All Activities earn Cash, Respect, and can unlock rewards. There are no activities available at the beginning of the game, most become available after "Appointed Defender", with Heli Assault becoming available after "Three Kings".
Along with new Activities, some previous Activities from Saints Row return, while others have been cut. Unlike Activities in Saints Row, each Activity in Saints Row 2 has just six levels instead of eight, and there are just two instances of them, rather than three. Unlockables are awarded after completing level three and level six of each Activity, rather than after completing all eight levels in Saints Row.
The amount of Cash and Respect earned increases with each level, as does the difficulty of the activity.
There are 4 types of Diversions: Collection, Jobs, Stunts, and Minigames.
At the beginning of the game, some Diversions are available, but most do not become available until after "Appointed Defender". It is possible to unlock the rewards associated with the available diversions.
- Available are: Stunt Jumps, Barnstorming, Secret Areas, CD Collection, Combat Tricks, Driving Stunts, Vehicle Surfing, Base Jumping, Store Hold-Ups, Mugging.
- Unavailable are: Tagging, Ambulance EMT, Fire Truck, Ho-ing, Taxi Driver, Tow Truck, Racing, Hostage, Zombie Uprising, Blackjack, Poker, Streaking & Flashing, Drive-by.
Diversions are more varied in their structure when compared to Activities, and do not count towards 100% Completion (with the exception of Tagging and CD Collection). While Diversions also awards cash and Respect, the amount is far smaller than that awarded through Activity completion. Diversions tend to have simple objectives and generally only feature overlay text on the HUD.
The differences between Activities and Diversions:
- Activities show the standard Mission screen. Diversions usually have overlay text.
- Activities are required for 100% Completion. Diversions are usually not.
- Activities are resumed from the last level played. Diversions are usually be restarted from the beginning.
- Exception: Ho-ing is resumed at the last level played, but is listed in the Diversions menu.
- Activities are displayed on the map. Diversions are usually started by pressing the Action button when prompted.
- Exception: Racing has a map marker, but are listed in the Diversions menu.
|Chop Shop||Untimed vehicle delivery. Deliver 40 vehicles to garage locations.|
|Crowd Control||Melee combat. Protect celebrities from crazed fans.|
|Demolition Derby||Vehicle only combat. Destroy competitors cars.|
|Drug Trafficking||Protect allies as a passenger. Protect a drug dealer using supplied weapons.|
|Escort||Vehicle driving. Drive to select locations while avoiding marked enemies.|
|Fight Club||Melee combat. Kill opponents in a confined ring.|
|FUZZ||Eliminate marked enemies. Take down criminals for a reality TV show.|
|Heli Assault||Protect allies. Protect Homies on the ground while piloting a Tornado Attack Helicopter|
|Hitman||Untimed elimination of marked enemies. Locate and eliminate specific targets.|
|Insurance Fraud||Take damage. Earn money based on the amount of damage taken by traffic collisions.|
|Mayhem||Destroy property. Blow up objects using vehicles or weapons.|
|Racing||Vehicle racing. Technically a diversion, but listed on the map as an activity.|
|Septic Avenger||Destroy property as vehicle passenger. Bring down property values with a roof mounted Septic Spray weapon.|
|Snatch||Recruit allies. Drive to locations and recruit Hos from rival pimps and return them.|
|Trail Blazing||Vehicle Racing. Racing a Toad which is on fire, earning bonus time by damaging vehicles, objects and people.|
|Activity||Ultor||The Brotherhood||The Ronin||Sons of Samedi|
|Barnstorming||Earned by flying a plane under a certain object. Barnstorming locations are not marked in any way. There are 35 Barnstorming locations.|
|CD Collection||Earned by collecting CDs hidden around Stilwater. CDs are visible spinning Saints Row 2 CDs, but do not have a blue marker. There are 50 hidden CDs.
