Get Your Friends Together
If you want to, you can play through The Division on your own, but it’s quite apparent from the numerous gameplay trailers and from playing through the Beta that the game is at its best when you’re with friends. Not only will completing missions and entering the Dark Zone be more entertaining, but the rewards for completing tasks and capturing and upgrading bases will be shared equally when you’re with friends.
For example, if one person in your team captures a base and upgrades it, everyone who’s with them at the time also will now have unlocked the base with that particular upgrade. Besides, you probably won’t want to go into the Dark Zone on your own.
Admire New York
The first thing you’ll notice about The Division, regardless of what platform you’re playing on is just how pretty the game is. Whether it’s the snow on the ground, the vibrant yellow taxis sitting dormant in the street, or the incredible levels of detail to the weaponry on your back, The Division’s graphical fidelity is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
Wander around the environment, take in some of your favorite Manhattan landmarks and appreciate the hard work that the game’s designers have put into this virtual rendition of New York’s most infamous borough.
Let’s be real, if you’re going to be rolling with your friends and probably be in the sights of your enemies, you’ll want to be looking at your very best. The Division has a ton of customization and variety in both its armor and its clothing.
While having the best armor will reduce the amount of damage you take from enemies and other players in the Dark Zone, clothing lets you be the most fashionable undercover agent out there. With your armor and clothing being separate, you don’t have to worry about having to sacrifice style for protection. Just make sure your fancy threads don’t get ruined by bullet holes.
Have a Unique Armory
The Division not only allows you to keep your character looking unique and different with a wide variety of clothing and armor to choose from, but the weaponry is also completely customizable allowing you to create weapons that are perfect for the way you play. Rather than having an assault rifle that has a ton of recoil, equip some grips and a nice red dot sight so you can nail those headshots.
Each and every modification you make to your weaponry can also be seen as you holster them on your back. Now that’s an impressive level of detail to go into.
Look Out for Bases
When you’re out exploring the urban wilderness that is The Division’s Manhattan, keep an eye out for bases. Bases are important for giving you a place of operations to help the citizens of Manhattan. Not only is it refuge for those you help out, but bases will also have upgradeable modules and functions that will be of benefit to players.
As we mentioned earlier, if you unlock a base while you’re with friends and one of them upgrades it, you will also receive the upgrade on the base. At the moment, we don’t know all that much about the benefits that will come from upgrading a base, but we do know that there are a number of the hub locations to capture across the city of Manhattan.
Take a Trip to the Dark Zone
The Dark Zone is The Division’s PvP arena (think Destiny’s Crucible). Entering the Dark Zone will pit players against NPCs and other human-controlled agents. As soon as you shoot another player in the Dark Zone you’ll go rogue, putting a nice, big target on your back for all other players to take you down.
As you continue defeating enemies (if the other people in the Dark Zone don’t get you first), you’ll begin to accumulate loot, however, any loot that is acquired in the Dark Zone cannot be used until it is extracted. If you survive the countdown above your character, you’ll earn a healthy chunk of XP and can keep any loot that you acquired if you successfully extract it. The Dark Zone is a dangerous place, but offers tempting rewards for any who dare to go rogue.
Search for Loot
In a similar way to Destiny, The Division’s grind focus is all about finding loot, using it to get better loot and rise repeating this process. As soon as you jump into the game, you’re going to want to get your search on and hunt down some better gear to give you an advantage for those moments when you get into a conflict.
Completing missions is the most obvious way to gain XP and get that all-important loot, but talking to NPCs and completing side quests, capturing bases, and entering into the Dark Zone will also be ways to get you some additional loot and a better chance of grabbing the good stuff.
Start Planning Your Build
We mentioned before that weapons, armor and clothing provide a great deal of customization in The Division, but if you’re rolling with your friends, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got every base covered.
Start planning your character builds with your friends so that you have a well-rounded team. It will definitely be great fun to run in as a team of ‘heavy’s’ but their effectiveness in some scenarios which may require a little more tact may wane a little.
Making sure you’ve got a solid mix of specialist abilities and weaponry in your team will help you succeed in some of The Division’s trickier missions, and also mean you’ll be kicking ass when you go exploring in the Dark Zone.
Take a Look at the Skill Trees
Familiarizing yourself with the skill tree from the very beginning is a great way of working out the best skills available for your character, and exactly how quickly you can unlock them. Skills and additional abilities aren’t just under one menu in The Division either. Skills, perks, and talents are all ways to improve your character’s build.
All of these skills, perks and talents come under three different categories: Medical, Tech, and Security. Talents are passive skills while perks will provide a permanent boost or buff to your character. Getting to know exactly which of all of these different boosts that you want to apply to your character will help make your character a one-of-a-kind character that perfectly matches your playing style.
Talk to NPCs
NPCs are a hit or miss feature in games. While they are quite an integral part of a game’s world in the RPG genre, other games feature them as just a means to flesh out the world and make it feel a little more populated.
The Division makes good use of its NPCs, making them quest-givers and ultimately, a handy way to grab some XP and loot. While the aforementioned Dark Zone is one way to get loot, you’ll be able to bolster your character’s gear through completing tasks for NPCs, helping the civilians and generally just exploring Manhattan. Be warned though, not all NPCs will be up for talking and would rather shoot you on sight.
Just running from mission to mission may seem like best practice, but exploring all of the little alleyways, hidden secrets and talking to the friendly NPCs that you see will mean you get the very best out of the game, and equally awesome gear to match.