Deus Ex: Human Revolution Stealth Guide
The Deus Ex games are known for letting players choose their own way. You can either shoot down the miserable chumps in your path, or take the sneaky route — and there are plenty of rewards for stealth. Just how to sneak isn’t immediately obvious in a game with so many options, but luckily there are methods to help shadow through every environment without being spotted. Read on to get a head-start on being silent.
Continue down the page for our Stealth Guide, or check out Game Front’s Hacking Guide. For help getting through the main campaign, check out our walkthrough. Or for even more extra content, check out our extensive Deus Ex cheats.
Playing the game silently requires patience, timing, awareness, and plenty of augmentations to give you every possible advantage. If you’re going to be stealthy, try for a no-kill run of the game to get the full benefit of sneaking. Not killing, not setting off alarms, and not being seen all add up to give Adam Jensen a huge experience boost, which will unlock more Praxis points for even more upgraded augmentations. Sounds great, right?
Now you know why sneaking is great, but just how do you sneak in the first place? Stealth in Deus Ex: Human Revolution heavily leans on the cover system, it’s the only reliable way to stay hidden. Low-light isn’t reliable, so don’t bother trying to hide in the dark. Never sprint, drop boxes, jump down, climb up, or do anything else noisy that will draw enemy attention — everything you do creates a radius of noise that will draw the attention of enemies and alert them.
With an alert enemy, if they just see you for a split-second, or hear a noise, they’ll walk to your location to investigate. Move and hide someplace else to avoid them, or use this to your advantage by drawing enemies out of dense or open locations to knock them out or kill them someplace more private. When one enemy is alerted, if they fire a shot, you’ll have the entire area on you. Hide awhile, don’t get spotted again, and eventually the alarm will wear off.
The basic Metal Gear Solid stealth approach appears in Deus Ex, but there are some unique advantages Adam Jensen has to make these sections just a little bit easier.
For being quiet, you’ll want the correct weapons. Your standard tool of the trade is the Pistol. Fit that sucker with a Silencer and you’re good to go for some silent action. Inside Adam Jensen’s apartment, activate his security panel to discover the Armor Piercing upgrade for the Pistol, giving it some much-needed stopping power, and letting you head-shot even the toughest opponents. Just don’t miss. You can also fit a silencer onto the Assault Rifle and Machine Pistol, but too many silenced shoots in a row will always alert guards and risk an alarm.
Another useful and practically silent option is the Stun Gun. This weapon isn’t as long range, but a single hit to any human enemy will knock them unconscious. Unconscious enemies never stand up, unless one of their friends wakes them up. Unconscious enemies are great to use as bait, and the Stun Gun is very handy for knocking down the heavies with a single shot.
At longer range, you have the Crossbow and the Tranquilizer Gun. Both are useful and silent weapons, though their shots arc low over long-range. It all matters how you want to play — do you want to kill, or not kill? That is the question, both weapons can be upgraded to track movement of enemies over long-range to guarantee a perfect hit. It’s all about preference, but the Tranquilizer will always knock an enemy unconscious, no matter where they’re hit, giving you more leeway to whiff a shot.
Takedowns, Quicksilver Reflex Booster and Cybernetic Arm Prosthesis
Without using weapons, takedowns are your most useful tool for knocking out enemies silently. That means non-lethal takedowns, the lethal kind are actually surprisingly noisy. Stick with non-lethal to keep quiet, and get that extra non-lethal bonus XP. To perform a takedown, sneak up behind an enemy and press the prompted button. You’ll need to hide the body by dragging it someplace off the enemy’s patrol route, which is one disadvantage. Another is that takedowns use up one energy cell per use.
To make your takedowns even better, unlock the Quicksilver Reflex Booster augmentation, allowing Jensen to takedown two targets at once, providing a huge XP bonus of 125 XP for a non-lethal takedown. You might also notice that the Cybernetic Arm Prosthesis is already unlocked at the start of the game, allowing Jensen to takedown — and providing a very useful upgrade for one Praxis point, the Move/Throw Heavy Objects augmentation. It isn’t required, but it’ll help Jensen sneak through areas by taking special shortcuts and discovering new paths.
