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When you get XP for all your kills and takedowns, does it pay off to be stealthy? If I went around bustin' a cap in everyone, would I gain experience faster? Ghost = 50 x Man Down, but with all the other bonuses from Marksman or Merciful Soul, you wouldn't need 50 meat popsicles to beat on.

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You can get ghost and kill everyone. You just have to kill them before they see you. –  Raven Dreamer Sep 5 '11 at 1:21
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Being stealthy and taking everyone out are not mutually exclusive and you'll get the most XP by doing both. This isn't necessarily fastest in terms of real time because playing stealth is usually slower, but it is fastest in terms of how much XP you will have in line with your point in the game.

Remember that if no enemies see you before they are taken out you will still get the Ghost bonus (500XP for completing an objective without being seen properly), and if you're careful to make sure they don't see the bodies of other enemies then you can still get the Smooth Operator bonus (250XP for completing an objective without the alarm being triggered) as well.

If you are going to try and take everyone out, then remember that non-lethal hand-to-hand takedowns are worth the most (50XP), with ranged non-lethal neutralisation netting you 30XP each, but going non-lethal leaves you exposed to guards being woken up if they are found. If you're going to kill, then make sure you get headshots (they double XP from 10 to 20) or go hand-to-hand (for 30XP each).

These values do not change if that particular enemy has seen you or not, which is to say there is no stealth bonus for each individual kill, only the aforementioned bonuses when reaching objectives.

So, if you're trying to max out your XP, concentrate on staying hidden (the 750 from stealth bonuses is worth at least taking out 15 guards) and take down anyone you are confident that you can without detection (this includes headshotting or tranquillising at range if you can't get close).

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It's usually better to go for the nonlethal takedown since it gets you more XP. You still need to hide the enemy either way, or risk losing Ghost, Smooth Operator, and your cover all in one go. If you really want them dead, well, they don't need to be standing up for that.... –  jprete Sep 5 '11 at 12:15
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I asked a similar question yesterday.

Am I losing out on XP if I kill someone in Deus Ex:HR and don't accomplish the objective I set?

You should stealth stun anyone that you are able to. And stay hidden as much as you can. If you need to start shooting people then do it, but avoid it for as much as you can.

Ghost which is worth 500 XP obviously pays off to be hidden and pick up a few stealth take downs as you can.

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Doing a non-lethal takedown is worth the most XP.

What actions give XP in Deus Ex: Human Revolution?

The above answer gives a rather complete list of what give you XP in the game.

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Stealth, definitely. Earn the Ghost and Smooth Operator bonuses for 500xp and 250xp respectively. Use non-lethal takedowns without being seen for 50xp each. If you're concerned that they will be woken up, kill them after the non-lethal takedown, so you still earn full XP. They won't feel a thing. That said, I think if they're gonna get woken up, you'll have lost your Smooth Operator bonus anyway.

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  1. Get ghost and Smooth operation.
  2. K.O. EVERYONE. (Don't kill and don't miss anyone.) *Knock 'em out even if you can easily pass them.
  3. Hack everything even if you have the pass code including: -gate security -security panel(people usually miss these) -computers (all of them) etc.
  4. Find all of hidden path and areas (go back if there is more than one).
  5. Persuade everyone and don't choose the alternate path , you can explore them later. (each successful persuasion grants you 1000 XP: Silver tongue).
  6. Do all side missions (obviously).
  7. Find hidden praxis kits (some websites have list of these). You don't need to pay for these.
  8. Go to limb clinic each time you visit a city (there is a hidden limb at the end of the game).
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Half of your answer is out of the scope of the question. The OP wanted to know if K.O.ing was better than killing, not the best way to gin XP during the whole game. Answers should be focused on the question being asked. –  Jupotter Jul 18 '12 at 5:32
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