Destiny 2 guide: every bit of intel on Bungie’s Next Big Thing we could get our hands on

By Staff, Friday, 23 June 2017 06:30 GMT

Destiny 2 is already one of the heavyweights of 2017. Here’s everything you need to know.

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Destiny 2 is no surprise to any of us. Not only was it written into the Destiny contract between Activision and Bungie, it was inevitable once the first game arrived in 2014 and become an overnight sensation, hugely influencing multiple triple-A titles over the following years.

It’s also something we’ve been looking forward to for almost as long as we’ve expected it – and are jonesing for even harder now that we’ve actually played Destiny 2.

Don’t get us wrong, we loved Destiny the First – but since Bungie was making up a whole new genre as it went along, its first effort wasn’t perfect. There were problems: dull, poorly-conveyed story. Enormous content droughts. Multiplayer lag. A frustrating lack of community features for a game so reliant on co-op.

Destiny 2 had originally been expected at least one year earlier, but Bungie pushed it back, releasing the Rise of Iron expansion instead. We’d like to think it spent that extra time nailing the platform technology that will underpin what may well be 2017’s biggest release.

We just don’t know if that’s true yet – but what we do know is, Destiny 2 is going to be big, no matter what. We also know all the things on this page – and now you do too.

Use the navigation box to get to the Destiny 2 info you want quickly and easily. If there’s anything Destiny 2 related we’ve missed, or any questions of yours we’ve left unanswered, let us know.

Destiny 2 gameplay reveal

Let’s start off with Destiny 2’s gameplay reveal, which took place in Los Angeles on May 18. Bungie and Activison were proud to show off their new baby for the first time, revealing story, gameplay and more. You can watch the full Destiny 2 gameplay reveal above.

If you don’t have over an hour to spare, don’t worry – Bungie released a number of short videos presenting individual segments of the gameplay reveal for easier digestion, so you can cherry pick what you ant to watch.

To start us off, here’s a Destiny 2 gameplay trailer with a montage of footage from the first mission of the story campaign, which is called Homecoming.

Although the montage edit doesn’t give you the full context for the mission, what it does do is show off Destiny 2 gameplay – shooting stuff. Yep. Guns a plenty to ogle in their brief appearances. You’ll also get a look at the new supers, and more.

Next up is a quick recap of what’s changed in Destiny 2 – the story and setting, new activities, the new subclasses, how weapons have changed, and more.

The next segment to be released covered how Guided Games and in-game clans mean Destiny 2 players can always find a game.

During the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal event, Bungie also released a new Destiny 2 cinematic trailer, which we’ll look at a little further down the page, too.

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Destiny 2 story and setting

Destiny and its sequel are both set far in the future, in the wake of an event known as the Collapse. This event was the end of Humanity’s Golden Age, an era of scientific marvels and industry, brought on by the arrival of the mysterious Traveller. Unfortunately, the four races of the Darkness wanted the Traveller’s Light for their own, and their invasion of Earth and surrounds proved apocalyptic to Humanity. The last remnants survive in the Last City, sheltered by the Vanguard, leaders of the undead Guardians who channel the Traveller’s Light to protect the city. (That’s us!)

Destiny 2 kicks off when the Red Legion, an elite force of Cabal led by Lord Ghaul, invades Earth – or more specifically, the Tower. The attack is successful and the Vanguard are driven from the Last City.

Ghaul locks the Traveller in a strange sort of cage, severing many Guardians’ connections to the Light, and explaining why we start without most of our powers (and guns) in Destiny 2.

Bungie has said that the story of Destiny 2 is focused on the Light, and what it means to be chosen by it. The Guardian’s connection to their Ghost and thus the Traveller comes under examination, and antagonist Ghaul is envious of the player’s Light. The Darkness will not play a major part in Destiny 2; Bungie has admitted it didn’t originally have a plan for what the Darkness was, and is ret-conning the first game’s descriptions of alien races as “minions of the Darkness”.

