Destiny 2 Comprehensive New Player Guide

Destiny 2 Comprehensive New Player Guide with everything you need to know for the Destiny 2 PC launch.

The Background/Lore

If you never played Destiny 1 you are probably pretty confused about all those terms and words being thrown around. Here are some basic lore/background to get you up to speed.

The Basics

Traveler: The first thing to know about the Destiny universe is The Traveler. It is this this big white sphere that hangs low above Earth. Its origins are unknown. Originally discovered on Mars, it sparked a Golden Age of humanity that allow humans to colonize other planets within the solar system. No one really know what it is – it could be an alien vessel or some sort of advanced AI/sentient being.

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The Darkness: Ancient enemy of the Traveler. It caused the Collapse, an event that ended humanity’s Golden Age. The Traveler battled The Darkness and was forced to retreat to Earth. Here the Traveler sacrificed itself and made its last stand, saving humanity from extinction. Now the Traveler lies dormant above earth, crippled.

The City: The City also known as the Last City is the last bastion for mankind on Earth. Built beneath the Traveler by survivors of the Collapse.

Guardians: Guardians are you, the players. They are an army of specialized soldiers brought back from the dead by the Traveler. They are tasked with defending the City and explore the remnants of the human civilization left behind in the Solar System from the Golden Age. Guardians are able to use the energy of the Traveler as a weapon against the various alien species that seeks to destroy humanity.

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Ghost: Ghosts are a levitating AI companion device used by the guardians. They are created by The Traveler’s technology and serve as companions of the guardians, aiding them in combat and reviving them continuously as they get killed in combat. These Ghost entities were created when the Traveler sacrifice itself and released a horde of these, each carrying a bit of Light energy from the Traveler. These Ghosts went to on resurrect an army capable of defending humanity.

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The Speaker: He is the representative of the Traveler and assists Guardians in their fight against the Darkness.

Enemy Aliens

Fallen: These are bipedal aliens with four arms operating as pirates or mercenaries. They require Ether to survive, much like oxygen for humans. They are a nomadic species living in Ketches (Fallen Ships) and plunder ruins and outposts alike as rutheless scavengers. They operate in packs lead by Captains alongside small drones called Shanks and spider like tanks called Walkers. The Fallen are organized into houses of nobility lead by Kells, some of which are hostile to each other so there is quite abit of infighting.

  • Dregs: Lowest grunts of the Fallen society.
  • Shank: Small and tough enough to go where Dregs won’t fit, they scout, keep watch, and patrol
  • Vandal: Seasoned regulars of the Fallen crew.
  • Captain: Leader of the crew. His ration of Ether is the largest, his blades the sharpest, his guns the finest. Upon his shoulders hangs the flag of his House, if he swears loyalty to any
  • Servitor: Packed with ultra-sophisticated machinery, they process matter and energy into the Ether that the Fallen depend on for life. In battle they support the Fallen with defensive systems and their own powerful energy weapons.

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Hive: They are an ancient undead species that delve deep into a planet, crafting massive underground caverns. They have their main base on the Moon but are also found on other planets.  To the Hive, the eternal struggle between Light and Dark is not only a war, it is a crusade – all Light must be devoured so Darkness can reclaim the universe.

  • Thrall: Basic grunts of the Hive army.
  • Acolytes: Foot soldiers
  • Knight: Hive’s foremost and most zealous defender. Able to summon shields of burning force.
  • Ogre: Abominations of flesh and rage. Underwent terrible transformations as they grow.
  • Wizard: A nightmare of rag and bone, dissecting and experimenting on anything that falls into her clutches.

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Vex: A cyborg species linked together and governed by an Axis Mind. They have a singular purpose of expanding their species throughout the galaxy. Their bodies are made of metal alloys with some organic materials.

  • Goblin: Basic unit in the vast computational network that is the Vex
  • Hobgoblin: Specialized for sniping -  fitted with improved optics and acute sensors in its horns
  • Harpy: The fastest and most mobile, it is an airborne unit often deployed in flocks on patrols and scouting missions
  • Minotaur: Vex models that are thicker and harder to crack
  • Hydra: A miniature fortress with impregnable defenses and rock-melting firepower

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Cabal: One of the great military forces in the system. They are efficient, disciplined and unrelenting. The Cabal empire is a military-industrial complex determined to expand and conquer. Their military is structured much like those of the ancient Roman Legions. Their field tactics depend on ranks of Legionaries supported by air power, elite infantry, and ultra-heavy armor.

  • Legionary: Cabal’s line infantry and backbone of their military on the ground.
  • Centurion: Tactically intelligent, highly skilled field commanders
  • Colossus: Heavy infantry equipped with rapid-firing heavy weapons and nearly impenetrable armor.
  • Psion: Unrelated species that serves the Cabal army. Fast and unpredictable, they possess strong psionic capabilities
  • Phalanx: Soldiers that carry massive shields, used for both attack and defense. Shields can be disabled by shooting in the middle of their shield.

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Basic Mechanics

PC Controls

Here are the controls for PC.

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Daily/Weekly Reset

Since numerous activities and rewards in Destiny 2 are weeklies, it helps to know the daily and weekly reset time.

Daily reset everyday at 5 am Eastern,  4 am Central or 2 am Pacific. That is 10 am CET (Central Europe Time).

Weekly reset every Tuesday at the same daily reset time.

Levels

There are 20 levels in Destiny 2 and you will be able to reach Level 20 by the end of the story campaign (make sure you talk to every NPC at the end of the story and you will get automatically leveled to level 20 at the last NPC).

Level doesn’t really matter in Destiny 2 except in the story campaign. The real focus is on your Power Level, which is basically your gear level. This is explained below.

However, you will still gain levels past level 20, they just get converted to Bright Engrams that give you cosmetic stuff.

