Dishonored Guide

The Basics of Dishonored: A Guide for Dishonored

The Basics of Dishonored: A Guide


For new players beginning Dishonored that looks into the basics of the game, gameplay mechanics, style, features and everything to set off on an enjoyable ride. This guide will cover topics ranging from the Chaos System, detection and stealth, different approaches and gameplay pathways that will aid in providing information on the game to make your experience with Dishonored worthwhile.This is the first guide I have ever made, so feedback and comments are recommended and much appreciated!


This guide is intended for new-comers that are beginning Dishonored, but this guide is for all players, new or old, beginner or experienced who are looking into the mechanics and gameplay of the game.

Things that will be covered in the guide all range through the gameplay of Dishonored and what makes it unique and stand out, items and weapons, special abilities and magical powers, gameplay and stealth system and many more.

Dishonored is a stealth-heavy, action-combat game that focuses on the main protagonist and player Corvo Attano, bodyguard turned assassin after the assassination of Royal Empress, Jessamine Kaldwin. Throughout the game, you will witness Corvo’s journey through the city of Dunwall, finding different methods to recapture the daughter of the Empress, Emily Kaldwin to place her on the throne.

Personal Review:

Dishonored is most likely my favourite game I’ve ever played and it is packed with secrets and new things to discover while you play so that you never get bored of it, no matter how many hours you spend playing the game. It balances stealth and action very well with a lot of freedom the player can gain through whatever method they choose to achieve their goal.

For information regarding the basics of the game and what to look into when playing it, then this guide is for you.

“How you use what I have given you falls upon you, as it has to the others before you. And now, I return you to your world, but know that I will be watching with great interest.” – The Outsider

BIG DISCLAIMER: I hope to not be rude or impolite when writing this guide, but I’ve attempted to stick with what a ‘basic guide’ implicates, so while I have listed multiple ITEMS that can be found in Dishonored, I will not list WHERE you can find them as it will break the purpose of what a guide implicates which is to solely direct you all towards certain knowledge and directions of the game and I am terribly sorry if players do not enjoy this outcome!

The Chaos System

Dishonored is a game that centres around stealth and combat, intertwining between both, or if the player chooses, be a silent blood-free bodyguard or a rampaging angry assassin killing everyone in sight.

For this very opportunity, Dishonored is an incredibly versatile game that gives the player plenty of freedom to find whatever method to use to reach certain locations to achieve particular goals. But it comes with a price that influences the game.

The Chaos System is a system the game uses to determine and measure the player’s stealth abilities that can influence which direction the game goes, along with the outcome of the final ending.

It is measured in Low Chaos or High Chaos which can be revealed after a mission what approach your mission diverged towards.

Things that can influence the result of the chaos levels are:

  • Killing Assassination Targets
  • Hostile Kill Count (Animals such as rats, wolfhounds and river krusts do not count as hostile kills)
  • Civilian Kill Count
  • Detection and Alert from Hostiles and
  • Dead or Unconscious Bodies Found
  • Completing Certain Side Objectives (Prevent certain individuals from harm or completing requests)

High Chaos

High Chaos is commonly associated with an aggressive and stealth-less run-through of the mission, where the player kills multiple hostile enemies, gets detected or alarmed by a hostile enemy or civilian, or if alarms get rung when the player is detected.

Having a High Chaos run-through of the game can result in more negative effects on the city that can make achieving your objectives harder if the above is committed.

Results of High Chaos include:

  • Killing Assassination Targets through Lethal Methods (e.g. crossbow, pistol, grenade, springrazor, etc.)
  • Killing Hostile Enemies or Civilians (e.g. Overseers, gang members, weepers, etc.)
  • Getting Detected by Enemies or Civilians
  • Alarms Rung
  • Perform Certain Side Requests

Effects on Play Environment

When aiming for a high chaos playthrough of the game, the area around the player will be heavily affected to regard for the chaos that has been caused by Corvo.

For example, the number of guards in an area will increase compared to a low-chaos run through, reactions or dialogue from certain characters will be more negative or wary of Corvo, and the ending of the game will change to the result of the player’s rampage.

Low Chaos

Low Chaos is commonly depicted as a level where the player kills very little to no hostile enemies or civilians in their run-through, while also going through the game undetected and unalerted. If no alarms are rung or the player helps particular individuals that do not affect the city of Dunwall, they can lead to a Low Chaos result.

