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The Division 2 guide - tips and tricks for beginners

Agent in need of backup

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The Division 2 is a very accomplished and addictive loot-n-shooter, and we here in the office have been whiling away our time in an attempt to become very accomplished loot-n-shooters ourselves within the dilapidated ruins of a wartorn Washington D.C. Our The Division 2 guide will walk you through everything you need to know to thrive and deal justice and death in this faction-dominated city, with detailed information on everything from the best builds and weapons on offer to information about control points, brand sets, Endgame territory and the Dark Zones.

The Division 2 guide – tips and tricks for beginners

Our guide hub will go over all of the tips to get you started, some things you might not know, as well as provide links to more dedicated guides that go over various more involved topics, including skills, the Dark Zone, weapons, and the secret hunters that you can find in the game.

This time around, instead of the winter wonderland of New York, The Division 2 is set in a more summery Washington D.C.. The map is significantly bigger, with the layout a one-to-one replica of the city. There’s plenty to see and shoot here, including three Dark Zones and various strongholds for you to raid. Then there’s the endgame which comes approximately 40 hours into your total playtime, or however quickly you get through the main story and reach the coveted level 30. The Division 2 also features plenty of changes from the first game, such as how mods work and the skills you can acquire along the way, so we’ll be bringing you more guides over the coming weeks.

The Division 2 guide series

The Division 2 preorder bonus itemA step by step guide to unlocking your in-game items, as well as why you shouldn't ever get rid of the guns.
The Division 2 weapons/gunsInfo and stats on the rare Exotic weapons, along with all other weapons in The Division 2
The Division 2 Year 1Details on The Division 2's Year 1 Pass and future DLC episodes and content updates
The Division 2 best buildsThe best builds for The Division 2.
The Division 2 How to level up fastTips for getting to Level 30 as quickly as possible.
Division 2 Endgame/World TiersTips and explanations of The Division 2's Endgame and World Tiers, and what happens once you hit Level 30.
The Division 2 Dark ZoneTips for surviving in the Dark Zone, how to unlock them, and locations for Dark Zone chests.
The Division 2 Tidal Basin updateFull patch notes and explanations of World Tier 5, the Tidal Basin Stronghold, and more.
The Division 2 Exotic Weapon & Hyena key locationsThe locations of faction chest keys and the Exotic Weapon locations.
The Division 2 Hunter MasksLocations and steps to grab all 12 Hunter masks.
The Division 2 best skillsA list of all the skills in the game, as well as some top tips.
The Division 2 best perksA list of all the perks and tips for which ones to grab first.
The Division 2 Control PointsGet some decent gear by taking over enemy territory and learn about Control Points.
The Division 2 activities/world eventsTips and tricks on dealing with Bounties, Convoys, Propaganda Broadcasts, and other world events.
The Division 2 RecalibrationHow to unlock and use the Recalibration Station to upgrade your equipment.
The Division 2 staffSteps required to unlock each one of the staff members and the facilities they bring with them.
The Division 2 craftingFind out how to unlock the crafting station and tips for gathering materials for making mods and other gear.
The Division 2 brand setsLearn more about the brand sets, and get the full list of brand sets in the game.
The Division 2 modsTips on how to unlock and equip mods.
The Division 2 factionsExplaining the different enemy types and enemy icons.
The Division 2 status effectsLists and explanations of all the different status effects and debuffs in The Division 2.
The Division 2 PC graphics performanceHow to get the best settings for your PC in The Division 2.
The Division 2 error codesExplanations and solutions for each of The Division 2's error codes and crashes

A view of the entire Division 2 map.

Exploring Washington D.C. in The Division 2

After a short introductory mission, you’re let out into the wider world of The Division 2. Set in Washington D.C., the locations you’ll visit are split into several areas that have rough levels for when the best time to visit them are. As you unlock more safehouses, you’ll be able to see new side missions that accepted by talking to people in the settlements, as well as all the new tech caches that are revealed. Side objectives, such as Control Points, are revealed as you inch closer to the “?” icons on the map.

