You never asked for this, but here it is anyway: some tips to get you started in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Whether you want to play Jensen as an ex-cop trying to do his job or as a murderous psychopath with a callous disregard for everyone he comes across, and whether you play him as an unseen ghost or a walking tank, you’re going to be encountering a lot of the same challenges and obstacles. Here’s a list of stuff we picked up across our individual playthroughs, some of which we kinda wish we’d known back when we started.
Get guided, not divided. (Sorry.)
Fighting Ideas with Bullets
I’d argue that the best way to play through Mankind Divided – for the first time, at least – is by mixing up stealth and combat, and pacifistic and lethal. I went through 95% of the game as a pacifist on my first runthrough and while I had fun, I kept gazing longingly at the upgraded guns in my inventory which I rarely had a chance to use because they’d result in murder.
Still, it’s up to you, and regardless of your playstyle a few weapons are definitely rarer than others. Most are on sale in the Prague hub at one point or another (the Stun Gun is in one of the weirdly-named tech shops; Tech Noir) but a few others are rarer.
You’ll continually come across pistols, combat rifles, and tactical shotguns, so don’t fret too much about them. The non-lethal weapons – the tranq rifle and the stun gun – are much harder to find in the wild. Ideally, I’d recommend starting the game with a tranq rifle (you’re offered this in the tutorial if you choose to be non-lethal) and then purchasing a stun gun when you can afford it. This is mostly because I can’t remember any specific locations where you can find a tranq rifle, though, since I had one from the start of the game.
Then there are the more esoteric weapons. Revolvers are surprisingly rare. I think I only ever found one grenade launcher in the game, which was in the back of a police truck in Prague, near to where some people are being rounded up (be wary of alarms if you open this up, though). The sniper rifle can be purchased without much hassle, but you can also find one with a bit of snooping around, particularly in the pricier apartments on the north end of Prague. Look for the apartment belonging to your boss.
Grenades can be your friends, even if you’re playing non-lethally. A smoke grenade tossed into a group of foes can incapacitate them long enough for you to perform a couple of take-downs and pop off some stun-gun or tranq shots (speaking of which, a tranq headshot will instantly drop a target as long as they’re not wearing a helmet). Gas grenades are are even better, sending guards to sleepy-time without you having to do much else. These won’t work on people with respirators though.
Remember that guards will respond to strange noises. You can exploit this and lure unsuspecting foes towards your clutches by tossing some of the random boxes or items Jensen finds laying around the place.
My Vision is Augmented
Fairly early on, Mankind Divided throws out the typical “whoops, you’ve lost your augments” video game bullshit. Happily, it then gives you a load of Praxis kits (12, I think) so you can set up a basic build pretty quickly, and experiment a bit with the new augs.
Boring though they are, I’d recommend expanding your inventory space at least once, and maybe grabbing some vision and hacking upgrades. The magic see-through-walls vision is staggeringly useful even just to quickly toggle on and off to see if there’s a vent hiding behind that stack of crates, and you’re going to need that inventory space if you plan on starting a gun collection. As for hacking, while it’s presumably possible to get through the game with only level 1 hacking ability, you’re probably going to want to pick up at least level 2 or 3 – and maybe some stealth upgrades for it – fairly quickly. They’re pretty cheap at one Praxis apiece, so it won’t break the bank.
Speaking of breaking things: if you really want to break Mankind Divided wide open, grab the cloaking aug, upgrade it to full, and become a monster that is only stopped by a lack of biocells (and bullets and explosions and stuff). Here is a list of things that can detect you when you’re invisible:
Right. Now, here is a list of things that can’t: guards, security cameras, laser tripwires, robots, anything else in the game that can ever detect you. (Except maybe mines. I actually never experimented with them; they’re fairly rare.)
Guards can still hear you and they’ll spot you if they walk into you, if you catch a stray bullet, or if you Takedown someone (unless you have another upgrade for the latter) so it’s definitely more for prevention than for escape, but invisibility lets you waltz past pretty much any security in the game while whistling a happy tune. Until you need to hack something, or whatever, but the point still stands. Cloaking is stupidly good.
If you want to break into places in unusual ways, the trifecta of traversal augs are probably the super-legs boost (jump to places you’d otherwise have to stack boxes to reach), the biceps-boost (moving heavy objects out of the way of handy entrances or exits), and the other strength one which lets you break weak spots in walls. You won’t necessarily need all of them, but activating all three will open up a lot of alternative routes around the hub and other levels. Unable to hack an apartment door? Well, maybe you can just jump around on some window ledges and get in that way instead.