Our quest to combat Ghaul and win back the Light will take us around the solar system. There are four main Destinations players will visit in Destiny 2:

  • Earth
    On Earth, the centre of human occupation shifts, and players will be exploring the European Dead Zone rather than the Cosmodrome in Old Russia. It’s the “largest destination yet” at twice the size of any area in Destiny the First. It features a lush forest, abandoned town and a cave system, as well as a Red Legion base. This is also where you’ll find the new social space, The Farm.
  • Titan
    A moon of Saturn, Titan is a marine planet with no surface landmasses. Players will explore a series of crumbling Golden Age relice, platforms which were once the site of a utopia. Commander Zavala, the Titan Vanguard, is set up here.
  • Nessus
    In our time, Nessus is an icy, minor centaur planet, but in Destiny 2 it has been almost completely terraformed and taken over by the Vex. It’s a land of majestic canyons and bursts of colourful vegetation lashed together with inexplicable Vex caverns. Cayde-6, the Hunter Vanguard, is questing here.
  • Io
    Io is the last place the Traveller touched before the Collapse, and is sacred to Warlocks – which is why Warlock Vanguard Ikora Rey is hanging out on this moon of Jupiter. Now tainted by the presence of troops of the Darkness, it’s a land of strange technological wonders.

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Destiny 2 gameplay, changes and new content

Quite a lot has changed in Destiny 2 compared to Destiny the First. We won’t rehash every Destiny system here (you can visit our Destiny guide for that sort of thing), but instead offer information from the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal of most use to returning veterans:

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Destiny 2 classes and subclasses

All three original classes return in Destiny 2 – Hunter, Warlock and Titan – and each will have multiple subclass options.

As in the original Destiny, Destiny 2 players will be able to freely switch between subclass and upgrade paths at any time.

The three classes and their skill trees have been overhauled. Each of three classes now has a unique class skill shared across all subclasses, which comes in two variants.

  • Warlocks can conjure a Rift that continually heal or buff teammates.
  • Titans can place Barriers to provide total shelter or tactical cover with ammo.
  • Hunters can perform a Dodges that reload their weapon or increase melee energy.

Jump abilities return and, like class abilities, are shared across all subclasses. Grenade, passive skill trees and supers are unique to their associated subclasses.

We’re waiting on confirmation on which original subclasses will also appear in Destiny 2, but we do know that the Hunter Gunslinger and Titan Striker return.

Destiny 2 adds at least three new subclasses – one each for Hunter, Warlock and Titan.

  • The new Hunter subclass is called Arkstriker. The super summons a staff of Arc.
  • The new Warlock subclass is Dawnblade. The super summons a sword of Solar.
  • The new Titan subclass is Sentinel. The super summons a Void shield, which can be thrown.

The new Destiny subclasses seem to replace subclasses from the first game – Hunter Bladedancer, Warlock Sunsinger and Titan Defender. Bungie has said the Sunsinger’s resurrection super was boring – but that it’s possible we’ll see other support-focused subclasses in Destiny 2 one day.

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Destiny 2 subclass guides

We’re putting together detailed guides on every subclass in Destiny 2 – things have changed since the first game. These guides will list every skill and passive ability as we discover them, giving you full details so you can plan your build and co-ordinate with your buddies for co-op.

Each of these pages includes gameplay footage of the subclass in action, so you can see how your chosen Guardian will play in Destiny 2.

We’ll have full details on each of the other Destiny 2 subclasses as they come in.

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Exotics and weapons

Destiny 2 will put narrative front and centre, but c’mon – we all know why we’ll be lining up. Although it’s early days yet, we’ve already had a look at a slice of Destiny 2’s arsenal; here’s what we know so far.

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Destiny 2 release date

Destiny 2 will release on September 6, 2017 on PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version of Destiny 2 will release on October 24, 2017.

