This guide is here as a reference, but if you’d prefer to watch the video, it’s embedded at the end of this post…
The Network Relay Station side mission. There’s at least one of these in every province in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, but unlike most other main or side missions these are close quarters combat and there’s a time pressure.
Early in the game, I found myself failing these side missions again and again. I couldn’t work out a winning formula, and when I did complete one it felt like it came down more to luck than good planning.
I’m sure it’s probably easier to approach a network relay station with other real players in online multiplayer so you can plan your approach and each breach a different doorway and clear through the building efficiently. But if you’re playing solo it CAN be a real challenge.
But I’ve now worked out a way to complete these side missions consistently by myself, and there’s a formula to it which can make it much easier. Follow these steps, and you should be able to hack network relay stations every time.
As with most things in Wildlands, success often comes down to prior planning. The enemies in the relay station will be alerted to your presence in the usual way if you make noise outside, such as in a vehicle, or running around or knocking things over. In my experience, it doesn’t REALLY matter if they know you’re there, but you may prefer to err on the side of caution and try to keep things stealthy.
The other thing you may already know, is that until you breach, the enemies have no way to engage you, nor you them. So don’t even try.
One general point before I get to “the plan”, is that suppressors are NOT necessary for this side mission. You’ll do more damage without them (unless you’ve unlocked the ADV Suppressor skill) and there won’t be anybody nearby to hear you anyway, so you may prefer to remove your suppressor from your automatic weapon. I normally don’t, because I know I’ll probably forget to put it back on afterwards, but this option is really up to you.
There are three things I recommend planning before your assault.
Sometimes your bored AI team mates will automatically identify all the hostiles inside the building for you. But this seems to come down to luck. Instead, use the Rebel Spotting support skill to identify all the enemies and their locations inside the building. This tags all enemies inside its radius, letting you know how many you’re dealing with, and after you go in, you know where they are and how many remain as they get taken down.
If you’ve never used the Rebel Spotting skill before, it’s a great asset. To call it in, activate your command wheel. Point down to the far right rebel support skill, “Spotting”, and aim your reticle in the centre of your HUD where you want the centre of the spotting radius to be. The radius of the spotting area is marked in white. Even on level 1 spotting once unlocked near the beginning of the game, the radius will be large enough to cover the network relay station building.
Just point it at the building and activate it. You’ll see all the enemy locations appear on your mini map and they’ll be tagged on your HUD.
Because you have to breach the entrances to get in the building, I prefer C4 over a frag grenade for a couple of reasons. First, it’s more controllable, and second, you can breach all the doors you have access to simultaneously. To use C4, it has to be unlocked in the skill tree, under the ITEMS menu.
Fortunately, even if you’ve only unlocked basic C4 and can only carry one, there’s always an ammo crate outside a network relay station, so you can place a charge and refill your ammo to place more.
C4 is sticky, so aim at all the doors you can access, and stick it to those. If it plops on the ground instead of sticking to the door, it doesn’t matter, the blast will still blow the door. Early in the game you may be able to access some doors on upper levels, but these seem to be inaccessible from the outside later in the game, so you’ll probably only be breaching two or more ground level doors.
One tip – be very careful of exploding barrels placed near doors. You don’t want to accidentally down yourself or a teammate because your explosion is larger than you thought when it detonates a barrel as well (by accident). If there’s a barrel by a door, place your C4, but use another door to get in the building.
For some reason, AI teammates like to keep their distance as you plan your assault on a network relay station. After you’ve spotted all your enemies and placed your C4, go to a doorway away from any exploding barrels, and position yourself by making sure you’re far enough back from the C4 explosion, and find a location near you where your teammates will have line of sight into the building after the door’s blown.
Tell your teammates to move there by using the command wheel again. Select the command wheel, point your reticle at the centre of your HUD to where you want your teammates to move to, and select “Go To”. The location will be highlighted by a white circle on your HUD – then select the option to move your people.
Now you’re ready to go!
When it comes to executing your attack, you may also like to use any grenades you have at your disposal to help after things kick off. I’ll usually lob some flash bangs in followed by frag grenades, but when you initiate the attack by blowing your C4, you have to have your C4 selected. If you DO want to use any grenades, it’s worth knowing which buttons you’ll press to select them in the heat of the moment, because you can’t take your time over the next steps. Remember, you’re against the clock!
So a word of warning, just know how you’ll select any grenades before going gung-ho. For my current load out and playing on Xbox One, I press left on the D-pad twice to go from C4 to flash bangs, and twice more to select frag grenades.
To execute your attack successfully, I have three more steps for you.
1. Blow the doors
This should be easy, but as I mentioned, make sure you have your C4 selected. I’m sure I’ve had a frag grenade selected by accident on more than one occasion when I meant to blow my carefully planned C4. Not the best start. Select your C4, and detonate it to breach the doors.
I’m sure you know this, but as soon as you do, a countdown will start in the top-left of the screen. This is how long you have to get in, locate the terminal and hack the relay station. As soon as the door is blown is the perfect time to glance at how long you have, because it varies from mission to mission.
One word of caution at this point. If there’s an enemy on the other side of the door when it blows, and if the explosion doesn’t kill him, he’ll be in a perfect position to begin shooting, and he’ll aim at you first if he can see you. Just be ready to take him down if he’s there to greet you with lead.
2. Order the assault
With your AI teammates nearby with line of sight into the relay station, just point toward the building and use your command wheel to order your teammates to fire.
Select the command wheel again, point to “FIRE” and select it. Your guys will attack the enemies in the area which will be trying to attack you. You can remain outside the building for a bit while you sort out any grenades to want to lob in – just be mindful of your teammates’ positions.
Now’s also another good point to check that countdown timer in the top-left.
3. Mop up
Your teammates will probably have killed almost everybody, if not everybody in the building already. You know where the enemies are because they’re already tagged, so move into the building and take out the last of the bad guys.
Watch the time. I don’t recommend initiating your hack until all the enemies are eliminated unless you’re really running short on time, but you still need to locate the terminal. Fortunately, after you blow the doors, the terminal is marked on your HUD with a green arrow. This helps you first identify which floor the terminal is on. It’s not ALWAYS upstairs, but usually it is.
When it’s safe, and hopefully with plenty time to spare, get to hacking. I’ve timed the hack, and it takes approximately three seconds, plus a moment beforehand to initiate, and you’re done.
Using this method should allow you to assault network relay stations relatively safely and easily, with time to spare to accomplish the mission every time.
I’d just like to point out that I’ve never used any of the shotguns in the game, but this mission seems perfectly suited to them with its close quarters combat. Given that there’s always an ammo crate outside, you could switch your load out beforehand and switch back afterwards. That sniper rifle isn’t going to do you any good in the building, so maybe keep your SMG or AR and swap out your sniper rifle temporarily for a shotgun and see how you fair.
So if you’ve been having difficulty with these network relay side missions and want to know how to just complete them successfully within time, I really hope this guide has helped you out. If so, please leave a like rating to let me know, and please comment below if you have any other tips or successful ways to approach a network relay station when you see one.