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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.