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Deus Ex (PC) Character Creation Guide
~By tankMage (January 2019)
Deus Ex is an excellent game, but it is also more complex than it appears at first glance. Those new to the series may have trouble getting a foothold early on or may find that they do not like the way they designed JC Denton (the player’s character) once they understand how the game works. In this guide I go over the various weapons, skills, and augmentations players can choose from during character creation and over the course of the game, so they can make informed decisions. Having a character that is well planned out and suited to your playstyle will make Deus Ex far more enjoyable. General tips are also included with this guide along with a list of excellent walkthroughs for further reading. Please note that this guide was written for the Game of the Year Edition of Deus Ex (Version 1.112fm) and other versions may have small differences.
a.Recommended Starting Build
4.Handling the First Few Missions
g. Weapons: Demolition
k. Weapons: Rifles
8. Tools of the Trade
10.Further Reading and References
The player is prompted to choose a birth name and a portrait for JC Denton as well as allocate 5000 points to skills of their choosing at the start of the game. It is possible to downgrade JC’s Pistol skill to get a total of 6575 skill points, which I recommend doing even if you plan on using pistols as your main weapon, because the game will set the Pistol skill back to Trained once you finalize your character. This essentially grants you free points. In order to allocate skill points, click the desired skill and then click the “Upgrade” button near the bottom of the screen. If you are trying to get the free 1575 skill points from downgrading Pistols or changed your mind about a skill you’ve upgraded, highlight the skill and click the “Downgrade” button near the bottom of the screen. Any leftover points will still be available to distribute once the game begins.
a.Recommended Starting Build
The following skills are just recommendations, players are free to choose any skills they like and are encouraged to experiment. That said, I’ve had quite a bit of success with this build, though it will not be proficient at combat early on. Luckily, most of the enemies in the first few missions are weak and can be avoided or neutralized without much trouble. Note that this build assumes the player will take advantage of the free upgrade to Trained the Pistol skill gets if you downgrade it during character creation and players who want to use pistols as their primary weapon will have extra points to spend. Pistol users can put the extra points into another skill, or save them. You should have between 275 and 500 points leftover once all of the suggested skills have been selected.
Computers is one of the most valuable skills in the game and will make some of the initial awkwardness of low skill combat less of a problem since players will be able to turn cameras off to make sneaking past guards easier. Lockpicking and Electronics also make getting around easier. Having your weapon at Trained early on will at least ensure that you can eliminate anyone who spots you, though you’ll have to fight cautiously. This build provides a lot of freedom when it comes to augmentations, so the list of recommended augs is rather short and composed of those that just about every character should have. While this build is suited to using just about any weapon type, I recommend Pistols or Rifles, because they are common, easy to use, and effective in combat. Low-Tech is also a viable choice for new players, but you’ll have to be careful about how you deal with opponents who often have a range advantage over JC.
Skill 1: Heavy, Low-Tech, or Rifles
Upgrade Heavy, Low-Tech, or Rifle to Trained. You can leave Pistols downgraded to Untrained even if you want to use them as your main weapon, they’ll get bumped back up to Trained after the game starts.
Skill 2: Computers
Upgrade the Computers skill to Trained. The ability to hack into email, security terminals, and ATMs is invaluable. A character with the Computers skill will find a lot of opportunities to turn turrets against enemies, turn off pesky cameras, unlock doors, and get security codes with this skill. You’ll also get tons of money from ATMs which you can use to buy things.
Skill 3: Electronics
Bump Electronics up to Trained. This will allow you to use multitools, which can bypass circuit breakers and keypads, more efficiently. Players can get away with leaving this skill at trained, but I recommend upgrading it to Advanced later in the game if you find yourself running low on multitools often.
Skill 4: Lockpicking
Take the Lockpicking skill up to Trained. This makes opening boxes and doors easier. Like Electronics, players can get away with only being trained, though it’s safer to upgrade it to advanced later on.
You will start to find augmentation canisters as the game progresses. These augmentations can give JC all sorts of advantages in stealth and combat. The following augs (short for augmentations) are good choices for most builds and work well with the one suggested in this guide, though I have left out certain choices since there is a lot of leeway in how players can outfit JC. See Section 7: Augmentations for more information on augs.
Combat Strength: An excellent aug for anyone who wants to use Low-Tech weapons since it will boost JC’s melee strength. Can be ignored otherwise.
Targeting: Boosts damage and accuracy while active, good for player who use guns.
Cloak: Conceals JC from hostile humans. Robots and cameras can still detect the player.
Ballistic Protection: Absorbs damage from bullets, very useful if you like to fight.
Regeneration: Heals Denton every second while active and can make him nearly invincible when coupled with Ballistic Armor and/or the Ballistic Protection aug.
Power Recirculator: Reduces the power requirements of augs while active. Very useful for high power cost augmentations.
Deus Ex has a rather unique character progression system that gives the player skill points for exploring the game and completing goals. While it is possible to scour the game for all 33915 skill points, I recommend playing in a more enjoyable manner (at least your first time around) by making choices that come naturally to you and exploring at your leisure. You’ll still probably end up with 20-25k skill points, which is more than enough master several skills. Below is a basic layout of how a player can build up his or her skills as the game goes on. The first few suggestions should be considered priorities, while the other four are more optional. This is merely a suggestion and not necessary to succeed in the game, but I have found this approach to be successful. Finally, the type of weapon you chose on character creation greatly impacts this timeline, with a Pistol user reaching goals first and Rifle users taking far longer to do so.
1. Try to get Computers up to Advanced first.
2. Work on maxing out your weapon skill.
3. Get Medicine up to Trained rank and leave it there. It’ll help in firefights and if JC gets hit with a Tranq or greasel venom.
