The Dark Zone in The Division 2 should not be taken lightly; you'll be up against elite enemies that control compounds as well as other players that are keen to get their hands on your contaminated loot. You'll also need to defend the chests that allow you to upgrade your weaponry, though you'll need to find the keys that will unlock them.
Dark Zone chests contain some of the best loot available to players—if you're willing to venture into The Division 2's designated PVP zones. The loot you acquire here is also useful in the campaign so it's well worth knowing the best ways to get your hands on those Dark Zone keys.
To unlock the Dark Zone in The Division 2, you’ll have to level up the game’s first settlement, The Theater, to level three. Once it’s there, you’ll receive a new recruit, Senait Ezera, who gives you the mission to unlock the Dark Zone. (You’ll need to be at least level 10.) Dark Zone East is the first region you’ll gain access to. It’s the lowest level and easiest of The Division 2’s three Dark Zones. It has both the lowest level players (from levels 10-19) and AI enemies. Best and Cheapest The Division 2 Phoenix Credits For Sale
To combat the imbalance, the Dark Zones normalize gear stats for weapons and armor for PvP encounters. Normalization changes your armor and DMG stats but your perks, skills, and other innate attributes such as Talents and Brand Set bonuses are unaffected. Essentially, more powerful gear has better bonus stats, so those with higher quality stuff will still have a not so insignificant advantage in the Dark Zones. You can check your normalized stats versus standard stats in the character menu by pressing L3.
The Occupied Dark Zone doesn’t normalize at all. You’ll need to stay alive based on the strength of the gear you have gathered. This is most meaningful in Dark Zone PvP where there’s no guarantee that your weapons are better than your opponents’ weapons. On top of that, there’s no marker for a Rogue squad in the Occupied Dark Zone, so the difference between friends and foes also gets harder to spot.
Essentially Dark Zone Gear Normalisation will squash together everyone's gear stats to try and level the playing field and make things slightly fairer. Great news if you're a low level player trying to get started, but likely to make higher level players grumble because they can't stomp all over the newbs easily. You can see both your open world and normalised stats in the equipment menu if you're curious.However, this stat rubber banding only applies to guns and gear, so higher level players will have an advantage from the extra perks and skills they've unlocked. It's definitely not a good idea to go near the Dark Zone unless you have at least both Skill slots unlocked.