The real meat of The Division 2 comes in the form of the endgame, so you may not want to waste any time getting there. I get it, I really do. Not many of us can afford to wade through 40 hours of stuff to get to the best bits. But help is at hand. I'll be going over the top tips for progressing to Level 30 and unlocking the specialisations quickly, so you can get stuck into the action.
Want to know everything about the various different systems in The Division 2? Head on over to our The Division 2 guide hub to find lots more information about the game. More will be discovered as Agents pile into Washington D.C., so stay frosty. If you're looking for information about the skills of The Division 2, head on over to our The Division 2 best skills guide for the best skills to unlock and equip, while our The Division 2 best perks guide will go into more detail about the perks themselves and which ones are best to unlock early. Once you've reached level 30 however, there's more you've got to do to unlock the Specializations, which you can find out about in our The Division 2 Specializations guide.
The Division 2 - How to level up fast
So the experience you need to get to level 30 is quite a lot. But help is at hand as I'll be going over the top tips for progressing to Level 30 and unlocking the specialisations quickly, so you can get stuck into the action of the endgame stuff. This includes perks you should unlock as soon as possible, when to complete side missions, and why completing settlement projects is a good idea.
Unlock all of the Accolade perks
First things first, when spending your SHC tech cache points on perks, you'll want to unlock these five as soon as you can. They will give you a significant boost when any of these conditions are met in combat, and given that you'll likely be pulling off headshots and multi-kills like a madman, you might as well be rewarded for it. The last one isn't as important as the previous four, but it's certainly worth nabbing it when you can as you'll likely be significantly better at the game by that point. It won't net you with a crazy amount of XP, but a small amount XP can go a long way.
Complete Story Missions, but save Side Missions
This one takes some raw numbers to explain why this is the case, so you'll have to bear with me on this one. Main missions have a static amount of experience that's awarded to you upon completion. So no matter when you take on the mission in Jefferson Trade Center towards the beginning of the game, you'll always be rewarded +4950 XP. The side missions are worth less than standard missions initially, with ones such as the Bureau Headquarters mission only netting you +2970XP at level 4. Note I said "at level 4". This is important as unlike story missions, side mission XP scales with your level. So by the time you get to level 7, the amount of experience you obtain will increase with your level, 33% of the total XP required to level up. By the time you reach higher levels, you can use these side missions to grant you a significant boost towards that coveted level 30.
There are a couple of caveats to keep in mind here. Firstly, that both story mission and side mission difficulty levels will increase alongside you, but at different rates. Side missions will always match your current level, while story missions tend to be a couple of levels below you. There's also the elephant in the room - blueprints. You'll want to have blueprints to take advantage of crafting mods for weapons, so it's up to you when you take on missions that reward you with those blueprints. Thankfully the reward for each mission is always advertised on the left-hand side, so you can look through it and see if it's worth leaving for a future date or if you need to take it on now. The best point to start taking these missions on is around level 16.
You might be thinking that you could just complete story missions again and again. Sadly, for the purpose of experience, there is no additional XP reward for completing the missions, even on harder difficulties. The point of doing these missions on higher difficulties is to net you better loot along the way. Enemies themselves only reward you with a small amount of experience, which would then require more to level up as your level increases.
Plan ahead your level ups
As soon as you hit the mid-game and begin going through the side missions to catch up, be very careful about when you complete them. If you're about to level up, don't do a side mission. The reason for this is because the level scaling for the XP rewarded will take into account the current level of the player, with any carryover XP added based on that initial rate. The XP scaling only increases the next time you're rewarded with experience, rather than additional XP retrospectively being added when you level up. It's a tricky concept to explain, but all you really need to know is that as soon as you get to 33% or fewer XP required to level up, don't do side missions. Instead, complete story missions or randomly generated side activities such as taking over Control Points or stopping executions - the red icons on the map, until you level up.
Donate your junk to Goal Projects
These projects found in settlements are also an invaluable resource for those looking to just get XP quickly. While you can't really keep track of these as you go along, make sure that you visit them in-between any mission. This is because you may have an item they need from you to complete a project. Just scrapping everything will mean you may need to go grab another copy of a particular armour piece or weapon, just to complete part of a Goal Project. Being smart with your projects can net you a significant XP boost, as well as some handy items. Since this XP doesn't scale, it's worth ticking these off as soon as you can.
That's everything you need to know about progression in The Division 2. We will have some more guides on the game in the coming weeks ahead, so stay frosty out there with your new stuff and come back soon where we'll have a lot more tips for you. 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.