What truly makes a good contract?

Ah I always forget the spotting complication, point taken :wink:

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I’m not a fan of contracts with targets that are too easy to kill (i.e. dudes at the end of the piers in Sapienza yawnarama).

Edit: There can be easy to kill targets and fun to kill targets. The “fun ones” might need a little more prep than just shoot and leave.

As for weapon kills, that’s still an issue with the game itself. There needs to be (for example) Kill this target with a: screwdriver but it can’t be melee_or_thrown, it’s either one or the other. You lose points if you throw a weapon when you should’ve used melee… Which is kinda strange when you consider poison kills. Those can be either consumed or injected.

Sorry for going off on a tangent there.

Autofails? Maybe for non-target kills. Getting spotted? Nah. Unless the contract maker is going for something special. IMO, it’s a hard sell to justify it. Otherwise, make it optional and the player will just lose points (anyway?), and if your contract didn’t suck - they might want to try again.

There are times when there’s a ‘Do Not Get Spotted’ optional complication. It might be from a target. Once you kill them you get your green-guns back, but you’ll still lose points because the contract creator is a d.

Speaking of easy targets… Yeah. It’s probably not the best to pick the guy that smokes by the explosive thingy. It can be fun once in a while. But maybe pick targets that are related in some way. This can also help with a better briefing.

Good or bad briefing? Creative writing skills don’t always equal good targets and/or methods. Maybe you picked some good targets, but half-assed it on the briefing. I’m more likely to play the contract with the more creative briefing than the one with the default prefilled text.


This should be stickied somewhere :rofl:

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I’m a fan of puzzle contracts personally; make me think a little about how I have to move my target (or move another NPC) in order to make my move, but not to the point where the lure is silly (eg a bullet lure from the other side of the map).

Auto fails are an absolute no. They go against the learning process of contracts. If I fail I need to know why so that I can learn from it and avoid it next time. Getting spotted by a guy looking through a tiny gap with binoculars and not knowing about it will just turn me away. In most cases, I won’t even play contracts with auto fail clauses.

I think there is a time and place for all other types of complications, as long as they are optional. Timers are a hard sell, but I have seen contracts that make them work. Hide All Bodies is another one that is situational, but it can absolutely make a contract better if used correctly.

With regards to weapon and outfit restrictions, I have no issues there. For me, that is part of the draw of contracts mode, as long as it is not too over the top. No more than one disguise change please and don’t make me hunt for 5 different weapons on the map. It’s boring. Any/Any contracts are generally fine as long as the targets are good, but they can get stagnant, especially as most of the time they will end up as Taser/Poison/Pistol.

Whilst I agree, I think this is an outlier in that I’m pretty sure it was designed to be a troll contract, making it an FC was stupid though. There is another contract in Chongqing that requires the facility guard disguise but has no KOs, you have to trigger Jeremy Bolt to commit suicide but “catch” him before he falls and take his outfit.

I would say a better example of a bad contract is Fall Season Preview 2020. Needless complications, bad targets and bad kill/disguise requirements as well as being an incredibly long and drawn out contract. Just thinking about it gives me a headache. Edit: I just realised this only had no KO’s - but the contract was still very bad imo. I distinctly remember it being my least favourite of all FC’s based on the kill/disguise methods, and any casual player wouldn’t have the first clue how to do it.

Whilst this is mostly true, I do think a good briefing and story can still enhance a mediocre contract. Anything is better than “a contract has been issued and you are clear to engage” though :neutral_face:


Sadly when discussing such things people must realise that a lot don’t even agree on the definition of a type of contract. Mainly what a ‘puzzle’ contract is. Some people think Puzzle contract just means ‘a contract that is hard and highly specified’, they are wrong. Those are what I’d call ‘challenge contracts’, designed to test if you’re ‘good enough’ to fulfill it (And I dislike those contracts, personally).

A puzzle is a problem posed to the mind, which has one or several ‘answers’ that shouldn’t be immediately obvious to the player, but should be able to be figured out by players who have reasonable knowledge of the game/map. Killing 5 people with 5 random different weapons that don’t seem to have any special properties, with 5 outfits that don’t have anything special to them, while not missing any shots and only getting headshots isn’t a ‘puzzle’ as it’s a test of “Be quick enough, have good aim, make sure you kill them somewhere on their path that isn’t dumb”, the mind isn’t being posed a problem to solve, it’s just “Be good!”.
A basic puzzle contract presents usually one concept/problem that requires thought to be completed. It doesn’t matter how good of an aim you are, or how great you are at getting around the map quickly. An example is Urben’s Where Patients Meet contract, the problem posed is “How do you blow up two separate targets in an accident when there’s only one propane tank in the map, and you can’t KO them and drag them together?”

The best puzzles are ones that don’t require you to have niche knowledge of the map/game, but if they do then a creator can put the vital information in the briefing so players can put the pieces together themselves without the internet

Not to be mistaken for a Puzzle Contract is the Troll Contract. Something which involves something ridiculously lengthy/difficult and is designed to frustrate the player; usually revolved around some niche knowledge or a bug that isn’t widely known. Examples are Vatican Privilege and that Mumbai contract where you have to kill Jumpa Offha and not kill non-targets. Either you know how to do these contracts just by looking at the briefing (so the alleged ‘puzzle’ is solved within two seconds) or you’ll never figure it out without the internet because it requires such specialist knowledge. But actually doing them is the rage-inducing part. Please don’t count these as puzzle contracts :sweat_smile:


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A worse contract is one requiring you to get the flamingo disguise as Sierra is pushing the guy down the hole.


Those can still be fine in routing contracts.

