Essential Tips For Success in The Division’s PvP Dark Zone

The Division‘s closed beta has now been rolled out on PS4, Xbox One and PC, with Ubisoft really pushing the game’s PvP Dark Zone to its forefront. With there being little explanation in regards to what this mode entails, many players are struggling to get to grips with how to best approach the mode without making themselves a walking target, and to obtain and extract the best loot without being mercilessly mowed down by a marauding Rogue Agent.

With that being said, here are our essential tips for guaranteed success* in The Division‘s PvP Dark Zone.

*Success may not be guaranteed.


Don’t wait around in extraction points.


In the game’s Dark Zone, you have to extract all the equipment you obtain in order to add it to your inventory. This can only be done at various extraction points located around the map, though when you call in a helicopter to come collect your loot, all other players in the same game as you will be alerted. This means that many will come running in your direction – some simply wanting to extract their own obtained loot, while others want to shoot you down and take your loot for their own.

The most vital tip for the game’s PvP, then, is to not idly stand in these extraction points waiting for the chopper to arrive. Instead, find a vantage point and wait to see if any other players turn up – if you’ve got a marksman rifle, equip it in order to give yourself a better view, but DON’T shoot any players unless they shoot you first – attacking your fellow players will see you given a Rogue Agent status, marking your position on the map and ensuring that others will be hostile towards you. This will significantly impede your chances of successfully extracting your loot. 

While there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to perform a successful extraction, as snipers tend to aim their sights on the extraction point in the hopes of picking off a few players while they try to deploy their loot, it does significantly increase your chances of walking out of the event alive.


Shoot, but don’t hit


This could be perceived as an asshole move, but it’s an effective tactic nonetheless. Players are marked as Rogue Agents if they attack another player in the Dark Zone, which places a bounty on their heads that rewards the players who kill them with in-game currency and better loot drops. However, hunting down Rogue Agents is ordinarily no easy task… unless you utilize the following strategy.

Firstly, you should definitely be part of a squad when trying to pull this off, as you’ll likely be forced to endure a few bullets and will need some extra firepower/someone to pick you up when you’re downed. Secondly, you’re going to want to approach a neutral player and shoot around them, refraining from hitting them but giving them the impression that you’re hostile. Naturally, this will lead to them taking a shot at you, which will result in them being given a Rogue Agent status despite you having pulled a Han Solo and shot at them first. Thirdly, you/your squad are going to swiftly take this unwitting Rogue Agent down, acquiring that loot/extra DZ coins with minimal effort.

As I mentioned, it’s not an honorable tactic, but it is an effective one.


Mix up your modifications


The beta showcases the amount of modifications you’ll be able to make to your weaponry throughout the game, which offer stat boosts such as increased XP while also increasing the power of your firearm. However, rather than simply attaching all your best modifications to your primary weapon, it’s a good idea to mix things up a bit, especially when you venture into the Dark Zone. 

Attaching all your best modifications to one gun ensures that when you’re in a PvP scenario, you’ll be limited in the number of encounters with other players in which you’ll have the advantage. Having a solid long-range weapon and then an equally adept mid-to-short range weapon ensures that you’ll be fully equipped for whatever challenge is presented to you, because while taking on the game’s PvE modes with one lone gun may be manageable, in the Dark Zone it’s a completely different ball game.

Carefully read through your mods’ abilities to ensure that they’re the best fit for each gun, and don’t ignore your secondary.


Buddy up


Venturing into the Dark Zone as a solo survivalist is manageable, but is in no way ideal. With players being much more hesitant to confront you if you’re part of a team, grouping up with a bunch of friends ensures that obtaining loot, carrying out extractions and confronting Rogue Agents is much safer than it is when you go it alone. While it’s a notably more intense experience, the acquisition and extraction of good loot in The Division‘s PvP eventually becomes a headache when you’re forced to constantly fend off attacks from other players. There’s strength in numbers in The Division, and you’ll likely have a much better time as part of a squad.


Grenade out


When players reach the extraction point, they must spend a few seconds attaching their loot to the helicopter. This leaves them in an incredibly vulnerable position, and one which many other players try to capitalize upon. Another asshole tactic is to ingratiate yourself with the players surrounding the extraction point and, after ensuring that they’re not going to kill you, take cover behind one of the boxes/barricades typically placed around these points.

When the helicopter comes, many players will simultaneously rush into the center in order to attach their loot to it – intelligent players will hang back and take it in turns but, in my experience, they are few and far between at this point in the beta. When they do this, swiftly throw a grenade into the center. They won’t be expecting it and, chances are, won’t react in time to cancel their extraction and dive out of the way, giving you a pile of loot in the process to quickly pile onto the helicopter before it leaves. Erupting in an evil laugh after accomplishing this feat is optional.


Target AI


Though I’ve detailed a number of ways in which to successfully get the upper hand on other players, targeting them over the enemy AI will more often than not get you killed (or at least significantly wounded) unless you’re in a large group. You don’t want to become a Rogue Agent when you’re flying solo, so your best bet is to stick to shooting the enemy AI. These enemies are marked in purple, and can predominantly be found around the Dark Zone’s various landmarks. Taking them out will provide you with loot drops, and they’re typically much easier to handle than human-controlled players. There’s also the added benefit of them dropping Dark Zone keys, which grant players access to chests located in the PvP area 


Snipers at the ready


If you don’t want to get too up close and personal with the extraction point, then a good way to hunt players who are looking to extract their loot is to take cover out of their line of sight (and out of the range of the Pulse ability) and survey the location with your marksman rifle. If there’s more than one player trying to carry out an extraction, you’re best to move along and mind your own business, but if there’s a lone agent looking to dispatch their loot then it may be in your best interests to take them down with a long-range shot, before rushing in and picking up the pieces. You’ll be marked as a Rogue Agent, but if you can pull off your kill and quickly extract the loot, being placed on the game’s wanted list will be worth it.


Perform frequent extractions


The container you’re given to specifically carry loot acquired in the Dark Zone only holds up to six items, and with other players able to kill you and steal your acquired equipment, it’s a smart move to perform frequent extractions in order to minimize the risk of you being hunted down for what you’re carrying. While performing extractions does turn you into a target, it’s far more ideal than simply wandering around the Dark Zone with a bag full of great items, only for your player-character to be shot down and their body pillaged.