No longer in the shadows of Bungie’s widely successful shooter-RPG Destiny, The Division 2 was released by Massive 3 weeks ago as a glaring improvement over the first one. As with all shooter-RPG hybrids, being done with the story is only the first step—it is in the endgame where life in The Division 2 really begins and the bulk of your time is spent on.
As avid enthusiasts of these looter-shooters here at PlayerAuctions, we can’t help but be compelled to give you a be-all, end-all guide with The Division 2 Tips and Tricks to supercharge your way through the post-pandemic city of Washington D.C.
What perks should I first get?
The Division 2 came with a massively improved perk system and what you unlock first boils down to your style of gameplay—but before you burn through your SHD Tech (this is a currency used to unlock perks and skills/gadgets), you may want to invest in 3 specific branches of your perks and for each, we will explain why.
1. The XP Accolade
There are 5 levels to this perk, and each level of the perk grants you additional XP for doing basically what you would be doing for hours in the game—killing enemies. The accolades give bonus XP for executing headshots, multiple kills at once, shooting weak points, tactically killing enemies with environmental objects, and just plain surviving. Your level will eventually max out in the game, but the amount of SHD Tech you earn doesn’t cap, so you’re better off having this perk maxed out early on so you’ll reap the benefits all the time doing endgame content.
2. The Deconstruction
There are 2 levels to this perk, and the reason we recommend this is because you’ll be running across a LOT of unused guns and mods. Dismantling these yields materials necessary for crafting the best guns and mods in the game—what this perk does is improve your chances of getting a rare material. As with the XP Accolade, having this for an extended period will significantly boost your material farming.
3. The Crafting Materials
There are 2 levels to this perk; while we feel like you could do without this as long as you already have the 2 above, the Crafting Materials perk goes perfectly with the Deconstruction perk because it allows you to carry more materials than you normally would by default. This also means you won’t waste any random material drops when going on a run—any that you leave along the way won’t give you a pang of regret for not having this perk.
What is this smart reloading thing I keep hearing about? How do I do it?
Now we get to the part where the men are separated from the boys.
We all know that reloading is an integral process in these looter-shooter types of games. The sooner you down an HP sponge of an enemy with a full clip, the sooner your squad can move on to the next encounter. Reloading, however, presents one noticeable effect in the heat of battle: downtime.
2 Reload Suggestions
Instead of reloading like a scrub while your teammates are taking all the punishment, we recommend two ways to reload like a seasoned agent.
1. Switch Covers While Reloading
By far, the easier of the two to pull off. While in cover, press the reload button, then while your agent is reloading, highlight a piece of cover on your crosshair, then move to that cover by holding the change/enter cover button. Your agent will then run to that cover WHILE performing the reload during the cover transition.
2. Dodge Roll While Performing a Reload
The dodge roll is a simple and brilliant move because it gives you a few seconds of invincibility. What makes this even better is that you can perform a dodge roll while doing a reload, but there’s a trick—you need to push the reload button, then once the reload meter is around 2/3s full (you can see this meter on the right side of your crosshair), do a dodge roll. If you timed it correctly, the reload animation will be cancelled, and your character will get up from the roll with a full clip. The caveat is that if you miss the timing, the reloading process gets cancelled completely. It takes some practice but once you get it, the trick will contribute to your DPS in many ways.
Is it worth opening all the Hydden Hotels? Will I get something at the end?
Yes and yes. If you’ve played The Division 1, hidden rooms should be familiar to you. In The Division 2, they upped the ante by having each hidden room (named “Hydden Hotels”) contain a guaranteed high-end chest. Not only do you get items for each Hydden Hotel discovered, you will also unlock one final Hydden Hotel in the Washington Monument area.Hydden Hotels are marked by the presence of a nearby balloon with a letter “H” on it. Seeing one lets you know that a Hydden Hotel shouldn’t be too far from where you’re standing. We’ve listed down all the hotel locations to save you time trying to find these balloons all over Washington D.C. If you haven’t decked out your agent properly by the time you reach the endgame, opening the hotels should provide you a substantial amount of equipment to be able to gear up.
Hydden Hotels are marked by the presence of a nearby balloon with aletter “H” on it. Seeing one lets you know that a Hydden Hotel shouldn’t be too far from where you’re standing. We’ve listed down all the hotel locations to save you time trying to find these balloons all over Washington D.C. If you haven’t decked out your agent properly by the time you reach the endgame, opening the hotels should provide you a substantial amount of equipment to be able to gear up.
7 Hydden Hotel Locations
Don’t forget: All of these Hydden Hotel locations have a nearby switch that you should push in order to unlock the final location in the Washington Monument area.