Picking A Class

There are three main classes in Destiny 2: Warlock, Titan, and Hunter. They all have their uses and each have a slightly different playstyle. Warlocks are able to place down rifts that heal allies or boost their damage which have significant uses in raids. Titans are able to drop shields in front of them to absorb enemy damage. Hunters have a self dodge that allow them to dodge harmful effects if they act quickly. You are able to have three character slots in Destiny 2 so you can create one of each and try them out.

Something to keep in mind is that Titans and Hunters tend to jump better than Warlocks. Warlocks have a floaty glide jump that can be difficult to use for beginners. Hunters have a triple jump and Titans have the higher base jump that allow them to get higher in the air. Some of the endgame content in Destiny like raids and strikes requires a certain jumping finesse that can be hard on warlock beginners. Having extra mobility on warlock can mitigate this somewhat. This is just something to keep in mind.

Some power levelers and hardcore players may create three characters of the same class to gear up faster. This isn’t as effective anymore due to Bungie implementing some measures that preventing your alt characters of the same class from receiving better gear drops from weekly engram rewards that your main typically would get. However, this penalty doesn’t affect the raid and nightfall strike non-engram rewards so you can still gear up your main faster with those if you have the patience to level up three characters of the same class.

Subclasses

You can have three subclasses per class. Each subclass has a specific use for certain encounters and has a different Super and elemental type. The first subclass is automatically unlocked as you play through the story. Unlocking the second and third subclasses require you to find a class relic which you can find in various chests such as the region chests or just any regular chests you can find. The drop rate for these class relics is fairly high.

The second class relic should start dropping around Level 7+ and the third class relic should start dropping around level 14+. It is recommended that you do the mission to unlock the second class as soon as you get the relic as you cannot unlock the third subclass until you have the second subclass. These class relics require you to kill some enemies in PvE or PvP but doing public events can greatly accelerate this and fill the bar quicker. After that there will be a mission on European Dead Zone (EDZ) called Shard of the Traveler where you can unlock that subclass.

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  • Warlock subclass unlock: Dawnblade –> Voidwalker –> Stormcaller.
  • Hunter subclass unlock: Arcstrider –> Gunslinger –> Nightstalker
  • Titan subclass unlock: Sentinel –> Striker –> Sunbreaker

Abilities and Upgrade Points

When you open up your subclass, you will see a bunch of places where you can spend Upgrade Points to acquire new abilities and passives. The left side are your active abilities. Here you can pick between two types of class abilities, one of three grenade abilities, and one of three movement abilities (i.e. jumps).

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The right side are your passives. There are two cluster of passives here and you can only pick one of the two clusters. You will be able to fill up the entire cluster of 4 passives by spending upgrade points.

Upgrade points can be obtained by completing adventures that offer Upgrade Points as the reward. Once you are level 20, you can also earn Upgrade Points when you gain additional levels. These can also be obtained can via Ikora’s Meditations from The Tower.

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Kinetic/Energy/Power Weapons

You have three kind of weapons: Kinetic, Energy and Power. Kinetic weapon is your main weapon and it deals 10% more damage than energy weapons to enemies in PvE (same in PvP unless it is a Guardian with Super, in that case energy weapon deals 10% more damage). However, energy weapons deals 3x as much damage to shields on enemies.

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Energy weapons and Power Weapons also have different elements – Void, Solar, and Arc. You can match these elements with the shield colors of the enemies (Void – Purple, Arc – Blue, Solar-Orange) but they will not do more shield damage. Instead, all they do is they cause an AoE explosion at the end that deals 50% of the shield amount. However, it is important to know these elements for some Nightfall Strikes where you get bonus damage for using a specific elements.

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Power Weapons are high impact weapons like rocket launchers, grenade launchers, fusion rifles, sniper rifles etc. Their ammo is much more limited so you won’t be able to use them too much. However, they are very effective for dealing high damage quickly or clearing out a group of enemies.

Weapon Types

Weapons in Destiny 2 are also categorized into different types

Kinetic and Energy Weapons

  • Auto Rifles: Regular fully automatic rifles.
  • Pulse Rifles: Burst fire rifles that fires in bursts.
  • Scout Rifle: Semi automatic rifles with high accuracy and usually a zooming scope.
  • Hand Cannons: Revolver type of handguns with high impact.
  • Sidearms: Pistols with a high fire rate.
  • Submachine Guns – Fully automatic guns designed for close range.
  • Trace Rifles – Energy rifles with increasing damage over time. There is only one Trace Rifle currently ingame – Coldheart.

Power Weapons

  • Shotguns – Close quarter high damage
  • Sniper Rifle – Long range and high damage
  • Fusion Rifles – Close to mid-range rifles that requires a brief charging up.
  • Rocket Launchers – Shoot rockets that deals massive splash damage, good for clearing out a bunch of enemies at once. Beware that you can kill yourself with a rocket launcher if you aim it too close to yourself.
  • Grenade Launchers – Shoot grenades that can bounce, can miss your target sometimes if it bounces off.
  • Swords – High damage melee weapon. Allow you to be in third person view.

Equipment Rarity

Much like MMOs, Items in Destiny 2 have a rarity system.

Basic (White) –> Uncommon (Green) –> Rare (Blue) –> Legendary (Purple) –> Exotic (Gold).

The difference here is that you can only equip 1 Exotic Weapon and 1 Exotic Armor at a time. Thus most of you gear will be legendary. Exotics tend have special bonuses and passive effects that are good to keep around and swap for certain encounters. Another thing to note is that there is a collection for Exotic armor/weapons in your vault so you can dismantle or infuse them freely as you can always reaccess them later.

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Power

Power Power or Power Level (PL) is the weighed average of the Attack/Defense for your currently equipped weapons and armor with mods. The current power cap is 305. You can see this number on your character sheet and represents the amount of damage you can dish out/take currently. However, the game also uses a highest base average power level which takes into account your armor and weapons that are not equipped currently. This number is what is used to determine the gear drops you get so you do not need to equip your highest power gear.

