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Destiny 2
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View our guides to learn more about the Destiny 2 universe and its massive ecosystem of skills, weapons, and lore.

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Destiny 2 Overview

Welcome to the High Ground Gaming Destiny 2 strategy guide. Here you’ll find everything you need to go from a New Light to a seasoned Guardian in pursuit of Pinnacle prowess. Our writers are playing right alongside you in order to stay on top of which weapons, armor, Exotics, and subclasses you should be paying attention to. 

The Basics

Destiny 2 is a free-to-play online multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Bungie the creators of the Halo franchise. It serves as the sequel to 2014’s Destiny (which was supposed to be a 10-year platform) and was originally published under Activision until Bungie separated from them in 2019. The game acts as somewhat of a blend between MMO and FPS and leverages a game as a service model that introduces large-scale expansions, seasonal content, and weekly adjustments to gameplay.

Sticking with their sci-fi roots, Destiny 2 focuses on the constant battle between Light and Dark across the Universe. You take on the role of a Guardian, a wielder of the Light, and herald of the mysterious Traveller. This grants you special elemental abilities to accompany your ever-expanding inventory of weapons, as well as a companion known as a Ghost that can continuously revive you.

Since its launch in 2017 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One it has since expanded to Stadia and next-gen consoles. Three major expansions have been released, and the 3-month seasonal structure has become a consistent method for injecting new story and gameplay elements that keeps Destiny 2 fresh. Now is a great time to jump in and prepare for the largest expansion in the history of the game—The Witch Queen, which is set to release in February 2022, kicking off the next 3-years of Destiny content.

Getting Started

some basic tips and links out to some of our beginner guides

Being a game as a service title can make Destiny 2 daunting, to say the least. There’s a massive 7-year storyline to dissect, several expansions worth of content to work through, and plenty of gear and weapons to collect. Luckily, the basics are fairly intuitive and in many ways serve as the model that every other GAAS title has tried to adapt since.

To start, kick off the New Light storyline for a quick hit of story content that kicks you out to explore the larger universe. Have our beginners guide handy to help select a Class and get a quick overview of what currency, gear, and systems are worth your time. You’ll also find guidance on the different types of PvE and PvP content that’s available to you and what to expect from each game mode. 

If you have a group you’re trying to play with, the worst part is trying to catch up to their Light Level. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to speed up your leveling process and farm vital resources that assist you early on. That way you and your Fireteam can focus more on pursuing high-level Exotics, trying to tackle Nightfalls, and preparing for Raids rather than waiting on you to catch up.

Weapons & Gear

The hook for Destiny 2 is chasing down the best weapons and armor to optimize your Guardian and increase your ability to play highly difficult game modes. Every expansion, every season, and even secret events bring in new weapons and gear with exclusive stats, Perks, and abilities that keep you wanting to come back. Some of this gear is easy to acquire, others require you to grind out specific types of content, while the most sought after are often locked behind random drops in highly difficult encounters.

Bungie does an admirable job balancing out the hundreds of weapons, abilities, and armor boosts that continue to stack up in the game. This starts with the simple breakdown of weapons into three slots: Kinetic, Energy, and Heavy. Kinetic uses standard ammo and serves as weapon options with lower damage output and little elemental benefits. Energy weapons, on the other hand, are often far more varied with specific elemental burns combined with higher damage and typically less ammo. Heavy weapons are somewhat self-explanatory and serve as your most powerful AOE options with highly limited ammo.

Now, while weapons may be your initial focus, your armor is just as important. These five pieces provide you with overall recovery, speed, regeneration, and ability stats. This is the basis for how you’ll play as a Guardian. Plan to be more aggressive and want to layout a super-charged melee ability? Focus on Recovery and Strength. Looking to play defensively with more chances to unleash your Super? Grab armor with high Resilience and Intellect.

On top of just collecting armor and weapons, you also have Armor and Weapon Mods. Armor Mods offer an expansive and personalized way to augment your base stats, improve weapon stats, or apply additional buffs through specific gameplay. Weapon Mods on the other hand are far more limited and related to specific weapon Perks and base weapon handling boosts. All of this is your template for mixing, matching, and collecting gear to make your ideal Guardian.

Player vs. Environment

PvE serves as the primary focus in Destiny 2. It all starts with the New Light story missions, that expand into expansion and seasonal story content with narratively driven encounters. These will be a mix of standard enemy horde rooms and boss fights, as well as environmental puzzles and secretive quests.