A Low Chaos run-through makes playing the game a lot easier and friendlier for the player as the effects of low chaos cause little to no disturbance or influence on the environment and future event conflicts.

Results of Low Chaos include:

  • Killing Assassination Targets through
    Non-Lethal Methods (e.g. sleep darts,
    choking unconscious, non-lethal neutralisation**, etc.)
  • Few or No Hostile Enemies or Civilians Killed
  • No Detection or Alerts
  • No Alarms Rung
  • Perform Certain Side Requests

**Non-Lethal Neutralisation

Non-Lethal Neutralisations in Dishonored is a method that Corvo can use to eliminate his targets or find other means of disposing of his victims that does not result in the action of taking their lives.

Every mission in the main game of Dishonored features a non-lethal neutralisation method but may commonly take more complex methods to achieve those goals than oppose to simply shooting the target with your gun. This may mean the player must find certain equipment first to carry out their tasks or entering restricted zones to reach a location that can reveal plans of the target.

Effects on Play Environment

A Low Chaos playthrough typically results in the ending of the game to be much friendlier and optimistic with the lack of blood or killing on the player’s records that influences Dunwall’s fate.

Citizens at the Hounds Pits Pub will be nicer towards you and Corvo may receive some rewards as compensation for his non-lethal actions of assassination. Less guards will be around Dunwall and Arc Pylons, Walls of Light and City Watch towers will appear less frequently.

The Detection System

As Dishonored is a stealth game, it has the components of a stealth game with the major quality of having an alert/detection system.

Much like famous stealth games like Metal Gear Solid, the aim is to conceal the main protagonist or certain characters from the alert of enemies or other individuals in the game.

In Dishonored’s main game, Corvo must hide from enemies and civilians if the player so wishes, or if the player decides to take a more hands-on approach that doesn’t commit to staying hidden, Corvo can be purposely seen instead.

Relation to Chaos Level:

The detection system in the Dishonored franchise is one component that can assess the Chaos level the player achieves at the end of each mission.

A count of the number of hostile enemies or civilians that have detected you are shown on the information screen after you’ve completed the mission.

Alarms can be rung as a result of detection, and guards will call to other nearby enemies to help assist in taking Corvo out which will increase the detection number and lead to higher chaos.

Measurement of Detection:

Detection in Dishonored is measured in ‘alert bolts’ which, if you’ve played a little bit of the game and have been detected, are the lightning-shaped white bolts that appear near a characters head who has indications of Corvo’s presence.

There are four tiers to levels of detection that slowly build up towards full recognition of Corvo if the player remains in the field of vision of an enemy or civilian.

Tier 1: One Pair of Bolts

  • The enemy/civilian has caught a glimpse of the player or heard a non-threatening sound
  • The enemy/civilian will not actively search or call for help
  • The enemy/civilian will return to the previous task of patrol or casual engagement with the environment

Tier 2: Two Pairs of Bolts

  • The enemy/civilian has seen the player or heard a threatening sound
  • The enemy will actively search for the player for a few seconds up to a minute
  • The enemy will return to normal patrols back to Tier 1 if no progress of detection is made

Tier 3: Three Pairs of Bolts

  • The enemy/civilian is very close to recognising the player’s presence or very close to being aware of the player’s whereabouts
  • The enemy will actively search for the player up to several minutes
  • The enemy will return to a Tier 2 state after a minute

Tier 4: Three Pairs of RED Bolts

  • The enemy/civilian is fully aware of the player’s presence and spotted the character
  • The enemy actively engages in combat with the player and seeks other nearby enemies to route and attack the player
  • The civilian will call out for help that will alert other members of related influence such as guards and officers to seek the player out
  • The enemy will continue searching for the player for a few minutes if the sight of the character is lost
  • Reaching this Tier adds to the detection number at the end of the mission

Ways To Get Detected

Enemies and civilians have a thing called vision cones which are field of vision areas where the character can view something.

In Dishonored, if enemies spot Corvo who is an enemy to them, or not recognised as an ally, standing within the vision cone triggers the detection system that will initiate an action of attack.

There are many ways that Corvo can get detected by an enemy or civilian if the player chooses not to be concealed or is accidentally seen or if the player left a leading trail of evidence that leads to Corvo’s presence.

