The Division 2 tips for beginners direct from the developers

These Division 2 tips will come in very handy if you're jumping in to the free weekend  taking place from June 13-16, because The Division 2 is a mammoth game to engross yourself with. Prior to the game's launch, we spoke to associate creative director Chadi El Zibaoui who gave us a plethora of Division 2 tips for beginners, so there should be plenty of handy tips in here for anyone new to the game. Read on for all of our best Division 2 tips.

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Do the first mission!

Yes it sounds obvious for a The Division 2 tip but it’s easy to run off into the world and forget the essentials. The first mission doesn’t just ground you in the story, it also give you vital progression. “You need to start by doing the first missions so you can get a taste of the main mission,” explains El Zibaoui. However, more importantly, “this will also allow you to unlock a second skill slot so you can play with two skills.” Once you’ve got that in the bag then you can wander off and see what’s out there. “After that I would say don’t hesitate to go off the beaten track and just observe what’s happening in the world,” says El Zibaoui. “It’s dynamic and living, so things will change.”

Unlock the second weapon slot first 

You can unlock whatever you want when it comes to skills and perks but one of those options is a secondary primary weapon to go alongside your pistol, and one of El Zibaoui’s top The Division 2 tips is getting that first. “When you unlock your first skill you also get to unlock your first perk. My advice there is you should start unlocking the second weapon slot,” he explains. “So as soon as you loot a weapon in the world you will have access to two different [options].  

Enemies have armour now so focus your shots

“We’ve introduced armor plates on enemies who are very strong with full armor” explains El Zibaoui. His The Division 2 tip when up against these protected enemies is to “first look for weak points” as most will have weak areas you can exploit, usually something with a red color. “Most importantly,” says El Zibaoui, “you have to remember that armored enemies have different pieces of armor, so you should try to focus on one of those pieces.” It’s worth it too as while it can take a while to wear down an enemy’s plating, their health can drop really fast once it’s gone. 

You have armour as well that needs to be maintained

The Division 2’s enemies aren’t the only one with armor this time as agents are packing similar protection. And, in the same way as the bad guys, when your plating fails health can nose dive catastrophically fast. “When your amour goes down you have to be very careful and make sure you use an armor kit to repair it,” explains El Zibaoui.

What’s the best gear and skill for a first time player? 

This isn’t an easy The Division 2 tip to answer because as El Zibaoui explains, “it really depends on your play style. The automated turret also helps with crowd control, having the enemies focus on that and giving you some space." The main thing is picking stuff that helps you, as well as being fun. “There’s one I really love which is the chem launcher which we had in the E3 demo. It fires a canister of gas and whenever an enemy steps in it you just shoot a bullet in and it will ignite the entire area. That’s one of my favourites.”

Collect gear brand sets for a bonus

The Division 2 is full of gear, from hats to trousers, knee pads to gloves. As much for protection as looks, and this time it’s all branded. It’s not just labels either, as collecting sets can give you a boost. “Regarding the gear, we’ve introduced brand sets so every piece has a brand,” says El Zibaoui. “If you accumulate gears of the same brand they will unlock talents. When you get two gear items with the same brand you will unlock a talent, three will unlock a stronger talent.”

What’s the best way to play as a team?

Like what items or gear you chose in-game, how to play as a team will depend on what you and your friends prefer. Whatever that is, it will help if you pick things that complement each other. “I think you will want to pick up a skill that will allow you to heal you and your teammates so you can have one guy focus on that,” suggests El Zibaoui for this The Division 2 tip. Mixing up things like firepower and distance is also important: “maybe play as a sniper so you can have some range.”

Check out the Control Points for good loot

Out on the streets of The Division 2 you’ll find control points that are basically barricaded spots on the road. These are “a very good activity,” according to El Zibaoui. “You can approach it from any direction [and] it’s an interesting challenge where it ends up with reinforcements with enemies a bit tougher than the others. You can also call in civilian reinforcements and it really creates a dynamic combat moment.” However, as well as being fun there are also “great rewards from those activities.” 

It’s easier to get loot from the Dark Zone now

In the previous zone the Dark Zone was a place to fear as you could fight hard to get a great piece of gear then lose it all in a clash with other players. This time things are a little less dangerous. “You won’t risk anything the first time as there’s a story introduction mission,” says El Zibaoui. However, a big The Division 2 tip here that now there’s also now loot you can send straight to inventory and keep without extraction. “In the first game you were looting contaminated loot and you had to extract it so there was a big risk and reward ratio, and sometimes you could lose everything. Now we’ve introduced direct to inventory loot so it no longer needs extraction. Of course the loot you extract will be better, but you have a more accessible experience that just goes to you inventory so even if you die you can keep it.” 

The Dark Zone rogue system has changed a lot

One of the more interesting elements of the Dark Zone in the first game was the ability to go ‘Rogue’, effectively killing other agents for gear. You could get great loot but also mark yourself as a target to every other person in the Dark Zone. This time the Rogue system has “added more granularity,” according to El Zibaoui. “We’ve introduced the notion of greed and theft,” he explains. “You have the lower Gray Rogue level where you have the option to steal loot that will take you into that first leve: so there will be a bounty on you but maybe [it] won’t create a big incentive for other players to shoot you because then they might turn to the first level of [full] Rogue, which is the disavowed level.”

If you do go full Rogue, play for keeps 

The Division 2’s Rogue system’s core escalation is killing another player/agent. When that happens you can get great loot, but also a timed bounty on your head meaning you’ll really need to fight to keep it. “You need to try and escape other players during that time because if they kill you they will get the bounty and extra rewards,” says El Zibaoui. However, if you think you can survive you can make things worse/better in search of better loot. “If you keep on killing players you will reach the manhunt status which his the biggest risk reward situation,” says El Zibaoui. “To get out of a manhunt you have to interact with Division terminals that are spread in the Dark Zones. There are three of them. You have the choice when you reach one to trigger it and stop the manhunt [and] you will get the rewards accordingly. But you can chose to disable the terminal so you have two left, increasing your reward but reducing the choke points for players to come at you. The more you take risks the bigger the reward.

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.