The Division - How to Loot the Dark Zone

The Division - How to Loot the Dark Zone

Get the loot back to your personal stash in this guide to the Dark Zone in The Division.

This The Division guide will explain how players can extract loot from the Dark Zone in The Division. This includes tips to avoid being killed by Rogues, how to choose the best extraction area, and how to call in the helicopter. Keep in mind, you only get to keep the loot you successfully extract.

The idea behind loot that you collect in the Dark Zone is that it’s contaminated. When you kill an AI enemy they will often drop some items. If you pick this loot up, you’ll notice a roll on your agent’s back that indicates they are carrying either weapons, gear, mods or cosmetic items. Other agents can see this roll, so you are far more likely to be killed by a player when you’re carrying loot versus when you are not. Typically, this roll will hold six pieces of Dark Zone loot, but upgrading the Medical Wing of or your Base of Operations with the Decontamination Unit (200 Supplies) will expand this to seven.

Want more help with The Division? We’ve got you covered with USgamer’s The Division Walkthrough and Guide.

If you don't know your way around the Dark Zone, set way points to find the extraction areas.

How to Look the Dark Zone in The Division

In a nutshell, you enter the Dark Zone in The Division and kill AI as you travel the streets. When they drop loot, you pick it up and it’s added to your roll. When the roll is full, you must extract (or deconstruct) that loot before you can get more. It’s there that we’ll get into the nitty gritty of extracting loot from the Dark Zone.

Extraction Areas

When it’s time to extract your loot, bring up the in-game map and look for the closest extraction. They are shaded in on your map in orange, and even have an icon of an arrow pointing up. Set a waypoint if you don’t know how to get there, and then start traveling in that direction.

While you’re on the move, be on the lookout for Rogue agents, indicated on your HUD by players with red skull icons. If you see them, they have recently killed other players, and that area should be avoided. You could kill them, of course, but doing so is a big risk when you’re carrying loot. Sometimes going to an extraction area off the beaten path is the best option.

Call in Extraction

The loot roll on your back is a dead giveaway that you're carrying items. Proceed with caution.

When you arrive at the extraction area there will be a zone on the ground that is marked as a helicopter landing spot. You must approach it and press the button indicated on-screen to call for an extraction. You don’t have to be in the zone, just close to it. Try and find an area that provides you with a little cover. This will prevent you from taking sniper shots from a distance, or having to wander into the open to attach your loot when the extraction arrives.

From the time that you call for the helicopter you must wait 90 seconds for its arrival. During that time, other players in the area will know an extraction is taking place. These are the tensest moments you will face in the Dark Zone. Find yourself some cover, and if you have the Pulse, try activating it just before the helicopter arrives to see if any potential Rogues are hiding out and waiting for you to move into the open.

Attaching Loot

When the helicopter lowers the rope, approach it and attach your loot to send it to your stash.

Let’s assume for a moment that nothing goes wrong. The helicopter arrives and there isn’t a soul, AI or human, to be seen in any direction. Wait for the rope to drop from the helicopter, approach your loot, and then press the button indicated on-screen to attach your loot. When that’s done, and the roll has been removed from your back and transferred to the rope, the loot is now safe. You can access it from any Stash that you find at any one of the PvE Safe Houses, including your Base of Operations.

Surviving Rogues

Find cover while waiting for the extraction. This location wasn't the best choice we made all day.

Things often don’t go that smoothly, however. The most popular place for agents to go Rogue is at an active extraction area. They will wait for you to try and attach your loot, killing you and snagging it from your dead body. Then they will pick it up off the ground and extract it themselves. You’re at more of a risk for this type thing if you’re alone, so how can you avoid it?

First, do as we mentioned and try to find a quiet extraction. Don’t go to the one that has crazy gun battles kicking off all around it. If you still find agents at your quiet extraction area, check to see if they have any contaminated loot rolls on their back. If they do, they are likely just trying to do the same thing as you. If they have no loot, why are they at the extraction? They gain nothing from being there, unless of course they kill you and steal your loot. If you’re a good judge of character, trying talking to them in-game to see if they are giving off any sketchy vibes, but they’re likely up to no good.

You have some options here. You could leave and look for another extraction zone if you’re facing a squad of more than one player. If you think you can take your potential foe, you could fire first, going Rogue just before the helicopter arrives and then safely extracting your loot. Or, you could just risk it, trying to attach your loot even though that gut feeling is telling you something isn’t right. We don’t suggest the third option, since that gut feeling is on point more often than not.

Rinse and Repeat

If you’ve just sent six items to your Stash, you can now repeat the process four more times. Your stash can hold up to 30 items, which works out to five extractions will a full roll of six. If you can carry the seven items in your roll because of the Decontamination Unit, well you can still do five extractions, but the last one will only allow you to extract two items. When your Stash is full, exit the Dark Zone via one of the checkpoints, and then fast-travel to a Safe House. Grab your items from the Stash, and then break them down for materials, sell them, or add them to your active inventory. Once the Stash is empty, you can head back into the Dark Zone and continue the grind.

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