5 Things to know before playing ‘The Division’

5 Things to know before playing ‘The Division’

Ryan B. Brown

March 23, 2016

Ryan Brown

Ubisoft’s much-anticipated online RPG, The Division, has been released, and it packs quite a punch. Set in a post-apocalyptic New York City, the third-person game features deep customization and explosive squad-based combat. 

But getting by in The Division will take more than a nice gun and a few well-armed buddies. The urban wasteland is riddled with roaming gangs, hidden loot, and a fair amount of not so friendly players. Here are five things you need to know before getting started.

The drama of The Division unfolds on Black Friday, after a devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City, causing mass chaos and triggering the activation of The Division — an elite tactical unit of independent sleeper agents, trained to save society during emergency situations. Players assume the role of one of many members of The Division, battling various gangs and rival factions vying for power in a sprawling, procedural environment.  

In addition to gear, players can also load specialized skills to compliment different play styles. Tactical players might load Pulse, a skill that’s used to scan the environment and provide data on enemy activity or movements. Combat-focused players should equip Shield, a defensive or offensive skill that activates a thick bulletproof layer to use during intense gun battles. Skills are also upgradable and designed to give players a wide range of options for nearly any scenario. 

The Dark Zone is the multiplayer gameplay space for , and the source of the best gear and weapons. Outside of the Dark Zone, players are limited to working in groups of four. However once inside, players can work with larger groups to complete tasks and acquire exotic loot. The quality of the loot is determined by its stats and labeled by color. Green is good, blue is great, but gold is the best.  

The Dark Zone is also home to the game’s player-vs-player mode. However, when a player draws first blood, they’ll instantly be labeled as a Rogue Agent, picking up a bounty and popping up on everyone’s radar. If traveling with a group, this can be used to surprise and overpower unsuspecting targets. Be warned, though: if a player decides to go rogue and dies in the process, they’ll lose any loot they were carrying and suffer a hefty deduction in money and experience points. 

Any loot that’s been found, acquired, or stolen in the Dark Zone is ‘contaminated’ and must be cleansed before use. To do so, players must make their way to one of the various extraction points. Once there, they can call for an extraction and will have to wait 90 seconds for a helicopter to arrive. During this time, players are susceptible to attack from potential rogue agents who could be lurking nearby. Before calling for extraction, be sure to find some cover and hunker down for a brief but chaotic firefight.

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