4. Consider bringing Computers up to Master; the extra money from ATMs can be helpful.
5. Upgrade Lockpicking and Electronics to Advanced if you are having trouble finding passwords. However, Computers should make this unnecessary, since you will be able to open doors through security terminals and find passwords in emails or on data cubes.
6. Upgrade Demolition to Trained.
7. At this point most of your important skills should be at their desired ranks. Environmental is a good place to put points if you are satisfied with JC Denton’s performance. A rank in Swimming won’t hurt either. It is also possible to take a few ranks in a backup weapon.
4.Handling the First Few Missions
Deus Ex will probably feel awkward during the first couple of missions, but it gets better as the player obtains augs, builds up skills, and finds weapons. Here are a few tips that can make the the first few areas more enjoyable.
Save your game every now and then. Death can come for JC unexpectedly and having to backtrack through an hour of the game is not fun.
Choose the Weapon Paul Offers You Carefully
JC’s brother, Paul, will meet him at the start of the first mission and offer him one of three weapons. Stealthy players and Pistol users should probably take the Minicrossbow, since its silent fire and tranq darts are effective against the NSF troops. Those looking for more firepower in sticky situations or who want to focus on combat should take the Sniper Rifle or GEP Gun. Both weapons have their merits, but you’ll need a rank in Heavy or Rifle weapons to use them well.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Every playstyle can benefit from some patience. Take a moment to look around for hidden stashes and traps, particularly LAMs mounted on walls which can end JC’s mission abruptly. Observing enemy movements will allow you to plan out an attack or find a way to sneak past them unnoticed.
Even at Trained or Advanced ranks, most weapons can be a bit inaccurate, so make sure the reticule is centered on the enemy’s chest or the middle of his head before firing to increase the odds of actually hitting him. The sights will slowly focus in on the target if you keep the reticule centered on it, which will make medium to long range shots more reliable. Using cover is advisable and always reload undercover or while on the move. It can take upwards of 3 seconds to reload most weapons at lower skill ranks, so make sure you have a full clip in your gun at all times.
Talk to People
A green reticle means the NPC is not hostile. Talking to such NPCs is very helpful, because they may sell you items or give you info. Friendly NPCs can be found just about anywhere. Civilians, technicians, and scientists will often talk to Denton if he approaches them unarmed.
Don’t be Afraid to Spend Money
It’s easy to get money from ATMs and JC will be paid by UNATCO at the end of the first few missions, so don’t be stingy if a character offers to sell you something you want.
Hack the Planet
The Computers skill (which I highly recommend taking) will allow you to extract money from ATMs and get hidden info from computers. You can also hack security terminals to turn off cameras, see into other rooms, and even set turrets to attack guards. Take a second to hack everything you find, but keep an eye on the bar in the upper right corner, because failed hacking attempts can drain Denton’s BE or set alarms off.
There are different paths and ways of doing things in Deus Ex, which can make the game overwhelming. Play in a way that comes naturally and don’t worry too much about your decisions; you can always play the game again to try different ideas.
Tranq, Avoid, or Lure Enemies in the First Mission
JC will not have much ammo starting out, making fire fights a bit of a challenge. Luckily you can handle opponents in other ways. Sneaking is always a good way to progress in the game, since you can still grab items lying around. It is also possible to intentionally let NSF troops spot JC and lead them to the bot on the docks, which will pump them full of lead. You can get a minicrossbow from Paul or find one on a body near the Liberty Island entrance. The crossbow’s Tranq darts can render a foe unconscious in a single hit if you have some Pistol skill ranks, but it takes about 10 seconds for the effects to take hold at Trained rank, so be ready to hide after shooting an enemy.
Skills affect a wide array of the actions that can be taken within the game. Each skill has a total of four ranks: Untrained, Trained, Advanced, and Master. No one skill is necessary to complete Deus Ex, but players should choose their skills wisely, because having a good mix of abilities will make most situations more manageable. Below is a list of the skills that appear in this game that includes their upgrade costs and effects. I’ve also provide a usefulness score on a scale of 1 to 5 for each skill rank to make it easier to gauge their efficiency.
Allows Denton to hack into ATMs, Emails, and Security Consoles. The ability to gain large amounts of money from hacking ATMs alone makes this skill worthwhile, let alone being able to mess with turrets and cameras by hacking Security Consoles. Players will also find interesting bits of lore and passwords to secure areas in emails. Click on Icebreaker when using an ATM, Computer, or Security Terminal to hack it. It takes time to get a successful hack which is represented by the green bar on the Icebreaker window. Be sure to logout of the system you are hacking before the green bar is totally depleted or you can lose all of your Bioelectrical energy and perhaps set off an alarm. Waiting a few seconds after logging out will recharge Icebreaker.
Untrained (1): Merely allows players to use computers, ATMs, and Security Consoles.
Trained (4): Opens up the Ice Breaker hacking tool. Allows players to withdraw half of the funds available in ATMs as well as use Security Terminals to turn off cameras and open doors. Good for breaking into systems in the first few missions, but will begin to lose its effectiveness as time goes on.
Advanced (5): Speeds up hacking and increases the amount of time a system will remain hacked. Allows players to change the targeting settings on turrets in security consoles and withdraw all of the money available in an ATM. Worth getting near the beginning of the game and is viable even in the final stages.
Master (4): Icebreaker becomes even more effective and players can remain logged into a system much longer. Also allows JC to withdraw 50% more than what is displayed as available funds in an ATM. Not necessary, but the extra cash can make it worth the investment.
Makes multitools more efficient at hacking into security keypads, alarm panels, and electrical systems. Having this skill at Trained or Advanced is advisable. Do not bother taking this skill to Master, because multitools are common and it costs an insane 6000 points to max out this skill.
Untrained (2): Players can use multitools, but it will take several of them to unlock even a 30% keypad.