♠ Corvo Is Purposely in View ♠

Having Corvo stand directly in the field of vision of an enemy will spark them to attack or initiate a combat if the other enemy is not an ally of Corvo.

Commonly, the player can accidentally be in the field of vision of an enemy if the player is not cautious or takes a misstep in their path or fails to successfully reach a point without making a mistake.

To combat this, Corvo can crouch while BLINKING to his locations and find dark shadowed spots that make the player body dark and out of view of an enemy. Enemies are less likely to spot the player from afar if they are hidden in dark locations.

The player can also find that finding new methods to reach a location such as zipping through rooftops or crawling through rat tunnels can conceal Corvo from detection.

♠ The Player Is Running or Walking ♠

It is briefly mentioned in the loading screens of the game that talks about going stealth in Dishonored.

When you first begin playing, walking makes sounds against the surface you are walking on, but it is not as loud as compared to sprinting across surfaces.

Enemies and civilians can detect you using these sounds with sprinting being the method of transport that is more more likely to alert other individuals.

As you progress through the game, there are ways to combat the sounds of walking and running such as crouching which makes Corvo completely silent. There are also blueprints of stealth boots that prevent sounds being made while you commit those actions along with finding BONE CHARMS with stealth abilities equipped with them.

♠ The Player Causes A Distraction ♠

If the player uses their weapon to hit or fire something in an area where enemies or civilians are present, they may find interest and concern over the distraction and turn towards the direction of the sound.

Methods of distraction can include firing Corvo’s pistol, slashing his sword against a rough surface, getting into range perimeter of arc pylons, etc.

If the player is unfortunate enough to get detection, the enemies will spot Corvo and find other methods to reach and kill him such as shooting him with pistols and other weapons.

Holding the default key ‘F’ can slide Corvo’s weapons away for both hands which prevent the player from accidentally using a weapon to create a distraction upon misclick.

Weapons And Ammo

In Dishonored, the player has a wide range of weapons that can be used through the game to kill enemies or dispose of bodies.

Certain types of ammo can be hooked up to ranged weapons that deal certain damage with specific qualities, along with idle weapons that react upon proximity. This will feature a list of all Corvo’s weapons and ammo types that can be obtained when playing Dishonored.

DISCLAIMER: Some ammo types can only be unlocked or gained as your progress through the game or if you have found a BLUEPRINT that can unlock the recipe to make them.

Ranged And Melee Weapons


A Pistol is one of the first weapons that Corvo will come across when the player first enters the game. When it is first picked up in Coldridge Prison, the player will have access to bullets that can deal major damage to an enemy at close and far range.

  • Pro: Deals heavy damage to enemies from afar and from close range
  • Pro: Can eliminate multiple enemies at once with the
    right conditions
  • Con: Loud – Attracts attention from multiple enemies at once
  • Con: Slow reloading speed which can risk getting
    attacked by enemies


After escaping Coldridge Prison, the player will find their ways through twisted paths that will lead them to a box containing Corvo’s ranged weapon and close-ranged weapon. The ranged weapon being the Crossbow. Bolts are the main source of ammo with it dealing moderate damage to an enemy at far range.

  • Pro: Headshots make crossbow bolts lethal
  • Pro: Multiple types of bolt ammo have different purposes to suit the player’s gameplay style
  • Pro: A silent ranged weapon. Crossbow bolts do NOT cause noise, beneficial for non-lethal playthroughs in avoiding detection
  • Con: Bolts break very easily on impact so attempt
    not to waste them (bone charms can prevent breakage)


Corvo’s iconic folding sword comes with his crossbow (with some fancy unsheathing animation action too!) when you retrieve it in its accompanying box. It does exceptionally well at close range attacks with decent to good damage to your opponent.

  • Pro: The player can perform neat stunts and attacks exclusive to using the sword that deals incredible damage to the enemy
  • Pro: Blocking with the sword with close-range
    combat at the right time can put your enemies off-balance opening the opportunity to strike brutally
  • Con: Blocking with the sword cannot, however,
    prevent damage from bullets

Ammo Types


Regular Bullets are the first ammunition types that the player will pick up in the first mission. They work with Corvo’s pistol to deal close-range and far-range damage that can deal heavy impact.

