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The Division: best builds and weapons for groups and solos
Whether you’re part of a tightly-knit group, optimistically dialling in with randos or running it solo, The Division offers countless ways to take the pain to Rioters, Cleaners and all the scum of the city – including other agents.
The RPG really kicks up once you’ve unlocked a few upgrades at your base of operations, and can start combining abilities and modding weapons. Here we offer some general advice before giving you detailed plans to work towards.
Note that these builds may not hold up well in end-game; your character will constantly evolve and grow, and we expect to be able to list some even more devastating combinations in the future.
General build advice
- Always carry two different weapon types in your primary and secondary slots. This gives you a deeper pool of ammo to draw on, which is vital in tougher encounters. Something for distance and something for up close is a good starting point for a generalist; if you’re in a team, you have more room to specialise.
- Since you can change your abilities at any time, co-ordinate with your team (or just watch what the randos are doing) and try to avoid doubling up. The more skills you can pool, the more tactical options open up.
- Don’t forget to mod your weapons – and your armour, when the time comes. The bonuses stack up quickly, especially at higher levels, and it’s worth doing properly.
- Someone should always have Pulse. If you’re solo, that’s you.
- For tough missions as group, try to have some healing capability.
- Don’t despair if you find it tough at first. The game really opens up once you level up and upgrade your Base of Operations a little. Don’t be afraid to grind so you’ll be over-levelled for missions while you’re unlocking new build paths.
Love to ping enemies with headshots? Snipers make great solo builds because nobody else will steal your kills, and if you have buddies willing to help you line up shots, they can be devastatingly effective in group play, too.
Carry a good Marksman Rifle outfitted with a 12x zoom scope; some come with tasty headshot XP bonuses, which apply whether you scope in or not.
Your secondary should be something that can take down grunts fast, for those times when you can’t keep your distance. That doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style; a good Assault Rifle tuned up for accuracy and stability can be just as effective at popping melons close range, making them a great fallback when you run out of primary ammo as well as a defence against melee attackers.
Use Pulse to highlight enemies, so you can scope in right where they’re going to pop out of cover before they actually do it. Most satisfying. The Tactical Scanner Mod gives a little extra oomph so your headshots become even more deadly.
If you can do without First Aid, Turret makes an excellent second skill, drawing melee attackers away from you and – if placed well – giving you opportunities to flank foes.
Talent-wise, Evasive Action and Tactical Advance are very useful for ensuring you’re always in the best position to snipe. Steady Hands is excellent for powerful rifles, and One Is None rewards you for your finest shots.
In terms of gear mods, focus on Firearms to up your damage potential; abilities and health are secondary to keeping your distance, positioning yourself well, and ruthlessly eliminating your enemies before they get a bead on you.
Not a great shot? Sick of falling down in a heap? There is a role for you, and it’s a great one. Zipping from cover to cover or even making their own cover, tanks draw threat to themselves and suppress enemies, giving their allies space to flank and dispatch enemies. Solo, tanks are hardy and can survive longer than more fragile build.
Tanks aren’t about damage, they’re about controlling the battlefield. A Light Machine Gun is a tank’s best friend, allowing them to easily suppress enemies and draw attention. Mod for stability if you want to hit anything, and add a lengthy magazine.
Otherwise, weapon choice comes down to preference – although Marskman Rifles aren’t much chop. Assault Rifles and SMGs provide decent damage on the run, but a Shotgun will end arguments quickly when you’re up in their faces.
If you’re in a group, Smart Cover is a key ability. Slam it down and let your DPS pals shelter behind it while you keep the enemy busy elsewhere. If you don’t have a group healer Recharger is a great mod, but you really want Concealment. Solos or two-player teams will enjoy Mobile Cover with Extension instead.
First Aid or Pulse are the obvious choices for second skill, especially for solos, but if you have that covered elsewhere on your team consider Turret, which will confuse the enemy even more than one huge noisy tank does.
Desperate Times, Stopping Power, Tactical Advance and Evasive Action will keep you alive and ensure you spread your hurt around.
Mod your equipment for Stamina to increase your health. Get out their and soak it up.
Make sure none of your weapon mods reduce threat. Generate as much as you can. Keep all eyes on you.
This build is all about the Turret. The turret can act as a sort of tank for solo players, drawing all enemy attention, but it also makes a really excellent support unit for inflicting damage over time status effects.
There are two possible builds here. Take the Dragonbreath mod with the Wildfire talent, or the Zapper mod with Fear Tactics – it just depends on which you enjoy more, burn or shock.
Mod your gear for Electronics so you can pop the turret regularly. Take the Recalibration talent, so you can keep the turret out longer.
After this starting point, if you’re running solo it’s best to take Pulse or First Aid and focus on general survivability in your talent choice. If you’re in a group or like to live dangerously, equip Sticky Bomb with BFB, and the Demolition Expert, Chain Reaction talents. This will make you extra lethal and provide another avenue for inflicting status effects.
You may please yourself weapons-wise, but mod for reduced threat with Suppressors. You want them looking at Mr Turret, not you.
Somebody has to do it and if you can’t hit the side of a tree or are too squishy for the group’s activity it had better be you. This is not a solo build.
First Aid is essential, because it can be lobbed at your allies while you stay in the background. Put the Defibrilator mod on it so you can revive your pals from a safe distance.
Support Station is the obvious second choice. While it can’t be deployed at a distance, the Ammo Cache mod more than makes up for it – or you can plump for another chance at revives if shit’s really gonna go south.
Talent-wise, Triage is essential for speeding your cooldowns along. Combat Medic gives you a third healing option. Battle Buddy grants you protection after revives.
Equip Electronics gear mods to lower your cooldowns. Take whatever weapons you feel comfortable with – something good for distance is helpful, since ideally you should be tucked safely at the back ready to provide aid when required.
Got your own ideas? We’d love to hear!
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