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  • Weapons attack accounts for 14.3% of your Power.
  • Armor defense accounts for 11.9% of your Power.
  • Class item defense accounts for 9.5% of your Power.

Mods and Base Power Level

One thing to keep an eye out for, especially in Exotic gear, is the mod slot. Exotic armor/weapons will always have a legendary mod in it that give +5 attack or defense (legendary gear have this sometimes as well, but very rarely). This boosts the power level of the item and your overall power level but the game doesn’t take into account of this when giving you upgrades. Your power level without any mods is called the Base Power Level (BPL). This BPL is what the game used to determine the power level of the gear you get. Usually to get the BPL of an item with legendary mods you just do power level – 5.

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Past Power Level 280 you will be able to purchase legendary mods yourself. Go to the Gunsmith in the Tower and purchase the random rare mods for 2500 Glimmer each. Once you have three of the same rare mods, you will be able to exchange it for an equivalent Legendary mod. This is a very fast glimmer sink that will eat up your glimmer in no time.

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Engrams

From Power level 1-200, you will mostly get straight up gear drops of the rare variety that are usually always an upgrade. However, as you progress beyond that and especially past Power level 260+, you will start to get drops from engrams that are dropped by enemies or purchased from vendors. Engrams are basically loot cubes that can give you one of the possible drops on a list. The gear you can obtain these from engrams depends on your current base power level.

  • Blue engrams and blue drops decrypt from anywhere between -2 to +4 Power level from your base power level, up to a softcap of 260.
  • Legendary engrams decrypt +4 levels from your base Power level, up to a softcap of 265 Power.

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Engrams purchased from vendors can be decrypted right away once you accept them (if you don’t accept them, they can increase in power level as your base power level increases). However, engrams that are dropped by enemies will need to be decrypted by visiting a Cryptarch in The Tower or The Farm. The power level of these dropped engrams stay at power level you acquired them at and will not change as you gain more power. So you can safely decrypt them right away. You are able to hold on to a max of 10 engrams in your inventory before you are unable to pick up additional engrams so make sure to visit the Cryptarch regularly.

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Bright Engrams are a totally different kind of engram. Once you reach level 20, each additional level you earn will reward you with a Bright Engram. You don’t decrypt these with The Cryptarch. Instead, you go to Tess Evereris on The Tower or the Farm and have decrypt these engrams for you. They rewards all sorts of cosmetic upgrades and occasionally grant Bright Dust as well for cosmetics that can be purchased directly. You can buy these bright engrams with real life money as well via microtransaction but there isn’t a need for it.

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Mobility, Resilience and Recovery

Armor have three kind of stats – Mobility, Resilience, and Recovery you can min/max. Some armor sets will favor one stat over the other.

  • Mobility determine how fast you move and how high you can jump (doesn’t affect sprint speed)
  • Resilience determines how much damage you can take.
  • Recovery determines the speed it takes to regain your lost health (see gif of the various regen speeds)

Mobility is pretty handy if you have trouble jumping (i.e. warlocks) as Titans and Hunters have an easier time with their jumps. Otherwise you will want to invest 4 into Resilience and rest into Recovery.

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Glimmer, Legendary Shards, and Bright Dust

There are three types of major currency you earn in Destiny 2: Glimmer, Legendary Shards, and Bright Dust.  These currency are shared between all of your characters.

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Glimmer is a type of blue currency you earn by killing enemies and completing activities such as public events. You also get them by dismantling your rare gear. It caps out at 99999. Up to Power Level 200, you can buy gear upgrades directly using glimmer from vendors on the various planets. From Power Level 201-280, you will use them mostly by buying Treasure Maps and Scout Reports from Cayde-6. Past Power Level 280, however, you will spend most of it by buying rare mods off the Gunsmith for upgrading to legendary mods.

Legendary Shards is obtained from dismantling your Legendary and Exotic gear. Legendary gear give 3 shards and Exotic Gear give 5 shards. They are used for infusing your gear (more on that below), buying exotics from the weekly Xur vendor, or repurchasing exotics stored in your vault.

Bright Dust is a special currency obtained from Bright Engrams you earn each time you level past level 20, they are used to purchase special cosmetics from Eververse.

Scout Reports

Scout Reports are consumables you can purchase from Cayde-6. You can do this before you turn Level 20. Once you finish Titan, Nessus, and IO but before you return to EDZ again, go to the Farm and talk to Cayde-6. He will sell you scout reports for each planet for 1250 glimmer each.

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They are consumables that lasts for 4 hours each and highlights chests for you and your fireteam. Go to your inventory and consume them. Chests that are close to you show up on your HUD but those far away may require you to use your ghost to look for them. These scouting reports only reveal regular chests and not the one time region chests.

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Reputation Tokens

Whenever you loot a chest, complete a public event, or kill a high value target (a named, tougher enemy), you will get a reputation token specific to that planet. Gather 20 of them and you can turn in to the reputation vendor for that planet for a loot engram. It is recommended that you save these tokens for when you reach power level 260 and just do a mass turn in for the advancement from power level 260 to 265 (265 is when legendary gear get softcapped). Of course if you hit a plateau before 260 and need some boost, getting a few of these engrams isn’t a bad idea since the tokens do come fairly easy.

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There is a different reputation token called Gunsmith Materials. You get these when you salvage gear that are uncommon in rarity or above. These can be turned to the Gunsmith in The Tower for 28 Gunsmith Materials. The Engrams from the Gunsmith will only give you weapons.

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Gear Infusion

Gear Infusion is the most important system to understand as it is necessary for you to progress your power level. Starting with legendary quality gear, you are able to infuse with an item of higher base power level (BPL) into another item of the same type. This process will consume the item with higher BPL in the process. Basically, it allow you to feed a weaker item with a stronger item and make the weaker item just as strong.

This progress is crucial as it allow you to do a couple things

  • Level up your legendary gear past power level 265 by feeding it exotics that are usually much higher in power level
  • Bringing up the power level of an exotic by feeding it legendary/rare gear that are higher in power level
  • Making a favorite legendary armor/weapon relevant by keeping up its power level. 