1. West Potomac Park
It’s located between Ohio Dr NW and Lincoln Memorial Cir NW. You should be looking for a tree house in the middle of some foliage. There will be two boxes here; one below the tree house, and another inside the tree house.
2. West Potomac Park: 23rd St NW and Henry Bacon Dr SW
Still in West Potomac Park and not very far from the first hidden spot is the second Hydden Hotel, Adjacent to a single-story building is a wall you can climb on by stepping on some conveniently stacked boxes near it.
3. Ellipse Area: White House
It’s located in the White House area in the center of the map. Look for “The Ellipse” area on the map, and it should be a bit to the lower right in a smaller area called the McMilicamp.
4. Ellipse Area: Constitution Ave NW
Still in The Ellipse area, look for the area to the lower left, outside of the circular Ellipse area and on top of Constitution Ave NW. You should be looking for several beige shipping containers, and inside it is the hotel—you can access it by climbing on top of an open container or through another on the ground that is open as well.
5. Ellipse Area: Constitution Ave NW (South)
Directly south from the location above, then just a bit to the west is the fifth Hydden Hotel (you should see a Control Point a bit to the left—move your cursor a bit to the right, and it should be the spot). Unlike the earlier one with 2 entrances, this one is only accessible after climbing a dark gray shipping container and above it is a white container that you need to go through and drop from.
6. Metro Ruins Area
It’s in the Metro Ruins area and you need to have completed the Control Point activity here. Check the subway and in one of the trains is the hotel.
7. Washington Monument Area
The final and seventh Hydden Hotel is in the Washington Monument area. Like the last one, you need to have completed the Control Point here—doing that also allows you to fast travel to this location. You need to go all the way down the elevator shaft, and in one of the rooms, there should be a ladder that you can climb on. You will notice 6 lights on the wall—these represent all the switches that you pushed for every Hydden Hotel and having them all allows you to press the switch nearby. Once you push the switch, go down the ladder and on the opposite wall, there should be a passageway with a red “EXIT” sign on top of it. Go inside and not too far from the opening is the last box with a cryptic message on the wall. The item you get from this box will be the best among all Hydden Hotels—hope you get lucky!
What are Hunter Masks and Ivory Keys? How do I get them?
As with all good RPG games, on top of powerful gear that you collect to deck out your character, there are specific collectibles that are merely in the game to provide bragging rights. In The Division 2, these items come in the form of 12 Hunter Masks—these coveted items do not provide any stats, and you wear them to let other agents know that you’ve beaten the elite hunter who holds that mask.
Mysteriously tied to these Masks and elite Hunters are Ivory Keys—you need a total of 8 keys which will open a secret box in your Base of Operations (on the first hallway, go to your right—it should be there). You may have come across mysterious murals and graffiti across Washington D.C., and hidden within these are codes which you need to convert to English using a cipher. Thankfully, through the combined efforts of the Ubisoft, Reddit, and other gaming communities, the codes have been fully discovered and they all point to a specific process of summoning or “unlocking” these Hunters.
(We recommend doing this after you’ve gone through all the Hydden Hotels to make sure you have ample gear against the Hunters.)
Now that you’re aware of the connection of the two, let’s get down to the requirements:
- It’s almost a requirement that you’re at level 30; these elite Hunters are set at level 35 so naturally, they will tear through your defenses like a knife through warm butter. When taking them on, it would be best to do so in a squad of 4, with all members at level 30 for an optimal chance of taking them down. It’s possible to solo them but it’s going to be insanely difficult.
- You can trigger the first appearance of Hunters by initiating the Agent Edwards Support side mission located a bit to the east of the Demolition Site control point. You don’t need a squad for this YET as this is only an introductory quest to the Hunters. Just go along with the mission and marker—we won’t spoil anything but trust us when we say that you’re in for a treat. We think it’s one of the most awesome side quests in the game.
- When going to the specific location where the Hunters spawn, make sure you’ve cleared the area of any activities, missions, or enemies. They won’t appear if there’s any unfinished activity left.
- Only 8 of the 12 Hunters drop Ivory Keys and you need to follow the process below as closely as possible. Deviating from that, even for a little bit, will cause them to not drop the Ivory Key, and you would need to defeat that Hunter again on another agent/player’s instance.
- In that regard, Hunters can only be defeated once and will no longer respawn. Except for the Demon Hunter, all Hunters only appear at night (7:00PM to 5:00AM in-game time).
