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Destiny 2: The 40 Best Shaders Ranked from Worst to Best Looking

One of the best parts of Destiny 2 is getting to customize your Guardian. Whether it’s seeking out stylish Legendary or Exotic gear, throwing on an Ornament, or switching up your Sparrow — you have a lot of options for showcasing your style. Out of all that, the one customizable element that is prevalent in everything from your weapons to your ship is shaders. Here, we ranked the best shaders in Destiny 2 currently available.

Wondering why that Guardian is glowing white? It’s a shader. How does your Fireteam member’s ship have that intricate rusted look? It’s another shader. They’re everywhere, and they are one of the best ways to put the finishing touches on your Guardian’s look. 

So, which shader should you be running? Let’s take a look at the top options for some inspiration.

What Are Shaders in Destiny 2?

Shaders are Destiny 2’s dye system. These are items that allow you to change the color scheme and pattern of your armor, weapons, Sparrows, ships, and Ghost Shells. Up until recently, they were one-off consumables that required Glimmer to apply and that would be destroyed if you decided to switch.

Thanks to the introduction of Destiny 2’s transmog system, that’s no longer the case. Now, shaders are permanently unlockable items that can be collected and switched to your heart’s desire. 

How Do You Equip Shaders in Destiny 2?

Equipping a shader is a fairly straightforward process and works basically the same for everything you can apply them to. Here’s how you do it:

  • Head over to your character menu and select a piece of armor or weapon.
  • Hit down on the directional button to hit the Source menu.
  • Hover over the empty shader slot to start browsing through your collection.
  • Before committing to a look, you can hit the preview button to see it in action.
  • Hit apply to attach the shader.

This will work exactly the same way for single armor pieces, weapons, Ghost Shells, Sparrows, and ships. However, if you want to apply a shader to all of your armor at once, you can now do so in the Appearance Customization menu. Scroll down in your main character menu and select ornaments on the right-hand side. Here you can look through all of your shaders just like you would on a single item, but with the option to apply it to an entire armor set. 

How to Get Shaders in Destiny 2

Shaders, like all cosmetic items in Destiny 2, are acquired at random. Luckily, they also provide the most opportunities to collect when compared to Sparrows, Ghosts, and ships. Here are a few ways to collect shaders in Destiny 2

Season Pass

Your season pass will typically include two new shaders that you can collect before Rank 10 and somewhere around Rank 40. Just remember that like most cosmetics, you’ll need to purchase the full season pass to unlock them. 


Shaders are constantly being added and switched out in the marketplace. Luckily, they also only cost a minor amount of Bright Dust to unlock as well. Just keep checking back weekly to stay on top of new seasonal shaders as well as any favorites you may have missed.

Bright Engrams

You can also unlock shaders not currently available to purchase by turning in Bright Engrams. These Engrams will often provide you with a shader alongside some other cosmetic. Unfortunately, these shaders will be random, but you’ll never earn the same one twice.

Dismantle armor and weapons

Some Legendary and even Rare equipment when dismantled will also give you a shader. There doesn’t seem to be any clear sign when or why this occurs. So, as long as you’re regularly clearing out your inventory, there’s a chance you’ll see it happen often.

End-game Challenges and Triumphs

You’ll often find that a shader is a reward for playing missions or pursuing specific triumphs in Destiny 2. These are often handed to you when it comes to missions and typically relate to a new expansion. Triumphs on the other hand are a bit more complex, especially if a cosmetic reward is involved. 

Lastly, you can always expect new Raids and Raid challenges to provide shaders as a reward. These are typically a bit more exclusive and considered to be premium shaders reserved for those that can rise to the occasion. 

Destiny 2 Best Shaders Ranked 

Now you know the ins and outs of Destiny 2 shaders. But the real question is, which shaders make Guardian’s look the coolest? Well, we dug through all available options to give you the 40 best shaders currently available in Destiny 2

40. Bold Statement

Depending on the armor, you’ll definitely look bold in a different color

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

39. Testudo

A shader worthy of Cabal royalty.

Source: Season Pass Reward

38. Neopop Wave

Disco called it wants its color scheme back.

