Self-Improvement: A Guide to Augmentations in Deus Ex
by: M.S. Smith
; edited by: Benjamin Sell
; updated: 5/11/2012
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Unlike the original game, which included both skills and augmentations, Deus Ex relies only on augmentations to handle character customization. Let's have a look at the various augs in the game and what they do.
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Cranial Augs – Use Your Head!
Social Enhancer – This augmentation adds interface elements to the game that will help you determine how you conversation choices are impacting your interactions with an NPC. In addition to this, you’ll be provided with helpful information about the NPC’s attitude that can assist in resolving a war of words in your favor. It’s handy for non-combat characters, particularly since it requires just two Praxis points to unlock and fully upgrade.
Radar – When you begin the game, you will be given access to rudimentary radar that will provide you with information about the movement of nearby characters. The radar works when you spot a character and has a range of 25 meters. For a cost of one Praxis point you can upgrade the range to 50 meter and include all characters on your radar, regardless of if you’ve previously spotted them. In my opinion, it’s a must-have upgrade.
Infolink – This is your connection with headquarters. It lets you receive and send communications without being heard. You receive, fully upgraded, for free.
Stealth Enhancer – A deep augmentation tree, you’ll need two Praxis points to unlock it and one point for each additional enhancement. The basic Stealth Enhancer you receive when you unlock the aug reduces noise generated while you move. Additional investment will allow you to see the line-of-sight of opponents and/or mark opponents for easy tracking. While this is useful for stealth builds, I would not call it absolutely essential, since other augmentations can render you entirely silent and invisible. It is actually of more use for a balanced build that relies on some measure of stealth but won't be investing into those more expensive augs.
Hacking: Capture - Another deep tree, this aug improves your ability to hack terminals. In essence, it acts somewhat like skill points. Several enhancements make it possible to have more stuff (robots and turrets) and the rest allow players to hack more complex terminals. If you’d like to make use of hacking in the game, these are must-have upgrades. You receive the very first level of this augmentation for free.
Hacking: Analyze – A small tree, choosing this will provide you with some additional information about how long hacking a node will take and, at its highest level, the contents of data stores. This won’t be of much use to people who aren’t already investing into Hacking: Capture.
Hacking: Fortify – Another small tree, this increases the fortify rating when performing the fortify action in the hacking mini-game. Again, this is not a necessity, but it will make those high-level hacks easier. I would choose this before Hacking: Analyze.
Hacking: Stealth – This decreases your chance of detection whenever you hack a node. It can be of use for almost anyone interested in gaining a little extra hacking skill, and in my opinion should be your first stop after you’ve dived into Hacking: Capture.
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Sentinel RX Health System – Allows regeneration of health automatically. You gain this for free.
Sarif Series 8 Energy Converter – A critical augmentation, investing down this tree can provide a higher energy maximum and makes recharging quicker. It’s a must-have aug for anyone who makes frequent use of takedowns as well as stealth characters who are going to be using the cloak aug.
Implanted Rebreather – At its first level, this renders you invulnerable to gas grenades. I’d say that’s a must-have for anyone going combat heavy, since gas grenades are often used by tougher opponents to try and flush you out. The higher levels only increase sprint duration, which is less exciting.
Typhoon Explosive System – This is a nasty AOE attack that requires energy to use. It can be extremely effective, but I suggest taking an all-or-nothing approach to it. The first level only damages human opponents, but a fully upgraded system will kill most human and robotic enemies outright.
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Cybernetic Arm Prosthesis – This is a complex tree. Early on, the augmentation makes it possible to bust through walls (snapping the neck of anyone on the other side). Depending on how you spend your points, you can also use this to move heavy objects, reduce weapon recoil and increase inventory size. It’s a pretty good tree for combat characters because of the larger inventory and recoil reduction, but just about everyone can use the upgrade that allows for lifting heavier objects.
Aim Stabilizer – Choosing this reduces recoil caused by movement. The first level reduces it by 50%, and the second reduces it completely. Though this sounds pretty nice, there aren’t many situations where you’ll want to be shooting while not behind cover. Still, a very heavy combat build that is already taking Dermal Armor could find use for this.
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Smart Vision – Apparently, it’s clever to see through walls, because that’s all Smart Vision does. Considering that it’s not a tree but rather an ability you can basically buy outright for 2 Praxis points, most characters are going to want to pick this up.
Retinal Prosthesis – You start this game with the first level of this aug, which simply provides your HUD. Additional points will show you the exact amount of time enemies will remain in an alarmed state and/or protect you against the blinding effects of grenades. The alarmed state aug would be great for stealth builds, while the concussion grenade aug would be a nice addition for combat builds, though I wouldn’t call it critical.
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Reflex Booster – A quick two point investment, this makes it possible to take down two opponents at once. It’s a must-have for combat builds looking to mix it up at close ranges, and also great for stealth characters. Those who prefer to be at range won’t need it.
Icarus Landing System – Want to fall from great heights without worry? Here’s the aug fo you. It’s another quick investment that provides a useful ability. Anyone who wants to explore the game world or play a stealth build will want this.
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Dermal Armor – This provides a straight 15%/30%/45% passive reduction in damage along with an optional ability that will render you invulnerable to EMP effects on your augmentations. Heavy combat builds will absolutely want this, but don’t get too cocky. Unlike the similar augmentation in the original Deus Ex, this doesn’t render you virtually invulnerable.
Cloak – Use this to become completely invisible until your energy runs dry. The first level of this aug gives you the ability, while additional investment reduces energy consumption by 20%/40%/60%. Stealth characters will want to invest in this fully, but combat characters built to prefer melee and short-range attacks will also enjoy it, even if they only obtain the first level. As the in-game description warns, this aug does not eliminate the sound made when you walk.
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Cybernetic Leg Prosthesis – This aug eliminates the sound made when you walk! Actually, just part of the tree does. It’s also possible to obtain enhanced jumping ability and increase your sprint speed. Investing into the silencing aug is wise for stealth characters, and most everyone can use the extra jumping height to access out-of-the-way areas. The sprint speed, however, is something I consider to be that useful.
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What Are The Best Augmentation Trees?
So, you may be wondering, which of the augs above are the best.
That's a tough choice because each character's goals may be different. However, here are some that I think are particularly good considering the point investment.
Cloak - The first level only. You won't stay cloaked for long, but make it possible to cross short distances even in plain sight of guards. Stock up on candy bars, and this will make your sneaking around much easier.
Reflex Booster - For two Praxis points, you can take down twice as many characters at once. Um, yes please! This is great investment for both combat and stealth characters.
Smart Vision - Again, for two Praxis points, you gain the ability to see through walls. It's incredibly useful to stealth characters since it makes sneaking easier, and it's incredibly useful for people who prefer combat because it lets you see what you're up against.
Serif Series 8 Energy Converter - You have to spend a lot of points to gain the full benefit of this aug tree, but it's worthwhile. Not only will your maximum energy be up to 5 times higher, you'll also regenerate your first bar of energy more quickly.
Radar System - Buying this is useful for the same reasons as Smart Vision. Having more information means you can make more intelligent deceisions.
All references and images from Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
All images are provied by author
Compete Guide to Deus Ex: Human Revolution Augmentations
Whether you're augmenting Adam's combat capabilities or turning him into an invisible ninja, our guide to augmentations in Deus Ex: Human Revolution will help you decide which augments to unlock and when to unlock them.