The Division - How to Survive the Dark Zone

The Division - How to Survive the Dark Zone

Find and extract loot from the Dark Zone in this The Division Guide.

This The Division guide will show you everything you need to know about how to survive the Dark Zone in The Division, including how to avoid going Rogue, as well as the best way to extract all that loot that you’re carrying around.

After cleaning out all of the PvE events in The Division, we decided that the only thing left to do was head into the Dark Zone and see what life was like on the other side of the wall. To our surprise, players were generally more friendly than we expected, although there is an intensity that you just don’t get when you’re facing off against the AI. Several hours later, having gathered up some good loot and extracted it, we wanted to pass along our tips to help you make it out in one piece.

For more information on the Division, check out The Division - Walkthrough and Guide.

Dark Zone Etiquette in The Division

Although the Dark Zone does have a PvP element, it’s not really beneficial to just go in there trying to kill every other player you see. Each time you kill another player, you are given a Rogue status, marking you and anyone in your squad on the map for other players to come and kill. Going Rogue is quite often going to mean you end up dying, so you really want to pick and choose when you decide to end the life of one of your fellow players.

In fact, we’ve found that very few players actually engage you there, and they almost never attack unless you are carrying some loot on your back. It’s just not worth it. You see, when you die in the Dark Zone the only things you stand to lose are Dark Zone XP, Dark Zone Credits, and any loot that you’ve grabbed while in the Dark Zone. You won’t lose the gear you came in with, meaning that players only get what’s in your Dark Zone loot bag hanging off of your back.

When it is beneficial to go Rogue and kill another player is just before they are ready to extract the loot they’re carrying. Ambush them, killing them just before the helicopter arrives. They will almost certainly head back to your location to get revenge, but by then you’ve stolen their goods and sent them back to your Stash at the Base of Operations. Even if they do get revenge after you’ve extracted your (formerly their) loot, you have nothing for them to steal, and they’ll just end up going Rogue for their troubles (assuming you aren’t still Rogue from killing them).

It's also beneficial to kill other players who have gone Rogue. They are marked on your HUD, appearing through walls and on the opposite sides of buildings. The best part about killing a Rogue is that you won’t go Rogue yourself, and you’ll be able to claim some extra Dark Zone XP and Dark Zone Credits for your trouble. You’ll even get to snag any loot that they’ve dropped. Just remember, they are likely heading back to get revenge.

Dark Zone Loot in The Division

Once you call the helicopter to extract loot, grab some cover and wait for its arrival.

Loot in the Dark Zone is generally earned the same way that it is outside in the PvE environment - by killing NPCs and collecting the things that they drop.

When you first get into the Dark Zone, start looking for large clusters of NPCs, especially ones that have rioters with actual names. These tend to be the ones that will drop the best loot, which in the beta will typically be blue in color. We’re sure better loot will drop when the final release comes out and some of the more difficult areas are unlocked, but for now blue is considered decent stuff.

After you have fully stocked your character up with six pieces of Dark Zone loot, consult your map and set a waypoint for one of the extraction zones. Try to go somewhere quiet, as this is the number one place that you are likely to be killed by other players, and we can’t blame them.

When the extraction is complete, your loot will be waiting for you back at the Base of Operations in your personal Stash.

Dark Zone Keys in The Division

If you plan to visit the Dark Zone, bring some trustworthy friends to watch your back.

If you open up your inventory and browse to the Pouches tab, you’ll see a listing for Dark Zone keys. These are earned by completing tasks in the Dark Zone, and they are used to open up various chests that you can find scattered about. Not a lot is known about this just yet, and we’ll most certainly be focusing on it as we get more information, but you should be checking these chests whenever you see one on your travels. They are working in the beta, and you can score some pretty good loot out of them. Just keep in mind that you still have to extract whatever find in the chests.

Dark Zone Safe House in The Division

While in the Dark Zone you may come across a Safe House. If you enter this location you’ll find a place that you can let your guard down, as well as restock up on all your supplies. There’s even going to be a random vendor in there, allowing you to purchase some pretty cool gear that is sure to be better than the stuff you’ll find at the Base of Operations. Just like other vendors in the game, this stock will refresh every so often, meaning it is beneficial for you to constantly visit the Safe House to check.

Dark Zone Checkpoints in The Division

Dark Zone checkpoints are the locations that transition from the PvE to the PvP environment. You enter from the PvE side, and can then stock up and visit yet another vendor. When ready, you exit the other side of the checkpoint and find yourself in the PvP area. Just be sure to stop by all the checkpoints that you get close to, as the vendors are different from one another, and again, their stock will refresh every so often.

When you are ready to leave the Dark Zone, you’ll go through a checkpoint and exit into the PvE zone on the other side. Just be sure that you extract any loot that you have on your person (indicated by the bag you’re carrying below your backpack), since this cannot be carried out. If you try to pass through one of the checkpoints with Dark Zone loot, you’ll just lose it. It must be extracted and then pulled from your personal Stash back at the Base of Operations.

That should do it for now. The Dark Zone is an intense place, but if you learn the ropes you should find that you get a lot of great loot from your time there. You’ll get killed by other players, but follow our tips and you’ll come out ahead when you’re ready to call it a day.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Related articles

Tetris Effect: Connected's Co-op Has a Self-Revival Trick Everyone Needs to Learn

We're never gonna protect this trippy Tetris realm if you don't!

How to Make Your Money in Yakuza: Like a Dragon's Business Mode

Go from rags to riches with some proper management.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Is the First Thing You Should Buy on Your New Xbox Series X

We break down the reasons why Xbox Game Pass is an essential pickup now that the Xbox Series X is here.

Temtem: Saipark Safari This Week (17th August - 23th August)

We show you where to find the new Temtem Reserve, and how to catch rare and Luma Temtem there.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.