The Division 2 Tidal Basin Update: What It Adds & How to Access the New Features

The first major patch for The Division 2 — aka the Tidal Basin update, aka “Invasion: Battle for D.C.” — dropped late last week. And in addition to adding a ton of content to the looter shooter’s late-game, it also revamped the way both skill and weapon mods work. Getting your head around the patch notes can be a struggle — but don’t worry! We’ve summarized everything you need to know about The Division 2 update in our guide below. That includes how to access all of the new Tidal Basin features and info on what’s new.

Our guide will start with the key changes that will impact The Division 2 players at all levels. Then we’ll move on to major endgame additions in the second half of this post. Let’s get started! 

General Changes – The Division 2 Tidal Basin Update

Revamped Skill Mods

The Division 2 Tidal Basin update aims to make skill-focused builds more viable by reducing the skill power you need to use certain mods. The strength of a skill mod now matches the skill power needed to unlock it. Whereas previously it sometimes felt random. The dev team has also changed the amount of skill power that gear grants you in The Division 2!

Essentially, the changes mean you can use more of the skill mods in your inventory. That’s because they no longer require ridiculously high skill power. The update might cause your overall skill power to drop, because of the adjustment to gear values, but a wider variety of skill mods should now be within your reach.

Reworked Weapon Mods

The Division 2 Tidal Basin update also completely changes the way weapon mods work. Previously, mods had both positive and negative effect. But now, after Tidal Basin, the positive effects have been toned down… while the negative effects were removed completely for most mods!

When you have multiple possible mods for one slot on a weapon (such as for a magazine) you’ll still find mods with negative attributes. However, these mods will also have stronger-than-usual positive stats. For every slot, there will be at least one mod that has no negative attributes. The aim is to be less restrictive, letting you try out the mods you want without being hampered by negative stats.

You can find a table with all the new weapon attachment values at the bottom of the patch notes, here.

The Division 2 Tidal Basin Update

Tidal Basin Skills Changes

Tidal Basin reworks a couple of specific skills in The Division 2 to make them feel more balanced.

The Sniper Turret has been made more viable: instead of needing to aim manually, the skill now automatically tracks whichever enemy is nearest the center of your screen. And you can just press the relevant skill button to fire. You can still aim manually, too, but with even more control than before. You can target an enemy’s head or some other weak spot, for example.

The aiming system for the Chem Launcher has changed, too. You now simply equip it when selecting the skill button. Previously, activating the Chem Launcher sent you straight into an aiming state. Now you can aim and fire whenever you want, as well as blind fire from cover. The Division 2 dev team says these changes will make it more accessible.

Apparel Event: Invasion

The Tidal Basin update kicked off the first Division 2 Apparel Event: Invasion. The event is a chance to earn new cosmetics, of which there are 30 in total. You’ll find them in Invasion Apparel Caches, but you’ll need Invasion keys to open them. Among the new items are three outfits, weapon skins, emotes, and masks.

Every player will get a free cache key when they log on during the event. Anyone that bought the Year One Pass will also get an additional three bonus keys. You can earn even more Apparel Event keys in four ways:

  • Complete weekly apparel projects — which you can view at the projects desk in settlements and The White House, or by clicking the projects tab on your map.
  • There is a chance to obtain a key when reaching a new field proficiency level after level 30.
  • There is a chance a key will drop when you reach a new Dark Zone proficiency level.
  • Direct purchase with premium credits.

The Division 2 event runs until April 2. After that, the apparel keys will become useless. However, you’ll still be able to unlock the event cosmetics through standard Apparel Caches — except for one Black Tusk outfit, which is limited to the event.

Two New Exotic Weapons

Tidal Basin adds two new Exotic weapons: the Pestilence LMG and the Nemesis sniper rifle

The Division 2 Tidal Basin Update

New PVP Map: Fort McNair

The update added a new PVP map for Conflict players called Fort McNair. If you play a few rounds of Conflict you’ll no doubt see it pop up in the map rotation!

Endgame Changes – The Division 2 Tidal Basin Update

Tidal Basin Stronghold

The Tidal Basin update’s headline feature is the new Tidal Basin Stronghold — the last of the Black Tusk strongholds in The Division 2.

To take on the stronghold, you need to be at least World Tier 4, which you can reach by completing the three other strongholds in The Division 2 endgame. You’ll also need a gear score of at least 425 before you can tackle the mission. For a full account of how to progress through World Tiers in The Division 2, check out our World Tier guide!

The Division 2 Gear Sets

World Tier 5

Completing the Tidal Basin Stronghold will elevate you to World Tier 5 — along with an accompanying gear cap of 500. Previously, it was possible to obtain gear with a score of higher than 500, but the update will put an end to that and adjust any gear scores that are too high.

Unlocking World Tier 5 also adds Gear Sets to The Division 2 loot table. These sets will bestow powerful bonuses, and you can view them all in the image above. Pieces of the gear sets have a chance to drop from Black Tusk enemies.

Weekly Invaded Missions

When you reach World Tier 5, you can speak to Manny Ortega at The White House to unlock weekly invaded missions. On a rotating basis, Black Tusk will take control of existing strongholds and main mission locations, providing tough resistance. Completing these invaded missions will yield powerful loot. Thankfully, you can complete these missions on any difficulty.

