The Dark Zone is one of The Division 2’s most exciting areas, balancing high rewards with tough NPC enemies and the far more deadly threat of other players. A core part of the game, gaining access to the Dark Zone is pretty easy, but you won’t be able to join it right from the get-go. If you’re hungry to jump in at the first possible opportunity, we’ve prepared this guide to help you unlock and enter the Dark Zone at the first opportunity.

To unlock and enter the Dark Zone, you’ll first need to play through The Division 2’s campaign until you’ve brought Senait Ezera to the White House. She acts as your Dark Zone agent, and is obtained simply be completing missions and then recruiting her from The Theatre. Travel to the White House and speak with her and she’ll inform you about the Dark Zone, and set you a mission to recon the East Dark Zone. Completing this mission is how you’ll unlock the Dark Zone proper, so head to the East Dark Zone and get started.

The Dark Zone might sound ominous, but the mission Senait Ezera send you on is actually pretty easy. All you need to do is follow the instructions the game sets, fighting enemy waves, scanning areas and tagging supplies. You’ll complete these steps — along with some others —  several times before the game will eventually introduce you to the Dark Zone. You’ll be given a series of objectives that take you through the mechanics of the Dark Zone, including how extractions and contaminated gear work.

Once you’ve finished the mission you’ll have unlocked the Dark Zone and can enter it through the Dark Zone East whenever you want. We definitely recommend partnering up with a strong team if you want to spend your time in the Dark Zone as you’ll face not just tougher enemies, but other players keen to steal your goods. This area holds some of the highest level loot in the game, but you’ll need to work hard to keep hold of it. Good luck out there!