Society has all but collapsed in The Division, but that doesn’t mean your agent’s wallet should suffer a similar fate. As you shape your character through crucial missions and exploring Manhattan’s car-strewn streets, you’ll pocket plenty of credits, the currency of choice for a post-green-paper culture.
Credits form a necessary component of keeping your supplies stocked and your equipment fresh. Though vendors in the first few zones modestly price their wares as an easing-in for the recently Divided, weapon and armor costs quickly soar by the time you swing uptown—it’s not uncommon for basic-quality guns to ring out well into the tens of thousands. Higher tiers of quality run a small fortune. If that isn’t enough of a sink, you’ll throw piles of credits into your Base of Operations’ Recalibration Station, a Tech wing tool that re-rolls a selected stat or bonus on a piece of gear. If you want a perfectly optimized loadout, the Recalibration Station is your best friend.
In other words, you’ll need credits. Here’s some useful tips to rake in the most dough during your journeys and where to best spend your haul.
One of the most substantial boosts to your cash flow occurs soon after you step foot into Manhattan. After establishing your Base of Operations and the Medical wing, devote some resources to unlocking the counseling upgrade. At the expense of filling the ward with a bunch of bellyachers, you’ll benefit from a passive and permanent 10 percent increase to your credit gain. As the Medical wing is the easiest section of the base to get up and running, making a beeline for counseling is an excellent early move for fattening income. Having access to the amazingly powerful Critical Save talent—which amplifies damage resistance when using a medkit at low health—is an added boon.
Scrounge and scrap
Resist the temptation to offload the shotguns, pistols, and other acquired ordnance dangling from your backpack at the nearest vendor. While fine for a quick cash injection, spamming the sell key isn’t using long-term smarts to prepare for the end-game gear grind. Pack away unused green-quality or higher items for later deconstruction into valuable crafting materials for taking advantage of the blueprint collection you’ll gradually build as you level up. Don’t completely neglect selling off unwanted loot; instead, mark useless gray-tier items as junk (V by default in the inventory screen) to save time by batch-selling at a vendor. In this manner, you’ll doubly benefit from maintaining a steady pile of crafting reagents while simultaneously clearing inventory space and expanding your coffers during downtime at the safehouse.
The Division loves throwing big, friendly numbers on your stats screen as a mathematical reminder of how much death you deal per bullet. It’s easy to fall under the sway of trying to inch up those numbers by constantly shelling out for better pieces of gear, but what you’re wearing and wielding can last well past their item level. Central to this idea are weapon mods: grips, scopes, barrel attachments, and magazine augmentations that can transform a pitiful pop-gun into a destructive force. Prop up the longevity of your guns by modding them as much as you can, but mod them right; a marksman rifle excels with a high-magnification scope but won’t really benefit from, say, a hipfire-boosting laser sight. When you do eventually swap to a new shooty-stick, remember to strip the mods from the retired gun (X by default in the modding screen) and transfer them over. Avoid visiting the mods vendor, as mods are a common and bountiful drop from most foes.
It almost goes without saying, but during combat, go for the noggin. The steep headshot multiplier drops enemies in seconds with steady aim. Pick up a good sniper or assault rifle, slap some mods on it, and hit the NYC pavement knowing you’re bringing the pain on a thrifty budget.
The main Division missions offer both fantastic set-piece storytelling and a significant credit payout on completion. You can replay any tech, security, or medical mission for extra experience, gear, and cash—nothing out of the ordinary from scavenging around the city proper, but scoring extra efficiency points is the ability to fast travel to each mission start point at any time.
You’ll want to lean on missions favoring a solo run; the first medical mission, Madison Field Hospital, is a good choice for a quick pace and manageable rioter enemies with a nicely expansive rooftop boss battle. Keep away from missions involving the flamethrower-toting Cleaner faction, as it’s a time-consuming pain to manage their breathy berserk charges and typically close-quarters mission areas. For the best returns, switch to hard mode—baddies scale to your level and deal heavy damage, but you’ll stand to walk away with at least an extra grand (and far more quality loot) if you survive.
Darker deeds, greater gains
The sinister red stain of the Dark Zone beckons to you every time you look at your map. Venturing into that concrete jungle can be an especially lucrative decision as enemies and chests found within the area bestow more prime loot and higher cash drops including both regular credits and Dark Zone credits (which you can spend on vendors in the Zone) found from NPCs and off slain players. The Dark Zone’s perma-PvP brings the risk factor right up alongside the enhanced rewards; do you dare test your luck exploring just one more side-alley before retreating to safety?
Gear picked up in the Zone needs extraction before use, a nail-biting two-minute holdout that sirens all nearby players to converge for a hostile takeover. If you’re keen, bring a skill build with sturdy heals and debilitating effects for the best odds of survival. If the worst happens, you’ll drop any accumulated Dark Zone gear and a portion of your Dark Zone bankroll—though your regular credits will remain safe—so your efforts certainly won’t lack in thrilling tension. Some players have started helpful route maps for the Zone’s lower brackets for optimal credit and gear farming. Keep wary of your surroundings, leave your trust in the safehouse, and you’ll survive the Zone a far richer agent.
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Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?