Checking out some Hitman 3 tips before you head out on a contract is a sensible move, regardless of whether you're a newcomer to the world of stealthy eliminations or are already a professional assassin. There's always something new to learn, and this is especially true in Hitman 3 thanks to various changes to the gameplay and mechanics involved, which can massively improve your experience once you know how to master them. If it's assassination advice that you're looking for then you've come to the right place, so let us pass on some essential Hitman 3 tips to complete your assignments like a seasoned pro.
1. Pick up everything in case you need it
In the world of Hitman it pays to be a kleptomaniac, so every time you see a handy item or tool lying around make sure you grab it. Screwdrivers let you tamper with electronics, wrenches can open up valves or repair machines, and crowbars are particularly useful as they let you break through locked doors to access new areas. There's no limit to how much you can carry, and having the right item in your inventory can help you explore fresh routes and opportunities.
2. Coins are the ultimate portable distraction
You'll usually start with a few coins in your pocket, and there are often more lying around within levels for you to pick up, which is handy as they're the perfect tool for creating distractions. Their use is twofold, as you can either throw one near an NPC to move them out of position so you can sneak past, or use the sound to lure them into a secluded area so you can subdue them without getting spotted. In a pinch you can use other items such as bricks or fruit for the same purpose, just make sure your target doesn't see you throwing the thing or they'll investigate you instead.
3. Instinct Mode is your greatest tool
Use Instinct Mode often to keep track of your targets' locations and their movements, as well scanning ahead when moving through restricted areas or to spot if NPCs who can see through your disguise are around, so you don't end up walking straight into them. Instinct Mode highlights any other nearby items you can interact with, including places to hide bodies, and you can also follow wires and pipes to see what they connect to and plan future schemes.
4. Don't forget your minimap
There's a wealth of information shown on your minimap in the bottom left corner of the screen, so make sure you don't overlook it. The camera icon indicates there is either an item you can scan for Intel, or something you can hack such as a window or vent to open up an additional route. As well as big red icons for your targets, you'll also be tracking black dots for NPCs who will ignore you and white dots for those who can see through your current disguise and detect you, so use this to plan your movements and avoid them.
5. Keep an eye on your status
Underneath your minimap you'll see a status bar, depending on your current circumstances, and this can help you consider your next actions. Trespassing means you're in an area you shouldn't be with your current disguise, so either find a different outfit or stay out of sight. Searching means an NPC is checking out something suspicious, but as long as you're not caught within the Area Being Investigated you should be fine, while Compromised indicates you've been witnessed committing a crime and the person who saw you is on the way to raise the alarm. Hunted shows that guards are trying to track you down and will initially attempt to arrest you if spotted, with Combat being the final stage where you'll be shot on sight.
6. Save at key points in missions while experimenting
Unless you're playing on Master difficulty, you have access to an unlimited number of saves during a mission, and you should take full advantage of this to save at key points while you're testing out new strategies and approaches. There's nothing more frustrating than pulling off a skilful undetected infiltration into a fresh area, then blowing your cover soon afterwards by making a silly mistake or getting an unexpected outcome to one of your actions. Making regular saves may feel like a bit of a cheat, but while you're still finding your feet and experimenting it gives you easy fallbacks without having to start the mission again from scratch.
7. Replay missions to increase your Mastery Level
Most actions you undertake during a mission award you with XP, which in turn add up to increase your Mastery Level for that contract. Higher Mastery Levels unlock new starting locations and outfits, locations to smuggle items into the mission, and additional equipment to use, opening up more possibilities for your assassinations. Take a look through the challenges in the menu, as each one you complete unlocks a sizeable chunk of XP to help you progress towards the top Mastery Level.
8. Try not to kill anyone other than your targets
You may be a world-class assassin, but that doesn't mean you have to be ruthless when it comes to the lives of others. You'll often need to deal with other NPCs, but you should always try to incapacitate them rather than kill – not only do non-target kills reduce your score and rating, but you don't receive any experience for them either, whereas you get 25XP for every silent takedown. If you do get spotted by an NPC before knocking them out, you'll get an Unconscious Witness notification in the corner of the screen, which you can remove by dumping the body in a container. However, if you don't hide them and someone discovers the witness, you'll be instantly compromised when they're woken up.
9. Take the time to observe what's happening around you
Missions take place in huge living, breathing worlds, and all of those NPCs milling about aren't just there for show. Pay attention to any conversations happening around you, especially when entering a new area, as they'll either provide some background information to what's currently going on or reveal opportunities for further exploration and even assassination methods. Often these aren't automatically added to your Intel, so listen well and follow up on them to make new discoveries.
10. Play out the Mission Stories
Following on from the previous tip, Mission Stories are specific routes through a contract that can be triggered when you overhear a specific conversation or witness a particular event, and are marked by a green lightbulb icon. Once it's been revealed, accept the prompt to follow it and you'll be led through a series of actions to reach one or more of your targets, helping you to learn the mechanics of each mission and providing useful Intel you can use on your subsequent playthroughs. It's absolutely worth your time to run through these scenarios, and we have a separate Hitman 3 Mission Stories and all assassinations guide on all the opportunities you can find.
11. Look for Shortcuts to open up
New to Hitman 3, there are now shortcuts you can unlock within missions which then become permanent, so you can immediately use them on your subsequent playthroughs. Often these are in the form of ladders, which you can break the locks on with a crowbar to release, but they can also be particular doors you open or items you move to create a permanent access route. These shortcuts can let you bypass entire sections of a mission you'd normally have to sneak or bluff your way through, so they're a real asset when you find them.
12. Watch out for cameras
Security cameras cast a coloured grid on the floor, so you can see exactly where they are currently viewing. This makes it much easier to avoid being spotted, though you can also shoot a camera to take it out or disable security systems remotely in many cases. If you do get spotted it isn't automatically a problem, unless you're doing something illegal at the time, though if you want to complete the mission completely undetected then you'll need to find and destroy the recording before you exit the level.