I know that having a high chaos would cause the game to be more difficult. So I'm wondering how could I keep it low and avoid killing methods that would raise the chaos.

  • If you use non-lethal means to take down the prime targets, sometimes you are rewarded later. I got two gold bars from Pendleton after he heard that I'd found a way to neutralize his brothers without actually killing them. I also got a reward -- think it was a rune -- from one of the Lady Boyles after completing that mission non-lethally.
    – user37442
    Nov 25, 2012 at 13:02

4 Answers 4


I believe all killing methods result in increased chaos. Since there are apparently non-lethal methods for disposing of your main targets, this might include them. Note that if you use non-lethal methods to dispose of guards and the like, rat swarms can still devour bodies and this might count towards increasing chaos (or missing achievements). There are "safe" places to dispose of bodies (like garbage containers). Elevated surfaces can also be safe, but if a body is not in a garbage bin there is a chance it will show up as "found" at the end of a mission (as near as I can tell). Generally I think sticking bodies on tables in isolated rooms is safe.

Also, see this PCGamer article. Highlights:

  1. If you get a high chaos rating it can be brought down but it can take a few missions.

  2. Bethesda says that if you maintain a <=20% kill ratio you should stay in low chaos.

  3. Most creatures don't count towards the chaos total but Weepers do.

  4. Re-wired trap kills and dumping unconscious bodies into water or dropping them from a great height count.

  • 2
    Does dumping an unconscious body into a body of water kill the guy? I used to do this in the Thief games with much enjoyment. Oct 9, 2012 at 21:59
  • @James Jiao - good quest, I'll have to check that.
    – peacedog
    Oct 9, 2012 at 22:21
  • 2
    @JamesJiao Yes, it is counted as a kill. Oct 10, 2012 at 19:49
  • 1
    @desaivv no problem, but I haven't gotten to the end yet so I can't comment on that sorry. But I'll keep it bookmarked in case further info comes in!
    – peacedog
    Oct 15, 2012 at 16:09
  • 1
    @desaivv - added some info; according to everything I have read putting bodies on elevated surfaces makes them safe from rants. That means "on a table". Such bodies can still be counted as found at the end of a mission, but I'm not sure of the implications of that. I believe it also adds to chaos like a kill does, but I'm not 100% certain.
    – peacedog
    Oct 22, 2012 at 17:12

From a Bethesda forums post by Gstaff, a Community Manager at Bethesda Softworks:

How does the Chaos system work? How do I raise or lower the Chaos level that is displayed on the end mission stats screen?

  • Chaos is a value that is adjusted according to the actions of your character during gameplay. This system is a hidden mechanic and you will only see the Chaos rating displayed during the ‘end mission’ Stats screen.
  • Weepers do count for detection. They do raise the Chaos level if they are killed.
  • Kills by Rewired traps will contribute to your kill amounts and Chaos; that’s Watchtowers, Arc Pylons, and Wall of Lights.
  • Rats, Hagfish and River Krust do not raise Chaos if killed. They also do not count towards detection of your character.
  • Wolfhound kills do not count towards Chaos, but they can detect your character and will count towards that. They can also discover bodies, as well as their corpse will count towards “bodies found”.
  • Your character’s Chaos level will change the story outcome and lead to other various differences throughout gameplay, such as more enemy characters, more rats, or different scenes/environment items and conversations.
  • Basic rule is killing less than 20% of the characters in a Mission should allow the Low Chaos rating to be sustained.

How do I lower the Chaos rating?

  • The best method for regaining a Low Chaos rating is to not kill enemy characters and take stealth routes to avoid combat when playing through a mission.
  • There are scenarios where performing a good deed will drop the Chaos rating by a small amount (Example: saving a character that is in distress).
  • Following “Non-lethal” objectives will decrease chaos by a significant amount when the mission is completed.

I’m getting stats for bodies being found or killed when I’ve rendered NPCs unconscious, why?

  • Not hiding bodies well enough after choking them out or sleep darting them can sometimes lead to other characters finding them.
  • Unconscious characters won’t survive a fall from a great height, or a slip into the water which will also result in a kill towards your character stats

Situations that could lead to an NPC being killed inadvertently:

  • Sleep Darting or Choking out an NPC and having them hit an object when falling, causing death
  • Sleep Darting or Choking out an NPC near a ledge and having them fall to cause death
  • Sleep Darting or Choking out an NPC and having them fall into water will cause drowning death
  • Sleep Darting or Choking an NPC and allowing them to fall down a long flight of stairs will sometimes cause them to die (possible with the stairs in the Overseer building)
  • Placing an unconscious NPC in water, or even near shallow puddles, can cause drowning death
  • Placing an unconscious body on un-even terrain near water can sometimes lead to the NPC slowly moving and falling into water, which would count as an NPC kill (in Prison Sewers for example)
  • Rendering an NPC unconscious near a damage source (such as a fireplace or lit grill) may cause the NPC to take damage and die
  • Leaving an unconscious NPC in the middle of the street or alley, where rats have access to the body, can result in clean-up which will count as a kill for the player
  • Accidentally casting Devouring Swarm near an unconscious NPC could cause the rats to clean up the body, counting as a NPC kill
  • Accidentally casting Windblast near an unconscious NPC could cause damage leading to NPC death
  • Having a Grenade, Springrazor or Whale Oil Battery explode near an unconscious NPC could cause splash damage resulting in NPC death
  • Throwing an unconscious NPC into a Wall of Light, or near and Arc Pylon would incinerate the NPC and count as a kill
  • Leaving unconscious NPCs in the area around the large door on which the player places the explosive device in Prison will cause the NPCs to die when the device goes off. This includes in and around the nearby dumpster and behind the consoles and gate switch across from the door on the upper level.
  • Rendering an enemy unconscious while fighting a nearby Tallboy can cause the Tallboy to stomp at the player, essentially killing the nearby unconscious NPC in the process
  • Rendering an enemy unconscious and having another enemy throw a projectile (such as fire bottle or grenade) at the player, can kill the nearby unconscious NPC
  • Leaving an NPC unconscious in the Brothel Steam room may cause “bite” damage due to hagfish in the center pool, killing the NPC

To prevent rats from eating an unconscious body (including unconscious Weepers, which are also vulnerable to rats), see the answers to this question: How do I prevent rats from eating a corpse that I left unattended? Also, is this a bad thing?

  • 1
    @desaivv I have just added info in my answer on how to prevent unconscious bodies from being inadvertently killed, adding to chaos. I think a question asking about efficient ways to "safely" hide bodies from being discovered is another good question to ask here in Arqade. Oct 26, 2012 at 5:15

This is very hacky, but by default the game has a soft limit of 5 and a hard limit of 10 corpses in one area, so if you have a bunch of unconscious people heaped in a floppy pile and approach them with another slung over your shoulder, there's a good chance one or two will disappear out of respect for framerate.

N.B. If you love the ten-snoring-guys-overflowing-from-a-toilet-stall vibe, you can adjust the settings:

m_CorpseAbsoluteMaximumCount=100 (default 10) and
m_CorpseIdealMaximumCount=50 (default 5)

in the config file DishonoredAI.ini located at (on Windows 7):

%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Games\Dishonored\DishonoredGame\Config


C:\Users\username\Documents\My Games\Dishonored\DishonoredGame\Config

The settings are under the [DishonoredGame.DishonoredGlobalAIManager] heading.

  • Did adjusting those settings have a significant effect on your framerate? Oct 19, 2012 at 16:27
  • 1
    Well, that's the funny thing: no, not at all! In one mission I had probably close to forty bodies in one large courtyard and there was no dip, or at least none I could notice. I specifically looked for a performance hit, too. I'm pretty sure it's just them being overcautious and/or carryover from the console version. Along with the level load times they've pulled some serious magic with the Unreal Engine. This is on a Win 7 x64, Intel i5 2500+K, Nvidia GTX 560Ti 2GB, and 4GB RAM 1600MHz.
    – iono
    Oct 19, 2012 at 23:46
  • What's the name of the file that I should edit if I want to change those settings? I'm thinking of letting the bodies pile-up in my current super-lethal playthrough. =) Oct 21, 2012 at 9:58
  • Oh, sorry! Edited in.
    – iono
    Oct 22, 2012 at 15:12
  • This probably explains why some unconscious bodies I hid would just disappear into oblivion.
    – Nathan
    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:41

As stated earlier all killing methods increase the general chaos of the city. Some good tips for keeping the chaos low are: always have a full quiver of sleep darts with the combat upgrade, as they allow just knock out a guard instead of killing them and stops them from alerting others.

Also max out your blink and bend time skill because combining the two will allow you to quickly remove yourself from any violent situation.

A third helpful bit would be upgrading your boots as it allows you to walk quieter.

Finally you can find the strong arms bone charm, which allows you to choke enemies much faster. However the problem is that bone charms are randomized. I have not been able to find if they are randomized from when you start a playthrough or just at the beginning of each mission. If it is each mission simply save before right before you end the previous one and then rush through the next grabbing bone charms and restarting until you get it. If it is from the beginning of your playthrough then you just need to hope to get lucky. Hope this helps :)

  • To answer your question about the bone charms, they are randomized when the instances of them is "created", so in almost all cases that means at the start of a new area. The one case I found which is different was pick-pocketing Daud, it's every time you pick it up (if you look with the heart, you will not see the bone charm on Daud, it doesn't "exist" until you pick-pocket it). If you want a specific bone charm, the easiest way is to blink behind Daud, save and then load/pick-pocket until you get the one you want.
    – Nathan
    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:45
  • While there's usually little difference in practice, I don't think it's actually the start of an area, so much as "when you first get close enough to detect the rune" (or, close enough for the game to load the rune?). For example, on PC, with the one held in a vice (quite late in the game) I tried saving on the roof nearby, then approaching it repeatedly to get the rune I wanted. Worked, generating random runes each reload, and eventually I got the one I was after. Oct 5, 2015 at 20:01

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