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What To Know Before Playing Destiny 2

It’s launch week for Destiny 2, and suffice to say there’s a lot of new things to learn. There are some major changes from the previous Destiny, with it generally being a more streamlined, logical experience than the first game. With less goofy currencies and a more logical economy (for the most part), but there’s still a decent amount to learn both there and through gameplay itself.

Here are some tips for you to pick up before you start playing Destiny 2.


Public Events Are Now Invaluable

Destiny Activision Bungie Enemies Gameplay PS4 PC Xbox One

Public events have always been in kind of a weird spot in Destiny, sort of useful, but mostly a pain to track down and complete. But now they’re absolutely essential, and the best way to rack up XP and engrams early on.

Do them whenever you see them, which is now easier than ever because of Destiny 2’s snazzy new map. That shows you exactly what events are going on in which zones and when they’re starting. It gives you a ton of XP, random drops, and bonus chests. Rewarding you with tokens, glimmer, items and a chance at legendaries and exotics. Dollar for dollar, I’m not sure there’s a more valuable activity in the game at this point.


Get A Sparrow

Destiny 2 Sparrow, PS4, PC Multiplayer

As of now, there is no sub-quest to get a Sparrow.  Bungie has withheld Sparrows until you reach the end of the campaign and only then will you get one (or two or three) to help you zoom around the map. But, there is an easy workaround for alt characters, where you simply drop a Sparrow in the vault from your main character and have your level 2 character pick it up at the farm. There are no restrictions preventing this, so your second and third character will be able to get through all the early content that much faster with Sparrow access.


Get Through The Story As Fast As You’re Able


You don’t want to do any more side-missions or public events than you have to without access to a Sparrow. So the central story, a dozen or so missions, is worth beating as soon as you can to get one. But past that, without ruining any plot points, beating the story will get you access to all kinds of ways to make progress in the game.

From different vendors to NPCs with important assignments. You can explore other stuff later, but do focus on the story so long as you’re within maybe 10-20 of the recommended power level for the missions. If you are, you should be fine. As ever, the “real” game starts once you beat the campaign, and in Destiny 2 it’s more important ever that you get there quickly, as so much stuff opens up.


Don’t Hoard Exotic Or Legendary Engrams

Destiny 2 Activision Bungie PS4 PC Xbox One Engrams

It may seem somewhat logical to you to hoard Legendary or Exotic Engrams you get until you’re a higher power level, but don’t bother. While this may have worked in some past versions of Destiny, it does not work in Destiny 2. Whatever Engram you drop, it’s already at a set power level and will not change as you get higher. Honestly, infusion becomes easy enough later in the game where it really doesn’t matter, so open everything, use it while you can, and save it for later when you can upgrade it to a higher level.


You Don’t Need To Be At Your Maximum Current Power To Decrypt Engrams

Destiny 2 Activision Bungie PS4 PC Xbox One Gameplay

This is probably the most welcome quality of life change in Destiny 2 if you ask me (other than being able to grab ledges). You no longer have to make sure you’re perfectly maxed in every slot before you open an engram. The game will simply recognize your overall “power level” and the engram will decrypt on the high end, regardless of your current loadout.

Now, I’m not sure if you just need higher stuff in your inventory or if the game just calculates power level over time with some other metric. But I would at least have one higher item in each inventory slot to be safe if you’re equipping lower gear until that’s proven for sure. But so far there haven’t been any problems with this system.


Infusion Gets A Little Tricky Later On


Infusion is pretty straightforward for a while in Destiny 2, but eventually, it gets kind of confusing where things may not infuse as high as you thought they would. This is because, with the new mod system, items have a core power level that can then be bolstered by a mod with a power level. As in, you might have a 365 item that you’re trying to use to infuse to a 360, but in reality, it’s a 360 item with a 5 power mod in it. So when you’re doing this, just make sure you keep an eye on the base power level.


Here’s What’s Going On With Current Max Power Levels

Destiny 2 Activision Bungie Teaser PS4 PC Xbox One Engram

Here’s the deal:

  • – Rares top out at 260 power
  • – Legendaries (from vendors and drops) top out at 265 power
  • – Exotics top out at 270 power (but will usually have a 5 power mod to be 275)
  • Once you yourself hit 270, exotics and Legendaries will start dropping over this threshold. Not sure where ultimate cap is yet.
  • – Exotics keep pushing people higher and higher after you get past 265-270, and the highest I’ve seen so far is 294 on one. I do not believe Bungie intends/requires people to get that high pre-raid, but yeah, my initial estimates here were off.

So right now the “soft max” is around 265. 230 is the minimum power level for the Nightfall. The last sub-story quest I got was recommended 260 power. With the raid being recommended at 260 or 265 power when it launches next week, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.


Where To Find Exotics


Everyone wants to hunt down exotics as soon as they can, and Destiny 2 does something pretty cool where you’ll get three exotics just throughout the course of the story, and can even drop extra engrams along the way if you’re really lucky. Right now, here’s where you get exotics:

  • A choice of three different ones twice throughout the campaign
  • An exotic engram at the conclusion of the campaign
  • Legendary engrams still decrypt into exotics on occasion like in D1 (this has happened to me twice in two days already)
  • Ultra-rare drops from Public Events, Lost Sectors, Adventures and I believe area chests
  • I believe you can get them as rare drops in Strikes and from Crucible, but I have not yet.
  • I have also not seen exotic engrams drop in the wild, free from specific activities, but I won’t rule this out yet.

You will also get exotic quests as you play, which will appear in your inventory as mystery items that require some sort of action. In short, they’re everywhere, just somewhat rare.


Don’t Use Mod/Shaders Unless You’re Fully In Love With An Item

Destiny 2, Activision, Bungie, Multiplayer, PC, FPS, PS4

This is a controversial issue, but for right now at least, Bungie is sticking with a consumable-based system for both shaders and mods. Both are one-time use items that you will not get back if you replace them with a different shader/mod. Whatever you put in that slot will eat the original thing in that slot permanently.

As such, I would avoid using shaders/mods pretty much at all until you’re getting close to max level and have a more finalized “kit” you like. Or if you really love an item so much that you know you’re going to infuse it forever. Otherwise, it’s a big commitment (and a bad system), so choose wisely.


How To Spend Your Glimmer (Which You Will Be Drowning In)

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Destiny 2 has an extremely high glimmer cap at 100,000. You get a ton of Glimmer from killing enemies, dismantling items and completing events. In a few days, you will have more than you know what to do with. So what should you do with it?

For the most part, you should spend it buying a bunch of Cayde-6’s treasure maps. Five are one-time use to find specific chests, but the others create an effect that highlights chests on the map in each zone. Buy stacks of those and use them whenever you’re in those zones for a ton of Tokens and Glimmer from chests.

You’ll probably still have a ton of money left. That’s why you might want to start stockpiling rare mods, which you can purchase from the gunsmith. You can use some now, but in the future, it looks like you’ll someday be able to combine rare mods to make Legendary mods, which will be very useful indeed.