This page contains hints, tips and strategies for success and survival in Destiny 2.
Also be sure to check out our guide to each Guardian class, as well as what’s new in Destiny 2 vs the original Destiny.
Here you’ll find tips for players who are new to the Destiny franchise, or who may have lapsed in their devotion to the original.
Destiny 2, like the original, is a First-Person Shooter crossed with an MMORPG (Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). This means that you can expect a mixutre of traditional FPS gameplay – visiting new worlds, encountering a variety of different creatures and murdering them – with the hallmarks of an RPG. This includes completing various quests and side adventures to level up your character and unlock new skills and abilities.
When creating your first Destiny character, you’ll need to choose one of three Classes: Hunter, Titan or Warlock.
Each Class has three subclasses focused on one of the three types of elemental damage, though to unlock them all you’ll need to progress through the game.
- Hunter abilities focus on stealth and surprise attacks.
- Titan skills are designed to smash through enemy defenses.
- Warlock powers can heal or buff players, as well as unleashing powerful elemental attacks.
Each of your three characters has two stats that will increase as you play, and will help determine what events you can participate in:
- Character Level: Currently capped at 20, your Character Level will allow you to equip new items and earn Unlock Points to purchase abilities for your various subclasses.
- Power Level: How strong your character is. This status is determined by the power rating of all of the weapons and armor you have equipped. A higher Power Level makes you eligible for new events, such as Strikes and Raids.
There are three types of weapons in Destiny 2:
- Kinetic Weapons: These primary weapons fire bullets or projectiles that do impact damage.
Auto, Pulse and Scout Rifles, Hand Cannons and Sidearms
- Energy Weapons: These alternate primary weapons fire energy rounds that deal elemental damage.
Auto, Pulse and Scout Rifles, Hand Cannons and Sidearms
- Power Weapons: These weapons use special ammo to deal massive amounts of damage.
Shotguns, Sniper & Fusion Rifles, Grenade & Rocket Launchers
You’ll find ammo for each type of weapon as you explore the world and vanquish enemies. Kinetic Ammo drops in square white packages, Energy Ammo in green ones, and Power Ammo can be found in large purple boxes (in the PVP Crucible, Power Ammo can be obtained from mounted dispensers that operate on a timer).
There are five levels of rarity that a weapon or piece of gear or armor can be classified as:
- Common (White): Practically garbage. These are items that you will see throughout the first few levels of the game. They can be dismantled for Glimmer.
- Uncommon (Green): Baseline items that will perform satisfactorily throughout the middle levels of progression. They can be dismantled for Glimmer.
- Rare (Blue): Good items that you will see throughout the endgame activities. They usually drop at or below your current Power Level. They can be dismantled for Glimmer and Gunsmith Parts, or infused into higher-level gear.
- Legendary (Purple): High-quality items that will make up the majority of your end-game arsenal. They can be dismantled for Glimmer, Gunsmith Parts and Legendary Shars as well as be infused into more powerful gear.
- Exotic (Yellow): These are the best items in Destiny 2, these boast the highest Power ratings and often have valuable bonuses or traits attached to them as well. Only one Exotic Weapon and one piece of Exotic Armor can be equipped at the same time.
Below you’ll find tips and strategies for each of the three Guardian classes: Titans, Hunters and Warlocks.
Each Guardian can unlock two alternate subclasses as they progress through the game, in addition to the one they collect in the early campaign mission, Spark.
Alternate subclasses unlock as follows:
Lv. 8: Golden Gun (Solar)
Lv 15: Nightstalker (Void)
Lv 8: Striker (Arc)
Lv 15: Sunbreaker (Solar)
Lv 8: Voidwalker (Void)
Lv 15: Stormcaller (Arc)
At the levels noted above, players will randomly receive an Artifact as a reward for completing a Lost Sector, Public Event or as a drop from a powerful enemy in a Patrol area.
Once this artifact is collected, players must spend a set amount of time participating in Public Events (you don’t need to succeed, but it’s a good way to earn more XP). When you’ve completed the necessary number of events, a quest will appear at the Shard of the Traveler in the EDZ on Earth.
Complete this mission to acquire and equip your new subclass.
The Arcstrider, Gunslinger, and Nightstalker are back to their rogueish ways in Destiny 2. Here are some tips for surviving the wilds with this class.
- Dodge often. All hunters have a dodge or tumble class ability. The dodge will automatically reload your weapons and the tumble can avoid damage while giving you melee energy back. Dodging instead of reloading in a firefight can save you some time and get you back in the fight. Tumbling will confuse PVE enemies and give you time to get into cover if needed.
- Dodging makes Arcstriders more lethal. A melee attack after dodging will give you a increased range attack and dodging in your Arcstrider super will make the next Arc Staff hit more lethal. Remember to try and melee or swing right after dodging!
- Easily Find Treasures by using the Perfect Scout skill in the Nightstalker class. This will display caches, region chests and elemental resources on your radar while exploring each world.
Both the Sentinel Titan and Striker Titan are great choices for PVE and PVP. Here are some tips that could help your beta gameplay.