Trained (4): Doubles the effectiveness of your multitools. Players who are careful to conserve their multitools and have ranks in the Computers skill can get away with leaving this skill at Trained.
Advanced (3): Makes multitools even more potent, players should probably leave the Electronics skill alone once they reach this rank since it’s possible to open even the strongest doors with five tools.
Master (1): Makes multitools far more efficient, but ridiculously expensive to learn. Avoid this rank.
Governs the usage of Ballistic Armor, Hazmat Suits, Thermoptic Camo, and Rebreathers. Players can get away with totally ignoring this skill, but it will make the items it governs last longer. In the case of Ballistic Armor and Hazmat Suits it will also increase how much damage they absorb. Players who want to stack Ballistic Armor and the Ballistic Protection Augmentation can turn JC into an invincible tank in firefights with just one or two ranks in Environmental Training. A few ranks can also make precious Thermoptic Camo last much longer, so it won’t hurt to upgrade this skill to Trained.
Untrained (3): JC can wear/use Ballistic Armor, Hazmat Suits, Thermoptic Camo, and Rebreathers, but will not receive any bonuses to their effectiveness or duration.
Trained (4): Provides a small bonus to the duration and effectiveness of the items governed by this skill. A wise and inexpensive investment for any character.
Advanced (3): A hefty bonus to the duration and effectiveness of the items governed by this skill. A good investment if you like to use Ballistic Armor and Thermoptic Camo frequently, though not necessary.
Master (3): Really boosts the efficiency of Ballistic Armor, Hazmat Suits, Thermoptic Camo, and Rebreathers. This skill rank is overkill, but it is still worth looking into if you rely on these items, especially since it does not cost much to master.
Determines how well JC can use lockpicks to open certain boxes and doors. Much like Electronics, this skill is worth getting to Trained or Advanced, but not Master due to its high cost and the availability of Lockpicks. LAMs also fill the role of Lockpicks quite well in most cases, further reducing the need to max the skill out.
Untrained (1): Players can use Lockpicks, but it will take several of them to unlock even a 30% lock.
Trained (4): Doubles the effectiveness of your Lockpicks and well worth the point investment.
Advanced (3): Lockpicks become very effective at this point and it is wise to stop at this rank.
Master (1): Makes it possible to open any lock with one or two picks, but is overly expensive.
Only Medkits are affected by this skill, but it can be a life saver even if the player only brings it up to trained. Not only do Medkits heal some HP, but will also decrease the potency of poisons and tranquilizers at Trained proficiency and higher, which can save Denton if he is hit by a Tranq dart or venom from a greasel. It is unecessary to take Medicine past Trained for most playstyles, especially since the Regeneration aug works as a secondary source of healing.
Untrained (3): Player can use Medkits to heal 30 HP.
Trained (4): Medkits restore 60 HP and decrease the duration of toxins.
Advanced (2): Heals 75 HP and removes toxins even more effectively. Do not bother training this rank unless you fight out in the open and constantly take damage.
Master (2): The 90 HP Medkits heal at Master will likely fully restore a limb. Unfortunately, the cumulative 4800 points it takes to reach Master from Trained is better used on other skills like Environmental Training, which can help JC avoid taking so much damage to begin with.
Increases the speed at which Denton swims and the amount of time he can hold his breath. Not a terribly useful skill, since there are only a handful of places where JC will actually have to swim. That said, a single rank in Swimming will make it easier to move through certain areas and costs little in the way of points.
Untrained (5): JC can swim and hold his breath for a few moments.
Trained (4): Swimming speed is increased by 50% and Denton can hold his breath for about 30 seconds. A good investment if you have some leftover points.
Advanced(2): Allows JC to swim twice as fast and hold his breath twice as long (40 seconds) as he can at the Untrained rank. Cheap, but not really worth investing in.
Master (1): Swimming speed is greatly increased and JC can stay under for nearly a minute. Definitely not a good place to put your skill points, however.
g. Weapons: Demolition
Demolition has an impact on how well Scramble, EMP, and Gas Grenades work. It also boosts the damage of LAMs and will give the player more time to disarm grenades that have been placed on walls as booby traps. Players can get a lot of mileage out of these weapons even at Untrained, but those with extra skill points or who like to blow things up may want to put a rank or two in this skill. That said, Trained is more than sufficient to kill just about anything with a LAM on normal difficulty, so there is no need to take this up to Master unless you are playing a concept character.
Untrained (4): Allows JC to use and disarm explosive devices. More than adequate for most builds since all of these weapons are quite powerful.
Trained (5): Increases the effectiveness and disarm time for explosive devices. Not a necessary skill, but is nice to have if you have extra points.
Advanced (3): Explosives become even more potent and the player has quite a bit of time to disarm traps. Do not take this unless you really love grenades, because Trained is good enough.
Master (1): A LAM will kill about anything at Master rank and you will have plenty of time to disable grenades that have been mounted as traps. If Advanced rank is overkill, then this is the equivalent of bringing a nuke to a knife fight. As I said before, do not bother getting Demolition this high unless you are building some kind of over the top concept character.
Heavy weapons increases power and accuracy, while decreasing the loading time for GEP Guns, Plasma Rifles, and Flamethrowers. Ranks in this skill will also reduce the time it takes for GEP Guns to lockon and allow JC to run faster while wielding these weapons. The merits of this skill are somewhat arguable, since GEP Guns, LAWs, and Flamethrowers are deadly even at Untrained rank. That said, the penalty to movement when using heavy weapons can be an issue, which this skill addresses quite nicely and faster lockon times are helpful. Plasma Rifles need the damage boost from this skill, so it is worth building up if you are serious about using one. Heavy weapons is also one of the less expensive weapon skills to master.
Untrained (3): Denton can use LAWs, GEP Guns, Flamethowers, and Plasma Rifles, but will be slow with them. Good enough for players who just want to carry a GEP Gun to take out robots or clear groups of enemies.
