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Destiny 2: How to Get Ascendant Shards

If you want to have the best gear possible in Destiny 2, you’ll need to know how to get Ascendant Shards. Ascendant Shards are the rarest upgrade material in the game, so they’re not the easiest to get. The good news is, there are several efficient ways (some easy, some not) to get Ascendant Shards. This article will run down the six best ways to get and/or farm Ascendant Shards in Destiny 2!

What are Ascendant Shards?

Ascendant Shards are a material used to masterwork armor and purchase weapons from the Exotics Archive at the Tower. These Shards are necessary for completing high-end content, since you’ll always want masterworked armor in difficult content and perhaps certain Exotics from the Archive as well. Luckily, it’s not too hard to farm Ascendant Shards.

Here are the best ways to get Ascendant Shards in Destiny 2!

1. Season Pass

Season Pass
Click to expand. | Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

The easiest way to get Ascendant Shards is through the Season Pass. Each season, there are at least a couple Shards in the pass. This season (Season 19), there are three Ascendant Shards to get this way. You get them at levels 85, 90, and 94 on the paid side of the pass.

In addition to the three Ascendant Shards, you also get one Ascendant Alloy (level 95 on the paid side), one Exotic Cypher (level 55 on the free side), and eight Exotic Engrams (levels 20 and 65 on the free side and levels 25, 54, 65, 74, 88, and 98 on the paid side).

2. Vendor Rewards

Vendor Rewards
Click to expand. | Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Each of the three playlist-related vendors at the Tower have an Ascendant Shard available at the end of their upgrade paths. In order to claim this Ascendant Shard, you will be required to reset (or prestige) your rank with that vendor. Upon doing this, you’ll get your Shard and you’ll get to level that vendor up again for new rewards.

The three vendors with Ascendant Shards at the Tower are Commander Zavala (Vanguard Playlists), Lord Shaxx (Crucible Playlists), and the Drifter (Gambit Playlists). Commander Zavala and Lord Shaxx can be found at the main spawn point of the Tower, and the Drifter can be found near the spawn point on the left side.

3. Grandmaster or Master Nightfall Strikes

Grandmaster of Nightfall Strikes - destiny 2 how to get ascendant shards
Click to expand. | Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Nightfall Strikes are the most common way to farm Ascendant Shards. They have an uncommon drop rate at Master difficulty and a common drop rate in Grandmaster Nightfall Strikes. This season, the game recommends a light level of 1610 for Master difficulty and 1630 for Grandmaster difficulty.

If your only goal is Ascendant Shards and the Grandmaster is particularly hard, it’s often better to just farm Master since you won’t risk having to restart multiple times. Grandmaster Nightfall Strikes are arguably the most difficult activities in the game, so make sure to have the best gear before going into one.

Grandmaster rank
Click to expand. | Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

This season, the Grandmaster difficulty will not be unlocked until January 17, 2023. That means that if you’re reading this before then, Master Nightfall Strikes will be the best way to farm Ascendant Shards.

It’s also worth remembering that Bungie sometimes has double loot rewards for Nightfall Strikes, and those weeks are the best times to farm Shards. You can even get multiple from a single run if you’re lucky.

4. Master Rahool

Master Rahool - destiny 2 how to get ascendant shards
Click to expand. | Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Master Rahool operates the Cryptarch at the Tower. Rahool is the person to talk to if you need to decode Engrams, but he also sells various materials in exchange for other ones. He sells Ascendant Shards for a rate of ten Enhancement Prisms for one Shard. He also sells Enhancement Prisms for ten Enhancement Cores each. Rahool is the place to go if you have some spare Prisms and need an Ascendant Shard quickly.

In addition to Ascendant Shards and Enhancement Prisms, Master Rahool also trades Glimmer for various planetary materials and trades special items (Prisms, Cores, and Ascendant Alloys) for Legendary Shards.

5. Dismantle Old Masterworked Exotic Armor

If you have a ton of old masterworked armor in your vault, you might be able to turn some of it into Ascendant Shards. Dismantling masterworked Exotic armor is one way to get Shards if you don’t have any other ways to get them.

Only do this if you have absolutely no other options though, because you only get one Shard this way. It costs three Shards to masterwork an Exotic armor piece, so you’re technically losing out in the long run. It is, however, a good alternative if you’re desperate.

6. Trials of Osiris

Trials of Osiris - destiny 2 how to get ascendant shards
Click to expand. | Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Farming Ascendant Shards is an annoying process for people who just play PvP, but luckily there are some available via Trials of Osiris. The first time you get a flawless Trials completion each week, you will receive one Ascendant Shard as a reward. This is a very difficult feat, though, so you’ll want a good team and the best gear possible.

Trials of Osiris can give some great rewards, but is only for the most skilled of PvP players. Getting a flawless run is hard no matter your skill level, but if you’re up for the challenge, there’s an Ascendant Shard and other Trials-exclusive rewards available to claim.

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