The Division 2 tips: Survive longer, do more damage, and gear up

The Division 2 is a fantastic loot shooter, arguably one ofif not thebest multiplayer loot shooters I have played (notice how I say multiplayer, as Borderlands still trumps). But to a newcomer The Division 2, as with any game of its genre, can be a bit intimidating, and even if you played the first game it’s likely there’s a lot of tips and tricks in The Division 2 that you’re unaware of, so here are my all time best tips for The Division 2 for beginners and experts alike:

Keep all gear that has the talents and attributes that you want

The best perks are subjective as it depends on your play style. If you like to get up close and personal with the enemy then chances are you’ll be using an SMG, in which case Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage are the two key stats that you’ll want to boost. The problem is that when gear drops it drops with a random set of talents and perks, however, you are able to change these at the Calibration Station once you unlock it in the Base of Operations. This works by transferring one talent or attribute from one weapon to another, but you will destroy the weapon or gear piece you’re taking the attribute from in the process. For example, if say your favorite weapon is the Vector SMG but it has one really bad attribute and an MP5 drops with a better attribute, you can move the attribute from the MP5 to the Vector, but will destroy the MP5 in the process.

This is different to how the Calibration Station used to work in the first game and it’s a change for the better, as it takes away a lot of randomness, although it could mean that getting a ‘god roll’ might actually take a little longer as you have to wait for an item to drop with a particular stat rather than continuously re-calibrating an item until you get the stat you want.

Because of this, always keep hold of gear with stats you like even if it’s for a loadout that you’re not currently using, as it will save a bunch of time later should you change gear.

Control points, bounties and SHD tech hunting provides new gear

Missions aren’t the only way to get new gear, and honestly they’re probably not the best way either unless you’re completing the Daily Missions once you’ve reached end game or undertaking a Stronghold. The two best ways I have found to get new gear are by completing bounties and taking over control points – this is the same whether you’re at end game or not.

When you take over a control point you’ll be rewarded with a supply room which contains various chests for you to open. Within the big yellow chest there will be at least two items which are better than what you have in terms of gear score ,and if you’re not at the gear score stage yet (end game) there will still most likely be upgrades for you in there. And once you hit ‘World Tier 4’ you can increase the alert level (and difficulty) of control points so they provide you with even better rewards. Completing bounties are also a great way to get new gear and they are pretty quick to complete. As well as new gear, control points and bounties also provide you with XP.

If you’re not in the mood for killing bad guys or just want to explore Washington D.C. then go on the hunt for SHD tech (you can mark the locations of SHD tech on your map by visiting the safe house of any given area and interacting with the computer). When you find the SHD tech it will usually be accompanied by other chests which contain either gear, crafting materials, or other resources. Other than the obvious benefit of getting SHD tech to unlock more skills and the potential of extra gear caches, obtaining SHD tech around the map is also a requirement on a lot of the projects, especially early on, so by doing this you’re killing three birds with one stone.

Choose skills to match your play style

Skills are massively important in The Division 2, so it’s best to use skills that will actually help you in battle. This of course varies depending on how you play, but here’s some examples of loadouts for the most common ways to play:

  • If you like getting up close and personal with your enemies then you’re going to want some healing as well as an offensive skill that you can use to either cover a flank or finish off a bad guy that just won’t die. The skills of choice if you play like this are the healing Chem Launcher and the Flame Turret. By using these skills you will always be able to heal yourself without using an armor kit, and you’ll either be able to cover your rear with the Flame Turret OR keep an enemy occupied with it while you mow him down; you could also choose to take a Shield instead of the Turret, which is viable.
  • If you’re a mid range fighter that likes to move from cover to cover you’ll need a similar sort of loadout, so keep the healing Chem Launcher to ensure you always have some health but swap out the Flame Turret for another more direct offensive weapon, like one of the variations of the Seeker Mine.
  • More of a long ranged sharpshooter? In this case take the healing Drone over the healing Chem Launcher. The reason for this is that when you’re close to the enemy I’ve found that they tend to shoot the Drone out of the sky pretty quickly, especially at high levels, but when you’re sniping from further back this doesn’t happen as often and it provides better healing than the Chem Launcher, especially with mods equipped. The offensive weapon can really be anything you like, but I prefer the machine gun Turret as it will prevent enemies from getting too close to you.
  • Lone wolf? If you’re a solo player then you’ll want more sustainability. I would opt for the healing Drone coupled with the resurrecting Hive, this way you’ll have an extra life (the Hive will revive you even if you don’t deploy it) as well as plenty of healing. If you’re okay with healing with armor kits then take a flame turret to keep encroaching enemies at bay.

The above are just my suggestions; you might prefer using other skills, so be sure to unlock others and give them a try too, but if you’re just starting and don’t have the SHD tech to unlock more then the loadouts above will serve you well.

Dismantle or donate unwanted gear, don’t sell it

Selling unwanted gear to the vendor isn’t worth it as you should have an abundance of credits. Occasionally during the late game you might struggle for credits a little depending on your drops, but you’ll generally never need to ‘grind’ for credits, so your unwanted gear is better invested elsewhere.