Trained (4): Increases damage, accuracy, and movement speed for heavy weapons. Players who want to use these weapons as their main armament should take this rank at the very least.
Advanced (4): Increases damage, movement speed, and accuracy even more. At Advanced rank GEP Guns can take out just about anything.
Master (3): Makes heavy weapons even more deadly. Take it if you really like using them, even though it’s not needed aside from beefing up the Plasma Rifle.
Crowbars, Combat Knives, Batons, Swords, Riot Prods, Pepper Guns, Throwing Knives, and the Dragon’s Tooth Sword are all governed by the Low-Tech skill. A high proficiency is recommended for anyone who wants to use these weapons in a serious capacity. Low-Tech is also one of the cheaper skills to Master, meaning that players will be able to fully enjoy its benefits a bit sooner in the game.
Untrained (3): The player can use weapons associated with the Low-Tech skill. Riot Prods and Pepper Guns are fairly useful even at this rank, but those who want efficiency will want to rank up this skill.
Trained (4): Gives a noticeable bonus to things like Batons and the Dragon’s Tooth Sword. Players who want to use Low-Tech weapons should start at least at this rank.
Advanced (4): JC becomes fairly deadly with weapons like the Dragon’s Tooth Sword at this rank, especially when using the Combat Strength aug.
Master (5): Unleashes the true destructive power of the Dragon’s Tooth Sword and makes it possible to quickly knock out weaker enemies with weapons like the Riot Prod.
This skill improves JC Denton’s performance with the 10mm Pistol, Stealth Pistol, Minicrossbow, and PS20. Master Pistols if you want to use these weapons as your primary means of defense. A more expensive skill to master, but the Minicrossbow alone is one of the best weapons in the game.
Untrained (N/A): Most players will never see this rank, because the game will bump Pistols up to Trained even if they downgrade the skill during character generation. Even so, take advantage of the bonus points and downgrade Pistols even if you plan on using them.
Trained (3): This rank is technically free thanks to the bug associated with Pistols. At any rate, Pistol type weapons are barely serviceable at this rank, so upgrade if you want to use the Minicrossbow to silently knock out bad guys.
Advanced (4): The performance boost from this rank is fairly noticeable, especially with Tranq Darts from the Minicrossbow, which will knock out weaker enemies in less time.
Master (5): Pistol weapons become highly reliable at this point and while things like the 10mm Pistol are not super weapons, they can still be used effectively in combat. The Minicrossbow will be able to instantly knock out most human enemies with a single headshot at Master, so this should be a goal for most Pistol users.
k. Weapons: Rifles
Taking ranks in this skill will make Sniper Rifles, Assault Rifles, Sawed-Off Shotguns, and Assault Shotguns more accurate as well as increase their damage. Players who spend the tremendous amount of points it takes to Master this skill will find it much easier to steady the Sniper Rifle for a Headshot and can fire a storm of lead at enemies with the Assault Shotgun.
Untrained (2): While the Assault Rifle’s HE rounds and shotguns can be applied successfully in combat at this rank, the Sniper Rifle will be almost unusable.
Trained (3): This rank will make the Sniper Rifle just barely usable and increases the effectiveness of other Rifle weapons a bit, though not very noticeably.
Advanced (4): At this rank the scope wobble of the Sniper Rifle will be minimal, making picking off long range targets preferable to close encounters. The standard fire mode of the Assault Rifle, while still weak, also becomes more viable. Shotguns should be able to blow down some doors and insta-kill most enemies with headshot at this rank.
Master (5): Serious Rifle users should definitely take this rank. The Sniper’s Scope becomes steady as a rock, making the gun an excellent tool. Even the Assault Rifle becomes an effective weapon at this point.
There are five different categories of weapons in Deus Ex: Pistols, Rifles, Low-Tech, Heavy, and Demolition. It is important to choose a weapon class that you find enjoyable and stick with it throughout the game. Keep in mind that you can downgrade the Pistol skill during character creation and the game will still start you out as trained in Pistols essentially giving you free points (See Section 1: Character Creation). Every weapon class has its strengths and weaknesses, which are listed below along with each weapon available in the game. Some weapons, like the minicrossbow and riot prod, are also useful as sidearms.
While not flashy, pistols are highly reliable and offer the player plenty of choices in combat. The Stealth Pistol and Minicrossbow are especially well suited to taking out enemies stealthily, but even the standard Pistol is a good choice. Ammunition for these weapons tends to be plentiful, which is an added bonus. Even better, they take up very little inventory space, leaving room for other things, making them a great secondary or primary weapon. The downside to these weapons is their middling damage and short range. A player who wants to use Pistols as their main weapon should plan on taking them all the way to the Master rank and should use the Targeting aug. No matter what, players will have at least one rank in pistol training thanks to a bug, which means they can be used as a sidearm without spending skill points.
Pistol: The most basic of guns, compact, and uses 10mm ammo. JC starts with one and it’s safe to put weapon mods on it, though you might want to save them for its stealth variant. While not tremendously powerful, a headshot can take out most human threats in a single hit.
Stealth Pistol: This quiet, fast firing gun is lethal in the hands of a trained agent, especially with clip mods thanks to it’s high rate of fire. The only problem with this weapon is you’ll need more ammo to get the job done, but it is still worth upgrading if you intend to use Pistols as your main defense, because it can mow down foes with head shots from a concealed position.
