If you’re one of the many people planning to boot up The Division’s Open Beta February 19th through the 21st (it starts the 18th on Xbox One), or grab the full game on March 8th, there are a few things you need to know. First of all, make sure you grab a code for these free gear sets. Second of all, check out these tips and tricks to get the most from your experience in The Division.
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- The Division is a roleplaying game and shooter crossover. This means there’s more to the game than “shoot the other guy.” Your character in The Division has three primary attributes: Firearms, Stamina, and Electronics. These attributes impact your damage per second with weapons (DPS), your health, and your skill power. Gear you equip has different attributes that boosts your Firearms, Stamina, and Electronics attributes. Not all gear is created equally, so take a close look at what it does – although one may offer more protection, it may lower your DPS. Additionally, better weapons have “Talents” that are unlocked when you meet certain primary attribute requirements. Let’s say a weapon has the “Brutal” Talent, which increases headshot damage by 10%, and this Talent unlocks at 197 Firearms rating. Unless your Firearms attribute is at or over 197, that Talent remains locked, and you do not receive the benefits.
- Mod your abilities. We weren’t able to do this in the Beta, but we know it’s important. Modding abilities can drastically alter them and make them way more powerful and useful. You should have a character build in mind before selecting these abilities (for example, will your character be a healer? a tank? a sniper?). In order to unlock these mods, you will have to improve your base’s Medical, Electronics, and Security wings. This means completing missions, so don’t spend all your time in the Dark Zone.
- Mod your gun. Learn the behavior of your gun and tailor it to your preferred playing style. Attachments can make a big difference, and vary wildly in their abilities. For example, if you prefer a stable gun – equip your weapon with mods that specifically increase the controllability of the gun. This means you might overlook a “superior” or “specialized” attachment in favor of a “standard” one – as long as it does what you want it to do. Pay close attention to scopes, too. Not only do they modify the gun’s characteristics, they may also change what it looks like when you use the zoom function while aiming down the sight. Long scopes provide the traditional “crosshair” view, while others like ACOGs just provide a little bit of zoom.
- Know your loot. This seems pretty basic, but it’s easy to get confused if you’re new to the world of RPGs. Loot on a scale of common to legendary in The Division runs: white, green, blue, purple, yellow.
- Learn how to fast travel. It can take a while to get from Point A to Point B in The Division if you don’t know how to fast travel. Check your map and select a major location or player to travel to, and follow the instructions on the screen to fast travel. Sadly, you can’t fast-travel to friends in the game’s Dark Zone, or the Dark Zone entrance, which makes walking there tedious.
- Help civilians in need. It’s a neat game mechanic, but it may also unlock something cool for your character. I’ve received paintjobs for weapons and cool pieces of clothing to customize my character, in exchange for a soda or medpack.
- Use consumables. They’re good for more than just handing out to the unfortunate citizens of New York: Canned Food increases healing effects on the player by 40% for 30 seconds. Energy Bars remove all negative status effects on the player and protects them from such effects for five seconds. Water increases the damage dealt to Elite enemies by 20% for 30 seconds. Soda reduces all cooldowns on skills by 30% for 30 seconds. Incendiary Bullets have a chance to light a target on fire, and last 30 seconds. Explosive Bullets have a chance to deal area of effect damage. These consumable are easy to overlook, so don’t forget about using them! They can make a big difference in tough fights.
- Customize your character’s appearance. Aside from the face generator in the beginning of the game, you also have the “Appearance” tab in the game menu. That’s where you can equip different clothing options to help your character stand out from the crowd. The Division is at its best when you take ownership of your Agent.
- Use emotes. You’re able to have your character perform an action in the game, such as a salute, jumping jacks, or a “surrender” emote. The latter may be particularly useful if you accidentally shoot another agent in the Dark Zone and go Rogue without meaning to. It basically gives you the option to beg forgiveness, though how effective such a gesture may be depends on who you shot.
- Party up. Join your friends on The Division. You can have a party of up to four players exploring and fighting in the Dark Zone. If you don’t have any friends online, try out the in-game matchmaking tool and test your luck with randoms. It’s dangerous to go alone.
- Watch your back. In The Division‘s Dark Zone, players can “go Rogue” and attack other players for their loot. It happened quite a bit in the Beta, and it may be a turn off for some people. I didn’t like getting my gear taken, but it was so rewarding to kill a rogue agent. Never forget that the person who helped you take out some enemies a minute ago, could turn their gun on you. That’s another reason to play The Division with friends – you watch their six – and they watch yours. It’s suicide to attack a group of four agents if you’re just one person.
The Division is shaping up to be a great game. If you missed the Closed Beta, don’t miss the Open Beta – you get an in-game reward just for booting it up. It’ll also be the perfect opportunity to test out these tips and see why we really like the game. It’s not perfect yet, but The Division will likely be the next big thing. Let us know if you find these tips and tricks helpful in the comments section.