Hitman tips and tricks for beginners and vets
IO Interactive and Square Enix are back with the latest chapter in the ongoing Hitman franchise, which has produced six AAA games and two movies since its debut 16 years ago. Whether you are new to the series or an old fan, we have some Hitman tips and tricks to help you get the job done.
The simply named Hitman continues to build on the same stealth-action foundation introduced back in 2000’s Hitman: Codename 47. You’ll find many of the old tricks, including disguises, multiple ways to kill, and the option of going hot or remaining in the shadows. Some ways are easier than others, but it is ultimately your choice.
If you know the series well, Hitman will feel comfortably familiar, but there are a few new tricks. If you are new to the series, the game may seem a little overwhelming. Either way, we have a few Hitman tips and tricks to help you along.
Given the episodic nature of this game, we will update this guide often, so check back for more. If you have any tips of your own, let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!
How Hitman is being released
The most important thing to know about Hitman, and the biggest change in the series from the last iteration to this one, is the new structure of the game – or more specifically, the way it is being released. Hitman is an episodic game, with multiple releases scheduled throughout 2016.
There has been some confusion regarding this, but it is straightforward enough, and in some ways it’s actually a great way for players to try out what is in some ways still a niche genre game.
For $15, you can purchase the first episode (title the “Intro Pack”), which contains two prologue episodes and one major mission. If you aren’t sure whether or not Hitman is for you, this may be the way to go. Buy it, download it, and try it out. If you like it enough that you plan to purchase the game in total, you can upgrade for $50.
The idea is that each mission has multiple ways to complete it. Simply killing the targets and escaping misses the point. You can experiment, try new ways to take out targets, and approach the game however you like. The goal is that players will exhaust each location and get the most out of it before the next content drop comes.
Of course, you can also purchase the full game now for $60, then download the new content as it is available. It’s just a matter of choice. Once the episodes have all been released, the full game will be released on disc as well.
- The second episode will be available in April and take place in Italy.
- Episode three will be released in May, and take Agent 47 to Morocco.
- Future locations include Thailand, the US, and Japan. The plan is to release new locations and missions each month, but a set schedule has not been revealed yet.
- IO Interactive will consistently release new content for the existing missions, including weekly live events.
Choose your path
Given Hitman’s episodic nature, the missions are designed to be replayed repeatedly, allowing players to try something new each time. That means there is no “right” path to choose, but you should take your time to learn the environments.
As you explore, use your Instinct command to find things you can interact with – they may be items to pick up, or they could be things you can use to distract (or kill) enemies and NPCs – always make a note of these. If you are still getting to know the map you may want to save your game, then use the distraction just to see how people react. You can then reload the game and keep on your previous path.
There is no right or wrong way to play, but before you start in on the mission, explore as much as you can without raising any alarms. Learn the patterns of NPCs, find the paths you can travel down, and learn where your targets like to hang out.
Take your time.
One of the best reasons to explore is to listen for opportunities. You’ll come across these when you find a character (or characters) speaking in regards to your target. They may let slip where the target will be, or inform you of their habits you can take advantage of.
These opportunities typically allow you to get creative and pull off some of the more imaginative kills. When you see one you’ll receive a prompt, allowing you to track that new objective. Listen to the whole opportunity, then make your choice – you can always try it on your next replay.
- As long as you are online, the opportunity will remain in your objectives menu, even when you replay/restart.
- Use your Instinct to look for areas to climb and open windows to duck in – just make sure no one sees you.
- Before you act, you should have at least a rough escape path in mind. Scrambling as youa re exiting can lead to a frustrating encounter.
Disguises are a huge part of Hitman, but they are entirely contextual. Certain types of people have access to certain areas. If you are wearing the disguise for that type of character, no problem. If not, you will be spotted and NPCS will become suspicious.
You may end up switching disguises multiple times in the same mission. In many instances, you can think of them like key cards. If an NPC waves you away from an area, you’ll need a new disguise to pass.
