While Gambit hasn’t seen many updates in recent years, it’s still a quick method to earn gear, finish seasonal challenges, and unlock upgrade materials. Matches are quick and it’s far more forgiving than Crucible, which makes it great for players at any level. However, if you want to get the most out of Gambit, it’s best to know the ins and outs of the game mode.
In this Destiny 2 Gambit guide, we’ll cover the basics, tips for winning Gambit matches, and then discuss how to earn Infamy ranks quickly. Gambit is the perfect activity for Destiny 2 players that are fans of PVE and that just want a taste of PVP. It’s a game mode built around collaboration and risk management, one where you and your team have to simultaneously take out enemies and stall your opponents.
Whether you’re a New Light or a seasoned Destiny 2 player, here’s everything you need to know about Gambit.
What is Gambit?
Gambit is a hybrid PVE and PVP multiplayer mode that has two teams of four compete to eliminate enemies, collect and bank motes, and summon and kill a Taken Primeval. At the same time, you have to deal with enemy players crossing over and sending along additional Taken enemies to take down. The first team to bank 100 motes and take out the Primeval wins it all.
You kill enemies through multiple waves that shift around the map and range in difficulty. Each enemy will drop a mote, with more powerful enemies and valued targets dropping more. You can pick up a max of fifteen at a time before you have to bank them in the console at the center of the map. These motes also don’t stick around forever, so be sure to pick them up before they start flashing and disappear!
Summoning Blockers and Invasion
Now, Gambit isn’t just about banking your motes, it’s about banking them in a way that blocks the other team. That’s where blockers come in. Collect five, ten, or fifteen motes to summon blockers of various difficulty to send to the other side. While there are benefits to racking up motes to hit the large blocker, the trade-off is that if you die, you’ll lose them all. Be sure to weigh the potential risk before holding onto motes, especially if an invader comes through.
Invaders are enemy players that come through a portal to attack you on your side. They have thirty seconds to try to eliminate as many players as possible (unless they’re killed before the timer runs out). You’ll get a brief audio announcement when a player invades, along with a red overlay and countdown timer as long as they are on your side. If they kill you, you’ll drop your motes. If the Primeval has been summoned, the final boss will gain health back instead.
You have the chance to invade whenever you bank 25 motes. Only one player can go at a time, and you have to walk through the open portal that’s located near the mote bank. Try to take out as many enemies as possible before they deposit motes to get the most out of your time on the other side.
Tips to Win Gambit Matches
For being a hybrid game mode, Gambit is surprisingly straightforward in how it works. However, winning consistently isn’t always easy. It’s honestly very rare to see a close game — you’ll typically see the game snowball in one team’s favor. To make sure you get the most out of every round you play, here are a few tips to consistently win Gambit matches.
1. Focus on Banking Motes
Motes are the crux of Gambit. You need to kill enemies to collect them, need to avoid dying to keep them, and can risk carrying more to acquire a larger blocker. All of this is in pursuit of banking enough motes to summon your Primeval, ideally before the other team.
It can become all too easy to get so caught up in taking down enemies that you forget to pick up motes. Be sure you’re actively collecting as many as possible and working with your team to efficiently unlock blockers to send over. You always have a tracker going on the left-hand side that tells you how many you have, so keep a close eye and let that dictate how you play.
Little to no motes means you can play a bit riskier, while anytime you’re close to a blocker it may be wiser to keep your distance. Stay fluid and be aware of how risky you’re playing, as well as when your teammates need to grab motes of your own. This can help you quickly summon the Primeval and avoid wasting motes.
2. Watch for Invaders
Invaders can easily ruin your day, especially if they’re good with a long-range weapon. Luckily, it’s incredibly obvious when they invade and enemies are highlighted in a vibrant red. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious where they’ll pop up, and if they have a Super or Heavy ammo available, you’ll likely be dead before you see them.
The key to taking on an invader is being prepared for when they cross through. You can check the mote bank to see how close the enemy team is to invading, which happens when they hit any increment of 25 motes. Aside from anticipating when they’ll cross, you’ll also want to pay attention to the countdown timer to see how long you’ll have to deal with them.
