Did you finally realize that The Division 2 is one of the first loot shooters to actually have a smooth launch with a feature-complete game and now you want in on the fun?
The game is a bit complicated and it has quite a few deep systems that you'll need to understand before you can fully get going.
There is a tutorial that'll help you get up and running, but some of the finer nuances aren't covered there, and that's where we come in.
Today, we're going to look at some things you should know before you jump head first into the game. You're starting off rather late, so we want to help you catch up as quickly as possible.
1. The Game Is Hard but Your Gear Helps
One of the first things you need to know before you jump in and start playing The Division 2 is that the game is anything but easy.
In fact, when you first advance to World Tier 4 (and World Tier 5, which just launched), the game is going to kick your butt. Enemies will mercilessly flank you while you're trying to use cover, and they'll explosives and drones at you that'll bump you out of cover at a moment's notice.
You might feel tempted to throw in the towel, but here's what you need to remember: while it feels like a shooter, this is a gear-based RPG, which means that it's meant to be incredibly difficult when you first move to a new world tier, but it gets easier as you get better gear.
2. Look at the Brands
In The Division 2, one of the most important parts of your gear is the brand. When you stack multiple items from the same brand, you get some pretty sizable stat bonuses. These really make a difference as you're trying to build out your character.
This mostly applies to end-game, but as you level up and progress through the early-game content, you will start to see High-End loot drops with brands. If you get the opportunity to match them up, it's worth doing.
What brand you go with will vary based on what you're trying to accomplish. There are brands that enhance your skills, brands that give you critical hit chance, brands that increase gun damage, and so on.
Regardless of which brand you use, you're going to want to farm sets so you can gain those extra stats. It could be the difference between surviving the shotgun runner's shot and hearing "an agent is in need of assistance."
3. Don't Be Scared of The Dark Zone
When you're just getting started in The Division 2, the very idea of going to a place where the items you find can be stolen by other players is incredibly intimidating.
Who wants to lose the loot they worked so hard to obtain? Well, relax, because developer Massive has softened things up in the Dark Zone a bit for Division 2.
Now, a good portion of the loot you pick up will go directly to your inventory, which means even if there's a group of gankers running around going rogue every ten seconds (which will almost certainly happen occasionally), you can relax knowing that much of your newfound treasure will remain securely in your inventory.
Though you will drop some of the really good stuff, but that's just the risk you're going to have to take!
Additionally, the Dark Zone is one of the most efficient PVE zones to gear up, as the Landmark system makes it easy to move from enemy to enemy collecting guns and armor.
When you first advance to a new world tier, a quick trip to the Dark Zone can be a great way to get yourself ready to tackle the next Stronghold.
4. Don't Delete a Gun You Like Right Away
This is a mistake I made quite a few times as I was leveling up in The Division 2. I'd get a new gun that dropped a couple levels higher than my current one and I'd immedietley equip the new one and get rid of the old one.
Unfortunately, I quickly realzied that I didn't like the new gun, but I was stuck with it until something else dropped.
When you get a new gun, temper your excitement. Equip it and shoot at a few enemies to make sure you like the way it handles first. It's not worth having your Gear Score go up by a few points if you can't hit the broad side of a barn with your new gun.
5. You Can Share Loot (and Loot Can Be Shared With You)
I'm going to be straight with you: you're a little bit late to The Division 2. However, there's a way to catch up, but you will need a friend or two.
Basically, any piece of loot that is acquired while in a room with another person can be dropped on the group for other members of the party to pick up.
If you have a friend come in and help you with your early game missions, they can simply drop everything they get on the ground, thus giving you double the loot!
Don't have any friends to play with? Fear not, because you aren't completely out of luck. If you send out a call for backup, sometimes a higher level player will come in and just drop all the stuff they get on the ground (it's useless to them other than for crafting materials).
Now, I can't guarantee this will happen for you, but I know it's happened for me while I was grinding World Tier 2, and I've paid it forward for quite a few other agents.
Quick Tips for The Division 2 Newbies
You want more tips? Okay, here are some rapid-fire tips that'll help you make the most of your time in the post-apocalyptic world of Washington, DC:
- You can use Marksman Rifles without a scope (if you're not a fan of the zoom animation).
- Two of the three Dark Zone's have normalized stats, so you don't need to worry about getting killed by more geared players (though perks do matter).
- Co-op scales (though not always well), so you can play with higher level friends.
- Your pistol is actually quite powerful in a pinch.
- Don't waste too much time playing with your gear at a low level. It's all going to be replaced anyway.
- You can upgrade the crafting bench all the way to the highest level world tier.
- You can loot Control Points every day once they're captured (free extra loot!).
- Vendors can provide a quick boost to your Gear Score when you first jump to a new world tier.
- Crowd control is critical in hard missions—the fire turret is your friend.
You're Ready for The Division 2
Like it or not, you're now armed with the knowledge you need to become an expert Division agent. Before you know it, you'll have an entire server of players chasing you down in the Dark Zone as you steal and extract their precious loot!