Smart Vision and Wayfinder Radar System
Onto the augmentations. Purchase these in any order, and read these descriptions and tips to give you an idea of what’s best for your playstyle. Starting off, the Smart Vision augmentation is very handy. It allows Jensen to see through walls, at a range of up to 25 meters. This is great if you don’t want to be surprised, to scout ahead, or see what’s behind a locked door. The augmentation, when active, does drain your batteries, but fairly slowly, giving you a few minutes of straight active use. To get the most out of this one, turn it on for just a second before entering a new room, or while prowling hallways. A handy augmentation, but there are more that directly help with stealth.
Jensen comes equipped with short-range radar at the beginning of the game, but the range can be upgraded twice. The first upgrade pushes the range of your radar to 25 meters, the second increases that number to 50 meters. Radar will mark a variety of things, including enemies, robots, cameras and turrets. Not completely necessary to upgrade, but the extra warning before stumbling into foes in large areas can’t hurt.
The ultimate in stealth augmentation. This allows Jensen to turn invisible — but not for long. This thing sucks up batteries like nobody’s business. If you plan on using the Cloaking Device, bring plenty of energy bars and upgrade the Sarif Series 8 Energy Converter. Each upgrade to this augmentation lets you keep the cloak on longer, but not significantly. Be aware that Jensen still makes noise while cloaked. This is a great tool, but one to be used sparingly.
This augmentation doesn’t necessarily make Jensen sneakier; what it actually does is provide you with the most information available to turn sneaking from a guessing game into a calculated science. The upgrade starts by providing a noise level indicator, giving you an idea of how much noise you generate. Alone, not so useful. The upgrades can be a life-saver.
The Cone-of-Vision upgrades allows you to see where an enemy is looking, the Noise Feedback upgrade shows you visually the range of your noise, the Last Known Location Marker pulls a Splinter: Cell Conviction and lets you see where enemies lost track of you, while Mark and Track lets you “mark” enemies and follow their silhouette no matter where it goes. The upgraded Mark and Track lets Jensen mark up to seven enemies.
This augmentation, combined with Smart Vision and the Wayfinder Radar System, can provide almost complete situational awareness. With it, you can smartly escape detection without ever guessing if you’ll be detected or not.
Cybernetic Leg Prosthesis
The jump enhancement of this augmentation is very useful for exploration, but it’s the upgrades that really help Jensen sneak. The ability to run silently, sprint silently, and jump/land silently can all be purchased with one praxis point. The high-jump is probably your most useful tool in avoided enemies by taking shortcuts, but the helpful silent movement upgrades will lessen your chances of an accidental detection.
Eye-Know Retinal Prosthesis
Another augment Jensen starts with that isn’t exactly useful only for stealth, but there is one handy upgrade available for one Praxis point. The Flash-Suppressant augmentation will protect you from flash grenades, but what might really be useful is the Cooldown Timer augmentation; the Cooldown displays a timer that shows exactly how long enemies will stay in an alert or alarmed state. With all your sneaking knowledge, you won’t set off any alerts or alarms anyway, but it’s nice to know this augmentation exists.
Sarif Series 8 Energy Converter
The problem with sneaking is that it uses a lot of energy. Smart vision, the cloaking device, and takedowns all use lots of energy. That’s why, if you’re going to be stealthy, you’ll need lots of energy cells to keep these special abilities running. Start early and keep upgrading often to bolster your reserves of energy cells — the recharge upgrades only decrease the amount of time it takes to recharge a single energy cell, so those are not mandatory.
Bonus XP Rewards
Stealth will richly reward a smart and careful player with special XP bonuses.
Ghost (500 XP): During main missions, awarded for not being seen.
Smooth Operator (250 XP): During main missions, awarded for not setting off an alarm.
Man Down (10 XP): Incapacitate an enemy for this bonus.
Merciful Soul (20 XP): Incapacitate an enemy non-lethally for this bonus.
Marksman (10 XP): Incapacitate an enemy with a headshot.
Expedient (20 XP): Use a takedown against an enemy.
Two On One (25 XP): Use a takedown against two enemies.