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Everything we know about The Division 2

The Division 2 picks up from The Division 1's viral apocalypse, moving ahead to summertime in a new city: Washington, DC. The Division 2 will see new skills, weapons, enemies, and—for the first time—raids. We've studied the footage, played it for ourselves, and bugged Ubisoft with every question we could think of. 

Here's everything we know so far about The Division 2. 

What's The Division 2 release date?

The Division 2's release date is March 15, 2019. Ubisoft first announced The Division 2 in March of 2018 at E3. It will release on Uplay and the Epic Store.

The Division 2 is getting an open beta in March

It was accidentally revealed on an official stream that The Division 2 will have an open beta—and now it's been confirmed for March 1. We're not sure what content it'll include yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, a private beta for The Division 2 took place from February 7 to February 10. Those who preordered the game were able to participate, but others had a chance to get in by registering here to sign up for the Division 2 beta.

The beta included two early game main missions, five side missions, open world activities in the eastern section of the map, and allowed players to reach level 7. There was also a Dark Zone and organized PvP available.

On February 8, endgame content became available. Players were given access to level 30 characters and get to try out the game's three signature weapons: the crossbow, sniper rifle, and grenade launcher, and undertake one endgame mission.

Is The Division 2 on Steam?

Nope. Ubisoft and Epic have partnered and The Division 2 will not be on Steam, at least for now.  "We have no plans currently on releasing Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on Steam," a Ubisoft representative said. You can purchase it on Ubisoft's storefront and the Epic Games Store, and potentially on other digitial outlets to be announced later. But not on Steam.

What are The Division 2's system requirements?

Ubisoft released four different sets of hardware specs, from minimum to 'elite', which you can see right here to get some idea of how the game will run on your machine. The Division 2 will support 4K resolutions, uncapped framerates, and multi-monitor displays: the short video above lays out its PC-specific features.

The Division 2 endgame adds a new faction

Reach level 30 in The Division 2, and a new faction called the Black Tusk will arrive in the game. They'll begin appearing in the open world, and missions and activities will be rejigged to feature this new faction. What's novel about them is how high-tech they are—they bring robot dogs into battle. 

Otherwise, the endgame will work a lot like the first game: gear score and world tiers.

There will be three Dark Zones

The Division 2 is seeing some changes to the Dark Zone, the PvP area from the original game. Firstly, there are now three different Dark Zones to visit: East, West, and South. Each Dark Zone can host up to 12 players, and this time around the Dark Zones will sometimes drop clean loot, which means you'll be able to equip it immediately instead of having to airlifted out (and thus avoid the risk of having it stolen by another player).

There are varying levels of mischief you can get up to in the Dark Zones, from the simple act of stealing from a locked crate to attacking other players, which nets you a status of disavowed. Being disavowed marks you with a red icon that other players can see. Kill enough players, and you'll earn a bounty that invites other players to track you down and claim it.

Dark Zones will offer up a bit more protection this time, with turrets near the doors to protect players from being ambushed the moment they step inside. As you approach the endgame of The Division 2, you'll encounter Occupied Dark Zones, where friendly fire is always on and there won't be rogue markers on other players to let you know if they're bad or good.

Show me more The Division 2 trailers!

There are a bunch. Let's start with the most useful one: six minutes of gameplay footage featuring lots of cover combat and some extremely realistic team bants. 

Why is any of this happening though? Answer: someone poisoned money with smallpox and devastated the US. An oppressive bunch of militants have seized the capital and The Division is leading the resistance. If you'd like to see that explained in the medium of video, this is the video for you.

And finally, how about a cinematic to establish a relentlessly bleak tone of The Division 2's post apocalypse. Rotting animals. Street executions. Want to pay 60-ish bucks to spend a hundred hours here?

Want one more? Here's a relatively short story trailers that arrived with the beta announcement.

Where is The Division 2 set?