Source: Eververse

37. Mercurian Sunrise

A well-polished piece of armor that looks like oil spills reflecting on metal

Source: Bright Engrams

36. Kairos Black

The neon blue is flashy but held back by the strange green base.

Source: Complete activities on Mercury (unavailable)

35. Coppertone Patina

The perfect shader for those that want to look incredibly metallic. 

Source: Eververse

34. Horizon Blush

A subtle set of colors that just work.

Source: Season Pass Reward

33. Oiled Algae

A well-designed color palette with just a bit of metallic flair.

Source: Eververse

32. Vitrified Chronology

This shader makes your armor looks tarnished but bold.

Source: Sundial runs

31. House of Meyrin

The focus on gold with shimmering red makes this a royal setup.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped 

30. Crucible Vermillion

A blend of blood-red and white that truly stands out.

Source: Crucible

29. Satou Tribe

The flowing white sheen looks killer.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

28. Fright Night

A shader built for those that want to be spooky  

Source: Festival of the Lost 2019

27. Tangled Bronze

A matte-finished shader that could be mistaken for clay.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

26. Gilded Smoke

A shader that keeps things low-key but classy.

Source: Fallen Empire Campaign

25. Burnished Orchid

A metallic green augmented by bold white and a tarnished bronze.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

24. Rasmussen Clan

There’s just something about the flat flowing green mixed with gray and white.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

23. Dawning Warmth

A deep black that really allows the white to shine.

Source: Bright Engrams

22. Lunar Gloom

A subtle glow flows throughout this shader set.

Source: Explore the Moon

21. Resilient Laurel

Everything about this shader just looks chilly.

Source: Bright Engrams

20. Rivalry Stoic

Who would’ve thought that a pomegranate red would work so well.

Source: Guardian Games

19. Oiled Gunmetal

All oiled up with Vex to take down.

Source: Bright Engrams

18. Conflagrate

Let Guardians know that you’re coming with a metallic blood-red color scheme.

Source: Crucible

17. Corrective // Protective

A corrosive look that fits the color scheme of the Vex.

Source: Vault of Glass Raid

16. Bergusian Night

Elegant shades of violet and purple that swirls like a cloudy night sky.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

15. Pomegranate Gloss

Deep shades of purple and red really allow the silver and gold to shine.

Source: Season 4

14. Ritualism

Muddled shades of blue, green, and bronze allow gold highlights to shine through.

Source: Season Pass Reward

13. Armatura

A deep blue base with matte shades of gold, rose, and light blue.

Source: Season Pass Reward

12. Ruin Wreath

A classy blend of colors that’s as cool as the Drifter.

Source: Gambit random drop.

11. Verdigris

A textured turquoise of various shades.

Source: Bright Engrams

10. Crucible Metallic

A shifting color palette that flows along the Guardian’s armor.

Source: Dismantle an item with this shader equipped

9. Iron Fuchsite

The flat forest green is highlighted by the elegant bronze undertones.

Source: Iron Banner

8. Crucible Lazurite

There’s just something about the blend of dark blue and orange that looks so cool.

Source: Season 8 Battle Drills Quest

7. Iron Mossbone

This blend of white, gold, green and black works with almost every piece of armor.

Source: Iron Banner

6. Technofusion

A shader built for a Splicer.

Source: Season Pass Reward

5. Gambit Jadestone

A precious stone adorns this entire armor shader.

Source: Complete Gambit quest

4. Cryptic Legacy

A mix of white, ashen gray, black and a cool blue sends chills down your enemy’s spine.

Source: Complete the Deep Stone Crypt Raid

3. Descendant Vex Chrome

Armor may be rusty but it’s dependable.

Source: Bright Engrams

2. Callus’s Selected

A royal blend of white, gold, and valiant purple that fits its source.

Source: Leviathan Raid (Unavailable)

1. Bitterpearl

A pure white dye untarnished by the difficult task it took to acquire.

Source: Vault of Glass Raid


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We hope this guide on Destiny 2’s best shaders has helped you find just the right color scheme to trick out your Guardian. Be sure to coordinate what shaders you’re running with your Fireteam by sharing this article on your favorite social channels, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest on Destiny 2.

Happy gaming!


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Y’all have terrible taste in shaders. Lots of great ones left off. Lots of ugly ones left on.


Why isn’t copper blood on here?


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