As I've been playing through Deus Ex, I've seen my fair share of messages pop up, informing me that I have earned XP, but because there's no explanation for the message, It's not always obvious what I've done to earn the XP in the first place.

For instance, it took me a while to realize I was getting the "Marksman" bonus whenever I shot someone in the head, instead of tranq-ing them in the torso. Some others I've seen a lot, but still don't know what caused them -- "Traveler", and "Expedient", for instance.

What actions (or suite of actions) in DE:HR result in an XP Bonus?

  • I've found a few guides but they are either incomplete or simply too vague. I am especially curious about the details of the hacking EXP bonuses.
    – user9983
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 21:06
  • "Traveller" I get also every time I enter a vent (although I'm not far in to the game yet), for example, so presumably this is the "found a non-standard route" reward.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 22:20

4 Answers 4


Aside from completing objectives (primary objectives earn 1000, 1750, or 2500 XP; secondary earn 500 or 750 XP; side quest bonuses earn 100, 300, or 750 XP) and the two mission bonuses of Ghost (500 XP) for getting through an area without ever being spotted by an enemy NPC and Smooth Operator (250 XP) for getting through an area without setting off any alarms, XP awards are divided as follows:

Combat Bonuses

  • Man Down: neutralize an enemy (10 XP)
  • Merciful Soul: neutralize an enemy using non-lethal methods (20 XP)
  • Marksman: perform a headshot (10 XP)
  • Expedient: use a takedown (20 XP)
  • Two Against One: use a takedown to incapacitate two enemies (45 XP)
  • Hunk of Junk: disable a Medium Sentry (45 XP)
  • Hunk of Junk: disable a Box Guard (250 XP)

Hacking Bonuses

  • Script Kiddie: hack a Level 1 device (25 XP)
  • Grey Hat: hack a Level 2 device (50 XP)
  • Black Hat: hack a Level 3 device (75 XP)
  • L33t Sk1llz: hack a Level 4 device (100 XP)
  • Master Hacker: hack a Level 5 device (125 XP)

Exploration Bonuses

The following bonuses are all tied to entering secret areas, but the actual mechanics determining how one is awarded rather than another is still unclear to me.

  • Traveler: enter a secret area (100 XP)
  • Explorer: enter a secret area (200 XP)
  • Pathfinder: enter a secret area (300 XP)
  • Trailblazer: enter a secret area (400 XP)

Miscellaneous Bonuses

  • Silver Tongue: win a "social battle" (1000 XP)
  • Life Lesson: infuriate an NPC (100 XP)
  • Scholar: read a Hugh Darrow Ebook (200 XP)

(This information was adapted from Absolute Steve's FAQ on DE:HR on GameFAQs.)

  • 2
    As a note - the bonus XP you sometimes find in datapockets while hacking show up as Script Kiddie / Grey Hat / etc. and can be any of several values. The rewards mentioned above are just the baseline for hacking that device. Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 16:32
  • 2
    Also with the Exploration bonuses, the higher exp rewards tend to come from exploration paths that you need an augment or two to get to. For example, the Trailblazer exp reward might have required you to punch through a wall, jump higher than a normal jump, and then move a heavy object out of the way, whereas the 100 exp can come from just crawling through a vent.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 6:23

Smooth Operator is the xp bonus you get for not setting off any alarms (such as cameras and probably lasers). This is an in-game loading screen tip.


I think "Ghost" is awarded when you complete a mission without ever being seen.

  • 5
    Just a subtle point: you can be somewhat seen, and still get the bonus. If you put an enemy in the "alarmed" state, and either hide until they get over it, or knock them out before they sound the alarm, it doesn't count as being seen. I like opening doors, and waiting for the bad guys to check it out. Heh. It's like a horror movie. "NO YOU FOOL! DON'T INVESTIGATE!!! OH GOD, THERE'S BLOOD EVERYWHERE!!!" Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 13:25

There should also be an reward for not killing anyone throughout the mission. So only using the Q button to neutralize enemies or using a stun weapon. This last however will not give you the expediant (20xp) bonus, but beats waiting untill your first battery is full again.

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