Minicrossbow: This is the go-to for players who want to avoid killing enemies, thanks to the tranq darts it employs. Put some range mods on this baby and you have a weapon that is great for sniping bad guys at medium distance. Just keep in mind the darts tend to fall to the ground after about 150 ft. Luckily they can be picked up and range mods will give them more reach. Tranq darts take effect slowly at low skill levels, so be ready to run and hide after hitting an enemy with one. Once the player reaches higher skill levels, the Minicrossbow can take out weaker enemies like NSF troopers with a headshot, rendering them unconscious almost instantly. Very useful early in the game when ammo is scarce and your accuracy is low. Also takes flare darts which deal normal damage and sets targets on fire. Regular darts cause a decent amount of damage and can be lethal if used for headshots. Do not use this weapon on robots since it can’t harm them and don’t tranq the commandos that appear later in the game, they’re immune to its effects. This weapon also works when submerged in water.
P20: This weapon is nearly worthless, since it only carries one shot and only one can be carried at a time. With that said, head shots from this thing are highly effective and it can also be used to bust down doors.
Another great choice, the Rifle class features weapons that pack a punch while remaining versatile. Sawed-Off Shotguns, Assault Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, and Assault Rifles are all governed by the Rifle weapon skill. Ammo for these weapons is generally easy to find and most of the rifles themselves are readily available early on. Unfortunately they tend to be bulky and take up more space than smaller arms. Rifles are also noisy, but this is made up for by the fact that whatever you shoot with one will likely be dead once it’s hit. While the Assault Rifle and Shotgun is useful, it’s the sniper Rifle that really shines. Players looking for powerful main weapons or a long range backup weapon will do well to pick this class. A character with just two ranks in the Rifle skill can use the Sniper reliably, making this a decent secondary weapon skill. Masters of the Rifle class can lay waste to hordes of enemies, making it well worth the high skill point cost of this class.
Sniper Rifle: This is the bread and butter of a rifle user’s armory. Snipers can kill weaker soldiers with head shots and torso shots from a master can kill some foes in a single hit. Masters can even take out security cameras and weak doors. Headshots are the way to go with this weapon, so you’ll need at least one rank in training to be able to shoot enemies reliably. Do not put accuracy mods on this weapon, because it becomes 100% accurate on its own with skill upgrades. Eventually, you’ll get a silencer mod for the Sniper, making it an excellent stealth weapon.
Assault Rifle: This thing spits out ammo at a tremendous rate, but doesn’t deal much damage. Works well as a backup weapon if you want to conserve Sniper or Shotgun ammo. You’ll also get HE grenades for this thing, which makes it good for taking out robots and dangerous groups of foes. Unfortunately, this weapon doesn’t really shine until the player reaches higher skill levels, because of its low base damage and high recoil. Clip and recoil mods are a good idea if you plan on using this rifle seriously. A silencer mod can make the Assault Rifle a better choice for sneaky types than the Shotguns. Assault rifles fire in bursts of 5, so you’ll need a lot of ammo. HE rounds are rare and should be saved until needed. All in all, this is more or less a situational weapon that should be saved for tight spots where the Sniper Rifle is too cumbersome or if a robot is standing in your way.
Sawed-Off Shotgun: This is one powerful gun, BUT you’ll need at least advanced rank in Rifles and a lot of recoil/clip size mods to get any real use out of it. With that said, you can bag powerful foes with buckshot later in the game and even fight robots using sabot rounds. Sabot rounds can also knock out cameras and turrets. Players can get a Sawed-Off near the beginning of the game if they explore the sunken ship near the Liberty Island docks or from fallen NFS soldiers. Despite the fact that it makes a lot of noise, the Sawed-Off is a good choice for the stealthy as it is almost guaranteed to kill soldiers with a headshot and can destroy small robots with Sabot Shot.
Assault Shotgun: A better choice for fire fights than its Sawed-Off variant, the Assault Shotgun can spit out a storm of lead thanks to its relatively high rate of fire. Invest a lot of clip and recoil mods into this weapon to get it to the point that it can obliterate even the strongest foes in seconds. These are not very common early in the game, but you’ll get them off some hostile troops after the first few missions. Uses the same ammo as the Sawed-Off and can be applied in the same way.
Heavy weapons are extremely powerful, but you’ll have to use them carefully. They can really dish out the damage and even destroy groups of MiBs if you are using the GEP Gun, but they tend to demand a lot of inventory space. The ammo for these weapons is also rare, so it is wise to have pistols or low-tech trained a bit to compensate for scarcity. Players who merely want to enjoy the benefits of these weapons as a backup can get away leaving the skill untrained. It is also wise to pick just one or two types of Heavy weapons to use since they take up a lot of space.
GEP Gun: If there’s a staple heavy weapon, it’s the GEP, which is a guided rocket launcher. Players can either point at an enemy and dumb fire the GEP Gun or wait a second for it to lock onto the target. A locked rocket will track its target, making the weapon deadly accurate. The 300 base damage the standard rockets inflict ensure that small robots and just about anything human or transhuman will be destroyed in a single hit. Higher skill levels increase that damage dramatically, so much so that the GEP Gun can take out almost anything in a hit and destroy most doors at master rank. GEP Guns can fire the incendiary WP rocket as well as standard rockets. WP rockets can set large groups of enemies on fire, causing them to panic and burn to death, but they are not effective on robots or certain enemies found later in the game. Paul will offer you a GEP Gun on the first mission and you should take it if you are really interested in Heavy weapons. Rockets tend to be uncommon, but careful players shouldn’t have issues with running out of them. Watch out for the blast radius of the rockets, because they can damage the player. You may want to avoid using the GEP Gun on enemies that are holding something you want…explosions tend to vaporize humans.
Flamethrower: Looking for a weapon that can sow chaos and destruction in the enemy ranks? Then the Flamethrower is right for you. A burst from this thing is enough to set most enemies on fire until they burn to death. As an added bonus, they’ll also run around in a panic, which means they won’t be shooting at you. Nice! Too bad robots and tougher enemies like MJ12 commandos resist fire, so don’t try to burn them. Reloading is a major issue with the flamethrower, not that there’s much ammo to be found for it anyway. Luckily a small burst of flames is enough to finish most bad guys, so you’ll get good mileage out of the napalm canisters it takes. Make sure you get close to your victims before using the flamethrower, since it has a short reach. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother modding this weapon (not that it can take many mods anyway) due to the fact that it’s perfectly useful out of the box.
