Learn the basics of the gameplay in this guide to Tom Clancy's The Division.

Tom Clancy’s The Division Beginner’s Guide: map navigation, combat tactics and group management

Learn the basics of the gameplay in this guide to Tom Clancy's The Division.
This article is over 8 years old and may contain outdated information

The Division is an MMO shooter with an open world that lives by the rules of its own. There are places you want to go first and avoid the rest. The leveling plays a huge role here, so don’t try to be a hero, just follow our guide for The Division and take the most effective path.

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Some areas will have stronger enemies than others, so it’s important to gather a team of agents before you move out to more dangerous zones. But before that, you’ll need to have a proper gear, weapons, and have activated enough skills. So, be patient, this will take some time.

Navigating the map

Tom Clancy's The Division map navigation

The game takes place in New York, which is divided into 17 districts and The Dark Zone. Each district and The Dark Zone have its own levels of difficulty, so every time you enter a certain area the game will notify you about the level of the given district. Your character needs to be at least very close to it, if you want to navigate through the map in a more or less safe way.

For example, your first district is Brooklyn, which is suitable for levels from 1 to 3. So, each next district will warn you if an area fits your current abilities. Of course, you can go wherever you like, but don’t be surprised if you get killed on the spot. The Dark Zone should not be entered at least before you reach level 10.

Almost every district has its own safe house, where you can buy supplies, take on missions, meet other players, and fast travel between the districts. You cannot fast travel to The Dark Zone – it can be accessed only through activating special checkpoints.

But your main location is the Base of Operations, which you need to establish after you arrive at Manhattan after the tutorial zone. At the Base, you will have the same possibilities as at any other safe house, plus you will be able to upgrade your talents, skills, and perks, which are essential for survival.

As soon as you feel that you need to be supported on your way through the city, it’s always a good idea to start assembling a team by using the matchmaking menu at the safe houses. There you can join three other players for a total team of four agents. With a group like this, you will be able to quickly deflect waves of enemies and beat even the hardest bosses.

If you want PvP, then you need to travel to the Dark Zone – this is where all the action takes place. You can also extract some valuable loot there, but be well-prepared before entering the zone.

Other areas that you should be aware of are the so-called contaminated areas – this is where you need to wear a protective mask in order to survive.

Here is the list of all districts and zones with their corresponding levels:

  • Brooklyn (level 1-3)
  • Chelsea (level 2-4)
  • Hudson Yards (level 2-4)
  • Camp Hudson (level 3-4)
  • Pennsylvania Plaza (level 3-5)
  • Garment District (level 5-9)
  • Tenderloin (level 9-12)
  • Hell’s Kitchen (level 10-13)
  • Times Square (level 10-13)
  • Clinton (level 14-15)
  • Flatiron District (level 15-16)
  • Gramercy (level 16-18)
  • Stuyvesant (level 18-19)
  • Kips Bay (level 20-23)
  • Murray Hill (level 24-26)
  • Turtle Bay (level 27-28)
  • Midtown East (level 28-30)

The Dark Zone:

  • DZ01 (level 10-12)
  • DZ02 (level 13-15)
  • DZ03 (level 16-18)
  • DZ04 (level 22-24)
  • DZ05 (level 27-29)
  • DZ06 (level 29-30)

Combat tactics

Tom Clancy's The Division combat

There are six different factions in the game: The Division, Cleaners, Rioters, Joint Task Force, Last Man Battalion and Rikers. You belong to The Division – an organization that hires agents to preserve the order in the times of emergency.

Four of these factions – Cleaners, Rioters, Last Man Battalion and Rikers – are hostile, while Joint Task Force is composed of police officers who are your allies, and they will help you deal with the enemies on the streets.

There are six types of weapons in The Division: pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, marksman rifles, and light machine guns. Each weapon can be modified to your liking with all kinds of attachments and personalized skins.

Each weapon has a limited number of modifier slots – their quantity depends on the type and the rarity of the weapon. Using weapon mods to your advantage is highly advisable.

  • For example, use better optics on your rifles to quickly headshot your enemies. Otherwise, you will have to deal with their armor, which can absorb a lot of your ammo.
  • After the combat, you can loot ammo from the bodies of the defeated enemies or at the Base of Operations and safe houses.
  • Besides ammo, you will need med packs, explosives, and various temporary buffs. Resupply them before each combat – you will need them.
  • Use covers at all times – they will protect you from the damage.
  • If you happen to encounter enemies of the level you can’t beat, then be stealthy and move from one corner or hideout to another, as you don’t want to engage in the combat, but rather get passed them quietly.

Group management

Matchmaking is one of the most exciting features of The Division – this is where you can team up with other players and go on missions together. Here are a few important rules you should follow before each co-op game:

  • Be sure to invite players that are in the range of 5 levels from yours. For example, if you are level 20, try not to recruit a player with level of 10, otherwise, they will not survive the districts with the level of difficulty of 20 or higher.
  • If you happen to be invited to the group of high-level players, then try to play a supportive role in that team and let the higher ranking players go forward.
  • Use the ability of the group leader to set up pathways for your squad members on the map. In this way, you can direct their actions and approach your missions with utmost accuracy.

Making your way through New York is much more exciting when you know how to deal with its hostile environments, so keep this simple advice in mind and you should finish the game really soon.

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Serhii Patskan
Serhii is the Writer at GameSkinny. He's been writing for GameSkinny since 2015. Before that, he's been writing for various outlets and playing video games, which eventually turned into a passion. The video games that have contributed the most to his enthusiasm for writing about this industry are Magic: The Gathering, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.