- The Titan’s Rally Barricade class ability allows you to hide behind a barricade and peek over to shoot at your foes. Your weapon will instantly reload when you duck behind the barricade – pair this with high-capacity weapons like Auto-Rifles to essentially become a human turret!
- Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Holding L1+R1 while having super energy will allow the Sentinel Titan to put up a Ward of Dawn. This will come in handy if you are taking heavy damage and need some cover immediately.
- While in your Sentinel Shield super, you can throw your shield at enemies with L1, Captain America-style. Instead of trying to cover the distance by lunging at your opponent, throw your shield at them!
- When Titans equip a sword as their power weapon, Titans will perform a powerful overhead slam with the weapon’s heavy attack that deals AoE damage around the strike point. It’s essentially a smaller version of the Fists of Havoc ability – and when coupled with a sword that returns ammo on kills can essentially serve as an infinite super!
The Dawnblade and Voidwalker Warlocks pack some serious punches in the beta. Here are some ways you can maximize those punches.
- The Voidwalker Nova Bomb will slowly seek out opponents for you and then split into smaller projectiles upon detonation. If you are being chased by a Nova Bomb or want it to detonate it earlier, you can shoot at the Nova Bomb for an early detonation.
- Players can actually drain super energy in order to make their Voidwalker grenades deadlier and larger. This is a new mechanic in the Destiny universe and can be done so by holding L1.
- The Dawnblade Warlock can juke and dodge enemies in mid-air by tapping O or B twice and then pointing in the direction you want to go. This is a new movement ability that previously only Titans had access to.
- Warlocks have a class ability that allows them to deploy a healing rift or damage buff rift. If there is more than one Warlock on a team, a strategic deployment of a healing rift and damage rift can be one of the most effective strategies right now in the beta!
There are many ways to increase your character’s level and power throughout Destiny 2 – here are our recommendations for grinding upwards as quickly as possible.
There are two factors that determine what events and activities you’re eligible for and what gear you can use in Destiny 2 – your Character Level and your Power Level.
Reaching Level 20 with your Hunter, Titan or Warlock is one of your goals by the time you finish the Red War campaign (Destiny 2’s main story missions).
Character Experience (XP) is earned through a variety of sources, such as completing missions, adventures and patrol activities. It also comes from eliminating enemies, with more powerful enemies generating a higher XP reward.
The most plentiful source of XP are the Red War campaign missions. These not only reward players with lots of XP upon completion, but also unlock new areas to explore along with new activities and items that will increase your Power Level.
Second to completing story missions, the best way to quickly boost your Character Level is to repeatedly play Public Events while exploring the four locations in the solar system.
Be sure to trigger the Heroic modifier on each event you play to get bonus XP and a chance for better item drops.
If you’re still looking for extra XP, consider playing the Adventure missions scattered around each world as you progress through the story. Many of them are geared towards lower-level players, with a power requirement that should be somewhere alongside the one you obtain by completing campaign missions.
They also reward Guardians with Rare Gear, which may be a significant improvement on your current loadout.
A Guardian’s Power Level is what determines how strong their attacks and defense are. It is increased by finding and equipping better gear over the course of the campaign and beyond, in events like Strikes, Crucible matches, Patrol events and Raids.
There current max Power level seems to sit around 300P, and there’s a bit of a holdup around 260-265, but the road from hitting Lv 20 to reaching even that can be a grueling endeavor – here are some tips for increasing your power after completing the campaign.
The most important thing to remember when you finish the campaign and unlock the remaining endgame content is to not turn in the rewards you get for completing the initial post-game Milestones.
These challenges and activities, such as completing a Nightfall Strike for Zavala or a Flashpoint for Cayde, reward players with Luminous Engrams. These rarest of engrams are only available as Milestone rewards, and will always generate light commensurate to your current Power Level.
Currently, Faction vendors (Lord Shaxx, Banshee-44, Devrim Kay, etc) and found Legendary engrams can only reward you with gear at a max Power rating of 265-270. Save these Milestone rewards until you’ve topped out your progression via Faction rewards and engram drops in order to gain the most Power when turning them in.
The easiest way to boost your Power Level up to around 200 is to use glimmer to purchase items from the various Vendors around The Farm and on the different worlds.
The most efficient way to collect more powerful engrams (both pre-260 and after) is to continuously run circuits of Public Events – with those Heroic modifiers active, of course.
You’re guaranteed at least a Rare drop almost every time, and your odds of getting a Legendary or Exotic are as good as when playing Crucible matches or running missions – the only difference is that Public Events take only 3-5 minutes!
EditFarm Patrol Tokens and Resources
Completing Adventures, raiding Lost Sectors and opening Region Chests and caches will all reward you with Location Tokens.
These, along with planetary resources like Datalattice or Dusklight, can be exchanged with that world’s Vanguard contact for Reputation points. Each new Reputation level you unlock will reward you with Legendary gear.
In addition to the chance to find Legendary or Exotic engrams, completing Strikes in the Vanguard Strike Playlist will reward Guardians with Vanguard Tokens. Redeem these with Commander Zavala to increase your Vanguard reputation and unlock Legendary rewards.
