Watch Dogs Driving Tips

If you need to escape the police in a hijacked vehicle, these tips will help you escape to freedom.

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Driving is a big part of Watch Dogs. You can walk anywhere if you choose, but it would take a considerable amount of time to traverse Chicago on foot. To compensate for this, there are a large number of vehicles you can commandeer or purchase to get you around town and to your next mission with relative speed. However, not all vehicles are created equally, and some are better than others depending on what your needs are. With this in mind, here are some Watch Dogs driving tips to consider.

Obey Traffic Laws

When it comes to basic traffic laws, all vehicles are the same. It doesn’t matter if you have a fast or slow car, stop signs and traffic lights are in place for a reason. However, in the world of Watch Dogs, most people ignore the traffic laws and do what they want. For the most part this is fine, but there are instances where you really need to pay attention to the rules of the road.

At traffic lights, pay attention to the cars around the intersection as well as the lights. While you can hack into the lights to change them at will, this isn’t Grand Theft Auto 5. Other cars won’t move out of the way to avoid a collision, and they all follow the rules of the road to a tee. If a light just ahead of you changes red, the cars to the left and right of the light will start moving, and they will hit you if you proceed through the red light. Because of this, make sure you change the traffic signal if you’re approaching a light and don’t feel like stopping.

How to use the Hand Brake in Watch Dogs

There are two ways to brake in Watch Dogs. You can use the brake pedal or the hand brake. How this impacts your car depends on what type of car you’re driving. Sports cars are fast and agile, but don’t always handle well when it’s time to slow down. They tend to fishtail easily, and while drifting would be fun, the traction on their tires doesn’t provide a lot of control when drifting.

If you’re driving a fast car, pump the hand brake until the car starts to fishtail, then immediately hit the gas and use the brake pedal to maintain control. This gives you the fastest turning speed while still maintaining as much control as possible. You can turn a bit faster with other techniques, but you sacrifice control, which can come in handy when running from adversaries.

Don’t Run Over Pedestrians in Watch Dogs

Reputation is a big deal on the mean streets of Chicago. The lower your reputation, the more likely the citizens are to call the police and report you. Because of this, it’s a good idea to avoid running over pedestrians whenever possible. Sometimes when you’re in the midst of a high-speed chase, it’s not feasible to avoid people, but the more citizens that get injured or killed while you’re behind the wheel, the worse your reputation will be.

How to Escape the Police in Watch Dogs

When you’re running from the fuzz, you can hack into traffic lights and environmental hazards, as we discussed in our Hacking Tips feature. However, if you haven’t leveled up your hacking skills, this won’t help you much. Instead, you’ll need to rely on your strategic driving skills to escape the police. The first thing you need to take into consideration is the type of car you’re driving. Is it a fast sports car, a slow truck or an even slower utility vehicle? What you’re driving will impact your escape options considerably.

If you have a fast car, you have it easy. Police cars are only so fast in this game, and the faster sports cars can outrun them with relative ease. All you need to worry about is avoiding the blockades, which are easily spotted if you’re paying attention to the mini-map. If a police helicopter is involved it’s a little harder because most sports cars can’t withstand much damage, and the chopper will likely fire down on you constantly. In this situation, head under and overpass or through one of the many tunnels in Chicago. You don’t need to be out of sight very long to lose the chopper.

In a slower vehicle, your options are more limited. The police will catch you and try to run you off the road. As soon as a police vehicle moves up beside your car, hit the brakes to let them fly by, then immediately get back up to speed. The hand brake will allow for the fastest brake time, but it will also take longer to get back up to speed. If you have several police cars chasing you, use the brake pedal instead. You want to slow down quickly, but not come to a complete stop. Moving into alleys and turning frequently also helps when you’re in a slower vehicle.

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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.