Gamer Academy: Watch Dogs Online Hacking Tips and Tricks

Welcome to Gamer Academy, a weekly feature that will teach you what you need to know regarding the latest games, hardware and more.

One of the more interesting aspects of Ubisoft’s recently released title Watch Dogs, is that it will allow any player to become hacked while in the middle of their own single-player campaign. When this happens, players will be notified that they are being invaded and will have to stop what they are doing to fight off an intruder looking to steal their information and Notoriety Points. From here the rules are simple, find the hacker and kill him before he escapes. If you are the hacker, simply stay hidden until the time runs out.

Watch_Dogs Being hacked


Generally, this is considered the easier end of the stick, as all you have to do is locate the only other character not controlled by AI. To do so, you will have to explicitly target them, so that they can be singled out and labeled as the attacker. But, as they will generally be hiding, here are some tips to weed them out.

  • If your attacker hasn’t already started the hack, you can run. This will force him/her to have to catch you to start the hack and in the process give away their location. Remember, you are the area he needs to stay around in order to stay in match, so use it to your advantage if you get the opportunity.
  • Pulling out your gun and or firing it will get AI characters to run, possibly leaving the hacker exposed. This is a quick way to counter a hacker hiding in crowds, but will also draw in the police if you get carried away.
  • Cameras are a great way to cover a substantial amount of area without having to spend the time physically getting around.
  • At each interval, the area in-which the hacker needs to stay will shrink, so make sure to spend those moments watching for anyone trying to move closer to you.
  • Check behind objects quickly but also thoroughly, as I have hacked a few people by them simply maneuvering around a box with them.
  • Check cars and behind them, especially if they are near a wall.
  • The biggest tell a player character has is not being able to move like the AI. So, watch out for irregularities in the crowd, but don’t get too wrapped up, as Watch Dogs does put in some artificial chaos of its own at times.
  • Don’t forget to use your inventory if you need to. Jam Coms will buy you some more time if you need it and is best spent after the 75% mark, as the radius is the smallest and you are almost out of time.

Watch Dogs Cam


Here are the rules:

  • There is a rival fixer on the streets of Chicago who has secured information you need.
  • Objective: Hack the fixer’s phone, install a backdoor, steal data, and escape before you’re found.
  • Do not harm the fixer! The stolen data is worthless if the fixer is harmed.

Hacking takes place over a few phases, and learning them will greatly improve your chances of seeing that 100%.

First phase: You will need to plant the virus on your target’s phone, but will have 4 minutes to get the hacks completely underway. Spend this time getting close to your target, but not seen – cameras are a great resource for this. You will not be able to hack from the water, unless you are in a boat, so do not try. Once you plant the virus you will move on to the second phase.

Second phase: From here, you will have 60 seconds to relocate yourself before starting the actual hack. Do not waste this time unless you are confident about your location and that you have not been spotted, as spending this time wisely could make or break the match. Remember, there will be a radius around the target, so you won’t be able to get too far, but you can travel a great distance and buy yourself some free time forcing them to relocate – giving you the advantage.

Third phase: The hack begins. From here on out, you will need to stay within the radius on the mini-map. Moving around unnecessarily is never a good idea, especially if you have lost track of your target. Looking at the defense tips and tricks, it is easy to see that trying to blend in is likely to get you caught, so focus on hiding spots that are easy to maneuver around in, so you can avoid getting seen at all. If you are out in the open or in a car on the street, do not draw attention to yourself and stay calm. Do not pick the flashiest car. Do not use motorcycles. Do not park like an idiot.

Fourth phase: You will only need to worry about this if you are caught and survived. Your only task is to get outside of your opponents radius and stay there until the timer runs out. This isn’t normally an easy task, as you are usually found out by a person aiming a gun at you. But, if you are able to use that escape route you planned, you could always fire a few shots to get pedestrians running around for cover and score some points at the end.

As there are tons of different play styles out there, it would be impossible to list all of them in one location, so make sure to stop by our Watch Dogs sub-forum which influenced this article and see what other gamers are doing.