Once you’ve made it through the introductory story and finished up any remaining story content, it’s time to explore what other PvE content is available. You can explore different planets taking on Patrols, participate in Public Events, and venture into more challenging Lost Sectors. For those that love teamwork-based content, you can always explore the Strike playlist, which adds various difficulty levels and modifiers as you take on a rotating list of story-based challenges. If you want to mix it up, check out the other playlists for seasonal content like Astral Alignment, Shattered Realm, or Battlegrounds for a different flavor of PvE fun.

Then of course there’s the Pinnacle content—Grandmaster Nightfalls, Dungeons, and Raids. These are highly difficult encounters that are typically above your max Light Level, have excruciating modifiers, and require tight-knit teamwork. They represent the ultimate pursuit in Destiny 2 and typically lead to some of the best gear you can find in-game. Basically, there’s a bit of something for everyone from low-key grinding to highly difficult collaborative content.

Player vs. Player

PvP content in Destiny 2 has always taken the backseat. It’s never quite hit the heights of Bungie’s classic Halo multiplayer, but it’s making a comeback. Like PvE, there are different tiers of PvP content based on your skill level, desire to play, and willingness to play with a team.

At its most basic you have the Crucible and Gambit. Crucible serves as your standard PvP matchmade combat where two teams battle it out in an arena-styled map that reflects environments from PvE areas. There are a handful of standard modes combined with a rotating pool of specialized options that include zone capturing, ability supercharging, rockets, and much more. Gambit on the other hand is a PvP and PvP mode, where you and a team have to take on ADS to fill up your bank before the opposing team. 

Then there is the Pinnacle PvP content—Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris. Iron Banner serves as a specialized zone capture mode with exclusive armor sets and weapons as rewards. Trials of Osiris, on the other hand, is truly the place to test how good you and two other Guardians can play together. The goal is simple, outlast your opponents with a single life and try to win five rounds. And for a real challenge, you can try to stack wins and go Flawless to collect some Adept weapons. 

Optimizing Builds

Those Pinnacle game modes we mentioned are incredibly difficult and require you to customize your Guardian to perform in specific ways. This is where optimizing builds comes into the picture. You have the opportunity to fine-tune your Guardian with Power level increases, Subclass choice, Masterworking, Mod selection, and general armor and weapon stats to perform for specific encounters.

What’s the best tends to change every few months. However, there are specific builds for Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks that bring together everything you can adjust to excel in either PvE or PvP. You have the ability to create builds that are more defensive, boost health regeneration, increase damage output, supercharge abilities, and so much more. Be sure to explore what armor, mods, and Exotics you should be going after first to start personalizing your own go-to PvE and PvP setups.

Cosmetics

When grinding for gear and weapons, you got to look good. Thankfully, there are tons of cosmetic items available to make your Guardian look, act, and travel in style. Some of these cosmetics are unlocked by playing, others can only be purchased in the Eververse shop, and even more, require specific Triumphs to unlock.

For your Guardian, you have Shaders, Ornaments, Finishers, and Emotes. Shaders change the coloration of your Armor and Weapons while Ornaments fully alter the visual style. You can unlock Ornaments by purchasing in the shop or creating them by completing quests and converting armor. Finishers and Emotes are a bit more interactive, fully altering animations for killing enemies or selecting specific Emotes from your d-pad.

Then there’s your Sparrow, Ship, and Ghost. These are somewhat non-essential and are just additional ways to build out your full look for your Guardian. You may end up needing to collect some Bright Dust to get any of the items here that you want. Save up, and check out which cosmetics to unlock first with our ranking guides. 

Community

The Destiny 2 community is possibly one of the most engaged and welcoming groups in gaming. While the game has been active for almost 7-years now, it’s relatively well-balanced for both new and long-standing players. There’s very little toxicity, plenty of game modes to jump into, and players ready to assist.

This is all supported by the Clan system. Destiny 2 Clans allow groups of players to earn exclusive rewards, easily group up with other players, and share strategies. You can check out how to make your own Clan or explore some of the best Clans currently accepting new members. 

Don’t have friends on the same platform to play with? No worries! Destiny 2 now supports Cross Play and even has several apps to help you connect with players, manage your inventory, and track challenges. All of this is community-supported and given the seal of approval by the team at Bungie. Jump on in, start playing, and welcome to one of the most fun and welcoming gaming communities around.

