The result of a successful Car Trace is similar to that of the Follow Car action: Max is taken to the location of the Hideout belonging to the agent whose car was traced. The difference between a Car Trace and a Follow Car lies in the mini-game - Electronics Mini-Game for the former, and Driving Mini-Game for the latter. Therefore, the choice between the two methods depends on the player's skill at each mini-game, as well as Max's Skill Level.
- Main article: Observation
To trace a car, Max must first Observe some other Hideout in the same city, until he notices an Agent leaving that building. You can then select the "Trace Car" option from the Observation menu to initiate the mini-game.
Naturally, the reliance on Observation means that you will probably want to know which agent to look for - and hence which agent to follow. For this you'll probably need the Facial Photograph of the agent whose Hideout you are trying to locate. Otherwise, you can follow random agents around if you want, until you reach the place you were looking for, but this is usually wasteful in terms of game-time.
The Mini-GameEditA Car Trace involves playing the Electronics Mini-Game. This instance of the mini-game is almost identical to Wiretapping. The same mechanics apply, where you need to switch Logic Chips to cut the electricity flowing across the circuit board.
The difference lies in the Target Chips on the right side of the board. Instead of 6 Phone Chips, there are 6 Trace Chips. As with Wiretapping, you must cut the electricity flowing into these chips in order to succeed, which is done in the same way in both games. The goal, however, is different: You need to disconnect at least 5 of these chips: unlike the Wiretap game, cutting electricity to 4 or less chips has no benefit whatsoever.If 5 or more chips are disconnected from power at any time, the mini-game ends successfully. As normal, letting electricity flow into any Alarm Chip will immediately end in failure and raise the local Hideout Alert level.
You may press "ESC" at any time to end the Car Trace prematurely. This carries no benefit, since it means you have not yet disconnected 5 Trace Chips. The same happens if you simply run out of time.
Also note that the Car Trace time limit is much shorter than the Wiretap time limit - 1/5, to be exact. Therefore, when Hideout Alert is minimal, you will have only 2 minutes to complete the trace (where, in a Wiretap game, you would have 10 minutes). Remember that the in-game minutes run much faster than real-life minutes.
A successful Car Trace will automatically take Max to the Hideout belonging to the followed agent. If this location was previously unknown to Max, the Hideout menu will not tell you which Organization owns this Hideout. You would need to complete a Car Trace or break in and collect at least one piece of Evidence to discover the owners of the Hideout.
Remember that since the discovered Hideout is based on the Agent you followed, it's always possible to follow the wrong agent by mistake (due to false identification by the player) and reach a Hideout you already know of, or had no reason to know of.
Finally, once a Hideout is reached, it will appear on the Locations List at the current city permanently.