10 tips to make life easier in Watch Dogs 2

We've put in numerous hours into Watch Dogs 2 so far (read our review here) and we thought we'd share some of the ways we found life to be much easier in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check out our list and if you have any additions, add them in the comments.

Upgrade your Botnet and City Disruption trees first

When you’re completing missions and other activities in Watch Dogs 2, you earn Research Points. Research Points can also be found around the map. These Research Points are used to upgrade and unlock skills in your skill tree, which includes Vehicle Hacking, Marksmanship, Remote Control, Gadget Mastery, City Disruption, and Social Engineering (People hacking). Early in the game, after you get a few essential upgrades (like creating distractions and jacking cars without the alarm going off), you want to focus on upgrading Botnet and City Disruption trees. Botnet resources are used on everything you hack so you have a limited amount when you start the game. You want to increase these resources quickly and early so that it feels like you have unlimited hacking resources.

The City Disruption tree allows you to have greater control of the city’s systems and one of the most important hacks is the Security System Shutdown. Some of the toughest missions in the game have security systems and being able to shut them down makes life so much easier.

Buy the Quadcopter first

You start the game with the RC jumper, which is great, because it gives you access to areas that otherwise would be unreachable. But the value of the Quadcopter can’t be overstated enough. You start the game with about $4,000 or so and you probably want to buy some clothes first. But after that, save up for the Quadcopter, which is $67,500. Seriously, hold off on the guns, the cars, and the clothes and grab the drone. It acts as your eye in the sky to help strategize and determine how to approach a mission, mark guards, and access cameras and controllable vehicles out of view from your location. Also, you’ll be able to upgrade to drop mines.

Escape chases by boat

There were a few times playing Watch Dogs 2 where I found myself in a pickle either running away from a yet to be completed mission or a crazy lady called the cops on after I hit her husband with a car (it’s like, get over it, right?). Whatever the case may be, I found myself unable to shake the cops or group gangstas chasing no matter where I went into the city… that is until I jumped in the water and jacked a boat. For some reason, every time I was able to get on a boat and drive off, the chase ended and the mission was complete.

Can’t find a boat? Use a motorcycle

If you can’t find a boat, get a motorcycle. They’re faster, smaller, and really do well on the side of mountain. Cops had a very tough time going after me when I started zipping up the side of the hills in Silicon Valley.

Call the cops and rival gangs on your enemies

After you’re up-to-date on your Botnet and City Disruption trees, move to the Social Engineering tree. The hacks here allow to call the cops or rival gang members to any person you want. This is great when staking out a heavily guarded building. The rival gangs or the cops usually raid the building and start shooting it out with the guards. This is usually a great time to sneak and grab some intel, unlock a system, or hack a network since everyone is distracted. Plus, it lessens the number of guards in the area since at least one or two will be dead after the fracas is over.

Your stun gun should be your first weapon choice

I love the stun gun. Why? Because it’s quiet. You can easily take out multiple guards without alerting any of the other guards. That is until they notice that their buddy isn’t patrolling anymore. So unless you want to attract a bunch of attention before you even start your mission, use the stun gun.

Use the media player app

While the music playlist is pretty short in Watch Dogs 2, it’s carefully curated with some excellent choices. When driving, you can select from a handful of stations and skip songs if you’re not feeling it. But once you get out of car, the music stops. It doesn’t have to though. Download the media player from the “App Shop” and keep the party going. In the media player you’re able to scroll through the stations as well as create your own playlist of songs that are featured on the stations. There’s nothing like breaking into a heavily secured building with Eric B. and Rakim’s “Don’t Sweat the Technique” pumping through the speakers. Check out the game full music playlist here.

Pick up Key Data and Research Points AFTER your missions

When you start a mission in a new area or building, you’ll most likely see Key Data and Research Point icons pop. You’ll be tempted. They seem really close. Like, just on the other side of that wall close. But wait! Don’t do it! Finish your mission first and then after you’re done and escape the area, come back and get the goods. Once you get back, you’ll realize that the data and points are either in hard to reach places or hidden behind heavily encrypted locked areas that sometimes require a puzzle to be solved. To try and do this while guards and robots are patrolling the area is too risky.

Use your Quadcopter to look at a puzzle before trying to solve it

Speaking of puzzles, the fastest way and best way to solve the pipe puzzles is using your Quadcopter. You’ll be tempted to run around the area to look to see what pipe to move next, but let the Quadcopter do all that work for you.

Seamless multiplayer can be turned off

Although seamless multiplayer wasn’t active when the game launched, when it comes back online, you’ll have the option of turning it off. Why would you want to turn it off? If you’re in free roam, meaning, not in the middle of a mission, anyone can enter your game and start hacking your phone or start trying to kill you in Bounty Hunt mode at any time. Granted, these are really fun modes but if you’re time is limited and you want to knock out some missions really quickly, being invaded or hunted can be really inconvenient. To turn off these modes, access your phone, select Game Options, Select Settings, and turn off Hack Invasion and Bounty Hunt.