Watch Dogs Legion: How to Recruit Operatives & FAQ

watch dogs legion how to recruit

Screenshot by Jack Fennimore

Watch Dogs Legion’s big new feature is the ability to recruit anyone on the street to join the cause of freeing London from the iron grip of Albion and Clan Kelley.

Each person you find has a variety of abilities and perks to assist your team in their cause. However, you’re going to have to do a bit of work to get them to join.

Here’s how to recruit operatives in Watch Dogs Legion.


How to Recruit Operatives

Screenshot by Jack Fennimore

To recruit a person to your team, you need to help them out with a problem only DedSec can help with.

Use the left button to profile people you find in the open world. Here you can learn a little bit about them and, more importantly, see what kinds of perks they have.

If you find someone you’d like to recruit, walk up to them and hold the Y button for Xbox or the triangle button for PlayStation to talk to them. You’ll get a short cutscene where the recruit talks about a problem that DedSec could help out with.

You can also save a recruit to your contacts list in the Team tab of the main menu. To save someone to your contacts, tap the right button while profiling them. If you hold down the right button, you’ll immediately start their recruitment mission. Otherwise, just select their mission from the Mission tab when you’re ready.

Once you accept the mission, a location will be highlighted on your map. These locations are restricted areas, which means enemies will attack you on sight. Head to the location and complete the task there. You might have to hack into a server, destroy a weapon cache, rescue a hostage, steal a vehicle, or do some other task. The more perks a potential recruit has, the more tasks you’ll need to do back to back to recruit them.

Be careful, as some missions might end with you being chased by a bunch of gun-toting Clan Kelley members in cars. If you get eliminated, you might fail the mission and have to start the recruitment process all over again.

By far the easiest way to recruit people is to find them being harassed or arrested by Albion contractors. If a contractor is simply talking to them, you can target and distract them so the recruit can escape. Some recruits might be tied up, so you’re going to have to take down the contractor and then free them with the Y button / triangle button. When they start running, quickly hack them to bring their profile up and then save them to your recruits page to immediately have them join the team. Sometimes just saving the recruit’s family member from an Albion contractor is enough to get them to join.


How Do I Edit Operatives?

Open up the main menu and go to the Team tab. Select one of your operatives and hit the a button / x button to edit them. You can change their weapon loadout and what gadget they can use. You cannot edit the weapon loadout or gadget of an operative that you’re playing as if they’re in a restricted area.

You can change an operative’s clothing by going to a store and using the right button to switch from the store selection to your wardrobe.


How Many People Can I Recruit?

You can recruit a maximum of 45 operatives. After that, you can’t save people to your list or start new recruitment missions.

Your recruit list counts toward the maximum number of operatives you can have on your team. So if you have too many recruits saved to that list, you can’t invite any more to join you unless you go and complete the missions needed to recruit those people or abandon those missions.


How Do I Remove Operatives from My Team?

To kick an operative out of the team, highlight the team member in the Team menu, go to edit the team member with the A button / X button and then hit the X button / square button. You can cancel a recruitment mission by doing the same thing.


What Kinds of People Should I Recruit?

Screenshot by Jack Fennimore

Some of your recruits will have access to disguises that they can use to blend in to certain restricted areas, drastically cutting the distance enemies are alerted to your presence at as well as extending the time it takes for detection. Use the ability wheel to equip uniforms.

Focus on getting recruits with Albion and construction worker uniforms. Most restricted areas can be traversed with Albion outfits, including Albion bases (obviously), police stations, and even some medical centers. You’ll also find a lot of main missions that require you to go into an Albion-controlled place. Construction worker outfits can be used for many Albion- and Clan Kelley-controlled areas. A main mission will even task you with recruiting a construction worker. The medical center, police station, and especially the queen’s guard uniforms are a bit more specialized and thus aren’t as useful as the Albion and construction worker outfits.

Construction workers are also very useful because they can summon cargo drones wherever. You can hop on top of one and essentially gain the ability to fly, allowing you access to areas with high walls or tall buildings. I used one to get on the roof of Buckingham Palace so I can shut off the propaganda. Travelling by cargo drone across London is so much better than doing it by car.

