The Division is now available, and with it a New York City that has been ravaged by a biological attack. The government is gone, law enforcement is non-existent, and peace is something that seems like a distant memory. You are an agent of The Division, and must help to rebuild the society that has suddenly been torn apart.
Naturally, The Division wouldn’t be much of a game if you didn’t have to face opposition. There are several factions for you to face off against, different types of areas to survive, and even fellow players to be wary of. You’ll need to have your wits about you, and a good hold of your weapon.
In order to get you started, we’ve put together some handy tips and tricks to get you into the game and cleaning up the streets in no time.
Remember, There Are No Defined Classes
The Division is all about playing the way you want to. Freedom can be a great thing, but it also means that you’re going to have to make choices. While you can change your gear as much as you want, changing skills isn’t so easy. With that in mind, you’ll want to try and choose early on what kind of agent it is that you want to be.
There are three trees you can unlock (Security, Medical, and Tech). Each one offers Skills and Talents that can serve players in specific ways. Tech will focus more on crafting and using abilities, Medical with healing and buffing your party, and Security focuses on defense.
As you get a feel of the game and its mechanics, you’ll find yourself growing comfortable with certain methods of play. Then it’s time to start deciding on what build you want going forward. Find yourself playing the support role? Go for a Medic-centric build. Just remember, do whatever you want as long as you can make the investments.
Skills Aren’t Tied to XP
In many RPGs, you couldn’t be blamed for farming XP in order to increase your ability. That will not provide the desired results in The Division, though. Skills, your active abilities that you can trigger with a button press, are not earned by leveling up. Instead, they are obtained by upgrading different parts of your home base.
Killing will help you earn XP, but pay attention to side missions. They each offer up specific resources needed to upgrade the different wings of your base. That is the only way to truly increase your ability and make you a force to be reckoned with when out in the field.
Power Isn’t Everything
While playing through The Division, you’re going to come across a lot of different weapons. Assault Rifles, uzis, pistols, shotguns, you name it and chances are you can find it.
You should keep in mind that damage power isn’t the only thing you want to consider. Like we said before, The Division is built around playing how you want, so focus on guns that you can handle and suit your playstyle.
For instance, shotguns and sniper rifles will easily be the most powerful weapons you come across in your travels. The shotgun requires a more up-close and personal style, while the sniper rifle calls for a steady hand and a bit of distance. Sure, they’ll both take out nearly any opponent with a single hit, but if you’re more of a mid-range fighter and you’re not the one taking point, you may want to hold onto an assault rifle. Higher rate of fire and a larger clip allow for a bit of balance, even if they don’t do as much damage.
So in short, choose your weapon, don’t let your weapon choose you.
Gear Has Three Extra Stats
When choosing what gear to wear, there are three stats outside of the armor rating that you should always be paying attention to. Those stats are Firearm, Stamina, and Electronics. Firearm effects weapon ability, Stamina affects your health, and Electronics governs how quickly your active skills recharge.
Each piece of gear you find will affect at least two of these stats in some way. You may find a vest that offers high defense but severely lowers your HP. Make sure to check the stats closely before just swapping gear. Like with weapons, the first number you see isn’t the only one that matters.
Throughout New York City, you’ll come across many survivors looking for a bit of help. These individuals will ask for items ranging from food to bottles of soda. In exchange for assisting the needy, you’ll earn a decent chunk of XP as well as a random item.
These items are often gear or clothing. You should never stop looking for better equipment, and since you’re supposed to be helping anyway, might as well earn some rewards for yourself.
Clothing is Solely Cosmetic
We honestly wouldn’t blame you for wanting to hunt down the finest clothing that The Division has to offer. You should know, though, that it does absolutely nothing for your stats, and can make you stand out in the Dark Zone.
Don’t spend too much of your time hunting for the latest in post-apocalyptic fashion if you’re even partially serious about getting stronger. It will be tempting once you get your first taste of the life of a fashionista, but try not to get too distracted. When you come against the stronger factions later on in the game, you’ll want to have strong gear; they couldn’t care less about what you’re wearing.
There Is Safety in Numbers
You can journey through the streets of New York City with up to three of your friends. This is strongly advised if you hope to survive some of the more demanding encounters that The Division will throw at you.
You can, if you choose, play through the story on your own, but it was designed with team tactics in mind. Having different players taking up different roles in order to provide balance will definitely give you an edge. The enemy AI will try to employ the same strategies as you, so backup will keep things even.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help, it will often spell the difference between survival and defeat.
The Dark Zone Houses Great Gear But Is Risky
The Dark Zone has both PvE and PvP potential. You have no idea what people are going to do while in there. Some may help you overcome difficult enemies, others will try to kill you for what you’ve gathered. But, even though it sounds scary, some of the best loot in the game can be found in this dangerous area.
If you’re worried about getting taken advantage of, the Dark Zone is broken up by player levels. You’ll find yourself around players of a similar level, hopefully easing some of the worry. You still need to remain vigilant, though; even a lower leveled player could kill you if you don’t expect it.
Make sure that if you do happen to find something you really like, you head towards an extraction point. If you’re playing alone this can be dangerous. Send out your flare and then hide out until the chopper comes in, then make a break for it.
Get the Uplay Rewards
More often than not, the Uplay Rewards offered in Ubisoft’s games aren’t very helpful. Sure, they tend to look cool, but when facing down the barrel of an AK-47, looking cool is the furthest thing from your mind. For The Division, however, the rewards are very helpful for new players.
You have the option to get a bag full of supplies, Phoenix Credits, Dark Zone Keys, and some clothing. Not a bad way to start out as a sleeper agent.