Destiny 2 Tips and Tricks for New and Returning Players
Whether you are a returning player or new to the series, we have a few Destiny 2 tips and tricks to help you along. This guide will be updated frequently.
If you aren’t familiar with the Destiny series and you jump into Destiny 2 unaware, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it isn’t a very big game – after all, there are only four regions to explore and 16 campaign missions. Fans of the series, however, are well aware that there is so, so much more to it.
Destiny 2 is a huge game, with secret upon secret and mission upon mission. You can choose a destination and run in a circle around the map, and you’ll constantly find new things to do and see. At its core, the Destiny series is about collecting loot – both to make you more powerful for harder missions and to earn even better loot. How you go about that though, is entirely up to you.
With that in mind, we have a few Destiny 2 tips and tricks for both new players and returning vets who may have lost touch with the series. Given the depth, size, and Bungie’s constant updates Destiny 2 will change frequently – and so too will this guide. If you have any Destiny 2 tips you’d like to pass on, let us know in the comments below and we’ll give you credit and add them to the guide.
Bring Your Best Equipment with You
One minor – but significant – change to Destiny 2 over the previous title is that you no longer need to have your best weapons equipped to get the best loot when you are decrypting engrams. Instead, just make sure you have your best equipment in your inventory (the game checks for your best potential loadout) and it will potentially earn you the best loot possible.
Beyond that, Destiny 2 – like its predecessor – is all about grinding for loot. Thankfully, the gameplay is strong enough that playing the game is the reward. But that said, if you aren’t into collecting loot, this might not be the game for you.
One tip when it comes to your equipment: once you earn some Legendary equipment, you can break it down to earn Legendary shards or you can infuse that gear into higher armor and weapons. But before you do that, check to see what mods are on them. It might affect the item’s level (and therefore its infusion possibilities) to remove the mod, but it could be worth keeping it.
- Always check to see what mods you can add to your armor and weapons. You might be able to increase your levels that way.
- You can break down Exotic items – you’ll earn a few more Legendary Shards than you will with Legendary items, but whether or not it’s worth it is up to you.
When you unlock the Strikes (after the campaign mission “Fury”) you also unlock the Challenges. To see what your challenges are, just bring up your Ghost. These Challenges will help you level up quickly as you’ll also earn tokens as you go. And the better your level, the better your rewards will be when you cash them in.
Each Strike and Destination has its own set of Challenges that will be automatically available when you land/begin a mission. Some of these Challenges you’ll just complete as you play (killing enemies, for example), but keep an eye on them.
- Challenges reset every day at 2 a.m. PST.
The PvP mode in Destiny 2 has plenty going for it. Even if the competitive mode is not your thing, it’s worth playing a bit to complete Challenges and earn Rare, Legendary, and occasionally Exotic gear and engrams.
If you are new to Destiny’s PvP side, one of the first things you need to know is that the competitive modes balance out weapons and power levels to make it fair for everyone. That means someone at level 80 can compete with someone at level 280, but it also means that the stats for your weapons are more important than ever.
You may, for example, find a Rare SMG early on with a high magazine. You can’t upgrade it given that it’s a Rare, but if it has a better capacity than a more powerful counterpart you may be using in the PvE side, keep it stored in your Vault until you jump into the Crucible and you’ll have a great weapon to use.
There are currently four types of multiplayer modes: Clash (traditional team deathmatch), Control (essentially 3-point domination), Countdown (one team attacks while the other defends, then they switch), and Survival (team deathmatch with a limited number of collective respawns per team).
- Each map has a choke point, designed to funnel the action to. Learn where these are and enter them with caution.
- Energy weapons can counteract an opponent with their special activated.
- Pay attention to the reload and range on weapons you use in the Crucible.
- Grenades are less powerful in PvP than they are in PvE.
- Crucible matches are 4v4, so sticking together as a team is always going to be more effective than going lone wolf.
Destiny 2 DLC
If Destiny is a good indication, then Destiny 2 will have several expansion packs released over the next several months, even years. These expansions are not to be confused with the frequent updates that are free to all, but rather these will introduce huge new sections to explore, complete with new missions (and loot).