  • Pro: Easily collected as loot through pickpocketing City Watch members or collecting pistols
  • Con: Loud but not as loud as EXPLOSIVE BULLETS, making it unsuitable and not recommended for a low-chaos playthrough


Explosive bullets are a powerful alternative to the regular bullets for the pistol. Equipped with more whale oil ignition, they are extremely dangerous in close-range and far-range combat dealing lethal damage to one or multiple enemies at once. They, however, require a BLUEPRINT in order to be able to obtain them.

  • Pro: Explosive Bullets can eliminate multiple enemies
    at once for quick wipe-outs of mass grouping if the player is surrounded
  • Con: The loudest type of ammunition in the game which can attract multiple enemies from afar, and is not recommended for low-chaos playthroughs


Regular Bolts are the standard ammunition that is used in the crossbow weapon. Crossbow ammunition is all completely silent but can often deal a decent amount of damage from far range. Bolts are a friendlier option of killing enemies as they are silent but they cost losing the ammunition.

  • Pro: Silent but deadly forms of ammunition
  • Con: Bolts may not eliminate enemies on the first
    shot making them notice you and alert others if enemies get away
  • Con: Bolt ammunition can break easily making you unable to pick up reusable shots after they have landed


Incendiary Bolts are a unique type of crossbow bolts that ignite fire through the whale oil base, delivering burning results. Incendiary bolts are extremely useful for killing an enemy quickly as they are guaranteed one-shot kills at close range but have a few disadvantages.

  • Pro: One shot kill with incendiary bolts are guaranteed with a few seconds delay
  • Con: Enemies can scream and yell which can attract attention as they burn
  • Con: Incendiary Bolts carry weight, meaning trajectory is arched so players are to be mindful of landing placement of these bolts as so not to waste ammunition


Sleep Darts are a useful crossbow bolt type as they are not used for killing but instead render enemies and civilians unconscious. Injecting sleep chemicals into victims, it is especially useful for low-chaos no-kill run-throughs of Dishonored as it leaves no dead victims and bodies which can work close range and far range.

  • Pro: Sleep Darts are must-have ammunition for low chaos playthroughs of the game
  • Pro: Sleep Dart trajectory is completely straight and does not curve
  • Con: It can take a few seconds for the effect of a sleep dart to kick into the victim meaning nearby enemies can recognise suspicious behaviour and activity from the victims
  • Con: If a shot enemy of the sleep dart lands in water as they fall or fall from a great enough height, they can die and it will count as a kill on the mission kill count

Tools And Gadgets


Grenades are explosive weapons that the player can handle in their offset hand and throw towards groups of enemies to effectively kill and eliminate all within the area. It is not an idle weapon meaning it cannot directly be controlled where it will land.

  • Pro: Grenades can be ‘cooked’ which can shorten the fuse and increase the speed of explosion along with the ability to pre-ignite through bullet shots and crossbow bolts
  • Con: They cannot land in a particular spot of choice unless aimed with precision which makes it spontaneous and prone to no hits
  • Con: Grenades are loud and can attract attention if other enemies are located nearby


Sticky Grenades are very similar to regular grenades that can also be held in the offset hand but with the addition of having the ability to stick to certain locations. The grenade can attach and explode in a pinpointed location that can do extreme damage much like the regular grenade. This weapon, however, requires a BLUEPRINT to be obtained.

  • Pro: Stick to whatever location or enemy for precise elimination
  • Pro: Can similarly be ‘cooked’ like its regular counterpart to shorten the fuse
  • Con: Misplacement can mean losing ammunition if not done correctly
  • Con: Also incredibly loud much like the regular grenade


The Springrazor weapon is an augmented gadget that is placed on the ground and unlatches open unleashing whiplashing wires to tear and cut into enemies if triggered. This weapon does exceptional damage to one individual that means certain death and may impact surrounding enemies within its perimeters.

  • Pro: If no enemy is around to witness the placement of the springrazor, the player can cause an intentional distraction to lure enemies towards the trap
  • Con: The placement of the springrazor may not be a guaranteed location of where an enemy may step so choose wisely where to place it or you may miss and the enemy will aim at you springrazor-wire-free.


The Rewiring Tool is a super useful tool that can be used on the City Watch security systems located around Dunwall. Arc Pylons, alarm systems, walls of light and watchtowers have circuits, which the rewiring tool can be used on to counter-attack or change the target of the technology; in the case of alarms, rewiring tools can disable them.

