A guide to helping you optimize your augmentation unlocks in 'Deus Ex: Mandkind Divided' to suit different play styles.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided lets you play out your own cyberpunk fantasy.

It"s an RPG set in a future where augmentations -- corrective or performance-enhancing implants and prosthetics -- have gifted willing humans with extraordinary capabilities. You can shoot straighter, run more quietly, hack computers with your mind and make yourself invisible.

It"s all a tradeoff in Mankind Divided. There"s only so much Praxis -- the game"s word for ability points -- to go around and too many augmentations, or augs, to spend it on. Mankind Divided also introduces the new wrinkle of experimental augs which threaten to overclock your system unless you permanently shut down something else.

With so many choices in front of the player, we decided to seek some help. Deus Ex gameplay director Patrick Fortier was kind enough to offer Praxis advice to players looking to specialize in Mankind Divided"s combat, stealth or hacking roles.

First things first

There are a few hoops for Adam Jensen to jump through before you start earning Praxis and unlocking his many augs.

First is a hefty tutorial mission set in a familiar location from the last game. Here, you start out with a range of augs unlocked. It"s basically a "jack-of-all-trades mode" where you get to try out a variety of basic skills suited to different play styles.

You head to the game"s Prague hub after that mission but quickly discover that all of your augs are malfunctioning. Simply follow the story to fix that. It doesn"t take long. You"ll know you"re close when you find yourself sneaking around in an enemy-occupied bookstore.

Combat build recommendations


Credit: Eidos Montreal

It should come as no surprise that, according to Fortier, combat-oriented playtesters tend to focus on beefing up the Cybernetic Weapon Handling skills first. Spending here allows you to improve accuracy, cut down on recoil and boost reload speed with all firearms.

"Some of the people"s favorite skills for combat are definitely the aiming stability the reload speed," Fortier said. "All of those weapon-related ones are skills players like to invest in quickly."

Fortier also recommends investing in Smart Vision, an aug for Jensen"s eyes that allows players to see through walls and figure out where enemies and items of interest are located. It"s really a skill that"s useful for all playstyles, since it helps with both tactical planning and evasion.

When it comes to more active abilities, Fortier thinks Typhoon is a good one for combat players. The ammo-dependent aug allows Jensen to wade into a group of enemies and put down everyone around him in one strike.

He also wanted to remind players the lethal combat isn"t the only option. Non-lethal players can benefit from many standard combat augs, thanks to Jensen"s stun gun and tranquilizer rifle, as well as abilities like Typhoon.

"You can do non-lethally as well now," Fortier said. "Combat doesn"t necessarily mean lethal; you can still use non-lethal augmentations as well. You can be pretty aggressive with the P.E.P.S. or even the stun pistol. The effective range of the Typhoon is really beneficial."

The Nanoblade aug also comes highly recommended. While its upgraded form works as a sort of remote Typhoon attack, the initial unlock is especially effective for dealing with targets that try to flank Jensen.

"You can always pick them off on the side without having to stop shooting for long," Fortier said of Nanoblade. "Since there"s an auto-lock, you can get rid of , then get right back into the shooting action."

Stealth build recommendations


Credit: Eidos Montreal

For players that prefer to stay quiet, avoiding action entirely or only engaging on their terms, Fortier"s recommended starting point is Jensen"s Glass-Shield Cloaking aug. But a close second behind that is the Icarus Dash.

"I feel like the Icarus Dash is a really interesting one as well because it lends itself so well to navigation," Fortier said. "You can use it aggressively to smash into people, but probably the best use of it is for traversal.

"You can actually use to go straight into cover on a lower floor from the second floor. And you can combine with cloaking to do cloaked dashes. So you can traverse the environment really quickly and quietly."

All stealth players should go for the initial Cybernetic Leg Prosthesis upgrade, which gives Jensen a powered high jump. But Fortier recommends investing an extra point here for the Leg Silencers as well.

"If you"re a little bit more clever with your crouching, you can get away with a lot of stuff ," he said. "But if you do like to run, that"s definitely something you want to invest in."

Noise management -- and general environmental awareness, really -- is made easier by improving Jensen"s radar. Vision Feedback and Noise Feedback are especially useful; the former for revealing enemy vision cones and the latter for seeing how much noise you"re making.

