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How to build the strongest Character for Dark Zone in Tom Clancy's: The Division [Level 30 Cap]

This build could also be labeled "End-Game Solo & Co-Op Dual Purpose Build Guide (PVE & PVP)", considering I make only slight variations to my Skills when playing with a group versus solo, and Missions versus the DZ. It was inspired by the approach I found myself taking when clearing DZ 1 & 2, but the reason I enjoy it so much is because it is multi-purposed.


Signature Move: Tactical Link - Increases damage and critical hit chance to the user and all nearby allies.

Although my Skills remain the same in group versus solo play, it is worth calling out one group dynamic with this. When attacking a named elite group at various landmarks (particularly in DZ3-6), try to pair this with the security signature move for a powerful duo of high damage mitigation and damage output values. You should be able to clean up the majority of the pack during the 12 second window and simply clean up the scraps thereafter.

First Aid: Booster Shot - Temporarily increases damage for the affected targets in addition to the normal healing effect.

Yet another source of damage boost on this build. Noticing a trend? It's all about the quick clears to keep the 30% damage mitigation up from 'On the Move' at all times.

Pulse - Damage is increased when attacking any hostile targets identified by the pulse scan.

With a good skill power, this boosts can grant a crit hit chance by 31.30% and crit hit damage by 57.50%


Solo Play
  • On the Move - Kill a hostile while moving to reduce incoming damage by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Critical Save - Use a medkit during low health to increase damage resistance by 40% for 10 seconds.
  • Strike Back - Reach low health to reduce active skill cooldowns by 20%
  • Tech Support - Kill a hostile while any skill is deployed to extend any active skill duration by 10%
Rationale: On the move is the focal point of this build. Assuming a certain quality of gear is already in place (relatively high DPS, decent health pool, and respectable damage mitigation), this build focuses killing enemies while on the move. As long as the 'On the Move' damage reduction is activated - which only requires you to kill something once every 10 seconds - that, coupled with the inherent damage mitigation from the armor and various other stats on your gear, should be enough to keep you up under normal volumes of enemy fire. When things get sticky and your health gets low, great! Now you have 20% CDR. Eventually, you may need to pop a medkit, which will grant you an additional 40% damage mitigation. Keep in mind, you will also occasionally be using your First Aid skill, too. The bottom line is this... as long as you're killing at least one enemy every 10 seconds and cycling your First Aid and medkit heals when necessary, you will have enough damage mitigation to not be all that concerned about moderate amounts of incoming fire. If things really get hairy, well then alright, you can take some cover and play a bit more methodical until your 'First Aid' skill is off cooldown.

Group Play
  • One the Move - Kill a hostile while moving to reduce incoming damage by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Critical Save - Use a medkit during low health to increase damage resistance by 40% for 10 seconds.
  • Triage - Heal an ally with a skill to reduce skill cooldowns by 15%
  • Combat Medic - Use a medkit near allies to heal group members and proxies within 20m by 40%
Rationale: Triage and Combat Medic are the two variations in comparison to the solo build. They are fairly self-explanatory, but the bottom line is you are offering some added healing to your team members and effectively replacing the solo ability, 'Strike Back', with a more effective solution for your group. Now, instead of 'Strike Back' only offering CDR when your health is low (which, in all honesty, doesn't happen that often), your CDR is triggered any time you hit a teammate with 'First Aid' OR you simply use a medkit. Medkits are a dime a dozen in the DZ, since you can replenish them at any safe house.

High-level Stats
  • DPS - 173,513
  • Firearms - 2437
  • Health - 66,291
  • Stamina - 2126
  • Skill Power - 24,942
  • Electronics - 1899
Gear Talents
  • Armor: Reckless - Increase damage by 13% and increase incoming damage by 10%
  • Operator Mask: Rehabilitated - Heals 2% every second during Status Effects
  • Pads: Perceptive - Item find and Credit find bonuses are increased by 25%
  • Pack: Specialized - Adds 13% of Firearms and Stamina to Skill Power
  • Gloves: Savage - Critical hit chance is increased by 13% against targets out of cover
  • Holster: Health regeneration kicks in twice as fast while in cover

Weapon Base Stats and Talents

Weapon Talents
  • Steady - Killing a target with a headshot removes 100% sway from the weapon for 7 seconds
  • Brutal - Headshot damage is increased by 24% when using this weapon
  • Toxic - Headshots with this weapon have a 13% chance to apply the Blind Status Effect
  • Prepared - Damage is increased by 13% when more than 40 meters from the target
Weapon Mods
  • Magazine
  • 90% Magazine Size
  • 13% Weapon Damage
  • Scope
  • 17% Accuracy
  • 18% Headshot Damage
  • Muzzle
  • 33.50% Stability
  • 20.50% Accuracy
  • Underbarrel
  • 19.50% Accuracy
  • 35.50% Stability

Weapon Talents
  • Fierce - Critical hit chance is increased by 8% when using this weapon
  • Sustained - Killing a target increases your health by 6%
  • Accurate - Accuracy is increased by 46%
Weapon Mods
  • Magazine
  • 85.5% Magazine Size
  • 24.4% Rate of Fire
  • Scope
  • 6.50% Critical Hit Chance
  • 17% Headshot Damage
  • Muzzle
  • 34% Critical Hit Damage
  • 21.50% Reduced Threat
  • Underbarrel
  • 33% Hip Fire Accuracy
  • 20% Accuracy
Final Thoughts

Here are a couple items worth noting that aren't called out elsewhere within the guide:

Tip: When focusing on itemization, take particular note of item level 31 versus item level 30. It makes a big difference when you itemize with i31 gear across the board.

The build is primarily centered around using the SMG. The Marksman rifle is used as backup, and you can replace it with an LMG or assault rifle. If you do have a good item level 31 assault rifle, then that will be the staple second weapon for Dark Zone and Tenebrae will maintain it's spot for Challenging missions.

With this build, my scavenging is at 179%. Try to keep your scavenging as high as possible. You do this by getting the 25% talent on the pads, rolling a minor attribute on your pads and mask to scavenging, and for an extra boost, using gear mods with scavenging. This build was previously 197% scavenging, until I dropped to mods in favor of % increase signature skill resource on kill.

You can consider adding mods to your gear that contain % signature skill increase. Especially when running solo in the DZ, simply adding a couple of these mods will virtually guarantee that you will have your signature move available during every named elite encounter. That's pretty huge, because without it, you're looking at only having it available for every other encounter at best. You can also run two mods for a total of 6%.

Be sure to hit your Firearms, Stamina, and Electronics marks to unlock your talents. This is a big DPS boost that isn't always realized in your overall DPS calculation (which we know to already be inflated by stats that don't directly impact damage output). The basic threshold for most High-end items is 1889. Hit that for all three! The higher threshold is 2362. You won't be able to hit that for all three, so pick your poison and prioritize it. Mine is Firearms. Ideally, you can exchange a bit of your Stamina out for more Firearms to drop the stamina closer to 1889, but if you're not interested in re-rolling gear until you have a larger phoenix credit pool, then you can stick with what you have.

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Credits: Special thanks to Angrywaterfowl for this comprehensive guide.