So far, Bungie has confirmed the release of two DLCs. The first, The Curse of Osiris, is due out in December; the second doesn’t have a name yet, but it will focus on the Russian Warmind Rasputin and is scheduled for 2018. Both are available to purchase right now as part of the Destiny 2 Season Pass, and both will be available to buy individually.
- The first expansion will introduce Mercury as a playable area.
- Curse of Osiris will introduce a new social area.
- The second expansion may be out in May 2018.
In Destiny 2, you have three classes of weapons – Kinetic, Energy, and Power Weapons. You may see the same weapon repeated in the Kinetic and Energy categories, but the Energy weapons come in one of three elemental types: Arc, Solar, and Void.
Matching the right type of Energy Weapon with the matching enemy shield will make it explode, inflicting huge amounts of damage to anyone nearby. Just match the elemental color of the weapon to the color of the shield (Arc = blue, Solar = orange, and Void = purple). Once their shield is down, you can switch to your Kinetic weapon and inflict higher damage. Depending on the enemy and the level, using the wrong element may just waste your ammo, so keep an eye on the damage from each shot.
- In Nightfall, the type of element you need to use changes. Keep an eye on the lower left corner of the screen for an update on what to use, and try to bring one of each type of Energy Weapon with you.
- Energy Weapons consist of Auto Rifles, Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Scout Rifles, and Submachine guns.
- If the shield is white, use your Kinetic weapon.
Each week, Bungie will update Destiny 2 with a new Flashpoint activity that sends you to one specific Destination to complete an objective or objectives. To activate these, you’ll need to talk to Cayde-6 after you’ve beaten the campaign. You should go out of your way to complete them, but like Challenges, they are active in the background and you get credit for completing them even if you don’t realize it.
In general, Flashpoints will task you with completing existing objectives like Public Events. You’ll have a goal to reach, which you can track through the Milestone menu (hold L2 in the Director). You will need to complete several to reach 100-percent of the goal, so it will take a bit of time.
You should go out of your way to try to complete these. Once you do, head back to Cayde-6 and collect your reward (typically a Legendary Engram).
- If the Flashpoint is a Public Event, completing the Heroic version will help to complete the Flashpoint much faster.
- Bungie stated that Flashpoint rewards are similar in prestige to the loot you received from Nightfall Strikes in Destiny.
One of the biggest components to Destiny was the Raids. But despite how much emphasis Bungie put on these missions, there was a significant problem – more than half the people that played Destiny never tried them, due in huge part to the difficulty of manually finding people to play. The same was true of Nightfall Strikes, but the Raids were always meant to be a crowning jewel in the original game and many people never even attempted them.
In Destiny, if you wanted to join a Nightfall or Raid mission, you needed to assemble your own team of three or six, respectively. That meant working with your friends within their schedules, or heading online to various forums to join or form a team. With the “Guided Games,” however, there is now an easier way.
Once you open up the Guided Games option, you can choose from a list of available teams – which begins with clans – looking for a player or players for Nightfalls, Raids, and Trials. If you like, you can even try to join that clan later, which makes it much easier to find a group to play with. Alternatively, if you are a clan, you become a “guide” and look for members. Bungie is calling this feature a “soft beta” at launch, so it will continue to change.
- If you want to do it the old fashioned way, you can still head over to the Bungie Destiny 2 forums and find a team that way.
If you happen to see an enemy with a yellow life bar – even if they are just wandering around one of the destinations – make it a point to go after them right away. They can be anywhere and appear anytime, and they tend to drop great loot.
- Each Destination has “Lost Sectors” that you can stumble across and explore. You’ll face off with some yellow-barred enemies and find a chest to loot for your efforts.
Public Events/Heroic Public Events
Scattered throughout the world of Destiny 2 you’ll come across random “Public Events,” quick, one-off mini-missions with a relatively simple agenda. You can complete these timed events solo (although it’s not easy to do in the time limit), but they allow up to nine players at once. Just check your map, and if you get there early look for the flag (if you interact, aka “rally” with it before the Event starts you’ll refill your special and abilities).
