While it's generally accepted money won't buy you happiness, in Watch Dogs 2 it can certainly make missions easier and help Marcus look like a little cooler with some new clothes. Thankfully, there's a bunch of ways to make money in Watch Dogs 2, and while big pay-outs are few and far between, if you stick to some best practices your bank balance will grow sooner than you think.
What is money used for in Watch Dogs 2?
Money is used mostly for customisation, allowing you to buy new clothes from the game's many vendors (Clothing Shops, Vending Machines and Tourist Kiosks) as well as extra skins for vehicles you own.
Speaking of which, dealerships sell cars, bikes and other vehicles you can then request in the Car on Demand app, which cost from the tens to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, you can ignore this altogether, since you can steal a car easily from most locations, or fast travel to most areas. But if you have cash to spare, here's where you can spend it.
Cash is also used to buy new weapons from the 3D printer in a Hackerspace HQ, which holds arguably the most important purchase in Watch Dogs 2 - the Quadcopter. The remote controlled drone can be used to hack and survey targets from afar, and ends up being essential if you want to find every Key Data and for completing some of the later story missions.
However, it's not cheap, coming in at $67,500. But the sooner you get it, the easier things become in the game, and as such making money fast comes in handy.
How to make money in Watch Dogs 2?
Unlike Followers, you won't get cash for completing missions (aside from any Money Bags or other pick-ups you find along the way). Instead, you'll collect it little-by-little from exploring the world in various ways, or taking part in specific open-world activities.
Exploit to get $18,000 every 40 seconds - The fastest way to get money that we know of is courtesy of a technique by WikiGameGuides on YouTube. This has you replay a section within the 'A Real Dog Fight' in the "Eye for an Eye' mission, that has you hack a certain person for $18,000, reload a checkpoint and repeat. The technique is explained in the following video:
Pawn Shops - As you explore the world and break into cars, you'll loot valuable items. Pop into a Pawn Shop from time to time - they are located on the Nudle map - to sell these for a little top up.
Money Bags - As well as Research Points and Key Data, you'll occasionally locate Money Bags nearby by using the NetHack vision (click in the right stick on a console to activate). These tend to give you around $5,000 a pop, but are usually located in restricted areas guarded by enemies. If you're able to get in and out quickly, they're not a bad time investment - especially if you use a Jumper or Quadcopter.
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, Driver SF and multiplayer. We also have walkthroughs on Trophy and Achievement specific side-quests Ubistolen, $911 and Shadows as well as how to get more Followers and how to make money.
Stealing from Bank Accounts - As you profile citizens throughout the world, there is sometimes the option to steal money from their accounts. While this is usually at around $50, there are some lucrative accounts that see this jump to $500. You can highlight these easier with the 'Improved Profiler' Research node with the Social Engineering branch, and show up as a blue square from a short distance.
Bodies - When you down an enemy - either by killing them or stunning them - they will drop a couple of hundred dollars a time. Run over their body to get the cash.
Driver: SF - These short driving missions can net you between $2800 and $9600, depending on your star rating. With some of these missions taking just minutes to complete, they're a pretty quick and easy source of cash.
Races - Completing optional races - Drone, Motocross, Sailboat - will get you a small number of Followers and Cash, depending on the medal, the higher the better. For example, a Motocross race can net you $6,000 for a gold medal if completed under 2 minutes 30 seconds, which isn't a bad return for your time.
Ubisoft Club: Log into the Ubisoft Club website and there is an option for a free $15,000 "cash infusion" to help you on your way.