Whether you’re a returning The Division player or you’re totally new to the Clancyverse, putting together your first The Division 2 build is a daunting prospect. There have been heaps of changes to the RPG systems of the first game with more stat rolls, mod choices, skills, and The Division 2 endgame features to improve build diversity.
That’s where we come in, to walk you through every facet of your character build, from stat rolls and talents to weapon mods and perks – there is a lot to factor in when it comes to making your Division Agent as powerful as possible. To make matters more complicated, there are also endgame build options to take into account such as Exotics, The Division 2 Gear sets, and Specializations.
To accompany this we’ll also include a couple of simple example character builds to help you get your theorycrafting cap on. Hopefully, by the end of this guide you’ll have no problem figuring out what items in your inventory to ditch, what to keep in the stash, and what kind of niche you want to carve out for your operative.
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The Division 2 skills are Q and E abilities that give you an edge in combat through deployable gadgets like turrets, drones, and mines. There are eight skills platforms in The Division 2:
- Chem Launcher
- Seeker Mine
You’ll need Skill Unlock points to unlock new skills, and then SHD Tech points to unlock skill variants, which alter the way skills work, for example turning a machine gun turret into a sniper turret. There are between three to five skill variants for each of the eight platforms, offering plenty of choice between your two skill slots.
To give you an example of how much skill variants can change each skill, you can either have a drone that repairs armour over time, deflects bullets, inflicts continuous damage, spots hostile, or goes on bombing runs.
The skills and variants you pick should inform the core of your build, so if you want to provide your team with support you will want to pick Q and E abilities that either heal or protect your teammates, while turrets and chem launchers would suit a crowd control build.
Finally, like with weapons you can also get mods for your skills, which will amplify their effectiveness is small but sometimes significant ways. These are all tied to a specific skill variant though, so can be the most difficult modifiers to grind for.
The Division 2 perks are long term bonuses to your character that are more helpful for specialising your combat style, but can also offer more general advantages. You’ll start off with basic perks like being able to carry two weapons and improving your inventory space, before branching out into more specific buffs, such as bonus crafting materials, XP bonuses, and – best of all – unlockable weapon attachments. You’ll unlock Perks as you progress through the main campaign, but you should have most if not all by the time you hit endgame, so these likely won’t factor into any The Division 2 build you’re making.
Weapons are pretty complicated in The Division 2. At the most basic level you’ll want to always be assessing a weapons general feel, its damage per shot, RPM, and magazine size when choosing the right gun, but there are a lot more details you’ll need to take into account when it comes to maximising the effectiveness of each weapon.
weapon types and bonuses
We’ll start with weapon types and their bonuses:
- Marksman rifle – headshot damage multiplier
- Assault rifles – health damage multiplier
- Submachine guns – critical hit chance multiplier
- Light machine guns – damage to target out of cover multiplier
- Shotguns – melee damage multiplier
This can be very important when constructing a build like a one-shot build or critical hit build, where you’ll want to use a sniper rifle for its headshot damage multiplier or an SMG to boost your critical hit chances a little. Of course picking the guns that feel right for you is important, those weapon type bonuses are an easy way of boosting your stats.
As you progress through the game you’ll start finding higher rarity loot such as specialised, superior, and high-end loot, which come with weapon talents. There are a lot of different possible weapon talents you can get for your gun in The Division 2, but for the most part these are bonus stats with no drawback. There are also multiple tiers of weapon talents, ranging from normal to superior. The higher the rarity of the weapon you’ve looted, the more weapon talents it will come equipped with. On high-end weapons there are three talent slots: active talents, handling talents, and holstered talents.
These can be relatively insignificant when it comes to crafting The Division 2 builds, for example weapon talents like Cannon, which increases your throwing distance, just isn’t the kind of stat you can hinge a playing style on. However, other talents can be very helpful for builds, like Ignited, which deals additional damage against burning enemies, making it a great pairing for skills like the Chem Launcher and flamethrower turret.
One last thing to bear in mind: some weapon talents have requirements that meant they are inactive until your build meets the demands. These requirements are pretty simple to meet, for example your build needs to consist of five or more damage-based stat rolls.
While weapon talents offer straight bonuses to your gear, weapon mods introduce a trade-off. These mods are things like optics, muzzle brakes, magazines, and rail attachments and allow you to refine your character build further. Here are some examples of The Division 2 weapon mods:
- Handstop – +10% reload speed, -10% stability
- Laser Pointer – + 15% critical hit chance, -10% stability
- 552 Holo Sight – +10% accuracy, -20% optimal range
- VX1 Scope (12x) – +30% headshot damage, -10% reload speed
- Heavy Firing Spring – +15% rate of fire, -20% stability
- High Velocity Magazine – +20% critical hit chance, -8% weapon damage
- Osprey 45 Suppressor – +20% critical hit chance, -10% rate of fire
As you can see, by adding a couple of key attachments to a weapon you’re able to dramatically improve its performance in some areas. Taking the example of a sniper build, you can equip the VX1 Scope (12x) on a marksman rifle to achieve a massive bonus to headshot damage. Likewise, if you’re chasing a critical hit build then equipping your SMG with the right rail, muzzle, and magazine attachment will have those golden damage numbers appearing with gleeful regularity.
You can acquire mods through completing side missions and by unlocking them as perks, and unlike in the first game they won’t appear in the general loot pool. Once you have the blueprint for a mod you can craft it using materials then apply it to any weapon you want – you don’t need to grind for multiple mods.
