It would be an open-world game without some kind of racing activity to get distracted by. Watch Dogs 2 races come in four flavours – eKarts, motocross, sailboats and sailing – and though each one is pretty basic, some have entry requirements and a few challenges to tackle to succeed in them.
Whether you’re looking to pick up extra Followers, make some money or simply after completing the Trophy / Achievement list, here’s how to make the most of each race type.
eKart races in Watch Dogs 2
This is started by the ‘eKart Challenge’ side mission. Once you have completed all the below stages, you can replay each race from across the Nudle map interface. Start by going to the Fury Face Track that’s north west of Tidis in Silicon Valley, and complete the following mission steps.
We’d highly recommend you get the nitro research upgrade, which works on these cars as well as every day vehicles.
A short race that’s quite easy to win – as long as you go through the hoops, you can cut corners quite drastically to build up a lead.
Pimpin’ the eKart
Head for the marker and sneak inside the compound to retrieve the battery upgrade. There’s only a couple of guards here, and the leg up is on the side of the containers – no research required here to get access.
This course is full of twists and turns with no opportunity for taking shortcuts. The twitchy cart handling and somewhat unpredictable physics should you happen to collide with anything make this one a challenge to win, but coming first isn’t compulsory.
Need More Pimpin’
Make your way to Nudle and climb up onto the platform via the ledges next to the climbing wall where the velocity chip is located.
Less problematic than Castro, but this time your main obstacle is the rubber banding – it’s not unusual for your opponents to get in a massive pileup and get left in your dust only for them to catch up a few seconds later – so don’t worry too much about maintaining your lead until the final lap.
After you’ve completed the eKart Challenge side mission you’ll have the eKart available from the Car on Demand app on your phone, and it’s advisable to spend some time with it to get to grips with the handling – it’s very twitchy, so learning how fast and how sharply you can take corners will serve you well.
The races take place on closed circuits so there’s no traffic to contend with, but it’s a good idea to avoid collisions with other drivers as much as possible as the vehicle physics can be quite unpredictable – even simply rubbing wheels with an opponent can result in you being flung head over heels.
Contact with trackside obstacles is less dangerous, but it will slow you down so try and avoid the temptation to cut corners unless it saves you a lot of time; Stanford Rush provides a few opportunities to take the road less travelled, but beyond that it’s liable to do more harm than good.
Finally, the AI has fairly aggressive rubber-banding so even if you manage to take a significant lead bear in mind that they will catch up very quickly.
Motocross races in Watch Dogs 2
Initially five will be available, with the final one unlocking once you’ve won a medal in the others, and Oakland Open takes place on a quadbike but in all other respects is the same as the rest of the races.
These are races against the clock, but unlike the eKart events they take place amongst the usual vehicular and foot traffic so you need to be mindful of not only where you’re going but also who’s going to get in your way.
On the plus side you have access to your hacking abilities and you should make good use of them to clear pedestrians and drivers out of your path – it’s possible to fall off your bike if you hit something at speed and it can potentially be fatal, so avoiding head-on collisions with cars is definitely a plus.
Most of the tracks will have jumps somewhere along the route, but it’s important to resist the urge to try and catch big air by using engine overdrive when you hit them as it can often lead to you sailing clean over the next checkpoint and having to double back.
The last jump on Marin Madness is the exception as you need maximum speed to get enough height to make it across to the Golden Gate bridge. Note that you can tip your nose up or down whilst in mid air so try and land flat if possible, and avoid attempting to steer as you fly because landing sideways will not end well.
Want more tips? Our Watch Dogs 2 walkthrough and guide provides an overview of everything you can do in the open-world game, from all finding all Key Data locations, unique vehicles and finding hidden gnomes and gnome outfit, through to tips on races, ScoutX and Driver SF. We also have walkthroughs on Trophy and Achievement specific side-quests Ubistolen and $911 as well as how to get more Followers and how to make money.
Sailboat races in Watch Dogs 2
First, buy a sailboat from the Sailboat Shop between Sausalito and The Gates Houseboats. There doesn’t appear to be a performance difference between cheapest and most expensive and it’s purely an aesthetic decision.
Once you’ve bought your boat get some practice in to get a feel for how wind direction affects your own speed – unlike the more traditional vehicular races, with sailing you’re at the mercy of the wind for power.
The more perpendicular the wind is to your direction of travel the faster you go – sailing directly in to it is impossible, and heading in the same direction as it will only net you half speed – so gaining the advantage in these races is a matter of balancing your speed against how much of a detour you need to take.
During the races make sure you go round the markers in the direction indicated, and may the wind be in your sails!
Drone races in Watch Dogs 2
Another set of races against the clock, and fairly straightforward – fly through the green squares whilst avoiding crashing into trees and other obstacles.
Having the remote boost upgrade is handy here but not essential, and while first person view is fractionally quicker it’s also a lot harder to control so we’d recommend sticking to third person view.