The Division Agent Training 101: Tank Build

The Division is finally here and millions of agents are diving into New York City in an attempt to save society from total collapse. Yesterday we brought you brave agents a build guide for Sniping but today we’re bringing you a build for those who wish to soak up as much damage as possible as a role which is commonly referred to as the ‘Tank’. This is a build that will work perfectly whether you wish to take on a group of enemies in the PvE area of the game or if you find yourself up against another group in the Dark Zone. Either way, with this Tank build you should be able to soak up that damage and laugh at your enemies as they hopelessly spray their bullets into you.


Agents are going to have access to 2 skill slots and an important thing to remember is that you can change them whenever or wherever you want, even during combat. Further distinctions between skills are obtained through skill modifications, which can be assigned to the skill they belong to. For the purpose of this build, here are the 2 skills I would recommend:

Ballistic Shield

This one is really a no-brainer for those who want to fit in to the ‘Tank’ role within The Division as it’s your primary skill for deflecting and soaking up those bullets that come your way. As a ‘Tank’ you can be safe in knowing that your Ballistic Shield will always be there (unless it’s own cooldown) to stop you from taking damage yourself. The user can only use their sidearm while the shield is active so you won’t be putting out massive damage if you’re playing solo but if you’re playing with a group, you’ll end up being the distraction and drawing aggro while your team dishes out that damage. As a solo member, you’ll be best off waiting for your enemy to reload before switching the ballistic shield for your chosen primary and dish out some damage yourself. For this build, we’ll also be using the modification Kinetic Breaker which will convert a small portion of incoming damage as healing for your agent, just making your character even tankier.

Support Station

There’s a bit more flexibility in the choice of the second skill but personally I would suggest rocking the ‘Support Station’ skill available via the Medical wing. This skill drops a support station that heals allies and can be used to revive downed allies. In a group, unless you have a dedicated healer, this is a must-have skill for a Tank to be able to employ to keep the team in the fight. Even solo, a Tank can use this skill to mitigate some incoming damage. Furthermore, enhancing this skill with the Ammo Cache mod allows you to regen ammo and a faster skill recharge which synergizes very well with the Ballistic Shield skill as you’ll be waiting less time for your shield to cooldown, meaning you can be even more effective in your role. 


Talents provide a unique combat enhancement triggered through defined activities in The Division. While 4 talents can be equipped simultaneously, every talent “affects” something. Talents are going to be there to make all Agents stronger but the right combination and the knowledge of tactically using the right mixture of talents is going to be what separates the ‘good’ agents from the ‘great’ agents. For this Tank build, I would suggest the following 4 Talents:

Strike Back

The ‘Strike Back’ talent gives your agent the benefit of a reduced active skill cooldowns by 20% when you reach low health. As a Tank, you can expect to be taking a lot of damage and if you bite off more than you can chew, this talent might just be the difference between life and death. It could be the difference between your ballistic shield or support station cooling down just in time or not quick enough. For the cooldown reduction, this talent fits perfectly well with a Tank build.

Critical Save

A 40% damage resistance increase? Well this is perfect for a Tank build even if it is only for 10 seconds after using a medkit. You’ll want to pack up on your medkits because you will be taking a lot of damage so increasing your health and simultaneously receiving a 40% increase in damage resistance really seems like a no-brainer for me.

On the Move

When you have your Ballistic Shield up you’re going to be moving around quite a bit to ensure enemies aren’t able to flank you and due to this a talent that fits nicely into this build is ‘On the Move’ which grants you a 30% reduction of incoming damage for 10 seconds after killing a hostile for 10 seconds. While this is situational, damage reductions are your best friend as a Tank and this skill synergizes very well with the Ballistic Shield skill and the Critical Save talent to further decrease incoming damage.

Desperate Times

As the name suggests, this talent is going to be most useful in the most dire of situations. When you’re low on health and maybe your team mates are down or you’re running solo, this talent could just give you the edge against your enemy with increased blindfire accuracy which will save you from having to expose yourself from behind your shield or from cover thus giving you the chance to finish your enemy off without getting killed yourself

There you have it agents, a Tank build that’s ready to be rocked in The Division. If you have any thoughts or opinions on the build then leave a comment below and let us know if you’ll be assuming the Tank role within The Division.

Have your say!

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  1. The blind fire talent is pointless. You can’t be hit even when aiming with a pistol unless enemies are on your side or behind you. The only reason to use blindfire is to shoot while turning quickly. Not very useful. At all.

    • I agree that the beefed up shield mod is better as well. Elites and bosses can burn down a shield real fast otherwise. I also don’t understand the support station skill… So far EVERYONE is rocking a lot of heals, the tank does not need it. Personally outside of the shield I switch between either the cover skill or the deployable shield which is good for outside engagements with the lmb who flank the hell out of you. Tossing the heal mod on the enhanced cover skill can easily cover any shortcomings of a more dedicated healer plus It lowers skill recharge time and it also boosts the damage output of anyone using it. In the right group the tank should not have to rely on big healing skills taking up a slot to stay alive. He is there to soak up damage and protect is allies, drawing their fire away from the group.

  2. This is a horrible build for actual tanking. Maybe when you’re lvl 12 (it’s pretty clear the author never played a challenge mission).

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