Not really, doesn’t add anything

Not for me, as someone who never reads the briefings. Bad contract is a bad contract.


Agreed on the briefings. My ADD gets the best of me. Wall of text= hard block.

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While Vatican Privilege was a troll contract, it still had some interesting elements. You could speed up the route of Abiatti, you could already prepare the kill.

I’m a big fan of Any/Any contracts, even more if they have a puzzle element. Disguise restriction can be interesting. Loved your contract with the pale rider and the kill in the Kronstadt Center. It could have been played very slowly but safe or more risky and with gimmicks – but fast.


I don’t agree with Frote here. He plays Hitman in the speedrun, “competitive” way, so it’s logic that he’s out of the roleplaying, immersion experience, but for me a briefing gives a new story to sink in, a new way of seeing things and facing that contract. Obviously, the contract must be good and not a disaster with a good briefing, but for me the story of the contract is as important as the gameplay structure of it.


Really? I never read the briefings and I’m not a speedrunner at all. I just like the challenge of a contract and try different routes for fun. Of course I write (short) briefings. But the main focus of every contract should be the contract itself.


I guess it’s somewhat common but I rarely read the briefings either. I don’t usually even click on the briefing tile to begin with much less read what’s there. I’ll scroll through the requirements and decide whether to play the contract based on that.

I used VC as an example of a bad contract not so much to say that it was a bad puzzle contract but a bad one overall. It is a troll contract and if the dice don’t fall right, it requires either extra steps or a glitch/exploit, which shouldn’t ever be required in a good contract. If the game can’t be played as it was intended, that’s an issue.

That one with Jeremy Bolt was also bad in that way. Needing to wait until he jumped and then get his outfit (with fairly specific timing) is the same type of issue as VC was. Long wait + minor error = fail. That isn’t fun, especially when you can’t save the game while doing a contract. I can start over because I got sloppy and got spotted doing something. Starting over after spending 10 minutes waiting because I didn’t push A fast enough isn’t a good idea.

A lot of the requirements and complications are ways that most players probably play already. I try to hide bodies, not get spotted, not use the same type of kill method all the time, etc. just normally playing the game. I don’t need instant-fail conditions to tell me when I forgot to do those things. Let the score settle how “elegant” I was.

As for challenges, suit only or otherwise, the contract itself doesn’t need to control that. If someone is trying to do a challenge, they and the people watching the video that they post will see whether they did it suit only or if they didn’t. The contract doesn’t need to force it. That way someone else who doesn’t care at all about suit only or no knock-out or whatever can also play and enjoy it without being forced to use that play style if they don’t want.

I know plenty of people who aren’t speedrunners, but also don’t care about the briefings. So it’s not like that’s something solely about speedrunners.

Really? Just as important? Hard to imagine but to each their own i guess.

You can still play and enjoy those as long as those complications are optional. You just would not get SA, but you already mentioned in previous posts that you don’t care all that much about SA, so there should be no issue for you at all.


Correct. I was referring more to instant-fail types of complications. If they’re optional I can easily ignore them.


Not only that, I play contracts with the generic ID titles :rofl:

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I find the variety of opinion here about briefings interesting - I suppose it’s an example of how Hitman is appreciated differently by different players.

I can entirely see both sides and probably find myself in the middle - if I play a contract and I feel it’s poorly designed but they’ve got an elaborate briefing, I might feel a bit cheated (though, tbh, my initial reaction is usually that I’m probably doing it wrong!), and if a briefing is a total wall of text, I might skip reading it…

But on the other hand, I almost never even look at generic-title contracts, and a contract with a ‘theme’ as well as just good solid planning I find stands out more and I think I do enjoy more (in contrast to, say, ‘arbitrary mix of weapon/disguise requirements’ - as well as being awkward to plan, it can feel arbitrary to play too, just jumping through hoops, which, I dunno, heightens the sense of “what am I even doing with my life”! :slight_smile: ).

I guess my question is: how do folks (particularly those not bothered by titles/briefings) choose contracts to try? Trending, I guess (although that sometimes feels weirdly self-fulfilling - a contract is trending, so people play it, so it’s trending, so people play it, etc etc), but when it comes to using the search, there’s not many factors that I feel consistently lead to a good contract. I’ve had some benefit with e.g. 1 target, no pacifications, which can often mean a puzzle (and I mean a puzzle! - I think @Kevin_Rudd 's description is spot on). But beyond that, I sometimes just look blankly at the options and have no idea what to try.

Though I feel I have a fair amount of experience with Hitman, I know many of you have more - if you look at contract targets/conditions can you literally ‘see’ the shape of the the challenge it represents and decide from that without playing? I recognise a fair few of the NPCs, and might have a very rough idea of what the contract is, but starting to think about routing etc, I really have to try it out and actually play the contract, and once I start playing one, I’m not keen on quitting it without doing a decent job! And if I’m going to do that, I’ll incline to picking one with an interesting title - and I think an interesting (though maybe concise) briefing does help there too.

What briefing do you prefer?
  • Story Briefing
  • Practical Briefing - tells gameplay clues/info, that’s it
  • No Briefing/I don’t read them

0 voters


Though, for me, I do feel this is contract dependent! If there’s something really unusual about a contract (using a glitch or something) or that isn’t obvious (e.g. required exit), I think info is really helpful. Otherwise I might even actively not want to see it. And for ‘story’, sometimes it’s nice just to have a witty phrase (or someone mentioned seeing poems being used?) to add flavour, or even reflect on the mechanics of a contract - it doesn’t need to be a full ‘Diana-esque’ briefing.


Being able to play them in VR mode would be a start…