  • Pro: Rewiring tools are excellent for killing enemies quickly if the technology is aimed at the enemies
  • Con: If you plan on doing a low chaos run-through of Dishonored, the rewiring tool is NOT your friend for the purpose of it is to kill everyone that isn’t yourself

Natural Abilities

As Corvo is a bodyguard pre-main game and an assassin shortly afterwards, the player has access to multiple natural abilities that can be used both in combat and non-combat environments that add to Dishonored’s action feature.

The player can do many different forms of attacks whether they are lethal or non-lethal methods, along with having different means of utilising the environment around them to attend to their gameplay styles.

Just below is a list of the combatting abilities and non-combatting abilities Corvo has equipped that make it easier to create a unique playstyle for every new Dishonored player.

Combatting Abilities


Enemies who are fully aware of the player’s presence are initiated into combat, with a main weapon of choice being a sword throughout the game.

The player can left-click (default) with the mouse to slash and hack into their enemies using Corvo’s folding blade that takes about three to four hits to kill.

Occasionally, enemies such as officers and guards can pull pistols out if the player stands at a considerable distance that is too far for close-range combat.

Here, the player can use long-range weapons such as the pistol, crossbow and grenade to deliver a lethal counter-blow.

When mixed with supernatural abilities such as BLINK, BEND TIME and WINDBLAST, the player can unleash a plethora of wild attacks one after the other dealing powerful damage.


In stealth mode, if an unaware enemy is at a reasonable distance away from the player, the player can choose to kill the enemy through various death animation means.

Stealth lethal takedowns only work with Corvo’s blade, and depending on which direction the player is facing towards the enemy, if the enemy is unaware, the player can unleash brutal methods that leave instant kills.

Using left-click with the mouse (default), the player can perform multiple deadly stealth actions to kill their foes that can range from slitting their throats, stabbing them from behind, impaling the blade through the jaw and many awesome others.


Non-lethal stealth takedowns come in the form of choking the victims. If the player attacks from behind at an unaware enemy, using V (default), the player can hold for a few seconds that leave the victims unconscious.

These are especially useful for low-chaos no-kill playthroughs of the game but the time between making contact with the victim and successfully choking them makes the player vulnerable to unexpected attacks.

One downside, however, is if the player does not hold V for long enough to meet the fulfilment, the victims can counterattack once they’re not struggling that leaves the player open to attacks as well.


Using Corvo’s folding blade, in an initiated attack, pressing V (default) can allow the player to block oncoming attacks from the enemies that prevent damage from being inflicted.

While blocking can protect from blade-to-blade combat, it, however, cannot prevent damage from pistols or grenades.


In a successful well-timed block upon an incoming attack, Corvo can put the enemy off-balance which forms a vital opportunity for a counter-attack that is very often a fatal one.

If the player and the enemy strikes their sword at the same time, a lock-in battle can initiate where if the player gets the upper-hand, put the enemy off balance and deliver a fatal strike.

These counter-attacks may not always deliver the final blow but they can be of an advantage if the player wishes not to lose health.


Drop Assassinations are a unique assassination method in Dishonored.

From a certain height, if the player is positioned above an enemy and drops from their location, at the right time, left-clicking (default) with the mouse initiates a drop assassination attack that is guaranteed fatal and one-hit kills the enemy.

If the player achieves the AGILITY supernatural enhancement, even double jumping from the same level as the opponent can create a drop assassination opportunity (given the enemy is not aware of the presence of the player).

Non-Combatting Abilities


If the player hides behind an object or shadowy cover (standing or crouching), pressing Q or E (default) allows Corvo to lean to the respective directions of the letters without letting the player be detected by enemies.

They are especially useful for looking around environments and concealing oneself if they are unable to view the environment around them.


When the player is sprinting in a certain direction and at the right time, pressing C (default) to crouch will result in a sprint slide where Corvo can duck under certain heights such as trip-wires without triggering them or quickly dash from a location before returning to a stealthy halt.


If the supernatural enhancement AGILITY Level 1 is obtained, the player can jump twice as high as they previously could through double jumping.

This ability can help get to higher locations or best accompanied with blink to get to locations much faster without losing momentum, or gaining distance to reach a far destination.


With the purchase AGILITY Level 2, players have an increased walking and sprinting speed that can get them to certain locations much quicker prior to purchase.

Certain bone charms can increase the speed even further if players have the equipped charms and they have been located.


