The best gear talents in The Division 2

With so many different brand/gear sets in The Division 2, with so many different gear talents, it’s difficult to know what’s worth using and what’s nothing more than vendor trash. Factor in Divisions 2’s new recalibration systemwhich requires whole items be used and subsequently destroyed in order to transfer over a single talent or statand you’re left with reasons to horde items that may or may not turn out to be useful.

There are 34 active and 14 passive gear talents in The Division 2, with certain talents only available in certain gear slots. Active Talents (small circle with V) require a condition to make them available, like using a certain weapon type or having enough attributes. Passive talents (small circle) are as you would expect – always active. For recalibration purposes, passive talents can only be transferred onto an existing passive talent, with the same being said for active talents.

This guide will list my personal favourite gear talents based on my play experience and the current meta game. The talents listed here should not only be the ones you look out for on gear drops, but also hold onto in your stash for future recalibration.

Active Offensive Talents

Unstoppable Force

 

  • Killing an enemy grants 2% (1%) weapon damage for every 25,000 max armor
  • Requirement – 7 or more defensive attributes
  • Best used with –  Assault Rifle Builds
  • Found on – Chest

Unstoppable Force is a chest-piece-only talent that requires you to invest heavily into defensive attributes. The pay off for such an investment is not only the survivability that comes with defensive stats, but also increased weapon damage the tankier you are.

Despite a recent nerf, which saw the armor requirements for the 2% (1% in PvP) damage boost increased from 10k to 25k armor, Unstoppable Force remains a fantastic talent for anyone that wants a simple-to-achieve damage boost without sacrificing survivability.

Berserk

  • +10% weapon damage for every 20% of max armor depleted.
  • Requirement – 7 or more offensive attributes.
  • Best used with – High health builds AR/SMG builds.
  • Found on – Chest

Like Unstoppable Force, Berserk is another chest-only talent that, despite a recent nerf, remains extremely strong. Unlike Unstoppable Force, however, Berserk requires offensive stats to activate. This means that the play style with this talent completely changes.

For Berserk to be most effective, agents should be shooting while their armour is depleted, meaning stats like health become far more important than usual. This high risk/high reward gameplay is both challenging and extremely fun in both PvP and PvE. I’ve often found myself face trading with an enemy, knowing that the more I’m damaged, the stronger I become.

Berserk is my favourite gear talent in The Division 2, as it rewards skillful, high risk gameplay with some insane damage potential. It also requires interesting build decisions and benefits greatly from min/maxing stats.

On the Ropes

 

  • Weapon damage is increased by +25% while all skills are on cooldown or reach zero charges.
  • Requirement – 7 or more Utility
  • Best used with – AR/SMG builds with players who don’t mind managing skills in combat
  • Found on – Backpack

This flat 25% weapon damage increase is one of the largest damage boosts in the game. When On the Ropes is active you hit like a truck, and boy is it noticable.

Activating On the Ropes isn’t as difficult as you might think, as skills don’t need to be fully on cooldown for it to work. Skills like the Chem Launcher, for example, has 3 charges, but you only need one of those charges to be on cooldown to activate On the Ropes, meaning you can still use the skill when needed.

On the Ropes requires 7 or more attributes in Utility to use it. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessor, The Division 2 so far isn’t rewarding players for opting to use skill power builds. This means that the investment required is often not worth the pay off, especially for those players with powerful offensive builds already.

Spotter

  • +20% weapon damage to pulsed enemies.
  • Requirement – 5 or more Utility
  • Best used with – An On the Ropes build for very little damage downtime
  • Found on – Mask

Now requiring 5 utility attributes, Spotter is an interesting talent. Had this been in the original Divisionwhen pulse was one of the best skills in the gamethen this talent would have been used by everyone. As it stands, its barely used at all. Despite that fact, Spotter is a rather underrated talent, especially since its recent buff which has seen its damage doubled from 10% to 20%.