Plasma Rifle: A high tech gun that fires three balls of energy with each pull of the trigger. These energy balls will explode and inflict heat damage in a small radius, so keep your distance. While this gun can dish out a bit of damage, it got nerfed in later versions of the game, making it less deadly. The ammo is also rare, so I don’t recommend relying on this gun too heavily. It does make a good backup if you primarily use heavy weapons and groups of enemies have something to fear from a Plasma Rifle. Players can use some clip mods if they decide they really like this gun.
LAW: Oh man is this rocket launcher powerful. Anything it hits will die. It also has a huge blast radius, so fire with care. Being so powerful, it’s only fitting that the LAW is a single use weapon, so choose your targets wisely. On a side note, LAWs are so powerful that a completely untrained character can fire one and still kill whatever it hits.
Low-Tech governs melee weapons that range from the humble baton to the mighty Dragon’s Tooth Sword (DTS). Generally, Low-Tech is a class of weapons with extreme advantages and drawbacks. Most Low-Tech arms are highly compact and take up little inventory space. Many of these weapons do not require ammo and can be used infinitely. They’re also a good choice for players who want to avoid making MiBs explode, since the Baton and Riot Prod can render enemies unconscious. Low-Tech weapons tend to be silent, which makes sneaking around much easier. The major drawback to Low-Tech is that most of these weapons can only be used at close range. Players who want to use this class of weapon exclusively will need to act and plan carefully. Many Low-Tech arms work well in tandem with each other I.E: The Riot Prod and Baton. Low-Tech users will also want to pay very careful attention to their augmentations. Combat Strength, Regeneration, and Run Silently are perhaps the most important augs to use with this skill. Much like Heavy weapons, the Low-Tech skill is fairly cheap to level up, making it a good choice for players who want a more diverse arsenal. Finally, aim for the torso when using these weapons for a 2x damage bonus.
Combat Knife: The most basic of melee weapons. Combat Knives have limited reach and deal little damage, but they are readily available. Players should exchange this weapon for something else as soon as possible.
Baton: A great tool for stealth, the Baton deals slightly more damage than the combat knife and has a little more reach. The Pepper Gun and Riot Prod work very well with the Baton, thanks to their ability to stun enemies making them even more vulnerable to baton attacks. A shot with the Prod/Pepper Gun will allow the player to whack the enemy until he’s unconscious, saving ammo in the process. Ultimately, this weapon is best employed against isolated enemies if not used in conjunction with stunning weapons since it takes several hits to render an enemy unconscious. A character that has mastered Low-Tech and has the Combat Strength aug will be able to down enemies with just a few Baton smacks. A Baton can be found early in the game on the body of a dead soldier near the entrance to Liberty Island.
Crowbar: As melee weapons go, this one is nearly useless. The Crowbar takes up more inventory space than the Baton or Combat Knife and is less powerful than the Baton.
Sword: First found on the roof of the Hong Kong MJ12 Base, the Sword is a major upgrade from the other melee weapons, though it uses lethal force.
Dragon’s Tooth Sword: Now we’re talkin’! The DTS is one of the most powerful weapons in Deus Ex. At high skill levels, players can take out bad guys in one or two hits with this blade, especially with the Combat Strength aug active. The DTS emits light that the enemy cannot detect, making it good for exploring as well as combat. It can also smash doors, turrets, and cameras if the user has mastered Low-Tech and has Combat Strength. Be careful when fighting robots and some of the game’s more powerful villains, because the explosions they cause will damage JC. The DTS takes up more space than most melee weapons, but it’s well worth the trouble.
Throwing Knives: The only ranged weapon in the Low-Tech class (ok, the Pepper Gun is sort of a ranged weapon) Throwing Knives deal a fair amount of damage and can be lethal with head shots. They’re also very rare, so players should conserve them, though it’s possible to pick up a throwing knife that missed its mark. You’ll find your first set of Throwing Knives on a corpse in the medical room of UNATCO HQ after the first mission.
Pepper Gun: This is a good support weapon for dedicated Low-Tech builds. A single puff from the gun will briefly stun an enemy, granting the player’s attacks a significant damage bonus. As such, it works beautifully with the Baton or other melee weapons. Be wary of the cloud of gas the Pepper Gun produces, it’ll harm JC if he steps into it unless he is wearing a Hazmat Suit or has the Environmental Resistance aug active. Ammo for this thing is not terribly common, so try to hit your victims with just a small burst from it to conserve shots. Small bursts also make the weapon less dangerous to JC. It goes without saying that the Pepper Gun is useless against robots and some of the other monstrosities that appear in this game.
Riot Prod: JC Denton starts out with a Riot Prod, which is good if you are a Low-Tech user, because this thing is really handy. The Riot Prod is best used by sneaking up on an enemy and giving him a quick jab in the torso with it. A damage bonus is applied to torso hits from the Riot Prod, so your victim will be stunned for a bit. Once stunned, a couple of Baton strikes or knife jabs will finish the enemy. Riot Prods can also render an enemy unconscious if used a few times, but you’ll get more use out of this weapon’s uncommon ammo if you use it to simply stun foes and finish them with something else.