Simply competing in a Public Event – even if you don’t conclude it in time – earns you a token. Finishing them off before the time limit earns you the token and loot, but what you really want to complete the “Heroic Public Events.”
All Public Events can become Heroic Public Events, but the method of upgrading them is unique to each Event. Completing them earns you the token, of course, along with better gear. At launch, there are several Public Events, and there are almost certainly more on the way post-launch through updates.
How to trigger each Heroic PublicEvent:
- Cabal Extraction – When the Cabal ship flies over, you will need to shoot it down before completing the drill deactivation. It will leave and return, and if you are close to taking it down, step out of the circle to stop the deactivation process until you destroy it.
- Ether Resupply – To trigger the Heroic Event, just destroy the smaller servitors before you take out the large, main servitor.
- Glimmer Extraction – For the Heroic Event to activate, you’ll need to destroy the extraction tool at each site. Once you do trigger the Heroic Event, you’ll then need to stay in the circle of glimmer and kill anything that comes near you.
- Injection Rig – Before the heat gets too much, you need to run around the dome and look for the vents. Shoot three and you’ll get the Heroic Event – and a tougher boss.
- Taken Blight – Jump in the smaller domes and destroy the dark spheres to earn a “Blight Receding” buff. Destroy the main sphere and you’ll trigger the Heroic Event and a boss.
- Vex Spire – Look for three circular plates surrounding the central spire. Stay in each plate until you capture it. Capture all three to trigger the Heroic Event.
- Weapons Exchange – To trigger the Heroic Event, you need to unlock all three scorch cannons. Just retrieve the arc charges (dropped when the walker is damaged) and place them in the receptors next to the scorch cannons – it takes two for each.
- Witches Ritual – To trigger the Heroic Event on Titan, you need to defeat the two wizards, then capture the plates. Destroy the crystals whent hey appear and you’ll trigger the Heroic Event – and the Darkblade Knight
If you’ve played any MMORPG – including Destiny – then you’re familiar with Raids. You and a team engage in a special mission that culminates with an uber-boss, and destroying it earns you rare loot. Destiny 2 is no different.
Unlike Destiny where players had to wait months for the first Raid, in Destiny 2 Raids are available just a few days after the game’s launch. New Raids will be introduced as updates, and if you want to max out your character and get the best loot, you’ll need to play Raids.
- Bungie has stated that it will not lower the difficulty for Raids in Destiny 2, so don’t expect an easy mode.
- The first Raid is called “Leviathan.”
- The recommended level is 260-280 (so assume 280+ to be safe).
- The rewards will change each week during the weekly reset.
Recommended Power Level
In Destiny 2, each campaign mission, adventure, Strike, Raid, etc., has a “recommended” power level. You’ll notice that recommended is in quotes, and that’s not an accident.
For every recommended level the game offers, add at least 10 to it – then add 10 more. The first Nightfall Strike, for example, recommended a level of 240. That borders on ridiculous. Nightfall is something of an extreme example, but if an adventure says you should be level 160, you might want to be 170 or up before attempting it. This is especially true if you are playing solo.
The flip side of the recommended level is that you shouldn’t wait too long to do the lower level missions. If you stumble upon one that is power level 90 and you are power level 190, you won’t find a lot of challenge – and probably not a lot of loot drops either. They are still worth doing for the tokens.
- If you want to get the most out of Destiny 2, you may want to focus on leveling up one character first. Once you have a character that can compete in anything including Raids, create a new character (or two) under a different class.
- The max level is 300.
General Destiny 2 Tips and Tricks
- Destiny 2’s weekly reset occurs Tuesday morning at 2 a.m. PST.
- Daily resets happen every day at 2 a.m. PST.
- Xur appears each weekend from Friday to Sunday. He will sell Exotics in exchange for Legendary Shards.
- If you are looking to grind, Titan may be your best bet – it has frequent Public Events that are easy to reach quickly, plus plenty of patrols, loot chests, etc.
Have Some Destiny 2 Tips of Your Own?
Let us know in the comments below, or email them to us!