The term Surveillance Quality describes the current quality of all surveillance equipment, including both Wiretaps and Bugs, installed at any specific Hideout. The higher your Surveillance Quality value at a Hideout, the more likely you are to detect Message Traffic sent or received by the agent residing in that Hideout (if any), and Meetings occuring at this Hideout.

If such an event is in fact detected, higher Surveillance Quality also increases the chance of decrypting part/all of a Message, or recording the contents of a Meeting.

Increasing Surveillance QualityEdit

Each mission starts with 0% Surveillance Quality at each and every existing Hideout in the entire Theatre of Operations.

To increase Surveillance Quality, Max needs to install electronic surveillance equipment at the Hideout. This can be done in two ways: by installing Wiretaps on the phone-lines, or by Breaking Into the Hideout and installing Bugs.

Each method carries different risks, and requires different Skills.


Main article: Wiretap

Wiretaps can be installed at any hideout and do not require Breaking In. To install a Wiretap, visit the Hideout you wish to Wiretap and select the "Install Wiretap" option.

Wiretaps require playing the Electronics Mini-Game. During this game of logic, you need to disconnect up to 6 Phone Lines by cutting power to them without raising the alarm. Each phone you disconnect may reveal various types of information to you, but will also increase Surveillance Quality at this Hideout.

Wiretaps will only increase Surveillance Quality if one of the following things occurs:

  • The wiretap is completed successfully, with all 6 Phone Lines disconnected.
  • The player quits the mini-game prematurely by pressing the "ESC" key.
  • The time limit runs out.

In all three cases, Surveillance Quality at this Hideout will rise by +5% per each Phone Line that was disconnected (Green) at the moment the Mini-Game ended.

There are 6 Phone Lines, and each is worth +5%. However if all of them are completed an additional +5% bonus is earned. This, a fully-successful Wiretap will grant you +35% Surveillance Quality at this Hideout.

NOTE: Raising the Alarm nullifies the entire bonus. If the Alarm is raised during the Mini-Game, you will get no bonus for any of the Phone Lines you managed to disconnect before it happened.


Main article: Bug

A more difficult (and probably time-consuming) but potentially more beneficial method of raising Surveillance Quality is to Break-Into the Hideout and install Bugs throughout its many rooms.

To do this, Max needs to select the set of Bugs in the Gear Selection menu before the Break-In begins. A set consists of 10 bugs in total.

As Max moves through the various Rooms inside the Hideout, he can approach various pieces of Buggable Furniture and install the bug. For the most part, this is done by walking up to the appropriate furniture, and pressing the "F3" button. Some types of Buggable Furniture need to opened first, by pressing the "ENTER" key (and closed after-the-fact by pressing "ENTER" again).

Each room can be bugged only once per Break-In, assuming it even contains any Buggable Furniture at all.

Surveillance Quality increases for each bug you place. The amount of bonus you get for each bug depends on the type of Room you install it in. It does not matter which type of Buggable Furniture you chose to place the bug in - only the type of room matters.

Room Buggable Furniture appearing here Quality
Cafeteria Painting +2%
Lounge Couch, Painting, Plant +2%
Office Couch, Painting, Plant, Typewriter +4%
Storage Room Couch +4%
File Room Typewriter +6%
Computer Room Computer +8%
Cipher Room Computer +12%

Reviewing Surveillance QualityEdit

Screencap SurveillanceQuality
It is possible to review the current Surveillance Quality at all Hideouts throughout the Theatre of Operations by visiting the Intelligence Section at any CIA Office, and selecting the Active WireTaps menu.


Increasing Surveillance Quality above 0% has two primary effects:

  1. Increasing your chance to detect Message Traffic and Meetings occuring at this Hideout.
  2. Recording the content of those events, when detected at all.

The chance of detection and quality of the recording rely directly on Surveillance Quality, though it is substantially affected by the current Difficulty setting.

For example, lets say your Surveillance Quality at a certain hideout is 50%. That means you have a 50% chance of detecting any messages or meetings occuring here. If a message is detected this way, you have a 50% chance of decyphering it. If a meeting is detected, you have 50% to record its contents.

The chosen Difficulty setting alters this relationship. On Local Disturbance, nearly every wiretap above 30% or so is pretty much guaranteed to both pick up the a message or meeting and the contents! Contrarily, on Global Crisis even a 70% tap is not certain to do either.

The exact bonus/penalty from Difficulty is not currently known.

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