With agility, Corvo can swim considerably faster underwater which makes it easier to reach underwater locations faster and not have to take up much oxygen.

Using certain bone charms found in-game can improve the quality of swimming affects both the speed of swimming and the amount of oxygen for breathing underwater.


Using the F key (default) upon a door, depending on whether it features a lock on it, the player is able to peep through the keyholes of the door and peer inside to see what is beyond.

The player can listen in on secret conversations along with taking a sneak peek at what is occurring past the door without being spotted.

A major downside, however, is that peeking into the keyholes makes the player vulnerable to attacks as viewing what is around the environment is not possible unless escaping from view.


Only available through crouching, if the player nears an unaware civilian or enemy without getting caught, pressing F (default) allows the player to pickpocket and snatch loot that is hiding on the hip pocket of a victim.

Awards from pickpocketing can be money, ammunition and even keys to inaccessible locations. One thing to keep in mind is that if enemies spot you pickpocketing, the response may backfire.

Mark Of The Outsider


You wake up in your bed at the Hounds Pits Pub and find that everything is floating and the world outside your window is glowing a magical and mystical purple.

You’ve met The Outsider, an ancient omniscient god that gifts certain people with his powers granting them the Mark Of The Outsider.

Corvo is one of the lucky eight people in the entire world who has this gift and throughout the game, Corvo can unlock powers wielded in the mark to achieve tasks or make certain actions a lot easier to progress through the game.

Located in the lonely parts of the world, The Outsider has hidden RUNES that can be used to pay for the magical abilities and unlock stronger/more powerful effects on the abilities.

“There are forces in the world and beyond the world, great forces that men call magic, and now these forces will serve your will. Use this newfound power, my gift to you.” – The Outsider

Supernatural Abilities

Active Powers

Blink is the first supernatural ability Corvo is gifted with by The Outsider. Afterwards, 2 runes is required for Level 2 Blink and uses very little mana. It allows Corvo to:

  • Rapidly travel to a location stretching distances (Level 2 increases distance)
  • Climb up ledges, platforms or heights not achievable through jumping

NOTE: This is NOT teleportation. It only rapidly locates the player to a location, therefore, it cannot be used on Walls of Light for example.

Dark Vision is an ability that costs 1 rune for Level 1 and 2 runes for Level 2. It uses very little mana. It allows Corvo to:

  • See in the dark and through walls to view living entities and dead bodies along with their field of vision
  • Visualise sound and noise made through steps taken or distractions created
  • See useful items and security systems such as coins and royal technology (Level 2)

Devouring Swarm is a strong ability that costs 3 runes for Level 1 and 4 runes for Level 2. It uses high mana. It allows Corvo to:

  • Spawn a swarm of rats to attack enemies (Level 2 increase rat number)
  • Make rats consume dead bodies (Level 2 increases the speed of consumption)

Possession is an ability that costs 3 runes for Level 1 and 5 runes for Level 2. It uses very high mana. It allows Corvo to:

  • Possess animals for a short duration (e.g. rats and hagfish)
  • Access new pathways to reach locations such as rat tunnels and small underwater sewer pipes
  • Possess humans for a short duration but cannot attack or perform certain actions (Level 2)

Bend Time is an ability that costs 2 runes for Level 1 and 8 runes for Level 2. It uses very high mana. It allows Corvo to:

  • Slow down time for a short duration
  • Get past enemies and civilians unnoticed
  • Completely stop time while the player moves normally

Tips: Bend Time Level 2 is especially great for getting past Walls of Light and Arc Pylons by remaining undetected

Wind Blast is an ability that costs 3 runes for Level 1 and 4 runes for Level 2. It uses high mana. It allows Corvo to:

  • Deliver a strong wind tornado that can knock and push back enemies
  • Shatter doors, wood and glass to access blocked locations
  • Kill enemies with a powerful gust of wind when knocked into walls or solid surfaces (Level 2)

Passive Enhancements

Vitality is an enhancement that costs 1 rune for Level 1 and 2 runes for Level 2. It gives Corvo:

  • Increased Health to the health bar
  • Aid in Health Regeneration (Level 2)

Blood Thirsty is an enhancement that costs 2 runes for Level 1 and 3 runes for Level 2. It gives Corvo:

  • Adrenaline where building it up can trigger brutal melee attacks (Level 2 builds it up faster)
  • Double attacks that can work on multiple targets within range (Level 2)

