- Once you have hacked your opponent's phone, you have a minute to set the blue search zone by pressing down on the D-Pad. Don’t initiate straight away: you want to be in as dense an area as possible, filled with back alleys and NPCs. Try and get as far away from the other player as the game will allow before doing it too, but don’t be too obvious when driving away, as you’ll be tailed.
- Once the game has found a match for you, it’ll show the potential gains and losses of notoriety you’ll make by accepting, as well as your opponent’s proficiency at finding hackers. When you first start playing, ignore this and just get the practice, but as you get more experienced, become more selective and take on opponents that offer greater gains to allow you to level-up faster.
- Because Aiden’s phone can quickly scan large crowds on the street, a hiding place is often more beneficial than blending into the environment. Trying to stay out of your opponent’s direct few could be the difference between success and failure during a hack.
- When you’re looking for a hacker, remember you need to gain line-of-sight in order to find them, so it’s more likely they’re hiding rather than blending into a larger crowd a la Assassin’s Creed.
- Stay as far away from the target as possible while conducting the hack. Just get them in your view, get in range, hack and then get away. You need to establish a good search zone as quickly as possible, and being able to sprint away without looking too conspicuous helps maintain the advantage.
- There’s no need to act casual while being hacked yourself, as the target knows who you are and you’ll pop up on their HUD when in their field of view, so rush around and cover as much ground as possible in your search.
It’s a random encounter
When you join somebody else’s game to hack them, you could land anywhere in the map. You could spawn walking through a busy neighbourhood or in a car driving on the freeway with very few places to hide from your target.
Once you are within range of the person you need to hack, don’t do it immediately, tail them for a while until you are in a location that is better suited for hacking with plenty of places for you to either hide or blend in with your surroundings.
You have over four minutes to get to the other player and plant the backdoor to hack your target’s phone, followed by sixty seconds to set the blue hack zone. Use all of the time allowed to find the ideal spot.
Remember, you’re not actually Aiden Pearce
Although, in your game, you play as Aiden Pearce, your opponent will not see you as the game’s protagonist. Equally, you are not looking for Aiden Pearce, but a character that looks like one of the many NPC types walking around Chicago.
If you’re the hacker, the game will mark your target for you. If you’re being hacked, you need to be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour, which can be pretty tricky. As well as running around using your phone, you can use the security cameras littered around the environment to get a larger scope of the area.
Stay in the blue
If you leave the blue zone while the hack is taking place, your progress will stall and if you fail to get back into the area within a few seconds, you’ll lose.
Every 25 per cent hacking progress, the blue zone shrinks, but it’ll never cut you out, rather focusing in on your position, so don’t feel you need to move.
Once you’re in, you win
Once the hacking process begins, providing you aren’t killed if you’re spotted, you’ll gain some notoriety from the match.
Trying to ‘not lose’ is more important than getting a full hack, as you’ll not only work your way up the ranks, but get better and better at hacking the more encounters you have.
Remember, as soon as you join another person’s game, they’ll start looking for you, so act natural. Don’t jump in a car and start crashing and causing havoc as you’re easy to spot. Even en route to your target, don’t rush: wreckage after wreckage is just a trail of breadcrumbs leading to your location.
Approaching your opponent with patience gives you a better chance of maintaining distance to hack their phone, and not be easily spotted.
A good hiding spot is vital
Remember, as noted above, Aiden’s phone is very efficient at whittling down the possible targets by scanning crowds at a vast pace. So it’s important to find a good hiding spot as soon as you initiate hacking, and try and stay there for as long as possible.
Have an exit strategy
Wherever you choose to hide, make sure you don’t corner yourself in case you’re spotted. Hiding near a train station, in a car or near a bunch of cars is always useful for getting away should the worst happen. It also helps if you’re near hackable objects like barriers and traffic lights, which can aid your escape.