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Watch Dogs: Legion - Arrested and injured operatives explained and how to get them back in action

Where your operatives go if you're not playing on permadeath mode.

Watch Dogs: Legion approaches things a little differently than most open-world games - putting you in the shoes of various operatives instead of one lead character.

These operatives - recruited during the course of the story or by profiling pretty much any passer-by in the game - can be injured or arrested if you come out of a firefight poorly

This page explains what happens when you get captured or lose all your health - assuming you're not playing in permadeath mode, where you will lose operatives forever when they die.

On this page:

For more help with Watch Dogs: Legion, see our pages on the map and landmarks, finding a Spy and Hitman, drone locations and using the camera.

Arrested or injured operatives in Watch Dogs: Legion explained

If you lose all your health out in the world, or do so in an enemy-held (red) territory, and are not playing in permadeath mode, your operative will be incapacitated for a certain amount of time.

This means the operative cannot be selected until a timer is up, and forces you to play as other operatives in the meantime.

This ranges from 30 minutes to an hour in our experience, and you can track how long is remaining in the 'Team' area of the menu.

This is in-game time, and not real world time, by the way - so you cannot just switch off the console and come back later. Also, you need to be actually in the game world - not on this menu screen and wait.

That said, you can still set the controller down in the world and wait for the time to pass, which is what we recommend to speed this process up if you are in need of a particular operative.

Of course, continuing to play with a different operative until they're back is more in the spirit of the game - but if you have a favourite, or one with skills you need for a particular objective, then leaving the game running to make yourself a cuppa or to do the washing up might be a better use of your time.

Finally, one other thing the game recommends is adding a barrister to your team. For us, this was flagged the first time we were arrested, and involves the usual side-quest to win them over.

This barrister has the perk Bail Out, which "occasionally auto releases an arrested teammate". So it's not guaranteed - but if it keeps happening, it would be worth the effort in tracking them down.

What happens when all your operatives are arrested or injured in Watch Dogs: Legion?

One thing we wanted to test was - what happens if all of your operatives are arrested or injured? This is possible in the early game when you only have a handful of operatives, and / or you keep failing a particularly tough mission.

In theory, every character would have a countdown clock ticking down, meaning you cannot play the game until the time is up. (The exception of course is permadeath mode - where we imagine losing all operatives would result in a different outcome.)

In practice, what happens is a little anticlimactic. For us, it would instantly 'release' one of the operatives currently held under a timer. This was seemingly at random, though occasionally seemed to prioritise the previously arrested or injured operative.

That means if you want to break out a favourite operative faster than the timer allows, then getting the others arrested or injured until they are sprung free is a way to do it.

It's easier to just set the controller down and wait as mentioned above, but if you have a small number of operatives and don't mind getting them beaten up, this could be a quicker method.

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Watch Dogs Legion

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Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds


Matthew Reynolds edited guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer from 2010 - 2023. When he wasn't doing that, he was out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.