Agility is an enhancement that costs 2 runes for Level 1 and 3 runes for Level 2. It gives Corvo:

  • Small resistance to fall damage and higher jump height
  • Increased movement speed (Level 2)

Shadow Kill is an enhancement that costs 2 runes for Level 1 and 4 runes for Level 2. It gives Corvo:

  • Ability to kill unaware enemies and make them turn to ash
  • Ability to kill all enemies and make them turn to ash (Level 2)

Runes And Bone Charms

“In the days that follow, your trials will be great, Corvo. Seek the ancient runes bearing my mark, in the lonely places of your world and at shrines raised in my name. These runes will grant you powers beyond those of other men.” – The Outsider

After Corvo goes to sleep at the Hound Pits Pub, he meets The Outsider who gifts him with magical abilities that can aid him through his journey to save Emily Kaldwin.

To assist the player in achieving their goals throughout the missions that play out, around the city are two magical items that Corvo can use and wear to help with particular functions to make it easier for him to perform tasks.


Runes are a magical item that has connections to The Void where The Outsider resides and allows Corvo to purchase the supernatural abilities that let him use the powers to assist in his assassinations or to assist with navigation and transportation.

They are commonly located in random locations around Dunwall and require the player to find creative means in reaching the location of the runes that are not in plain sight.

This means that players will need to take extra measure or steps to retrieve the runes in order to gain them.

In other cases, runes can be located at shrines worshipping The Outsider that is emphasised by the purple and sharp wooden monument placed at a table veiled by mystical purple cloths.

These shrines are commonly found around more hidden and stranger locations of Dunwall where some Outsider worshippers may set these up or some recognised individuals such as Granny Rags may have these in their premises.

In the game, there are 39 runes that Corvo can collect in a playthrough, but the supernatural abilities Corvo has equipped equals to a total of 58 runes required. This gives the players the opportunity to choose what supernatural abilities they want to utilise more that will help them throughout the game.

Bone Charms

Bone Charms supply Corvo with the ability to slightly alter certain actions, movements, game mechanics, magical abilities, supernatural powers and stealth abilities that make it slightly easier to play through the game.

These can include:

  • Choking an enemy unconscious much quicker (incredibly helpful for certain Dishonored achievements)
  • Swimming faster underwater
  • Increasing maximum mana bar
  • Increasing likelihood of enemies missing gunshots

And many others not restricted to the examples.

These magical items are able to be equipped but only a certain limit of bone charms can be worn at once, with the exception of unlocking the ability to purchase more bone charm slots.

IMPORTANT: One thing that should be mentioned is that bone charm abilities are randomly generated, meaning that a bone charm you’ve collected in one playthrough with a certain ability, may not be the same ability you pick up with the same bone charm on your second playthrough.

The Heart

It’s no question that it may be slightly impossible for these runes and bone charms to be found right away with no assistance.

When you first come across The Outsider in The Void during your sleep, he will give you what is known as The Heart of a Living Thing.

This object will aid the player in indicating the locations of certain bone charms and runes throughout the world although how to get to them is not a quality of The Heart.

The main quality is to point out the presence of mystical power throughout Dunwall with the assistance of The Heart enabling the player to find exact directions these items are located.

Another ability The Heart is equipped with is revealing secrets about the world of Dunwall when The Heart is pinpointed and direction towards certain individuals or items.

Pointing The Heart towards particular people can reveal secrets about themselves that The Heart knows of along with other lore about the Dishonored franchise.

In-Game Resources

During the playthrough of the game, players will come across small items that may hold tiny significant value until later when they are provided to be of much use.

Dishonored features small additional resources in the game to add a flair to the action-stealth game such as food and water, both equipped with their own little specialties.

Like many other games with a combatting system, health and magic are two prominent features in Dishonored that require a regenerative potion or ELIXIR of some kind.

Along the side, MONEY is important throughout Dishonored and is found under every nook and cranny of the expansive world of Dunwall. They can come in the form of LOOT which is found all over the city.


One half to the Philosophy of Dunwall duo, painter Anton Sokolov created the health elixir, that glows a bright red to immediately bring back health to the user drinking it.

The player can spot it in the unlikeliest of locations for a quick restoration of health if they are low.

Just like Piero’s Spiritual Remedy, the player can only carry a maximum of 10 of the elixirs at one time, teaching sparing use and better combat skills.


