The Division Dos and Don’ts Starter Guide

The Division’s pandemic-ravaged streets are open for exploration, giving you and up to three friends a chance to restore order by battling vicious gangs in picturesque Manhattan locales. It can all be a lot to take in at first, so if you’d like a little guidance, we’ve pulled together a few quick tips to help you survive, whether you’re in the heat of combat or simply wandering.

On the Streets

Do…

Grab whatever loot you see. Unless you’re in the Dark Zone, you never have to worry about sharing loot with your partners. They’ll get their own stuff that’s visible only to them, meaning the gear and guns that enemies drop are yours and yours alone.

Watch the map for your friends. Want to pair up with a buddy? You can either go through the usual motions to set up a game with them, or you can take a quick peek at your map. If anyone on your friends list is playing The Division, you’ll be able to see their location, making it easy to decide if you want to join them. This also works great when you’re partnered up, as you can fast-travel directly to a distant buddy’s location.

Trash your stuff. Crafting is an easy way to pick up some new gear if you don’t have enough funds to make a purchase from one of the vendors. Jump into your inventory and start trashing your low level items to generate materials that can help you craft useful weapons and gear.

Help citizens in need. If you’re into customizing the way your Agent looks, it pays to give something in your inventory to a designated citizen in need. They’ll often give you a piece of clothing in return, perhaps even a puffy jacket.

Search out-of-the-way spots. This goes for any game, really, but just in case you thought The Division’s online nature and focus on firefights made it any different, we’ll dispel that notion now. Whether you’re roaming the streets or just taking a quick breather between fights, it’s worth your time to explore seemingly dead-end hallways and fenced alleys. They’re usually there for a reason, and that reason can be anything from a quick top-up of your supplies to a hidden piece of intel.

Don’t…

Be afraid to go solo early on. The Division is an online game with cooperative play. That’s not to say you’ll be crushed if you go it alone, though. In fact, playing solo is a great way to feel out the game on your own time, coming to grips with its rhythms without any worry of looking like a doofus when you inevitably blunder into a trap or underestimate a powerful enemy. Just be aware that you’ll have an easier time playing with others, especially if you don’t…

Forget your emotes. Players who actually mic up and communicate verbally are becoming rarer in general these days. If you’re a silent type, but still want to show your appreciation or get other players’ attention, your emotes can speak for you. On consoles, holding down on the d-pad will bring up a selection wheel that lets you applaud, do jumping jacks, and more, while emotes are bound to different keys on the PC version.

TCTD_screenshot_furnace_011516_7amPT_1455824905

Neglect your abilities. As you level up, you may get so sidetracked managing your gear and firearms that you forget to unlock new skills. These are where the more futuristic aspects of The Division really come into play, and they can be vital to your survival, giving you renewable weapons and team-boosting powers when you need them the most.

In Combat

Do…

Fan the triggers of automatic weapons. Odds are good that you’ll get access to powerful fully automatic weapons early on in The Division. Odds are equally good that those early weapons will be unstable and tough to control, disobediently yanking your crosshairs away from targets as you hold down the trigger. The solution is simple, and not all that dissimilar from how these weapons are handled in real life: Go for short taps of the trigger, not sustained volleys. Squeezing off quick, repeated bursts can do a lot more damage (and waste a lot less ammo) than a spray-and-pray approach.

Roll to escape grenades. It’s happened to all of us: You’re securely hiding behind cover when a red circle suddenly appears around you, indicating that your enemies have tossed a grenade. Instead of pulling yourself away from cover and trying to run away, just execute a quick dodge roll and you’ll make a clean (and cool-looking) escape from the blast radius.

Explore the battlefield. The Division’s battlegrounds may at first seem like relatively linear, cover-filled killboxes, but poke around and you’ll often find cool ways to use the environment to your advantage and get the drop on your enemies. Out-of-the-way sniping platforms, protected flanking positions, and semi-hidden exploding barrels are ripe for exploitation, if you just take a moment to look for them.

Make use of your Mods. Modifications are an easy way to make your favorite weapon (or weakest one) just a little bit better. Nearly every weapon can have its grip, muzzle, or scope changed out to something a little better that provides bonuses in things like stability, accuracy, and threat level. If that one assault rifle you like has a little too much kick, you might have grip-mod that will help even it out.

Flush out enemies with grenades. Cover is tremendously important in The Division, and the bad guys are just as aware of that as you. Don’t wait for them to pop up and shoot – shoo them out of hiding with a well-placed grenade. You’ll either blow them up or spook them into the open for a few crucial seconds, both of which can make them dead in a hurry.

Shoot Sweeper tanks. The Cleaners that carry flamethrowers are tough and dangerous to be near, but they have a not-so-secret weakness that can not only kill them, but turn them into walking (OK, stumbling) bombs. Aim for the fuel tanks they carry on their backs, and you can quickly incapacitate them – and, if you’re lucky, one or two of their friends.

TCTD_screen_Turret_e3_150615_4pm_PT_1434323966

Take out turrets. Like Agents, some enemies have the ability to place turrets that can do a lot of damage in short order and prevent you from taking up strategic positions, so it’s best to take them out as soon as possible. A good marksman rifle can destroy a turret from a safe distance.

Don’t…

Charge straight into a fight. You’ll frequently be able to spot enemies before they see you, so take advantage of their momentary lack of awareness and set up an ambush. Stay hidden and dart between cover points. Scan the area and make sure you’re aware of all enemies. Find high ground and have your buddies take up sniping positions to outflank the bad guys. And when you’re ready to start shooting, open with a grenade and shoot the survivors in the ensuing confusion.

Bunch up when you group up. Bunching up is one of the worst things you can do in The Division. For starters, you run the risk of your entire squad taking a lot of damage from flamethrowers, grenades, and other weapons that have a wider area of effect. If you don’t bunch up, you not only avoid this problem, but you also make it harder for your enemies to flank you while simultaneously making it easier for you to divide and flank them.

Be a hero if all your friends are dead. You’re surrounded by flamethrower-wielding Cleaners. Your buddies have been annihilated, but you’re in a relatively defensible position. You might earn your friends’ gratitude if you dart out and revive them, but unless you’re sure you can pull it off, you’ll serve them better by staying safe until they respawn. If you get killed before then, everyone has to start the fight over, and resentment will slowly build toward the teammate who couldn’t hang tough for 30 freaking seconds when the chips were down.

Neglect your sidearm. The sidearm might not seem that useful initially, but pay careful attention to their perks – one of them gives you 100 percent more damage when an enemy is below 30 percent health, making it the perfect weapon to take down weakened enemies and conserve precious ammo. It’s also quite useful against rushing enemies.

Ignore henchmen to focus on a boss. This one seems like common sense, but if you’ve got a clear shot at a boss while their minions are rushing toward you, it can be awfully tempting to try and nail them. Focus on the small fry first, especially if you can lure them into a killzone that’s out of the boss’s line of fire. When the support goons are finally out of the way, the boss will be a much easier target.

TCTD_screenshot_agent_pistol_011516_7amPT_1455824891

The Division is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

For more on The Division, check out these stories:

The Division is Out Now

The Division Post-Launch Content – Xbox One Exclusivity Details

The Division Reviews – What to Expect On Launch Day