The best weapon talents in The Division 2

Having useful weapon talents roll on a gun can be the difference between it being a useful tool or vendor trash. Some talents only appear on certain weapon types, while others are more useful in specific builds. There are 53 different weapon talents in The Division 2 (not including the unique talents found on exotic items) and three slots on high-end weapons that can only roll certain talents per slot. So for example, holstered talents can only roll in the third weapon slot.

Of the 53 weapon talents, 32 are known as ‘Active’ talents that can roll in the first slot, with 7 ‘Handling’ talents rolling in the second, and finally 14 ‘Holstered’ talents in the third slot.

As weapon talents are specific to each slot, I’ll be breaking down my favourite talents from each of the three groups. Let’s get to it!

Active talents

Let’s start with the Active talents in the first slot and my top ten talents:

Close & Personal

  • Receive – Killing a target within 7m grants +50% weapon damage (35% Normalized) for 5 seconds
  • Requirements – 5 or more Offensive
  • Best used with – SMG’s

My favourite weapon talent in The Division 2. Close & Personal works well with almost every weapon type—mainly because of the enemy A.I who rush and flank you at any opportunity—yet it shines brightest when used with an SMG. The close range strengths of an SMG synergize really well with this talent, as does the quick reload speeds, meaning you can often pick up a close range kill or two, then reload and kill again before the 5-second boost expires. The 50% boost to damage is insane, and considering every encounter in The Division 2 pits you against multiple enemies, you’ll be proccing it in almost every fight. It’s also worth noting that Close & Personal doesn’t refresh when killing an enemy within the 5 seconds of the talent triggering.

The Division 2

Close & Personal and Allegro on an SMG? Yes please!

Strained

  • Receive +10% critical hit damage (5% Normalized) is gained for every 10% of your armor that is depleted.
  • Requirements – 5 or less Offensive
  • Stacks – (1x – 20x) (10% – 200%)N (1x -20x) (5% – 100%)
  • Best used with – High crit chance builds with SMG

Dealing unreal damage with a crit build, this talent absolutely shreds anyone in sight when used correctly. The down side with Strained is the 5 or less Offensive attributes required to use it, however, with a talent that’s begging you to lose your armour, having to use more defensive stats is actually very helpful. Much like Close & Personal, Strained benefits mostly from being used with an SMG, as the high rate of fire means you will be landing a shit load of crits, so make sure you’ve reached the 60% crit cap with things like weapon mods and those 5 Offensive attributes.

Strained took a big nerf in the Operation Dark Hours update, with the percentage of armour being depleted to trigger the additional crit damage doubling. It remains to be seen if this talent can find it’s way into a strong build once again.

Unhinged

  • Receive +20% weapon damage at the cost of -25% weapon handling.
  • Requirements – None
  • Best used with – M60, M249

This is the first talent on our list that only rolls on a specific weapon, which is probably for the best really because Unhinged would be the only skill anyone would ever use if it were available on all weapons. The reason Unhinged is such a good talent is because it has no requirements and is always active, so that 20% extra damage is always going to be in effect. The negative side is also not that big of a deal, unless you’re fighting at long range.

Frenzy

  • PvE – For every 10 bullets in a magazine capacity, gain +2% rate of fire and +2% weapon damage for 5s when reloading from empty.
  • PvP – For every 10 bullets in a magazine capacity, gain +1.5% rate of fire and +1.5% weapon damage for 5s when reloading from empty.
  • Requirements – 4 or less Defensive
  • Best used with – An LMG with a fast reload time like the RPK

Another LMG-Only talent and possibly the stronger one of the two. Frenzy grants a massive boost in DPS after reloading from empty with both the damage increase and the improved rate of fire. The latter actually synergizes with the talent proc; the faster the gun fires, the quicker you empty the mag and can reload again and receive the boost. Frenzy is a must have on LMG’S.

First Blood

  • Receive – First shot fired from a full magazine deals headshot damage to any part of the body hit.
  • Requirements – 8x Scope or higher
  • Best used with – One-shot PVP build

Using this is almost cheating in PvP as players can one-shot each other with a body shot! This talent is only getting a mention here for that reason, as in PvE I think there are far better options for a main slot talent. (Ranger for example)

Optimist

  • Receive – Weapon damage is increased by +3% (10% Normalized) for every 10% (2% Normalized) ammo missing from the magazine.
  • Requirements – 5 or less Offensive
  • Stacks – (1x – 9x) (3% – 27%) N (1x – 49x) (10% – 490%)
  • Best used with – Anything really, a solid talent

Optimist is a decent weapon damage boost that will always come into effect as weapons will always use ammo. The damage boost here tops out at around 13.5%. Just like with Strained, Optimist requires 5 or less Offensive attributes, only this time without the synergy to make it as useful. Nevertheless, Optimist is a top weapon talent to help improve overall DPS.

Boomerang

  • Receive – Critical hits have a 50% chance to return the bullet to the magazine. If a bullet is returned to the magazine the next shot has +20% increased damage.
  • Requirements – 5 or more Offensive
  • Best used with – MK17, MDR

This Rifle-only talent will require you to build your gear in a certain way to be successful. Boomerang is obviously best used with a Rifle crit build, which isn’t as insane as it sounds. Rifles naturally have critical hit damage attached to them, meaning that crit damage is relevant even with the low rate of fire. Boomerang will not only give you a huge damage increase when procced, but it will let you stay in the fight longer by extending your magazine. Give this one a try.

