The helicopter is based on the Airbus EC-series, speficially the Eurocopter/Airbus Helicopters EC120/H120, and the H135/EC135 in the front styling. The Helicopter serves as a vehicle intended to patrol the skies and assist ground units to search any objective. In Watch Dogs, Helicopters are represented by a large red helicopter icon on the mini-map.
In Watch Dogs 2, helicopters are represented on the minimap by a large red and blue flashing helicopter icon. The vehicle has a searchlight, mounted camera and side winch. The helicopter has capacity for at least four occupants, but only the marksman is seen and, assuming it is controlled by a human pilot and not CTOS, means it only has two persons on board.
- Police Helicopter: The common version of the helicopter, which is operated by the Police. The Police version is called in to track down the player after obtaining a certain heat level and it will pursue the players. The Helicopter in Watch Dogs is white/blue with CPD emblems and in Watch Dogs 2, it is dark grey, similar to the MRAP.
- Enemy Helicopter: Appearing in Not the Pizza Guy, A Pit of Paranoia and No Turning Back, it is seen operated by their respective gangs, apart that it comes in a black finish and with the same accessories as its police counterpart. Enemy Helicopters operated by hostile factions are absent from Watch Dogs 2, but Jordi Chin pilots a helicopter during his escape from the Bratva's yacht, suggesting that the Bratva utilize helicopters, although this is not seen in game.
In Watch Dogs, Police Helicopters are tricky to evade in car, and even trickier to avoid on foot, especially in open areas where the Helicopter can move freely. A notably easier way of losing a Police Helicopter is by using the Disable Helicopter hack, which will cause the helicopter stop briefly mid-air, or by killing the Police Helicopter's Marksman, causing it to "Disengage" from the police chase entirely in order to replace them. If the player has enough time, they can simply destroy the helicopter by shooting it with a grenade launcher. Note that disabling a Police Helicopter will cause to emit a smoke from the engine exhausts, though the helicopter will not lose control nor "leave" the area, it will simply stay put.
They will simply have difficulties to move and their main priority will be to restore control before pursuing the player again. Sometimes, the pilot will state he is "re-positioning", and he will fly ahead of the pursuit in a relatively straight trajectory. During this time, they will not pursue the player, and they will move to hover in a position ahead of the pursuit in order to line up an easy shot. When the helicopter makes this maneuver, the player can change their current heading, and the helicopter will be unable to give chase until it finishes re-positioning.
In Watch Dogs 2, Police Helicopters have similar behaviors to their predecessor, although there are some notable differences. The Disable Helicopter hack will cause the helicopter to immediately disengage instead of attempting to restore systems.
CTOS Mobile App
The Police Helicopter serves as the mobile player's avatar in the ctOS Mobile Challenge. The mobile player is a ctOS operator tasked with stopping Aiden Pearce, and is given full access to ctOS exploits and the Chicago Police Department's resources.
- The Helicopter is the only aerial vehicle that exists in the Watch Dogs series.
- The Spider Tank Digital Trip shows that the police helicopter can be destroyed. This is also true outside of the digital trip if the player lands a hit on the Police Helicopter with a grenade launcher, and it may be destroyed with any weapon within the ctOS Mobile Challenge.
- In Watch Dogs 2, it is possible to destroy the helicopter with the Quadcopter's bombs, if the player manages to fly above the helicopter with the quadcopter and drop a bomb.
- The Helicopter in Spider Tank Digital Trip is, at one level, referred to as 'an Helicopter', which is grammatically incorrect.
- The marksman's A.I in the police helicopter is extremely accurate. He hardly misses any shots, as his shots has an extremely low chance of missing, no matter what. This characteristic was nerfed in Watch Dogs 2, where the sniper's aiming will be a bit slower when tracking down the player's position, meaning there is no harm at being shot on foot as long as the player keeps moving away of the gun's aiming laser.
- If one swerves rapidly when the laser from the marksman's rifle appears, it is possible to avoid his shots.
- Once the marksman is killed, the Police Helicopter will leave the area, and another Police Helicopter will arrive shortly (within several minutes).
- The helicopter's marksman seems to have a targeting priority for vehicles. In order, he usually fires at the rear windshield, the mirrors, the hood, then doors, after which he will move to the vehicles bumpers and trunk lid. If all of these targets are exhausted or are not able to be targetted, the marksman will aim at the player's head.
- The marksman will aim at the player's head even when it is obstructed by the vehicle's roof. This is likely a developer oversight.
- Dispatch refers to the helicopter as an "air unit" or "air support".
- Despite the fact that this vehicle is normally considered to be uncontrollable, it is possible to control one due to a glitch, as seen here. It was recently discovered that if you can get close enough to a helicopter and kill the marksman, you can enter and control it like any other vehicle. Despite this, there is no camera view, so it is difficult to tell where you are flying unless you watch the minimap closely.
- As of Watch Dogs 2 patch 1.16, the glitch is no longer possible to perform in the game. However, it is still possible to perform in the first Watch Dogs.