So, World Tier 5 has finally been released and it comes with the the chance for Division agents to finally grind a real endgame. Before you get to nitty gritty of creating a badass endgame build, you’ve first got to boost your gear score from the 450ish mark that you most likely entered World Tier 5 with, to the 500 mark where you can begin to acquire the best pieces of equipment.
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This progress can be quite slow and daunting at first, especially given the increased difficulty and your no doubt underpowered gear for the tier. To speed things up a little, we’ve created a guide to help you reach the 500 gear score softcap, both quickly and easily.
I’ve focused this guide around activities other than playing missions. My thoughts on this were that much of a players grinding is going to take place inside these missions, so grinding them before you’ve even reached GS500 might just tip you over the edge.
Buy some better gear
This tip might seem obvious, but many of my friends completely neglected the vendors when starting their grind to GS500. Purchasing some high level items at the start of WT5 will save you a hell of a lot of time and effort, offering you a big initial boost.
The best vendor to purchase high gear score items from is without doubt the hidden vendor named Cassie Mendoza. Cassie first needs to unlocked by talking to an NPC called the Snitch. The Snitch can be found just outside The 1040 Safe House, so fast travel there and take the south exit. Continue running until you reach outside and then just follow the winding path along the outside of the building. The Snitch will be the NPC named “???”
Once you’ve spoken to the Snitch, a white shopping cart icon will appear on the map – head to it to find Cassie and purchase everything she has that increases your gear score.
Once you’ve done that, you can travel to any of the other vendors scattered throughout D.C., including the clan vendor in the White House who – if you’re lucky enough to be in a decent clan – will also have some high gear score items for you to purchase.
Use the recalibration station
Now, this might seem like a waste of materials, but if you’re anything like me you’re constantly capped out anyway. So, with that in mind why not use a few to boost the gear score of some of your existing items? I was surprised at how big an increase in gear score some rerolls give, especially when you cap a stat. My advice here is to just fiddle around and pick the three pieces of gear that give you the biggest increase. I left it at three recalibrations for the sake of my materials, but reroll more if you see fit. It’s also worth noting that if you decide to boost a purple items gear score it will cost less materials for the recalibration.
Revisit friendly control points
This has got to be one of the easiest ways to acquire gear from loot boxes. Simply fast travel to friendly Control Points and check if the gear boxes have respawned. The yellow main box most likely hasn’t (no sure it even can?) but the other boxes in the room do respawn and hand out more items. Grab them and boost your score further.
Now, if you haven’t already gone out into the Light Zone hunting down the Dye chests then this is the perfect time. For those that don’t know, dye chests are hidden all over the LZ, and when opened for the first time they will drop armour colour dye and a couple of high-end items. The good thing about these loot boxes is that even if you’ve already got the dye they respawn, dropping easy to obtain high-end items. If you don’t know how to find these boxes then head over to YouTube where there are numerous video guides of their locations.
Capture control points
Finally, something that involves firing a gun! I captured most on alert level 1, just so it was quick and easy, but feel free to increase the difficulty if your clear times are still fast. Once captured, the supply room will unlock other loads of lovely loot boxes and items, yippie!
Play with friends
This again seems obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. If you play with friends you can share items that you don’t need, meaning I not only help out my friends, but in-turn boost their gear score level so that any item they don’t need can be shared with me at a higher level too. It’s win win. You also get the added advantage of more loot dropping, more enemies being killed means more loot for everyone.
The Underground areas of the LZ offer a shit ton of loot and, of course, precious faction keys, which also reward decent gear if you get the chance to open any. If you restock a Control Point before you take the plunge beneath ground level then all lootable items will be easier to locate. The easier it is, the quicker it is.
The Light Zone and SHD Tech
The LZ has plenty of loot boxes dotted around it that can contain high-end gear, the issue is locating them. Again, you could use the perk from resupplying a control point to make lootable objects more visible, or you could do what I did and hunt down the remaining SHD tech left on the map. The SHD tech crates are always surrounded by lootable boxes – most commonly weapons crates – that again can drop easy to obtain high-ends.
Play in the Dark Zone
The DZ has always felt like it’s the best loot-per-minute activity in The Division and that’s not changed with the sequel. A decent DZ session will see your GS boosted massively, especially if you play in a squad. Grinding to gear score 500 in the DZ has another advantage, however, with a new exotic gun dropping in the occupied DZ from landmark bosses. The gun is called Pestilence and it’s an LMG, but you won’t actually be farming for the gun but more the exotic parts that you can deconstruct it for. Sadly, the Pestilence isn’t up to much in its current state, with very low base damage compared to the high-end version of the same gun. The reason for farming it, however, is that you need exotic parts to boost the gear score levels up on your other exotic weapons. For example, My Chatterbox is gear score 450, but with the blueprint and materials I can upgrade it to gear score 500, giving me both a more powerful weapon and increasing my overall gear score.
A bounty or two
You receive multiple high-end items for completing a bounty, plus credits that you can use to help pay for the recalibration I mentioned earlier. Now, to be honest, I only took on a couple of bounties while pushing to gear score 500, because I’d rather complete them all when higher level gear can drop, but if you’re getting bored of any of the other activities and are looking for a quick and fun way to grab some gear then these definitely help out.
It’s also worth noting that gear score isn’t as important as you might think in World Tier 5. You’re far better off using armour pieces that contain high stats and talents that fit the build you want to play or are attempting to build, than pieces of a higher gear score that don’t. For example, even after countless hours of farming drops at gear score 500 I’m still using various pieces of equipment that I’ve collected in World Tier 4, In fact one of my items is below 450! My advice would be to not be so hasty when selling or breaking down your old gear, instead take your time, making sure upgrades really are upgrades and not just a higher number in the corner.
So, there it is, ten simple tips to help you reach gear score 500 quickly and without boring yourself to death by repeating missions over and over. I hope you found this guide useful, and if I’ve missed any tricks to speed things up even further then please let me know in the comments section below. Until next time, happy grinding.