Watch Dogs Legion beginner’s guide

Everything you need to know about recruitment, skills, travel, and upgrades

Welcome to DedSec, Watch Dogs Legion’s hacking collective. In the latest open-world game from Ubisoft, you’ll be fighting back against the surveillance state, and recruiting allies from the streets to reclaim them from Albion’s tyrannical grasp. Albion is the private security firm who have been handed a contract to keep London’s citizens ‘safe’, and you’ll find their checkpoints and drones on every street corner, watching you closely.

Fortunately, you’re able to recruit your fellow citizens to help you out. All the characters you see roaming the city streets have their own randomly generated backstories, habits, schedule, and relationships with their fellow Londoners – and, if you play your cards right, they can all be persuaded to join you. You’ll need to form a capable roster with the best Watch Dogs Legion recruits to suit all situations – and play carefully, as agents can be arrested, hospitalised, or – if you’re playing a Watch Dogs Legion permadeath run – outright killed.

Throughout the game, you’ll liberate boroughs and upgrade your agents’ skills to meet the escalating challenge. About to jump in to Watch Dogs Legion for the first time? Here’s everything you need to know.

Watch Dogs Legion recruitment

You can recruit allies in Watch Dogs Legion one of three ways: by completing main story missions, completing recruitment missions, or liberating a London borough. Once you’ve made a borough ‘defiant’, you’ll be given a mission to recruit a special ‘skilled operative’, who are incredibly useful – though you’ll probably still want to add other citizens to your team, too, especially those with special perks and abilities.

When you see a likely candidate on the street, you’ll need to scan them to see their current opinion of DedSec. Two thumbs down indicates they aren’t amenable to joining you whatsoever, whereas a single thumbs down means they’re disinclined to join, but it’s still possible – you could recruit their close friend or family member first to give you a better chance. Alternatively, you can unlock the deep profiler upgrade using tech points, which exposes new ways of recruiting potential members.

If your target is recruitable by your current character, following a short conversation they’ll give you a recruitment mission, which you must complete before they’ll join you – and there’s no second chances; if you fail their recruitment, that’s it.

Watch Dogs Legion skills, perks, and weapons

Pretty much everyone you meet will be helpful to you in some way, but you’ll occasionally encounter characters with rare special abilities, which we recommend grabbing if you spot them in the wild. The Gunkata skill gives you instant gun takedowns. Beekeepers have, uh, bees – you can find them by looking for nano beehives outdoors. The Barrister reduces the length of time your operatives spend imprisoned, as do Politicians. Similarly, the Paramedic reduces the duration of your agents’ hospitalisation. Stage Magicians can use hypnosis on their foes to make them swap sides.

There are also particular archetypes which have set skills and loadouts. Construction Workers summon cargo drones, and have a nail gun and a wrench. Spies have a silenced pistol, a spy watch, and a spy car. Professional hitmen have the Gunkata ability, plus a machine gun. Drone Experts can summon shock drones, hack other drones, and use them to dive bomb.

You’re also able to use characters’ jobs and uniforms to access areas that would otherwise be off limits. Construction Workers, Police Officers, Gang Members, Albion Contractors, Paramedics, and Palace Guards all offer unimpeded access to restricted locations through their uniform.

How to switch operatives in Watch Dogs Legion

You can switch operatives at any time by opening the menu and heading to the Team tab, where you’ll find your available roster. Alternatively, you can travel to wherever your teammate is hanging out via the map, and switch control on the street.

Watch Dogs Legion fast travel

You can fast travel between tube stations by selecting them on the map. If you’d rather travel overground, you can also mark your destination on the map, and follow the blue arrows on the street – or hop in a vehicle and set it to automatically escort you there, like a taxi. Or you could climb atop a drone and sail over there in style; the choice is yours.

Watch Dogs Legion tech points

You can obtain Watch Dogs Legion tech points by completing missions, or by finding them hidden away in various places all over the city. If you complete the borough’s Uprising Mission, all tech points in the borough are automatically revealed – though you can stumble across them unaided, too.

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Tech points are marked by blue diamonds on your map – though you’ll probably need to do a bit of exploring to get your hands on them. Scanning will reveal their precise location. You can hitch a ride on a drone to get to those hard-to-reach areas; or, if you spot a scissor lift on the street, you can steer them around and elevate yourself high enough to reach them. A huge number of these are accessible with the spiderbot drone, so look out for ledges you can jump between and vents.

Watch Dogs Legion tech upgrades

At the start of the game, you’ll choose which gadget to unlock on your first agent – the spiderbot, or the AR cloak. This choice is really up to you; you’ll want to unlock and upgrade both of these over the course of the game. We would suggest taking the spiderbot as you’ll be able to collect tech points more easily with it.

Other skills you should think about getting early on are:

  • Skin Mesh – makes your operatives able to withstand more damage
  • Disrupt Hack – stops enemies from doing anything for a short time – this will allow you to perform a takedown easily
  • Riot Drone Hacks – disable a Riot Drone for a short time, which will definitely come in handy
  • Deep Profiler – as mentioned above, it allows you to recruit people with negative opinions of DedSec.

Watch Dogs Legion emotes

There’s an emote wheel in Watch Dogs Legion that lets your character gesticulate in various ways – and this isn’t just for roleplaying; characters actually respond to whatever you’re doing. Swearing at others will upset them, sometimes even causing them to open locked doors and gates just to teach you a lesson. You can even earn the ‘You Don’t See Me’ achievement by using the ‘Statue’ pose to evade a level 5 pursuit, though that’s only available to operatives with the ‘Living Statue’ skill.

Watch Dogs Legion spiderbot

The spiderbot is an invaluable tool for accessing those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, or exploring dangerous areas without risking your operatives’ lives. It doesn’t just skitter around adorably – you can also upgrade it to transform into a mini turret gun. It can’t move while it’s firing, but you can bypass this by putting it on your drone or your car and driving it around while it makes short work of your enemies. Spiderbot spawning stations can be found in the world, so you don’t always need to pack your own.

Watch Dogs Legion Drones

Some agents have the ability to summon a Cargo Drone, a large drone which can be ridden and flown an unlimited distance across the map. You can also spend tech points to unlock the ability to summon Chase Drones, Riot Drones and CT Drones, and you can unlock a Missile Drone that serves as a kind of grenade you can throw to send missiles flying at enemies.

The parcel drones you see hovering around can be hacked – by an operative with the appropriate skills – and release their cargo for you to steal. The regular white parcels contain money, orange parcels contain even more money, and red parcels contain ammo – and explode when they’re dropped from a height, which is always useful.

That should be everything you need to get started in Watch Dogs Legion. If you’re wondering how long Watch Dogs Legion is, we’ve got you covered – and for our full impressions of the game, check out Dustin’s Watch Dogs Legion review.