The Division: 11 tips for beginners

By Matt Martin, Sunday, 13 March 2016 08:30 GMT

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The Division: 11 tips for beginners

You’re in The Division, you’ve secured the Base of Operations and now there’s all sorts of icons on the map. You want levels, gear and weapons. Where do you start?

We’ve put together a bunch of tips for beginners covering where to find better loot and gear, how to score some easy XP and how to survive in the Dark Zone. Read up, agent. Manhattan won’t save itself.

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Do Missions on hard and engage Encounters first

The meat of the game is in the PvP Dark Zone. But you don’t want to run into that unprepared. Complete the main missions and then do them again on Hard mode. It is significantly harder, but you’ll get more XP rewards and better gear and weapons. You’re going to want a variety of weapons before you enter the Dark Zone. Also head to Encounters on the map (blue triangles) for extra XP and the chance of weapons/gear drops.

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Cover is crucial

If you don’t make use of cover you’re going to die. The game’ll tell you at the very start that it’s a cover shooter. It isn’t joking. Press A to go into cover and A again to move between cover. Be sure to press A to get back into cover before you reload, or you’re just going to be standing there like a monkey while you fiddle with your rifle and Mr Bad Guy shoots you in the face. Rule number one: be in cover.

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Watch and learn enemy attack patterns

Almost every Encounter and Mission has more than one wave of enemies to deal with. You’ll hear a warning over your radio, so make sure you hold back some explosives for later in the fight. Also watch enemy attack patterns. Dudes with baseball bats will rush you. If there’s an incoming grenade you’ll see a big circle of effect, so make sure you dive out of it. Stay away from enemies with flamethrowers and shoot the tanks on their backs to make them go boom. In short: know your enemy.

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Check the map for new encounters

You have to search the map for things to do. Move your view in and out using the triggers and rotate the map with the left stick to find new encounters. You’ll see new green and blue markers pop up as you explore the available play area. Hit them for XP boosts and drops.

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Mod guns and inspect your gear carefully

Get into the habit of checking all your loot regularly. Before you know it you’ll have a lot. You may think that all level 6 backpacks are the same, but check and you’ll see they have different attributes such as skill increases or higher ammo capacity. Make sure you have the right one equipped.

Also remember you can mod your weapons and gear, but more importantly, move those mods from one gun to another. They’re not permanent, so you can add a favourite mod to a newly found weapon easily enough.

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Shoot the dogs

Don’t look at me like that. These furry little bastards roaming the streets of NY cough up XP so they must be carrying rabies or something. Don’t get sentimental over Old Yeller. Put it down. And help civilians if they ask for a med kit. Hand one over for extra XP. It all counts.

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Fight the AI for loot, not other players

When you’re in the Dark Zone you’re going to want to find loot – that’s the whole point. Head to Landmarks and engage the purple enemies there. Once you’ve secured the loot, it’s yours.

You may be tempted to attack other players when you see they’re carrying loot (you’ll see yellow bumbags on their waists). Only do this if you’re in a big group, have levelled up and have lots of confidence. It will turn into a real firefight and if you’re underprepared you’ll get spanked. You’ll also be labelled Rogue, which means you’ve become fair game to everyone.

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Stay clear of groups of rogues

If you’re in the Dark Zone and you see a group of red skull icons coming towards you, you’re probably going to get killed if you don’t run. What you’re looking at is a group of rogue agents who’ve teamed together for strength. Some of the best gear is available through getting a high rogue rating and surviving. If you aren’t in a large group, get out of the way. You’re a target.

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Don’t hoard loot, use extraction zones

Be sure to regularly extract your loot from the Dark Zone. The longer you hold on to it, the more likely you are to get killed and lose it. Every time you pick up some Dark Zone loot, whether it be from an AI or another player, you’ll see that you’re carrying a pack with a radiation symbol from the bottom of your backpack. Go to an extraction zone – just bring the map up to find one – and call down a chopper. Afix the pack to the rope that descends from the helicopter and it’ll take it out to your stash. You’ll drop any un-extracted loot when you die, and if another player gets to it before you do after respawning they’ll be able to pick it up. Bye bye gear.

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Junk your rubbish

You inventory’s going to fill up quickly, so be sure to trash everything you don’t need. Just hit the left trigger to mark an item as junk, whereupon the cursor will move down to the next item in the list. Repeat until you’ve got rid of all the stuff you don’t need. Not only will this free up room for your next drops, but you’ll get resources, such as weapon parts, for crafting.

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Use fast travel

You’ll soon get bored of running around Manhattan. You can fast travel to either of the two available bases or the single doable mission. Just bring up the map, hover over the marker, press X and then A to confirm. This’ll save a lot of time running to the various encounters. You don’t appear to be able to bring the entire group with you, but you can fast travel to other agents within your team. Do so and you’ll be levelling much faster.

Here’s another tip: find some folks to play with you. Head over to LFG site The100.io. You will find plenty of people there ready to jump into the game with you.

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