There are some very basic rules to follow if you want to have a decent experience in the Dark Zone.

  1. Play with a team
    1. Don’t have a team? Try to find one (seriously the Dark Zone is balanced around team play not solo play). Here are some options (link to LFG page)
    2. If you insist on playing solo then just avoid other players and find uncommon areas to farm enemies. Build for survival because you will be attacked many times.

  2. Know the “Meta Build”, know why it’s good, and learn how to counter it
    1. Pulse (Tactical Scanner)
      1. Countered by: Pulse (Scrambler) or Smart Cover (Concealment). Remove a large percentage of their team’s damage while boosting your own team’s damage.
    2. Shock turrets
      1. Countered by: Flashbang, shooting them, Support Station (Immunizer), and rolling away from them.
    3. Tanky/healing teams
      1. Countered by: Incendiary ammo, communicating and team firing at the same target, shock turret to hold them still for headshots, ignoring them and running away.

  3. Use consumables and grenades
    1. Simple. Effective. Easy to forget.
    2. Incendiary ammo prevents your target from healing and forces them to use a Medkit.
    3. Explosive ammo counts as headshot damage
    4. EMP grenades prevent them from using Survivor Link

  4. Have a plan for rogues
    1. Are you running or fighting? Reacting instantly to rogues as a team can be deadly for them and failing to react as a team can be deadly for you. If you expect a fight then you should call which target to focus fire before it breaks out.
    2. If you notice a team stalking you, discuss which direction you plan to run if things go badly. The person at the front of the pack when running should drop their heal so that allies can run through it. This allows people in the back of the pack to save their heal for emergencies since the rogues will be targeting them first.

  5. Know the limits of your team
    1. There will always be players who are better than you are. Choose your battles carefully. Seeking revenge can be thrilling but also demoralizing and inefficient for your team.
    2. Choose your farming/extraction locations carefully
      1. High traffic areas are more dangerous but may also yield more loot and experience.

  6. Learn how to “last hit” your enemies
    1. If you want the credits and DZ funds you need to be the first one there to beat down your enemy while they are crawling. Being there first also ensures you get the items they drop.

  7. Learn the map
    1. You want to find routes to run that keep object between you and your enemies so they can’t shoot you.
    2. Going on top of buildings makes players hesitate to go up the rope until they have a small group for support. Going underground can make you harder to track and may cause them to get lost or confused about which path you took.
    3. Learn the best routes that are used to farm gear/xp. Enemies should be respawning as you circle back around but if they are left alive too long then someone else will kill them first.

  8. Understand combat mechanics
    1. Combat roll – spamming this makes you very difficult to shoot, use when your heal is on cooldown and roll back and forth through your green mist.
    2. Heal delay – you know it’s a thing, plan accordingly. Don’t use it as an excuse because your enemies experience this too. Use your heal when you drop to half health to avoid issues.
    3. Hip fire – easier to use with lower sensitivity. This makes you hard to hit since your movement speed remains fast
    4. ADS – easier to shoot, but also much easier for your enemies to shoot you. Use offensively when you are not under fire.
    5. Line of Sight – put objects between you and your enemies (cars, poles, barricades, walls, etc.)
    6. Cooldowns – play around them. Be aggressive when your heal is available and play defensive when it’s on cooldown.

  9. Don’t trust anyone
    1. The Dark Zone is built around the excitement or thrill that you may be betrayed by fellow agents at any moment. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security by “friendly” agents.
    2. When a group of agents shows up at an extraction you should check to see if they have loot bags. If they don’t then prepare for a fight or make your exit.
    3. Look at the chat log when rogue agents die. Remember the names so you recognize them when they respawn.
    4. If you are farming the same area as another agent you should send them an invite to avoid accidentally shooting them and turning rogue. Most agents will understand this even if you go separate ways afterwards.


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