As you progress in The Division 2’s campaign, you’ll unlock Settlements. First, you’ll encounter the Theater in Downtown East. Later in the campaign, you’ll unlock the Campus in Downtown West.
Settlements are miniature cities in The Division 2. They have leaders and civilians for you to talk with. There are vendors for you to shop at. When you first encounter each Settlement, it’s run-down and needs assistance. Upgrading your Settlements will add NPCs who unlock new features in your Base of Operations at the White House.
Main story missions will upgrade you to new Settlement tiers and add NPCs who move to your Base of Operations at the White House. To upgrade your Settlement’s cosmetics, you’ll need to complete Projects or side missions, as detailed in the image above.
You unlock the Clan and Dark Zone vendors by upgrading the Theater Settlement at the start of Division 2. Completing main Theater missions — look at the title on the map to see the mission type — will advance your Settlement one tier at a time.
For every tier you advance, your Settlement will send one of their civilians to set up a kiosk back in the White House — and unlocking a new gameplay feature. When you fully upgrade the Theater, for example, you’ll unlock the Firing Range back at your base. Now you can test out your damage numbers to see how powerful you are.
Some upgrades grant cosmetic differences in your base. For the Theater, you can unlock a hydroponics station, a new roof, a barbecue, and a video game corner for the kids, among others. The side missions and Projects that upgrade these features also grant experience or gear items, so do them as you progress through the campaign. But the barbecue won’t give food or anything useful. Instead, it’s a way for Division Agents to influence their world, and heal the digital community around them.
The Campus has an identical progression system but different cosmetic upgrades.
There is an abandoned Settlement called The Castle that you visit early in the game, but it’s destroyed and uninhabitable.