There’s no wrong way to build your character in The Division, but some ways are better than others—at least in the early game. One of the ways you can customize your character is through perks— passive bonuses that confer a variety of advantages to your character.
There are perks you can and should pick up the earliest chance you get in order to maximize how quickly you gain credits, experience, and resources. You’ll also want to grab a few of the perks that allow you to make the most out of your forays into mission areas. Having these early on can make a big difference in how fast and efficiently you level up.
Getting new perks in The Division isn’t like any other RPG. You unlock perks by building new additions to the three wings in your base: Medical, Security and Tech. Each of these wings requires its own specific resource, which you can get by completing missions and optional encounters. There are over ten perks for each wing and you won’t have to choose which perks to equip—but you can choose which ones to get first.
Perk: Experienced Agent
Prerequisite: Complete the first Security mission
You should complete the first Security mission before undertaking any other mission in order to make the most of this perk. Unlocking this perk will provide you with a 10 percent increase to all experience gain. Just be sure to return to the base to speak with the NPC to open your Security wing.
Prerequisite: Medical Wing Upgrade – Counseling
Grabbing this perk early will allow you to be at least 10 percent richer than any player who chooses to grab it later—because that’s exactly how much more percentage of credits you’ll be getting.
Prerequisite: Tech Wing Upgrade – Control Room
With this perk, you’ll never have to worry about running out of inventory space early on. You’ll be able to store more items and make fewer trips to the vendor.
Perk: Intel Discovery
Prerequisite: Security Wing Upgrade – Canine Unit
This perk will make hunting down every piece of intel a breeze. With this perk, you won’t have to hunt them down by exploring every nook and cranny of the map. The perk shows you all the undiscovered intel on the map close to any completed side-mission.
Prerequisite: Medical Wing Upgrade – Pediatric Care, Intensive Care
Upgrading parts of your Medical wing will allow you to carry more Medkits. These will be guaranteed to save your life and the lives of your comrades, especially in tougher boss battles.
Perk: Incendiary Bullets and Special Ammo
Prerequisite: Security Wing Upgrade – Guard Posts
You’ll get both these two perks for building the Guard Posts upgrade. Incendiary Bullets raises the effect duration of the special ammo type by 10 seconds, while the Special Ammo perk provides you with incendiary and explosive bullets to pick up at the Supply Line once every hour. They’re best saved for tougher battles.
Perk: Dark Zone Funds
Prerequisite: Tech Wing Upgrade – Recharge Center
This upgrade will increase the amount of Dark Zone currency you get by 10 percent. If you’re considering spending a lot of time in the Dark Zone, this is one perk you can’t do without.
Perk: Hazardous Materials
Prerequisite: Tech Wing Upgrade – Communications, Medical Wing Upgrade – Decontamination Unit, Security Wing Upgrade – Dark Zone Ops
For each prerequisite, having this perk will provide you to carry one additional item (up to three) in the Dark Zone for decontamination and salvage.