The Division 2 update 8.5 notes – NPC nerfs, Exotics and Talent buffs

There's a hefty new patch on the way to The Division 2 very soon

There’s a brand-new batch of tweaks and tinkerings on the way to The Division 2 very soon, with another title update just around the corner. While developer Ubisoft isn’t quite done finalising the patch just yet, it has released a list of the changes it’s planning to deploy. Read on to see what’s in store for The Division 2 title update 8.5.

First up, balance changes are pretty wide-ranging in the patch, with multiple adjustments to NPCs, such as Warhounds, BTSU support stations, tanks, throwables, Pentagon bosses, and mortars. Many of these are minor nerfs to bring their effectiveness down just a little – for example, the drone helicopter’s health and damage have been reduced, along with boss Brenner’s health, armour, and mortar damage.

There are also some balance changes for skills, with improved assault turret auto-targeting helping it prioritise the right NPCs to target, and some tweaks to up the assault drone’s “firing and pathing” consistency – and stop it from getting stuck. Phew!

There’s also a raft of exotics and talent changes as well as a list of big fixes the studio’s planning to iron out with the coming update. Check out the full list of The Division 2 title update 8.5 notes (via Ubisoft) below.

The Division 2 Title Update 8.5 balance changes


  • BTSU Support Station
    • Reducing tick rate of Support Station healing.
    • Elite Support Stations will only provide overheal once per NPC.
    • Capping the heal amount a NPC can receive from the Support Station.
  • Warhounds
    • Increasing intention icon duration to allow players more time to react to the windup
    • Reducing the 360 spin from Warhound Minigun to 2 spins (down from 3)
    • Increasing windup warning of triple shoot of Warhound Grenadier.
    • Increasing after shoot delay of triple shoot of Warhound Grenadier.
    • Slightly increasing the cooldown of moving shoot of Warhound Grenadier.
  • Tank archetype reaction to Hive / Turret
    • Adding more distance checks so Tanks don’t rush at a hive next to a player.
    • Reducing threat limit so Tanks don’t switch targets too suddenly.
  • Outcast Incendiary / Molotov
    • Reducing duration and tick damage slightly.
    • Developer comment: Grenades were very strong compared to other factions’ grenades and this will bring them closer in line.
  • Pentagon Bosses
    • Reducing Drone Helicopter health and damage.
    • Slightly reduce health and armour for Brenner.
    • Reducing Brenner’s mortar damage.
    • Decreasing armour of John ‘Architect’ Figgs.
  • Mortars
    • Reducing damage of mortars in Coney Island.
    • Increase delay between UI warning and explosion damage of mortars in the Washington National Zoo.
    • Fixing general damage scaling issues with mortars.


  • Assault Turret
    • Improving auto-targeting of Assault Turret to better prioritise NPCs it can shoot, and which are close to it.
  • Assault Drone
  • Improving behaviour to prevent the Drone from becoming stuck.
    Improving the consistency of firing and pathing.
  • Poison Status Effect
    • Reducing tick interval, damage and duration.
    • Developer comment: Event with the damage reduction to enemy NPCs poison continues to be extremely strong, this nerf will alleviate this further.


  • Control Points can now be reset by changing Global Difficulty.
  • Changing Directives will not reset Control Points.


  • Sawyer’s Kneepads – Reworked
    • Cannot be staggered by explosions.
    • Increase total weapon damage by 3% each second you are not moving. Stacks up to 10x and stacks are lost when moving.
    • This exotic only provides defensive attributes and no brand bonus, so now has potential for high damage and makes it appealing to both red and blue builds.
    • Developer comment: The old version didn’t provide enough engaging gameplay; this change should help with that.
  • ​Imperial Dynasty – Buff
    • Reduced cooldown to 35s (down from 40)
    • Developer comment: This buff is to better compensate for the lack of brand bonus.
  • ​Dodge City Gunslinger
    • Reduced charge up time 30s (from 50s)
    • Developer comment: This buff is to better compensate for the lack of brand bonus.
  • ​Diamondback – Reworked
  • Now Grants all shots guaranteed crits for 5s after hitting a mark.
  • Developer comment: The Diamondback is underperforming, and this change should make the bonus a bit more exciting.
  • Merciless/Ruthless – Buff
  • Explosion damage increased to 1200% (up from 900%)
  • Tag Team – Reworked
    • The last enemy you have damaged with a skill is marked.
    • Dealing weapon damage to that enemy consumes the mark to reduce active cooldowns by 6s.
    • Cooldown: 4s
    • Does not consume mark if no skill is on cooldown.
  • Reassigned – Buff
    • Killing an enemy adds 1 round of a random special ammo into your sidearm.
    • Reduced cooldown to 15s (down from 20s).
  • Tamper Proof – Reworked
    • Enemies that walk within 3m of your hive, turret, or remote pulse are shocked.
    • Arm time: 2s.
    • Increased cooldown per skill to 10s (up from 5s).
    • Developer comment: Even though we are adjusting NPCs not rushing towards skills as much this talent gives players the ability to be more lenient when placing their skills to gain the effect, without turning themselves into a grenade.
  • ​Empathic Resolve – Buff
    • Repairing an ally, increases their total weapon and skill damage by 3-15% for 20s (up from 10s). 1-7% if self.
    • Developer comment: Currently it is difficult to keep a high uptime in 4-man content as non-tank players try to be as safe as possible and NPCs have higher lethality, so chip damage is less frequent. This also buff is also meant to make Empathic Resolve able to better compete versus the True Patriot debuffs.
  • ​Creeping Death
    • When you apply a status effect, it is also applied to all enemies within 8m (up from 5m) of your target.
    • Reduced cooldown to 15s (down from 20s).


  • Fixing an issue causing graphic issues and crashes on PC due to corrupted shader cache files.
  • Fixing an issue causing the loss of the “Striker’s Gamble” stacks or not being able to acquire them.
  • Fixing an issue causing agents to be unable to revive team mates.
  • Fixing an issue causing the League UI to completely reset.
  • The League challenges will still reset for week two which will allow players to continue their progress.

That’s all we’ve got for The Division 2 title update 8.5 for now, but we have a Division 2 brand sets and bonuses guide and Division 2 Exotic weapons list which you might find handy next time you head into the multiplayer game’s fray.

It’s not confirmed when the update will arrive just yet, but the developer says: “We are planning to release Title Update 8.5 to deploy further fixes in early April”, so keep your eyes peeled for the changes soon.