I Thought You Were Supposed To Be Badass Killing Machines
But you’re more interested in those fancy new super-augs added into Mankind Divided, aren’t you? Well, I’m not going to go into too much detail about them, but there are a couple that are definitely worth picking up and/or experimenting with.
The Tesla aug, or whatever it’s called, is a hilarious non-lethal way of taking down a group of enemies at once. Once fully upgraded it can lock onto four enemies and instantly electrocute all of them, at a greater range than the stun gun. Using this to break your cloak is an excellent way of taking down an otherwise impassible checkpoint without faffing about with distractions and takedowns.
The Nano-blades are fun, though a bit less useful. They’re not too bad against enemies in big exo-skeletons or whatever (when fully upgraded they can be “charged” to explode a few seconds after landing, letting you blast pieces off the exo-skeleton) and make for handy distractions, but I mostly found them useful for comedy purposes than for anything else.
Remote hacking is arguably the one you really want. At first this might not seem like such a big deal unless you want to toggle TVs from across the room to distract NPCs, but there are certain environmental objects that you can only access with this. If you see a big yellow-and-black striped pole, for instance, it’s actually a retractable ladder which you can remote hack open. The game doesn’t really tell you this, and it took me a loooong time to work it out (it’s a bit clearer if you have some of the environmental interaction prompts left on).
A few of the others struck me as being more on the “fun” side of things, but I’ll let you experiment with them for yourself.
Why Don’t I Throw In An Extra Clip With Those Multitools
This is basically standard rule-of-thumb for every game that lets you pick stuff up, but: steal everything that’s not nailed down. NPCs very rarely get too upset about you doing this, although they will get narky if they see you doing anything notably illegal, like walking into the big trespass-y areas highlighted in red, or hacking into their computers and safes.
There are a couple of exceptions – you should probably be wary of anyone who has armed guards, for instance; stores and arms dealers get a bit displeased if they spot you wandering around snatching up their alcohol and credit chips. You’ll normally get a warning before anything properly kicks off, but if you’re uncertain, you might want to either quicksave first, or pinch stuff while hiding behind a cabinet.
I shouldn’t have to tell you to do this, but either way, this means you’re going to wind up with an inventory full of ammo, sellables, guns, consumables… and all without spending a credit.
You Too Cheap To Buy?
Speaking of which, even with your inventory space maxed out, you’re going to run out of space really quickly if you start playing as Klepto Jensen. Don’t be afraid to sell stuff: with one exception (more on that below), items marked Sellable have no uses except for, y’know, selling them. Likewise, if you don’t need certain weapons, sell off them and their ammo.
Hanging onto multiple ammo types for the weapons you do use can be helpful, but even then, if you have multiple stacks of basic combat rifle ammo, you might consider selling one of them off.
If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket and nothing much to buy, I’d opt for Praxis Kits if you can find someone selling them (quite rare, and they cost about 5000 credits each) or Biocells, because you can never have enough aug fuel.
There’s Only One Cure Once You’ve Caught the Disease
The one sellable that actually does have a use outside of, y’know, selling it, is Neuropozyne. The anti-rejection drug for augs can be traded in a few places for things other than credits.
The most useful of these is an info dealer who tends to hang around in a little courtyard area in the southern district of Prague; I believe he’s noted on the map as being a shop. In exchange for Neuropozyne, he’ll give you a tip that adds a “Point of Interest” to your map. These tend to lead to little stashes, extra background information, and occasionally side-quests. He moves around occasionally and his tips seem to change each time you return to Prague (or possibly just once or twice – I’m not entirely clear) so visit him regularly if you’ve got Neuropozyne to spare.
I think there were something like ten occasions when I could actually use Neuropozyne in a conversational manner throughout the entire game, so it’s worth hanging onto at least a few at a time (particularly if you come across a stash of five or six, which you might find tucked away in safes) but as they sell for 1000 credits you don’t need to hoard 20 at a time. Which I did. Ahem.
I Do Not Make Mistakes Of That Kind
This might (and hopefully is) fixed by launch, but there was a slightly annoying bug in the pre-release code where tapping Space to “continue” from loading a saved game would also translate that Space into an in-game action. If I’d quicksaved while lurking behind some boxes, it would result in me catapulting over the boxes, out of cover, and basically shouting “HEY GUYS LOOK AT ow those bullets hurt”. In case this is still in the game at launch: hold down a direction when you tap space to go past the load screen. You’ll probably “detach” from the cover, but at least you won’t vault into unsuspecting guards.
On that note, you only have one quicksave slot. Panic quicksaves are a bad thing. On the plus side, Mankind Divided does maintain at least one extra autosave, but that’s often a little way back.