The Dark Zone is one scary place, and one of the main selling points of The Division 2. Dark Zones are contaminated areas with fantastic loot, new mechanics, and other players who want that loot just as bad as you do. Dark Zones are marked on the map by their huge purple hazard symbols, hard to miss.
To unlock the Dark Zone, you must level the Theater settlement to Level 3. The Theater is the first settlement you receive in the game, and you’ll need to follow the main missions for it to reach level 3 and unlock a Dark Zone officer.
Once reaching level 3, head back to the theatre and speak to the new Dark Zone officer, she will then join up with you and be available at your base of operations from here on out. Speaking to her at the base allows you to gain access to the very first Dark Zone.
After the Dark Zone is unlocked, you will now have two sets of stats in the menu. One shows the Dark Zone stats, and the other will show your stats for the rest of the map. Gear up based on the situation.
From here, you can now head over to the first Dark Zone shown on your map, Happy Hunting!