In order to get any gear out of the Dark Zone and into your personal stash you’ve got to have it secured and decontaminated. In the game, this means calling a helicopter in to pick up your newly found gear for processing. The problem with this, however, is that whenever you execute an “extraction” (as it’s called) is that you alert every nearby player to your position.
Other players will often come running to your extraction point to attempt to wipe you out before your chopper arrives. Why? Because if they succeed in doing so, they get to snag all the loot you collected while traversing the Dark Zone.
Getting loot out can be tricky. First off you’ve actually got to get something of value (armor, weapons, mods, etc) from either killing AI enemies in the zone or taking down another agent and scavenging their gear. That’s just step one, though.
Next, you have to get to an extraction point. There are several scattered throughout each Dark Zone area. They are labeled on your map in orange. Once you reach one of these areas you’ll be given the option to hold a button to fire up a flare which signals for a helicopter to start coming.
The helicopter takes roughly 1 1/2 minutes to reach your position. This means you’ve got to protect yourself until the chopper arrives. If you’re playing solo, you may want to resort to hiding a bit away from the extraction point and then run in when other players have their back turned to secure your loot to the helicopter.
If you’re playing with a group, it’s a bit easier. Simply set up in strategic positions (preferably behind cover) and hold down the area until the chopper arrives. Help make sure your squad mates are able to reach the extraction point to send off their gear, too.
Once you’ve successfully extracted gear it will become available in your Stash. This is the storage unit located at your Base of Operations. Many players get confused and think the gear will be available in their player inventory. This is not the case. You must head back to your base to collect contaminated gear that successfully extracted from the Dark Zone.
NOTE: There are certain perks that, once unlocked and equipped, will add extra space to your Stash making it possible to collect even more gear while playing in the DZ.