A couple things to know about the infusion process

  • The two items must be the same type (i.e. if you are trying to infuse an Auto Rifle, both must be Auto Rifles. The only exception is Coldheart, which is a Trace Rifle that can be infused with an Auto Rifle)
  • You cannot infuse armor of another class (i.e. you cannot infuse a Titan helm into a Warlock helm)
  • Mods don’t count when you are trying to infuse an item. So if you are trying to infuse an item with a power level of 270 (265 + 5 mod for example), the other item must be 265+ without a mod.
  • You are able to infuse a rare quality (blue) item with a higher BPL into a legendary or exotic rarity item but you cannot infuse a legendary/exotic item into a rare item.

Here is an example. My Coldheart is an exotic Trace Rifle with 277 attack (267 attack + 5 attack mod). It is a Trace Rifle that can be infused with any Auto Rifle (special case since there is only one Trace Rifle in the game right now). When I open the weapon to examine it and hover over the Infusion option, I am presented with three options.

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  • 270 Sweet Business exotic auto rifle  – Unable to be infused since the Base Power Level is too low (265, 270-5 attack mod)
  • 289 Prosecutor legendary auto rifle – Valid choice for infusion. It doesn’t have a mod in it so it is just 289 Base Power.
  • 283 Origin Story legendary auto rifle – Valid choice for infusion. It doesn’t have a mod in it so it is just 283 Base Power.

If I pick the 289 Prosecutor rifle, it will be consumed and my Coldheart will be upgraded to 294 attack (289 + 5 attack mod). The +5 attack mod will remain on my Coldheart, unchanged.

The infusion process also costs a small amount of Legendary Shards and Glimmer.

  • 0 Legendary Shard for yellow –> purple
  • 1 Legendary Shard for purple –> purple, purple –> yellow, yellow –> yellow.
  • 4 Legendary Shards when you infuse a blue –> purple/yellow.

Vault and Destiny Item Manager

You can carry a max of 9 items per slot on your character. Additional items must be stored in the Vault or dismantled. This also apply to your cosmetics such as emotes, emblems and jumpships/sparrows.

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You have access to a Vault in the Tower. You can store extra gear here and view your collection of collected exotics, emotes, and emblems.

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This vault is shared between all your three characters but it can be a hassle to having to go to the Tower everytime to retrieve or store an item. Luckily this is where Destiny Item Manager (DIM) comes in. DIM allow you to retrieve/store gear to the vault or to other characters on the fly anywhere anytime. If you need something, simply drag and drop an item to your character. It also calculate your max base power level and also create an automatic loadout for you with the highest power. Additionally, you can save your loadouts and whip them out anytime.

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Clans

It is recommended that you join a good clan ASAP as they give you a host of benefits, especially clans that have leveled up quite a bit. Clan gain levels in seasons as members contribute Clan XP by doing various activities. You will want to pick up your clan banner from Suraya Hawthorne at the Tower/Farm. Equipping this banner will grant you benefits as your clan levels up.

  • A maxed out clan will give you additional glimmer when looting engrams, increased public event rewards, better rewards from killing cabal enemies, better chance of getting reputation tokens when completing Nightfall, Raids, and Trials, and better chances of getting an engram when doing activities with a clan member.

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There is a weekly Clan XP cap of 5k Clan XP per player and as they progress towards that cap, they will be able to obtain a Powerful Engram reward as a weekly reward that will be required to progress past power level 265+. Additionally, if members of your clan manages to complete the Crucible, Nightfall, Raid and Trials of the Nine requirements, everyone in the clan will get a legendary engram. Note that you can only earn Clan XP by playing Strikes, Raids, Public Events, Story Quests, Adventures, Patrols and Crucible. Lost Sectors do not grant any Clan XP. 

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Sparrows, Ghost Shells and Jumpships

Sparrows are vehicles your character can use to get around the map much faster. They can be acquired once you finish the Campaign. Go to the Tower and talk to Amanda Holliday in the Hangar area. She will have some basic sparrows you can purchase for glimmer.

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To get better sparrows, ghost shells, and jumpships, you will need to earn them from Bright Engrams as random drops. The basic green sparrow you purchase from Amanda only has 140 speed but there are legendary and exotic sparrows that have 160 speed and other random attributes like improved side to side dodging. Jumpships are mostly cosmetic with better quality jumpships having an unique transmat effect (landing animation).

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Ghost shells, however, are an entirely different story. They can provide various bonuses for a specific planet so you will want to swap them around as needed. They can detect cache (chests) around you in a 30m range on specific planets, increase your glimmer gain, or generate gunsmith telemetry data (reputation items you can turn in to the gunsmith)

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Activities

Adventures

Adventures are mini side quests you can do once per character. They often have a small side story and are good to do in between levels or to get rare gear to hit the 260 Power softcap. Initially only a few will be unlocked but as you progress through the story campaign, more will get unlocked.

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Before you are level 20, it is recommended you only do the adventures with uncommon gear or upgrade points as rewards so you can save those that give rare gear for the progression between 200-260 power level.