Getting around is a bit of a slog, as you’ll be on foot a lot of the time. This is where the safehouses and settlements come in handy. Unlocking them gives you the option to fast-travel, which is done by highlighting the marker on the map, then holding the button displayed on the bottom left of your screen to fast travel (by default, this is the X key on your keyboard).

The Theatre Safehouse in The Division 2

The Division 2 tips for beginners

Before we go, here are some tips for the game that you should probably keep in mind as you play.

  • When wandering around the desolate streets of Washington D.C., keep a lookout for any crates and suitcases on the beaten track. They’ll contain either new equipment that can be sold/scrapped, or materials that you can turn into Project Desks.
  • Grenades are your best friend in this game. The area of effect on your HUD for throwing grenades will be orange if it doesn’t hit anything, but red if it does. Enemies affected will also be highlighted.
  • If the group is small and close-knit, try to just lob a grenade or send a Seeker Mine out there. The enemies won’t be alerted until it’s too late and you can avoid a prolonged shootout.
  • Switch gear often. Even if you like a particular weapon, it may become vastly inferior to newer stuff rather quickly. Some gear, particularly exotic items, can be upgraded at Crafting stations, but white/green rarity is not worth keeping.
  • Make sure that before clearing out your junk, you talk to the Project officer at any Settlement to donate in any unwanted items. You can mark junk by pressing V in the inventory menu, but donate junk via the Project menu rather than your inventory.
  • Use your skills as much as you can. It can be easy to be fearful of using them thanks to some sizeable cooldowns, but you technically have unlimited use of them outside of that.
  • Use skills that suit your play style. If there’s a skill that makes getting up close with a shotgun easier, use that. If you want to play a support role, use any skills that heal allies.
  • Make sure you turn on “Numeric Skill Cooldowns” for an accurate representation of when your skills are next live.
  • Dismantling your gear before it runs out has a 50% lower cooldown than if you let it run out. (Thanks to the user “Jac” for working that one out.)
  • Unlock Safehouses to reveal the locations for each of the SHC tech caches in that area.
  • You can click on any mission, side objective, or tech cache to bring up a waypoint on your HUD. It’s the orange line that appears and following it will bring you to your destination.
  • Once you take over a Control Point, make sure you go to the Supply Room each one has. It’s got a lot of valuable loot inside.
  • You’ll occasionally pick up Field Proficiency Cache. Make sure you open these as often as you can.
  • Transition between cover by holding down the button shown (it’s space by default on keyboard and mouse).
  • Manually reloading the weapon will give you an extra bullet in the chamber.
  • Double tap the cover button to dodge roll.
  • Doing a dodge roll can cancel the reload animation, and if you get the timing right with some guns, can give you a full clip.
  • To prevent you from accidentally moving around a corner while in cover, go to the options menu and turn on “Move Around Cover Corner With Button Press”. This will save you some headaches.
  • To initiate a quicker vault than the standard one from cover, simply break away from cover by holding back on the movement, before pressing the Vault button (Ctrl by default on keyboard and mouse).
  • Projects in Settlements unlock blueprints, which will need to be crafted separately. Once you’ve completed the crafting project, head back to the White House crafting station to make the item before immediately taking on another project.
  • Weapons and armour that are crafted will be made to your crafting level, which is based on your Agent level.
  • Mods once created are a universal item that’s available for use across all available weapons.
  • Dark Zone perks are allocated via the Dark Zone officer, so ensure you visit them often to allocate any redeemable perks as you progress through Dark Zone levels.
  • If you come across any bike locks on doors or gates, you only need to shoot them off, rather than look for any keys. (Thanks to the user “ilikain” for reminding me of how frustrating not knowing that was.)

With that, we conclude this The Division 2 guide; but we will definitely have some more guides on the game in the coming weeks. Stay frosty out there and we’ll bring you some new intel as we find out more about the game. In the meantime, if you preordered or obtained one of the many special editions to the game, head on over to our The Division 2 preorder bonus item guide for the steps that need to be taken to unlock these items for use in-game.

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Dave Irwin

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As guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it is my privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

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