In the ruins of Washington, D.C., seven months after the bio attack that kicked off the events of the first game. That means it's set in the summer this time, rather than snowy Manhattan, and the world will be 20 percent larger than The Division 1. Instead of being surrounded by tall buildings, The Division 2 throws you into larger areas that feel much more like an open world. 

The first game was set in the midst of a social collapse triggered by poisoned money, The Division 2 is set in a city trying to rebuild and recover. It's still pretty broken up, however, and plants and wildlife are reclaiming abandoned sectors.

What else is new in The Division 2?

It's still a third-person cover shooter with leveling and loot, as the gameplay trailer does a good job of showing. There are new weapon archetypes, however, including specialized crossbows, grenade launchers, and sniper rifles. By the time you've completed the campaign and reached level 30 you can start collecting these so-called 'signature weapons' as part of high-level 'specializations'. Enemies have access to new weapons and gadgets too, including a foam gun that freezes a player in place until another player can shoot them loose.

In the middle of battle you can also call in NPC reinforcements. You can help out survivor settlements and call mobs of those survivors into battle in return. It's hard to know how effective they are from our hands-on time so far, but they at least give your enemies something else to aim at.

The trailer also reveals four new gadgets. The seeker mine locks onto the closest enemy, scoots along the floor towards them, and then explodes. The assault drone can be controlled remotely and can, according to The official Division site, "unleash a special brand of hell on unwitting enemies," whatever that means. Does that mean it shoots them? It probably shoots them. 

Meanwhile the chem launcher can splash enemies with explosive gas, acid, healing nano bots, and more. Finally we saw the wasp hive, which launches a bunch of tiny drones that target an enemy. It seems to be good at shattering boss armour in the trailer.

The Division 2 will also feature 8-player raids, which implies there will be more to do in the sequel's endgame—a problem that The Division 1 and indeed all living shooters seem to face.

For more info, read our hands-on impressions from E3 2018.

Tell me more about The Division 2's specializations

These are an important part of The Division 2's endgame. Once you hit level 30 you can activate one of three specializations, which unlocks that specialization's signature weapon and new skills. The three specializations are:

Survivalist: This specialization lets you use crossbows. You can also "control your surroundings using traps and status effects."

Demolitionist: You get a grenade launcher, which you can use to blow enemies out of entrenched positions

Sharpshooter: This gives you access to sniper rifles which, well, you know what sniper rifles do.

You develop your specialization in endgame co-op missions that will apparently offer "some of the greatest challenges the Division has faced yet." There will also be PvP, though this hasn't been detailed yet.

Here's how The Division 2's clans work

You'll be able to form and manage clans in-game in The Division 2. Clans can include up to 50 accounts—there'll be membership ranks, clan projects, progression and experience points, so it's a pretty in-depth system. You'll also have two voice channels specific to your clan, each of which can contain up to 25 players, and be able to leave messages for other players. You'll unlock clans early on in The Division 2's campaign.

You'll also be able to seek out the clan that's the best fit for what you're looking for: whether it's by region, language, PvP or PvE focus, time of day they're the most active, or how hardcore they are. Sounds nice and flexible. You can also determine whether your clan is open, private or invite only. Together, you'll work towards weekly rewards that scale by bronze, silver and gold—all players get the rewards if you hit the targets in question.

The four ranks in a clan are Commander, Lieutenant, Agent and Recruit, with decreasing levels of control over the clan depending on your rank. Your clan's hangout space will be the east wing of the White House, which, hey, isn't an old craft beer bar downtown or anything, but ain't bad.

What about post-launch DLC?

While you had to pay for The Division 1's first year of DLC, in The Division 2 three 'Episodes' of post-launch updates will be released every three months, and they will be free to all players. 

Season pass owners will get a week of early access to each episode, as well as some additional missions. Find all the details on The Division 2's post launch roadmap here.

Will The Division 2 have a battle royale mode?

The Division 2 will not have a battle royale mode, according to Ubisoft's associate creative director Chadi El Zibaoui. It may be the only game to not have a battle royale mode in 2019.