European Dead Zone (EDZ)

Adventure Unlock Req Power Req Reward
A New Frontier The Red War   Uncommon Gear
Calling them Home A New Frontier 20 Upgrade Point
Poor Reception A New Frontier 20 Uncommon Gear
A Frame Job A New Frontier 40 Uncommon Gear
Reversing the Polarity Fury 160 Upgrade Point
Unsafe at Any Speed Fury 160 Rare Gear
Getting Your Hands Dirty Fury 160 Rare Gear
Dark Alliance Fury 160 Rare Gear
Anti-Anti -Air Unbroken 160 Upgrade Point
Stop and Go Unbroken 160 Rare Gear
No Safe Distance Unbroken 170 Rare Gear
Red Legion, Black Oil Unbroken 170 Rare Gear
Supply and Demand Main Story 170 Rare Gear

Titan

Adventure Unlock Req Power Req Reward
Thief of Thieves Riptide 60 Rare Gear
Bad Neighbors Riptide 60 Upgrade Point
Siren Song Utopia 70 Rare Gear
Deathless Utopia 70 Rare Gear

Nessus

Adventure Unlock Req Power Req Reward
Release Looped and Six 90 Rare Gear
Lost Crew Looped and Six 90 Upgrade Point
Invitation from the Emperor Looped and Six 90 Rare Gear
Unbreakable Looped and Six 90 Rare Gear
Deep Conversation Looped and Six 90 Rare Gear
Hack the Planet Looped and Six 90 Rare Gear
Exodus Siege Looped and Six 90 Rare Gear

Io

Adventure Unlock Req Power Req Reward
Unexpected Guests Asher Mir 120 Upgrade Point
Road Rage Asher Mir 120 Rare Gear
Postmodern Prometheus Asher Mir 130 Upgrade Point
Cliffhanger Asher Mir 130 Rare Gear
Arecibo Main Story 220 Rare Gear

Patrols

Patrols are open world activities you can unlock by doing a little intro quest after you have completed Io and returns to EDZ for your story missions.

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After you complete the intro quest, you will be able to see patrols on your HUD. You may need to pull out your ghost to look for them if they are not nearby. Patrols have different icons depending on the type of patrol.

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There are five types of Patrols

  • Assassination – Kill a specific target, tend to be quick and easy.
  • Collection – Kill a number of enemies to collect a specific item from them.
  • Kill – Kill a number of targets until you fulfill the objective
  • Scan – Go to a location and scan an object using your ghost. Have to travel a bit.
  • Survey – Similar to scan mission, just need to go to a specific location.

Patrols rewards Glimmer, XP, Clan XP, and reputation tokens on completion.

Lost Sectors

Lost Sectors Lost Sectors are repeatable mini dungeons with a chest at the end you can loot for rare gear and reputation tokens. These chests are guarded by a captain at the end that you will need to defeat for the key to open the chest. Lost Sectors are marked on the map as little arches and there are also identical symbols near the entrances that allow you to easily locate them.

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While Lost Sectors can be repeated, if you do the same one too much they will stop dropping loot for a while so you will want to switch to another Lost Sector or do other things before hitting the same Lost Sector again.

Region Chests

Region Chests are one time per account chests you can loot for rare gear and reputation tokens. They can be only looted once per account so if you loot with one character, it will disappear for your other characters as well. They tend to reward more reputation tokens because of this. They are marked on the map with a cross but disappears from the map once they are looted.

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Public Events

Public Events are quick co-op activities where players can come together and do an event for rewards. Public Events by themselves give great XP and reputation tokens but they can be upgraded to heroic versions for more XP and better chances at engram drops. These public events should be upgraded to their heroic version whenever possible.

You can see Pubic events on the map before they are active. There is a timer indicating how much time before they arrive. If you interact with the Heroic event banner before the event activates, it will refill your ammo and your Super, which is very handy. Additionally, sometimes you can just quick travel after finishing a public event and it will put you in another instance with the same public event.

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Daily Challenges

Each planet will have challenges that reset daily. When you complete these challenges, you will earn reputation tokens and glimmer. You can see these challenges by opening up your Ghost. Rewards are granted immediately when you complete these challenges so there is no need to visit any NPC to claim the rewards.

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Strikes

Strikes are basically dungeons for up to 3 players. To unlock Strikes, you will need to complete the story mission Fury on Io and then go back and talk to Hawthorne on the Farm. She will send you to Zavala and this will unlock Strikes on your director.

You will need to be level 12 with a power level of a minimum of 130 to participate in Strikes.

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There is no way to select which strike you want as you get a random strike from a list. Strikes have the chance to give you rare gear, legendary and exotic engrams (very rarely) at the end but that is about it. There isn’t any strike specific gear.

  • The Inverted Spire
  • Pyramidion
  • Exodus Crash
  • Arms Dealer
  • Savathun’s Song

Nightfall Strikes

Nightfall Strikes is basically a much harder version of the regular strikes with a timer, tougher enemies, and new modifiers. The strike chosen to be the Nightfall Strike changes weekly along with the modifiers. To unlock Nightfall Strikes, you will need to be level 20, at least power level 230 and complete two regular strikes. Return to Zavala at the Tower to unlock Nightfall Strikes.

There is also a Prestige Nightfall that is available if you have close to 300 Power Level.

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Nightfall Strikes have a 15 minutes time limit. However, you can increase that time limit with timewraps. Each Nightfall will have a single modifier and a single timewrap.

Nightfall Modifiers

  • Prism – This is a rotating elemental modifier. You can see which one is active on the bottom left of your screen when inside a Nightfall. You will deal increased Arc, Solar or Void damage as the modifier rotates but also take increased damage from them. You will want to make sure you have a weapon/abilities corresponding to each elemental type.
  • Attrition – Health and shield regen is severely reduce. Defeat enemies to create light wells that can restore your HP and charge your Super
  • Momentum – Health and shield regen is reduced when standing so you must move constantly.
  • Torrent – Vastly reduce the recharge of your grenade and class abilities, allowing you to spam them more often.

Nightfall Timewraps

  • Killing Time – Killing enemies will add time back to the countdown timer
  • Rings – Jumping through glowing rings inside the Nightfall will add 30s to your timer. Jumping through the first ring you find will activate more rings nearby but you only have a limited amount of time to jump through the rings so only activate the first ring when your group is ready
  • Anomalies – Energy clusters that can give you extra time if you shoot them. They are a bit hidden but appear as blue glowing matrices
  • Zero Hour – No time modifier, you only get 15 minutes. .

