If you’re like us then you’ve had this week marked on your calendars for quite a long time. The week has finally come and along with it came The Division. We’ve been grinding it out since Monday night and figured we’d share with you some of our top tips for finding success in the crisis fueled streets of Manhattan.

> Use Your Surroundings

The Division gameplay

There’s no doubt about it: this is a cover based game. Whenever you are in combat, you need to be in cover. The person who has the better angle or least visible portion of their character showing should win a fight 9 out of 10 times. The cover system in the game is actually pretty solid too and makes plotting your routes very easy.

> Most Valuable Weapon

The Division gameplay

We recommend having a marksman rifle on you at all times whether it be your primary or secondary. This weapon makes easy work of enemies from afar – especially the Cleaners, since you can just shoot them right in the tank and they blow up within seconds. Enemies usually don’t realize what has happened until at least 1 to MAYBE 2 of their fellow cohorts are already dead. Comparatively, if you open fire with an SMG then everyone scatters immediately.

> Explore Everything

The Division gameplay

One of the complaints or misconceptions about this game is the map size which is actually quite large. Along your travels through a tattered NYC, don’t be afraid to trail off and explore that subway tunnel, abandoned apartment building, or bombed out bar. There’s a good chance it will be worth your while and you’ll come across something you don’t currently have.

> Explore Everything

The Division gameplay

Once you unlock the base of operations, do the first security mission to unlock an upgrade that gives you 10% more XP on anything. The counseling upgrade in the Medical wing is worth noting too since it increases your credit gains by 10%.

From there, we’d recommend trying to hold off for “Barracks” and “Disaster Aid”* upgrades. They’re the most expensive by far but for good reason. If you really want to get to level 30 the quickest, you need to prioritize unlocking “Barracks” and then utilizing the “Combat Veteran” Perk which gives you 25% EXTRA experience from any accolade.

*”Disaster Aid” makes a lot of sense for playing with friends since it unlocks Recovery Link which in turn allows you to over heal and revive downed teammates quickly. If you’re NOT playing with friends then this is not as vital.

> Dark Zones

The Division gameplay

You have to take two levels into consideration when entering a Zone: your own level bracket and the NPC’s level brackets. Here are all the Dark Zone’s and their corresponding NPC levels.

  • DZ01: 10-12
  • DZ02: 13-15
  • DZ03: 16-18
  • DZ04: 22-24
  • DZ05: 27-29
  • DZ06: 29-30

The player brackets are a different story and are based on your current level. Those are broken into the following groups:

  • 1-14
  • 15-19
  • 20-24
  • 25-29
  • 30

For example, this means that at level 14, you will enter DZ01 and only encounter NPC’s from level 10-12 and other players from 1-14. Once you hit level 15, you will then move into the next player bracket (15-19) and be at the bottom. With that said, we really recommend you entering into the zones when you’re at or near the top of your player bracket. While NPC’s can be scary, other players can be scarier.

Don’t even think about opening fire on someone who is higher level than you too. Not only will they absorb more of your damage but they will output way more damage than you since their weapons will be better. This is a prime example of what happens when less geared players take on someone they shouldn’t…

Once you can actually hold your own in the Dark Zone, we’d recommend not hoarding all that DZ cash you acquire during your stay. If you die in a DZ you also lose DZ currency so always play cautiously. I know the high-end items are tempting but at least get your character outfitted with some purple gear before trying to save all that cash. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

> Quick Tips

  • Holding the sprint button while descending a ladder will make you slide down.
  • Running with your grenade out will make you run slightly faster.
  • Giving supplies to civilians can net you cosmetic gear if you’re looking to swag out and also gives you some experience.
  • Take everything you find and break it down, you’ll need it later for crafting items.
  • Don’t forget to use your ammo buffs, they make taking on tougher enemies a breeze.
  • After a hostage rescue mission, be sure to loot the room where the hostages were held. There’s usually always a chest in there.
  • Using a lock pick is usually always worth it since there’s a high chance of a good loot drop on the other side of the door.
  • Recoil is pretty high in this game so be sure to burst fire often.
  • Visit every safe house to unlock the ability to fast travel to it and stop by the board/talk to the JTF officer for more missions.


We hope you found any of our tips useful during your play-through. If you’d like to play with us or just come chat about the game itself, come join our Discord channel. See you on the streets and good luck in the Dark Zone!