The Division 2 Year 5 Season 3 Vanguard: Start date, updates and everything we know so far

 The Division 2 Vanguard target Alani Kelso.
The Division 2 Vanguard target Alani Kelso.

The Division 2 currently drops three seasons per year, each lasting for a substantial amount of time, giving its players ample opportunity to complete the Manhunt, the season pass and all the other events that drop throughout.

Currently in Year 5, we're approaching the start of Season 3, Vanguard, the final one before the Year 6 roadmap kicks into gear in mid-2024. Season 3 marks the start of some pretty significant changes to The Division 2, with the hefty Project Resolve overhaul due to begin, albeit at the expense of the planned story expansion DLC.

Here's what we know so far.

The Division 2 Year 5 Season 3 Vanguard start date

The seasonal timer on The Division 2 at the White House
The seasonal timer on The Division 2 at the White House

We already know that Season 3 will be known as "Vanguard" and we know when it'll start. The in-game countdown is always a useful way to check how long you have left on any given season.

Season 3 Vanguard is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, February 6. Weekly resets in The Division 2 happen every Tuesday morning, based on European time, and the new season will go live following this pattern. There will be a period of 3 hours downtime beginning at 8.30 a.m. UK time, but as always, the maintenance time could be extended.

Season 3 Vanguard will launch alongside Title Update 20 (TU20).

The Division 2 Year 5 Season 3 Vanguard: A new Manhunt and Project Resolve begins

The Division 2 Season 3 Vanguard timeline
The Division 2 Season 3 Vanguard timeline

Despite the delay of any form of story DLC into 2025, Year 5 Season 3 Vanguard will still herald the beginning of some major changes for The Division 2.

That comes in the form of the first batch of Project Resolve updates, including changes to the way expertise and recalibration works. The blog post released previewing the season is the best place to go, since there's a lot going on with this update.

Project Resolve is a big deal, though, and much of the current development resource is focused on it. Essentially every area of the game will be getting some attention, including PvP, designed to make the experience better both for newer and longer-serving players.

The Division 2 roadmap for 2024 and 2025
The Division 2 roadmap for 2024 and 2025

Season 3 will bring a new Manhunt to the table as well. This season's is a little bit of a twist on the formula, and we're chasing Alani Kelso. That's right, our long-time ally who went back to New York City after the conclusion of Season 11 and has since disappeared. We'll be tracking her down to find out what she's been doing.

Additionally, a new season pass will come into play, with new gear, blueprints, exotic items and cosmetics. As always, players won't be required to buy the season pass to get their hands on the best new stuff, with the paid track just offering more goodies to those who spring for it. There will also be the usual sprinkling of Global Events and Apparel Events, as well as the speed run focused leagues to participate in throughout.

There are two new exotic items confirmed for this season. The first is a pistol, the Mosquito, and the second is a pair of gloves, the Rugged Gauntlets. A third, a rifle known as Vindicator, will be added as a Descent exclusive item.

In addition, there will be a new gear set and a new brand set, as well as three new named gear pieces.

The Division 2 Year 5 Season 3 Vanguard: Setting

Season 3 Vanguard takes place in New York City, tracing the steps of our agent buddy Alani Kelso. Unlike previous Manhunts, we're not going to be hunting a series of individuals leading to the Prime Target.

This season we'll be hitting up locations, instead, going to specific areas of the map to track Kelso's activities, find the clues, and then, hopefully, unravel the mystery around her activities and subsequent disappearance.

The caption on the social media post above is also pretty telling: "Uncovering the truth sometimes means reopening old wounds... 'VANGUARD' arrives soon."

Old wounds could suggest returning to some aspect of the Aaron Keener story arc, or something that branched off from that. There's also the fact that Vanguard was Keener's call sign while as an agent, rogue or otherwise. It could also be a giant red herring, but we'll have to wait and see how the story pans out.

There's plenty of story that could be told, with NYC being the origin of the Green Poison virus that led to the world The Division is set in.

The final stand for Year 5

Vanguard is the final season for Year 5, a year that's already seen some big content drops into The Division 2. Despite its lengthy service, there are no signs of slowing down, and Year 6 will be another big one if the roadmap pans out as planned.

Project Resolve upgrades will be a constant throughout, and towards the end of 2024 when the second season in Year 6 begins we're currently expecting a big revamp to the seasonal model. The promised Story DLC is then set to follow with Season 3, but unfortunately that means we're about a year away.

Nevertheless, The Division 2 keeps soldiering on, and for a game that initially was expected to have ended its new content support long ago, it's still thriving with a strong player community. Long may it continue, or at the very least, until The Division 3 is ready.