Participating in Crucible matches is a decent way to collect new gear if you enjoy PvP more than PvE. Each match has a chance to reward you with Rare, Legendary or Exotic gear, and you also receive one Crucible Token per match. You can redeem these for increased reputation and rewards with Lord Shaxx.
In order to earn all of your weekly Milestones, you’ll need to spend some time in The Crucible. This section details tips and helpful strategies for success in Destiny 2’s PvP.
There are two main types of match in The Crucible:
- Quickplay matches are designed to be more casual encounters between opposing fireteams. Matches are short, at a maximum of 5 minutes, and require less direct team coordination.
- Competitive matches focus heavily on team coordination and last for six rounds.
There are five core Crucible game types. The three Quickplay modes are:
- Clash: Team Deathmatch. Two teams of guardians compete for the highest kill count.
- Control: Domination. The two fireteams fight to capture and hold three points on a map.
- Supremacy: Team Deathmatch +. Fireteams fight to eliminate opposing Guardians and claim their vanquished foes Crests – while preventing the enemy from claiming their own.
There are currently two Competitive modes:
- Countdown: One team attempts to plant, defend and detonate an explosive at one of two points on a map. The other team must prevent them from planting it or defuse it before it can detonate.
- Survival: Last Man Standing. Each fireteam gets a pool of respawns, and once those are spent the last man standing wins the round.
A functional loadout is one of the most important aspects of succeeding in Crucible matches, and one of the few aspects that players have complete control over.
We recommend taking a weapon that can deal heavy damage up-close, like an SMG, Auto-Rifle or Hand Cannon and pairing it with a long(er)-range Scout or Pulse rifle.
While your power level won’t be a factor in how effective you are against other players, all of your weapons traits are useful in The Crucible. Consider using that scout rifle with explosive rounds instead of your regular AR when facing off against other guardians.
Having more than one player doesn’t make capturing the point any faster – you can still get points for yourself by aiding in these actions, but the only person you’re helping is yourself.
Players using their super ability will take bonus damage from energy weapons. Be sure to swap to this weapon if you see or hear an opponent activating their super.
Slays together. Always travel with at least one teammate if possible. It’s nearly impossible to win a 2-v-1 combat encounter if you don’t have a Super or power weapon avaiable. Travelling as a pack will help make it tough for anyone to outgun you.
Staying alive means knowing when to bow out of a firefight. If you’re at half health or below, immediately retreat and recover if possible, and always be on the lookout for places to find cover if hurt.
While each Warlock rift is helpful on its own, the best use of these abilities is stacking both types on top of each other when you have two Warlocks on a team. Place a healing rift and a damage rift on top of one another to maximize your team’s combat efficiency.
A team of Warlocks can coordinate to receive continuous health and damage boosts, making it near impossible for opponents to take a team out.
In the original Destiny, using a weapon while interacting with an object or reviving a teammate would have cancelled the action – Destiny 2 now lets players interact with objects while simultaneously still being able to defend themselves.
Taking damage while interacting with an item or reviving a teammate will cause the action meter to reset – try to avoid beginning one of these actions while enemies are nearby.
Titans with the Rally Barricade skill get a buff that automatically reloads their equipped gun when taking cover behind it.
This also works on anyone else on their team, too, meaning you can all keep popping in and out from behind the barricade while holding the trigger and become a stationary machine gun nest for as long as the ability is active.
EditWeapon and Loadout Tips
Classic guns such as the Auto Rifle, Scout Rifle, and Pulse Rifle are making a return in the Destiny 2 Beta but players will also get their hands on a new archetype of gun: the SMG. Each archetype of gun has a very specific use and utility so choosing your main two primaries are essential both in PVE and PVP.
Here are some tips for creating effective loadouts when journeying into Patrol sectors on Earth, Titan, Io and Nessus.
More powerful enemies will often have rechargeable energy shields that provide them additional protection in a firefight. These can be quickly depleted by using Energy Weapons, so consider equipping an energy weapon with a high rate of fire, such as an Auto-Rifle or Submachine Gun.
Once their shield is down, use a Kinetic Weapon that deals more damage (Scout Rifles, Hand Cannons, etc) to take down their health bar.
Spend some time experimenting with different weapons, subclass specializations and tactics.
You may initially just use Auto-Rifles and SMGs at close range, but discover that you’ve got a penchant for sniping with Power Weapons or Scout Rifles!
For PVP, elemental guns are extremely important as they do extra damage to players in their super. The elemental damage on the gun does not have to match the element of the super so don’t forget to whip that elemental gun out when that Sentinel Titan is charging right at you.
For both PVE and PVP, your weapon loadout should generally consist of a long range gun (Pulse Rifle, Scout Rifle) and either a mid-range gun (Auto Rifle, Hand Cannon) or short range gun (SMG, Sidearm). This will allow you to be covered on all ranges of fights. Don’t forget to always try and find ammo for your Power Weapon as these weapons will generally one shot kill your enemies.