Watch Dogs is an open world game, and like most open world games, it's not all aout the story. The fairly lengthy campaign of Watch Dogs will take you through the basics of what Watch Dogs is all about, but some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in the game come in the form of side missions. If you're into Watch Dogs and want to get all you can out of it, here are some of the best ways to spend your time.
#1 Fixer Contracts
Fixer contracts will pop up randomly as you explore the city and is the most abundant type of side quest. There are 4 different types of fixer contracts, but they all focus on driving, so if you like driving fast cars long distances, you're gonna want to hunt these down. The Decoy and Transporter contracts have you racing across the city as fast as you can in specific vehicles. Getaways put you in a high speed chase with police or one of the games gangs and tasks you with escaping while Interceptions have you tailing another vehicle and eventually taking out the driver. While the interceptions often go on for a little too long, all of the fixer contracts are fun distractions.
#2 Convoys and Gang Hideouts
Convoys and gang hideouts are the most action packed side quests in the game. Convoys task you with cutting off a a criminal before he reaches his destination and either killing him or knocking him out. Parking you're car in front of the criminals escort and shooting grenade launcher rounds into each of their cars is one of the most rewarding ways to finish these missions. Gang hideouts are typically a little more tactical than convoys. Finding the leader of the gang and taking him out without being spotted is rewarding in it's own right, but if you're more inclined to violence, you can always blow your way through to the leader with hot lead too, as long as you knock the leader out without killing him.
#3 ctOS Towers
There are 13 ctOS towers in the game, and each one unlocks a fast travel point and some investigations (see below). More importantly, hacking the ctOS towers is a trial itself. Tracking power lines from gates and hacking cameras that have angles you can't get otherwise will be a huge help when you're trying to make your way through the environments to the hackable ctOS console. These environmental puzzles require a keen eye and often a lot of patience, but they are some of the most unique interactions in the game in comparison to other open world games.
Investigations come in many varieties. One type simply asks you to go to a certain point on the map to discover a dead body, while another requires you to piece together a QR Code plastered across multiple structures in a single block of Chicago. Each one ends in a full-scale side mission which offers the most difficult challenge in the game. The Investigation side missions use common gameplay elements and scale up their difficulty dramatically. One has you going through a massive hacking loop minigame, another is a more difficult version of a gang hideout, and there is one of these challenging side quests for almost every gameplay loop in the game. If you're up for some heavy lifting, there's no better challenges in the game.
#5 Privacy Invasions
Spread throughout the city are points where you can hack into people's homes and get a snapshot of their lives. While these offer little in the way of challenge or substantial content, it does show the consequences of allowing an entire city to be run off of a single operating system as well as developing the game's version of Chicago into a more believable city. However, be warned that some of these invasions occur during people's most private moments and can be very lewd.
#6 City Games
Chess, shell games, and drinking games have become infamous among those attempting to 100% Watch Dogs. The chess puzzles are relatively simple, but take some contemplation if you're not accustomed to chess. The shell games make you track a ball under one of three cups as a street performer attempts to confuse you with speedy hand movements. Then there are the drinking games. Ugh. These little games start out fun, trying to keep a reticule in a moving circle is a cute minigame after all, but each new drinking game simultaneously grows more challenging and more boring. Your reticule tries desperately to defy your inputs and the circles grow smaller and move faster. To make matters worse, every time you fail one of the drinking games you're spawned 100 meters away from the challenge, preventing instant retrys. There's little fun to be had in the drinking games and unless you're going for 100% game completion, I would recommend staying away from them.
#7 Digital Trips
Digital Trips are fun one-offs that have nothing to do with the game's story. They are accessible from anywhere and are essentially drug trips that take place entirely in your mind. These games are just silly fun when you need a break from reality. One off them has you bouncing off of giant flowers throughout the city without touching the ground while the most popular one lets you destroy Chicago in a huge spider tank. Yes, you read that right, a spider tank. Unfortunately, there are no rewards from completing these games outside of a new costume for each one you finish. More of these digital trips are coming in a dlc.