Combine this talent with On the Ropes which also requires heavy investment in Utility, and you have a damage boost pretty much all the time. Either your pulse is up or On the Ropes can be active. If you’re investing in Utility then definitely give both Spotter and the Pulse skill a chance.

Compensated

 

  • Weapon damage is increased by 15% when your critical hit chance is below 20%
  • Requirement – 3 or less Offensive
  • Best used with – Off-meta builds that need a damage boost
  • Found on – Gloves

Compensated should act as a decent weapon damage boost for those players who want to play off-meta. The 15% weapon damage is actually a pretty huge incentive, as unlike some talents the boost is always active if you meet the conditions. Sadly, The Division 2 is limited in viable build options. Basically, if you’re not stacking for damage, you’re doing it wrong.

Essentially, talents like Compensated get overlooked due to their requirements. The 15% extra you gain is far lower than what you could have if you simply stacked damage, but of course, you can’t stack damage with Compensated as it requires 3 or less Offensive attributes.

So, why has it made the list then? Playing off-meta isn’t a bad thing, especially for those players who already have a power damage build. Plus, just because skill builds or tank builds aren’t viable at the moment doesn’t mean they won’t be in an update or two.

Compensated has the potential to be a really good talent, so play around with it a little and keep some gear with it on in your stash for future builds.

Active Defensive Talents

 

Clutch

 

  • Critical hits restore 20% health and repair 1% armor
  • Requirement – 4 or less defensive attributes
  • Best used with – High health/High crit AR/SMG builds
  • Found on – Gloves

Clutch is the go-to talent for crit builds. If you’re building for crit then Clutch will be your main method of survivability; this is mainly because of the new requirements of 4 or less defensive attributes and the need to invest heavily in offense to reach the crit cap.

Clutch was recently reworked so that the amount of health restored was buffed to 20% from 15%, but the amount of armor gained was nerfed from 2% to 1%. This change means that stacking health into those 4 available defensive attributes is absolutely vital, especially when you consider that Clutch is almost always paired with the chest talent Berserk.

Patience

  • After being in cover for 5 seconds, armor repairs by 5% every 1 second
  • Requirement – 6 or more defensive
  • Best used with – Unstoppable Force builds/Rifle and MMR players
  • Found on – Knee Pads

Patience is a playstyle talent. By that I mean if your play style is aggressive and you like to push, rarely staying behind cover, then Patience won’t be for you. It’s also a talent that’s avoided by those who just like high damage numbers, as obviously it doesn’t grant any.

I’m currently running Patience on my Unstoppable Force build in PvE and I find it really useful, especially when running level 4 Control Points solo. I also imagine that Patience is working well with Rifle and MMR builds, as players will naturally shoot from cover, certainly more so than an AR or SMG running agent.

Unbreakable

  • 70% (25%) of max armor is repaired when your armor is depleted. Armor kits used within the next 7 seconds are not consumed
  • Requirement – 11 or more defensive attributes
  • Best Used with – Extremely high armour builds
  • Found on – Chest

The general feeling in The Division 2 community is that raw damage is the way to go. Essentially, this means that skill and tank builds are few and far between. So, when a talent gets changed to needing a massive 11 defensive attributes, it’s no surprise that very few agents run it.

Again, this doesn’t mean that Unbreakable is a bad talent, it just means that at the moment it’s just not as viable as some of the more popular talents and builds.

Unbreakable recently received a huge buff to its effects, increasing armor repaired to 70%, up from 25%. Armour kit time also increased from 5 seconds to 7 seconds. On paper this is extremely powerful, and I hope that defensive tank builds become more useful in future updates, just like they were in the original.

