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The Division 2 guide: Dark Zone build

Choose the gear that gets you out of the Dark Zone alive

Ubisoft/Massive Entertainment
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

The Dark Zone is The Division 2’s hybrid PvPvE mode, and that sometimes makes choosing gear for it a little more difficult than in other modes. To help you succeed in the Dark Zone against other players and the AI, we’ve got a few tips on building your loadout.


Your best bet here is to try to pair your weapons. You’ll want one that’s good at doing consistent damage, like an assault rifle or submachine gun and one that does better burst damage like a marksman rifle or shotgun. Choose these based on the traits that each weapon has, and whether any of them have stats like increased critical strike which could help you do more damage.

Your gear is the other factor that can help you choose between weapons or types of weapons. If several of your pieces have talents related to one class of gun, fit that into your build. You may have a good assault rifle, but if every talent on your gear upgrades SMGs you may be better off taking one of those instead.


Choosing your gear is all about synergy. Look at all the pieces you have that are a high Gear Score and try to match categories on those pieces. If you have a vest that gives you additional critical strike damage, find a holster or backpack that gives you additional critical strike chance. The same goes for weapon types. It’s better to get two or three pieces that buff the same type of weapon than it is to spread your bonuses out.

The two stats that are exceptions to this are weapon damage and health. You should prioritize these stats over everything else. If you have a piece or two with especially high weapon damage bonuses, pick those and work around their other stats. This will ensure that you maximize your overall damage, since the weapon damage stats works for all of your guns, not just one type.


In the Dark Zone, the most important thing is staying alive. Because of that, the first skill you’ll want to keep with you almost always is the Chem Launcher with the Reinforcer mod. This mod allows you to create small circle that will restore armor to you allies standing inside. It’s easy to use, recharges quickly, and in a firefight could give you a huge edge over another player.

Things are a little bit more flexible for your second skill, but your best bet is the Drone with the Striker mod. The Drone is perfect for seeking out enemy targets. It’s small and quite a distraction for other players. If they choose to shoot it, that should give you time to fire at them without getting shot — and if they ignore it, the drone will keep doing free damage for you. If you are playing alone and feel like you could use a little more healing, you can also switch the Drone to the Fixer mod, which will follow you around and provide healing.

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