10 Things You Should Know Before Starting Destiny 2 | Beginner’s Guide

See what’s new in Destiny 2 with Gameranx’s Beginner’s Guide, breaking down everything you should know before waging war against the Darkness a second time.

Destiny 1 was kind of a big deal. As Bungie’s post-Halo video game venture, it felt new and old and weird in many, many ways. Destiny 2 continues the weirdness, and with an even greater audience, I foresee many a confused beginner in Destiny’s near future. Before diving directly into the world of Destiny 2, we’re here to provide want an overview of everything new Bungie’s weird MMO shooter sequel has to offer over the original. Welcome to Gameranx’s Beginner’s Guide, breaking down Destiny 2 for all you fresh Guardians out there.

Bungie is bringing the sci-fi, connected world of Destiny back with a range of improvements. There are more Exotic Weapons, more Crucible maps, more Strikes (and Raids) and just more of everything. We won’t touch on the Crucible too much here; this is all about the real meat of the game. Exploring new planets, shooting stuff, gaining levels, selecting your subclasses — anything that’ll help a newbie get started without being totally confused.

[BEWARE: There are some minor first mission spoilers ahead — and some major final mission spoilers at the end of this article. Just stop after #9 if you don’t want to be spoiled.]


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The Tower Is Destroyed, Long Live The Farm

The Cabal, an army of over-inflated militaristic aliens, have invaded the Last City and taken control of the Tower — the old social space and hub everyone enjoyed in Destiny 1. Instead of using the Tower as your home base, you’ll now visit the Farm.

Maps work a little bit different in Destiny 2. Every area is split into a different type of Sector — there are Social Sectors, Lost Sectors, Public Sectors, Activity Sectors, and more. Depending on the type of Sector, you’ll find different sorts of activities to enjoy — and different limitations. You won’t be able to use Movement Modes in Social Sectors, for instance, and some sectors like Raid Sectors are private.

The biggest change is to the vendors. Vendors can now be found outside Social Sectors! And yes, Xur is returning — instead of staying put, he’ll now spawn into one of the major zones at random, depending on Bungie’s whims. If you don’t know Xur, he’s the mysterious vendor that sells Exotic Weapons. Instead of coins, he now accepts Legendary Shards — a form of currency that can be salvaged from Exotic / Legendary weapons or gear.


You Can Transfer Your Character, But Not Everything Carries Over

Your Destiny 1 character can be retained and moved into Destiny 2, but there is a cost — your inventory, unlocked class, and level won’t stick with you. Really, it’s just about the appearance. The “class, race, gender, face, hair, and marking selections” are the only factors that will carry over into Destiny 2, and only for players that have achieved Level 20 and completed the Black Garden Story Mission.

Character transfers were only saved up-to August 1st, 2017 — so if you didn’t reach Level 20 or complete the Black Garden, your character wasn’t saved. Any progress made after that date will be lost, as far as Destiny 2 is concerned. If you managed to complete the game before that date, you’ll earn Veteran Status and more cosmetic items like Emblems — all can be claimed for your account, so if you don’t want to use your old character, you don’t have to.

Also worth noting — if you transfer your character, you will not be able to customize them.


Weapon Categories Have Big Changes

You can still carry 3 weapons in Destiny 2, but the categories have received some mixing up to keep things fresh. Instead of locking every Guardian into a rigid system of Primary / Special / Heavy selections, Destiny 2 features Kinetic / Energy / Power.

Kinetic / Energy actually feature all the same weapons — yes, that means you can carry two pistols or two rifles in your inventory. The big difference is the type of damage they output. Energy weapons have Damage Types (Solar, Void and Burn) that dish out extra damage versus shielded or specially-armored opponents.

Power weapons are a little different; Fusion Rifles, Shotguns, Rocket Launchers and other “slow but powerful” weapons fall into this category.


There Are 3 New Subclasses (Dawnblade / Sentinel / Arcstrider)

At the start of Destiny, you’ll have to pick your class — Titan, Warlock and Hunter. Once you pick a class, you’re locked into your role for the rest of the game. That is, until you unlock the subclasses. Destiny 2 further expands with one new subclass for each of the main classes.

  • Dawnblade (Warlock) – A Solar melee support class, the Dawnblade can summon swords and slam them into the ground, or buff the team with healing / empowering rifts. Like the Warlock, he can glide and his perk sets focus on his gliding abilities.
  • Sentinel (Titan) – A Void shielded tank class, the Sentinel summons a shield of light that can bash enemies or be thrown to ricochet around an arena. The Sentinel can protect allies with summoned barriers — tall barriers the block damage or enemy movement, or small barriers for cover that provide instant reload to allies. Their perks enhance their double-jump and shield abilities.
  • Arcstrider (Hunter) – An Arc melee attacker class, the Arcstrider can summon a powerful Arc Staff and weave through battlefields with their dodge ability. You can unlock a triple jump or dodge mid-air, and their subclass perks are all about enhancing your abilities in melee combat.

