Apparently it’s now more confusing than it was ever before – the way players are matched together in the three available Dark Zone Player brackets. With update 1.2 and the newly introduced 201+ Gear Score bracket, reaching a higher bracket is pretty easy.

But it can be really frustrating for players who aren’t familiar with how the system behind works, or simply because they are getting wrecked by NPCs out of the sudden.

201+ Gear Score Bracket

While players feared groups of Rogue Agents in the last months, the new real enemies are clearly NPCs located in the DZ 201+ GS bracket of Tom Clancy’s The Division. Starting with NPC levels of 32 in the lowest subzones DZ01 and DZ02, you will encounter even tougher enemies up to level 34 in the higher zones in the North (DZ06).


Higher difficulty – more rewards. Being able to survive and completing the one or other activity, the new bracket comes up with the following changes. More about it can be read in the official patch notes for update 1.2.

  • All drops from NPCs will start at Superior quality
  • All Division Tech drops will be High-End quality
  • Higher chances to drop Sealed Caches on Elite and Named NPCs

However, surviving this Dark Zone seems to be the hardest challenge you will probably face off at the moment until the Challenge Mode for the new Incursion Clear Sky gets released next week.

Cleaners with flame throwers are literally grilling you within seconds and although shotgunners have been nerfed with the latest update, they are hitting harder than expected. It’s incredibly challenging and in case you decide to go Rogue, running by a group of those in the higher zones could mean an instant death for you and/or your pursuers.

Obviously, this challenge is not liked by everyone.

Your Gear Score is Crucial

It’s not your character’s level or DZ Rank the system takes into account when placing you in one of the brackets, it’s simply your Gear Score. The Gear Score indicates the advancement of a player, but also helps the game to determine which players should join a specific bracket in the Dark Zone. Every item except vanity items have a GS and your overall theoretical GS is calculated by the items

  • you are wearing,
  • in your inventory,
  • and those you have in your stash.

Please notice that this is not the one that is shown in your inventory and only takes your best weapon with the highest Gear Score into account.

Still Confus(ing/ed)

Actually, the game is working with 2 different Gear Scores. One is shown to you when opening the inventory, the number that’s visible in the lower right corner. It only shows the average of your items currently equipped, while the other hidden overall theoretical Gear Score could be much higher than this when you have stored lots of 204 High-End and/or 214/240 Gear Set items in your inventory or stash.

This could let people think of that they are matched into the wrong bracket, like it’s happening for many now and the 201+ bracket. It could also lead to a DZ Mismatch if you try to group up with other agents.

Example: The inventory shows a Gear Score of 180, but the game could still put you into the 201+ bracket because of all the valuable items you are storing. Your overall theoretical Gear Score is then higher than 201+.

DZ Mismatch

A DZ Mismatch error occurs when a player that is supposed to play in another Dark Zone bracket tries to join your session in the Dark Zone. So while you and your friends could see a similar or even the same Gear Score value in the inventory – that’s not the one looked at by the game.


The only way to get rid of that situation is to create another character and pick up those items by the newly created one unless you decide to sell or deconstruct them.

It today’s State of the Game talk it was said that the system is working as intended, but they are looking into ways to maybe visualize both Gear Scores to not longer confuse players.