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What are the rewards you can receive at the end of missions for a stealth approach and how does it compare versus killing every enemy you come across in terms of experience and rewards.

Can I do take downs on enemies I come across and still receive the Ghost bonus? Since technically no one has seen me.

Also, do turrets count as being detected by a hostile?

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I'm seeing inconsistency both in gameplay and what people are saying in terms of what exactly grants you Ghost (1000xp) and Smooth Operator (250xp). I suppose the answer to this depends on how you get these. –  Ian Pugsley Aug 24 '11 at 13:35
    
I'm going to reword my question then based on what you said to make it more useful. –  z - Aug 24 '11 at 13:38
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3 Answers

up vote 22 down vote accepted

This post is a wiki post. Please feel free to edit it, but with first-hand information only.

First-hand testing has established that the Ghost rating is still achievable with:

  • A camera becoming "suspicious".
  • A guard getting "alarmed" by seeing an indirect effect, like a door opening.
  • Killing or knocking-out enemies with a takedown from behind.
  • Killing someone with a headshot, as long as they didn't have a chance to see you.
  • Knocking out an enemy with a tranquilizer dart to the head. (You'll see the Marksman reward.)

However, you will not get the rating if:

  • Anything causes your minimap to turn red. This includes enemies finding bodies, and enemies/turrets opening fire.

Note that the Smooth Operator reward is an "easier" version of Ghost, which only applies to avoiding triggering installed alarm-systems, not detection or combat with guards themselves. (It cannot be rewarded for passing areas that lack such systems.) Smooth Operator is used for the Foxiest of the Hounds achievement.

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what if a turret merely spots you (causing your minimap to go red) but does not open fire? I suspect you'll lose ghost rating but I haven't confirmed that part yet. –  z - Aug 30 '11 at 15:25
    
@yx I'm unsure about bots, but I'm 90% sure (I haven't tested it since seeing this, just going based on memory) that unless a turret actually fires at you, then you'll still get it. I seem to remember getting the ghost bonus in the first mission, even though I dived in front of that turret and it saw me. –  Mr Smooth Sep 1 '11 at 3:07
    
I found that even though i took down a security bot with an EMP grenade, which turns the minimap hostile just as the grenade is going off, I still got smooth operator and ghost right after. –  user12215 Sep 5 '11 at 10:26
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Takedowns will not prevent you from receiving the Ghost bonus. I haven't verified it for sure, but being spotted by a turret almost certainly will.

The best way to tell if you're still eligible for Ghost after a close call is to check your mini-map. Any time enemies enter the "Hostile" state, as indicated by the label above the map, you've been spotted and you will not receive the bonus. The "Alarmed" state is when enemies think they've seen or heard something but aren't sure what it is, so causing an enemy to enter that state will not prevent you from getting the bonus.

I'm not sure about Smooth Operator. I've seen conflicting information about it: some people say you get it as long as you don't trigger an actual audible alarm, whereas others say you must not put enemies into the "Alarmed" state.

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I've already confirmed the part about takedowns and ghost bonus. Good to know that alarmed state is okay though. –  z - Aug 26 '11 at 19:03
    
My bad - somehow, I didn't notice that the same person both asked and answered the question. :) –  Mitch Lindgren Aug 26 '11 at 19:10
    
haha, no problem, every bit of information helps –  z - Aug 26 '11 at 20:20
    
I believe "Smooth Operator" is a subset of the good behavior you need to get "Ghost". (So if you get Ghost, you always get Smooth Operator too.) It you didn't give guards a chance to hit an alarm panel or otherwise activate the security system of turrets and cameras. –  Darien Aug 27 '11 at 22:53
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I managed to get the ghost stealth bonus while using both knockout and take-down kills on enemies. I managed to not cause any alerts and avoided detection from all turrets, so I'm still not sure if turrets count as being detected.

So the ghost stealth bonus and getting xp/loot from knockouts and kills are not mutually exclusive.

I did NOT get smooth operator, however, or I just missed that popup notification or something else happened. But I positive I did not cause any alert states or trigger any alarms. Its possible my takedowns caused me to miss out on that bonus.

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