Launching alongside Title Update 6.1, Ubisoft has added a new beta of hardcore mode to The Division 2. It's unusual in some regards because usually, the PTS on PC is where new stuff is tested before a proper release, but Hardcore Mode has been added to the main game.
That also means that console players aren't left out in the cold and are free to take the new permadeath game mode for a spin on the streets of D.C.
Here's how you play it.
How to play hardcore mode in The Division 2
There is one big caveat to playing hardcore mode and that's that you'll need to relinquish one of your four character slots. Hardcore is a completely separate game mode to a regular The Division 2 experience and it doesn't interact with it in any way. The entire game experience is available, though, so if you're up to the challenge you can progress to and complete the raid if you want.
To play hardcore mode you simply need to create a brand new character on the login screen and create it for the new mode. If you're already running with four characters, unfortunately, one will have to be deleted before you can play hardcore mode. To make a new character on Xbox requires holding down the right trigger at the login screen.
Otherwise, that's all you need to do. Since it's completely separate you'll have no access to your stash from other characters, nor apparel, any weapons, skills, you're starting completely from scratch. You're also playing on a dedicated hardcore server, so while you're in permadeath mode you won't come up against other real-world players that aren't. Once you die, you have to delete that character and start again.
Since it's a beta, Ubisoft is looking for feedback to make it better, but it may also be a little buggy. In either case, be sure to swing by The Division 2 forums to let the dev team know what you think.
Additionally, all players who play hardcore mode and progress to level two will get a YOLO cap for their agents to wear in-game.
The fact you only get one life in hardcore mode completely changes the approach to the game since you'll probably be picking a more defensive build, using cover more and avoiding running headlong towards elite enemies. And how about that permadeath Dark Zone, huh?!
It's certainly an exciting addition while we wait for the Episode 3 content drop so jump in and give it a whirl.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine