One of the best parts about any galactic adventure is getting to visit new and exotic worlds. With almost a dozen unique locations within our Solar System emerging over the last few years, Destiny 2 is no exception. Each planet includes Strikes, story missions, Patrols, Lost Sectors, and sometimes a secret or two (depending on the dev team’s focus).
Looking for more Destiny 2 tips and tricks? Click to view all our Destiny 2 guides.
Of course, like anything, not all of these planets are created equally. Some lack a distinct identity, others have bland level design, others still lack captivating mission chains and valuable rewards. The best ones, however, incorporate all these elements to the greatest effect, creating a planet you can’t help but revisit over and over again.
Without further ado, here’s a list all the Destiny 2 planets ranked from worst to best (we’ve even included locations that have since been eaten by the Darkness). Let’s check ’em out.
All Destiny 2 Planets Ranked
There are a lot of reasons why you might visit different planets in Destiny 2. There are main questlines to pursue, Exotic secrets to uncover, weekly Pinnacle activities to complete, or even just lovely outer space views to enjoy. We’ve kept all of those things in mind for our rankings of the Destiny 2 planets ranked. Climb in your jump ship and let’s get started!
Io really had the opportunity to be the coolest planet to premiere in Destiny 2. The last place in the solar system to be touched by the Traveller’s Light initially teased a place full of mystery and space magic. What we got instead was a vast horizon of mustard yellows, acid greens, and dried-up seas teeming with giant skeletons.
It’s not an ugly environment by any means. Sure, like Venus from the original Destiny, much of the disarray and destruction is rooted in the Great Collapse. The only really strong content was the Whisper of the Worm Strike, which takes you within the planet itself to literally fight a giant worm that may be a god. But for a location that is meant to be somewhat of a holy pilgrimage for Guardians, it just lacked anything to make it remotely interesting.
Note: Io is currently sunsetted
Covered in a vast ocean, this moon of Saturn provides one of the more visually interesting locations. Rather than cruising across the surface of a planet, you’re forced to navigate a series of oil rigs and research installations. Out in the distance, you can see a massive ship from the Golden Age, giant derelict towers, and additional platforms that seem to go on forever.
The only issue is that the promise of all of these interesting places to explore doesn’t actually exist. In fact, you’re basically stuck exploring two of the platforms that include a single Strike and some bare-bones Lost Sectors. There are actually a ton of random places to explore throughout the planet, they just don’t give you anything. It’s almost like someone built the puzzle but forgot to put in the reward.
Note: Titan is currently sunsetted
Mars has been a mixed bag since the original Destiny. It features one of the more explorable environments, has some excellent Strikes, and introduced the Ice Hive. Yeah, they’re basically just frozen versions of Hive that slow you down, but still, it’s something. Then you have Escalation Protocol.
Some people love it, some people are indifferent to it. It really just served as a specialized horde mode with a few unique twists to the progression mechanics. At the time, it was confusing but exciting and may have been an early taste of how Bungie would approach seasonal and expansion game modes.
All in all, Mars was an interesting reinterpretation from the original game. Unfortunately, the good content runs out somewhat quickly, and there isn’t much else to explore after the fact.
Note: Mars is currently sunsetted
Mercury was the secretive planet that most Destiny and Destiny 2 players hoped to see more of. Originally featured as a PvP map, then as part of Trials of Osiris, it eventually became a visitable planet in the Curse of Osiris expansion. The only drawback is that it’s incredibly small in scope, and limits most of your play to traveling between Vex gateways and entering the Infinite Forest.
The Infinite Forest (a Vex simulation that runs multiple different timelines in what’s essentially a time-travel mechanic) on its own is a severe disappointment. You basically run the same platforming sections over and over again. Luckily, Season of Dawn brought in a few quality-of-life changes, added the ability to use Sparrows, and revamped a few of the Lost Sectors. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but there were finally enough interesting things worth doing to make it worth visiting.
Note: Mercury is currently sunsetted
Old Russia (Earth)
Bringing back Old Russia was a momentous occasion for Destiny fans. It meant classic strikes, revisiting the old scrapyards, and refamiliarizing ourselves with the cold and isolated environment. Possibly the only drawback of its return is that nothing new came with it.
Sure, it was great getting to explore territory that hadn’t been seen in a number of years. However, there weren’t any new secrets that made it worth sticking around. Really, the only reason there’s so much to do is the sheer amount of content carried over from the first game.
Since its reintroduction, it has been used similarly to the other Earth zone. Pieces of story missions, Strikes, objectives, and other elements are constantly added, even if they’re brief.