Drone Experts can summon their own Shock Drones, which can fire projectiles that immobilize enemies and can destroy turrets and weapon caches. They also often come with the ability to make enemy drones fight for you, which is great since the strongest enemies in the game are riot drones and counter-terrorism drones.

You might want to search for a lawyer or a police officer to reduce the time it takes before operatives are released from prison after being arrested by Albion forces. It’s also a good idea to look for a medical professional who can reduce the time it takes before people are released from the hospital after being defeated by certain enemies.

Any operative with a silenced pistol is a must for a stealth-oriented playstyle, though you can upgrade the default DedSec pistol to have a silencer. Street artists often carry paintball guns, which are essentially silenced, non-lethal assault rifles.

You’re going to want operatives with abilities that improve melee combat if you want to get through the bareknuckle arenas.

Some people have perks that impair them, however. Some can have lower mobility which prevents them from sprinting, some can occasionally make hiccups or farts (yes, farts) that alert nearby enemies and some can even die randomly and permanently. Usually these are balanced out by good perks, but you’ll want to avoid people with negative perks in favor of people with only positive perks. However, if you want to recruit people with negative perks just to give yourself an extra challenge, no one’s going to stop you.


Where Can I Find Recruits With Certain Abilities?

People with specific uniforms you need are usually found around areas they would be working in; Albion bases for Albion uniforms, medical centers for medical uniforms, constructions sites for construction workers, etc. You can also find spies that have stealth-oriented abilities near government buildings or near the M16 headquarters.

Your AI assistant Bagley will also occasionally highlight skilled recruits with a green icon on the map.

Each borough of London has their own quirks and personalities that make certain kinds of potential recruits flock to them. Camden has a technological counterculture and thus is a good spot to find a competent hacker. The City of London is a great spot for finding lawyers or CEOs and investors that will help you earn more ETO currency. Brixton is a culturally diverse neighborhood with street artists that have access to paintball guns and paint bombs. Hyde Park is home to athletes that excel in physical confrontations such as melee combat.

By winning tournaments in bareknuckle arenas, you can choose to recruit the operatives that you fought – including the champions. You just need to complete their missions after defeating them. These operatives are often built for melee combat.

To get some of the best operatives in the game, you need to turn a borough defiant. That means completing certain objectives in the map that destabilize the power Albion has on the area such as photographing evidence or rescuing someone from imprisonment. The map will tell you what missions to complete. After you do that, you complete one more mission at a famous London landmark in the area. After that, Albion presence is reduced and the people of that borough are inspired to rise up. You also earn a brand new operative who is significantly stronger than most other recruits, such as a spy that can disable weapons of multiple enemies and has access to a spy car with a cloak or a beekeeper that can swarm enemies with robotic bees.


What About People Who Dislike DedSec?

Some people will have a negative opinion of DedSec, indicated by the red thumbs down icon in their profile. While these people have better abilities than the average person, it takes a little bit more work to get them to join your team. They often include people like Albion and Clan Kelley members you find in restricted areas. You can make someone dislike DedSec if you assault them or one of their family members.

To get them to join, you first need to unlock the Deep Profiler in the Tech tab. Save a person that dislikes DedSec to your Recruits list and then investigate their profile with Y / triangle. You can follow the lead you see in there and find a way to help them. After you do that, then you can start their proper recruitment mission. Sometimes saving the person’s family member from being harassed by an Albion contractor will be enough to earn a good favor with them.

Turning a borough defiant will shift some people’s opinion of DedSec from negative to positive. So if you don’t want to go through the extra effort of recruiting someone who dislikes DedSec, free a borough first.

Some people have two red thumb icons; these people are what the game refers to as antagonists. This means they hate DedSec and cannot be recruited. This often happens when you take down an enemy or one of their relatives. Antagonists sometimes attempt to capture your operatives.


What About Prestige Operatives?

There are some operatives that join your team if you’ve purchased the Season Pass or buy them through the Store tab for premium currency. These are Prestige Operatives.

Prestige operatives are included in all of your save files for both the single player campaign and Watch Dogs Online releasing this December, according to the in-game tutorial. Prestige operatives expand the team list for your campaign, which means there’s always room to add them. They are often stronger than many of the operatives you recruit early in the game.

If you’ve turned on permadeath and they die, you can use the operatives in other save files and a new save file.

Read More: 10 Watch Dogs Legion Tips & Tricks You Need to Know