Heroic Difficulty

Lastly, reaching World Tier 5 unlocks a new difficulty option: Heroic. You can apply this new setting to both missions and strongholds. Naturally, these Heroic missions will be brutally hard, but you’ll be rewarded generously with more loot.

The update also makes more minor tweaks to specific weapon stats and fixes a bunch of bugs. You can read all the patch notes below. Meanwhile, the Ubisoft forums also include a table of all the weapon mod changes — just in case you want to get really granular.

Weapons, Mods and Gear:

  • Overhauled the Weapon mod system, see the table at the end of the patch notes for detailed information.
  • Fixed a wrong long-range damage value for M4 (super 90) and P416. Previously, they could sometimes increase damage over longer ranges instead of the other way around.
  • Rifles:
    • Damage on the MK17 rifle reduced by 14%, also corrected this weapon not having a damage falloff over distance.
    • LW M4 damage increased by 5%, RPM increased from 240 to 360.
    • LVOA-C RPM increased from 240 to 380.
  • Marksman Rifles
    • Model 700 damage reduced by 13%.
  • Shotguns
    • AA12 damage increased by 16%.
  • LMGs
    • MG5 damage increased by 12% and fixed reversed falloff, causing the weapon to do more damage over a longer range.
  • Updated initial accuracy on the Sig Sniper MCmillan T1. It should now be much more reliable to shoot as soon as it’s shouldered and the transition to scoped view is over.
  • Reduced the amount of Critical Damage and Headshot Damage that can roll on Gear, including the amount on existing Gear. The actual values will differ depending on the level and quality of the gear it occurs on. This is partially in preparation for another world tier, where we felt these values were already at the limit of what was healthy in WT4.
  • Complete overhaul of skill mods to give more achievable requirements and more reasonable bonuses.
    • A closer equivalence between required skill power and the bonuses granted.
    • Changed the amount of skill power on gear to not increase exponentially with level, but instead more linearly. This results in most skill power values on gear being lower, but in accordance with the lowered requirements.
    • Tweaked the ranges of bonuses to be within acceptable bounds where they had extreme values before due to scaling errors. Most notably radius and ammo/charges values.
    • Players will see both the bonuses and the requirements of almost all skill mods change as a result of this overhaul.
    • In end game, both Superior and High-End skill mods exist to cover the different needs of different builds. They can overlap in power, but High-End mods have a higher maximum roll potential.
    • We are looking at ways to provide lower value/quality mods in end game world tiers in the future to provide a solution to the fact that on very low skill power builds, there would be room for those mods, and currently we are aware that means you have to save mods from your leveling experience.

Player Skills:

  • Fixed an issue which caused the Bombardier Drone to get destroyed while climbing up/down a ladder or rope.
  • Improved feedback of Bombardier Drone crashing into obstacles during the bombing phase.
  • Fixed an issue with Firefly payload sometimes failing to activate when reaching its target.
  • Fixed an issue where Revive hive would not self-deploy if the agent was busy performing a different action such as using different skill when it triggered.
  • Revamped the Sniper Turret version of the turret skill.
    • It now will automatically target the hostile nearest to the players’ center-of-screen (the same method it uses to pick other turret targets) and will fire at that target when the button is pressed, without a lock-on order needed.
    • If a player aims at a hostile, the sniper turret will attempt to match their aim, allowing precision shots using the sniper turret.
    • An issue where the sniper turret wasn’t correctly getting bonus damage when hitting headshots has been fixed.
  • Revamped the Chem launcher skill platform.
    • Pressing the skill button will now equip the chem launcher similar to swapping to a weapon. The player can aim and shoot with normal weapon controls, as well as run with the skill and blindfire it.
    • Quick deploy at the agents own position is still available for the repair version of the chem launcher, using the same controls as before.
    • Unequipping the Chem launcher can be done using the skill button, the B (XBOX) / Circle (PS4) button or just using the weapon swap controls.

Loot & Rewards:

  • Control Point reward containers are giving the correct number of items for the corresponding Control Point’s defense level. Defense level 4 now awards 5 items instead of 3.
  • Reduced DZ XP gain from Landmarks in Dark Zones.
  • Reduced the quality and power for items dropped in Propaganda Broadcast and one drop of Settlement Blockade activities to be more in line with other open world enemies and activities.
  • Updated XP rewards for low-level player playing in World Tiers to scale with player level.
  • Supply Drop activity loot container items now scale with every consecutive container you open. This includes lowering the reward of the first crate, but results in similar rewards for the activity as a whole.
  • Added 5 Specialized Apparel Cache Keys, awarded with levels 2 – 4.
    • As a thank you for playing, all players that played before April 4 get 5 Specialized Apparel Keys, regardless of their level.
    • Apparel Keys will be coming for those players later next week.
  • Faction Key loot drops from Bounties are now guaranteed and are displayed in the loot preview.
  • Adjusted bounty credit rewards to use scaling values in World Tiers instead of flat values so if a lower level player is playing with a higher-level player, they will receive an amount of credits more appropriate for their level.
  • Changed Skill Unlock rewards to be non-invaded only so that players who co-op with a higher-level friend to play invaded before playing on story won’t receive the rewards.
  • Added Apparel cache key fragments to the PvP reward caches.
  • Adjusted the rewards for the street execution activity to give slightly lower quality/source level gear so the rewards are more in line with the difficulty of the activity.
  • Reduced the quality and source level charts used for item drops from the living world activities settlement blockade and Propaganda broadcast to be more in line with other open world drops and the difficulty of the activities.
  • Updated Collectibles set XP reward to scale with player level.
  • Fixed an issue which caused the Drone Helicopter to not use the correct loot table.