If you or someone on your team has a large number of motes, it may be best to move further into an enclosed space and group up with other members. Whoever has the least motes may want to drop back and start circling the outskirts of the map to take on the invader while they’re hunting for other players. Just remember that the invader is able to see you and your team from further away, so it will likely be difficult to sneak up on them.
3. Coordinate When You Invade
Just like you can plan and anticipate when an enemy will invade, you can do the same for when you’ll invade. Keep track of how close you are to racking up 25 motes and try to either have a Super or Heavy ammo ready. Once you or a teammate crosses over, get within striking distance and play aggressively. This may mean unleashing your Rocket Launcher or Super ability, or getting a good line of sight and popping them from afar with a Sniper Rifle or Scout Rifle.
Now, before you cross over, you may also want to look at how many motes the other team has available to bank. This will be present on the bar as a lighter-colored element, which showcases where the team will be once everyone hits the bank. If you’re able to cross through when they have a ton of motes still with each player, the more likely you are to set them back if you kill them.
Additionally, it’s also wise to invade after you’ve sent over a blocker or two. This can be the perfect distraction for you to come in and take out the enemy team while they’re dealing with the Taken enemies. The more blockers you have, the easier it will be to stay alive and take out more enemies.
4. Prioritize Blockers
As we mentioned before, collecting and prioritizing motes is the key to Gambit. The biggest benefit, aside from summoning your Primeval faster, is sending over blockers. Blockers will not only provide an additional enemy to take down but will also lock down the other team’s bank and slowly drain the motes they’ve already collected.
As you collect motes, try to hit at least the Small blocker if possible. It’s really just a waste to bank motes without having reached a blocker unless you’re truly at risk of losing motes. Anytime you’re within one or two of the next blocker level, play a bit more cautiously and sweep in to collect the last few motes after your team has wiped out the group.
On the flip side, you’ll also want to prioritize any blockers that hit your side. Again, they’ll lock your bank and start draining motes, so grab a partner and try to take them down as quickly as possible. Try not to waste your Super or Heavy ammo if possible, but don’t be afraid to sacrifice an ability or shot if it’s taking too long to take them down.
5. Save Heavy Ammo
Speaking of Heavy ammo, it’s an unsurprisingly limited commodity in this game mode. Like Crucible, you’ll have an ammo brick spawn in a set location throughout the game and it can only be collected by one or two players (depending on if you coordinate collecting it). You can also have it drop randomly from more difficult enemies and even invaders, but there’s no guarantee.
That’s why you need to save your Heavy ammo for the right moments. Invading and taking out the full team in a single shot, having an emergency shot available to take out a blocker, and especially chipping away at the Primeval. If at all possible, try to stack up a few shots to quickly shred the Primeval at the end. If you have to use it earlier, that’s fine — just be sure one to two players on your team has something available to speed up your final battle.
6. Take Out Primeval Envoys and Adds
Part of using your Heavy ammo effectively is being sure to avoid burning your Primeval too soon. This enemy comes equipped with a set of Powerful Envoys that can try to kill you as well as a pack of minor enemies. If you die, you’ll regenerate the Primeval’s health, which makes it all the more important for you to take out any distractions.
Additionally, when you take out the Envoys, you’ll actually make it much easier to lay out damage on the Primeval. This is due to the Primeval Slayer debuff that activates after you’ve eliminated every Envoy. This will continuously grow over time as you take out more Envoys, making it all the easier to destroy the Primeval.
The key here is to save abilities and Heavy ammo until you have a healthy stack of the debuff active. If you use any of it beforehand, you’ll see diminished results and potentially eliminate your chances of taking out the Primeval first. Stick to standard weapons at first, take out the other enemies, then use your best weapons and abilities once the debuff is active.
7. Keep Moving
Like much of Destiny 2, staying still can be a death sentence. Between the groups of ads, invading enemies, and blockers, you’ll always have more than one thing to worry about at a given time. Be sure to keep moving and work between getting close to take out enemies and stepping back to keep your motes safe.
This also ensures that you’re always collecting motes when they fall and are in a good position to head back to the bank or support your team. It may sound like a simple tip, but with the map structure and rotating enemy format, it becomes incredibly easy to start camping and get caught off guard. Pay attention to every prompt that hits your screen, watch your motes, and keep moving at all times to ensure you consistently bank motes.
