The Division could very well be the highlight of a very busy spring gaming season. Thousands are all descending into Ubisoft’s faithful recreation of Manhattan. The game does what very few online games have attempted. It tries to blend cover shooting mechanics, with online co-operative play and role-playing game mechanics. Put a different way, The Division is a role-playing that gets shooting right.
In The Division you are a sleeper agent suddenly called upon to help save New York City. A dangerous virus has infected large swaths of the city’s population. Those that aren’t dead are struggling to survive. The city’s infrastructure is in shambles. Entire blocks are deserted. The government and military are powerless to fix the people trapped in Manhattan.
We’ve spent some time with The Division during its two betas and the final release that’s out now at GameStop, Amazon, the Xbox Store, PlayStation Store and Steam. Here are some tiny tips we’ve adopted to make our play experience a bit more enjoyable.
Rely On Your Skills
The Division does a pretty crummy job of introducing you to Skills. Skills fall into one of three categories Security, Medical and Technology. They include things like a ballistic shield, health grenades and a remote bomb that can be fired and detonated from within cover. At the beginning of the game you can choose a Skill. As you level up, you’ll get to choose another.
Shooting is great, but don’t forget to mix in some variety with your sharp shooting. The right Skill can make taking out a room full of enemies easier and more enjoyable.
Look for Environmental Hazards
With power down and the winter sitting in, lots of enemies are held up in buildings and near debris fields. In both situations, look for a red canister near an enemy. Shoot it and you could deal significant damage without having to use ammo that you may already be low on. The trick really helps when enemies are placed near an entrance with a canister.
Drop Into a Friend’s Group
The Division is fun to play, but it’s more fun to play with a group of friends. Go into the game’s menus and look for anyone to join in a battle. You can see other friends in your map too. They’re highlighted by orange circles.
The game’s missions scale, depending on how many people are playing, but that heightened difficulty also makes them more exciting. If someone in the group is a higher level, expect encounters and missions to let you level up faster than if you were playing on your own.
Getting Better Placement For Turrets
Turrets in The Division are pretty cool. Drop them in a combat situation and a Turret acts as both distraction and weapon. It’ll keep shooting at enemies within a certain radius, giving you the time you need to make a big assault on them or retreat to heal.
Just remember to place the Turrets correctly. Turrets can be dropped beside you or thrown to a better position. Stick to great vantage points when placing Turrets so that they have a wide field of view and can do their jobs better. For example, if you’re hiding behind an abandoned car, placing a turret on the roof of that car is a great idea.
Stay in Cover to Get Some Health Back
In situations where you’re under heavy fire and low on health supplies, stay down. The game won’t restore your health completely, but will let you recover up to the last third of health that you have. That’s only if you stay out of firing range for a bit though.
When Not in A Battle Put Keep Your Gun Down
It probably won’t take you long to notice that survivors of the virus seem a little afraid of you when you approach them. That’s because you are; your gun ins still drawn.
Providing help for citizens is important, giving them items grants you extra XP to level faster. For some reason, The Division doesn’t give you a way to holster a gun outside of safe areas. You can still carry your gun, but you have to be careful in the way that you approach those who need help. Slowly walk up to them and don’t aim at them. Sudden movements will spook them and they’ll run away.
Don’t Stay in One Place
As a cover shooter, you’d think that safely hiding behind something might keep you from dying too soon. That’s not true; the enemies of The Division might tilt their guns to the side as they fire, but they’re not entirely amateurs. If you stay in one place too long they will run toward you, moving in and out of cover until they’ve safely managed to flank you.
Staying in cover is fine for one on one battles, but if you’re having a hard time keeping track of enemies and you’re on your own, remember to seek out different cover spots around you. All it takes is one enemy flanking and grenade for you to die if you aren’t careful.
Use Different Weapons for Different Situations
Don’t forget to switch between the two different weapons the game offers to you from the very start. You want to make sure that you’re using the right firearm for the right situation.
Take the pistol as an example. The pistol is better for cover combat and shooting enemies from a distance than an automatic rifle is. In situations where you need quick damage instead of accuracy, the automatic rifle is the better option.
Stay in Cover
Unless you absolutely can’t avoid it, don’t leave cover when you know that you’re in a dangerous situation. Enemies in Missions and Encounters can be anywhere. If they see you outside of cover the battle begins. You’ll need to quickly adjust your firing position as they spread out, which can be tricky.
Food in The Division allows you to temporarily boost some of your character’s stats, which can make all the difference in a battle. Use them when the time is right to boost your damage and other stats.
Watch the Targeting Circle
With some shooters, it’s helpful to use your gun as a way to judge your firing angle and trajectory. Don’t do this in The Division. Instead, keep your eye on the white targeting circle no matter what. It lends itself well to aiming. What’s more, it’s easier to spot when your gun is pointed at an enemy or something that can deal damage to enemies around it.
If You Can, Remap Climb and Cover
Game controls change, but one of the things that usually stats the same is climbing and jumping. If you want to go over an object in most titles, you press A on the Xbox One Controller. Crouching is usually B or another button. The Division turns this on its head. Officially, climbing overtop an object is B. Taking cover behind something is A.
If you’re having a hard time adjusting, it might be a good idea to remap the game’s controls if you can. PC gamers can remap any button they want with the right tools, though chances are most there are using a keyboard and mouse.
Good luck saving New York City in The Division.