What is Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 is a free-to-play online multiplayer first-person sci-fi shooter developed by Bungie. It follows the game as a service model with paid seasonal content and large-scale annual expansions.

Can I get Destiny 2 for free?

Yes, you can get Destiny 2 for free. You’ll have access to the New Light campaign, the ability to Patrol all available planets, and access playlist modes like the Crucible, Strikes, and Gambit. Expansion content including Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light has to be purchased to play along with any current seasonal content.

Is Destiny 2 pay to win?

Destiny 2 is not pay to win. The only paid elements available are in-game expansions that bring in new gamemodes, quests, and locations, as well as Cosmetic items from the Eververse.

What do you do in Destiny 2?

One of Destiny’s biggest attractions is its variety. There are plenty of things you can do in Destiny 2. Explore planets uncovering resources, secret encounters, and complete quests. Play an assortment of PvP modes against teams of other players, as well as take on AI and real players in Gambit. Group up with friends or matchmake for Strikes, Nightfalls, and Dungeons. You can also take on pinnacle content like Raids with groups of six people for the most challenging encounters in Destiny 2. All of this is in pursuit of new Armor, Weapons, Cosmetics, and Power levels.

What systems can you play Destiny 2 on?

Destiny 2 is currently available on all major platforms including Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and Stadia. It is not available for the Nintendo Switch.

Does Destiny 2 have cross-play?

Destiny 2 does have Cross-Play. You can read all about how it works, how to migrate different accounts, and connect with players on other platforms in or full Cross-Play guide.

What is the main plot of Destiny 2?

The main plot of Destiny 2 is all about the clash between Light and Dark. You take on the role of a Guardian, champion of the Traveler, and wielder of the Light. As the last hope of humanity, you cruise around the cosmos to uncover legendary secrets, foil the machinations of the Darkness, and take out or align with alien races. Learn more about the full story of Destiny with our wrap-up of the story so far.

What is a class in Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 classes are the different character types you can choose for your player. There are three classes including the Hunter, Titan, and Warlock. They all play differently thanks to unique abilities and armor sets exclusive to each class. Learn more about how to choose a class in our startup guide.

What is a subclass in Destiny 2?

Subclasses in Destiny 2 refer to the different elemental abilities that each class can wield. There are currently four in the game including Solar, Void, Arc, and Stasis which is a Darkness Subclass. Each Subclass has three variations you can choose between, along with grenade, melee, and jump options to select. Be sure to check out the different builds you can create with Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters.

Does Destiny 2 have PvP?

Destiny 2 has several different PvP modes. Crucible is a more traditional competitive game mode that has you take on an enemy team in deathmatch, zone capture, or other game types. Gambit has you fight against AI opponents as you race to fill up a bank before your real-world opponents. Then there’s Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris, the Pinnacle versions of PvP play. Be sure to check out our full rundown of Trials and how to go Flawless.

How many types of weapons are in Destiny 2?

There are hundreds of different weapons in Destiny 2 that can be broken down into three types: Kinetic, Energy, and Heavy. Within these types there are 16 different weapon archetypes, Auto Rifles, Bows, Fusion Rifles, Grenade Launchers, Hand Cannons, Linear Rifles, Machine Guns, Pulse Rifles, Rocket Launchers, Scout Rifles, Shotguns, Sidearms, Sniper Rifles, Submachine Guns, Swords, and Trace Rifles. Check out our full rundowns of the best weapons for each to make sure you’re collecting the best options.

How many expansions are there in Destiny 2?

There are technically 5 expansions in Destiny 2, with the sixth, The Witch Queen coming in February 2022. The expansions so far include The Curse of Osiris, The Warmind, Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light. Check out our full rundown of the Destiny 2 story to learn more about each expansion.

Do I need to buy all Destiny 2 expansions?

You do not need to buy all of the Destiny 2 expansions to play most of the content in Destiny 2. You really only need to purchase the latest expansion, Beyond Light, and the current season pass to be playing the most up-to-date content. If you have Xbox Game Pass, you can actually access all of the expansions as part of your subscription. For everyone else, the Forsaken campaign will be free starting in December before it is sunsetted in February 2022.

Does Destiny 2 have cross-save?

