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Hacking WD1

Aiden Pearce hacking in Watch Dogs

Hacking is the core aspect of the Watch Dogs series.


Hacking is a core element of Watch Dogs, and is the central concept of the games. The protagonist of the game, along with their allies and usually enemies, have unique abilities and intelligence which allow them to be professional-level hackers. The games revolve around the concept of hacking and using the world's hackable objects (which range from everyday items like cell phones and electronics, to items like pipes, traffic lights, and explosives) to the player's advantage.


The CTOS is a system created by Blume Corporation, which connects everything together virtually, from personal information to everyday electronics, and the player can take advantage of this system by hacking the objects it controls. Eventually Blume will go on to create CTOS 2.0, which is the upgraded version of the original CTOS.


Watch Dogs

In the first Watch Dogs, hacking is the core element used by protagonist Aiden Pearce. Aiden can hack things ranging from cell phones to traffic lights to blockers to explosives. Aiden can also use the Profiler system to hack people's personal information, such as bank account money and personal details.

Throughout the game, the player must hack certain objects that require the completion of a hacking mini-game to unlock. The mini-game involves turning certain pieces to the right position to allow the electricity to flow from the starting outlet to the end point. Sometimes this must be done within a certain time limit.

Hacking game WD1

The hacking mini-game in Watch Dogs.

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 further relays the concept introduced in the original Watch Dogs. The new protagonist, Marcus Holloway, and his crew, have an understanding and perception of hacking that is greater than Aiden Pearce's. Marcus has a wider range of new hacks that the player cannot unleash using a single button, like the original Watch Dogs. Now, the player has access to a wider range of button combinations to unleash new, devastating hacks that were not present in the original game.

The new hacking mini-games have also taken on a larger scale, now taking place in the entire room or area that Marcus is in. This means that the player will now have to physically move Marcus around to complete the puzzles. The player can also unleash Mass Hacks which hack every person in a vicinity, blackouts, and can use NetHack View, which is a unique gameplay view that allows the player to see hackable objects through solid surfaces, such as cameras.


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  • The developers of Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft, actually got real hackers to work on the games, giving them inspiration and adding realism to the games.