Protips for Dishonored

As you prepare to delve into Dishonored, co-creative director Harvey Smith is here to provide some helpful pointers on playing through the game.

Take it away, Harvey!

Dishonored has been an amazing project to work on. Raphael and I have a huge appreciation for all my teammates, the people at Bethesda, and all the players who have poured their passion into our work. Here are some quick points that we believe will enhance the experience of playing the game.

You can change difficulty whenever you want. If the game is too hard (or too easy), switch difficulty levels. Difficulty setting changes enemy damage, enemy visual perceptiveness, and player-character potion effectiveness.

You can turn off almost every part of the HUD UI, including goal markers. If you’re a minimalist, experiment with that.

Look up! Go vertical when you can, along ledges, rooftops, pipes, etc. You can often sneak past an encounter that way or find an alternate entry or path.
Don’t forget to lean! If your body is behind something like a wall, you can lean out to peak ahead. We abstract that so that your body stays hidden.
More tips from Harvey after the break…
If you’re playing on the Xbox 360, install the game to the hard drive!
Our stealth model is mostly based on enemy view cones and occlusion. Darkness matters at a significant distance, making you more hidden. Up close, the enemies facing and field of vision matters most. (Stay behind them or behind something that blocks their view).

For PC, you can map your powers, weapons and gadgets to a series of # hotkeys.

On console, don’t forget that you can map D-pad hotkeys for 4 weapons, powers or gadgets.

Try playing the game with stealth. Sneaking, playing nonlethally, or even ghosting the missions adds even more tension and drama to situations.

Eavesdrop on unaware enemies to absorb more background information related to the world and the events unfolding around you. Sometimes eavesdropping updates your objectives. (Similarly, listen to street speaker announcements and read posted signs.)

If you use combat, don’t forget to block and counter-attack while an enemy is off-balance.

Often characters have followup lines if you hang out and listen to them (or click on them further). You’ll absorb more about the world this way.

Notes and books also add a lot of background info on the world and events.

Set your brightness so the blacks are really black. The game looks dramatically better.

Don’t forget to assign your bone charms. Review them periodically.

If you like the experience, consider replaying with different powers and a different approach. During a second play-through you will know more about the world and discover new areas.

The team at Arkane is really thrilled about Dishonored and we hope that players enjoy it. Raph and I – along with everyone else who worked on the game – appreciate all the recent attention and we’re looking forward to hearing stories and seeing YouTube videos created by everyone ranging from methodical explorers and stealth players to crazy speed-runners using their supernatural powers to blaze through second or third play-throughs.

Take care and have fun!

Reader Comments

  1. I’m really looking forward to playing and using these tips. Unfortunately, Best Buy decided that my weeks ago U.S. preorder didn’t need to be delivered to me until Monday Oct 15. Go figure…won’t be using them again. I want to congratulate you on all the rave reviews and your success. I just read the story about you at and it really fills in the picture. It’s true that a flower that grows too quickly will be leggy and unable to support the bloom at the top; it will fail and fall over. That is not your future. Congratulations again…your hard work pays off and makes a lot of people very happy.

  2. Great game, great advice. I’m resetting the brightness immediately. Really tough so far, chaos was such a good idea almost keeping people from playing any particular way without accepting the followthrough of that playstyle. Beautiful.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I only played for an hour so far, loved it. Have a question though, is it possible to holster only one hand (like revolver) and keep sword equipped ?
    I do not like sneaking around with my gun out, but the sword looks cool so I want to keep that out.

  4. You should have tips like this from all developers for all Bethesda published titles. I’m sure the dev team knows tricks they’d like to share with the audience.

  5. I beat the game it was awesome in everyway But I was wondering if there’s a way to keep powers. On the second play threw. I wanted to upgrade eveything

  6. I beat the game it was awesome in everyway But I was wondering if there’s a way to keep powers on the second play threw? I wanted to upgrade eveything and play the first missions as a very deadly assassin but as far as I can tell there is no way to do that. It’s a great game but that kills it for me It makes me not want to play again. And I own it I bought it the day of release for 360. Best game I’ve played all year I just wish it could be like prototype as in when you beat it you can play a new game and still upgrade powers to become a unstoppable killing machine. I watched a video on YouTube that was a earlier mission and whoever playing had all the abilitys that’s what I want lol. Can I do that?

  7. Great tips! This game is the game of the year in my books, with beautiful art and unique gameplay and story it’s a modern masterpiece!

  8. Hi there,

    Having seen the aMAZing trailer for Dishonored online I dutifully bought the game upon its release. Sat there telling my girlfriend to “just wait and see the opening title sequence” (which I assumed would be as per the trailer) but was gutted to find no such introduction. Do you have any idea why such footage hasn’t been included in the game? OR have I just by-passed it somehow?

    If you could shed some light on the subject it would be greatly appreciated.