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Crucible

Crucible is the regular instanced PvP of Destiny 2. You get access to it after completing the story mission Spark. In the Crucible gear advantage does not matter as everyone is synced to the same power. There are two modes: Quickplay and Competitive, both are 4v4. The two modes have different game modes and different matchmaking – quickplay aim to get you into a match fastest while competitive will try to match you by skill rating.

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Quickplay

  • Clash – Simple 4v4 team deathmatch. First team that scores 75 kills or lead in kills when the timer of 8 minutes expires wins.
  • Control – Teams combat for control of three flag zones and kill opponents. Killing opponents will give you 1 point but holding two or three control zones will give you an additional 1 and 2 points respectively. First team to reach 100 score or have the higher score when the 8 minute time limit expires wins.
  • Supremacy – Players killed will drop crests. You pick up opponent’s crest to score. However, you can also pick up crests from fallen allies and deny the enemy team from scoring. First team to 50 crests or have the highest crest score when the timer expires wins.

Competitive

  • Countdown – Teams take turns trying to plant bombs in one of two sites. Attackers win if they can protect the bomb until it goes off (~30 seconds) and defenders win if the attackers havn’t planted after 2 minutes. However, each team only get one revive per round so you can just wipe out the other team. First team to win six rounds win the match.
  • Survival – Both teams have 8 respawns and the goal is to eliminate the other team and their respawns. If the teams are tied after 3 minutes, overtime begins with a control point that spawns to break the tie.

Trials of the Nine

Trials of the Nine is competitive weekend PvP event that arrives every Friday and leaves by the weekly reset on Tuesday. To participate you will need to complete the story campaign, reach 260 Power Level and finished the Call to Arms Crucible Milestone at least once.

Trials of the Nine requires you to have a premade team of four. Your team will enter a map/mode picked from the Competitive Crucible playlist. You will need 7 wins for a Flawless run but getting 3 losses will kick your team out. You can try again after with a fresh slate. You can lose as many times as you want before you get your first win, but once you secure a win, you are allowed only 3 losses.

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Getting just one win will allow you access to the Trial of the Nine social space where you can redeem tokens earned from Trial of the Nine matches for Trial of the Nine engrams. You will get more gear with more wins as there are vendors that open up that give you free gear. Getting a flawless 7 win run will open up the entire social space and earn you a temporary cosmetic aura that last until the weekly reset.

Raids

The current raid is Leviathan, a raid designed for a team of six players. This raid has four encounters, with the last encounter a boss encounter. You will need at least 260 Power to enter but having close to 280 power is recommended. The raid will unlock 1 week after the PC release. There is also a Prestige version of the raid that will be released 2 weeks after PC launch. This requires Power level 300 but the drops aren’t much better.

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Each raid encounter will drop loot in the form of Calus Tokens and the occasional gear. You can expect a ton of legendary engrams that drop from random enemies.  However, you are unable to redeem the Calus Tokens until you beat the last encounter. Once you have done so, you can redeem them at the Tower. Much like other reputation vendors, 20 tokens will yield you an engram from the raid vendor with a random drop.

Rewards reset weekly for the raid and completing the raid will reward you with a Powerful Engram.

Xur

Xur is a merchant that arrives every Friday at daily reset and leave on Tuesday with the weekly reset. He is on a different planet every week and has a different selection of wares. He will always sell one exotic weapon and three exotic armor, one for each class. The exotic weapon always costs 29 Legendary Shards while the exotic armor are always 23 Legendary Shards.

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The items Xur sells are always item rating 270 but it is a good way to get an exotic that might be hard to get otherwise.

Cayde Treasure Maps

Cayde sells five treasure maps for a specific planet every week. These treasure maps will allow you to unlock special treasure chests that aren’t visible normally without these treasure maps. These treasure maps do costs 4800 glimmer each so they are a decent glimmer sink. They tend to give better loot than your regular chests and region chests but it is all RNG.

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Once you purchased these maps, the treasure chests will be marked on your map and you can go grab them. You don’t have to use them the same week as the maps will not disappear until you loot the chest.

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Gear Progression

Level 1-20, Power 0-200

Leveling Progression

  • EDZ: EDZ: Start off with the story campaign in European Dead Zone. Hit some adventures that give uncommon gear/upgrade points, Lost Sectors or Public Events.You want to be level 5-6 before leaving for the next planet.
  • Titan: Do the story campaign, if you are not level 7-8 after then do some Lost Sectors or some Public Events.
  • Nessus: Finish off the story campaign, make sure you are level 11. If not, do some Public Events/Lost Sectors.
  • Io: Finishing the campaign here should put you to level 15. You will get sent back to the Farm and unlock a bunch of milestones. Make sure you acquired your two subclasses by then. If not, loot some chests. You can buy scouting reports from Cayde at the Farm with glimmer.
  • EDZ: You will finish the rest of the story campaign on EDZ. Don’t worry about doing any adventures/public events. Just rush through the story. After you finish the story, you will get a huge boost of XP that might be enough to level you to 20. Just make sure you talk to every NPC at end of the campaign as the last NPC you talk to will grant you the XP.
  • Post 20: Grab your Sparrow from Amanda on the Tower. Go to Eververse and claim your free Bright Engram. Go to the Postmaster and claim any preorder bonus like the Coldheart rifle. If you are not power level 200, go to the vendors on any of the planets and buy some uncommon gear for glimmer. They should all be power level 200.

What to Save

  • 5 Scout rifles of rare quality or better. You need them later for an exotic scout rifle quest.
  • An exotic engram since these are hard to come by. You will need it for another exotic weapon quest later on.
  • Save any reputation tokens you get from doing stuff on the various planets, you need them later on.

Power 201-259

This is the first main grind you will encounter in Destiny 2. Your goal here is to reach 259 power level or as close to that as possible without turning in any reputation tokens for Legendary engrams or complete any of the milestones for Powerful Engrams. The reason for this is that rare (blue) gear softcap at 260. Once you reach power level 260, they won’t drop above your power level anymore.

