Skills Tree and Upgrades in Watch Dogs 2

In Watch Dogs 2 the Skill Tree system works in tandem with the RP system and will upgrade player with more powerful hacking abilities. The skills tree can also be used to upgrade the skills of the protagonists themselves, thus improving their efficiency in driving, combat or strategic situations. Here is the list of all the Skills and Upgrades you need to unlock in the game and their uses to hack and win.

All Skills Tree and Upgrades

Skills Tree and Upgrades

There are seven research fields to unlock and some skills require Key Data. The skills tree has the following skills and conditions.

Social Engineering Skill

This will be Marcus’s very first skill you will unlock in a research group and can be used on civilians or enemies. There are 9 different skills available in Social Engineering.

  • Create Distraction (2 Botnet) – Sends a distraction to civilian phones or blasts feedbacks in enemy headsets. Also, have the ability to cancels 911 and reinforcement calls
  • Gang Attack (8 Botnet) – Assign a target to one of the gangs of San Francisco
    • Gang Skirmish (8 Botnet) – Rally high-level members of a gang to rough up your target
    • Gang War (8 Botnet) – Call the strongest members of a gang to attack your target
  • Improved Profiler – Automatically flag profiles of nearby people with large bank accounts
    • Massive Communication Disruption – Simultaneously create a Distraction on everyone around you
    • Botnet Savings – Personal Devices – Reduce Botnet Resource costs when using any hack on individuals
  • APB: Suspect Located (8 Botnet) – Place a false APB on your target and broadcast the location. The police will come to arrest the target
    • APB: Wanted Criminal (8 Botnet) – Place a false APB on your target with a special “dangerous criminal” advisory

City Disruption

This section of Skill is used by the big time hackers and want some mess in the city. Players who want to escape the law and other enemies by creating San Francisco finest traps and obstacles.

  • Auto-Takedown (4 Botnet) – Trigger Gates and Steam Pipes when enemy vehicles pass nearby
  • Robot Exploits (2 Botnet) – Create a Distraction on robots
    • Traffic Control Exploit – Upgrades the Auto Takedown with the ability to hack the traffic light system which creates accidents to stop pursuers
    • Massive System Crash – Shut down all city infrastructure for 30 seconds
      • System Crash Upgrade: Blackout – Upgrades the Mass System Crash hack and allows the player to turns off all lights in the area, reducing line-of-sight
  • Security System Shutdown – Enables shutting down security systems
    • Botnet Savings: City Hacking – Reduces Botnet Resource costs when using any hack on city infrastructure or tech


There are six different Skills in Tinkering you need to unlock in order to improve your bombs and explosives. This ability will not only improve our crafting techniques but also works for charge mechanics.

  • Electro Shock Device – Knocks people out temporarily
  • Explosive Device – Explodes with a lethal blast
    • Expert Tinkering – Reduces cooldown time for Explosive and Electro Shock devices
      • Electro Shock Optimization – Allows carrying and placing of 5 Electro Shock Devices at once
    • Tweaked Blast – Explosive and Electro Shock Devices have a larger area of effect
      • Explosive Optimization – Allows carrying and placing of 5 Explosive Devices at once


There are seven upgrades available in Botnets section and every update is similar to the previous one which is used to Increases Available Botnet Resources by 2. The first upgrade will allow you to unlock by 4, but the rest are a lock at 2.


There are 9 skills to unlock in the Marksmanship section. Players who believe in strict Lethal mode will find this section very handy.

  • Sleight of Hand – Increases reload speed for pistols and the Stun Gun
  • Advanced Sleight of Hand – Increases reload speed for two-handed weapons
    • Steady Hands– Reduce scope sway on all scoped weapons
      • Keen Eye – Increases damage dealt by sniper rifles
    • Strong Grip – Increases the stability of two-handed weapons
      • Target Weakness – Increases damage dealt by shotguns against vehicles and armored targets
  • Steady Aim – Increases Stun Gun range
    • Fast Trigger Finger – Upgrade pistol rate-of-fire to as fast as the trigger can be pulled
    • Stun Amp Up – Decreases the number of Stun Gun charges needed to stun armored enemies

Remote Control

One of the most important skills Marcus needs to improve early in the game in order to open the interaction with the world of Watch Dogs 2. The RC Tools which Marcus uses such as Quadcopter and Jumper have their abilities of creativity.

  • Environmental RC – Remote control for forklifts, scissor lifts, and cranes
    • Proximity Scanner – Equip the Quadcopter with enhanced Scanning capacity, also the NPCs are tagged through walls while controlling the Quadcopter in NetHack
      • Expert RC Engineering – Reduces cooldown time for the Jumper and Quadcopter
      • Remote Gadgets – Equip the Jumper and Quadcopter to drop IEDs and Zappers
    • Taunt – Equip the Jumper with an internal speaker
      • Speed Boost – Boost speed for both the Jumper and Quadcopter
      • Enhanced Spring – Improve the jump height of your Jumper

Vehicle Hacking

The First thing every player does in any open world is to drive the vehicles and test the gameplay environment. In Watch Dogs 2, Marcus will be able to shift objectives, traps and different ways to stop your enemies.

  • Vehicle Directional Hack​ (2 Botnet) – Hack vehicles to move in specific directions.
    • Hijacker – Hack cars’ electronic locks instead of lockpicking.
      • Chopper Retreat Exploit (4 Botnet) – Force choppers to retreat.
    • Engine Override – Trigger a burst of speed in a vehicle. Drains Botnet Resources over time.
      • Massive Vehicle Hack – When on-foot, create mayhem by hacking all cars in the area at once. While driving, hack vehicles to distract drivers and clear a path. Lasts for 10 seconds.
      • Botnet Savings: Vehicle Hacks – Reduce Botnet Resource cost for any vehicle hack.

This was all about the Skills and Upgrades available in Watch Dogs 2. Make sure you check our Watch Dogs 2 Wiki to know more about the game walkthrough, collectible and hidden secret locations and much more.