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Though the full release is still six weeks out, The Division's pre-order beta is currently in full swing on PC, PS4, and Xbox One and will continue to run through the weekend--which should give you more than enough time to complete the single story campaign mission, as well as aggro some randos in the PvP-focused Dark Zone. If you want to stay alive and grab some high-level loot while you're burning through the beta, be sure to abide by these crucial tips.
First, never enter the Dark Zone alone. Form a squad, and if you don't have a squad, start using that proximity chat to make some friends and keep tabs on players who might be out to kill you and steal your loot. Once you reach level eight, you can match-make for the Dark Zone, so be sure to try that as well. With a team by your side, you're able to watch each others' backs, tactically position to cover multiple points, and help each other with heals, revives, and so forth. Plus, you can become a nice meat shield for your teammates if you happen to go rogue. Can you go it alone? Sure, but it will definitely be more difficult.
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Learn the Lay of the Land
Get to know the map, terrain, and key locations. Fight enemy AI in landmark areas to get contaminated drops to extract. AI bosses in these areas usually drop semi-rare blue gear. Find concealed or defensible positions to post up at near extraction zones so you can avoid being surrounded by AI enemies and incoming agents after you fire off a signal flare. Remember to use the pulse skill to check for surrounding threats. If you feel it's not safe to try to extract your precious cargo, there's no shame in running away while you wait for a better opportunity.
Restock your ammunition and medical kits every single chance you get. Remember, you can always find resupply crates at checkpoints and safehouses, where you can also check out what the Dark Zone vendors are selling. You'll find plenty of lower-level options, but if you can hold off and save up for the high-end weapons, your patience will likely be rewarded. Rarer weapons offer more perks than your normal guns and are generally more powerful than anything you can loot from an enemy. On that note...
Don't Loot Just to Loot
Be selective about the loot you pick up because you can only hold up to six contaminated Dark Zone items at a time. If you happen to gather too many items, you can deconstruct any gear you don't want in order to make space for better items. Try to collect as many blues as you can before extracting. Also, make sure to visit the HQ from time to time after extractions so that your stash box of "decontaminated" Dark Zone gear doesn't get full. If it fills up, you won't be able to extract any items out of the Dark Zone.
Be Smart About Going Rogue
If you ever decide to go rogue (i.e. attack a non-aggressive human player), make it count. The Agents you want to target are the ones with yellow satchels on their lower backs, which signify loot. You're also going to want to make sure you have space to take the loot they have, otherwise you'll end up in an awkward situation where you want to pick up the items but are forced to run away before other Agents swarm in to avenge their comrade.
When you do go rogue, one of the best strategies is to simply run away until the timer expires. The moment you fire at an Agent, your timer resets, so beware. Going rogue can be worth it--especially if you can manage to stay alive until the timer runs out--because it'll net you a substantial amount of experience and cash. However, if you die, it will cost you around 300 Dark Zone dollars and a good chunk of experience. Which brings us to...
Always be on the hunt. You should always hunt rogue Agents because killing them yields a lot of Dark Zone experience and money. They might have some sweet loot you can acquire too. When hunting rogue Agents, try to corner them before actually shooting. If you can't kill them in a few shots, it's probably not worth slowing down to shoot since you both sprint at exactly the same speed and they'll eventually outrun you. Continue to chase them until they stop and try to pin them down until other Agents can come to provide back up. All in all, the best tip is to not trust anyone unless they're actually in your squad.
Hopefully these tips help you, and if we missed any, be sure to add your own in the comments below.