The Division 1.8 update rolls out tomorrow, free weekend to follow

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Ubisoft said last week that the 1.8 update to The Division would be out sometime this week. Now it's this week, and Ubisoft says that it will in fact be out tomorrow (opens in new tab), and that a free weekend will kick off a couple of days later. 

The 1.8 update is the biggest free update to The Division yet, with two new modes—a 4v4 Team Deathmatch mode called Skirmish, and a PvE Horde mode called Resistance—a new PvE map expansion called West Side Piers, Rogue 2.0 in the Dark Zone, a new movement system, and more. The full patch notes (opens in new tab) provide a detailed breakdown of what's in store, or you can crash-course your way through it with this video.

To mark the release of the update, The Division Community Team will be holding a 24-hour launch stream on Twitch, beginning at 3:30 am PT/6:30 am ET on December 5 and running until the same time on December 6. Everyone who watches at least 20 minutes of the stream, and has linked their Uplay and Twitch accounts, will automatically unlock three skins: Fire Brigade for the Cleaners, Unit 08 for the Last Man Battalion, and Benjamins for Rikers. Details on linking your account can be had here (opens in new tab).

Two days after the update goes live, a free weekend (opens in new tab) will get underway, giving everyone access to the full game on all platforms. The free-for-all window will open at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on December 7, and close at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET on December 10. That will also apparently be a fine time to buy it: It hasn't happened yet but The Division will apparently be on sale for up to 70 percent off during the freebie. So don't buy it now!   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.