Destiny expansion The Dark Below offers players a chance to give Exotic weapons and armour a power boost.
Destiny guide: how to upgrade Exotic weapons and armour through Xur
When Destiny: The Dark Below launches next week, players will have access to a whole host of new Exoitc weapons and armour to collect.
Despite the tuning in patch 1.1, some of the older Exotic gear will lose a little of its lustre compared to the new stuff, because The Dark Below increases the Light level cap to 32. You don't want to be using level 30 gear any more, right?
As such, Bungie has elected to introduce a new way to upgrade Exotics so that they still represent the best of the best. Thanks to a GameInformer preview, we now know how that works.
To upgrade your Exotic gear you'll need to talk to Xur, the vendor who appears in the towers on weekends. For a fat wad of Glimmer and an Exotic shard, Xur will upgrade a single Exotic item, increasing its damage or defence cap - and presumably its maximum Light level too.
Upgrading an Exotic item will reset your perks. If you've spent a bunch of ascendent materials unlocking perks on your Exotic, you'll need to collect more and do it again after upgrading. If you upgrade an Exotic with all perks unlocked, you'll find the item's stats drop after upgrading, and won't increase past the previous level until you've unlocked all the perks. However, you can upgrade a brand new Exotic, so there's no need to unlock all the perks before you hand it offer to Xur.
Exotic shards can be collected in two ways. Xur will sell them for the pretty reasonable price of seven Strange Coins. You can also obtain them by dismantling Exotics, so if you have any duplicates (lucky you) it's worthwhile breaking them down.
Xur will only upgrade specific Exotics each week. Similarly to how Xur's inventory changes from week to week, Xur will offer a small selection of upgrade options each time they visit the tower. So if you want a level 32 Icebreaker you'll need to wait until they've got that option on offer, not just rock up on Friday and hope for the best.
This new system of Exotic upgrades launches alongside The Dark Below on December 9 and means your favourite weapons and armour can carry you on through future content rather than being made redundant by new gear. That's not true of Legendaries, alas.