There are 19 Augmentations available for purchase and upgrading. In some cases further upgrades are straight percentage boosts, while other branching upgrades might unlock new unique features. If you wish to acquire everything you will need 69 Praxis points. That’s a hefty amount of XP, but close to the needed amount can be gained from concentrating on stealth and going on sidequests. For the rest, Praxis can also be purchased at any LIMB clinic.
Our overall picks for most useful skills include 3/3 Damage Reduction, 4/4 Hacking Stealth, Icarus Landing, Heavy Lifting, Jump, and EMP Immunity. Other great skills that can be gained at later points are Social Enhancer, Hacking Capture Levels, Energy Recharge Rate, Carrying Capacity, Radar System, Infravision, and Multi-Takedown.
The remaining choices depend on your particular play style. We’ve gone ahead and commented on the pros and cons of obtaining each of these augmentations.
Cranium enhancements range from improved speech, stealth awareness, and most importantly boosted hacking. Social Enhancer is incredibly useful for talking down characters during plot situations and unlocking extra dialogue in sidequests. The personality HUD is very helpful in your first play through and pheromones can help with unlocking special outcomes.
The upgrade to Radar System is great for stealth players, or those who at least want to know how many enemies they will be blasting. The Stealth Enhancer is good for a sneaking style of play, but won’t really be useful for a shooter. The most helpful upgrade is Vision Cones to get a better idea how far the enemy can see. Marking Targets and Noise Feedback are typically a waste of points or rarely useful.
Hacking Capture is needed for opening doors and safes without the need of finding codes. Professional hackers should of course get Level 5 and the ability to control Robots and Turrets. Even non-hacking specialists should consider Level 3 and maybe Turrets (Your use of the Heavy Lifting Augment should factor into this choice). Hacking Analyze isn’t very helpful as with a successful Hack you can easily end up with every reward. Hacking Fortify is a fair skill, helpful if you lack Capture, Stealth, or Viruses, but lackluster if you have one or more of the former. Hacking Stealth is overall the most helpful as it can completely eliminate detection from many computers.
Torso upgrades include upgrade to energy cells, lungs, and the Typhoon defense system. Increase Cells isn’t very good as you will constantly need to keep eating Energy Bars to refill your stock; at most keep four bars, but you can easily get through with only three. On the flip side Recharge Rate is very helpful and should be upgraded quickly. The final cell will always automatically recharge, allowing you to have keep using abilities without eating Energy bars.
Gas Immunity is very helpful in boss fights, heavy fire fights, and some puzzles. You should consider obtaining this skill around half way through the game. Sprinting is an unusual tactic for a cover/stealth based game and isn’t recommended. However, Sprint Time has some uses if paired along with the leg upgrade Fast Sprint.
Typhoon lets out a destructive (and lethal) explosion in an area of effect. Stealth players should ignore this skill entirely, while fighters will want it around half way through the game. The further upgrade to destroy robots is nice, but not needed with a good supply of EMP.
Arm upgrades include the ability to lift bulky objects, carry more items, and improve aiming. Heavy Lifting is one of the most useful abilities in the game. It can clear paths for both stealth and lethal players, and the heavy items can be used as one or two shot kills. Wall Breaking is very contextual, but will often lead to a lot of extra free items.
Carrying capacity is good for players that want to store many different gadgets on them; but don’t forget you can drop items on the ground and pick them up while still in the same chapter. Consider upgrading Carrying Capacity after each town hub.
Recoil reduction and Aim are mainly for run-and-gunning. Since Deus Ex heavily relies on cover and your lack of health, both of these skills have limited use.
Eye augmentations include the ability to see through walls with Energy, awareness of enemy alerted states, and eye protection. Infravision is very helpful for recon and can even allow you to see invisible enemies. It’s great for fighting stealth guards and even several bosses.
Alert Cooldown Timer is useful if you keep getting caught, though it’s probably better to prevent that in the first place. Flash Immunity is rarely helpful as you should always have enough cover during most encounters. If you are blinded, just sit still and avoid prancing like a madman.
Back skills include improving takedowns and reducing fall damage. Multi-Takedown is contextual during stealth play, but much more common during a lethal (or non-stealth + non-lethal) play through. Have this one by the time you reach the second city.
Icarus Landing completely removes fall damage and allows you to deliver a seismic punch. Dying from falling is incredibly frustrating, making this one of the most useful augmentations in the game. Regardless of play style, this should be one of your first three upgrades.
Skin augmentations improve defense, immunity from EMPS, and turn you invisible. Damage Reduction is without a doubt the most useful ability in the game. Even with a stealth build, you must fight during key parts of the game. Get Damage Reduction three upgrades even if you plan on sneaking for most of the game. EMP Immunity is also on the same level. So many bosses and routes have electric floors that will violate unprepared players. Upgrade EMP Immunity to laugh in the face of such dangerous situations.
Cloak is overall lacking. It simply drains too fast, even with max upgrades and Energy. There aren’t many situations were you can’t simply time your movements carefully to avoid detection. Even if you specialize in stealth there are better places to put your Praxis.
Legs can improve jumping, running, and how audible your movement is. Jumping is very useful and allows you to reach normally in accessible locations. This should be among your first bought skills to quickly access alternate routes. When paired with Landing and Heavy Lifting, you can essentially travel anywhere.
Fast Sprint is pretty much only useful when paired with Sprint Time. Get them both or forget them. Last, Silent Movement is good for any stealth play through; among the best strategies is to do a silent Icarus punch to knock clustered enemies and run before they know what happened.
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