The Division - How to Use Consumables Guide - Prima Games

The Division – How to Use Consumables Guide

by Bryan Dawson

This article covers consumables in The Division and how to use them to your advantage. Some people have jumped on The Division and hit the ground running, grinding out level after level and taking the Dark Zone by storm. They’ve got the best character builds down and they have a solid group of friends that they play with. But even these somewhat seasoned Division players aren’t using consumables to the best of their abilities. Unlike skills, perks, talents and mods, a lot of players aren’t even aware that consumables exist or how good they actually are. So let’s take a closer look at canned food, water, incendiary bullets and other consumables in The Division and exactly how they can benefit your character.

There are six types of consumables in the game. Each one gives your character a temporary buff for a short time. After using a consumable there is a cooldown period just like a skill or similar ability, except it effects all consumables. If you use one, you won’t be able to use any consumables until after the cooldown period is over.

If you’re trying to collect loot from a downed enemy or a random backpack and you can’t collect all of the loot available, chances are the loot is consumables and you’re simply not using them. You can only hold three of each type of consumable, so it’s easy to quickly reach maximum capacity, especially if you’re not putting them to good use.

You can collect canned food, energy bars and water consumables from the Medical wing every hour once you obtain the Supplier perk by upgrading the wing with Disaster Aid. This also gives canned food an additional buff, making it worth the effort to secure this upgrade. In addition, if you obtain the Guard Posts Security wing upgrade, you can collect incendiary and explosive bullets once every hour to ensure you always have stock available. This upgrade also increases the duration of incendiary bullets.

Note: To access consumables on console, hold right on the d-pad, then use the right analog stick to select the desired consumable to use.

Canned Food

The canned food consumable increases your healing ability by 40 percent for 30 seconds. This works best in conjunction with medkits or most of the medical skills in the game. Before you heal yourself you should eat a canned food so you can get as close to full health as possible. In many cases even if your health is very low, you can eat canned food, then use a medkit to reach full health. You can also increase the duration of the effect by 10 seconds with the Canned Food perk, after obtaining the Disaster Aid upgrade in the Medical wing.

If you’re in a party, make sure you’re communicating with your team so you know when the medic is going to use a healing skill. This should give you enough time to eat canned food so you can make the most of the medic’s heal. This can help you conserve your medical supplies by increasing the potency of each medkit so you don’t have to use them as much.

Energy Bar

We’ve all been in a situation when we’re so occupied with a fire fight we don’t notice that a tear gas grenade has been dropped nearby. It goes off and your character is disoriented for a short time. That’s when the energy bar consumable comes into play. It not only removes all negative status effects, it protects your character from them for an additional five seconds. With the Energy Bar perk from the Tech wing, the duration of the effect is extended by an additional five seconds.

You can use an energy bar consumable as soon as a tear gas or shock grenade is dropped instead of having to move away from the area. This can be extremely helpful if you’re pinned down and don’t have anywhere to move without endangering yourself in the line of fire. You need to be quick when using it in this instance, but it can be very effective.

Explosive Bullets

The explosive bullets consumable basically turns your ammunition into mini-grenades for 30 seconds. If they hit there’s a chance they will deal area damage, but they don’t necessarily have to hit a hostile. If you shoot at the ground or a wall, it can still potentially inflict area damage to a nearby hostile. The duration of the effect can be extended by an additional 10 seconds with the Explosive Bullets perk from the Gunsmith upgrade to the Security wing.

This consumable works well if you have the Demolition Expert (Tech) talent active, which increases explosion damage by 40 percent for 15 seconds if you kill an enemy using an explosion. Chain Reaction (Security) is also a good talent to use with explosive bullets because it increases blast damage by 40 percent if you damage multiple enemies with an explosion.

Incendiary Bullets

Like the other consumables, incendiary bullets are limited (you can only have three at a time), but they can potentially light an enemy on fire if they hit. The incendiary bullet effect lasts for 30 seconds and buffs all of your ammunition during that time. The duration of the effect can be extended by 10 seconds with the Incendiary Bullets perk from the Guard Posts upgrade to the Security wing. In addition, this consumable works well in conjunction with the Wildfire (Tech) talent, which gives you a 30 percent chance to apply a burning effect to all hostiles within 10 meters of your target.


If you’re in the middle of a firefight and you’re about to unleash all of your skills for yourself or your teammates, that’s when you want to drink a soda. This consumable reduces all cooldowns on skills by 30 percent for 30 seconds. The duration of the effect can be increased by 10 seconds with the Soda perk from the Generators upgrade to the Tech wing. To get the maximum effect you should drink it right before using your skills, but it will still work if you drink after using a skill so long as you have at least one skill currently on cooldown or you use a skill within the 30 second active window.


If you’re going for a pure damage build with your character, you should be consuming water often. It increases your damage by 20 percent for 30 seconds when facing off against elite enemies. An elite enemy generally has a different colored health bar to indicate they’re stronger than the normal grunts. Usually bosses for story missions and other more powerful hostiles are considered to be elite enemies. You can increase the effect by 10 seconds with the Water perk from the Water Purification Tech wing upgrade to your base of operations.

Between the various bullet buffs and the healing buffs, you should be using consumables on a regular basis. Check out our character build guide to determine the best medic and DPS builds to go along with these consumables, or head over to our Division walkthrough and guide for more tips and advice!

You may also like