We’ve got a review perking for The Division that will arrive Thursday. But, for now, we’re still playing our way through a virus-ravaged New York. If you’re ready to jump in, here’s how to get through the early hours and not just survive, but thrive.
Shoot. The. Bomber. First!
Early on, you’ll get the ability to fire a “pulse” which identifies enemies and points out their relevant data. This will also let you find the guy with the grenades, who can force you out of cover and make you absorb bullets you can’t take. Shoot him first, especially if he looks like he’s about to throw a grenade; he’ll drop it and be the victim of his own blast, and maybe take one or two of his buddies with him.
Invest In The Ballistic Shield
The Ballistic Shield is an ability you can unlock early and using it early and often will save your bacon. It does limit you exclusively to firing with your sidearm, though, and it’s got limited protection against grenades. Which is why you shoot the bomber first, and use the shield to move to different cover under heavy fire.
Everybody’s Got Armor
Don’t expect to pop even low level mooks in the head with one shot and call it a day. Even basic enemies can take a full clip from a machine gun before they hit the ground. Plan accordingly, and time your reloads.
Don’t Count On Health Regeneration
You have some health regeneration, and it improves as you play, but that said, don’t try to storm the gates. You will die, and fast, if you absorb enough bullets, and your health bar doesn’t regenerate back to full without a medkit or successfully finishing a mission.
Don’t get us wrong, you can play through The Division solo if you really want; the game is surprisingly flexible and doesn’t demand nearly the social behavior other MMO-esque shooters do. But, more so than in most video games, it’s dangerous to go alone. The matchmaking system is pretty solid, and you can usually put together a fire team for main missions easily. Especially if you want to get through the harder difficulties on a mission, a buddy helps matters.
Restock, Restock, Restock
Ammo, medkits, and other useful supplies are relatively scarce drops from enemies, so whenever you see a restock, take advantage.
With Weapons, Look Beyond Raw DPS
The Division uses a weapon’s damage per second, or DPS, as a raw grade for how good it is, and it’s useful as a rough statistic. Before swapping, though, compare weapons to see their other statistics, and don’t be shy about taking them for test runs. The game is generous with loot, but not so generous you’ll be running back to your vendors every mission to unload junk, so go out and give your new toys a try.
Fight Encounters and Side Missions Right Away
Leveling up your key fort gives you crucial bonuses and perks, like extra room for medkits. How do you level up the three branches of your fort? By finding supplies! How do you find supplies? You guessed it, you fight encounters, brief missions where you fight off looters and other mooks. Similarly, if you want blueprints and schematics for crafting, and trust us, you do, the only way to get those beyond taking on tougher enemies with armor is to play the side missions, which have schematics as bonuses.
There’s a lot more to unpack, here, but keeping this in mind will mean you get to play the game with a minimum of death. Well, your personal death, at least.