Destiny 2: Festival of the Lost – How to get Cipher Decoders, where to find the Haunted Forest and more

By Lauren Aitken
13 October 2020 11:32 GMT

The Festival of the Lost returns to Destiny 2 this year and once again, you’ll be visiting the Haunted Forest.

This year, the Festival of the Lost will run from October 6 until November 3, so there’s plenty of time to collect all the new loot, masks and Triumphs. You’ll be paying Spider a few visits this year as he kicks off this year’s event with a quest and ends it with a secret Triumph.

With all that in mind, let’s get started with this year’s opening quest.

Destiny 2: Festival of the Lost – How to enter the Haunted Forest

To get started, load into the Tower and speak with Eva Levante to pick up a mask or retrieve one from your vault. You won’t be able to access the Haunted Forest just yet, so it’s off to the Tangled Shore to have a word with Spider.

He wants you to hunt down some stolen caches in the Haunted Forest, but first, you’ll need to complete Crucible or Gambit match or a Strike.

After completing one of these activities, you’ll receive a Cipher Decoder. For Destiny 2 noobs and vets, the Lake of Shadows EDZ Strike is the fastest to complete, so head to the Destinations tab and select it. You can also do this step with all three of your characters so you can claim three Cipher Decoders.

Next, you can finally enter the Haunted Forest. You can either head to the Destinations tab and navigate to the Tower, where you’ll see the travel icon at the top of the screen, or head back to see Eva and teleport from the transmat point beside here.

You can enter the Haunted Forest with a ready-made fireteam or take advantage of Destiny 2’s matchmaking – you can even do it solo if you wish. You’ll need to clear branches by following the paths, defeating enemies and opening doors before tackling some pretty challenging bosses. You’ll want to watch out for Unyielding Terrors, which are giant invincible Knights who will knock you into the void.

You should aim to complete a minimum of five Branches per run, but try and do seven to get a good loot cache at the end. Keep an eye out for chests along the way that hold Candy and Chocolate Strange Coins you can trade for goodies.

At the end of the run, you can use your Cipher Decoder to unlock a chest and get some loot. This year, you’ll be able to find:

  • Horror Story Auto Rifle
  • Braytech Werewolf Auto Rifle
  • Masks
  • Festival of the Lost Shaders

You’ll also be able to swap Candy for Mummified Exotic ships, Sparrows and Ghost shells from Eva, too, as well as the Epic Mystery Grab Bag. It contains things like Enhancement Cores, random Legendaries, Umbral Engrams and Upgrade Modules and cost 300 Candy and 25 Chocolate Strange Coins, or 150 Candy for the non-Epic variety.

Speak to Eva to finish the quest then move on to sourcing Cipher Decoders around the system.

Destiny 2: Festival of the Lost – How to get Cipher Decoders

You can pick up Cipher Decoders by completing a range of activities during Festival of the Lost. There are a few exceptions, however, and you won’t get any drops from the following activities:

  • Forge reignition runs
  • Gambit matches
  • Non-playlist Strikes
  • Killing powerful enemies

The good news is, you can do all this without wearing a Power reducing mask as you cut about the galaxy. You can get up to two Cipher Decoders at a time and can carry a maximum of 25 Cipher Decoders at any given time, so be sure to use them wisely to get the best loot in Haunted Forest runs.

The best farming method is to complete Patrols and Heroic Story Missions, as well as Nightfall: The Ordeal runs. You can access story missions from the Vanguard tab and you’d be wise to complete a few short ones like Ice and Shadow, Gateway and A Deadly Trial, though you can do the Shadowkeep story missions from the Moon. What stories you can access will depend on what DLC you own, so keep that in mind.

Destiny 2: Festival of the Lost – How to unlock the secret Triumph

There are nine Festival of the Lost Triumphs to unlock this year, including a secret Triumph. To unlock this mysterious Triumph, you’ll need to have unlocked Caches Galore by gathering 45 Cipher Decoders and use them to unlock caches.

If you haven’t checked the Triumphs out yet, here’s what you need to do to complete them all:

  • Cache Grab: Open 15 caches in the Haunted Forest with Cipher Decoders
  • Cache Cow: Open 30 caches in the Haunted Forest with Cipher Decoders
  • Caches Galore: Open 45 caches in the Haunted Forest with Cipher Decoders
  • Wrapped and Ready: Get the mummy Ghost from Eva Levante
  • Ride or Die: Get the Festival of the Lost Sparrow from Eva Levante
  • Entombed Horizon: Get the Festival of the Lost Ship from Eva Levante
  • Secret Triumph: Speak to Spider after completing Caches Galore
  • Many Faces: Acquire all Festival of the Lost 2020 masks
  • Masked Accomplice: Complete all Festival of the Lost 2020 Triumphs

Once you’ve opened 45 caches, you’ll get a quest called Apocryphal Accomplice, where you’ll need to visit Spider once again. He’ll congratulate you on recovering all the loot stolen by the House of Kings and in return gives you the Ascendant Lens, which comes with the tagline “A focusing lens from the Dreaming City through which the Ascendant Plane can sometimes be seen…”

The issue is: I don’t know what it does. Maybe it’s linked to the new Stasis subclass, but more likely it’ll be linked to an event at the end of the Festival. For now, hold on to it and visit The Dreaming City during curse week – you never know what might appear.

You can check out the Season of Arrivals roadmap here, as well as everything we know about Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

If you’re just getting started with Season of Arrivals, check out our guides on how to unlock Contact Public Events, earn Umbral Engrams and complete the Means to an End questline, how to get the Witherhoard Exotic Grenade Launcher and unlock the Seed of Silver Wings Artifact.

You can also check out our Season of Arrivals Iron Banner guide here as well as how to complete the Prophecy Dungeon.

If you’re new to Destiny 2, you can check out our Forsaken guide here as well as how to find Lost Sectors and cache codes.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

VG247 logo

Buy our t-shirts, yeah

They're far more stylish than your average video game website tat.

VG247 merch