When playing DeusEx:Human Revolutions, should I try and take someone down always in order to get the most XP from them?

I like maxing out when I play games, and getting as much level ups as I can. I've only been playing a few minutes, but have already noticed that if I get a kill I only get 10 XP, where as a HS will be 20XP.

And when I accepted the first mission, I said that I would stun everybody. After running out of ammo, I ended up just killing everyone. Does that mean that I lost out on bonus XP?

2 Answers 2


If you kill people from range you are potentially missing out on XP, because:

Neutralize an enemy: 10XP
Hand-to-hand takedown: 20XP
Non-lethal: 20XP
Headshot: 10XP

So a non-lethal hand-to-hand takedown is worth 50XP, where just shooting someone is only worth 10XP (or 20XP if it was a headshot) and a lethal hand-to-hand takedown is 30XP.

However, playing non-lethal is more difficult as enemies can be revived and traq darts are slow to act (so non-lethal at range needs careful planning), and only using hand-to-hand takedowns means you're more likely to be spotted or trip an alarm.

Remember that you can get the Ghost (500XP) and Smooth Operator (250XP) bonuses for completing objectives undetected and without alarms (respectively), and I imagine they're usually worth more than the few XP lost by not taking down everyone hand-to-hand, so do whatever you need to do to avoid being detected whenever possible.

You might find What actions give XP in Deus Ex: Human Revolution? helpful.

  • note that DTD (double takedowns) are even better, giving you a total of 125 XP for 2 enemies, with an average of 62.5 XP per enemy... obviously, unless you max out your DTDing skills, your missing XP unless you're playing DX:HR:DC (Missing Link), which effectively caps you to 61 praxis points after completing ML, allowing to reach the cap with minimal effort; if you're really maxing your XP, you'll get about 25-30 PP cut by the cap sigh.
    – user66556
    Mar 10, 2015 at 23:26

To answer the titular question and your final statement: No, if you said you wanted non-lethal, it only affects what weapon he gives you, if you start killing people you won't lose any exp (it will change how people talk about you though, like some people praise you if you don't kill anyone etc).

If you want to maximise your exp, the best way to do so is either: Get to the end of the level unseen (without moving on to the next level) so you get the Ghost bonus, and then go back and take everyone down. Or if to get the ghost bonus you need to move onto the next level, take everyone down without being seen first, then move on. Keep in mind that the Ghost bonus is the equivalent of 10 non-lethal takedowns, so if by taking people down you're going to get spotted, the best option (usually) is to just finish the level unseen.

  • 1) Taking someone out does not mean that I am seen right? 2) Is there a way to know if I have been spotted? Is that the flashing red? 3) If I turret starts firing at me, does that mean I have been seen?
    – Layke
    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:49
  • @Layke 1) Correct (unless they see you before you activate the manoeuvre), but you might be heard by another person who will come looking and may find you and/or the body (possibly raising the alarm and losing you one or both mission stealth bonuses). 2) The flashing red map - hostile - means you've lost the Ghost bonus. 3) Yes.
    – DMA57361
    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:32

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