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Watch Dogs Stealth Tips

How to use cameras and distract guards while remaining unseen in Watch Dogs.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Hack Chicago with Prima’s free Watch Dogs walkthrough.

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There are many different ways you can play Watch Dogs, but using stealth methods to sneak around is the most effective way to complete almost any objective. Some will require the use of lethal force, in which case stealth won’t be needed. Others require stealth, in which case you should heed these tips if you want to complete the objective(s). If you have the patience to make your way through an area without being seen, it can make the game considerably easier in the long run.

Cameras are Your Friend

Whether you’re looking to sneak your way to the next objective or planning to unleash the dogs of war, cameras are your friend. It is extremely helpful to hack into a camera system before you enter a restricted area. The biggest advantage to using the camera system is that guards do not show up on your mini-map until you’ve either spotted them directly, or you’ve seen them through one of the cameras. It’s difficult to make your way through an area unseen if you don’t know the location of each guard and their patrol pattern.

In addition to discovering all of the guards, as you move from camera to camera, you’ll learn how to hack a guard (if at all), and what environmental hazards can be hacked. Pay close attention to guard patrol patterns to find out if they pass by an explosive panel on the ground or mounted on a wall, or if they’re close enough to a steam pipe to burst it in their face. Even non-lethal objects such as forklifts should be noted as you access the cameras.

Once you’ve made a full scan of the area, imagine the path you need to take to get from your current position to your target, then figure out how to distract or disable guards along that path. Remember, if you distract a guard by operating a forklift or opening a gate, you don’t have to get close enough to perform a takedown. You can just as easily sneak right by them while they’re distracted. This is especially helpful if there are patrolling guards around. With no unconscious bodies to spot, there’s less of a chance you’ll be found.

You can be Seen but Not Identified

Watch Dogs operates similar to Assassin’s Creed. When you’re spotted, a red marker appears with a line that moves along the outer edge of the marker. When the line makes it all the way around, you’re spotted. That’s pretty basic stuff, but what’s important to note here is that you can be seen over and over again, so long as you duck behind cover before that line makes it all the way around the marker. It’s only then that the guard is alerted to your presence.

This knowledge comes in handy when using distraction methods to clear a way to your target. For example, let’s say you use a forklift to distract a guard, but another one looks right at you in the distance. You can still move, so long as you’re back behind cover before the other guard fully recognizes you. When you hear the sound that indicates you’ve been noticed, keep a close eye on the marker to determine how much time you have to hide yourself again.

Silence is Golden

As you’re sneaking around restricted areas, some noises alert guards, while other noises go unnoticed. If you perform a takedown without a gun, the guard makes noise as he’s struggling (and failing) to escape. However, it doesn’t matter how close another guard is when you perform a non-lethal takedown, as long as the other guard doesn’t spot you, the noise will not alert him to anything.

On the other hand, if you fire a gun at all, even during a takedown, it will alert any guard in the immediate area. The same goes for running. While the noise you make while running isn’t as loud as a gunshot, it will still alert any guards in the immediate area. That said, if you’re going to use a gun, make sure it has a silencer attached so you don’t alert any guards (until they spot the body).

Guard Combos

When you take down a guard, there’s no way to really hide the body. Unfortunately, that means any patrolling guard may spot the unconscious (or dead) individual and alert the other guards to start looking for you. To avoid this, use the cameras to determine the patrol pattern for each guard. If you find that one guard patrols close to another guard that needs to be taken down, make note of this.

Once you’ve taken down the guard, wait nearby (under cover) until the body is spotted. When this happens, the guard comes over to investigate before alerting other guards. This is when you need to perform a takedown on the patrolling guard. Think of it as a guard combo. You take down one guard, which alerts another guard, so you need to take him down too. Luckily, the patrolling guard will break his patrol pattern and get close to the body, giving you ample time to setup your ambush.

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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.