Ubisoft's big new game, The Division, is finally out. It's worth getting stuck in as soon as you can because, as with any other MMO, these first few days are when everyone is discovering all of the game's secrets. Keza and I have been playing through the morning and, while we'll have some fuller beginner's tips available later today, we've come across some things you'll want to do before you get stuck into the game proper.
(And, if you're still looking to get a copy, here are the cheapest places in the UK where you can buy The Division on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.)
Find out what your uPlay/Ubisoft Club username and password is
Before you can play The Division you have to link the game to your uPlay account, which unfortunately necessitates actually remembering what those account details are. It will take a lot less time to figure out this info through trial and error in an Internet browser than when you’re wrestling with a controller’s rubbish keyboard input system.
Pick “Pulse” as your first skill
There are only three skills open to you in the opening hour or few of The Division. Pulse allows you to see enemies as red outlines through walls, and scan the surrounding area for hidden hostiles. Sticky Bomb lets you attach, well, sticky bombs to surfaces. Ballistic Shield lets you stride out onto the battlefield with your sidearm and a big riot shield.
Our recommendation is to pick Pulse for your first one. It doesn’t lock any of the others off - but it’s by far the most useful skill for your first few hours of combat, while you’re learning the ropes.
Turn off the “Movement can exit cover” setting
Deep in the settings menu there are some control options that are worth playing around with. You can determine whether you have to press X to exit cover, or whether you can exit with movement. We highly recommend turning off this setting, so that you have to press X to exit cover, because otherwise you can suddenly find yourself standing outside of cover in the middle of a firefight. If you’re aiming down the sights of your gun, it’s not always immediately obvious that you’re out of cover until you start taking mega damage.
Turn off the HUD
Controversial, perhaps, but listen: The Division has one of the most overwhelming HUDs I’ve seen in any game, so clearing the screen of even only a little of it is a good idea. If you go to Settings > Visuals > and select auto-hide HUD then only the necessary bits of your HUD will be on show at any time.
Here’s a comparison shot of the my HUD before and after turning on Auto-Hide:
The main difference is the health and ammo information in the center right, which takes up a fair bit of screen real estate. The other, subtler difference, is the experience bar in the top right.
Those bits of information pop back onto screen if you get into a firefight.
Get through the opening Brooklyn missions as quickly as possible
The Division doesn’t start getting interesting until you reach Manhattan, at which point you can start actually unlocking interesting things, including Perks and Talents, and investigating the game’s systems. There’s no reason to hang around in Brooklyn except to familiarise yourself with the controls, so feel free to breeze through those starting missions. You’re not missing anything.
We’ve got more detailed beginner tips for The Division on the way - check back soon!