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So far, firing a rocket to a door has always made 100% damage to them. This means that if the door doesn't have INF strength, it will always bust open. I also happen to have 17 rockets right now, so I can save on lockpicks for a while... but honestly, rockets do seem like overkill.

Now, not everything damages doors; for example, the combat knife doesn't; stealth pistols don't, ... are there less drastic ways to bust a door open?

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LAMs destroyed doors too if I remember correctly. It does require an explosion. –  z ' Apr 8 '12 at 14:47
    
I had the same question when I was playing through Deus Ex. I tried most things that I could think of, and I don't think that there is a reusable way to do damage to doors. This is probably a design choice. –  A. Still Apr 8 '12 at 16:59
    
At one time, you could begin lockpicking, enter the inventory, wait several seconds, and then exit the inventory, and the lockpick would be complete, even if multiple picks would have been needed. Don't know if this has been patched. –  Steve V. Apr 10 '12 at 16:19
    
@SteveV. The version I'm playing (off steam) does have this... feature. –  badp Apr 10 '12 at 16:24
    
I'm not posting an "official" answer since I don't have DX installed to confirm this, but I'm 90% sure you can destroy doors with sniper rifle and a high rifle skill. –  Feral Chimp Apr 11 '12 at 16:36

3 Answers 3

Explosives:

Explosives always destroy any door with a finite strength.

This includes the GEP Gun (both types of rounds), the LAW, and LAMs.

In the environment, you can also find TNT crates and explosive barrels with yellow decals on the side. You can even use TNT crates directly without shooting them: just throw the TNT crate directly at the thing you want to blow up, and duck behind a corner to avoid the blast. (*1)

Barrels with red decals on the side don't seem to work.

Use of any of these explosives will destroy all doors (cabinet doors, chest lids, ...) within the radius of the explosion, even if they are on the far side of a wall.

Master sniper rifle:

Works on most (but not all) doors with strength 50% or less. It also works to destroy cameras, turrets, and alarm panels, which is a superb way for stealthy players to knock out automatic security.

Note that not all 50% strength doors will yield to the sniper rifle. There are a bunch of wooden doors in the Paris streets ("Paris - near the Champs-Elysses") that have 50% strength but can't be opened by shooting them with the sniper rifle.

Dragon's Tooth Sword:

With Master Weapons: Low Tech skill and a L2 Combat Strength augmentation (arm augmentation slot), the Dragon's Tooth Sword can break most doors with 50% strength, as well as cameras, turrets, and alarm panels. Sometimes you can also break 70% strength doors; other times there are 25% doors that resist the Dragon's Tooth.

Other methods that work on weak doors:

Doors with strength 25% or less can often be broken using melee weapons or pistols. Rarely, stronger doors can be broken this way too.

The mini-crossbow using regular darts (the ones that come in gray boxes) is a good candidate because it deals high damage, and the darts are not consumed when they hit a door. A 25% locker door is generally broken in two hits, and you get the darts back afterwards.

AI exploits:

All NPCs can open all doors - if you can trick them into running through them.

If you attract the attention of a guard by making a loud noise, they will open any doors in-between you and them in order to search for you.

Conversely, if you scare a civilian (or cripple a soldier), they will run away from you. If you get them to run in the correct direction, they will open doors in an attempt to escape from you. For example, if you scare the Australian girls in front of the Lucky Money Club in Hong Kong (try shooting the chairs they are sitting on), they will run past the doors and you can get into the club without paying.


(*1) I threw a lot of TNT crates directly at things because my last playthrough was a "No pistols, no rifles" playthrough, which means that I didn't have any ranged weapons to shoot a TNT crate with.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • GEP guns work on everything without infinite strength:
  • LAM rounds
  • Dragon's Tooth Sword works on most wooden objects such as doors (tested up to 50% str)

Am I missing something? Please help improve this answer!

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Lots of different things will damage doors depending on how the door strength and damage threshholds are set. You just have to try it. Usually though, what is gold in most cases has already been mentioned, such as explosives, master sniper rifle, DTS on a reasonable level+combat strength aug, and so on. But I've broken doors with my pistol, crowbar, and regular swords before. You just have to experiment.

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