The Division 2 is a large and expansive game that tends to throw a bunch of mechanics at you all at once. There can be a lot to take in, especially if you skipped the first game.
This is where we come in with this handy guide to get you started in The Division 2. It is designed to help you get familiar with the core mechanics of the game, including combat, skills, cooldowns, loot and more.
The right gun for the job There are a ton of different weapons that you can take with you on your murder sprees in Washington D.C, and at first blush, it can be a daunting task to decide which boomstick to bring into combat. However, if you break it down, the weapons are divided into three categories: close, mid and long range. You can equip two main weapons and a sidearm so you will only ever be able to deal effective damage in two of these ranges. So, how do you choose which ones to focus on? Well, it depends on some factors.
If you happen to play the game alone, I would definitely forego the long ranged weapons in favor of close to mid range ordinances. This is because most of the battles in The Division 2 takes place indoors or in some seriously cluttered and overgrown streets. There simply aren’t a lot of places that need a really high powered long ranged sniper rifle. Besides, the AI is ridiculously aggressive and will constantly find ways to rush, flank or grenade you. Staying put to get some sniping done just isn’t very easy and you will need something to deal with those assholes that come running up at you.
So, are the sniper rifles useless? No, not entirely, if you find one with very high damage output, it can be effective at destroying the armor of elite troops or bosses. Additionally, if you are playing with friends you can designate roles better and have one player on “rushing-asshole” duty, leaving you free to do some sniping.
Personally, I had the best luck with assault rifles for mid to long range and SMGs or Shotguns for up close and personal business. With others, I preferred to have a semi-auto rifle or sniper rifle with a 4x scope instead of a full 20x sniper scope as it is more flexible.
The Division 2 Skills – Mind the skill gap As mentioned above, The Division 2 can be a quite demanding game with some seriously aggressive enemies that can be a hassle to deal with. If you are playing alone, it is paramount to bring skills that would essentially take the place of another player.
To this goal, I recommend taking either the turret or the machine gun drone with you. They will be able to deal decent damage and basically cover some of your flanks when you are in a tight spot.
The second skill you bring should be a harassment skill; something like the flashbang drone, microdrones or the cluster mines are good at this. For me, I found that the microdrones worked the best at stopping bosses and heavily armored units. This is because the swarm of drones forces enemies to stop and seek cover, giving you precious seconds to fill them with lead or tend to other matters.
If you are playing with others, basically assign roles and create a team that complements each other. For instance, one focuses on support skills while another takes the damage dealing ones.
Each skill platform can also be customized to further fill the gaps you might have. For instance, if you lack long-range weapons, make the turret a sniper turret. Trouble dealing with close range? Turn it into a close flamer instead.
The Division 2 Cooldowns – Don’t let it linger The cooldowns on your skills can be quite long in The Division 2. Luckily, there is a way to shorten them that oddly isn’t explained by the game at all. If you, for instance, deploy a turret and quickly murder the opposition, the turret will just sit there until its timer expires. However, If you hold down the skill button the turret will explode and you will have a reduced cooldown.
Shoot the red menace There is a truckload of environmental hazards that can be made to blow up in The Division 2. Canisters, barrels, pipes and much more can be made to go boom as you shoot them so keep your eyes open while in a fight. If you manage to hit an enemy with fire or blind them with smoke, they will become a lot easier to deal with. Moreover, some enemies carry red bags or knick-knacks on them that can be made to blow up, damaging or killing people around them. So if you see a grenadier running around, look for the red bag he carries to make short work of him or her.
Conserve your armor Once the last bullet has hit its mark and your enemies lie dead around you, the gods heal your wounds and mend your armor. Sadly, they don’t fill your pockets with repair kits as well. This means that if there are only one or two enemies left, try to save them and eat the damage instead, if possible. The armor kits can be essential to have with you for harder encounters so saving as many as possible is prudent.
The second wave is coming The Division 2’s combat is essentially wave based. As you enter an area and spot some baddies going about doing baddie stuff, consider them only the first of at least two waves of enemies. As you clear them out, you will notice that doors will bust open and bigger baddies will come pouring in, making it a sad day for everyone.
The second wave is especially gruesome since the big armored elites tend to be in those. This means that you probably shouldn’t blow all your good stuff on the first thing that you see, as it will leave you with fewer options once the real challenge starts. It also makes it decidedly risky to be too aggressive in pushing forward. Many a time have I died while rushing forward to slay my last enemies, only to be blindsided by an incoming elite and his very big and very angry gun.
The Division 2 Exploration/World Tips
Settle the settlers Throughout the game, you will liberate and help out settlements. These places offer much more than a respawn point that you can do shopping at. You want to make sure to check in with them once in a while and help them out with their predicaments. This is because they will unlock some very cool and essential stuff for your agent. Solving side missions for a settlement helps you advance, letting you recruit new staff to the White House.
This, in turn, will let you do other nifty things like crafting and testing your guns at the shooting range. Besides the side missions the settlements also give you a list of things they want to be done, solve them and you gain lots of XP and blueprints. These blueprints can then be used at the crafting station to make some really great gear for you.
Build it as you want it If you’re like me and tend to ignore crafting in these types of games, don’t. The Division 2’s crafting is actually good and can give you great gear and upgrades at a relatively low cost. It is at the crafting stations that you unlock specialized attachments and even upgrades to your skill platforms. Be sure to deconstruct at least some of your gear for materials and keep hunting for those blueprints, it will really pay off in the long run.
Where’s my SHD at? Once you have unlocked a few safe houses and settlements, you will see some orange icons pop up on your map. These are SHD caches and will give you SHD points, basically free leveling. They are usually lightly guarded and all you need to do is blow the lock off some doors to get to them. Go get them as soon as you can to upgrade some quality of life skills like larger inventory or more armor kits for your agent.
Keep your eyes open While running around the streets and buildings of D.C, be sure to keep your eyes open for some hidden nooks and crannies. While it is not a complete RPG when it comes to secrets, there are some concealed goodies to be had in The Division 2.
These range from boxes with incendiary bullets to unique loot and audio logs. Probably the most attractive one of these are the faction keys. These can be used to unlock special strong-boxes you find in mission areas which can potentially give you some great high-level loot. The keys can be rather well hidden but keep an eye out and always check out the underground passages you find, as they often contain one of them.
And there you have it, some general tips to get you started in The Division 2. Of course, each person’s playstyle will be different but I have found these to work best for me as I reclaim the streets of Washington.