"Day after day, patrolling the same halls, seeing the same faces. Wait hang on is that someone new? Let's go say hi - aw, they're gone. Day after day, patrolling the same halls..."Guards are a type of NPC that spawn in missions. They patrol most of the mission and will detect any suspicious player or object. Guards provide disguises and often hinder the completion of objectives during stealth, so taking them down is essential for a successful mission.
― The Watcher's Uniform Description
Guards follow similar behavior patterns as other NPCs. Most have a fixed route, but some might differ depending on the situation. If you spot a guard a red marker will show at their location.
Guards patrol the map and will stop at certain patrol points for some time. The patrol point they walk to is random, but they will visit each point eventually. Guards can deviate from their standard patrol routes when they detect something or a camera detects something. They will always take the shortest path available which can change if the player opens up specific doors. Guards themselves can only use unlocked doors, they can not go through keycard or locked doors.
Some guards will have a specific spot and will not move for the entirety of the mission until taken out or lured away. They generally are guarding doors that lead into important rooms such as the manager's room in The Deposit, or the vault in The Withdrawal.
During loud they will turn hostile, crouch at their current position and shoot any player they see. In most missions they despawn shortly after loud initiates.
Guards use radios to call in suspicious behavior and raise the alarm. It takes a few seconds for them to call in and if the call goes through the alarm will sound and loud will initiate. A red radio symbol will show if they are currently calling in.
A grey radio symbol will show if they are currently on the radio. If you knock them out or hostage them during this period you will have to answer the radio immediately. This state also makes them more suspicious of players giving them a higher rate of detection.
To avoid detection you have to answer the radio call by holding 'F' without letting go, while doing this you are suspicious. They have to be either knocked out or taken hostage to do this. If you do let go of F, the alarms will go off. If nobody answers a radio then after a couple the seconds the pager operator will get suspicious and raise the alarm themselves.
Guards notice anything suspicious and there are various ways to get detected. If the guard notices something they will start walking towards it and have a grey radio on higher difficulties. If the player has a red status guards will detect them faster.
When an guards's suspicion meter reaches certain points they will deviate from their standard behaviour:
- 25% - If the guards's suspicion reaches one fourth they will turn to face the player. Players who are "Trespassing" will be asked to leave the area at this point, and they have seven seconds to do so.
- 75% - If the guards's suspicion reaches 3 fourths, they will walk over to investigate the player. On Operative or higher, they will also check in with their radio during that time, indicated by a grey radio icon.
- 100% - If the bar is filled guards will get alerted and either call in with a radio or start shooting at you.
Besides detecting the player, guards can also get alerted by various suspicious objects such as forced open doors, bags, broken glass, or bodies. If they find any weapons or equipment they will pick it up. If guards find too much weapons or equipment they will raise the alarm.
Security Guards are wearing a white shirt with a vest and grey pants. They are standard security personnel and do not have any special behaviour. They are armed with a K45. They cannot be armed but can wear Armor without arousing suspicion.
Police Officers are wearing a standard police uniform. They can only be encountered in The Freelancer. It is not known with what weapon they are armed as upon detection they will reset the player to the closest checkpoint.
Bodyguards are wearing black suits and guard Ryan Ross in The Financier. These guards are different from regular guards as they stay at a patrol point much longer and their detection rate is much faster. On higher difficulties, Ryan will have a personal bodyguard who can detect players much faster than the others. The patrolling guards are equipped with K45s, while the guard escorting Ryan can be using a Raven on higher difficulties. Bodyguards cannot wear armor unlike normal guards but instead can hold weapons out.
Steel Cove guards can only be encountered in The Blacksite. They wear black tactical uniforms and their behaviour is the same as Security Guards. There is a special variant of this guard called "SC Commander" who wears a black beret and is required for mission completion stealthily, although it is possible to bypass him if you are crafty. Steel cove guards are armed with an S97. SC guards cannot be armed but can be armored, similar to normal guards.
Phoenix Operatives are only encountered in The Lakehouse and they wear either a military vest or black tactical clothing. They also wear the Classic shades. They can wear armor but cannot be armed like other guards.
Phoenix Operatives cannot be intimidated. An exception to this is the camera operator, who can be hostaged. If you knock out a Phoenix Operative their radio will always go off and you will have to answer it. This can be disabled by taking out the Head of Security during the mission.
Phoenix operatives are all armed with S97s with the exception of the camera operator who has a K45.
Halcyon Operatives are encountered in The Scientist and Black Dusk. They wear Halcyon clothing. They also wear the Classic shades. Similar to Phoenix Operatives, they cannot be intimidated. Halcyon operatives, unlike other guard variants, talk to each other through radio. This means they may have a white radio pop up randomly, which will boost their detection rate. They can be armored(with the exception of aegis armor) and not armed, again like other guard variants.
Halcyon Operatives return in Black Dusk, now called Elite Operatives. They detect all disguises at a faster rate, but this time they can be intimidated and don't communicate via radio. They equally do not radio in when alerted, rather they become an enemy and start attacking the player with their 480 MCS while moving to the nearest panic button. Their disguise opens all chip readers and is the only one that can access the Operations Room, a room vital to objective completion. One Elite Operative visits the upper shooting range as the research coordinator. They don't have any unique programming besides opening a blast door. The coordinator only comes if the Security Escort finishes their dialogue.
Security is only encountered in The SCRS. They wear a black suit and patrol the back areas of the map. They can open any chip reader and will occasionally go through closed off places. They are armed with an S97. Security disguises are special as they can hold bags, be armed, and armored without raising suspicion. Although holding bags will make them conspicuous and therefore more suspicious on higher difficulties.
Their hostaging range is much lower compared to regular guards, and if the player leaves them alone for a few seconds they will immediately run away. Once you take out a guard that is sent to inspect a camera however, you will have to knock out everyone in the control room before they raise the alarm as a new task called 'Security Protocols" that is done in The SCRS.
Janitors are a hidden guard found in The SCRS. They wear a blue jumpsuit and patrol the front areas of the map, likely there to fool trespassers. They can open some of the chip doors leading to weapon scanner but are not allowed access to the deeper parts of the site. They are armed with a K45. Janitors cannot hold bags, hold guns, or wear armor.
Base Security is a special varaint of guard exclusive to Black Dusk's stealth plan. They work for Halcyon, even if wearing more rugged apparel. Units are quite numerous in the base but do not have a check-in protocol, meaning you can freely take them out. They never radio even when alerted, instead moving towards a panic button and attacking the player with a 480 MCS. There is a lone Security waiting for the player upon their arrival during stealth who will talk to them and escort them to the upper shooting range, where they tell them to wait for the research coordinator. They carry an S97 and can be quickly eliminated to facilitate apprehending the coordinator if playing solo, or can be dealt with simultaneously if playing in a team. Their disguise grants access to all chip readers save for the Operations room.
Camera Operators are special variants of guards that operate the cameras found in missions. They are stationary and will not move, but they can still detect suspicious behavior in front of them.
If a camera detects an operative or suspicious activity they will get alerted and immediately attempt to raise the alarm. You can take out the camera operator to deactivate the cameras they were currently operating. A mission may have more than one or even possibly no camera operators.
- Guards and Police Officers were originally equipped with UP9s before they were replaced with the addition of the K45 on June 4th, 2019.
- Originally, after answering a Guard's radio, players had to carry it around and answer it regularly. However, this was scrapped.