Gambit Infamy Ranks Explained
So, what do you get for playing all this Gambit? Aside from the standard gear drops you get after completing a match, you’ll also earn Infamy Ranks. Just like the Vanguard and Crucible ranking system, this is a separate playlist XP system that helps you level up your reputation and collect rewards from The Drifter. Infamy will increase with every game you play, no matter if you win or lose, with wins giving you a slightly higher boost every time.
How to Quickly Earn Infamy Ranks
Unfortunately, Infamy is much slower to level than other modes, even with a recent rebalance. To make sure you get the most Infamy for your time playing Gambit, here are a few tips to quickly earn Infamy ranks.
Win Gambit Matches
Like we said before, winning a Gambit match will give you substantially more Infamy than losing. This becomes especially true the higher level you get, with earlier levels being much easier to increase just by playing. You want to be sure to set yourself up to win if possible.
Besides the tips we mentioned above, the best thing you can do to win is to play with a full Fireteam. Just like when you’re running Trials of Osiris, there’s just nothing better than being able to coordinate with a full team. It can help you better manage mote acquisition, time invasions, share Heavy ammo, and call out when invaders or blockers have entered your space. It also makes playing a somewhat repetitive activity much more fun.
Activate Gambit Activity Streaks
Every activity playlist has streaks that you can hit by playing consecutive matches. This is known as an activity streak, and it can be maxed out at five, which will dramatically increase the amount of Infamy you receive from a given game. If you’re trying to grind out Gambit, max out the activity streak and keep playing after you’ve hit the full five-game bonus.
Keep in mind that these streaks are really easy to break. If you visit destinations outside of social hubs, leave a game before finishing, or play a different activity, it will fully reset. Just be sure you’re done playing before resetting, otherwise you’ll miss out on a ton of progress toward Infamy ranks.
Just like any other activity, The Drifter has daily bounties available for you to take on that grant additional XP and Infamy Ranks. These are all relatively easy and typically range from killing with a specific weapon type or elemental ability to summoning a couple of Primevals. If you plan to play Gambit for a while, stack up on these bounties beyond the standard four dailies by acquiring random bounties as well.
Just be sure to keep clearing them out as you complete them, and keep collecting more for as long as you play. If you want to be sure that you won’t wipe your Activity Streak, just use the Destiny 2 app to grab more bounties.
Watch Out for Double Infamy Weeks
Another thing to be on the lookout for before you start grinding out Gambit is Double Infamy Weeks. These are regularly returning boosts that provide a temporary boost to Infamy acquisition until the next weekly reset.
They unfortunately aren’t listed in advance, and cycle through different boosts for various activities. Just be on the lookout every time you do a fresh login after a reset to make sure you know what has a boost in a given week and be ready to grind it out.
Gambit Infamy Rank Up Rewards
Gambit has the same reward structure as the Crucible and the Vanguard. It’s a standard ranking system with standard weapons for each rank and more prolific items at specific milestones. Here’s what you can expect during Season of the Lost.
- Rank 4: 3 Enhancement Cores
- Rank 7:
- Fetid Copper Shader
- 3 Enhancement Cores (After Infamy reset)
- Rank 10: 2 Enhancement Prisms
- Rank 13:
- Bank Ghost Projection
- 2 Enhancement Prisms (After Infamy reset)
- Rank 16:
- Ascendancy Rocket Launcher
- Gambit-themed Ascendancy Ornament (After Infamy reset)
- Rank 16 Completed:
- 1 Ascendant Shard
- 1 Exotic Engram (After Infamy reset)
- This also resets your Infamy rank.
You’ll also gain a Legendary Engram for each level and a Prime Engram for each named division rank you achieve. Keep in mind that the gear you gain will change as you reset, and may mean fewer exclusive items being available over time.
Join the High Ground
Hopefully, you now know everything you’ll ever need to know about Gambit. It’s still a fun change of pace in Destiny 2, and more than likely we’ll see some changes occur sometime in the next year after Bungie tackles Crucible. For now, be sure to let your Fireteam know how to get the most out of Gambit by sharing this article on your favorite social channels, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest on Destiny 2.