Batman: Arkham City has so much content that lets Batman discover tons of the things the main story wouldn’t necessarily throw out at him.
The side missions take him all across Arkham City as minor distractions while he’s on his way to stop Protocol 10 and get the cure back from the Joker and they could not be more fun.
In addition to all the other things that make the Arkham games amazing, the sides missions are super fun and make sure to involve a variety of characters. Most side missions focus on specific characters and some aspect of their backstory or personality or affiliations.
From taking down a lunatic who marks his own skin with talley marks to upgrading Batman’s gear to finding a potential successor to protect Gotham, there’s so many things Batman has to take care of in this one night.
Here’s my ranking of the Arkham City side missions, from my least to most favorite:
11. Iceberg Lounge: Remote Hideaway
Around halfway through the play through, Batman will receive a call from the undercover GCPD officers back at the museum. Go to the back. There will be thugs outside a door. Take them down then open the door. You will be given the Disruptor: Mine Detonator. It will detonate any planted mines. Useful in predator rooms and for Riddler puzzles.
This is like nothing. Batman just goes to the Iceberg Lounge and the cops give him the detonator. There’s nothing to this side mission.
10. Batcomputer: AR Training
Once you leave the church at the start of the game, this side mission will be available. While you head towards the Industrial District, the Batcomputer will tell you about this side mission. Complete the first four challenges to unlock the Grapnel Boost Upgrade. There will be four more challenges available, which are a lot tougher.
Some of the AR Challenges are so frustrating. But that Grapnel Boost Batman gets is super useful. It makes gliding over long distances extremely easy.
9. Arkham Assault: Acts of Violence
There are civilians located in Arkham City who are being assaulted by thugs. While exploring Arkham City, you will hear cries for help. Takedown the thug to help that civilian. Keep helping them until you have got 100 percent. The map will have a marker if there is currently someone being assaulted.
It’s fun to track down where the assault is happening. And a lot of times, I tend to just stumble over them when I’m on my way to do something else so it doesn’t really require going out of your way to do this one.
8. Bane: Fragile Alliance
There will be a distress signal on the roof of a building in Amusement Mile. Enter the building and speak to Bane. Titan containers will be marked on the map. Destroy all containers then go back to Bane. Fight off the Tyger guards to finish off the side mission.
Fragile Alliance spans basically the whole geography of Arkham City. The Titan containers are usually in places that Batman usually passes by naturally during the course of the game so it’s pretty easy to take them out. And that’s about it.
This isn’t exactly the most fun side mission, in my opinion, because Batman is just destroying containers as he comes to them.
7. The Riddler: Enigma Conundrums
After you first leave the Steel Mill, you will see the Riddler has redecorated the church. Enter the church to begin the Riddler’s side mission. You will need to find trophies to learn the location of hostages and save them all.
I love figuring out what the riddles are referring to; I hate having to hunt trophies.
I’m really mixed on this side mission. There’s no way to just get it over quickly but it doesn’t feel necessarily laborious. Just occasionally tedious. Also when Batman is fighting a gang of mooks and can’t knock out the stupid Riddler informants, it is so frustrating.
Confession: I’ve never saved all the hostages or solved all the riddles.
6. Nora Fries: Heart of Ice
After you have gone back to the GCPD to visit Mr. Freeze, he will ask you to help him find his wife. She is in the docks. To get her, you will need to use the ice grenade given to you earlier to make a raft. Go in through the bottom and clear the room. Scan Freeze’s wife when you have cleared the room and tell Mr. Freeze where she is.
The best thing about this side mission is the larger story it represents, rather than the actual mission itself. Victor will finally be able to reunite with his beloved Nora. Victor spent most of the rest of his screen time in Arkham City talking about Nora and now we finally come full circle with Batman revealing her whereabouts to him.
It’s nice even if it’s not the most exciting action.
5. Azrael: Watcher in the Wings
Throughout Arkham City is a mysterious person watching Batman. Speak to him in the Bowery, Park Row, Amusement Mile and the Industrial District. After speaking, there will be a symbol you need to scan. Once you have all four, they fit together to show where you need to go. When you have found the final location, visit him to finish the side mission.
