As with any loot-heavy online video game, the real battle starts as soon as the player hits the endgame. Legendary items, high level enemies and the daily grind for better loot, the initial level cap is often just the beginning and Tom Clancy's The Division for PC, Xbox One and PS4 is no different.
The elite Agents in the Dark and Light Zone in The Division can be found toting yellow, high-end weapons, but how do you get your hands on your own powerful gear sets?
The answer is Phoenix Credits, The Division's most valuable and rare resource. Unfortunately the game itself does a fairly poor job of outlining where you can actually find them and then what to do with them.
Here is the IBTimes UK Phoenix Credit guide with tips for the endless endgame so you can master the devastated streets of a post 'Dark Winter' New York City.
What are Phoenix Credits?
Phoenix Credits are a form of in-game currency in The Division, reserved exclusively for players that have hit the level cap (currently level 30).
They can be spent on a variety of key items, including gear, mods, materials, blueprints, Dark Zone keys, and outfits and cosmetic items. You can also use them to buy standard Superior weapons for casual PvE play.
For the PvP players hunting their prey in the Dark Zone however, Phoenix Credits are the simplest way of obtaining High-End weapons after reaching level 30.
While not obvious at first, the weapons and other items obtainable from the two vendors which trade in Phoenix Credits are often actually level 31 (or for gear, power level 31) in rank, giving astute players an advantage in combat. To check the actual level of an item, if you scroll down in the description while at a vendor it lists both the level requirement and the item's own level (confusingly the large number at the top is the level requirement, confusing many rookie Agents).
Where do I spend Phoenix Credits?
There are two Phoenix Credit-specific vendors currently flaunting their High-End wares in The Division, with the corresponding items listed with an orange phoenix symbol.
Once you reach the endgame, the Tech Wing (which you should be upgrading throughout for the Perk and Skill Rewards) in the Base of Operations will be home to a new NPC, called the Special Gear Vendor, who trades in Phoenix Credits for those at the level cap. His stock is decent, especially for cosmetic stuff and early-endgame gear, but there is another vendor who holds the best spoils.
In the Saferoom in DZ 6, in the North of the Dark Zone, you will find the main source of High-End goodies. The catch? As well as needing be Level 30, you will also have to have a Dark Zone ranking of 50 to buy the best equipment.
Where can I find Phoenix Credits?
There are a few ways to get your hands on the sought-after credits, but only some will become part of the daily loot process, here are the best ways to increase your total up to a maximum of 1000:
As soon as you hit the max level, replaying completed missions on the highest difficulty 'Challenging' will net you 30 Phoenix Credits. While some missions do not yield any credits (the loot preview in the bottom left on the level select will clue you in), this is the best way to grab enough credits to afford an early High-End gun.
As a one off, you can trade Uplay points for 30 Phoenix Credits if you can stand dipping your fingers into the swamp of nonsense that is Uplay.
Challenges are an online loot-em-up's best friend and it is no different in The Division. There are three Daily Challenges that involve replaying missions on hard or challenging difficulty levels for better rewards. Each completed Challenge will net you 20 Phoenix Credits, although this is a one time deal and cannot be farmed.
Each day three new missions will be selected and are easy to spot as they will have a white circle around the individual icons on the mission select screen.
Note: Keep an eye out for expected Weekly Challenges too.
Defeating Named Enemies
This method has actually been nerfed in a recent update and is definitely not as lucrative as it was following the game's launch.
Rather than 10-15 Phoenix Credits for every kill of a named 'boss', this has now been dropped to a measly 2-3, although in all honesty this has brought some much needed balance to the game (along with the Midas gun nerf).
Update: As of patch 1.0.2 named bosses can no longer be farmed.
Update 2: Update 1.1: Incursions has brought in new ways of gaining Phoenix Credits with the Falcon Lost 'raid' and Daily/Weekly Assignments. The latter in particular is a quick way of obtaining daily credits.
What should I spend Phoenix Credits on?
The temptation for many has been to start buying High-End blueprints (refresh every 24 hours) to customise your personal arsenal with overpowered versions of the high profile weapons like the Caduceus Assault Rifle or the Cassidy Shotgun.
This, however, requires a lot of crafting materials and an unlucky RNG roll during crafting can leave you with a poor imitation of the game's best calibre weaponry and minus a lot of valuable materials.
Instead, the early focus should be on grabbing the most affordable High-End weapons so you can quickly get into the farming grind in the Dark Zone.
How to farm Phoenix Credits
Update: Following patch 1.0.2 and update 1.1: Incursion some tips below are no longer applicable as named enemies no longer respawn. IBTimes UK will be keeping an eye out for new methods of obtaining Phoenix Credits, although daily and weekly assignments are now the most reliable way of obtaining credits. Repeating the Falcon Lost Incursion on Challenging difficult is also very lucrative, but will require a lot of firepower and co-op assistance.
There are plenty of farming strategies for The Division, all with the end goal of the fabled High-End weapon drops. While farming the General Assembly mission and the currently unfixed exploit are still viable options, the former only provides one yellow delight per team after Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bliss draws his last breath (leaving three disappointed combatants) and the latter requires a serious amount of time investment.
In short, farming Phoenix Credits is the endgame's main objective. While the named boss drop quantity has been decreased post-patch, a combination of tactically planned Landmark runs and Daily Missions is still your best option.
This can be done solo (if you are mad), but we recommend a team of four in a co-ordinated trek into the Dark Zone with friends. Random online matchmaking will suffice, but you will have to be on the same page.
Named bosses will spawn at the various Landmarks. Anywhere you see a purple fist on the map (or unmarked subway tunnels), you can find a named boss. If the Landmark is grey with a grey fist it has recently been cleared and looted by another party, although the respawn is alarmingly quick.
Further North into the Dark Zone the difficulty spikes, but your Dark Zone rank will increase faster and the chance of a High-End item dropping from the boss will be higher.
With chests currently having a terrible drop rate, quick boss kills in a fast geographical loop (four Landmarks should be the minimum) you can quickly run between is the best farming strategy for Phoenix Credits. The best areas will respawn as you when you finish the first loop. For an example, YouTuber Arekkz has a useful route you might want to build off of.
With a bit of patience, a high Dark Zone ranking and some Phoenix Credits in your pocket, you should gradually develop quite an enviable mass of High-End prizes.