Another very helpful early investment for all stealth players is Jensen"s strength enhancement, Optimized Musculature. It"s the last tile in the center tier of the Cybernetic Arm Prosthesis skill tree.

This aug allows you to pick up and move heavy objects, such as refrigerators and supply crates. Not only do these objects provide mobile concealment and cover in open spaces, they"re also often placed to block ventilation shafts that you can use for sneaking around.

Finally, don"t overlook Remote Hacking, which is really best for stealthier play styles. Hacking unlocks doors and breaks into computers, but Remote Hacking works differently.

"You don"t necessarily use it on the same items as the hacking, but it nullifies cameras, lasers, turrets, drones and things of that nature," Fortier said.

Shutting down enemy alert systems remotely -- even temporarily, as is the case with cameras, turrets and drones -- is especially helpful later on in the game as enemies rely more and more on automated defenses.

Hacker build recommendations


This is the most straightforward aug path for Jensen to follow, and a strong early-game choice that pairs particularly well with a later lean toward stealth.

Hacking Capture is your top-priority aug, since it"s the one that dictates which devices you can and can"t hack. Hacking Stealth should be next, since remaining unseen gets tough with the more difficult hacks.

Save Hacking Fortify for last. It"s a big help with higher-level hacks, provided you remember to fortify all of your captured tiles. Stealth"s benefits apply passively, which is why it"s best to invest in that before Fortify.

In truth, most play styles should incorporate some form of hacker build. If you"re looking to beef Jensen up early on by playing through sidequests and exploring, going hacker-first is smart. There"s no penalty for stealing from unoccupied apartments, and looting the city of Prague with abandon is easier when you can hack your way past obstacles.

All that said, hacking isn"t a requirement. If you prefer to skip it entirely, be sure to stock up on Multi-Tools -- single-use items that let you commandeer a device without hacking it. Similarly, hoard all of your crafting parts -- which can be found in abundance -- and use them to make even more Multi-Tools.

Other useful augs


All players should consider investing in the Social Enhancer relatively early, especially before you go digging into much of the story. It"s a little tough to understand at first, but the aug allows you to "win" during most key conversations.

The trick to using Social Enhancer is watching the meter that sometimes appears during conversations. The meter shows the speaker"s Alpha, Beta and Omega levels. What those are doesn"t actually matter; the trick is to watch the flashing light that appears under each one.

As whoever you"re talking to speaks, the light appears under Alpha, Beta or Omega at varying intervals. The trick is to figure out which one gets the most flashes and then choose the subsequent dialogue prompt marked with that level.

So, for example, if you count two flashes for Beta and three for Omega during one stretch of conversation, you"ll choose the dialogue option marked with Omega next. It"s very simple once you see it all laid out.

It"s also worth looking at Jensen"s other strength upgrades regardless of your play style. The one that lets you punch through certain walls can open up new paths of travel (though it makes a little noise).

More valuable are the inventory upgrades. In a game like Deus Ex, being able to carry more stuff -- which means you can sell more stuff with each store visit -- is always helpful. It"s not a priority, but boosting your inventory is never a bad thing.

A word about Overclocking

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided introduces a set of "experimental" augs. There are seven of them in all, though investing in even one starts to throw Jensen"s system out of balance, as indicated at the bottom of the Augmentations screen in the "System Status" field.

Ideally, your System Status is always at 100%. Investing Praxis in an experimental aug pushes that number higher, but you can bring it back down by permanently deactivating one of the other experimental augs.

The idea is for players to find a balance. If you"re going the non-lethal route, you might want to invest in the Tesla experimental aug and balance it out by shutting off Nanoblade, which delivers lethal strikes.

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You can simply wait, as an option opens up much later in the game that allows you to activate as many experimental augs as you want. But as Fortier pointed out, overclocking Jensen isn"t the worst thing you could do.

"There is some leeway. You can overclock a bit without much of a penalty," he said.

"You"re only going to start seeing an effect with the second augmentation, and then with the third and the fourth the effects are still relatively minimal. It"s not too penalizing. So you can still go down that rabbit hole a little bit and explore that."