- If you’re doing the spawn requirements for the Hunters, only one of you is required to perform the actions; preferably, the host of the party/squad should be the one to do the steps
12 Hunter Masks and Where to Get Them
1. Demon Mask
- This is the only Hunter that you may encounter during the day, and most probably the easiest to get to since you will remember him from the Agent Edwards Support side mission
- Head back to the building in the Demolition Site control point, enter the same way you did as before, going down a set of stairs and being in the open area
- Look up a bit in this open area and you should see 4 cascading buildings, each with noticeable windows that have 4 targets on them
- Prep up and shoot the 4 targets in any order to spawn the Demon Hunter. Defeat him to bag home you first mask: the Demon Mask
2. Crimson Mask
- Head to the building a little south of the District Union Arena stronghold located in the Downtown East area; Get inside of the area and look south to find a computer
- Interact with this computer, then face the opposite side—north, go past the clearing to enter another building; Inside of it is another computer that you should interact with again
- The Hunter will spawn in the clearing you just went through. Take him down for the Crimson Mask
- Go to the east side of the map, at the area of Capitol Hall; You will be looking for a small, square pool where you should stand
- Look for a light illuminating a wall—shoot at that light, then get off the pool
- Perform the salute emote in front of the memorial wall. The Wraith Hunter appears in the same area for your chance to take home his mask
4. Ghoul Mask
- Your destination this time is to the southwest corner of the map, at the area of Lincoln Memorial; A bit to the north is a sewer entrance
- Enter the entrance and go along until you find a laptop that you need to activate
- Activating it will highlight a spot on your map that you need to go to. You will be looking for a scaffolding with a light bulb hanging on it; shoot on the light bulb
- The Ghoul Hunter appears in the same area; Take him down for his mask
5. & 6. Midas and Revenant Mask
- If you were able to solo the Hunter bosses thus far, you probably deserve a pat on the back—congrats! From here on, though, the hunts will become a little more difficult and you may want to bring along a buddy (or two, or three) to make things easier
- First order of business, point your map to the west area; you will need to go back to the Potomac Event Center where a mission took place (it’s imperative that you’re already done with that mission)
- Look for a pool, stand there, and perform the Jumping Jacks emote to summon the two hunters. Bring them down to score two masks in one go
7. – 10. Cross, Death, Diamond, and Phantom Mask
- You may need to mentally prepare for this if you thought 2 Hunters at the same time is insane. This is, hands down, the hardest encounter amongst the Hunters—you’ll be taking on 4 at once and you may have to kite them one by one to be sure you don’t get overwhelmed by all 4
- The party is going to be at the East Mall located near the ViewPoint Museum warp point
- You need to look for a Christmas tree, and to the west of it is a building. Enter this building and look for a lever that you need to activate
- Go back to the Christmas tree and run around it in circles until the 4 Hunters appear
11. & 12. Ghost and Specter
- This can be extremely frustrating due to the technical nature of this encounter. You will need to do several steps to make them appear, and the nature of killing them doesn’t necessarily involve brute or raw power. Instead, it requires finesse and timing. All this means is that if you fail in one of the steps, you will have to start over and wait for night time to try again
- First off, head to the Washington Monument; you must have already taken over the place so do it now if you haven’t yet
- Get down to the supply room in this area. There is a TV with a blue button beneath it; Approach and activate it
- The TV will show 3 separate areas that you need to go to
- Each spot is a grave where you must do a Salute emote in front of; If you’ve done it right, the game’s UI will become distorted temporarily
- You need to go back to the TV in the supply room and hit the same blue button again. It will show you a Division logo if you’ve done everything correctly so far. Congrats—this is a checkpoint. From here on you’ll be facing the 2 Hunters and if you fail, you need to hit the button again to make them appear (there won’t be any need to go through the earlier steps again)
- The two Hunters will appear in specific locations around the monument and will not directly engage you. If they spot you, they will instantly go away so be extra careful when getting near them
- Ghost Hunter – he appears above a shipping container to the northwest of the monument. He instantly disappears if you shoot at him without killing him, so what you need to do is to headshot snipe him with a high enough damage to bring him down
- Specter Hunter – he appears loitering around rooftops in the north and northeast area of the monument. The best way to find him is to use the UI distortion that happens as a cue that he is nearby. Once engaged, you will have a few seconds before he jumps off the rooftop, so be prepared to do an all-out burst fire on him
The Ghost Hunter now correctly drops the 8th Ivory Key; this was previously unattainable due to a bug. Congrats in advance! Head back to the Base of Operations to open up the Ivory Key cache.
From here on, you should be properly decked to take on the Dark Zone and maybe most of the endgame content, including the upcoming raid. The Division 2 rewards players with a constantly scaling loot system to make sure everything you do adds up. We hope this guide helps you not only in strengthening your gear set but also in making sure you are able to enjoy some of the game’s best endgame content.
Thanks for checking out our piece on The Division 2 Tips and Tricks!