Strictly speaking, the act of being non-lethal describes the knocking out a target without actually killing them. This includes using electricity-based or non-lethal gas gadgets to knock out targets, or by using CQC (close-quarters-combat) to knock out a target. In the Splinter Cell series, using non-lethal tactics can be either mission critical or simply up to the player. In most of the games, knocking out hostiles will reward the player with a better Mission Rating at the end of the level. In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the player is rewarded with more Ghost points for taking out enemies non-lethally.
In the Splinter Cell series, there are a number of ways to knock out hostiles:
- Using non-lethal gadgets.
- Knocking out using hand-to-hand.
- Dropping on the target's head.
- Throwing a bottle at a target's head.