Look for NPCs with white circles over them – they will be suspicious if you pass in front of their field of view, so keep your distance. If you need to pass them, you’ll have to find a new disguise.
- Some of the mission objectives require you to wear a particular disguise. Make sure to read the names of the disguises to make sure you are in the right one – there are a lot of similar disguises out there.
- If you are seen doing something you shouldn’t switch disguises – just make sure to switch into one that is authorized to be in that area.
- If you do something suspicious while wearing a disguise, the enemy NPCs will be suspicious.
- If the NPC you subdue to take their disguise is carrying a weapon, you can also carry that weapon – but you don’t need to.
The Instinct feature is your best friend in Hitman. Use it constantly to know your surroundings, track your target, look for items, etc., etc. If you overuse it though, you could get yourself into trouble.
The Instinct feature can see through walls, and in doing so, it makes those walls more or less disappear. That can screw up your relative depth perception. You may think an NPC is coming right towards you, but they could be behind a wall. If you are playing stealth, it’s important to know your immediate surroundings, not just the area.
Use chaos as a tool
The locations in Hitman are self-contained bubbles, filled with NPCs going about their business. If you simply sit there at the start of the mission, the targets will go about their business, interacting with other NPCs and doing their thing. Injecting Agent 47 is the element of chaos that changes everything.
In most stealth action games, you can study the patterns of movement to discover the best course of action. There’s still some benefit to that in Hitman, but once you begin to interact with people and objects, everything changes – in some cases, dramatically.
Hitman wants you to react with the changes it throws at you. You can wait and watch for your opportunity, but it will be much more satisfying (and less time-consuming) to keep moving and changing your plans on the fly. Use that to your benefit.
If you are having trouble reaching a target, trying adding a little chaos into the equation. Set off a fire alarm or leave a weapon where a guard finds it. Knock someone out and let NPCs find the body, or fire a gun. You never know what could happen – just be sure to save before you do.
Chaos is a tool. Use it to your advantage.
- If you are given an objective that seems almost impossible to do without getting into outright combat, prepare a distraction, then get into position to take advantage of it.
- Create chaos, but be careful not to go too far. You will eventually get caught, and targets could slip away (or fortify themselves, making it much harder to reach them.
Ways to kill
There are many, many ways to kill both targets and random NPCs in Hitman, but think before you act. Consider what killing – or even taking out – an NPC will do. If you leave their body, the area will go on alert. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it could cause your target to run towards safety, leaving them vulnerable in transit. Make sure this is what you are planning though, because otherwise it will put people on alert
There’s also the score to think about. If you are replaying missions over and over, eventually you’ll want to get the best score possible – at least you won’t want to sacrifice points for no reason. Killing non-targets hurts your overall score. If you need to take out an NPC, just subdue them.
Regardless, unless you are trying to freak out the NPCs, you need to hide every body – and not just put them in a dark corner, hide them in a place that no one will look The best is a cabinet/chest (you can find them using Instinct), but if not, put them somewhere no one will see them.
- Poison is a common and effective way to take out both targets and non-targets. It won’t kill them, but it will send them to the bathroom, where you can kill/subdue them (and take their disguise if you want). Just be sure no one see you using the poison.
- Look for environmental kills for some entertaining eliminations.
- If you are stuck, you can always shoot your way out – it should be a last resort though.
- If a guard catches you trespassing, you can let them escort you out without fighting/killing them.
- If someone is coming to arrest you and there is no one else watching, you can fake surrender and fight them hand-to-hand using quick-time prompts.
- Coins are an effective way to distract NPCs. Always pick them up, and use them often.
- Collect everything you can, you never know when you might need it – just make sure you can store it. There are some objects that draw attention when equipped.
- If you want to leave a trap, drop a gun in the path of an NPC. They will stop to investigate, leaving them vulnerable.
Did we miss any Hitman tips and tricks?
We’ll update this article often, especially as new episodes are released. If you have more tips and tricks though, let us know!