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The Division 2 beginner’s guide

Make your first several hours better

Ubisoft/Massive Entertainment

The Division 2’s opening hours throw dozens of tutorials at you. They cover everything from equipping new gear to unlocking new skills. The Division 2 may hold your hand in some places, but there are plenty of ways to make your first few hours even more efficient.

This guide will teach you how to be the best agent you can be, with a focus on your first several hours.

Take cover early and often

The Division 2’s shootouts are all designed around the game’s cover system. As soon as an enemy sees you, take cover because they’re about to send a lot of bullets your way. Standing out in the open in The Division 2 will get you killed in just a few shots, but in cover you’ll have a chance to return fire and repair your armor if you take damage.

While cover is an important part of every fight, it isn’t going to save you from every enemy in The Division 2. Most enemies you face will also take cover and peak out for a moment to fire at you. Others will try to flank you despite whatever you’re crouched behind. Even more dangerous are the enemies that rush straight toward you, often forcing you out of cover and into a hail of bullets. To make sure that you’re always safe in the cover you picked, keep an eye out for any enemies running toward you, and deal with them first.

Use a perk to gain XP early

When you get to the Base of Operations (The White House, of course), you’ll get the tutorial for SHD Tech (a collectible currency) and upgrading perks at the Quartermaster. You’ll have to pick a second weapon slot first, but the next time you get SHD Tech, you can spend it on whatever you want.

Consider the Headshot Accolade perk, which gives you bonus XP for headshot kills. Pick it up early to get the most out of it.

Pick skills based on your role

The Division 2 offers a variety of skills, and you may unlock them all eventually. Choose your skills carefully in the beginning because some are a lot more useful than others.

If you’re going in solo, invest in things like the Turret, which will select and fire at its own targets. It’s a valuable ally in fights. The Drone is another good option to take early on for the same reason. It will roam around the area picking up kills for you.

If you’re taking on The Division 2’s campaign with a few friends, it’s a good idea to vary your loadouts. If one or two players are taking things like the Turret or Drone to help deal damage, then another player could pick up the Hive or the Chem Launcher, both of which will restore ally armor and keep your squad a little safer.

Skills like these will be useful no matter how many players in the group have them, but some skills are more specialized. The seeker mine can be good for one player in a group to pick up, as it will help you deal with tougher enemies, while the Firefly can blind enemies and get your squad out of a tough spot, but you won’t need more than one.

Recruit followers to get Projects

The Division 2 ties features like crafting and the Dark Zone to followers who become NPCs. Before you can get new followers, you’ll need to upgrade at least part of the settlement they come from.

To do this, you’ll need to complete main missions. After unlocking followers, you’ll gain access to new missions called Projects. They’ll boost your XP, give additional rewards, and add new areas to your Settlements.

Most of the time, Projects involve completing a public event in the area (they’re displayed on your map) or donating resources to the cause. Before you sell any gear, check your active Projects. They may need your gear at the Settlement, and making progress on a Project is often more useful than earning a few Division bucks.

Completing Projects will evolve your Settlement and unlock blueprints, which allow you to craft upgrades. If you don’t take the time to do these Projects, you’ll miss out on upgrades early in the game. Keep them in your mind as you play, or go after them directly. Just don’t put them off until the endgame.

Return to the Base of Operations when you level up

Every level up in The Division 2 grants you a certain amount of SHD Tech (the currency you use to unlock new perks and skills) and as skill points (which for unlocking skills). To spend these, you’ll need to visit the Quartermaster at your Base of Operations. So a quick trip to the White House after every level up is a good idea — and you can fast travel directly to the White House from your map.

Later in the game, levels will come a little more slowly, and you’ll have a better idea of which upgrades to buy. You won’t need to make the trip back to base as often.

Try lots of guns, but don’t craft too early

Early on, The Division 2 showers you with weapons, which makes it the perfect time to experiment with different types. As you get new guns, try them — even those that you don’t think you’ll like. By the time you’re a little further into the story, you’ll know which you like and which you can sell or donate.

Because the game gives you so many weapons, you’ll get upgrades to your loadout frequently. While The Division 2 may offer you the chance to craft weapons early, it isn’t worth the materials you’ll spend. Hang onto those resources. until you know exactly which guns you like. At that point, you’ll know which types to invest in. You’ll get the most out of your resources, and you won’t waste them on a gun that might be obsolete in a level or two.

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