While The Division does offer a good bit of PvE content in the form of missions and world exploration, the Dark Zone is where you’ll find the rarest and most powerful weapons, mods, and gear in the game. This may end up changing once endgame raids and expansions are added but, for now, the DZ is the place to be for high-end items.
The Division Dark Zone Loot
There are three primary ways players can get loot while playing in the Dark Zone – opening chests, taking down enemy NPCs, and killing other Agents to steal whatever loot they may have collected while in the area. Each presents its own pros and cons. Below, we discuss each method more in detail.
Chests are probably one of the simplest ways to collect loot. Well, kind of. There are loads of chests scattered throughout the DZ, but they vary quite a bit. Some are easily accessible and don’t require anything to open. These are often filled with supplies, crafting materials, and other rather common items. They do still provide a chance at dropping high-tier loot, but the chances are quite low.
The next chest type is one that requires you to be at a specific Dark Zone rank to open it. Most of these don’t require super high levels (mostly DZ rank 10-20), but they do typically have a bit better loot in them than non-ranked boxes. You’ll find gear (backpacks, gloves, etc) as well as weapons (assault rifles, smgs, pistols, etc) in these of varying rarity.
Next up there are the chests that are most commonly found in contaminated areas. These often require a Dark Zone rank of 30. As you would expect, they also tend to have even better drops in them than the lower-level ones. You’ll typically find a lot more blues (rares) and occasionally a purple (epic) in these.
Finally, you have the chests that require the use of Dark Zone keys to unlock them. These chests tend to be the most valuable and give you the best chance of getting high-end weapons and gear. They also typically give you a healthy helping of credits, supplies, and materials.
NOTE: All chests within the Dark Zone are on timers.
The next method of farming loot is to simply go around and kill all of the enemy NPCs you can find. It’s best to to try and find higher-level enemies, though, as they usually offer a better chance at getting good drops. So, in other words, go around looking for the guys with yellow and purple bars above them or – better yet – named enemies.
Nearly every enemy you kill will drop some sort of loot whether it be weapons, armor, blueprints, or something else. Keep in mind, though, that the drops are all on RNG (random number generators) so you’ll have to grind and grind and grind to get something awesome.
It could happen on your first kill – it may not happen until you’ve taken down 200+ enemies. That’s the hell, erm… beauty… of RNG.
Another great way to get loot is to go around and harass your fellow agents. The best opportunity to do this is usually when they’ve called in an extraction, because they typically means they’ve gathered some valuable items that they really want to get out of the Dark Zone.
Don’t be afraid to engage agents on the open streets if you believe you’ve got the advantage, too, though. In many cases it’s better to catch opponents off-guard than try to take them on during an extraction. When a player performs an extraction they expect other agents to come storm the area and attempt to take their goodies. In other words – they’re prepared to fight.
If you start popping rounds into their back while they’re running through the streets of New York, though, they may not be as prepared for the fight. The downside is, however, that you won’t know until they’re dead if they have anything good or anything at all for that matter.
It’s really only smart to do this with a proper squad, too. If you decide to go after an agent by yourself, they may have friends nearby that can come rush to their aid. You especially need the assistance of allies if you’re taking on another squad so that you can receive healing and additional firepower support.
Taking down other agents is a great way of getting good gear, Dark Zone keys, and more.
For more tips and tricks for surviving in the DZ, check this out.
Once you’ve hit the level cap in the main game and are at level 50 in terms of Dark Zone rank, you’ll find that the DZ changes up a bit. At this point, you’ll be focusing on earning Phoenix Credits, which can be used at various merchants throughout the zone to purchase high-end armor, weapons, mods, and more.
These vendors sell great stuff, but you’ve got to have a pile of credits on hand, be a level 30 agent, and have DZ rank 50 to use the items they put up for sale.