'Division 2' Dark Zone Guide - How to Unlock & Best Tips for PvP

The Division 2 has a new PvP Dark Zone experience, but it takes some time to unlock. Below, we detail the process for getting into the Dark Zone and offer a few helpful tips for succeeding in PvP.

How to Unlock the Dark Zone in The Division 2

The short answer is that players must upgrade their Theater settlement to level 3 before you can recruit an officer that gives you access to Dark Zone East. The Theater settlement is added to your map in the campaign's opening hour. To upgrade it, simply do side missions there to gain favor with residents. You can get this done in your first handful of levels without much fuss.

Once you do that, you'll see a mission opportunity at the Theater to recruit Senait Ezera to unlock a Dark Zone Officer.

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Division 2 dark zone recruit
After upgrading your Theater settlement to level 3, you'll have the option to recruit a Dark Zone Officer. Ubisoft/Mexsus @ YouTube

Go to the Theater and do that.

Division 2 dark zone recruit gameplay
Go see the recruit to get your recon mission. Ubisoft/Mexsus @ YouTube

She'll give you access to a Dark Zone Recon mission. Proceed to the marked gate icon on your map to reach the Dark Zone entrance and complete the simple mission to extract a weapon from the hostile area. After that, the Dark Zone East is yours to explore. Repeat the process for Dark Zone South and West.

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Division 2 dark zone recon map
After making your recruit, proceed to the marked doorway on the map. Ubisoft/Mexsus @ YouTube

Dark Zone East is selected as the first Dark Zone since it's reserved for mid and low-level players from levels 10-19. Once you move to the other Dark Zones, though, the gloves essentially come off for good.

Division 2 Dark Zone Tips

If you're just getting started with The Division 2, here are a few helpful tips you should know about the Dark Zone.

  • The Dark Zone is full of awesome gear, but most of it has to be decontaminated before you can use it. Similar to how you extract the weapon in the tutorial mission, you have to do that for most other rewards in the Dark Zone. The Division 2 does add some regular loot to the mix, but there's not a lot of it.
  • In the Dark Zone, all gear is normalized. That means all the leveling you do outside PvP doesn't really matter. Everyone is on equal footing with a few minor exceptions.
  • The exception to the rule is your Dark Zone Level. As you play and succeed in the Dark Zone, you'll tier up every five levels to unlock a new perk. These perks include extra item inventory slots, XP boosts and reduced Rogue cooldowns. The best way to gain levels without playing recklessly is to complete Landmark challenges when they appear. Defeat a high-level boss to earn the reward. Otherwise, Dark Zone XP is largely accumulated by getting kills or going Rogue and surviving.
  • Speaking of going Rogue, it's possible to go Rogue by taking extractions of other players, hacking terminals and opening loot chests. To learn more about going Rogue, be sure to read our guide on the subject.
  • Rogue status is removed after a cooldown, but you can also clear it by entering a special area called Thieves Den. To locate it, players must perform lots of Rogue actions in a short amount of time, which will only accesserbate your situation. It's a huge risk-reward scenario.

With any luck, these tips will make you a Dark Zone warrior in The Division 2.

The Division 2 is available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. For more on The Division 2, check out our enemy type and leveling guides.

What are your thoughts on the Dark Zone so far? What are your best tips for PvP? Tell us in the comments section!

'Division 2' Dark Zone Guide - How to Unlock & Best Tips for PvP | Gaming