Demolition weapons are basically hand grenades that fulfill a variety of roles. All grenades can be thrown or mounted on surfaces by the player. A thrown grenade will beep few times before detonating, so keep this in mind when tossing them at enemies, especially human type foes who will attempt to flee from the blast zone. A mounted grenade will not detonate until an enemy approaches it. Increasing JC’s Demolition skill rank will give grenades a damage boost. It will also increase the amount of time it takes for hostile grenades to explode, giving players more time to flee or disarm the trap. While not practical as a primary weapon due to scarcity, Demolition is an excellent skill to have at least one or two ranks in thanks to the overall utility of these weapons. With that in mind, it’s arguable if becoming a Master in Demolition is worthwhile, because merely being Trained is good enough to effectively deploy your own grenades and disable hostile grenades. Even players who opt not to train in Demolition at all should hold onto any grenades they find.
LAM: A rather basic explosive that is capable of destroying most enemies even at untrained rank. LAMs can also be used to blow up locked doors and safes. Save any LAMs you find or are given, since they have a variety of useful applications. LAMS make great traps and can be used to quickly eliminate robots.
EMP Grenade: EMP Grenades can disable robots, turrets, and cameras as well as other electronics. While it’s tempting to use them on enemy robots or pesky cameras early on, it’s best to save EMPs for more powerful robots who will go down after taking EMP damage once or twice. Humans and other organic creatures are immune to the effects of these grenades. JC will lose some of his bioelectrical energy if hit by an EMP blast.
Scramble Grenade: What’s better than disabling an enemy bot with an EMP? Turning it against its allies! The Scramble Grenade will drive any robot it hits crazy, making it attack its friends instead of you. Unfortunately, the effects are temporary, but odds are that either the robot or its allies will be dead if you chuck one into a room with a robot. They also work well if mounted on walls near the target’s patrol path.
Gas Grenade: Only works on humans. Ineffective against MJ12 Commandos and Riot Police, but great for getting past groups of enemies. The tear gas emitted by these grenades will stun human enemies for a few minutes. Gas Grenades also work well when used with other weapons (both lethal and non-lethal) thanks to the damage boost given to attacks against stunned opponents. JC Denton can take damage from the gas grenades, but the Environmental Resistance aug can greatly mitigate the effects of the gas. Throwing a Gas Grenade into a group and firing Tranq darts from the minicrossbow at your helpless victims is a safe way to eliminate groups of hostiles.
Augmentations (“aug” for short) have a tremendous impact on how JC performs in the various situations he will find himself in and players should consider their choices carefully before installing an aug. Below is a list of augs that are available in this game and my opinions on them. Each aug also has a rating on a scale on 1 to 5, with 1 being useless and 5 being vital. Keep in mind that just, because an argumentation like enhanced speed may have a rating of 5, doesn’t mean your sneaky character wouldn’t be better off with run silent, so consider what each aug does and how it fits into your build.
Augs are installed to a specific body part by a medical bot. You’ll need an augmentation canister, which can be found in a number of locations, in order to have an aug installed. In most cases only one augmentation can be implanted into a body part, though the torso and subdermal have multiple “slots” that can take specific augs. Be sure to collect any upgrade canisters you find, because they can be used to improve augmentations. Always remember that you cannot remove an aug or undo an upgrade once it has been installed, so save before using canisters.
Combat Strength (5): An excellent choice for Low-Tech Weapons users, but not much help to other builds. Boosts melee attack damage while active.
Microfibral Muscle (2): Good for lifting heavy objects. However, you’ll need to upgrade this aug to lift heavier things like huge crates. Has some situational use for finding hidden items or other secrets as well as blocking off enemies. Not really worth the upgrade canisters it requires to be really useful for most builds, however.
Aggressive Defense System (3): Blows up rockets, darts, and plasma shots directed at the player. Can also destroy LAMs and grenades. Really useful for players who like to charge into combat, but not very practical for sneaky or mixed play styles that should use their upgrade canisters for other things. Take care when using this aug, because it is not good for destroying things like LAWs and LAMs at low levels due to its limited range at levels 1 through 3.
Spy Drone (4): Allows the player to spawn a small drone that can scout areas out. Can be detonated to release an EMP blast that can disable robots. Really good if you rely on stealth, but not easy to control unless you take some time to practice with it. Probably not worth spending upgrade canisters on, since a couple EMP blasts from level 1 drones can take out most robots if you are patient.
Vision Enhancement (2): This is a nifty aug, since it will help players locate enemies passively and can even allow them to see through walls at level 3. The problem is 3 upgrade canisters is a lot to spend on something that essentially serves the same function as the Spy Drone, which works well even at level 1.
Targeting (5): Not a bad augmentation, especially if you are using inherently inaccurate weapons or those you are not skilled in. It also displays target health info and boosts damage. Works perfectly well at level 1 and gets even better with upgrades.
Speed Enhancement (4): A great choice for just about any build since it allows the player to run extremely fast and jump higher. It also reduces fall damage. Great for escaping, closing gaps with enemies, or finding a sniper perch. While effective at level 1, an upgrade or two makes this aug even better.
Run Silent (3): Another useful aug for stealthy players that works well with the Cloak aug or Thermoptic Camo, since MJ12 Commandos have sharp hearing that can cause problems for sneaky types. At level 1 this augmentation is quite effective, so do not bother to upgrade it unless you use it frequently.
Regeneration (5): Possibly the best aug in the game, because it heals JC for 5 HP per second at level 1 and 40 Hp per second at level 4, making Denton nearly invincible. Regeneration can cancel out damage from drowning, radiation, and most weapons at higher levels.
Energy Shield (4): Another excellent aug that can protect JC from fire, plasma, and EMP fields. The only thing that makes it a questionable choice is the fact that it occupies the same slot as regeneration, which has a far broader range of applications.
Aqualung (1): Absolutely worthless. Rebreathers and/or Regeneration can allow the player to stay underwater for extended periods. So can the Swimming skill. Do not bother with this aug and definitely do not use an upgrade canister on it.
