Watch Dogs Beginner’s Tips

Whatever you do, don’t pull a gun unless you intend to use it.

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Watch Dogs is a game that allows for a lot of freedom. Players can pretty much do what they want, when they want. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for your actions. These tips will help you understand what you can and can’t do, and how your actions will impact the game world.

Multiple Play Styles

One of the most interesting aspects of Watch Dogs is the fact that you can play the game a variety of ways. While some missions and objectives require you to go in guns blazing, or to not be seen by anyone, for the most part you can do as you wish and still complete the task at hand. That said, how you play each mission and objective will have an impact on the difficulty of the game.

You should always play to your strengths, and hacking takes far more patience than going in guns blazing, but look at the objective you need to complete before you decide how you’re going to handle the situation. Likewise, examine the entire area before you do anything. There are many instances in which you can approach an area from any direction, and no matter which play style you opt to use, it may be much easier attacking from the north, compared to going in from the south.


Hacking is a big part of Watch Dogs. Even if you prefer to go into every situation with your fire arms at the ready, few missions require no hacking at all. While you have to be more patient if you want to go the hacking route for most objectives, the payoff is that you can avoid a good number of enemy confrontations. It’s not uncommon to hack into a camera and use the environment against the guards in the area. Drop a crane on a few guards, set off the explosives in their pockets, burst a pipe nearby or short out an electrical panel to cause an explosion. There are numerous ways to take down enemies, and by going the hacking route, in many instances you can do it without ever getting close to the guards.

Guns Blazing Tips

If you go in guns blazing, the enemy AI will react accordingly and put everything they’ve got into stopping you. All of the guards in the area will be alerted to your presence, and they’ll use lethal force to bring you down. That means you may have to dodge explosives and deal with an intense fire fight. In areas where you have a lot of cover and a lot of ammo, that may not be a huge concern, but there are plenty of open areas in which fighting off a dozen guards is not exactly in your best interests, and will make things more difficult than they have to be.

Stealth Tips

Remaining unseen is probably the most difficult play style. However, it’s important to remember that you do have some slack. When an enemy spots you, there’s an icon that appears with a red line moving along the outer edge of the icon. When the red line makes its way completely around the icon (usually a triangle), then an enemy has officially spotted you.

The speed of the red line varies, but you usually have at least two or three seconds before getting spotted. That’s enough time to quickly run by an enemy’s position without alerting anyone to your location. Don’t make it a habit of running directly in front of guards, but if there’s only one guard off in the distance between you and your destination, you can probably make it before the guards fully recognize you.

Grand Theft Auto

There are many game systems in Watch Dogs that closely resemble Grand Theft Auto 5. However, they don’t work in exactly the same manner. For example, when you want to steal a car, you can just do it in GTA and it’s rare for the person you just stole the car from to call the police. There are also numerous unoccupied cars in GTA. In Watch Dogs, pulling someone out of a car will cause them to call the police far more often than in GTA. This is directly tied to your reputation, but it’s always better to steal an unoccupied parked car, because there’s rarely any risk of the police being called. In addition, it’s not difficult to find parked cars in the city.

Keep that Weapon Holstered

It’s also a good idea to leave your gun holstered until you actually need it. If you run around with your gun out, people will react to that and it could make things more difficult for you. If you’re not readily attacking someone, do not have your gun out. Likewise, don’t blatantly run over people with your car. The more people you injure or kill, the worse your reputation gets and the harder it is for you to do what you want when you want, without worrying about the police being called.

About the Author

Bryan Dawson

Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.