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Destiny 2 Transmog System Explained — What to Expect From Armor Synthesis

Destiny 2’s recently announced transmog system has been one of the most requested features since its launch. Sure, we’ve had Universal Ornaments for a while now, but those are unique skins unto themselves. So the fact that we can finally turn our favorite pieces of armor into swappable skins is a big step forward.

Of course, like anything in Destiny 2, this system appears to be incredibly complex and riddled with some controversial choices. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Let’s start with what Bungie has in store with Armor Synthesis in Season 14.

What Is Armor Transmog?

For those that are new to armor transmogrification, it’s simply a system that allows you to change the visual appearance of your armor while retaining the level and perks of another. This is a fairly common system in MMOs and has been sorely missing from Destiny 2 since launch. 

Of course, the team at Bungie has also found a storytelling method to incorporate this new transmog system into the game, bringing back Ada-1 of Black Armory Fame. Instead of relying on an arbitrary visual system, Bungie has queued up Ada as a new vendor that requires you to collect various materials for synthesizing your armor. But rather than it being random rolls, you’re simply earning the ability to turn available armor into Universal Ornaments.

How Does Armor Transmog Work in Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 Ada-1 Armor Transmog
Image via Bungie.net

Up until a few weeks ago, we had no idea how this new system would work. But thanks to the April 22 This Week At Bungie blog post, we received a rundown of what to expect. In short, you won’t be able to just start turning armor into ornaments. Instead, you’ll have to work through the following steps:

  1. Earn Synthstrand by defeating enemies.
  2. Acquire bounties from Ada-1 with 150 Synthstrand and complete to earn Synthcord. 
  3. Using the Loom in the Tower, convert Synthcord into Synthweave. 
  4. Use Synthweave to convert an unlocked piece of armor from your Collections into a Universal Armor Ornament. 

According to the blog post, you’ll be able to select bounties within Crucible, Strikes, Gambit, unique destination activities, or Raids and Dungeons. These appear to be somewhat similar to the system used during the 2021 Guardian Games, allowing you to earn Synthcord in activities you actually want to play.  

What Armor is Eligible for Transmog?

Right now, the armor available for transmog includes Legendary, Rare, Uncommon, and Common armor. Exotics will be excluded, at least at launch, due to concern over faking out opponents in Crucible play. Additionally, vendor, Faction, and event armor sets from Year 1 will not be available to transmog when the system goes live. However, these and possibly some Exotics will be added at some point in a future season.

How Many Pieces of Armor Can You Transmog?

Destiny 2 Transmog Armor 1
Image via Bungie.net

You’ll be limited to just earning ten pieces of armor, per class, per season. This limit will be doubled during Season 14, allowing you to earn twenty Synthweave per class over the next few months. 

One thing to note, you don’t have to synthesize an entire armor set. You can choose to just use your favorite singular pieces to switch in and out, or you can use up all of your Synthweave to convert four complete armor sets. If you want to unlock more Synthweave, you can turn to the Eververse and purchase Synthweave as a single item (300 silver) or as a bundle of five (1,000 silver).

How Do Shaders Work With Armor Synthesis?

Shaders are also finally getting a revamp, more akin to how they functioned in vanilla Destiny. They will now be permanent unlocks that cost 500 glimmer to apply to a single piece of armor or 2,500 to apply to a full set. The menu system has completely changed to make selecting and switching shaders on armor and ornaments simple and less menu intensive. 

When Will the Armor Transmog System Release in Destiny 2?

Armor Synthesis will arrive at the start of Season 14, on May 11, 2021. You can likely expect a sneak peek at the upcoming season and the bounty system when the official theme is announced sometime in the next few weeks. 

Why is the Destiny Community Fired Up About Armor Transmog?

Destiny 2 Trasnmog Armor 2
Image via Bungie.net

If you couldn’t tell from this rundown, this transmog system isn’t ideal. The hard seasonal limit and the need to purchase Silver to get more are ridiculous for the amount of available armor out there. Fans aren’t happy about it.

Thankfully, Bungie is incredibly responsive to feedback and will likely make adjustments over the next few seasons. For now, this is everything we know about the new transmog system in Destiny 2, so be sure to share this with your fireteam on your favorite social channels. To stay in the know on any Transmog updates and everything Destiny 2, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.


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