  • Blue engrams and blue drops decrypt from anywhere between -2 to +4 Power level from your base power level, up to a softcap of 260.

Make sure you got plenty of scouting reports from Cayde 6 to detect the chests around you. Equip Ghost shells that help you locate caches (chests) around you in 30m range. Do everything on all the planets – Adventures, Lost Sectors, Region Chests, and Public Events. All the Adventures that give rare gear can be done here. Save all your reputation tokens.

Do your 2 strikes for the Milestone but don’t turn in until you are close to 260 as this rewards a Legendary engram. Same for Challenges and Patrols. Do not turn in any Milestones that give you Powerful Gear.

Power 260-264

Depending on how much Reputation tokens you have saved up, this step can be pretty short or drag out a bit. Rare gear won’t help you here, so your goal is to turn in all the Reputation tokens to all the vendors on the various planets to get legendary engrams. Legendary gear engram softcap is 265 so once you are power level 265, legendary gear engrams won’t drop above your power level anymore. Do not turn in any Milestones that give you Powerful Gear.

  • Go to EDZ, Titan, Io, Nessus, turn in all your reputation tokens to get legendary engrams
  • Do Heroic Public events you encounter to get better shots at engrams.
  • Turn in your Milestone for Strikes, Patrols and Challenges to get legendary gear.
  • Go to Ikora Rey in the Tower and complete two Meditations to get enough tokens to get a rank up.
  • Go to the Gunsmith and turn in your Gunsmith Materials to get legendary quality weapons.
  • Go to Cayde-6 in the Tower, purchase Treasure Maps with Glimmer and do these Treasure Maps. You want to be close to 265 as possible when you do this as these treasure maps have a chance to give you exotic engrams as well.

Power 265-300

This is the real grind of Destiny 2. Unless you are a super hardcore player, don’t expect to get to 300 in the first week. Most of your rewards here comes from weekly Milestones that can be done once a week for Luminous Engrams (Powerful Gear) and one time only exotic weapon quests. Luminous Engram doesn’t have a softcap

Week 1

  • Make sure you have joined a clan as you can get a Luminous Engram when you contribute enough Clan XP.
  • Go to Titan and start the 220 Power Quest Enemy of My Enemy. This is the quest for the exotic weapon Rat King. You won’t necessary complete this weapon this week but it is good to pick up early so you don’t have to repeat some stuff later on just for this quest.
    • Complete three Patrol missions with at least one other guardian in your fireteam
    • Complete two Public Events with at least one other guardian in your fireteam
    • Complete two Crucible Matches with at least one other guardian in your fireteam.
    • Complete the Nightfall Strike with at least 5 minutes remaining (this part can be difficult depending on the Nightfall)
  • Go to Io and start the 240 Power quest Dynasty. This quest will give you the legendary Fusion Rifle Man O’ War, which is handy to have later as a vendor stock for post 300 boost.
  • Go to Nessus and start the 240 Power quest Exodus Black by Failsafe. This is the quest to obtain exotic handcannon Sturm which will also reward you with a Sidearm Drang. You will need 5x Legendary Engrams and 1x Exotic Engram for this quest and the last step requires the completion of a 3 player strike.
  • Complete the weekly milestone Flashpoint from Cayde 6– This requires you to do a number of events on a specific planet in return for a Luminous Engram
  • Go to EDZ and start the quest Enhance. This is the quest to obtain exotic Scout Rifle MIDA Multi-tool which will also reward you with a legendary submachine gun. You will need 5 scout rifles of rare rarity or above to disassemble.
  • Complete the Crucible Milestone from Lord Shaxx.
  • Complete the weekly Clan XP milestone from Hawthrone and receive a Luminous Engram. Note that you can only earn Clan XP by playing Strikes, Raids, Public Events, Story Quests, Adventures, Patrols and Crucible. Lost Sectors do not grant any Clan XP.
  • Do the Nightfall Strike, hopefully your Rat King quest is completed up to this step and you can knock out both in one go. Beware that the Rat Ring quest requires you to finish the Nightfall with 5 mins remaining.
  • Once you reach power level 280, you can exchange your rare mods for legendary mods at the Gunsmith. Use this to put mods on any gear without legendary mods to boost your power level.
  • Weekly reset is at 2 am Pacific/5 am Eastern/10 am Central Europe on Tuesday

Week 2

  • Do your weekly milestones – Cayde 6 Treasure Maps , Clan XP, Nightfall, Crucible, Flashpoint.
  • Leviathan Raid will be available, do that as well. Beware that you will need to beat the entire raid to spend your raid tokens.
  • Trials of the Nine will be available starting on  Friday and is your chance to get some gear from PvP.

Power 300-305

Prestige Nightfall and Leviathan Raids will open up here but they are fairly time consuming and do not offer much upgrades.

However, the good news here is that past base power level 300, there is an easy way to max everything and get to 305. The planet reputation vendors refresh their stock every 30 minutes at 30 minutes past the hour and also on the hour. You can turn in your tokens to one vendor but don’t acquire the engram. Check to see if the engram is at power level 300. If it is at 300, then buy everything from that vendor as all the engrams he/she sells will be at 300. If it isn’t at power level 300, then try another vendor.

  • Also check the Drang sold by Tyra Karn at the Farm, Man O’ War sold by Asher Mir on Io, and Mida-Mini Tool sold by Devrim Kay at EDZ as they could be 300 Power Level as well.

Weapons to Keep & Fashion

Weapons to Keep (PvE)

There are some legendary level weapons that are really good so don’t dismantle them if you get them. You don’t need to worry about exotics since they will be in your collections in your vault and can be retrieved anytime with legendary shards.

  • Notable Exotics: Mida-Multi Tool, Sunshot, Sweet Business, Merciless and Wardcliff Coil all see heavy usage in PvE.

