Hack Chicago with Prima’s free Watch Dogs walkthrough.
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Watch Dogs puts a heavy focus on hacking. You hack to make your way through most missions and objectives, but that’s not the only time you’ll use your cell phone to hack into the ctOS. Even when you’re not in the middle of a mission, there are plenty of opportunities to hack into the system and get some dirty work done. But there’s no need to waste your time hacking into everything. Let’s take a look at some quick tips to make the most of your hacking experience.
Look for Blue Markers
Money is important in Watch Dogs because it allows you to purchase weapons, ammunition, hacking equipment and crafting items. The best and most reliable way to get money is by hacking into bank accounts. Pull out your cell phone and move the target reticule to the people you pass on the street. Most of the time, the marker that appears around your target’s head is white. This indicates that you can hack into their current phone call or text messages. However, when it’s blue, it means you can hack into their bank accounts and steal some cash.
As you level up your hacking using the skill tree, you can spot these blue markers before you target anyone. Blue boxes will appear around the heads of people who have money you can steal. While money isn’t quite important enough to work on this side of the skill tree first, it’s still important to keep your cell phone out at all times as you wander around town, and hack as many bank accounts as you can.
Once you hack someone’s bank account, don’t just move on to the next person immediately. Instead, wait a moment to see if the blue color changes to purple. While it won’t happen often, if the marker changes to purple it means you need to take down that person because they’re about to report you. The worse your reputation, the more likely this is to happen, but as long as you perform a takedown when you see the purple marker, you’ll be fine.
Don’t Frequent the ATM
After you’ve hacked into someone’s bank account, you won’t have immediate access to the funds. Instead, you need to access an ATM to withdraw the funds from their account. However, as you play through the game, you’ll earn money naturally through mission progression and picking up various objects. You’ll even find money in the glove compartments of cars you hijack, or various trinkets that can be sold at shops around town.
The reason you shouldn’t constantly frequent the ATM is because once you’ve leveled up your hacking, you can access more funds when you hack into people’s accounts. This drastically increases the amount of money you pull out of the ATM. If you don’t immediately need the extra funds, don’t be in a hurry to pull out the cash.
Hacking During a High-Speed Chase
There are numerous times during Watch Dogs where you need to chase down a target, or you’re being chased by the police or some random thugs. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities to hack various environmental hazards and stop the cars chasing you (or being chased) in their tracks. Depending on your level of hacking, you can raise barriers, blow underground steam pipes, change traffic signals to cause an accident or even raise bridges.
When your hacking level is high enough, you don’t have to worry about when and where you can trigger these environmental hacks. Instead, you’ll see a notification that you can neutralize a target. There’s a little bit of timing involved, but it’s far easier than having to manually time it. If you do it right, you’re treated to a short cinematic showing the vehicle getting disabled in some way.
It’s before you have access to the “auto-neutralizing” where you need to put in a bit of work. If you’re escaping someone, try to locate a garage where you can hack the door, drive inside, then close it behind you before the other vehicles can follow. Bridges also work well in that you can hack the bridge as you’re crossing it, so the timing is far less strict. Barriers work the best, but the timing can be a little more difficult. If you’re too early, you’ll be caught by the barrier, but you can be slightly early and still make it out. Your vehicle will raise up a bit as the barrier begins to rise, but you’ll continue moving while the vehicles chasing you will be stopped.