I'm about 8 hours into Watch Dogs and I'm not getting much mileage out of the vehicle take downs using the phone hacks. (no pun intended)

I've had the Traffic Lights hack unlocked from the get-go, and I've unlocked Bridges, Street Barriers & Road Spikes

The only thing that seems to work for me, is using the bridges as I can set them to start raising on approach and ramp over them and the cops don't seem to follow.

According to the tips/tricks I should be getting a blue diamond to let me know that a take-down quick-time event is available but this never seems to happen. I've also tried a quick glance out the rear window to time it properly but no luck there either.

Often times, I don't even get the dialogs for traffic light hacks (though this might be because I don't have a ctOS tower hacked in the area).

In any case it is making escaping the cops and convoy take downs a complete PITA.

Any tips/advice/ideas on things I might be doing wrong ?


You don't necessarily have to wait for the blue diamond to happen to be able to interfere with whoever is chasing you (although the blue diamond will always succeed at taking out someone). You can look behind you and hack utilities, thus creating a blockade.

The Takedown indicator (Blue Diamond) is only shown when the enemies (police, gang members) are in a position, where if you do the hack, they will crash. In some situations it's possible to get caught in the takedown as well, so you have to be careful. Next time you're escaping police, try going through many traffic lights and pay attention to where and how far the cop cars are behind you, eventually you will learn how to do takedowns more often.

If all else fails, go to any river and swim away, there are no police or gang boats :P

  • cheers. yeah maybe I'm just not "gaming" the system to get them at the right distance behind me... – Eoin Campbell Jun 3 '14 at 19:19
  • Just to add to this a bit. The guaranteed handling of a vehicle by a traffic light is context sensitive but you do not have to be ahead of them, it has more to do with where They are in releationship to the light than where you are. Secondly, you can just mess with the traffic to slow down cars, it wont auto-stop them though. – James Jun 3 '14 at 19:33
  • Everything @James said is true. If there are no cars at the traffic light, you won't be able to do a takedown either, as there won't be any cars to crash into. – Elise Jun 3 '14 at 21:46
  • I've had it happen that I've taken out my car with the blue diamond aswell. Exploding pipes is a dangerous one and the blocker poles that come up too – Lyrion Jun 4 '14 at 9:34
  • @Chippies I've had some very strange interactions with traffic lights. I was chasing a car for a story mission, came to some traffic lights with no traffic, got the blue square and so tried it out and the car in-front just burst into flames. I've had this occur a few times, but can't remember if always during a story mission. As you said, you generally need traffic for cars to crash into, and I've observed this as well, but if you get a blue square, try it anyway :) – Lyrical Jun 6 '14 at 10:07

Use Focus

In terms of tricks you can use to help, you can use Focus whilst driving (on the PS4, this is the R3 button). Focus is an unlockable skill that makes time slow down for a short period of time. It costs just one skill point, so is cheap to pick up in the early stages of the game.

With Focus, you have much more time to interact with the environment whilst driving, so looking behind and picking the perfect moment to hack that barrier is even easier.

As stated in the linked wiki article:

Focus can be used whilst driving, but will not enhance a vehicle's handling. However, it will give the player more time to plan and use hacks.

You can unlock several bonuses to Focus if you find you need more time. In addition, going into a coffee shop, or some other food/drink venue in-between missions and buying a drink will give you a temporary bonus to the amount of focus you have (the bonus focus appears in blue).

The game will occasionally mention this use of focus during a loading screen hint.

Use the visual indicator

As stated by @Chippies, if you hit the hack button (on PS4, this is the Square button), at the moment the hack indicator reticle flashes blue, your hack is almost guaranteed to be effective. The effectiveness depends on the type of hack - for example, I found barriers and gas pipes to be highly effective, and traffic lights to be much less effective.

Use the audible indicator

The blue reticle also comes with a audible cue. If you're finding there is too much on the screen to concentrate on whilst driving to look for the reticle turning blue, you can turn up the volume and use the beeping sound to choose the right moment. The beeping will get higher-pitched and then become a solid tone at the right moment.

Learn the routes

My final tip only comes from experience. The map in Watch_Dogs is refreshingly large and varied. But over time you will get to know some of the areas of the city and surrounding areas. You will learn where you might find a line of barriers, or a straight section with a couple of steam pipes you can use. Use your knowledge of the city to direct your pursuers down routes that have hackable features you can make use of, or large straight sections where you don't need to concentrate so much on taking corners.

A combination of the above should make hacking whilst driving much easier.


If you try to take down an enemy in a car with the steam pipes, try to go around the steam pipes. The enemy will be stupid enough to drive over the steam pipe. But beware!!! If the enemy is on the left, don't go around the left. Go around the right so the enemy follows you and tries to ram you then he drives over the steam pipe and KABOOM!!! Vehicle TakeDown.

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