Kinetic

Weapon Type Source Reason
Nameless Midnight Scout Rifle Strikes – Zavala Explosive Payload perk means that your rounds will cause an AoE detonation on impact. Great for clearing adds and staggering enemies.
Better Devils Handcannon Crucible – Lord Shaxx Explosive Payload perk on a handcannon.
Origin Story Auto Rifle Strikes – Zavala Auto Rifles are in a good place right now and Origin Story has the Rampage perk that allow you to gain increased damage with kills.
Nightshade Pulse Rifle Strikes – Zavala This pulse rifle has armor-piercing rounds which deals increased damage to shields and overpentrate.

Energy

Weapon Type Source Reason
Manannan SR4 Scout Rifle Banshee-44 Another scout rifle with Explosive Payload perk, also higher firing rate than Nameless Midnight
MiDA-Mini Tool Submachine Gun EDZ Quest Good energy weapon if you are using MIDA Multi-Tool as your kinetic as it grants speed bonus. Good for clearing adds up close.
Annual Skate Handcannon Legendary Engrams Great handcannon with a great feel. Precision kills (i.e. headshots) will decrease reload time.
Uriel’s Gift Auto Rifle Legendary Engrams Good all around auto rifle

Power

Weapon Type Source Reason
Curtain Call Rocket Launcher Strikes – Zavala Best rocket launcher you can get outside raids. Fast projectile speed and increased blast radius combined with Cluster Bombs perk that spawns cluster bombs on detonation, great for adds clearing or extra damage on bosses.
Sins of the Past Rocket Launcher Leviathan Raid Rocket launcher with Cluster Bomb and Auto Reload.
It Stared Back Sword Leviathan Raid Amazing sword that has increased damage with consecutive rapid sword strikes and ammo regen.

Weapons to Keep (PvP)

  • Notable Exotics: Mida-Multi Tool is the top exotic being used in PvP.

Kinetic

Weapon Type Source Reason
Antipoe –D Submachine Gun Banshee-44 Submachine Gun with long range and Kill Clip perk that grants increased damage when you reload after a kill.

Energy

Weapon Type Source Reason
Last Hope Sidearm Legendary Engrams 3 round burst sidearm with very little recoil.
Uriel’s Gift Auto Rifle Legendary Engrams Good all around auto rifle. Most used weapon in PvP.
Manannan SR4 Scout Rifle Banshee-44 If you don’t have a MIDA Multi-Tool, this scout rifle is a good alternative.

Fashion

Lets not kid ourselves, the real endgame is cosmetics and fashion. There is no point in doing hard content if you can’t look good at the same time. Each vendor in Destiny 2 sells a distinct armor set with unique visuals. There are also events such as the Iron Banner and Faction Rally that comes once a week per month to bring in some limited time wares.

References

These guides on Reddit were consulted as part of the creation of this new player guide.

  • MTCason

    Fantastic guide as always, Dulfy! So excited for tomorrow and as someone who never played Destiny 1 (because it was consoles-only) and so was pretty lost when it came to a lot of the terminology and gameplay you helped clear up a lot! Thank you for all the effort that went into this.

    • Lakemine

      Ditto! Can’t wait for 13:00 and thanks again Dulfy!

  • Sarynn

    Good stuff, like usual.

  • Alice Kazumitsu

    How can you be in EVERY GAME?

  • This is an amazing guide. Thank you!

  • Gamecock13

    This is fantastic. Really, thank you for the time and effort!

  • BobbyOrr

    LF invite to Dulfy Clan:)

  • Kubrickian

    Nice to see the kids at Bungie are reading a lot of David Icke. The giant sphere is similar to the Zulu theory that our Moon is a camouflaged artificial object dragged over here by reptilians. Since I enjoyed Oni and the original Halo I just purchased a copy on Battlenet and will read your guide while downloading.

    Last time I saw you in SWTOR was on Harbinger for ranked season ending. That was a couple of years ago haven’t seen you in game since…

    • Bitmob

      That is some powerfull weed man, grz!

  • Taiwan Wolf

    Adding a new game to your site? 😮 such madness!

  • C

    This was really helpful, thank you so much Dulfy.

  • Ender_74

    Great stuff ! Thanks a lot. Small mistake though, the vendors on the planets and Hawthorne sell Uncommon gear and not Rare as said in the “Post 20” leveling part

  • Mike G

    Excellent Guide, your Night Fall modifier states “Torrent – Vastly reduce the recharge of your grenade and class abilities, allowing you to spam them more often.”

    It’s unclear if it’s reducing the recharge rate or time, if it’s good or bad. Using context from the rest of the sentence I assume you mean TIME. Please verify/update?

    • It is a good thing – hence you can spam them more.

  • DLE

    Hello, in some other guides, there is said that it’s better to do the exotic weapon quests from 280. is there any huge difference?

    • You do not want to do exotic quests until you are 280 as you won’t have enough items to boost you to 280. The whole point of the exotic quests is that they use to boost your power level.

      • DLE

        Hello, thanks for the fast answer!

        So i wait until i hit average PL 280 (on the screen), and then i finish the mentioned exotic quests to get the most out of it.

        what can i do until then? farm nightfall strikes? im done with weekly milestones and @ 274 at the moment. if i do nightfall, then i have to put the ratking questitem into my tresor in order to not trigger it, right?

        • Wait, I worded that incorrectly, what i meant is that you don’t want to wait as you won’t have enough stuff to take you to 280 if you wait. Just do the exotic quest now and boost you to 280+ and then you can proceed to do the weekly stuff once the weekly reset happens in a couple hrs.

  • Mike Yorku

    Yay <3 Dulfy for making this. Very familiar with this site, so having everything here makes it very useful.

  • Jamie Murray

    This guide is pretty impressive. Good on you.

  • Bardo

    How is Halfdan-D not on the list of Legendaries to keep?
    Slow firing, huge range, overpenetration, and almost instant reload after precision kill.
    It’s wayyyyy better than Nightshade IMHO. Pulse rifles are really weak right now.

  • SavingPrincess

    No love for the Linear Fusion Rifle =/

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