The other half to the Philosophy of Dunwall duo, inventor Piero Joplin is the creator of the anti-plague spiritual remedy that can immediately restore lost mana.

Corvo, who is one of the few members of the world gifted with The Outsider’s mark, can drink the remedy to restore lost magic mana after using The Outsider’s magic.

Just like Sokolov’s Health Elixir, the player can only carry a maximum of 10 of the remedies at one time, teaching sparing use and utilising magical powers.

♛ FOOD ♛

Forms of food can be located all around Dunwall, which are regenerative products that restore small amounts of health to the player.

They come in all shapes, sizes, types and dishes and are found in different locations throughout Dishonored.

Using bone charms with special qualities can increase the amount of health gained from a single food product.


Just like food, water can be accessible in different forms around Dunwall, with a majority being sinks and fountains across the city. Being the counterpart to food, water restores mana in small amounts to the player.

Water is not always accessible in the form of taps and sinks, so players will need to rely on their environmental skills to find ways to manage and store mana without overusing in the case the player runs out of spiritual remedies.

Using bone charms with special qualities can increase the amount of mana gained from a single drink.


COINS are the main form of currency in the game and commonly come in individual values, five’s and ten’s. Coins can have much larger values in other forms such as pouches, artifacts, jewellery and paintings.

Around Dunwall, Corvo can come across stray coins laying around different spots in the city. Valuable items can be obtained and paintings that have been done by Sokolov are able to be picked and grabbed for a couple of hundred coins.

Other forms of money such as ores, Kingsparrow feathers and essences can be picked and assumed a particular value which the player can collect as monetary value.


All around Dunwall, safes are a major secret feature to the game. All with three-numbered combinations, safes around the game hide secrets, items or special equipment that the player may need to progress through the game or just obtain items.

Many safe codes require a place where they can be found which means players have to locate or ask particular people for codes in order to look inside.

Generally, loot inside safes come in the form of ingots, valuable items, runes and bones charms, and occasionally written/typed notes.


Located all around Dunwall, Corvo can pick up blueprints found in various places that give him the opportunity to purchase armour and specific ammunition that cannot be found through other means in the game. These blueprints are recipes to unlocking certain features and abilities the player can use to enhance their experience.

Blueprints are also vital to gaining super useful equipment and abilities in the game that can play an essential role in the specific kind of gameplay the player is intending.

For example, STEALTH BOOTS for a low chaos run of Dishonored can only be unlocked using a blueprint that can soften the sounds Corvo makes.

INCREASED ARMOUR lets Corvo gain resistance to physical damage, making gunshots, sword cuts and grenade explosion less effective than previous exposed.

Blueprints can help to make certain ammunition such as the INCENDIARY BOLTS (although they can be picked up through disarming and looting projectile traps), STICKY GRENADES, and EXPLOSIVE BULLETS.


Dishonored is equipped with many achievements in Steam that are also seen in the PlayStation version of the game along with the XBOX One copy of the game.

Many of the achievements are alike, with 50 of the 80 achievements being main-game achievements, and the remaining 30 being DLC achievements.

If you are an achievement hunter, Dishonored is packed with very easy to moderately challenging achievements.

I’ve found that another Steam User, ThePugHybrid makes extraordinary guides on the achievements for the game and they can be found here with these links if you wish to get 100% in Dishonored.



This entire guide has taken me… a week to complete? So while I should say that it’s not the longest I could’ve made it, I think I’ve packed in a lot of information in it for all Dishonored beginners to use on their new journey to the game!

I hope all of you learnt a bit about the game before you get to play it. If you already are playing the game and came to check this guide out, then I would definitely love some feedback, constructive criticism and even some extra information I could add to this guide to make it a little easier for all users!

Thank you all so much! Enjoy playing Dishonored to your heart’s content!

The end is coming, and it’s been glorious to watch you throw your will against the machinery you set into motion. All things end, all things burn to ash. But you, my friend, burn bright. – The Outsider


Images and Information that has been gathered to make this guide range from multiple sources, with a majority of images coming from my own personal gameplay along with other players experiences.

Achievements: Steam User – ThePugHybrid

Inspired Dishonored Beginner Guide: Steam User – Nos0323

Weapons, Powers, Abilities, and More:

Supernatural Abilities Images and Info:

In-Game Screenshots:
Personal Dishonored Screenshot Experiences