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.

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So, how exactly do you unlock Subclasses in Destiny 2? Read on to find out.

What are Subclasses?

Subclasses are distinct elemental abilities exclusive to different Destiny 2 Classes. There is one for each elemental power — Arc, Solar, and Void — along with one Darkness Subclass called Stasis. Your selection affects how your movement and four rechargeable core abilities (super, melee, class, and grenade) function, and you can switch out your chosen Subclass at any time.

A screenshot of the Sunbreaker Titan Subclass in Destiny 2
Image: Bungie via HGG / Kody Wirth

Subclasses are Class-specific, meaning that your options and their corresponding skill trees will differ between Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters. As you earn XP, you can upgrade your Subclass to open additional skill trees. Depending on what you decide to use, some weapons, armor, and even Mods may become more effective.

Stasis is a unique Subclass in that it doesn’t adhere to this framework, instead providing variety through unlockables known as Aspects and Fragments. Aspects adjust core abilities, and Fragments add minor benefits to augment those Aspects. This structure represents how Subclasses will operate moving forward — all Void Subclasses will switch to this system with the release of The Witch Queen.

How to Unlock Subclasses in Destiny 2

One unfortunate result of Destiny 2 sunsetting 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 elemental 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. 

A Screenshot of Ikora Rey in Destiny 2
Image: Bungie via HGG / Kody Wirth

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 unlock additional skill trees for each Subclass by leveling up your Class. This earns you upgrade points that let you permanently unlock the other skill trees. You’ll need four total to fully unlock them.

What Light Subclasses Can You Unlock?

The Subclasses you unlock fully depend on which Class you choose. Here are the additional Subclasses you can expect based on each Class:

Titans

  • Striker Arc Subclass
  • Sunbreaker Solar Subclass

Warlocks

  • Stormcaller Arc Subclass
  • Voiwalker Void Subclass

Hunters

  • Gunslinger Solar Subclass
  • Nightstalker Void Subclass

Be sure to check out our startup guide for a full rundown on choosing a Class that fits your playstyle. Don’t forget to check out our guides on Titan, Hunter, and Warlock Subclass rankings to see which ones you should focus on!

How to Unlock the Stasis Subclass

The only Darkness Subclass in the game, Stasis, was introduced as part of the Beyond Light campaign and doesn’t follow the same upgrade path. Thankfully, the unlock process is just as simple — you just need to complete the main campaign and defeat the final boss, Eramis. The main difference is how you unlock Aspects and Fragments.

A screenshot of the Behemoth Titan Subclass in Destiny 2
Image: Bungie via HGG / Kody Wirth

These don’t act like the skill trees found in the Light Subclasses, where all it takes is leveling up your Guardian. Instead, you’ll need to complete additional Quests and specific Bounties acquired from The Stranger. You’ll need to complete the first Aspect Quest, called “Born in Darkness,” in order to unlock Fragment Bounties. While a bit of a lengthy process, the more you unlock, the quicker and easier subsequent unlocks become.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase the Beyond Light expansion in order to unlock the Stasis Subclass. Once purchased, you should be able to immediately access the campaign, although you may need to complete New Light beforehand. 

Join the High Ground

Now you know the basics for what it takes to unlock Subclasses in Destiny 2. The upcoming Light Subclass overhaul with The Witch Queen may change this up further, but for now, it’s all about completing campaigns and unlocking Quests. 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

Happy gaming!