When you unlock your subclass, you’ll also earn new Movement Modes and other perks. Instead of customizing all of them separately, all subclass perks appear in “sets” of four. You select the set you want, and all four slots will fill. It might sound bad, but just think of subclass sets as a different (and simpler) way to customize your loadout.


Light Is Out, Power Levels Are In

Light has gone through some changes in Destiny 1. Instead of an arbitrary number on certain, select gear, Light is now a weighted average of all the gear you have equipped in Destiny. Depending on your Light Level, your subclass abilities become more powerful, weapons become stronger, and you take less damage in general. That’s all changed in Destiny 2. Light is out, Power Levels are in.

Power Levels are, in essence, a summary of your current in-game ability. A Power Level, at a glance, shows if you can tackle end-game activities effectively or not. Power Level also determines how much damage you do, your defense, and your mobility — it’s more than just a summary. Pay attention to your Power Level. When you’re in the end-game, it’s all about increasing your power level by completing milestones and equipping incrementally more powerful gear.


Drive New Vehicles (And Old Sparrows)

There were basically two vehicles you could pilot in Destiny 1. There were Sparrows, the main mode of conveyance that every Guardian will get to equip, and then there were the Fallen Pikes. That basically covers all the vehicles in Destiny 1Destiny 2 expands, and provides a much greater variety of enemy vehicles you can snatch up during the campaign.

Sparrows are the standard vehicle you can summon at any point while exploring the major zones. You’ll equip a Sparrow in your inventory, then a quick summon and you can zip off to another location. Destiny 2 also features more enemy vehicles for you to pilot — Pikes are back, but you’ll also encounter two Cabal vehicles.

In Cabal-dominated areas, you may find the Interceptor. Like a bulkier, more powerful Pike, these Cabal vehicles appear during Secret Public Events, so you can freely use them on Adventures. You’ll also get to pilot a powerful Drake Tank during the campaign. It might even appear in a public sector, but that’s once piece of info we don’t have yet.


Find Lots Of Lore In Missions Or While Exploring

Destiny 2 has changed the way you’ll unlock lore. The online-only Grimoire is gone. Now, you’ll be able to scan “lore objects” in all the environments. Like collectibles with tons of extra information, there are tons and tons of lore objects to discover and scan in every Sector, including those Public Sectors. If you’re really into the lore for Destiny, this is a pretty big change, and it’s a lot easier to scan stuff. No more completing weird challenges to get your lore — it’s all about the locations now.

No lore object is locked in a mission, so you can always scan objects while exploring. Look for out-of-place objects, or strange bright rifts — you can also use your ghost to scan the area and locate any nearby lore objects. That’ll appear, just like enemies and other important objects in the environment.


Join Pick-Up Groups For Strikes And Lost Dungeons In Public Sectors

Between completing campaign missions, you’ll also want to enjoy public Strikes and Events — but it all depends on the type of Sector you’re accessing. Public Sectors can be entered by all Guardians, and all Guardians share the same instance. That means Public Events can be shared between lots and lots of Guardians. If you’re on Xbox or PS4, you can enjoy online Public Sectors without a paid account.

Strikes (Activity Sectors) and Lost Sectors are found while exploring Public Sectors, making them perfect for pick-up groups. You don’t need to play with a clan to benefit from these fun, light fireteam activities, but once you actually enter a Lost Sector or other Activity Sector, you’ll be cut-off from all those Guardians in Public Sectors.

As an added bonus, you won’t need to go into orbit just to select a new activity. The new “Director” overlay allows your Guardian to access missions or the crucible from anywhere.


Get Help Beating End Game Content With The Guided Games Feature

Raids are different. Raids require planning — or they used to. Destiny 2 adds a new newbie-friendly match-making service that connects solo players with clans that choose to host raids. A host clan will show solo (or groups of solo) players how to complete Destiny 2’s most difficult content, and give solo players a chance to see everything that Destiny 2 has to offer.

The end-game raids are totally ridiculous, so even if you work with a dedicated clan, there’s no guarantee you’ll complete the raid. These things are tough, so I absolutely recommend using a mic and staying in contact with your hosts. One weak link can end an entire raid.


WARNING – STORY SPOILERS AHEAD

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Okay, ready for the last thing Destiny 2 should probably know?

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And The Tower Is Back, Too

After completing the main story campaign in Destiny 2, you’ll unlock the game’s second Social Sector — The Tower. Just like before, the Tower is your hub for all future Destiny 2 content. Here, you’ll unlock tons of new end game content and quests, including better gear, more vendors, and weird requests. There are tons of Easter eggs to discover on the Tower, and lots of spots you’ll want to visit for those good Destiny feels.

Welcome back to the Tower, Guardian.


And that’s (just about) everything you need to know about Destiny 2. There is a lot more to learn — this is just the start. I could write a novel about everything there is to know about Destiny 2. If there’s anything especially egregious we left out, let us know in the comments!


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