Active Utility Talents

 

Safeguard

 

  • Killing a target grants a 150% (75%) bonus to repairing and healing for 5 seconds. Can only occur once every 20 seconds
  • Requirement – 4 or less offensive attributes
  • Best used with – Compensated/On the Ropes builds
  • Found on – Backpack

Go back to the opening meta of The Division 2 and you’ll find Safeguard at the forefront of all the best PvE and PvP builds. Sadly, its power was noticed by the developers and a huge nerf followed. Previously, Safeguard would boost healing for 20 seconds and could also be chain active.

Fast forward to the present and Safeguard is barely seeing play. This is because it can no longer be run alongside Berserk, meaning the now infamous Widdz SMG crit build is no longer a thing.

If you run with 4 or less offensive, however, perhaps with some kind of Compensated/On the Ropes build, then Safeguard is still a very strong talent in its own right.

Fill’er Up

  • Reloading from empty reloads all weapons
  • Best used with – Slow to reload weapons like LMG’s
  • Found on – Holster

Not much needs to be said about this active talent. If you run a weapon with a long reload timelike an LMGthen consider also running a faster weapon with a smaller mag size to switch and reload, saving valuable seconds.

Fill’er up doesn’t have any prerequisites either, meaning it will fit into any build.

Passive Offensive Talents

 

Devastating

  • +5% Weapon Damage
  • Found on – Holster and Gloves

Only available on Holsters and Gloves, Devastating is one of the best passive talents for those armour pieces. With the current Division 2 meta being based around weapon damage, it’s obvious to see why Devastating is a sought after talent.

Hard Hitting

 

  • +10% Damage to Elites
  • Found on – All slots

Recently nerfed from 15%, Hard Hitting is my go-to passive talent in any slot. If PvE is your thing, especially if you’re at the stage of the game where you’re playing nothing but the most challenging content, then pick up Hard Hitting over any other passive talent.

Precise

 

  • +15% Headshot Damage
  • Found on – Holster and Gloves

One for the PC gamers, because head shots are easier to hit than on console. Precise adds a substantial amount of headshot damage to your build. Combine this with the exotic weapon Nemesis and it’s holstered talent, for example, and see those high damage headshot numbers fly.

If you consistently hit headshots with an AR, then you could consider taking precise over the two previously mentioned talents.

Passive Defensive Talents

Hardened

 

  • +10% Armor
  • Found on – Chest and Back

10% armour? Yes please. You can pick up Hardened on both Chest and Backpacks, boosting your armor to insane amounts with the right setup. I would consider picking up Hardened over the previously mentioned offensive talents if you run Unstoppable Force, or if you feel like you need a little bit more survivability.  

Vital

  • Health increased by 20%
  • Found on – Chest and Back

Similar to Hardened, Vital will boost your HP by a huge 20%. Vital is an essential passive talent for agents who run Berserk. You want your HP to be high enough to keep you alive when your amours depleted, which also gives you the maximum damage boost from Berserk.  

Insulated

 

  • +10% Hazard Protection
  • Found on – All slots

Overlooked but extremely useful (especially in PvP), Insulated does a great job in protecting agents from grenades and the added effects from explosions.

In PvE, better passive talents are available for both offence and defence, Although many players swear by having high Hazard Protection in the new Raid. In grenade ridden Conflict, however, Hazard Protection has a purpose.    

Passive Utility Talents

Passive Utility talents are pretty much useless in The Division 2 at the moment, especially when compared to what else is on offer. Sadly, skill power builds just aren’t viable right now, and until that changes I can’t recommend you picking up any Utility Passive talents over the ones mentioned above.

So, that completes my list of must-have gear talents in The Division 2. As always, I’ll be sure to update this list when further (and inevitable) balance changes occur. That way you can always be sure that what you’re looking at applies to the current state of the game.

If you found this guide useful, then check out my similar list for weapon talents, and my series on the best weapons in the Assault Rifle, Rifle, MMR, LMG, SMG, and Shotgun classes.

Feedback is always appreciated, so if you think I’ve overlooked something or just plain made a mistake then let me know in the comments section below.

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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