The Profiler is a tool in Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 that the player has at their disposal in both games. It allow them to gain access to any NPC's personal information and hack anything connected to the Blume Corporation's CTOS in Chicago and in San Francisco. New side missions can be unlocked in this way as well.
Certain abilities can be used actively, such as turning the traffic lights green or raising blockers, however, these do drain the smartphone's battery and must be used sparingly. Other abilities, like signal jamming, require crafting items, such as electronic parts, to use.
These abilities don't drain the battery, only the resources. It also allows you to view people's information, and see how likely they are to commit a crime. Each ability has a specific cost of the Profiler's battery, meaning that the hacking abilities cannot be overused without waiting for the battery to reload once it is empty. Also, most abilities require roughly two seconds for the hack to take effect.
This is a list of abilities in the game which require resources:
- Jam Comms - Disables all communications within a certain radius. Also disables police scanning while in scanning phase.
- Blackout - Causes a large chunk of the city to lose power, disabling communications and temporarily plunging everything into darkness.
- CTOS Scan - Scans all NPC's in the immediate area. Useful for locating enemies quickly.
These abilities can be used without assigning them to the Weapon Wheel. However, they require battery points to use:
- Traffic Lights - Change the traffic lights in an intersection to green, causing crashes and a pileup to occur.
- Raise Blockers - Raise or lower blockers to slow pursuers, or take down those you're chasing.
- Overload Junction / Transformer - Overloads a junction box or a transformer to quickly dispatch nearby foes. If there are propane tanks near said transformers, then the explosion will be more effective, dispatching multiple foes in a powerful blast.
- Raise Spikes - Raises or lowers spikes to disable pursuing vehicles.
- Disrupt Enemy Comms - Disrupt an Elite or Enforcer enemy's helmet communicator. This is useful for disabling an enemy for a short time, allowing for a quick takedown.
- Disable Helicopter - Disables pursuing helicopter for 15 seconds. Upgrading via Skills Tree increases time to 30 seconds.
- Rupture Pipe - Ruptures steam pipes to disable pursuing vehicles or intercept fleeing targets.
- Disable Reinforcements - Removes an enemy's ability to call for backup, most notably in Gang Hideouts.
Another of the Profiler's capabilities is the ability to execute hacks that does not require an active ability. These types of abilities are called passives. They do not require any battery points and can be executed with a push of a button.
One example of a passive ability is the Telephone Tapping, the ability to listen in on cell phone conversations to gain intel. Another example of a passive ability is that bank accounts can be hacked. If someone is using a bank feature when highlighted, it can be acquired to gain account information. Money can then be taken from an ATM once bank account details have been obtained. Additionally, license plate information can be stolen and later sold to under ground car dealers who will allow the player to call and have a car delivered.
It also possess a in-game social network, one such app being Talk Feed, which hooks you into the mindset of the population. Another app being City Hotspot, which lets one find useful locations or safehouses. Finally there is an underground program called DedSec Field Guide, which gives the player insight on hacking targets and useful items.
- The Smartphone that Aiden use to access the profiler is modeled after the iPhone 4/4S.
- When Aiden Pearce answers a phone call he will put the Profiler to the side of his head to talk and listen, however when he is tapping someone else's phone he does not have to put the Profiler to his ear to listen.
- The Profiler automatically charges after usage, even when Aiden is not within a vehicle, a feature coveted by real-world cellphone users. (Since it charges automatically at night, solar charging is ruled out, indicating that it charges via movement or by some other method)
- During the interval of an active blackout, its functions are rendered useless.
- The text used for the profiler in both Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 is Helvetica.
Watch Dogs 2
- The Smartphone Marcus uses to access the profiler is modeled after the iPhone 5/5S/SE.
- The profiler in Watch Dogs 2 has been redesigned to evoke Google Android's new "Material" design language, being brighter, more colourful and using more skeumorphic elements to fit into the more vibrant environment of San Francisco and the lighter tone of the game itself.