Watch Dogs: Legion is all about ordinary people teaming up to resist an authoritarian regime, and Skilled Operatives are the reward you receive for resisting well. These playable characters have a slew of useful weapons, gadgets, summons, and passive traits that they can put to good use in the fight against evil. You’ll automatically recruit a Skilled Operative after completing all Borough Uprising Activities in a neighborhood like Camden or Westminster, and then that area’s Borough Uprising mission.
So which Skilled Operative should you unlock first? Below, we’ve ranked all eight Skilled Operatives from most to least essential and included a rundown of the skills that they had in our games. We’ve also noted the Borough Uprising you need to complete to unlock them, so you can plan accordingly.
Table of contents
- Hacker + (Camden Borough Uprising)
- Drone Expert (Lambeth Borough Uprising)
- Professional Hitman (Nine Elms Borough Uprising)
- Spy + (Westminster Borough Uprising)
- Football Hooligan + (Islington and Hackney Borough Uprising)
- Getaway Driver + (Tower Hamlets Borough Uprising)
- Anarchist + (Southwark Borough Uprising)
- Beekeeper + (City of London Borough Uprising)
CAMDEN BOROUGH UPRISING
HACKER + SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Viral Hacking. When hacking, hold the button to affect a larger radius.
- Shock Hack. Can use the Shock hack, which damages enemies.
- Key Steal. Access Keys can be stolen from any distance.
- Crypto Skimmer. Occasionally gain ETO when hacking.
This is a superstar hacker who you unlock early on by completing the main story missions that lead to the Camden Borough Uprising. As a result, we’re listing them first because a) they’re good and b) they’re literally essential in that you can’t progress the game without recruiting them.
This Hacker’s abilities make them an ideal operative for stealthy infiltrations. The Key Steal passive allows you to download a key from any distance as long as they have eyes on it via a hacked device. The Shock Hack ability enables them to temporarily incapacitate enemies and knock off as much as half of their health, and Crypto Skimmer means that you sometimes gain ETO when you hack. And, last but not least, Viral Hacking means that some of your hacks will affect more than one opponent in the vicinity. (This is anecdotal, but once, when it was raining, we used Shock Hack on an enemy and it hit at least a half dozen other people in the area. Maybe the water conducted the electricity? Breath of the Watch Dogs?)
LAMBETH BOROUGH UPRISING
DRONE EXPERT SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Shock Drone. Summon a unique Shock Drone, with laser fire capability.
- Drone Betray Hack. Can use the Betray Hack, briefly making a drone an ally.
- Homing Drones. Select and enemy to be divebombed by a drone.
- Fast Hacking. All hacks have significantly shorter cooldowns.
The operative you’ll secure for pulling off the Lambeth Borough Uprising is a Drone Expert who offers a variety of useful drone abilities.
Most notably, the Shock Drone trigger allows you to summon a lightweight drone with a powerful stun projectile that will knock out most enemies with one hit and is great for scoping out enemy encampments. Add a pair of powerful passives — Fast Hacking, which increases speed of all hacks Denise performs, and Drone Betray Hack, which causes the flying machines to turn in their owners, and she’s a great operative to recruit early on. Oh, and if you get stuck in a corner, her Dive Bomb gadget will explode a foe of your choosing.
NINE ELMS BOROUGH UPRISING
PROFESSIONAL HITMAN SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Desert Eagle + G36. Comes with a Desert Eagle and a G36 Assault Rifle.
- Gunkata. Execute instant gun takedowns, even on aware enemies.
- Combat Roll. Perform a combat roll by double-tapping A on Xbox, X on PS4 or space on keyboard.
- Albion Vendetta. Deal increased damage against Albion personnel.
This Hacker is an offensive powerhouse who you’ll unlock after the Nine Elms Borough Uprising. With the powerful G-36 and a Desert Eagle as their default weapons, the Gunkata passive which allows them to execute lethal takedowns even after they’ve been spotted, and the Albion Vendetta passive which boosts damage output in scraps with Albion, this Hacker is your best choice when you want to go loud.
They also come equipped with the AR Cloak gadget, so you can easily maneuver before the bloodbath.
If you’re interested in completing the Bear Knuckle League challenges, their Combat Roll passive makes them a useful operative to have at your disposal early on.
WESTMINSTER BOROUGH UPRISING
SPY + SKILLED OPERATIVE
- P9 Silenced. A silent, semi-auto pistol with short reload time.
