you an idea of the length of time it will take to capture the node. A level 1 node will be captured much faster than a level 6 node. Each node also shows a percentage — that’s your chances on whether you’ll be detected. If the hack is detected, the red tower icon security node will attempt to trace the hack.

To capture a security node, you have to remain completely undetected. That’s difficult, but no impossible. Helping you are some special items. The Nuke Program will instantly capture a node, while the Slow Worm will stop a trace attempt from the security node for several precious seconds. These hacking items are a life saver until you can properly put points into the other augmentations.

Among the blank nodes, you might also find some helpful nodes. Cube icons called datastores provide special bonus rewards for capturing them. The gear icons are more useful, they provide helpful properties that make your hack easier; the clearance node lowers the security level of the datastores by 1, soften nodes will lower the security level of all the surrounding nodes by 1, the transfer node adds 2 security levels to a node while removing 2 security levels from another node, and the most useful is the spam node. The spam node slows down a trace attempt, so grab these nodes whenever you see them.

One last point before we go in-depth. While hacking, Adam Jensen is completely immobile and exposed. If an enemy sees you while you’re hacking, he’ll shoot you and knock you out of the minigame. If a camera spots you, the alarm will go off. That’s not the worst part, a failed hack attempt will set off an alarm and lock you out from using the commputer or panel for a couple dozen seconds.

Hacking is a great way, not just to explore and find easy ammo and items, but also as a way to gain bonus credits and XP.


The Hacking: Capture augmentation is your basic first choice when deciding where your Praxis points will go. It’s easy to pump up your hacking skills to break security level 3 computers and consoles even early in the game. If you want to go the hacking route, you’ll want to dump four Praxis points into this augmentation and reach security level 5.

Within this augmentation, you can also unlock the ability to use and shut-down cameras, turrets, and robots. These skills aren’t mandatory for hackers, they can be handy, but if you carry some spare EMP grenades and move carefully, you’ll rarely have to worry about these threats. Jensen won’t get many chances to turn turrets or robots against his enemies, only get these upgrades if you plan on sneaking behind enemy lines anyway — and if you’re doing that, just sneak by the cameras, turrets, and robots.


The fortify ability allows Jensen to increase the security level of a captured node by 1, effectively slowing down the security node’s trace. Fortifying a node also comes with a chance of being detected, so don’t just fortify every node right away. Unlocking the Hacking: Fortify ability isn’t really required to be a good hacker, it can be useful, but the length of time it takes to fortify nodes is better spend just capturing nodes. Each upgrade to this augmentation increases the security level pump, starting at 1, moving to 2 and 3. Fortify is handy, but not as useful as the next augmentation.


The stealth augmentation is required for high security hacks. By level 5 security, you’ll face nodes with 100% detection. Unlocking the Hacking: Stealth augmentation is a must for level 5 hacking, and will help you complete lower level hacks by making you undetectable. Each upgrade to Hacking: Stealth lowers your chance of detection by 15%, upgrade it fully and your chances of detection are halved.

Stealth is important, it makes hacking easier, and makes getting special stackable rewards possible. Hacking: Stealth, any hacker worth his or her salt must have this. Skip Fortify, stick with Stealth.


These bonuses stack, providing a little extra XP and other rewards. Keep up the hacking, and these little bonuses will really start to add up.

Grey Hat Bonus: (50 XP) Successfully hack a system.
Black Hat Bonus: (75 XP) Hack a level 3 or above security system to get this bonus.
L33t Sk1llz Bonus: (100 XP) Set-off the security, and still complete the hack on a level 4 or higher system.
Master Hacker Bonus: (100 XP) Hack a security level 5 system without being detected.
Script Kiddie Bonus: (50 XP) Use a Nuke Virus or a Stop Worm, you’ll get this reward for each

These bonuses combined with the datastore nodes can really add up to something substantial. Understand why it’s better to just hack, now?

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4 Comments on Deus Ex: Human Revolution Hacking Guide


On September 2, 2011 at 6:02 am

Shouldn’t this info have been included in the manual or tutorial in the game. This info was badly needed on release. I had to figure it out by trial and error.


On September 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

Totally agree with Joseph above. The in game hacking tutorial misses some key points, mainly the use of gear nodes and the directions of the diagram.


On September 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

You can press select (on XBox, it should say at the bottojm of the screen for other platforms) in the hack screen and get detailed info.

The sad thing is all these game site guides really don’t have that much more info than the in game guide. I’ve found some hacks where I can have multiple fortified nodes, but when discovered, the counter *starts* at a mere five seconds. even when far away from my I/O node. I could use the nuke and stop worms, but I’d like to understand why some diagnostics seem unaffected by fortification before wasting worms.

Viktor Vasilenko

On September 8, 2011 at 3:58 am

I left Jensen’s (that’s the character you play the game with) terminal locked, didn’t put the password Pritchard gave me “mandrake”, and decided to hack it when I reach lvl3 hacking aug. When I got to it, I was able to reach the security node without getting detected, this granted me all the possible rewards and XP. It’s a lvl3 terminal and gave me 500xp, I wonder if I should from now on concentrate on security node hacking as it will give me max rewards and xp?

Does anyone else come to this conclusion?