This one’s interesting because Azrael just hangs around Arkham City like a big creeper until Batman comes to confront him.
He’s been instructed to watch Batman and learn his methods. Azrael also shares a prophecy with Batman about Gotham burning and Batman being its savior while also falling himself in the process. Azrael also threw in that he and Batman would meet again.
Batman should really put more stock in prophecies since this is basically the plot of Arkham Knight and the Heir to the Cowl side mission.
Also, if Batman throws a remote controlled Batarang at him, Azrael will just reach up and catch it, which is cool.
4. Deadshot: Shot in the Dark
Deadshot is loose in Arkham City. He is killing people with information against Professor Strange. To start this side mission, speak to the person on the roof near the docks. Throughout the game, you will hear a gun shot to alert you of someone being killed by Deadshot.
This mission, like the Identity Thief mission, is one in which Batman has to wait on something to happen before he can pursue a lead. The waiting and watching out for a gunshot make it fun because it seems random. And it can be so easy to miss if you’re not listening out for it.
But tracking down Deadshot using clues that he left behind because he’s getting “sloppy,” to use Batman’s description, is so satisfying when Batman finally takes him down.
3. Mad Hatter: The Tea Party
After rescuing Vicki Vale, you will receive a call from Alfred telling you they have a cure. Collect the cure to begin this side mission. You have to fight off thugs and attack the Mad Hatter when he appears. After a while, you will takedown the Mad Hatter to complete the side mission.
This side mission starts out as a fake out for Batman, with a report from Alfred saying a cure for the Titan Disease has been found, which was unexpected and awesome. The cutscene leading up to the fight with Mad Hatter and his henchmen is so creepy. It’s just men sitting around a long table with bunny masks on then it cuts to Batman in a terrifying mask, screaming.
Jervis Tetch is a creep and this side mission really captures that eery atmosphere.
2. Zsasz: Cold Call Killer
The phones in Arkham City will randomly ring. Answer the phone to start this side mission. Zsasz will speak to you and tell you he has hostages. If you don’t answer his phone fast enough, he will kill them. This only applies if you answer a phone. If you hear one but don’t want to answer, leave it.
When you answer a phone, Zsasz will tell you to find a ringing phone. Batman will scan for ringing phones. Once he has scanned, check the map to find where it is. Get there in time and listen to his call. Repeat until his location is revealed.
As Batman finds and answers the phones, Zsasz reveals more of his backstory and grows more agitated. It’s interesting hearing the story from his perspective, how it partially resembles Bruce Wayne’s own story, and how the Penguin completely cheated Zsasz.
But my favorite part about this side mission is the urgency Batman faces after he answers the first phone and the time limit pops up on-screen to reach the next phone. Figuring out which direction to go and rushing to take out any surrounding thugs before being able to answer the phone and find out the next piece of the puzzle and being one step closer to finding Zsasz’s location and rescuing the hostages is so much fun.
1. Hush: Identity Theft
There are three dead bodies within Arkham City. As Batman, you will need to find all three to help find out who has killed them.
My favorite part of the Identity Theft side mission is how everything comes together. Unbeknownst to him, Batman first encounters Dr. Thomas Elliot aka Hush aka the Identity Thief in the church near the beginning of the game. Elliot is the unconscious patient laying on a gurney who cut off his own face and is clinging to a box.
Then the mystery builds when Batman finds the first victim and tracks who he thinks is the suspect, only for the guy to tell him that Bruce Wayne was the victim’s killer. After finding more bodies and even having Oracle wonder aloud of it’s possible Batman unknowingly did kill those people, Batman locates the Identity Thief’s hideout and comes face to face with his childhood friend, Thomas Elliot.
My least favorite part of this mission is the ending, in which Batman is separated from Hush by metal bars, Elliot reveals his new Bruce Wayne face, they have a brief conversation and Hush leaves. And that’s it. That’s the end of the mission.
What do you think of my rankings? Which side mission is your favorite? What character do you wish had gotten their own side mission? Let me know in the comments below!