Destiny 2 can’t quite seem to figure out Crucible. Even with the recent PvP specific Stasis nerf, there just haven’t been enough updates to make it a core focus for many players. However, Crucible still has a wide variety of game types to choose from, making it worth jumping into from time to time.
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Crucible offers seasonal events like Iron Banner and weekly Trials of Osiris, and plenty of standard competitive and casual modes. So, which PvP modes in Destiny 2 are the best? And which ones are worth avoiding altogether? Let’s find out by ranking every Destiny 2 PvP mode in Crucible.
All Crucible Game Modes Ranked From Worst to Best
For this list, we are going to avoid ranking any currently vaulted PvP modes. While some may potentially return in the future, we’re sticking with every available or on-rotation mode in 2021.
With that in mind, let’s start ranking every Crucible mode.
Showdown is a round-based 4v4 mode that requires you and your team to rack up as many kills as possible to win the round. The first to win three wins the whole thing.
In short, this is everything wrong with Crucible. It’s overly long, completely leans into the meta when it comes to builds that allow you to win, and isn’t overly reliant on team composition. You need a high level of skill with specific weapons — right now, that means using Hand Cannons on PC and a mix of Pulse Rifles, Scout Rifles, and Hand Cannons on console.
It’s just a frustrating and weirdly archaic mode. None of the mechanics and systems feel like they mesh, and for smaller teams, it’s never worth coordinating. Plus, you can be stuck playing a single match for upwards of thirty minutes if the rounds stretch on, taking the ability to jump into a few quick rounds out of the equation.
There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ team deathmatch. In Destiny 2, that comes in the form of a 6v6 rotational mode, Clash. Nothing fancy or game-breaking — just two teams taking each other on to see who gets the most kills in a given timeframe. This is also a mode that doesn’t restrict your armor and weapons, allowing you to test and iterate on any build you want to try.
Really, the only reason it ranks so low is that it plays like every other deathmatch in every other game, which is a bit of a letdown. Yes, that’s the whole point, but the real issue is that there are no specific alterations to the gameplay to turn it into a pure gunplay mode.
Abilities are still active and often make the sole difference in who comes out on top. Again, nothing wrong with having a traditional mode like this, but it’s just always felt like it could be so much more.
6. Control and Iron Banner
We’re going to group these two together since they’re literally the same game mode. The only difference is that Iron Banner introduces “The Hunt,” which activates once a team has secured all three points. This activates a timed portion where the points are locked, and the other team needs to avoid getting killed.
Other than that, these modes work the same. You have three points around the map, two on opposite ends of the map and one in a more neutral location. The more points you secure, the more points you get for kills.
This strikes a solid balance between offensive and defensive gameplay. Forgetting to watch a point can easily lead to a swing in momentum, causing your lead to dissipate in a matter of minutes. The only drawback here is really how Iron Banner has failed to develop this PvP mode any further. Other than that, it’s a fairly fun and easy game type to jump into.
5. Trials of Osiris
There’s a lot that is broken with Trials of Osiris. The reward system and flawless system don’t encourage new players, and like everything in Crucible, you either dominate or get shredded by your opponents. That said, it’s still one of the most interesting and competitive modes available, and it’s incredibly fun to play with a coordinated Fireteam.
Trials is a 3v3 weekly mode that starts on Fridays and ends on Tuesdays. There’s no matchmaking, so you need to assemble a team to join after running through a lengthy entrance process by playing Crucible. Then you just follow the Elimination rules, where you have to work with a set amount of lives and either wipe the opposing team or have more people remaining before time runs out.
While the card system still needs an overhaul, the rewards still make Trials worth trying. You’ll typically find some of the better weapons and perk variations in the game here, and with a good team, going Flawless is very possible. It really just needs some changes that make it more accessible to turn it into a truly excellent game type.
Survival works a lot like Elimination and Trials. It’s still a 3v3 mode available in the Competitive playlist where you need to attempt to wipe the enemy team. The only difference is that you have a cumulative set of shared lives between your whole team. Once you have no lives left, no one can respawn.
This presents the one time where a feature extending the length of gameplay is a good thing. Sure, having one life to work with makes PvP far more exciting and tense, but having additional lives makes trying this more competitive option much less frustrating. Rather than dying immediately and watching the rest, you have the chance to regroup and hopefully take revenge on the other team.
The best way to play is with a coordinated team, but the lives system makes this totally doable in matchmaking. We’d still recommend sticking to a core Fireteam to avoid joining with novice players that may drain your lives unless you’re just running bounties. Instead, treat this as a training mode for Trials and hone in on what works for you and your team.
Sometimes the best part of Crucible is just unleashing hell on your enemies. The 6v6 Mayhem game mode allows you to do this constantly thanks to rapid Super and ability regeneration. This accelerated charge means that this game mode reflects the playlist title perfectly, as the battlefield becomes pure mayhem.
The point system in this mode further encourages you to continually unleash your Super. You only get one point for weapon kills, but three for Supers. The best way to get your Super back faster is to get kills in between, but the true goal is to pop it in crowded areas of the map and take out multiple enemies at once.
This isn’t a serious mode, and it can get old when you’re constantly getting tethered or fried over and over again. At the same time, it’s still one of the most unique modes available and worth jumping into for a few quick rounds of just pure nonsense.
Like to go it alone without matchmaking? Then the six-player free-for-all mode, Rumble, is perfect for you. Test your might, and try to get the max number of kills before the other players.
This may be the most strategic solo mode available. You have no support, have to run the right weapons, and need to know the map layout like the back of your hand to succeed. It also requires you to pay far more attention to what your opponents are running so that you can adapt your setup and playstyle to counteract theirs.
Before going in, just know that this mode is balanced enough to be useful for serious competitive players and casual players alike. It’s a great place to hone your skills and test out the effectiveness of specific builds.
Elimination is the 3v3 mode that Trials is based around. The standard playlist makes it far easier to jump into and is also much faster than most Crucible game types. Through four rounds, you must systematically take out the enemy team to achieve victory, requiring you and your team to stick close and carry out complementary weapon and ability combinations.
It includes what’s genuinely still good about Crucible — a challenging experience that encourages teamwork and rewards you for developing your skills and attempting to run a specific game plan. There’s far less randomness here, and it truly comes down to who is better in a given moment.
This is likely as close as we’ll get to a true SWOT mode from the Bungie team. And honestly, it would be great to see them continue to adapt and tweak this playlist for Trials and the standard game type.
Crucible may still seem like an afterthought, but there is still plenty of fun to be had with a coordinated Fireteam and the right game mode. Do you still play Crucible? Have a favorite mode or build? Be sure to let us know by sharing this article on your favorite social channels and tagging us. For the latest on Destiny 2, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.