  • Increased Material cap for Standard and Specialized crafting materials to 400 (with all perks).
  • Increased Material cap for High-End crafting materials to 50.
  • Materials required for crafting weapon mods does not scale as aggressively and has much lower values in endgame.
  • Removed a small increase on materials required for crafting weapon mods after upgrading the crafting bench quality.
  • Changed the upgrade blueprints for exotic weapons Lullaby and Ruthless to not show up on the vendor until you are level 30.
  • Increased the power for the wandering vendor so her inventory has a narrower Gear Score range closer to the top of the World Tier Gear Score Range.
  • Set all exotic upgrade blueprints to award you the upgraded weapon on the max gear score of the current tier.
  • Removed a tiny increase on materials required for crafting weapon mods after upgrading the crafting bench quality.
  • Exotic weapons are now pre-equipped with lore text mods. These mods do not have stats and cannot be equipped elsewhere.


  • Blind Justice – Modified the Buff that increases damage to your next shot now expires at end of combat and when out of combat
  • First Blood – Updated Normalized MMR Talent First Blood Text to correctly explain that the first shot after reloading from empty is the enhanced bullet.


  • Decreased damage of all NPC Automatic Shotguns
  • Decreased damage of all NPC SMGs
  • Hey agent! Staff in the Base of Operation will now shout at the player less frequently than before.

Main Missions Difficulty:

  • World Bank – Invaded – Server Room
    • Increased the time which the Black Tusks needs to complete the download in the Server Room from 200 seconds to 250 seconds.
    • Reduced the difficulty in the Server Room by setting the Enemy group composition to light, light, medium – Instead of medium, heavy, medium.
  • DCD Headquarters
    • Mission level has been changed from 17 to 18.
  • Roosevelt Island – Invaded – Quarantine Docks
    • Reduced the difficulty of the first wave of enemies encountered in the last beat of the mission by lowering the amount of Elite and Veteran enemies.
    • Enemies in this part of the mission can only use mounted weapons if there are 2 players or more.
      • This should make it less punishing for solo-players attempting this mission.

Open World:

  • Removed death of civilian squad as a failure condition for Control Point takeover.
    • The Officer will now remain in downed state until players complete the takeover or wipe.
  • Black Tusk presence has been increased in invaded Open World zones.
  • New Ambusher NPCs now roam the streets of DC.


  • Added a “Friends & Clan” option for Call for Backup that only shows calls from friends and clan members.
  • Added a “Do Not Disturb” group privacy option that blocks all incoming invites.


  • Added a Field of View slider

PlayStation 4

  • Fixed an issue that could cause players to be stuck in the Specialization tutorial

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue that could cause undesired appearance changes to agents after login in or using the barber.

    • Players that have been permanently affected by an appearance change will unfortunately not be changed back with this fix. We want to apologize for any inconvenienced caused by this and we’re looking into options to allow players to fully customize their agent in the future, but we do not have a timeline for this feature.
  • Fixed an issue where the Cluster Seeker Mine could split up more often than intended.

  • Fixed an issue where the Defender Drone could have unlimited uptime.

  • Fixed an issue which prevented players from finishing the Unite cypher riddle.

    • We’re confident this is not bugged anymore.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the Stronghold activation animation to always play when entering the Base of Operations.

  • Fixed several instances of Audio logs not playing automatically when picked up.

  • Fixed an issue that could cause players being unable to finish the Side Mission Worksite Community.

  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to update their crafting bench after reaching a new World Tier.

  • Fixed an issue with NPCs sometimes not reacting properly to cooked grenades

  • Fixed an issue with Hunters not always appropriately despawning if a player flees a combat space

  • Fixed rare issue where NPCs could get stuck when attempting to melee a player in cover

  • Fixed issue with the Explosive Seeker Mine occasionally failing to path to its target

  • Fixed bug where players could fast travel to non-friendly Control Points

  • Fixed bug that made encounters with friendly NPCs requesting resources too rare

  • Fixed bug where underground enemies would come to the surface during the day

  • Fixed an issue where players were able to obtain gear with a higher gear score than intended

    • Any owned High-End items will be lowered to Gear Score 500.
    • Any owned Superior items will be lowered to Gear Score 490.
    • Clan caches no longer award items higher than the maximum loot Gear Score.
    • Recalibration still allows Gear Score to increase slightly past the maximum loot Gear Score.
  • Fixed a bunch of weird stairs and invisible walls.