This Destiny 2 release information is current as of E3 2017, when Activision revealed the PC date and brought the console date forward from its originally announced window. Bungie has said it made this decision so that Destiny 2’s servers wouldn’t melt at launch, since the previous date was a weekend.

Destiny 2 beta start times

There will be a Destiny 2 beta, allowing lucky Guardians to try out the sequel ahead of release date. Content available will be similar to that experienced by attendees at the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal event.

Pre-ordering Destiny 2 on any platform grants you early access to the Destiny 2 beta on that platform (on PC, you’ll also get Destiny 2 beta access with purchase of a GTA 1080/GTX 1080 TI bundled with Destiny 2). However, the beta will later open doors to everyone. Console players will need an active PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription as appropriate.

The Destiny 2 beta begins on July 18, but access is staggered by console and pre-order status. Here are the details.

  • Destiny 2 beta PS4 pre-orders early access – July 18 10:00am PT (1:00pm ET/6:00pm UK)
  • Destiny 2 beta Xbox One pre-orders early access – July 19 10:00am PT (1:00pm ET/6:00pm UK)
  • Destiny 2 beta general PS4 and Xbox One access – 10:00am PT July 21 (1:00pm ET/6:00pm UK)
  • Destiny 2 PC beta – late August, details TBC

Click the time links to see Destiny 2 beta start times relevant to your local timezone.

Destiny 2 pre-orders

Destiny 2 pre-orders are now available through retailers and digital portals.

If you’re ready to preorder Destiny 2 (gotta get that Destiny 2 beta invite, right?) you have several options to choose from when it comes to editions, with some digital and physical goodies on offer.

You can find full details on the Destiny 2 Limited and Deluxe Editions here, but we’ve also summarised the information below. If you’d like to know more about the individual bonuses, we have a run down on what you get with Destiny 2 special editions which goes into detail on some of the physical extras like the fancy bag.

In addition to pre-orders through Battle.net, the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, most online and bricks-and-mortar retailers are carrying Destiny 2 pre-orders. Some retailers are offering extra bonus content like figurines, steelbooks and more.

Destiny 2 Limited Edition and Collector’s Edition packages are sold out at some retailers, but you can use Bungie’s tool to find retailers in your country that carry it, and check in with each of them to see if they have any allocation remaining.

Special Editions: Limited and Collector’s contents

  • Destiny 2 Standard Edition
    • A physical copy of Destiny 2
  • Destiny 2 Digital Standard Edition
    • A digital copy of Destiny 2
  • Destiny 2 Digital Deluxe Edition
    • A digital copy of Destiny 2
    • Expansion Pass
    • Legendary Sword
    • Legendary Player Emote
    • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem
  • Destiny 2 Limited Edition
    • A physical copy of Destiny 2
    • Expansion Pass
    • Legendary Sword
    • Legendary Player Emote
    • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem
    • Limited Edition SteelBook Case
    • Cabal-themed Collector’s Box
    • Cabal booklet
    • Cabal Schematic
    • Cabal Postcards
    • Cabal Military Pawns
  • Destiny 2 Collector’s Edition
    • A physical copy of Destiny 2
    • Expansion Pass
    • Legendary Sword
    • Legendary Player Emote
    • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem
    • Limited Edition SteelBook Case
    • Cabal-themed Collector’s Box
    • Cabal booklet
    • Cabal Schematic
    • Cabal Postcards
    • Cabal Military Pawns
    • Frontier Messenger Bag
    • Frontier Kit
    • Solar USB charger with light
    • Paracord
    • Solar blanket

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Destiny 2 on PC: Blizzard and Battle.net

Destiny 2 is coming to PC, but there are some things you need to know about it.

First, Destiny 2 will run on Blizzard’s Battle.net. If you want to play, you’ll need to sign up for that – but the good news there is that you can use your existing Battle.net credit to purchase Destiny 2. (Go ahead and start gold farming.)

Destiny 2 pre-orders are available now via Battle.net and Battle.net onsellers such as Humble.

Second, Destiny 2 won’t release on PC day and date with consoles.

Bungie has said it’s committed to making Destiny 2 a very good PC game, going deep on mouse and keyboard support, offering a field of view slider, and uncapping the frame rate (which is locked to 30 fps in the console builds of Destiny 2). But Destiny 2 won’t have dedicated servers on PC, and it’s being developed by Vicarious Visions.

It does look very pretty on PC, though, thanks to 4K support. Bungie has refused to give any indication of minimum specs, but we do know the specs of the PCs being used to run Destiny 2 at the gameplay reveal event.

Destiny 2 on PC will also have custom key mapping, text chat, a “detailed” settings screen, and support for 21:9 monitors – among other features. Here’s everything we know about Destiny 2’s PC features so far.

Bungie and Vicarious Visions have made changes to gunplay specifically for the PC version. For example, recoil works differently in Destiny 2 – but don’t worry, Bungie’s trademark, real-feeling boomsticks are still very much present.

For a limited time, you can get Destiny 2 free with a GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti, and secure early beta access as well.

If you’d like to see how the shared-worlds shooter looks on PC, check out Nvidia’s 4K 60fps Destiny 2 video or 12 minutes of Destiny 2 at face-melting 4K. Apparently Destiny 2 hits an “unfaltering” 60fps on PC, which is good news.

Destiny 2 platforms – PC, PS4, or Xbox One?

We know Destiny players can import their characters to Destiny 2. But at present, Bungie has not announced whether players will be able to import Destiny the First characters to Destiny 2 while hopping between platforms – say PS4 to PC, or Xbox One to PS4, or whatever.

Nor has Bungie said whether Destiny 2 will have persistent accounts or cross-play, allowing you to play on and switch between multiple platforms after the game is live.

As such, your choice of platform could be pretty important – do you want to keep your existing character (even though you can’t bring your powers or guns)? Where are all your friends going to play? We’re hoping to get an answer on this soon.

Here’s another important thing to know if you are choosing a platform: Destiny 2 will have PS4 exclusive content. PS4 players will have access to an additional Crucible map, Retribution; a strike, Lake of Shadows; an Exotic sniper rifle; armour; and a ship. Those links will take you to images of the PS4 Exclusive content, if you want to take a squizz.

The good news is, PS4 exclusive Destiny 2 content will come to other platforms sometime in 2018.

As for other differentiators, thee’s no difference in frame rate between the two consoles. Destiny 2 will be 30fps on all consoles, including Xbox One X. Sorry. Bungie has said that’s so Destiny 2 remains fun and fair to play for everyone; if some Xbox players are running at a higher frame rate, they’d have an advantage over everyone else.

However, Destiny 2 runs super smoothly at 60fps on PC, so that may be an option if you’re a frame counter.

Destiny 2 trailers

Want to watch some Destiny 2 trailers? We got you covered.

The video above is a Destiny 2 teaser released by Bungie just after it first announced Destiny 2.

This next one is the very first full cinematic trailer for Destiny 2.

Up next is the second Destiny 2 cinematic trailer, from the gameplay reveal event.

Here’s the Destiny 2 E3 2017 trailer, which is called Our Darkest Hour and focuses on antagonist Ghaul.

This trailer shows off Destiny 2’s PS4 exclusive content, and was also released at E3 2017.

That’s all the trailers for now, although the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal montage video is worth a look, too.

Destiny 2 news

A rolling log of Destiny 2 news, updated when fresh intel arrives. The story of Destiny 2 begins long, long ago – five whole years, in fact. New headlines will be added to the bottom of the page, so you can watch the saga unfold chronologically.

Destiny 2 hands-on, previews and reviews

There’s not much out there yet on how Destiny 2 plays, but we’ll bring you what we can as it turns up.

Is there anything else you want to know about Destiny 2? Have you seen something we’ve missed? Let us know. Keep it locked here, Guardians; we’ll be updating with everything Destiny 2, as it happens.

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