- Spy Watch. Jam the weapons of all nearby enemies.
- Spy Car. The Fairlight is recognizable by its classic and stylish lines.
- Physically Fit. Reduce damage taken from all sources.
The Spy + Skilled Operative, who you will unlock after liberating Westminster, joins the team with a packed 007-style arsenal, stacked with useful tools and weapons.
Their Spy Watch (which temporarily jams all enemy guns), AR Cloak (which temporarily hides them from view) and P9 Silenced pistol complement a silent assassin playstyle during infiltrations, and their Spy Car (complete with missiles and cloak) make them a force to be reckoned with should road rage overtake you.
Of all the skilled operatives you’ll unlock during Legion, few can rival Spy + for sheer amounts of stuff.
ISLINGTON AND HACKNEY BOROUGH UPRISING
FOOTBALL HOOLIGAN + SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Rally Cry. Summons friendly allies to assist in melee combat.
- Tough Drunk. Reduce melee damage taken when drunk.
- K.O. Punch. Enemies are KO’d without needing finishing move.
One of the goofier skilled operatives, Football Hooligan + is a soccer fan who loves to drink and fight. After the Islington and Hackney Borough Uprising, this Hacker will join DedSec and bring raucous energy along for the ride.
Football Hooligan + can summon a pint of beer, which they must down to take advantage of their passive, Tough Drunk, which reduces the damage you take while drunk. Their other trigger, Rally Cry, summons a trio of friends to join in on a fight. In these scraps, this hacker is aided by their other passive, K.O. Punch, which speeds up knockouts.
Overall, Football Hooligan + is an idiosyncratic operative that rewards time and patience but doesn’t demand an early spot on the team.
TOWER HAMLETS BOROUGH UPRISING
GETAWAY DRIVER + SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Anti-Chase. Immune to Chase Drones while driving.
- Getaway Car. A fast sporty little vehicle perfect for the city and drifting around corners.
- Clear the Way. Hacks nearby cars and chase drones.
- Crowbar. Fast, quick hitting melee strikes. Damages through block.
If you complete the Tower Hamlets Borough Uprising, you’ll be rewarded with this hacker. Getaway Driver + is a mostly mediocre addition, but their Clear the Way passive ability, which hacks vehicles and drones around you, is ridiculously powerful. Combined with their Anti-Chase passive, Getaway Driver + is the operative you want for any of the “go here, get this car, drive it to safety” missions that Watch Dogs: Legion loves.
SOUTHWARK BOROUGH UPRISING
ANARCHIST + SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Bandana. Gas immunity.
- Mouth Guard. Reduce melee damage taken.
- Smoke Grenade. Creates a cloud of smoke to block sight and disorient enemies.
- Studded Truncheon. Fast, quick hitting melee strikes. Damages through block.
This anarchist looking to scrap will join DedSec after the liberation of Southwark. Anarchist + heavily favors melee, and both of their passives aim to improve defense. Their Mouth Guard passive reduces the melee damage they receive, and the Bandana passive provides immunity to gas damage.
That’s key, because their gadget, the Smoke Grenade, spews a cloud of red gas that blinds and disorients enemies, opening up an opportunity to knock them out. But be warned: It’s easy to miss your target with the grenade, a tendency that will leave you waiting for the cool down timer to tick down.
The centerpiece of their melee output is the Studded Truncheon, a spiky bat that deals more damage than ordinary fisticuffs and can hurt opponents through their block.
Overall, this hacker is a talented fighter, but an operative you don’t need to prioritize early on.
CITY OF LONDON BOROUGH UPRISING
BEEKEEPER + SKILLED OPERATIVE
- Bee Swarm. Select up to 3 targets to swarm with robotic bees.
- Overcharger. Causes a bee swarm to explode non-lethally.
- Anti-Shock Suit. Immune to all sources or shock damage.
- Light Sentence. Spend less time in jail when arrested.
Once you liberate the City of London, you’ll unlock one of the cooler-looking skilled operatives: a beekeeper with a suit accentuated by blue holographic netting. Notably, their Bee Swarm gadget sends a flurry of angry holographic bees after nearby opponents. Beyond that, Beekeeper + is form over function, unfortunately.
Their Overcharger weapons works pretty similarly to the standard LTL stun weapons, and the Light Sentence passive, which reduces the time this character spends in lockup, only matters if you plan on spending a lot of time playing as them.