Deus Ex – Human Revolution: How to Hack – Complete Hacking Guide
In Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, the hacking is done through a short mini-game of capturing nodes. Basically, you have to capture the green node (or nodes, there can be more than one) before the system captures your starting blue node.
The hacking game is essentially a game of cat and mouse. You try to maneuver through the nodes undetected as long as possible, and when you’re detected, it’s a race to capture nodes and slow down the system as much as possible.
This is a complete guide to hacking, so check out my other article if you are just in need of some hacking tips for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
How to Start Hacking
Once you get to Sarif HQ, you will start with the ability to hack level 1 security systems. In order to hack anything with a rating of 2 or higher, you will need to upgrade your Hacking: Capture ability to match the level of the security system. For example, if you want to hack a level 5 security system, you’ll need Hacking: Capture level 5.
If you are able to hack a security system, you just press the corresponding button to hack that is shown on the screen. For example, on PS3 you’ll press Triangle to hack, and on Xbox 360 you’ll press Y. If you have the skill level to hack the security system, it will show you a screen with the security level and how many attempts you have until it locks you out temporarily, or it will tell you that you don’t have the correct skill.
It’s important to note that the attempts it shows you on the screen just refers to how many times you can disconnect from the hack before it locks you out for 30 seconds, similar to when the system catches you hacking before you complete the hack. The system will never lock you out permanently, so no worries there.
The Different Types of Nodes
There are several different types of nodes, with slightly different effects.
This is the Blue node, and is your entry point into the hack. If the system captures this node, it’s game over and you’ll have to start the hack over.
This is the Basic node, and just grants you access to adjacent nodes.
This is the Datastore node, and contains rewards for capturing them once you complete the hack. It can contain XP, credits, or helpful worms and viruses to help with hacking.
This is an API node, and can help in various different ways. Depending on the hack, it can change the values of nodes, slow down the system, etc. These are usually pretty helpful nodes to capture.
This is the Diagnostic Subroutine node (aka, the system node), which is the source of the system trying to get to your starting node.
This is the Green node, and is ultimately what you want to capture for a successful hack. There can be more than one Green node, and all of them must be captured to be successful.
How to Capture and Defend Nodes
Each node has a number rating, that not only determines how quickly it can be captured, but also the chance that the system will detect your presence and try to stop you. Once you are detected, it is a rush to finish before the system captures your Blue node.
To capture nodes, you just need to select a node that you have access to and select an action. The top action with the flag is the capture option. In order to capture a node, you must have access to a node adjacent to it, and with the flow that is required. Some paths are bi-directional, while others are one way. Some nodes have other requirements however, like requiring you to capture the API node first (the gear shaped node) before you can capture certain nodes.
If you are able to capture a node, it will light up and give you options when you hover over it.
The bottom action with the shield is the defend action. To defend a node, you must have already captured it. Defending a node will increase its value, depending on your Hacking: Fortify skill. By default, it will increase the value of the node by one, but you can spend Praxis Points to increase this number.
How to Use Special Actions
In the picture above, you’ll notice the left and right options. The left option is the Nuke Virus, and the right option is the Stop Worm. The Nuke Virus allows you to capture a node undetected, and the Stop Worm gives you five seconds of time where the system can’t do anything. These can be very helpful, especially for higher level hacks.
The Nuke Virus is especially helpful in situations where your first node has a high value, making it extremely difficult to capture without detection. Using a Nuke Virus in this instance can give you the few extra seconds of stealth that you may need to finish the hack.
The Stop Worm is a life saver if you are almost done with a hack, but need just a few more seconds to finish. You can use multiple Stop Worms back to back as well if needed.
Save your game first and foremost.
The first thing you want to do on any hack (after saving your game of course) is to analyze the nodes, and try to make an attack plan. You can look at the nodes as long as you like, the system will only detect you once you start hacking nodes.
Look at where you start, and where the Diagnostic Subroutine is. The location of the Diagnostic Subroutine is very important, since you need to slow down the path from there, to your starting node.
Simply finding a path to the Green node(s) is tricky enough usually, but to get the most out of your hack you want to capture as many Datastores as possible, for extra XP, money, Stop Worms, and/or Nuke Viruses.
The best way to pull this off is to take as many nodes as you can without being detected. You can increase your odds of this by purchasing the Hacking: Stealth upgrade, which decreases your chances of detection. If you are detected right away, back out and try again to see if you can get farther. The farther you can get without detection, the easier the hack will be.
Once you are detected, start hacking nodes like crazy on your path to the Datastores and Green node(s), while also defending your existing nodes. The best nodes to defend are the nodes with larger values, especially the nodes that are directly on the path to your starting Blue node.
Don’t forget, you can hack and defend multiple nodes at once, so don’t be shy. This will usually be necessary, since you will be on limited time once detected. Also, don’t forget that you can defend any node you have, including the Blue node.
I highly suggest investing in Hacking: Fortify, as it can slow down the system immensely.
Capturing the Diagnostic Subroutine node is possible in some circumstances, but is generally not the most efficient path. Capturing this node finishes the hack, as well as giving you the rewards from all Datastore nodes, but it is usually easier to just capture the Datastore nodes themselves instead of going for the Diagnostic Subroutine node.
You will never get fully locked out of any security system, however I would suggest restoring your game if you used any Stop Worms or Nuke Viruses and still failed the hack (this is why you always save first).
Good luck, and happy hacking!
Hacking Exploit to Gain Infinite XP
If you’re down with exploits, then you’ll like my other article that shows you how to gain an unlimited amount of XP while hacking. I’ve used it, and it works like a champ.