Have ya’ll been having fun taking down the system in Watch Dogs 2? If you haven’t yet got your free copy of the game be sure to log in to your Ubisoft account here and grab it. As well as check out a copy of our Watch Dogs 2 – Beginner’s Guide to get started on your hacking journey. So by now, you’re probably wondering what skills to set up our boy Marcus with. Of course, some of it is dependent on your playstyle and there are seven research fields for you to get into. But there are definitely some skills that are more useful and some that aren’t really needed. Let’s get into it.
Unlock Skills With Research Points
Okay first of all just a basic on how to unlock skills. Throughout the game, you’ll acquire points on your Research app and you’ll be using those to unlock skills. Points are awarded in a number of ways. The most straightforward is to level up by getting Marcus enough followers. Check our beginner’s guide for more deets on how to ramp this process up. Other ways include locating a black skull icon on your map. Collect one for a free research point!
Basic skills will cost you around 2 points to unlock, while the more advanced ones will require as much as 8. These advanced skills may even require unlocking some more basic skills in the development tree. With some of the skills being locked behind walls which you’ll need a Key Data to unlock. The Key Data points are indicated on the map with green skulls. But watch out if you’re going for them, the are around them is usually rife with trouble.
It seems like an obvious one, but upgrading the Botnet is important if you want to do more than one hack in a few minutes. The first Botnet upgrade awards you an extra four Botnet Resources, and every upgrade after only gives you two. Be sure to grab this one early on. The upgrade will permanently increase the number of available botnets. You can buy the other Botnet upgrades should be considered later on. But get the first one first.
These are abilities you’re going to be using a lot in the course of Watch Dogs 2. Technically you need to unlock the Vehicle Directional Hack first, but what you want to get to is the Hijacker. The Vehicle Directional Hack allows you to take control of vehicles in your vicinity. After breaking into a car, you will be able to steer it. You can use that in many different ways: run over enemies, distract them, stop a car that’s fleeing, or crush into cops that are chasing you. Using the “autopilot” requires some practice, but as soon as you learn the basics, you’ll find this skill quite useful.
What we really want here though is the Hijacker ability. With this, you can auto-unlock any cars you find on the street without setting off the car alarm. If you don’t have this skill and you’re lockpicking with anyone nearby the car will set off its car alarm and the cops called on you. This skill will improve your quality of life immensely.
The rest of the skills on this tree are less important and the chopper one pretty unnecessary. Honestly how often do you really get chased by a chopper?
- Vehicle Directional Hack – Hack vehicles to move in specific directions. Costs 2 Botnet Resources.
- Hijacker – Hack cars’ electronic locks instead of lockpicking.
- Chopper Retreat Exploit – Force choppers to retreat. Costs 4 Botnet Resources.
- Engine Override – Trigger a burst of speed in a vehicle. Drains Botnet Resources over time.
- Massive Vehicle Hack – When on-foot, create mayhem by hacking all cars in the area at once. While driving, hack vehicles to distract drivers and clear a path. Lasts for 10 seconds.
- Botnet Savings: Vehicle Hacks – Reduce Botnet Resource cost for any vehicle hack.
Pretty much all the missions in Watch Dogs 2 benefit from having your RC and aerial drone around. You get the RC car almost right off the bat, but you have to save up and buy the aerial drone. It’s the only truly mission-critical item in the game and it’s only $50-60K.
The first skill Environmental RC is the remote control for forklifts, scissor lifts, and cranes. You’ll need this to reach inaccessible areas. Next, you’ll want to get the Proximity Scanner for your aerial drone. It gives the quadcopter enhanced scanning capacity. NPCs are tagged through walls while controlling the quadcopter in NetHack. Extremely useful for missions.
Remote Gadgets is one of the skills you’ll find quite useful. But since it’s 8 research points in, it’s more a later game kinda thing. This skill allows you to equip the jumper and the quadcopter with explosives and stun charges. This makes those previously harmless gadgets able to eliminate enemies, in addition to hacking and scouting. It’s expensive, but useful. Don’t forget about this one when you’ve reached higher levels.
The rest are quite alright skills for you to invest in but once you got the first couple you should be set for a while.
- Proximity Scanner – Equip the Quadcopter with enhanced Scanning capacity. NPCs are tagged through walls while controlling the Quadcopter in NetHack.
- Expert RC Engineering – Reduces cooldown time for the Jumper and Quadcopter.
- Remote Gadgets – Equip the Jumper and Quadcopter to drop IEDs and Zappers.
- Taunt – Equip the Jumper with an internal speaker.
- Speed Boost – Boost speed for both the Jumper and Quadcopter.
- Enhanced Spring – Improve the jump height of your Jumper.