|Secret Areas||Sometimes referred to as Easter Eggs, Saints Row 2 has specific Secret Areas. When one of these 32 Secret Areas is discovered, a message is displayed on the screen, and is counted in the game statistics. All underground areas and the islands that not marked on the map are counted as Secret Areas.|
|Stunt Jumps||Earned by driving a car over a raised jump and flying through the air. Stunt Jump locations are not marked in any way, and may be hills, cliffs, or wooden boards. There are 80 Stunt Jumps.|
|Tagging||There are 50 tags hidden around the city which must be covered with the 3rd Street Saints tag. Tagging is started by entering the spray can marker in front of the tag and pressing the Action button when prompted.|
There are 10 levels of each Job, a Reward is unlocked for completing the 10th level.
|Ambulance EMT||Prompted upon entering any Ambulance. In this Diversion, an Ambulance is driven to accidents and Civilians are revived using Shock Paddles and Chest Compressions.|
|Fire Truck||Prompted upon entering any Blaze Firetruck. In this Diversion, a Blaze to scenes of building fires, enter the buildings and extinguish the fires using a Fire Extinguisher.|
|Ho-ing||A sex-themed 'Job' in which certain movements are performed with the analog sticks in a limited amount of time. This diversion can be started at several locations around Stilwater, but is not marked on the map. Unlike other Diversions, failure does not result in restarting from the beginning.|
|Taxi Driver||Prompted upon entering any Taxi. In this Diversion, Civilians are collected in a Taxi and drive them to their destination.|
|Tow Truck||Prompted upon entering any Shaft Tow Truck. In this Diversion, a Shaft is driven to pick up vehicles with a winch and delivered to the nearest garage.|
All Stunts are scored using Diversion stars, they do not earn cash, only respect.
|Combat Tricks||A series of special kill maneuvers. Stars are increased by frequently repeating the same type of kill.
|Driving Stunts||A series of maneuvers and stunts which involve a car. Stars are increased either by maintaining the stunt for an extended period of time, or by frequently repeating the stunt.
|Base Jumping||The aim of Base Jumping is to land within a bulls-eye while Parachuting. This Diversion can be started by pressing the Action button when prompted after deploying a Parachute.|
|Blackjack||An electronic card game available at Poseidon's Palace.|
|Drive-by||Prompted after shooting multiple gang members from a vehicle. The goal is to shoot gang members from a vehicle.|
|Streaking & Flashing||Two very similar Diversions which involve shocking civilians with nudity. Both diversions have specific clothing requirements in order to be started.|
|Store Hold-Ups||Started by aiming a gun at a Store owner. The goal is to follow the owner to the safe.|
|Hostage||Prompted upon stealing a car with one or more passengers, there is a prompt to start the Hostage diversion. The aim of this diversion, is to drive around for a certain amount of time, without slowing down enough that the hostage can escape.|
|Mugging||Started by aiming a gun at a Civilian. After a certain amount of time, the Civilian drop some Cash and run away.|
|Poker||An electronic card game available at Poseidon's Palace.|
|Racing||The only Diversion displayed on the map. There are 27 races in Saints Row 2, and include races with Cars, Bikes, Boats, Planes and Helicopters.|
|Zombie Uprising||A 3D video game where zombies must be killed using limited weapons. This diversion can be started at the Television in each Crib, and at some locations around Stilwater.|
|Cat & Mouse|
Multiple unused Activities are referenced in the game data files:
- Hijacking is not included in Saints Row 2, but some references remain.
- Piracy Activity, which involved boarding cargo ships to steal items.
- Theft is an Activity in Saints Row which is started by performing Safecracking in a store at night.
- Guardian Angel, which involved protecting people from attackers, and is available in Saints Row: The Third.
- Frenzy Diversion, the game files reference this diversion as a menu item, but there are no other details. A different file indicates that Frenzy was a menu category. There is also an unused Trail Blazing string named "Frenzy Instructions".
Production footage shows other Activities which are not included in the final game:
- Turfwars - gameplay appears similar to Strongholds.
- Happy Fun Ball - gameplay involves destroying buildings with a wrecking ball.
- Unlike in Saints Row, Activity cutscenes cannot be replayed.
- Because Activities can be played at any time, neither Carlos Mendoza or Johnny Gat are featured in any Activity or Activity cutscene, due to storyline events which make them unavailable at some points in the game.
- In a Community Q&A video, Volition's Community Manager J Goldberg incorrectly claimed that there was a police diversion in Saints Row 2.
- YouTube: Saints Row: The Third - Community Q&A #1