Tailing is a type of online contract that sends the player seamlessly into another player's session using an internet connection. The contract is simply to shadow the other player's movements throughout Chicago for a short time.
When one player wishes to invade and tail another, the player can use the Online Contracts app to select the tailing option and pick a random player. The system will select the first available player using an internet connection as the (probably unwitting) target. Once a target is selected, the invader spawns somewhere in the target's proximity. The invader will appear in a car, on a motorcycle, or on foot to match the target's status at the instant of invasion.
The invader then has five minutes to get within 40 meters of and use smartphone profiling on the target. A percentage counter will commence upward from 0% to indicate how close the invader is to having surveilled the target long enough. (The rate at which the percentage increases will vary.) The invader must then stay within 50m of the target and maintain a line of sight to keep the percentage counter on the rise. If the invader gets farther than 75m, a 30-second countdown begins. The game will cut the session if the invader doesn't get back in range within that span of time.
If the target profiles the invader (by chance or by detection), the tables are turned. The target is directed to kill the invader (with a knockdown qualifying as a kill) and given a tracking locator. Correspondingly, the invader is urged to evade the target by exiting a mobile search radius shown on the map or by reaching a certain distance from the target. A 10-second countdown ensues after which the session is cut if the target has not caught up with the invader.
The invader also has a standing warning not to be noticed by police. In the event of a police presence, though, they will usually focus on whichever player first acted to alert them.
Tailing contracts can end a number of ways with partial success, moderate failure, or (in some cases) aborted without penalty. For the contract to be a complete success, the invader must avoid being profiled and achieve a 100% score. If the target kills or knocks the invader down before being profiled, the contract will have been a complete failure.
Notes and Tips
- Because of the smaller notoriety awards and potentially safer conditions, Online Tailing could be considered as an intermediate level activity compared to Online Hacking.
- Players are very likely to get tailed (and least likely to notice) when engaged in certain sidequest activities such as privacy invasions. After completing a tailing contract, it may behoove the invading player to see what the target was up to in that area.
Conditions and Glitches
- For the target, weather and time of day will not change upon invasion. The invader is usually in for a sharp contrast from prior to the session.
- As with all online sessions, focus works but does not slow down the perception of time.
- Matchmaking between would-be invaders and prospective targets can occur when both are in the Chicago open world and have progressed past Act I, Mission 6. It cannot occur when one or the other is in particular locations or missions including but not limited to story missions, side missions (such as fixer contracts), hideouts, CtOS unlocking, and other online sessions.
- If a player jumps a vehicle off solid surfaces at the time of invasion, the vehicle may rotate and shift erratically in mid-air for a brief period.
Early detection of invaders (Note that many of the following detection methods may also indicate that you are being hacked if not tailed.)
- Pause the game. If some pause menu options are unavailable (such as quitting to main menu), you are being invaded.
- Go to the map screen. If crime scenes disappear before your eyes, you are being invaded.
- Go to the map screen while onboard any moving vehicle. If your ideo locator continues to move, you are being invaded.
- Attempt fast travel while not being pursued by police. If it is unavailable, the game will warn that you are being invaded.
- If close to a hideout, mission start point, etc. attempt to start it. If it is locked with a purple indicator, the game will warn that you are being invaded.
- Under certain conditions, you can hear the invader's music.
Counters and Defenses against Online Tailing Attempts
- Note that there is no point penalty for failure to counter an invasion. If you discover one while trying to start a mission or a hack, you may want to just wait for the session to end.
- If you get an early indication that you're being tailed while driving, take a long, straight road out of the area at high speed.
- If you've spotted a tailer who has taken cover, the Destroyer is a VERY good weapon because of its wall-breaking capabilities and high power. The purple outline of the Fixer will make it easier for skilled sniper.
Tailing other players
- Bear in mind the above ways players can detect your invasion of their game session.
- Drive as normally as possible. The Wii U version has highly responsive acceleration in vehicles.
- Note that, unlike the hacking activity, the game does not give you choices or statistics for targets. Any target may have strong defenses and the knowledge to shoot you from great distances. In this way, tailing is riskier than hacking.