You have six gear slots in The Division 2: mask, backpack, vest, gloves, holster, and kneepads. Each piece has an armour stat that contributes to you overall character armour rating. As with weapons, you can also get gear talents, although it seems like you can only roll one per gear piece. These talents work just weapon talents and cover buffs like weapon damage, skill haste, damage to elites, and many more.
The Division 2 is adding more build options to the early game in the form of gear brand sets. If you stack multiple gear pieces from the same brand then you’ll unlock gear brand bonuses that can stack to a maximum of three pieces. Brand sets are a much more flexible version of gear sets, allowing you to mix and match brands to specialise your The Division 2 build. For example, you can have six gear pieces from different brands, two full brand sets, or any other mixture.
For example, if you mix gear from the Solokov Concern and Wyvern Wear brands you’ll have a lethal critical hit buff of +20% critical hit chance, +15% critical hit damage, +10% SMG damage, and +5% headshot damage. Pair that with the SMG’s innate critical hit chance multiplier and the right weapon talents and you’ve got the basis of a critical hit build.
On top of this you can also get gear sets, which are six-piece sets designed for highly specific endgame builds. Only one has been revealed so far, the True Patriot gear set. You’ll need all six pieces to get the most out of this set, but when you do you’ll be much, much more effective against tanks and elites thanks to the three stages of debuff you can apply to enemies when using this set.
One tool that will make perfecting your character build much easier as you approach endgame is The Division 2 recalibration bench. This crafting table lets you shift gear mods and talents from weapon to weapon so that you don’t have to constantly farm guns to get the mod you want. Instead, you can use the recalibration bench to lift a desired mod from one weapon and place it on another. This process will destroy the weapon with the desired mod, but ensure almost all of your loot is valuable as you never know what mods you’ll need later on.
We can’t go into specifics for The Division 2 builds in endgame, but there are a few additional features to bear in mind. First off, you’ll need to pick a Specialization to, er, specialise in. These are important in a number of ways as they grant you a signature weapon and unlock additional skill mods, grenade types, and other weapon and general modifiers that apply to your whole character build. We have the full The Division 2 Specialization trees for you to read through for more information.
Below you’ll find two very basic The Division 2 builds we constructed during the game’s open beta with a short summary of how they work. These won’t go over every possible part of the build, but instead are intended to show you some ways you can stack various modifiers together. We’ve also made both of these builds for relatively low level characters, so don’t expect reams and reams of talents and mods.
The Division 2 sniper build
- Skill 1: Sniper turret
- Skill 2: Riot Foam Chem Launcher
- Weapon 1: Classic M44 Carbine, or any high damage marksman rifle
- Preferable mods and talents: MK 5 Scope (15x),VX1 Scope (12x), High
- Velocity Magazine, Small Laser Pointer, Flash Hider
- Weapon 2: Military L86 LSW, or any LMG
- Preferable mods and talents: 552 Holo Sight, Low Reflex Sight, Heavy Firing Spring, Handstop, Compensator, Breadbasket
- Brand sets: 1 Douglas & Harding, 3 Wyvern Wear, 2 Airaldi Holdings
This The Division 2 sniper build is all about dealing massive damage at launch range and supporting your squad from afar. Your Sniper turret will help dink enemies from range while the Riot Foam Chem Launcher is great for stopping tanks and elites in their tracks so you can work on breaking their armour and landing shots on weak points.
Any high damage marksman rifle will suffice so long as you can fit it with a high-magnification scope to grant you some additional headshot damage. You’ll want a secondary weapon that you can pull out in a pinch in order to stall an enemy push – we like the L86 LSW thanks to its accuracy and fast reload. If you can get an LMG with the Breadbasket perk you can stack a maximum of +50% headshot damage for 10 seconds by hitting body shots, so provided you time it right you can then pull out your sniper and land a devastating headshot. Alternatively, get this talent on a semi-automatic marksman rifle and it’s even easier.
For the brands, you can get +15% headshot damage, +15% critical hit chance, +7% critical hit damage, and +5% MMR damage with the above setup, which will leave enemies in tatters.
The Division 2 close-quarters build
- Skill 1: Defender drone
- Skill 2: Incinerator Turret
- Weapon 1: Double Barrel Shotgun, or any high damage shotgun
- Preferable mods and talents: Low Reflex Sight, Handstop, Ignited, Salvage, Unhinged
- Weapon 2: PP-19 or MP7
- Preferable mods and talents: Low Reflex Sight, High Velocity Magazine, Laser Pointer, Osprey 45 Suppressor, Ignited, Killer
- Brand sets: 3 Wyvern Wear, 3 Solokov Concern
This close-quarters The Division 2 build works best when you’re leading the line and always within a few metres of enemies. A good squad with some healing supports helps you survive tricky situations, and you can return the favour with ridiculous damage-dealing capabilities from your SMG and shotgun combo. Your Defender Drone will help you move between cover without getting torn apart, or even rush tough enemies, while the Incinerator Turret is superb at crowd control in tight spaces.
The Double Barrel Shotgun will deal extremely high damage provided you can land both hits – and with a few weapon talents the damage is increased exponentially. Meanwhile, your SMG stacks neatly with your brand sets by granting you incredibly high critical hit chances, allowing you to swiftly eliminate any foe who tries to push you out of cover. The Ignited, Salvage, or Unhinged talents will all provide hefty boosts to your double barrel shotguns instant-kill potential, too, so invest some time in hunting these down. Attachments that buff the critical hit chance, damage, or accuracy and stability of your SMG are also helpful for this build.
There you have it, our very thorough beginner’s guide to crafting builds in The Division 2. The examples above are only intended to give you a jumping off point – the best way to get good at making builds is to experiment with them.