The Division 2 Guide: Tips You Should Know Before Starting

Washington DC is in trouble in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. A civil war has broken out between the multiple factions of cutthroat marauders that rule the city’s streets, threatening the safety of those left alive following the pandemic crisis from the first game. As a Division agent, your mission is to take the city back, but if you aren’t well equipped with the tactical and mechanical know-how to quell the numerous threats, you won’t get far.

To help you be the best you can be in The Division 2, we’ve compiled essential tips you should know as well as important details about the game’s myriad systems.

For more about Ubisoft’s online multiplayer shooter, check out our feature detailing how it feels to play the game solo. We also have a roundup feature compiling our latest news, features, and videos of the The Division 2. Though, be on the looking in the coming days as we’ll be posting guides about the best guns and most effective ways to power level.

While our full review of The Division 2 is in the works, GameSpot editor and senior video producer Edmond Tran has detailed his initial impressions of the game as part of the review process. “‘Encouraging’ is generally how I feel about The Division 2 at this point in time,” commented Edmond. “It’s got a fantastic sense of place and progression, and the combat scenarios and skills continue to be interesting. There’s a lot of love, especially among the minor improvements–the small design decisions that make the act of finding and equipping loot so snappy and convenient, or the smart integration of per-mission multiplayer matchmaking that even lets you call upon other players in the middle of a mission.”

Got any more handy tips that we didn’t highlight here? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t Forget To Return To Settlements

It’s easy to want to go from mission to mission without a break but it’s important to return to both your Base of Operations and settlements from time to time to unlock new bonuses.

Upgrading settlements unlocks new resources like officers who grant you access to things like the crafting bench, Clans, and the Dark Zone. If you’re unsure whether or not anyone new can be recruited, look at a settlement on the map and it’ll tell you if there’s a new officer available to join the cause.

Another benefit is you’ll see the settlements grow overtime; this includes new rooms and areas for NPCs to hang out, and a cleaner, tidier space that looks more active. This is more of a visual upgrade rather than a practical one but it’s pretty cool to see a community thriving thanks to your help.

Invest In Projects

As you explore the world and complete missions, you’ll naturally get the materials required to complete Projects. Make sure to offload everything you get towards them, either by accessing the Projects tab in your menu or visiting the proper NPC at any of the Settlements. This is a great way to gain tons of XP, ensuring you’re ready for late game play sooner than later. In addition, you’re rewarded crafting blueprints, which is a nice perk to help upgrade and customize your gear loadout.

What To Do With Loot and Junk

When you pick up loot, if you’re just going to junk it later, remember to “pick up as junk” with the RT/R2. Some of your junk can be donated towards Settlement Projects if they call for it, so check your projects first. The rest can be sold and deconstructed. Speaking of deconstructing, it’s generally better to break down junk for materials rather than sell it early on, at least until you have a healthy supply for crafting.

It’s worth holding onto low level Legendary weapons, chests, backpacks, knee pads, and any high end stuff because you can use them for recalibration later on. That is, sacrificing the item for the talent perk it gives, and then putting it on something you want.

Accept Settlement Side Quests

There’s a plethora of side quests in The Division 2 that you can typically just find while exploring. But don’t forget there’s also several sidequests you can accept from folks at the settlements. Make it a habit to check back often so you don’t miss out on cool missions, like a plot to steal back the Declaration of Independence.

Some Skills Are Safe Bets

Choosing Skills can be daunting since you’re not able to test them out before spending skill points (or SHD Tech) on them. It’s especially disappointing when you choose something you thought would be cool but isn’t exactly what you thought it was. So to help out, we have a few good ones that are safe bets early on. The chem launcher offers several variants, but the Firestarter and Oxidizer are great for melting away the armor of tougher enemies–note that the chem launcher does take a few moments to equip, aim, and shoot. The shield variants are all good in certain situations, but the Bulwark was particularly great for getting out of sticky situations, especially if you have a good sidearm to pair with it. And team players will definitely want the Reviver variant of the Hive skill, since you can revive teammates from a distance with it.

You’ll likely acquire enough skill points and SHD Tech in the late game so you can acquire a majority of the available skills, but the aforementioned skills will certainly help in the early game.

Crafting Station

Once you gain access to the crafting station, you can use all the blueprints you’ve been collecting to craft new gear. The thing is, as you play the game your gonna be constantly collecting new and better loot. So when it comes to weapons and armor pieces, spending your resources to craft new ones won’t really be worth it until you hit max level, when you can then start crafting specific gear for the build you want.

What you should do instead is craft mods. They are level-agnostic making them always useful, and it’s easy to swap mods from gear to gear.

Another thing to keep in mind that while you can’t craft exotic gear, you can use the crafting station to upgrade them. For example, if you pre-order the ultimate edition you get the Ruthless, an exotic level 1 rifle. It may quickly become useless early on, but if you save it and then upgrading it after max level, you’ll have a dope level 30 exotic.

Rifles Are Your Friends

If assault rifles aren’t your thing, semi-auto rifles are a great alternative–particularly the M1A and ACR SS. Don’t let their high recoil turn you away, rifles are actually effective at taking down enemies in a few shots at close-range and perfect for mid-long range firefights.

Check Those Safe House Hard Drives

Safe Houses aren’t just refuges for you to restock on supplies and sell loot. They actually have computers containing locations of nearby SHD Tech. In addition, checking a Safe House computer informs you of the three objectives you need to complete to liberate the area from enemy control.

Prioritize XP Perks

Focus on spending your SHD Tech on every XP bonus Perk early on. It may not seem like much first, but with perks like Headshot Accolade and Multi-Kill Accolade active, you’ll be gaining levels faster than players without them. This is yet another handy way to fast track your way to endgame activities.

Firing Range

One of the nifty bonuses you get from upgrading the Theater Settlement to level 4 is the firing range. Located in the basement of the White House, the firing range lets you try out all your weapons. From simple target practice that tests your accuracy, to finding out how much DPS you can dish out, the firing range is a great way to compare and contrast weapons and will no doubt be very usual for figuring out end-game weapon builds. Another cool bonus is that your exotics will be displayed on the wall for you to appreciate.

Be The Brand

Brand Sets give you extra bonuses on your gear. Equipping three of the same branded pieces can unlock the stat boosts/perks attributed to that overall set. For example, the Providence Defense brand grants you +10% skill power, +8% health, and +5% weapon damage if you equip any three of their gear pieces. Brands are easily identifiable with their transparent logo next to the pictured gear. You wouldn’t think brand loyalty would be so important during a post-viral outbreak, but hey, whatever you gotta do to stay stylish.

Support Your Fellow Agents

The Division 2 encourages playing alongside other players. If you’re having trouble surviving, don’t hesitate to call for help or respond to calls for help from others. If you get a backup request, press the map button on the controller and then use RB/R1 to enter the matchmaking menu. Then choose “answer the call.”

Don’t Be Afraid To Play With Your High Level Buddies

Don’t let your character level get in the way of playing with higher level friends. The game autoscales your level one level under the highest level in your party, making it easy to do later missions with your buddies who have more time on their hands. And once you start the matchmaking process, you can even play while you wait for folks to party up. You don’t have to sit on the menu, it’s great!

Adjust Your Inventory View

If you find the list view of your inventory cumbersome, you can change it to display as a grid instead by opening the options menu while viewing your loot. Simply toggle the Grid option in the menu and enjoy the benefits of tidy organization!


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