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10 Things We Wish We Knew Before Playing Destiny 2

When looking back at all the content available in Destiny 2, it becomes obvious just how much there is to do. And if you’re a newer player, this might seem really overwhelming (because it is). If you’re wanting to get into the game but you don’t know where to start, here is a collection of Destiny 2 beginner tips!

Let’s hop right into it with the first entry on the list–how Classes and Subclasses work.

1. Classes and Subclasses Overview

There are three classes in Destiny 2, and each has five subclass variants. The three classes are Warlock, Hunter, and Titan. This is how it’s been since the very start of Destiny 1, and it doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. The class you pick doesn’t have much of an impact (if any) on the story of the game, but it does largely affect your gameplay. Each class has different abilities and intended playstyles, but it’s very rare for any one class to be absolutely required for an activity. And you shouldn’t ever encounter something you can’t do because of your class, unless there’s some weird glitch.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

The five subclass types are split into two groups: Light and Darkness. The Light represents the original three subclasses from Destiny 1. These are Solar, Void, and Arc. The Darkness subclasses are new in Destiny 2, with the newest being added this year. They are Stasis and Strand, but there’s a third coming in the future to even the sides out.

To unlock the Light subclasses, just speak to Ikora Rey at the Tower. She’ll give you all the quests and such that you need to unlock them all, and you can also purchases Fragments from her to customize your subclass further. To unlock Darkness subclasses, you’ll need to own DLC/expansions. Stasis can be unlocked via the Beyond Light campaign, and Strand via the Lightfall one.

2. Essential Missions for Beginners

The most important missions for newer players are any that involve your classes or subclasses. Any quest Ikora Rey gives you is likely to be important, and the same goes for the other notable vendors. Speak to Commander Zavala, Lord Shaxx, and the Drifter to pick up any introductory missions for the main core playlists early on.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

You’ll also want to gain access to the Enclave at some point so you can craft weapons. This might not be a super early-game concern, but it’s a quest worth doing since it’s quick and gives good gear. The first little bit of the Witch Queen campaign is free and is how you get access to the Enclave. Once you do the first few weapon crafting quests, you’ll be able to craft more and start using the new ones it gives you essentially for free.

After you’ve gotten started with the game and you’re feeling a bit confident, feel free to start up the Lightfall questline by going to Neptune. You can also go back and do any other older expansion questline if you want, but the rewards won’t be quite as good anymore.

3. Leveling Up and How to Reach Max Light/Power

The leveling process in Destiny 2 can be really complicated at first glance. Instead of just getting XP to rank up, you’ll need to increase your Light level instead. Light level can be seen in your character menu, right beneath the word “Power”. Your current level is simply the average Light of all your armor and weapons (currently equipped). The maximum Light level (as of Season 21) is 1810 without Artifact bonuses. Bungie has recently stopped increasing this level each season, so once you’re at 1810 you should be good for a while. Although, we wouldn’t be surprised if they increase it again sooner than later.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

To reach max Light level quickly, play activities which grant either Powerful or Pinnacle engrams/rewards. Also, make sure not to dismantle any gear that’s a higher level than your other stuff. The game detects what your highest possible Light is and gives you rewards based on that number, not your currently-equipped gear. So, there’s no reason to waste upgrade materials until you have enough to make a large jump in numbers.

4. What Game Modes to Play?

For newer players, you’ll want to stick to the base game modes and major story content for the first little while you play. Some activities are incredibly complicated or difficult, so you don’t want to jump into those and ruin your experience.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

The core playlists for Destiny 2 are Vanguard Ops, Gambit, and non-Competitive Crucible (PVP). You’ll get valuable rewards from playing any of these activities, including a weekly engram that guarantees high-Light gear. In addition to that, these playlists also offer a good way to acquire weapons and armor, and a lot of those will be higher Light even if they aren’t an engram reward.

Outside of the core playlists, there are some other modes that you should at least give a look. Each season there’s a featured seasonal game mode, usually accessible via the H.E.L.M. This season (S21), we have Salvage and Deep Dive to play. Salvage is a 6-player activity that’s more chaotic and fast-paced, while Deep Dive is a 3-player maximum activity (no matchmaking) that gives more of the actual “mission” experience.

5. Resources to Farm

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

There are a lot of resources and currencies in Destiny 2. However, it’s fairly easy to break them down into which are most important and how to get them. Here’s a quick list of the most important resources to farm in Destiny 2:

  • Glimmer – the main currency of the game. Obtained from pretty much everything you do. It can also be purchased with other materials from Master Rahool at the Tower.
  • Legendary Shards – required for purchasing a lot of valuable Legendary and even Exotic gear. Obtained from dismantling Legendary gear.
  • Enhancement Cores – required for upgrading gear. Can be obtained via Banshee-44 bounties, random activity drops, or sometimes dismantling gear.
  • Enhancement Prisms – the second-tier material for upgrades. For some reason, even though they’re meant to be more rare, it’s way easier to farm these than Cores. Just play the highest level Nightfall strike you can handle to farm them like crazy. You can also buy them for 10 Enhancement Cores from Rahool.
  • Ascendant Shards – the rarest upgrade material. You can get these from high-level Nightfall strikes, or you can buy them from Rahool for 10 Prisms each. Most vendors also offer one Ascendant Shard as a prestige/reset reward.
  • Ascendant Alloys – used for masterworking crafted weapons. These can be obtained from Rahool for 400 Legendary Shards.

