Deathloop: Focus and Tagging Explained, Symbol Meanings, and How to Sneak

Here’s everything that you need to know about Focus in Deathloop, what the tag icons mean, and how to use them for sneaking around.


While you have a rather novel ability to Reprise in Deathloop, you won’t want to throw away your limited respawns on your run-of-the-mill Eternalist.

Sneaking is one of your best defences against ticking off one of your Reprise charges, with the Focus and tagging mechanic being a superb tool to bolster your sneaky tactics.


So, here’s everything that you need to know about using the Focus and Tagging, as well as how to sneak and use these features to your advantage in Deathloop.

What is Focus in Deathloop?

Focus is the character Colt’s ability to reveal more information about any enemies within the range of your sight. Holding down the Focus button while looking at an enemy will reveal their awareness, combat tendencies, as well as hint at the kind of loot that they may drop once defeated.

Focus is the second stage of this mechanic, used by holding down the button. Just tapping the button will place a Tag on the enemy. This reveals aspects like their weapon type and can be used to track their path.

How to sneak in Deathloop

To sneak in Deathloop, you need to press O and then walk around. Moving more slowly will make you quieter and less likely to be detected while in the sneak stance.


While avoiding detection is the main aim of sneaking in Deathloop, it also enables you to perform executions. If you sneak close enough to an enemy without being detected, you can press R1 to perform an instant, silent kill.

To create an execution opportunity, you can use your Hackamajig – equipped with Left, use by holding L1 – to hack security cameras and held radios to create distractions, as well as pick up and throw bottles (Square, R2).

Using Focus and Tagging is a huge help to anyone hoping to sneak through Blackreef. Whenever you approach an area and spot some foes, at least Tag them so that you can track them while you sneak – you’d be surprised how easy it is to lose Eternalists and how well they blend into the scenery.


If you can spare the time to perform a Focus on each enemy, you’ll have everything that you need to know to not only work your way around them, but also see if they’re worth the effort of taking on in combat.

Focus and Tagging controls in Deathloop

To Tag in Deathloop, look at an enemy (without aiming in with L2) and press Down on the d-pad.

To Focus in Deathloop, look at an enemy (without aiming in with L2) and hold Down on the d-pad until three lines of text have been revealed.

You don’t need to be too close to apply a Tag or perform Focus, but you can’t do it from a great distance. If the Focus doesn’t work from where you are, you may need to sneak closer.

To give yourself enough time to perform a Focus without getting detected, press O first, activating sneak mode.

Deathloop Focus symbol explainer

Once you’ve Tagged and used Focus on an enemy in Deathloop, a bubble will appear above their head with a symbol, possibly a bar within the inner circle of the bubble, and possibly some colouration.

These detail the weapon that the enemy has, if they’re armed, how alert they are, and how long they’ll be alert for if they’ve already spotted you.

Here’s what the Focus and Tag symbols mean in Deathloop:

  • Has a Handgun:
  • Has a Sub-Machine Gun:
  • Has a Shotgun:
  • Has a Machete:
  • Has a Machine Gun or Rifle:
  • Is Presently Armed but Unaware of You:
  • Unaware of You:
  • Growing in Suspicion of You (inner white bar):
  • Is Searching for You (yellow):
  • Fully Aware of You (inner red bar):

Is it necessary to use Focus in Deathloop?

It isn’t necessary to Focus in Deathloop, but if you lean towards handling areas sneakily rather than going gung-ho, it can be of tremendous use. It reveals information about your foes, allows you to track their movements, and you can even acquire some additional information by listening in to their conversations; in Blackreef, knowledge is power.

What to look out for when using Focus in Deathloop

The two key aspects to look out for when using the Tag and Focus feature in Deathloop are if the enemies are readily armed (shown by a red weapon in the Tag bubble) and if they have particularly potent gear. Using Focus on an enemy that has powerful gear will show them visibly radiating power.

If you’re one for gun collecting by storing weapons in Deathloop, you can also use the Tag and Focus mechanic to home-in on enemies who have weapon types that you’re targeting. For example, if you haven’t got any shotguns stored at your base, Focus on enemies and only go into combat when one shows the shotgun symbol.

Be sure to use Focus to your advantage in Deathloop, particularly as you make your way to more crowded and dangerous areas of Blackreef: after all, that health bar is much smaller than it seems.

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Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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