Preservation

  • PvE – Killing an enemy repairs 10% armor over 5s. Headshots improves the repair to 20%
  • PvP – Killing an enemy repairs 5% armor over 3s. Headshots improves the repair to 15%.
  • Requirements – 7 or more Defensive
  • Best used with – High Armor builds

Preservation is a great talent to increase survivability, especially for solo players. Preservation is a talent that works best when coupled together with high armour numbers, this is because of the percentage repairs the talent gives you. As a side note, I’ve found that Preservation works a little better on PC than on console, as being able to laser headshots for the 10% repair makes a noticeable difference.

Ranger

  • Receive – Every 5m you are from the target grants +2% weapon damage.
  • Requirements – 4 or less Utility
  • Stacks – (1x – 20x) (2% – 40%)
  • Best used with – Rifles and MMR

The main reason i like the talent Ranger is because it only requires 4 or less Utility attributes, meaning I can go heavy on the favourable Offensive stats. Being that the damage is increased the further away you are from the target, I recommend using this talent on a Rifle or MMR for obvious reasons.

Premeditated

  • Receive – Weapon damage is increased for every shell loaded to a max of +35%. If all shells are reloaded then weapon damage is increased by an additional +50%. Buff lasts for 10 seconds.
  • Requirements – 4 or less Utility
  • Best used with – Spas-12

If you use a shotgun without this talent, you’re doing it wrong. Premeditated is a very powerful shotgun-only talent that not only grants a huge damage increase but gives you a long duration too. Sadly, Shotguns are rarely used in The Division 2 at the moment, but if that ever changes be sure to have one with Premeditated hiding in your stash.

Handling Talents

Now let’s take a look at the Handling weapon talents in the second slot. Being that there are only seven of them total, here’s my top three:

Allegro

  • Receive – +10% Rate of Fire.

Allegro is the only handling talent that increases both burst damage and overall DPS; for that reason, Allegro is the stand out handling talent in The Division 2. 10% rate of fire doesn’t  sound like much, but in terms of raw burst it’s a 10% buff.

Stable

  • Receive – +15% Stability.

Despite what I just said about Allegro being the go-to talent, I’ve found myself using Stable a lot more with AR’s, Rifles and MMR’s (not the bolt action ones). Having a full bar of stability is extremely noticeable—especially on console where aiming precisely can be more difficult—and it allows me to fire off shots consecutively with laser-like precision. One to experiment with.

Extra

  • Receive – +20% Magazine Capacity.

Extra speaks for itself. The bigger the magazine, the longer you stay in the fight before reloading and the higher the sustained DPS. Extra is great with weapons like the FAMAS, that don’t have an extended mag slot.

Holstered Weapon Talents

Finally, let’s look at the holstered weapon talents. Again, with my top three talents to look for:

Stop, Drop, and Roll

  • Receive – While equipped, rolling removes burn, bleed, and poisoned status effects. Can occur once every 60 seconds.

How often have you been hiding behind cover only to get set alight by a destroyed gas can or grenade? And what do you do when you’re on fire? You roll! Now imagine that when you roll you remove the burn effect. That’s Stop, Drop, and Roll.

The Division 2

Stop,Drop, and Roll is very helpful in both PVE and PVP

Rooted

  • Receive – While equipped and in cover, all skill damage and healing is increased by +25% for 10 seconds.

Buff is lost when exiting cover. Can occur once every 25 seconds.

Normally when you heal—especially with the chem launcher—you’ll do it from behind cover. Boosting that healing by 25% is extremely helpful, and at times it can be the difference between dropping or staying up.

In Rhythm

  • Receive – While equipped, enemy kills have a 5% chance to refresh active skill cooldowns. Can occur once every 60 seconds.

5% chance to refresh sounds tiny, but think about number of enemies you have to kill during each set piece in a mission on The Division. Then, think about the lengthy cooldowns that some skills have. Sold? Thought so. In Rhythm is fantastic.

The Division 2

In Rhythm will work even when your gun is in its holster

It’s important to note that holstered talents that use the wording “While equipped” do not actually require you to have the weapon in hand to trigger. These talents trigger with both the weapon in use AND holstered, making them actually worthwhile.

If you’d like to know what weapons some of these talents best fit then check out my Top 5 weapons list for Assault Rifles, LMG’sRifles, SMG’s and MMR.

So, there it is, the top weapon talents for each of the three slots on High-End weapons. If you happen to stumble across a weapon that rolls one of these talents in each slots, then providing it’s a decent weapon with a high damage roll then you should definitely keep hold of it. Remember, you can re-roll certain talents for others of the same slot at the recalibration station at the base of operations, meaning you can make a weapon a god roll, even if it didn’t drop that way.

Glen, or Gunna as he likes to refer to himself, is a lifelong gamer and slightly above average card player. When not on Hearthstone, you can normally find him racing ahead of his friends in games that feature loot drops. He's just not very good without the best gear...

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