Dishonored Chaos system explained
How to get low Chaos ratings, and avoid detection and accidental kills
It’s probably happened to you already – you crept unseen through the whole place, knocked out a bunch of guards, and eliminated your target with non-lethal force, and it took your three hours to do it what with all the saving and reloading. So whyyyyyyy did you finish the mission with a high Chaos rating, two kills, and a detection? Here’s how it works.
“Chaos is a value that is adjusted according to the actions of your character during gameplay. This system is a hidden mechanic and you will only see the Chaos rating displayed during the ‘end mission’ Stats screen,” a Bethesda rep told PCGamer.
The persistent Chaos rating affects a number of factors, including narrative outcomes and some aspects of the game’s environment.
- You’ll increase your Chaos rating by killing people, whether intentionally or by accident or otherwise inadvertently. That includes, for example, leaving an unconscious person’s body in a place where plague rats can reach and consume it, or by dropping an unconscious person from any significant height or into water. Indirect kills by “Rewired” traps also count, as do Arc Pylons, Watchtowers, and Walls of Light.
- Rats and fish do not contribute to your kill count, and do not increase or decrease your Chaos rating.
- Killing fewer than 20% of the NPCs in any mission will result in a low Chaos rating, but if you’re going for the zero-kill Clean Hands achievement, you’d better be very, very careful to keep them that way.
- If you get a high Chaos rating at the end of a mission, it’s possible to decrease this overall by maintaining a much less confrontational approach in subsequent missions.
On the more subtle matter of detection, alerting just about any NPC will result in a failure. The only exceptions to this are rats, fish, Watchtowers, and allies – although attacking an ally NPC will also result in a detection. You’ll know you’ve alerted somebody when the lightning bolts around their head turn red and break apart.
Now you get back out there and you do it properly this time, Corvo.