Ready or Not: How to Decrease The Difficulty Of S Rank

The entire guide will be based on “just trust me, bro”, no scientific experiment, data or evidence will be provided, so the people reading this guide will know it is of “high reliability”. I will also not dive into equipment loadout, map layout or tactical maneuvers, as players tend to have different ideas and they change all the time.

Still, reaching S rank in RON, FPS skills, certain understanding of weapons and lots of situational awareness are required, this guide is no way of ensuring an S rank on any map, it also does not dwell on the basics, only deranged theories from a gamer who has obviously played too much.


How An Area Is Proceeded

Just trust me on this, AI only spawn as the player entering or rendering new areas, with this in mind, we can know the unspawned AI will have a knowledge of current situation of the battlefield(player’s position, player’s progression etc.), they will also have an order of spawning.


1. Their spawning location is based on player’s position and progression.
2. The tactics they will use after spawning is based on player’s progress and current situations.(instant Wallbang Headshot Barrage or normal jumpscare).
3. The AI spawn in a certain order and their number do not grow based on how the player proceeds an area.(player can proc an AI spawn by cuffing a suspect during combat music, it’s an exploit, it does not work on certain occasions, but I will not expand on this.)

We will find a way to exploit No.2 and 3 later.

A Few Minor Problems to Look Out For

I was repeatedly S ranking maps to stroke my ego, but during a particularly difficult map, Relapse Barricaded Suspect Mode, I keep failing for all sorts of reasons.

Popped Arteries

Aim more carefully, no cheating good shot placement.(it means shoot torso only, they may easily pop an artery in their limbs, but their heart is unbreakable)
Use sub machinegun to avoid popped arteries 99.9% of the time. (the SMG to use is actually quite the topic, I will not expand on this)

AI Teammates Killed An Enemy In the Last Room

I get this every f@cking time, I feel it is not coincidental, every time I have them clear the final room because I’m at red health, I can find a dead MF on the ground, die to all kinds of reasons, could be a punishing mechanism for using deadly force in S run or I’m going insane.

Further minimize AI teammates’ contact with suspects as a game comes to an end, the game knows you are about to succeed and will do something drastic, just trust me on this, have them guard the door instead of cleaning the room.

Unauthorized Use of Force -50

Avoid shooting civilians is easy enough, most of this penalty comes from shooting bad guys.

Wait for an enemy to hold up the gun before shooting them, they will be startled but wait until they become clear for shooting, try not to shout, you will sway the barrel, making a good placement impossible, the exact rule on this is a little blurry as RON features one the most janky AI for a tactical shooter, simply do not risk it if a suspect is not seeing you, make them aware of your presence before shooting.


General mishaps like shooting a civilian behind a wall or ricocheting a downed suspect, sometimes the guns disappear before my very eyes.

The game will try to impress the player by directing stray bullets toward people, force the player to notice the ricocheting and say “this game is so realistic”. When an enemy AI does a Wallbang Headshot Barrage, the suspect or civilian on the ground besides you is as good as dead, trust me on this. These situations are unsolvable, but rare.

Main Exploit (trust me it’s real)

I can not provide any evidence for the things I am about to say, it is just my personal experience from all the failed S runs, my words will simply be because I said it.

AI’s combat ability will change based on player’s approach, if the player use less lethal all the time, the player can tank way more shots before dying, so in maps like Ides of March, running the map with a beanbag shotgun actually makes it a lot easier, you can try S it with a beanbag shotgun or with a gun and gadgets.

But sometimes less lethal S rank just feels impossible so we will use lethal weapons, carefully shooting people down and cuff them, but trust me on thislater spawned AI will get more and more lethal as you incapacitate and cuff the suspects before them, there is a way to circumvent this, to take normal damage from enemies just like a less lethal run thus more time for careful shot placements, the method states as follows, pay attention to the first batch of enemies you shoot, do with the rest of them however you like, but leave one of them reported and uncuffed.

As I mentioned earlier, later spawned AI are related to player’s progression, not cuffing an enemy will not register +30 score to the system thus no progression, all the AI spawned afterwards will see the first enemy’s status as uncertain(not dead, not cuffed either, simply not contained with), trust me on this, for some reason, the game does not see all the enemies cuffed afterwards, they only see the gap of uncontained suspects in their spawn order, I tanked a G3 for 2 seconds straight as I face the last guy in the hospital morgue, this is how I got my 2nd S during my testings, it is of great contrast to how I always died to 1 shot from the last guy in Valley of The Dolls basement when I am playing the game normally.

As for why you have to report the suspect, it is because of a cheeky gameplay design, if you don’t report a downed suspect, after some time when you come back, that guy will disappear, the weapon is on the ground but the body is nowhere to be seen, sometimes they can be seen tweaking inside the wall(he’s in the wall), I also saw them flying far away outside the map(I’m not high), it feels to me the game wants to hide the body as if the downed suspect simply got up and ran away due to player’s negligence, I am not sure this is a bug or desired feature, all I know is, this occurs every time as I leave the suspect unattended on the ground and went on to clear rest of the map.

Remember, among the first batch of enemies, report one of them but do not cuff.

(This might occur as a problem later, as the game will auto finish if you have reported all the other civilians, evidence and suspects, giving you a A+ so keep this in your mind.)

Here are some screenshots, so you know I’m not completely a fraud

I did S on all maps and modes, but I will only upload screenshots from Relapse Barricaded Suspects as it’s the main test ground for a comprehensive S run method.

It starts like it’s coincidental S rank, but later as the methods become clearer, S rank becomes more of a consequence of efforts than a blessing of the gods.

Here’s my very first S on this map(as you can tell by the time I obviously forgot to cuff a guy during the process)

Here’s the second, third and the most recent(the methods become clearer with each fail)

I do have to go around the map several times so it’s not a quick operation, also all these S are done with an SA-58, I tried a lot of other guns, but the gods just won’t bless me with an S.

Also after some conclusions on my third S, I tried Valley Of The Dolls with a G36C AP rounds with ceramic plating, not my main gun but got an S on the first time and the most recent S on Replase Barricaded Suspect after that, it all becomes a lot easier, so I have the confidence to publish my deranged theories on how S ranking works.

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