6. Easily Accessible Meta Weapons

Just because a weapon is meta or good doesn’t mean it has to be hard to get. In fact, there are actually a lot of really strong weapons that you can get your hands on from the start of the game.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

The best way to quickly get powerful weapons is to buy them from vendors. Check Banshee-44 (the Gunsmith) at the Tower often since his inventory changes twice daily. He only has Legendary weapons, but he often has some of the best in the game. Xur is another fantastic source of gear, but he’s only around on the weekends. Xur has both Exotic and Legendary gear, so he is arguably the #1 spot for newer players to pick up Exotic weapons and armor. There’s also the seasonal vendors at the H.E.L.M., who always have great meta weapons.

Also, make sure and check any Exotic quests you get (they’re yellow and usually quite obvious). They almost always have an Exotic weapon tied to them, so they’re often worth doing. You can get Exotics such as The Lament, Parasite, Gjallarhorn, Riskrunner, and many other awesome weapons via Exotic quests.

7. How Do Armor Stats Work?

Armor stats are another thing in Destiny 2 that really shouldn’t be as complicated as it is. Let’s break it down in the simplest manner possible. There are six stats (Mobility, Resilience, Recovery, Discipline, Intellect, and Strength). Each class has one stat that determines their class ability cooldown, and that one is usually very strong. For Warlocks it’s Recovery, Titans have Resilience, and Hunters get Mobility. The stats are also broken into two groups: the top (Mob/Res/Rec) and bottom (Dis/Int/Str) halves. When stats are determined for a piece of gear, the total has to be split between those groups. So it’s virtually impossible to get a piece of armor with all it’s stats in just one half. This sucks for Hunters who want triple 100 stats in all three top half slots, but it’s just how it is.

In general, the actual pieces of Legendary armor you have don’t really matter that much. It’s only the stats that matter, in most cases. So if you have two Legendary chest pieces, just pick the one with better stats since everything else is cosmetic. There are a couple exceptions to this like Raid and Seasonal armor, but even those aren’t important enough to worry about most of the time.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

You’ll also notice that your Class Item doesn’t have any stats. Due to that, you can use any Class Item whenever you want. It’s all about aesthetics, so there’s no reason to worry about it. Artifice armor (essentially just improved armor) does exist at higher levels, but newer players shouldn’t worry about it either since it’s only available in very high-end content.

8. Use DIM or Another Inventory Management App

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

Playing Destiny 2 without using third-party apps is a nightmare. Especially if you want to manage your inventory in any way at all. The in-game Vault is annoying to use since you have to physically go to the Tower, and there’s no way to move gear across multiple characters or to and from the Vault without third-party apps. The best one is DIM, as almost every single Destiny 2 player on PC uses it.

If you’re on console, the official Destiny 2 companion app is also an option if you don’t want to mess DIM. It’s a little more frustrating to use, but it gets the job done.

9. How to Find Others to Play With (LFG)

Entering King's Fall (Intro Encounter)
(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

One of the biggest problems you might have with Destiny 2 is that it gets really boring to play alone sometimes. Luckily, it’s not hard to find other people to run activities or raids with! By far the largest LFG (looking for game) group is the Destiny 2 LFG Discord. There are over 500,000 people in the server, so it’s very easy to find a good group to play with. There are also lots of people willing to help newer players with everything from getting started to their first raid. Just make sure and say you’re a beginner, because as with any community server, some people might be jerks if you don’t.

There’s also supposed to be an in-game LFG releasing sometime this year, but we’ll just have to wait and see about it. With the way the servers have been this season, it doesn’t look good for that hope at the moment.

10. Armor, Weapon, and Ghost Mods

Last but not least is all the kinds of in-game mods you have access to. In Destiny 2, you can use weapon, armor, and Ghost mods. For weapons, the mods are usually things like increased radar distance or faster draw speed. Armor mods are more broad, as each piece has several slots to customize. You can get everything from stat bonuses to elemental damage boosts to ultra-specific subclass effects. Armor mods are the best way to customize your build and make it feel more fine-tuned.

(Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss)

Then there’s Ghost mods. These can be equipped onto your Ghost for smaller effects that don’t change the gameplay as much. Ghost mods usually come in the form of Glimmer boosts, XP bonuses, being able to see chests from further away, and similar effects. The most important Ghost mods are the ones which allow you to focus what stat your armor will favor. For example, if you use the Recovery Armorer mod, you’ll be guaranteed at least 10 points in Recovery for every armor piece you get.

Join the High Ground

Thanks for checking out this article on 10 things we wish we knew about Destiny 2 before we started playing. Hopefully this Destiny 2 beginner tips guide helps you out in the New Light experience, and as always, make sure to keep the high ground!

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