Environmental Resistance (3): More useful than Aqualung, this aug protects JC from radiation, chlorine gas, pepper spray, and other nasty chemical agents. While it has some uses, Hazmat suits do the same thing, so do not bother upgrading this one.
Power Recirculator (5): Another vital augmentation, this one reduces the amount of power used by other augs when active. Great for players that may need to have a spy drone out for an extended period or who are trying to stay cloaked while using Run Silent. It also makes Regeneration more efficient. Upgrading this to level 3 or 4 is wise, but it is beneficial even at level 1.
Synthetic Heart (3): Increases the upgrade level of all augs by one level (but not past level 4) when active. Not bad, but it also uses 100 BE, which is exorbitant, so it’s probably better to go with Power Recirculator.
Cloak (5): A really useful aug that makes JC invisible to living creatures. Be aware that robots, turrets, and cameras will still be able to see him. Humans will also be able to hear him if he makes noise. Uses a lot of BE, but gets cheaper with upgrades. Power Recirculator can offset Cloak’s power usage, so only upgrade it if you have a lot of cannisters.
Radar Transparency (3): Makes Denton invisible to robots, cameras, and turrets, but not organic creatures. Not very practical, since Spy Drones, Sniper Rifles, and simply bypassing security systems by hacking them make this skill redundant.
Ballistic Protection (5): Protects Denton from bullets, animal bites, and knives. Useful even at level 1 and works very well with Regeneration.
EMP Shield (2): This aug has its merits, since EMP grenades and spider bots can drain JC’s BE quickly, but it pales in comparison to Ballistic Protection.
8. Tools of the Trade
Deus Ex features an assortment of items that can be used to keep Denton alive or help him move forward. Many of the things he will find are consumable and have to be managed carefully, so take some time to familiarize yourself with the following items.
Alcohol: Players will find forties of beer, bottles of wine, and other alcoholic beverages scattered around the game. Consuming these items will heal 2 HP, but cloud the player’s vision. Drinking several alcoholic beverages will cause the screen to sway and make it difficult for the player to get around.
Ammo: This can take all sorts of forms from 10mm rounds to rockets. Ammo takes up no inventory space, so pick it up when you see it.
Augmentation Canister: Contains an aug that JC can install using a medbot. Be on the lookout for these. You do not need to pick up augmentation canisters for augs you have already installed.
Augmentation Upgrade Canister: A precious commodity, these canisters can improve an aug that you have installed.
Ballistic Armor: Blocks damage from bullets and explosions. Highly useful for tough situations and even better when coupled with augs like ballistic protection or regeneration. Ballistic Armor runs off of a built-in battery and will become useless once the battery drains, giving players about 30 seconds of protection. The environmental skill increases this item’s defensive value and duration.
Binoculars: Can be used to see distant objects.
Bioelectric Cell: Recharges the player’s BE when used. Be sure to pick up any you find, because BE is precious and being able to recharge it while sneaking or in combat is fantastic.
Candy Bar: Eat these to reagin a tiny amount of HP.
Cigarettes: Use these and JC will lose some HP.
Credit Chit: Found in foot lockers and other places every now and then, these things contain currency.
Fire Extinguisher: Can be sprayed at enemies to debilitate them for a second or used to put out fires.
Flares: Small burning sticks that create light and noise. Good for misdirecting guards and lighting up dark places.
Hazmat Suit: Protects JC from radiation and toxic gases, but has a limited power supply. The Environmental skill improves the amount of damage a hazmat suit blocks and its duration.
Lockpick: Used to open locked doors without a key, as the name implies. The lockpicking skill reduces the number of lockpicks you will need to open certain locks.
Medkit: Heals some HP when used, the Medical skill improves the effectiveness of medkits.
Multitool: Used to bypass electrical systems such as electrical maintenance panels, alarm panels, and keypads. Governed by the electronics skill.
Nano Key: Special hightech keys that open special hightech doors.
Nano-Keyring: Holds nano keys, which can be found on enemies, hidden in drawers, or found laying around.
Rebreather: Increases the amount of time JC can remain underwater. The Environmental skill will improve the duration of rebreathers.
Soda: Heals 2 HP and cancels out the effects of tranq darts.*
Soy Food: Heals 5 HP when eaten.
Tech Goggles: Lights up an area, but has a small power supply.
Zyme: A drug that can be found all over the place, sells for a good price in Paris.
*This is what I gather from personal experience and I could be wrong.
Weapon mods can be found or bought in a number of locations and are used to improve weapons in a variety of ways. It is best to place your mods on the weapons you specialize in, but a highly modded weapon is an option for players looking for a backup weapon, but do not wish to invest skill points, though this is no replacement for raw skill. Selecting a mod in the inventory will cause any weapon that can accept it to turn green. Dragging and dropping a mod onto an eligible weapon will install the mod. Not all weapons can take every mod and there is a cap to how many of the same mod you can apply to a weapon.
Accuracy: Improves the accuracy of a firearm.
Clip: Improves the clip size of the weapon, very useful. Pistols really benefit from this mod.
Laser: Improves accuracy when activated. Best used on weapons you are not very skilled with or on low accuracy weapons.
Range: Increases the effective range of a weapon. Good for Pistols and the minicrossbow.
Recoil: Reduces recoil, great for shotguns, sniper rifles, and just about anything.
Reload: Allows JC to reload the weapon a bit more quickly. Great for Heavy weapons and shotguns.
Scope: A zoomable scope. Nice for Pistol type weapons.
SIlencer: Reduces the amount of noise from firing the weapon. A great choice for stealth players.
10.Further Reading and References
The following is a brief list of guides and walkthroughs that helped me get started in Deus Ex. Take some time to check the links below out if you are having trouble.
A highly detailed walkthrough:
A more concise walkthrough:
Skill point totals and locations:
Thanks for using our Deus Ex (PC) Character Creation Guide!