Tips for the solo DarkZone player to farm:
1) Always maintain situational awareness. Keep an eye on the kill feed in the bottom left corner of the screen. You can see who was killed, who killed them, and how far away that engagement happened. You should pick your extraction according to the activity you see on your screen.
2) Stay prepared for your situation with your loadouts. If you’re farming, use your preferred build to farm. If you’re headed to an extraction, switch your loadout to your best pvp build just in case players do roll up on you. I definitely recommend something with as much skill haste as you can muster, and ALWAYS run the Scrambler pulse mod.
3) Anticipate player interference. If you’re headed to an extraction, and you’ve been seeing activity on your kill feed within 400-500 meters, you should expect rogues to come calling for you. If you see activity within 200 meters, you should probably choose a different extraction. Keep your pulse up. This should give you advance notice of rogues creeping in on you. Sometimes, not even your pulse will be enough to warn you. If rogue groups are crafty, they’ll be running a Scrambler pulse too. Keep an eye on your mini map, you should see the rogues ping on your map every few seconds. Just keep your head on a swivel, and be ready to bounce at any time if you see them coming.
4) Never let your guard down. If you’re at an extraction, and other players show up, rogue or not, you should expect them to try to gank you. As a solo player, everyone is your enemy. Don’t take anything for granted, it’s dog eat dog out there. Know the map, and your surroundings. If players are pursuing you, try to lead them through a landmark and draw agro from NPCs on to your assailants. The underground subways are great for slipping away from rogues.
5) Be a ghost. Try to stick to farming named bosses that don’t occupy landmarks, like the underground and contaminated areas. The less indicators you leave around of your presence, the safer you’ll be. If you roll up on a Supply Drop and notice other players, just bounce. 19 times out of 20, they’re gonna try to drop you in the thick of battle. Contamination Events can go either way, but again, always stay frosty. Assholes are everywhere. Try to stick to the extraction points that are off the beaten path. DZ 1,2,3 and 6 are all poor spots to extract. But sometimes your hand will be forced, so just be ready to react if needs be.
6) Sometimes, you’re gonna have to fight it out. If you’re outnumbered, try to fall back until you can isolate one or two players. Use your grenades, they make a huge difference when you’re solo against superior numbers. Play to your strengths. If you’re good at sniping, then fall way back and widdle their numbers down from distance. If you’re a close quarters player, try to lure them into an advantageous position for you, and ambush them with frags and go to work. Kill one, and retreat. You don’t have to kill them all at once. It’s not a tough guy competition, don’t be too proud to run.
7) When you DZ, you should expect a reasonable amount of losses, especially as a solo player. Don’t sweat it too much. It’s just loot, and loot drops everywhere. If you get an item or two that are absolutely god roll, and you can’t live without them, then try to group up with friends for an extract. If you can’t do that, consider swapping servers by matchmaking and then leaving group. Your ultimate option is just finding a checkpoint and logging off. Come back later to a different server and give it another try.
Edit: 8) I often try to time my extraction with Supply Drops or Contamination Events, knowing that other players will be too busy clearing those events to bother me. Usually there’s enough time after the extract to clear at least the closest event.
Edit 2: 9) A few have commented on the timing of your extraction bag going on to the rope. There are 2 predominant schools of thought on this topic. The first strategy is to get your bag on the rope as soon as possible, avoiding any interference from NPCs and allowing you to post up in a strong tactical position for any incoming gank squads. While this approach does allow you to be in position to defend your extraction bag and avoid being shot in the back at the last possible moment, there are a few issues with doing it this way.
The first problem is that you’re backing yourself into a corner. You cannot detach your bag and run if you get overwhelmed by a four man squad. As I mentioned in tip 6) being able to give ground and isolate one or two players is key to winning as a solo. When you attach your bag straight away, you have no option to retreat without losing the contents of your bag. The other problem is the numbers game. If there are 4 players coordinating to cut your rope, it only takes one of them to cut, allowing the other three to focus on you, and prevent you from defending your bag. 3 v 1 in a closed location is a poor prospect even for the best players. You’re going to have your hands full just trying to stay alive, let alone having time to down the player cutting your rope.
The strategy that I personally prefer is to wait until the last 10-15 seconds, after clearing all the NPCs. I pop a pulse, then shoot my Booster Shot heal on the ground underneath the rope, and only after taking a 360 degree survey to ensure no players are creeping on me, I place my bag on the rope. This way, even if players do happen to sneak up on you and get the drop, you’re protected from their pulse (with your Scrambler), you have a full overheal, allowing you to abandon your extraction, keep your bag and bounce. Get to a position to defend yourself or run for your life, either way, you still have your bag and the chance to slip away for another extraction.
Remember it’s just a game. Don’t take it too seriously. Try to have fun. The DZ is about savagery. If you’re not in the right headspace to fight tooth and nail for every bit of the grind, then stay out of the DZ for that session. You have to embrace the idea of every man or woman for themselves.