Don’t let the third-person shooting mechanics of Ubisoft’s The Division fool you. For the most part, the game looks and behaves like a shooter, but it’s a role-playing game underneath. The Division can offer up the same action that regular shooters can, but it’s also more of a numbers game than they are.
In The Division you are a member of Strategic Homeland Division. Years ago, the department trained you and provided you with equipment in case all else failed and a catastrophic event caused the government to collapse. A virus has infected millions in New York City, destroying the glue that held the city together. You need to plot out your character’s trajectory. You have to make sure that the abilities your agent has complement your play style; it’s not a one-fits-all situation.
For character customization and trajectory, The Division has a number of systems. The most important of these are The Division Skills and Skill Mods.
The Division Skills Explained
The Division Skills system is one the first things you’ll encounter after you’ve created your agent. Skills in the game aren’t dissimilar to the Skills systems of other titles. They provide easy ways to give your character an ability beyond being able to aim and fire a weapon. Healing, defense and offense, that’s what their functions are. Officially, they all fall into Medical, Tech and Security categories.
If those names sound familiar it’s because they’re directly related to the different wings that you go on missions to activate after you reach Manhattan Island. Unlocking each Wing unlocks that specific category of Skills for you to choose from. Leveling also plays a part in which options are available to use in The Division Skills system.
Your character in The Division can equip three different Skills at a time. Only one slot is unlocked immediately when you create your agent at the beginning of the game. When you unlock a skill, you choose which button on your controller’s bumper area it maps too. That’s, if you’re using a controller at all. The second Skill isn’t unlocked until after you’ve completed some missions and leveled up your SHD agent. With all Skills, deep diving into the Attribute numbers for each is key to understanding how effective that skill is.
Pulse, First Aid, Support Station and Recovery Link are all medical skills that you can unlock after you’ve setup the Medical Wing.
Pulse lets you immediately find where enemies are in a battle space and strike quickly. That information is shared with the other members of a group. First Aid lets your character heal hurt members of a group that don’t want to risk being short on medical kits. Support Station can revive and heal members of a group. Drop the Support Station in a specific area and you’re fine. Recovery Link heals friends around your character and revives anyone who’s had their health depleted.
Sticky Bomb, Turret, Seeker Mine and Tactical Link are the Tech Skills. The Tech Skills put your agent on the offensive, giving him or her the tools they need to be tech-savvy damage deals.
Sticky Bomb allows you to aim and shoot a small explosive. The explosive doesn’t go off immediately like a grenade would. Instead, you can set the bomb on an enemy and wait until they’re closer to other enemies before detonating it. Turret gives your character a way to deal damage reliably, while still in cover. Seeker Mine acts as an automatically aiming explosive device that you can deploy from cover. Tactical Link lets you increase the amount of damage each member of your team can deal out.
Ballistic Shield, Smart Cover, Mobile Cover and Survivor Link are all Security Skills in The Division. Each skills ups an agent’s stamina in a firefight, giving them the opportunity to last longer than agents making use of other Skills.
The Ballistic Shield unfolds and protects you as you exit cover to go on a firing spree. Smart Cover boosts the amount of damage that cover can take for an agent before it crumbles. Mobile Cover allows players to take their cover with them. Survivor Link boosts resistance and speed for an entire group.
The Division Skills Mods
There’s another layer of options built into The Division Skills system. Mods build off the core function of base Skills by adding something unique and potentially devastating to them. Almost all the Skills in the game have a Modification.
Modifications can be used only one at a time, unless it’s marked as a Master Mod. That being said, Modifications are also swappable in any situation.
Medical Skills Modifications
Pulse Mods include boosting detection range, jamming other pulses, boosting the damage your agent inflicts on the agents that it detects and an alert for when a pulse from enemies has detected your character’s presence.
First Aid Mods allow you to revive friends, speed up healing, increase your character’s damage and boost how long the First Aid Skill lasts.
Support Station mods also allow agents to revive other team mates, remove buffs, pick up weapon ammo and heal everyone near it when It’s destroyed.
Tech Skills Modifications
Sticky Bomb Mods can increase the damage radius, add auto detonation, flashbang and make it easier to drop a sticky bomb on a group of enemies without being detected.
Turret Mods can add a sensor for detecting enemies, throw flames, add a taser and self-destruct.
Seeker Mine Mods can add gas grenades, an airburst, a cluster bomb and the ability to seek targets over cover obstacles.
Security Skills Modifications
Ballistic Shield Mods add better armor, pulse detection for bullets fired by enemies, more damage resistance and self-healing.
Smart Cover Mods can boost damage resistance, improve health recovery when protected by it, block pulses and boost how long smart cover lasts.
Mobile Cover Mods allow it to protect two different players, launch remote-controlled explosives and increase resistance to weapon fire.
Good luck with Ubisoft’s The Division. Gotta Be Mobile will continue to update this break down of The Division’s Skills and Skill Mods as the game evolves and expands.