Mostly you’ll want to dismantle the gear for crafting resources as these are essential items when you get to late game, and they’re much harder to obtain than credits are, but if you dismantle anything you don’t need leading up to the end game you shouldn’t have to worry. Before dismantling though you should check the projects at each settlement (you can also check your projects via the map by tabbing left); not all projects require you to donate items but some may ask for say 3 backpacks, and some ask for more specific items such as items from a specific set or with a specific talent, so it’s always best to see if you can donate anything before dismantling. Donating and completing projects will provide you with XP, items, and most importantly blueprints.

Save side missions until last

Side Missions provide XP based on your level. To be precise, they provide roughly 33% of the XP bar no matter what level you are, so in theory you should be able to complete three Side Missions and you’ll level up. In reality it will be less than three as you’ll also get the XP from killing the mobs, but you know what I mean. Because of this, it might be tempting to complete them early on so you can power through the levels but don’t, save them until last when XP is more hard to come by, as the main campaign will only get you to roughly level 26 depending on what you completed between missions. Hopefully you will have completed lots of control points and other activities so you finish the campaign closer to level 28/29 which means you’ll only need to do a handful of Side Missions to level up.

By doing this you’ll have lets say 6 side missions to complete. That’s two to three easy level ups, and if you do these after you’ve hit 30 it means you’ll be rewarded with Proficiency Caches that provide you with almost guaranteed upgrades to the gear that you already have equipped. This will give you a good head start in your quest for getting to the max gear score level, as loot will almost always drop at or above your current gear score, so the quicker you get your gear score up the better (you don’t even need to equip these items, you just need them in your inventory or stash – see point below).

You don’t need to equip high level items to benefit from higher gear score drops

I’ve seen some people auto-equipping items just because they are a higher gear score. The theory behind this is that gear will always drop at or above your current gear score, so by equipping your highest-rated items you’ll get better drops, right? Not exactly…

When the game determines your gear score it does so by looking at all of your items, including the items that aren’t equipped and even items in your stash, it will then work out the max gear score you could achieve if you equipped the highest gear score items you possess and drop new items based on this number, not the gear score number you see on your screen. This is great because although you might have a weapon or piece of equipment that’s a slightly higher gear score it might not actually be better for you depending on the stats. For example, if you had a chest piece that provides 10% more Assault Rifle Damage and your weapon of choice is an Assault Rifle then you should use that chest, even if it’s 10 gear score lower than another chest with Increased SMG Damage for example.

Obviously some common sense is needed here, as equipping items way below your actual gear score won’t provide you with enough protection or damage. You should also refer to the first point on this list, as you are able to move talents and attributes from item to item.

Dismantle skills before they expire

It’s possible to dismantle skills before they expire by holding the same button that you pushed to perform the skill. By doing this you will half the cooldown time of the skill, which obviously means you can use your skills more often. Of course, this only really benefits skills that stay active for some time, such as the Turret and the Drone.

It will take some time for you to get used to dismantling your skills, but stick with it as it will soon become second nature.

Turn ‘move around cover with button press’ on

Have you ever been behind a small piece of cover such as a concrete block and accidentally shimmied around the block into the line of fire when all you wanted to do was turn the other way? This is a frustration for a lot of players, especially players like me that prefer to get close to the enemies, as you have to take whatever cover you can.

This no longer needs to be a frustration, as you can actually turn the ‘auto move’ mechanic off and instead set it to move on button press. Head into the game settings and navigate to Controls, you’ll then see an option for ‘Move Around Cover Corner With Button Press’. Activate this and you’ll no longer need to worry about accidentally leaving cover.

Matchmake for more loot and XP

The Division 2 is arguably best played in a group, and by doing so you’ll gain more XP and find more loot than if you were to play solo. The reason for this is that the amount of enemies that spawn is determined by how many players are in your group; the more players in your group the more enemies there are, which considering you gain XP and get drops from all kills made by your group (not just the ones that you killed or had a part in killing) means you’ll get more rewards.

Some parts of the game are a bit more difficult in a group though. For example, when you get to the end game you’ll be clearing out alert level 3 control points a lot as they provide valuable blueprints. From my own experience these are best completed playing solo, as less elite enemies spawn and it is just generally feels easier.

Don’t fast travel everywhere

Fast travelling is implemented flawlessly in The Division 2, it loads quickly and it just works, which makes it tempting to use it all the time, but try not to. Every so often run to your next point of interest, taking out bad guys on the way and completing the various tasks around the map. By doing this you will naturally complete projects and gain more XP, which is important even if you’re max level as with each level up you get a Field Proficiency Cache which grants you specialization points as well as good gear. You will also find an abundance of loot along the way from gear and weapons to the much needed (especially at late game) crafting supplies. So every once in a while take a little walk and explore the map, don’t be lazy.

So there we have it, my best tips for The Division 2. This is by no means an extensive tips list but I will add more over time so be sure to check back soon and also let me know your best tips in the comments!

Ricky spent most of his childhood playing games, mainly FPS and RPG games and this has continued into his adult life. You’ll regularly see him on Overwatch until he rages, then he'll move on to FIFA until he rages again - then he gives up on multiplayer games and chills out with a single player adventure.

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