Destiny 2 is, above all else, a first-person shooter. Well-refined gunplay and a wide variety of unique weaponry are the heart of combat, but unlike Bungie’s previous shooter, Halo, it doesn’t stop there. Instead, Destiny 2 enhances gameplay with a dash of space wizardry in the form of subclasses.
Subclasses add a whole new element to the game to really make Destiny 2 unique. Now it’s not just about landing headshots, but about how strategic you can be when using a suite of abilities. As the game has grown, so has the number of subclasses you have at your disposal.
So, how exactly do you unlock subclasses in Destiny 2? Read on to find out.
What are Subclasses?
Subclasses determine what abilities you have access to, and therefore guide your playstyle. These subclasses are split into groups of Light and Darkness. The Light subclasses are Void, Solar, and Arc. The Darkness ones are currently just Stasis and Strand. Think of them as your loadout, essentially. You can change them any time (except during activities which prevent loadout changes as a whole), and you can play however you want no matter which you choose.
Subclasses are Class-specific, meaning that your options will differ between Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters. Even though the subclass options are the same for each class, the abilities and Aspects attached to each differ. Depending on what you decide to use, some weapons, armor, and even armor mods may become more effective.
What are the Light Subclasses?
The Light subclasses were the first ones we had in the original Destiny, and they’ve been here since the start of Destiny 2 as well. These are the powers granted to the Guardian by the Traveler–a mysterious, god-like entity in the Destiny universe.
- Void – “Sentinel” (Ward of Dawn and Sentinel Shield)
- Solar – “Sunbreaker” (Burning Maul and Hammer of Sol)
- Arc – “Striker” (Thundercrash and Fists of Havoc)
- Void – “Voidwalker” (Nova Bomb: Cataclysm, Nova Bomb: Vortex, and Nova Warp)
- Solar – “Dawnblade” (Well of Radiance and Daybreak)
- Arc – “Stormcaller” (Chaos Reach and Stormtrance)
- Void – “Nightstalker” (Shadow Shot: Moebius Quiver, Shadow Shot: Deadfall, and Spectral Blades)
- Solar – “Gunslinger” (Blade Barrage, Golden Gun: Marksman, and Golden Gun: Deadshot)
- Arc – “Arcstrider” (Arc Staff and Gathering Storm)
Be sure to check out our startup guide for a full rundown on choosing a class that fits your playstyle. There are infinite customization options in Destiny 2, so don’t be afraid to try out anything that seems interesting to you.
What are the Darkness Subclasses?
The first Darkness subclass, Stasis, was introduced in 2020 with the Beyond Light expansion. It was the first subclass to feature the Aspects/Fragments system we have now, instead of the older preset skill trees we used to have. This system was applied to all the Light subclasses throughout the Witch Queen seasons in 2022. The second Darkness subclass, Strand, came with the Lightfall expansion in 2023. After nearly a decade of Destiny, we’re finally getting close to having three matching Darkness subclasses to match the Light ones we’ve had ever since the beginning.
However, for now we still only have two Darkness subclasses. Here’s a list of each class’s respective Darkness subclasses.
- Stasis – “Behemoth” (Glacial Quake)
- Strand – “Berserker” (Bladefury)
- Stasis – “Shadebinder” (Winter’s Wrath)
- Strand – “Broodweaver” (Needlestorm)
- Stasis – “Revenant” (Silence and Squall)
- Strand – “Threadrunner” (Silkstrike)
How to Unlock Subclasses in Destiny 2
One unfortunate result of Destiny 2 adding, removing, and changing content over time is that the progression path has dramatically changed. Subclasses have undergone new additions and unlock systems, and removing content has switched up how the subclasses are made available. Here’s how you can unlock each subclass if you’re just starting out.
How to Unlock Light Subclasses
Let’s start with the core Light subclasses. These are your traditional elemental abilities granted to you by the Light of the Traveler. When you’re first starting out, you only have access to one subclass — Titans get Void (Sentinel), Warlocks get Solar (Dawnblade), and Hunters get Arc (Arcstrider).
To kickstart your journey, you first need to complete the New Light campaign. This is a variation of the original Destiny introductory story mission that has you work your way through the Cosmodrome to repair your ship and make it to the Tower. Once there, you’ll complete a few miscellaneous tasks for Zavala and Ikora to finish out the main questline and complete your first Strike. This should prompt you to speak to Zavala once again to pick up the “Spark of Hope” questline.
Once you’re holding this quest, go speak to Ikora to collect two additional quests that will set you on your way to finally unlocking additional Subclasses. These quests have two phases — the first is skill-based and requires you to collect 10 Orbs of Power and get 1,000 kills that match the elemental ability you’re trying to unlock. Once complete, simply visit Ikora to collect your new subclass.
From there, you can return to Ikora to purchase Fragments and subclass abilities to further customize and upgrade your subclasses. The Fragments from Ikora are the same for each class, but you do have to unlock them all separately for each class.
How to Unlock the Darkness Subclasses
Unlocking the Darkness subclasses is, to be honest, a bit of a grind. To say the least. For Stasis, you’ll have to first complete the Beyond Light campaign, then complete more missions via the Exo Stranger on Europa. The Exo Stranger is effectively the Ikora Rey of Stasis. You’ll go to her for all your Stasis upgrades after you get access to using the base subclass.
Unlocking Stasis takes quite a while, especially if you want to unlock it on several characters. Luckily, you can speed through all the Beyond Light content very quickly. It’ll still take a while to unlock everything from the Exo Stranger, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
To unlock Strand, it’s a similar process. First, complete the Lightfall campaign. After that, you’ll need to go to the Pouka Pond at the Hall of Heroes on Neomuna. From there, you’ll be able to purchase upgrades (Fragments, Aspects, abilities, etc.), just like with Stasis and the Light subclasses.
Join the High Ground
Subclasses have changed a lot in the last year or so, so hopefully this helps you figure out what’s what! Be sure to share this article on your favorite social platforms to help all the other New Lights you know unlock their subclasses, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest on Destiny 2.