Hacking is a game mechanic in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Hacking allows players to unlock doors, computers, personal safes, and other devices by means of a minigame. While keypad codes and computer passwords are often obtainable, there are many instances in which hacking is required to progress through the game.
The hacking minigame was previously introduced in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Unlike previous hacking games, Mankind Divided hacking features 3D maps with upgraded graphics, more complex mechanics and diverse hacking software. The tempo is also quite a lot higher.
The goal of the minigame is to progress through the system network's nodal map and capture all green nodes before the timer expires. During the course of progressing through the nodal map, players may also capture any datastore nodes, to uncover hacking software, credits, or experience, but these datastores must be captured prior to capturing all green nodes. Failing the hack attempt naturally doesn't reward any bounty held in datastores, but further attempts can be made to secure any riches held by the hack.
Alternatively, the minigame can be completed by capturing all red nodes, if possible. Doing so will automatically capture all datastore nodes on the map, and win the hacking game instantly. This situation gets progressively more common the farther into the game you progress, as hacking and hack defenses get more sophisticated. hacks of level 2 and above frequently feature firewalls - invisible obstacles that slow your trace to the node selected, costing precious seconds
Each device has a number of hacking attempts. Quitting a session without triggering detection will not subtract the available attempts. Finishing a session in the very first attempt will reward a small sum of bonus XP. This reward also applies to remote hacking sessions. If a hacking attempt fails, an alarm may be triggered if the system is connected to an alarm, or a 'silent alarm' may be tripped (failure to hack Palisade alarm panels deploys SB-71 robots, for instance.)
Whenever the subroutine trace captures a node, its security rating will increase by a factor based on the subroutine's level, making it harder for the player to capture, sometimes incredibly so. The subroutine trace will also attempt to breach fortified nodes and will cancel the fortification process of any node that is being fortified, though depending on the strength and progress of the fortification, it could take quite awhile for the subroutine to breach it.
Wandering too far from the node map will cause the screen to shake and their connection will be terminated.
Node types Edit
- The I/O Port is the starting point of the hack. Represented by a blue spinning crystal. Jensen may only have one I/O Port. I/O Ports must not be captured by Diagnostic Nodes or Jensen loses. The only operation possible is fortifying the I/O Port.
- Of note are arrows. These work like one-way streets, and data traffic can only flow in the specified direction.
- Diagnostic Nodes are represented as a red sphere and become active when the player is detected. When the player is detected, the node will start spinning and a subroutine trace begins from the diagnostic nodes and heads toward the I/O Port. The detection timer, indicating the time until which the trace reaches the I/O Port, will also stop. Capturing a Spam API or fortifying nodes along the trace path will slow down the subroutine trace.
- Capturing all red nodes will declare automatic victory even if no Registry nodes are captured.
- Capturing all red nodes will also unlock the contents of all datastores without having to capture them first.
- A captured red node will not perform tracing if captured before alarm sounds.
- In high level hacks, red nodes are often at low levels and hackable.
- However, in some instances red nodes are placed behind one-way paths and cannot be captured.
- Directories are represented by a folder. These have no use other than as a bridge and possible barriers. Directories are the only nodes that may have security level 0 (0% chance of detection).
- Datastores are represented by a storage cylinder akin to a hard drive. Contents can include either XP, hacking software or credits.
- Registry Nodes are represented by green rotating spheres. The objective is to capture all registry nodes
- Blown node. This is the result of using Nuke software. The subroutine passes over these as if they weren't there. Theplayer can still reinforce a blown node, anyway.
- API Nodes are represented by two gears:
- "Spam" API nodes that, when captured, slow the diagnostic subroutine trace. However, capturing these nodes always result in a detection, as indicated by the 100% detection chance.
- "Transfer" API nodes that, when captured, transfer security rating from a nearby node to another nearby node. The direction of security rating transfer is completely random, and as such isn't always in the player's favor.
- "Clearance" API nodes that, when captured, reduce the security rating of datastores by a factor, making them far easier to capture. Clearance nodes are typically protected by layers of directories and firewalls, or left out in the open, to act as traps.
The ability to hack computer systems and keypads is provided by the Hacking Capture augmentation. Each level of Hacking Capture permits the player to capture computer systems up to that level, up to a maximum level 5. Note that unlike in HR, Mankind divided features quite a lot of level 4 and 5 objects.
- Level 1 Hacking Capture is always available in Mankind Divided and its DLC missions, with the sole exception being A Criminal Past, in which the player begins with all augmentations disabled.
- The Hacking Capture branch also includes upgrades to dominate turrets and robots. These features do not affect the hacking minigame, but are instead used to control turrets and robots after a security hub is hacked. Although turrets and robots are fairly rare encounters, it might be worth considering investing in the relevant abilities to take control of them. If nothing else, there will be less hostiles gunning for Adam, and if you so desire, you can turn the robotic assets on their owners,
- Hacking: Fortify allows Jensen to reinforce captured nodes and use them as barriers against enemy diagnostic nodes. The default upgrade is to turn any captured node into a barrier. Then, Jensen may further fortify a captured node. This is Jensen's primary tool for successfully infiltrating high-level objects.
- Hacking: Stealth lowers chance of detection to as low as 15%. At maximum upgrade, Jensen may even hack the entire system without triggering detection. Note that Stealth synergizes with Fortify. Tier three stealth, backed by tier three fortify, will allow Jensen to casually defeat most level three or below objects in seconds.
Remote hacking Edit
The Remote Hacking augmentation permits the "remote hacking" operation, which is used to disable car alarms, and mines, temporarily disable robotics such as cameras, robots, and drones, and to manipulate environment objects such as hidden ladders and glass cover. Remote hacking differs from normal hacking in that remote hacking is not used on computer terminals.
Furthermore, unlike normal hacking, Remote Hacking uses variable amount of energy and may have its range increased with Smart Vision and its cursor slowed down with Focus Enhancement. Energy drain, while low, works similarly to a takedown. A certain chunk of bar is consumed instantly for every attempt, leaving no depleted bar to regenerate.
The more secure an object is, the more energy your tamper attempt will drain. Turning off a TV barely registers on the meter, while messing with a Palisade ceiling turret costs almost as much as two takedowns.
Hacking software Edit
The player may also utilize any of the following hacking software for various effects during the minigame.
- Stop! Worm Software – used to stop the detection timer for 5 seconds.
- Nuke Virus Software – used to instantly capture any node, however at a 100% detection chance.
- Reveal Software – used to remove the "fog" on certain computer systems.
- Overclock Software – used to speed up the capture and fortify commands.
- Datascan Software – used to reveal the contents of datastore nodes.
- Stealth Software – used to avoid detection while capturing a node.
- Unless the risk of discovery is too great, always fortify your I/O port. This makes a strong base even stronger, and can buy you a great amount of time.
- The point isn't to capture everything, but to get what you came there for.
- No matter how careful you are, unless you expend copious amounts of hacking software you'll inevitably end up caught. Prepare for it.