Tom Clancy’s The Division was launched this week and as with any MMO learning its mechanics and tricks might take a while. I’ve been playing The Division since the Closed Beta Test and I got hand on some of the more important things to know when starting to play this game.
Here is a list of tips and tricks that will make your time playing this game easier:
1. Cover is vital
Cover shooters are not something often seen on PC so the importance of using the cover mechanics might not be of great value to some players.
First of all, there is no crouch in this game, something that most players are used with in online shooters. Because of this hiding behind objects is much harder to do automatically so here comes in play the hide behind cover mechanic. When behind an object that can be used as cover the game will prompt you to press a key (space by default) which will set your character in cover which is an almost absolute defense state against the enemies in straight line with that cover point.
There are moments when cover shouldn’t be used during combat but those moments are rare and learning when to do that comes in time with playing the game and knowing the limits of your character. But even at that point cover is still the most important mechanic during combat and using it properly will change the fate of many combat encounters.
2. Take aim
As a 3rd person shooter MMORPG, The Division requires precision more than you might think. Hip fire is not a very useful as the bullet spread is so wide that you won’t hit the target too often. Take aim and shoot for the head, The Division might have a combat system with spongy enemies but headshots do significantly more damage and this will help killing enemies faster.
3. Configure your Controls
And by this I don’t mean rebinding your keys, a thing you should do anyway, but to take a look at the Controls tab in the Settings section. There are a lot of options there designed to make the gameplay easier but taking away of the player’s accurate control over their character.
Combat roll on movement keys allow to double tap in any direction in order to dodge roll. While this sounds like an easier way to dodge using this might become more of a nuisance than helpful. Double taping happens often when trying to accurately move in one direction and this will trigger an involuntary dodge which can screw up your plans.
Parkour Mode this will make you automatically jump over any obstacle in front of you while sprinting. In theory it sounds good, but in practice (especially in PvP) you might find yourself jumping over an object that you run towards to for cover.
Disabling these options and finding the balance between the other options available in the Controls menu will greatly improve your gameplay experience.
4. From cover to cover
I said earlier to use cover, but there is more to this mechanic than hiding behind objects. An important feature that can come in handy when staying in cover is the ability to move from one cover point to another. By looking at a new object that can provide cover a course will appear on the ground, holding the cover button will have your character run from your current cover position to the next. This will be extremely useful as it’s the safest way to change longer distance positions when under fire.
5. Watch out for body blocking
The importance of body blocking is more extensive than you might know. Staying in a doorway won’t allow any player in or out, while this can be a way to annoyingly troll some friends, this isn’t what I wanted to talk about.
More often than not while playing in a group you will find yourself taking cover behind same objects and here is where things get tricky. Trying to move along the cover of that object will have you stopped by the model of the other players hiding in the same area which means that if you want to move further away you have to get out of the cover first. The body blocking can make things tricky in tough situations so finding a way to avoid it during combat will be ideal.
6. Upgrade your base
Your base of Operations is part of the game’s progression but also a part of your character progression. Each of the three wings of the base can be upgraded up to 10 times providing you with skills, talents and perks. Keep completing primary and secondary missions to receive the supplies necessary for each wing’s upgrades as the faster you upgrade your base the more you can take advantage of by its quality of life improvements which go past the character enhancing abilities.
7. Choose your perks wisely
While all the perks in the game can be unlocked few of them play a more crucial role throughout the progression than the other. Knowing those perks will stop you from hitting some of the game’s barriers and smoothen out the gameplay in certain situations.
Each wing has an upgrade designed to diminish the grind for crafting materials by spawning every hour a specific crafting material in one of the containers in the wing’s area. If you are planning on being a Dark Zone player, each of the wings has an upgrade which will increase the contaminated loot you can carry in the Dark Zone.
The Intel wing provides storage upgrades for your stash and inventory which become extremely useful especially when combining PvE with PvP activities.
The Medical Wing most important perks increase your virus protection by upgrading your filters opening up the contaminated areas around the city. There is also a perk which increases the credit income by 10% which should be taken asap. If you have problems in combat you can also pick the perks that increase the number of medkits you can carry.
The Security Wing brings new vendors into the base of operations. These vendors sell higher quality weapons, skins and even Dark Zone specific gear. There is also a perk which increases the XP gained by 10% if you are in rush to reach the level cap. And for those who have a more completist side the Intel Discovery perk will reveal all the Intel from a sector where all the missions have been completed.
There are more perks than these, but I’ve mentioned the ones that I consider the most important while progressing with a character.
8. Safe houses
Safe houses are a bigger deal than they seem. These areas don’t just serve as a player’s hub and a place to resupply. By unlocking new safe houses you get new points for fast travel making the map navigation much easier. They also provide information about the secondary missions and the encounters in their sector.
9. Faster selling
Selling items you don’t need can be a drag as the game’s interface isn’t the fastest in this matter. The most effective way to sell items is to mark them as junk (V by default) and then use the sell junk button (X by default) to get rid of all these items at once. Doing so will help you avoid a ton of pop-up screens which ask if you want to sell that item or not. But you should be careful, once sold an item is lost forever (remember to remove your weapon mods!).
The Division might have been a survival game at some point but it isn’t one now. Yet, there is the possibility of scavenging for loot in the vastness of Manhattan Island. Various types of chests hidden behind locked doors or in areas that require a little exploration effort can provide some cool reward for your troubles. High quality items, consumables, crafting materials, clothing skins and even bits of the story can be found while scavenging for what’s left in this post pandemic mayhem, so don’t be shy and explore The Division’s beautiful world.
11. Gear doesn’t change appearance
More and more MMOs adopt a system where the items stats and their appearance aren’t part of an unchangeable package and The Division makes no exception. This system is great because it allows the players to pick up the best gear but still look the fashionable way they want to.
In the Inventory category of the UI both the gear and the appearance can be found under separate tabs. From here you can change the equipped items and the appearance of your character based on the skins you unlocked in your adventure.
12. Pulse is awesome!
There are multiple abilities in The Division and each can be configured through a series of talents but in terms of utility none comes close to Pulse. Using this ability allows you to scan the proximity for enemies, neutral targets (great for Dark Zone) and even lootable objects.
If you are set on exploring the map or fighting in the Dark Zone have at least one player in your group with Pulse because it will make all the difference.
These are just a few helpful tips that will help you get into the game easier. There are more things to learn and understand about The Division, but they will come in time by playing the game. I hope this information was useful to you and I shall see you in the Dark Zone!