Some of the bonuses of levelling up in The Division include access to more powerful weapons and armour as well as unlocking new slots for your perks and skills which allow you to tailor your character to your playstyle. You are also allowed to create up to four characters in The Division so if you still want to experience the game at a slower pace further down the line, you can do so by creating a new character or alternatively you can create an entirely new one just to level up as quickly as possible to reach the end-game and obtain the rarest and most powerful loot in the game.
Tip 1) Collect and Interact with Everything
Thankfully in The Division nearly everything you do rewards you with the XP required to level up, therefore it’s crucial that you interact with everything in sight, whether that be finding loot, helping civilians in need, collecting echos or discovering the fate of the first wave of Division agents, all of which reward you with vital XP. There are also a number of other different collectibles to keep an eye out for, which both earn XP and increase the game’s immersion and atmosphere by revealing the full extent of the the gruesome and horrific events that have unfolded following the outbreak of the virus that devastated the city.
However, as discovering the various pieces of intel, survival guides and phones scattered throughout New York can be time consuming, to level up quickly we advise that you focus on upgrading your Security Wing at your Base of Operations to include the Canine Unit. Once this unit is activated, it handily reveals the positions of intel on the map as you travel throughout the city, saving you the need to blindly wander around hoping you simply stumble onto them.
Tip 2) Upgrade your Base of Operations
Your Base of Operations serves as your main hub in The Division and, to get the most out of it, you need to unlock and then upgrade its three different wings; Security, Medical and Tech. These wings are unlocked by completing the game’s story missions, which should also give you enough XP to go up a few levels at least, especially if you follow Tip 1 and interact with everything you see while you do them in order to maximise XP.
However, after securing your Base of Operations and rescuing Dr. Kandel from the Madison Field Hospital, unlocking the Security Wing should be your priority as it allows you to unlock the Situation Room which, in turn grants you 10% extra XP. Unlocking this wing first will therefore allow you to earn 10% more XP when completing the story missions for the Medical and Technology wings, a boost that will quickly add to up a significant difference. Once the three wings have been unlocked, your next objective should be unlocking the Barracks. This requires 1,000 security supplies, so ensure that you complete all encounters and side missions which reward you with security supplies, as well as tackling some security story missions, a strategy that should ensure you reach the 1,000 total as quickly as possible. Once the Barracks are unlocked, you’ll be rewarded with a perk granting you extra XP every time you complete different actions such as performing headshots and killing enemies quickly. As you’ll be doing lots of killing, you might as well be maximising the XP earned from each kill.
After unlocking the Situation Room and Barracks for the Security Wing, focus on upgrading the Medical wing, mainly the Pharmacy, Hazmat Unit and Virus Lab. All of these increase the level of your Protective Measure, allowing you to explore more contaminated areas, allowing you to find better loot and therefore gain more XP. Focusing on loot is therefore a great way to speed up your levelling.
Tip 3) Explore
New York is filled with places to explore so if you journey around the city and follow Tip 1, you’ll earn plenty of XP. Moreover, discovering districts is a great way to get a big chunk of XP, so this is great tactic to use when you’re starting out with a fresh character and you need less XP to reach each level. As soon as you arrive in Manhattan, there are several nearby districts begging to be explored, so head to each, interact with everything you find and you’ll have made a great start on your levelling quest.
You can see every district when you open up your map so it’s easy to see where you have to go. However, if you’re worried about entering a district with harder enemies due to your low level, you can simply cross the boundary, receive your XP and then walk straight back out and continue doing whatever you were doing before.
Finally, avoid fast travel, while it may seem like a quick and convenient way to travel to and from locations, every time you use it, you’re missing out on lots of opportunities to gain extra XP. So, instead of fast travelling, try to walk or run to as many locations as possible, a tactic that also makes the game more immersive and keeps you rooted in the game world.
Tip 4) Complete Every Story Mission, Encounter and Side-Mission in Sight!
It may seem obvious, but by far the best way to level up quickly in The Division is completing missions and encounters. Of the two, story missions grant you the most XP but often require you to reach a certain level before you can attempt them, while encounters are quick and easy and reward you with some XP as well as supplies to upgrade your Base of Operations. These supplies can also be earned through side-missions that give you the added bonus of blueprints. As it’s pretty much impossible to gun straight for all the story missions, it’s crucial that you don’t ignore all the side missions and encounters presented to you.
As well as completing all the side-missions and encounters that occur organically, make sure to head for the safe house in each district you unlock. Not only will reaching them unlock fast travel to each one, speaking to the JTF officer in each one will give you a host of new encounters and side-missions to earn yet more XP.
Finally, one of the best ways to earn XP and level up is to team up with a group of players and attempt story missions on the hardest difficulty. Simply search for other players before starting a mission, and then raise the difficulty on the menu screen. As this makes the story missions a lot more difficult, they’ll take longer to complete, but the XP boost should make it worthwhile. Moreover, it’s a great feeling to team up with other players to achieve a common goal, as it can sometimes feel like a lonely world in The Division.