Destiny 2 does have Cross-Save along with Cross-Play, however, you have to purchase any expansions on each platform individually. Check out how to link your different platform accounts to Bungie and start playing on any platform.

What time does Destiny 2 reset (weeklies/dailies)?

In Destiny 2 the weekly reset time is Tuesday at 10 am PST, this will reset all progress on vendor and playlist challenges. The daily reset in Destiny 2 occurs at 10 am PST every day and will reset all available vendor bounties.

How long is the Destiny 2 campaign?

The Destiny 2 main campaign takes about 12 hours to complete, with any New Light extra content taking anywhere from 4-12 additional hours to complete. The latest expansion, Beyond Light, takes around 6-10 hours to complete.

How much do Destiny 2 DLCs/season passes cost?

Season Passes in Destiny 2 cost 1,000 Silver which is the currency used in the Eververse. This comes out to about $10 in real-world money and gives you access to the Season Pass, Seasonal Quests, new weapons, and story content. The current price for old expansions is typically $34.99-$39.99, while the upcoming expansion, The Witch Queen, is slated to cost $39.99 for the Standard Edition.

Who made Destiny 2?

Bungie, the creators of Halo, is the development studio that made Destiny 2. It was originally published by Activision until Bungie went independent in 2019.

What year does Destiny 2 take place?

There’s no specific timeframe stated in the game, but it roughly takes place around 600-1,000 years into our future. According to the original Destiny cutscene, The Traveler was discovered during the present day and there are several lore entries that mention 22nd Century technology that came during the Great Collapse.

What is the currency in Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 has a wide range of currency options that do different things. The standard purchasing and upgrade currencies are Glimmer and Legendary Shards. Bright Dust and Silver are currencies used to purchase items in the Eververse. There are also random currencies for specific planets and vendors that vary based on events and purpose.

How long is Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 is a constantly evolving game making the length difficult to narrow down. However, the main campaign and subsequent expansions, along with side quests can take anywhere from 40 hours to 100 hours to fully complete. To get an idea of all of the story content in Destiny 2, check out our guide on the story so far.

How many people are playing Destiny 2?

Depending on seasonal releases, content drops, and in-game events Destiny 2 can have anywhere from 800,000 – 1,100,000 players active at one time. Player Counter is a great resource to view concurrent players at any given time.

Can I play Destiny 2 offline?

You cannot play Destiny 2 offline and need an active internet connection to access any in-game content, including single-player missions. However, you do not have to play with other players if you don’t want to.

Can Destiny 2 be played single player?

While it is an online multiplayer game, you can play plenty of Destiny 2 solo. PvP, Strikes, low-level Nightfalls, story missions, and patrols are all playable by yourself and typically feature matchmaking. Raids, Grandmaster Nightfalls, and Dungeons can also be accessed by a single player but typically require a full Fireteam to complete successfully.

Does Destiny 2 have a story mode?

Destiny 2 does not have a story mode in the traditional sense, with Strikes, Patrols, and other replayable pieces of content overlapping with story missions. There are currently four playable campaigns including New Light, Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light that feature unique story chains and cutscenes.

Is there going to be a Destiny 3?

Bungie has made it pretty clear that a true sequel to Destiny 2 is not coming anytime soon and may in fact end up being just a large-scale expansion. Right now, there is a three expansion roadmap for Destiny 2 with The Witch Queen in 2022, Lightfall in 2023, and The Final Shape that will make up the game’s content going into 2025.

Is Destiny 2 an open-world game?

Destiny 2 is a semi-open world with large-scale planetary hubs you can explore that lead into actual campaign missions that require you to run specific areas.

How do you XP farm in Destiny 2?

There’s no real quick and dirty method for farming XP in Destiny 2, and really the best way to grind out your level is to focus on the type of rewards your earning. Check out our quickstart leveling guide to learn how leveling works and the best methods to upgrade quickly.

How many planets does Destiny 2 have?

There have been 11 planets total in Destiny 2’s history however several of them have been sunsetted over the last few years. The only planets currently available are Nessus, the Moon, Tangled Shore, Dreaming City, Earth (European Deadzone and Old Russia), and Europa.

What is Destiny 2’s max player capacity?

Most activities like Strikes, campaign missions, Dungeons, etc. have a max player capacity of only three players in a Fireteam. Raids, Crucible, Gambit, and Patrols can allow for up to six players to group up at a time.

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