Beat back the Black Tusks
If The Division 2 is anything like the original game post-update 1.4, it’ll have plenty to sift through for weeks on end once the campaign is said and done.
I just hit level 30 myself and I’m cracking away at the endgame before the raid arrives, so I have some tips to share.
- Skills can save your bacon and essentially serve as a temporary second or third player in a solo situation. You can use two at a time: I recommend the turret and the drone. Both are sort of like NPCs and draw fire away from you, but the turret lays down massive amounts of damage that can shred basic-class enemies in seconds. The drone can also be used to take out minigun bunkers or distract powerful enemies while you run to safety. They can be manually aimed by looking at a target and pressing (not holding) their corresponding buttons.
- Speaking of those two skills, you can actually cancel them early by holding down their corresponding button and deal with a shorter cooldown time as a result. This is helpful when you misplace a turret or all of the enemies in an area are already dead. Most missions don’t require haste, so letting your cooldowns recharge in-between rooms is a smart thing to do (so long as you’re keeping up with your teammates). Alternatively, you can throw the turret by holding down its skill button when first placing it.
- Placing weapon mods can be confusing. Instead of the default interface, press square (X on Xbox One) to open up a much more readable UI (which really should be the default) that lists every mod that you own.
- Perks share the same upgrade currency as skill variants (SHD Tech), but go ahead and grab the XP-boosting passive perks first. You’ll have plenty of upgrade points to go around and getting extra XP can give you the edge you need to push through to the next main story mission to hit the level cap (30) that much faster. [Thanks Brett!]
- In fact, you’ll want to generally err on the side of passive perks when it comes to spending skill points. The nitty gritty of skill variation (which can change your turret into a flamethrower, for example) really doesn’t matter too much until endgame, as you can ride the same two basic skills all the way through. Only when the going gets tough post-level 30 will you need to break down individual builds while you plan a strategy with a fixed group. That said, the most impactful variant early to mid game is easily the healing drone. Here’s a big tip: the healing drone comes in handy when manning an empty turret, as it can heal you through petty damage as you’re mowing down scores of enemies. You can also manually aim it to help out teammates under fire.
- The enemy AI is improved compared to the first game, but there are a few tricks you can use that almost always work. Try to save your grenades for high-end enemies (purple or gold health bars) — not necessarily for damage, but for forcing them out of hiding. Oftentimes you’ll be in a situation where a gold foe is hiding in wait, then you get distracted and they rush you before their armor is depleted. Instead, try to single them out with grenades so they run away.
- Speaking of armor, there’s a trick to it. You can blast away at the same spot to knock off a chunk of enemy gear, which basically opens up a weak point that will chip away at their health. For the hammer brothers (read: sledgehammer-wielding brutes), take aim at their bare arms.
- Always check on projects to see if you can kill two birds with one stone. If you need to take a point or do a random world mission for a little XP boost, you’ll want to see if any projects request coverage in specific zones. Think of projects like challenges.
- Likewise, one of the first things you’ll want to unlock in a zone is the safe house. Using the laptop in a safe house will reveal key mission and collectible locations in that area. Use this to surgically hit XP boosts and upgrades instead of aimlessly roaming around.
- To unlock the final three skill trees you’ll need to do a little more than just reach level 30. You’ll need to clear the main three strongholds (in the northeast, extreme west, and extreme east parts of the map to avoid spoilers), which serve as dungeons in The Division 2. Once you’ve finished them all you’re good to go and can pick up your specialization at the White House. To check your progress, you can look at the main missions portion of the pause menu: the three strongholds are listed under the story portion.