Nessus is a jungle-like planet that has suffered the same fate as Mercury. The only difference is that the Cabal are attempting to take over the planet, leading to a war between their factions and any Guardians caught in the crossfire. Between an electrified river harnessed by the Vex, a giant rampaging drill, and overgrown fauna and trees, it’s a sight to be seen.
At one point the Leviathan Raid was also tied to Nessus, but it has since disappeared along with the Emperor, who has been conducting experiments above the Dreaming City. More recently, Nessus has been a focal point of the Battlegrounds game type and remains a regular spot to take on Missions and track down Xur on the weekends. It’s one of the more beautiful locations around, and Bungie seems to have a soft spot for it.
The resurfacing of the Moon was quite the event for Destiny 2 players. Not only does the location bring back the familiar labyrinthian caverns and shadowy secrets of this iconic white dustball, it also reveals the true form of the Darkness. The giant pyramid sitting at the core of the Moon is ominous, mysterious, and grows only more enticing the closer you venture. With it comes the ghosts of dead Guardians, hints of a darker secret within Eris Morn, and an all-new quest system (for the time).
Then, of course, there’s the backdrop of the Red Keep. This giant walled-off section on the dark side of the Moon emerges alongside the Darkness. It includes a new randomized wave-based event and a solid Strike where you storm the Keep, which takes advantage of how former Moon-based missions take you incredibly deep within the rock itself. Sure, it’s still missing some classic elements like Crota’s End, but with the Vault of Glass Raid being rereleased, there’s a good chance we’ll see it again.
European Dead Zone (Earth)
The EDZ was meant to be a location in the original Destiny, but it got scrapped somewhere in development. In Destiny 2, it served as the replacement for Old Russia to varying degrees of success. First off, the terrain just seems much more vast and diverse. The buildings are all hollowed out and open for exploration. Every street, beach, and warehouse feels like it could have been lived in and is now just overrun.
Plus, it features a hidden Black Armory Forge, a giant Cabal ship to explore, and has continued to be heavily featured in Missions and Strikes. The day-to-day tasks aren’t really worth going back to, which can make the EDZ somewhat useless at times. However, the team at Bungie seems to always find another good reason to have you go back in another interesting way.
The Tangled Shore benefits from being introduced with the Forsaken expansion. This was a turning point for the game. It introduces us to a lawless land controlled by gangs and disparate enemies. The violet skies on the edge of an asteroid belt frame the chained-together pieces of rock and ship debris, making for a dangerous and adventurous environment.
There are secrets galore, a large number of excellent Strikes and Lost Sectors, and the decent Wrathborne Hunts from a few seasons ago. It’s just a location with a lot of personality and grit. There are plenty of reasons to come back and explore on a weekly basis. Sure, it hasn’t really hasn’t hit the same heights as it did back when Forsaken launched, but it’s still one of the best locations.
Somewhat tied to the Tangled Shore, the Dreaming City provides our first look at the birthplace of the Awoken. You could think of it as Destiny’s version of Rivendell, with an assortment of exotic-looking environments, elegant structures, and glowing sources of light and energy that illuminate your surroundings. Even a few years later, it remains the most elegant location out there, and it even feels like there may be more secrets to uncover.
Oh, also the Dreaming City is caught in a time loop that resets every few weeks. This is the result of you taking out a literal wish dragon within a Strike as part of Forsaken. This loop remains as a reminder of work yet to be done and may even be explored in the Witch Queen expansion.
Number one on our list of Destiny 2 planets ranked is the latest addition to the game, AKA the frozen wasteland of Europa. This giant area may be one of the most unique, interesting, and beautiful locations in the entire game. It brings together several of the plotlines from other planets. This includes the Darkness arriving, the Stranger reappearing, and even secrets about Golden Age legend Clovis Bray.
This makes for some interesting twists on level design. It very much functions just like the EDZ, with derelict buildings and structures littered throughout and surrounded by open terrain. However, Europa takes these elements and turns them into unique and diverse experiences. One moment you’re navigating an ice cave, another you venture through a shiny factory to meet a giant Exo head. Europa is just so entirely different from everything else and looks like it will be the basis for plenty of new modes and content moving forward.
Become a High Grounder
There are a wide variety of interesting planets in Destiny 2, even if they’re all not created equally. Be sure to let us know which of the Destiny 2 planets ranked are your favorites by sharing this article on your favorite social platforms. For the latest on Destiny 2, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.