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Destiny: the grand pre-House of Wolves checklist and mega-guide

Destiny: House of Wolves launches next week. Are you ready?


Destiny will change forever when House of Wolves launches. Will you have you seen and done everything the game offers before then? We've provided a handy list to measure your epeen by.

I'm not suggesting you must have done all of these things - heck, I myself have not done a few of these, and I'm a bona fide tragic - but if you have, you can consider yourself top tier.

Complete vanilla Destiny's story missions

It is 2015 and some of you haven't yet seen the final cutscene of Destiny. Get on with it. We have a guide and everything.

Complete The Dark Below's story missions

The story-telling in The Dark Below is much easier to follow than vanilla Destiny, so there's no excuse for getting lost and not completing it. Need a bit of help? We have just the thing for that - including a detailed guide to how to find the Hand, Heart and Eyes of Crota, a task many of you struggle with. Here's how to get started with The Dark Below and the beginning of our full story mission walkthrough for The Dark Below.

Play through all the Strikes

I'm sure you've all completed the strikes bundled with vanilla Destiny, but lots of people stopped running Strikes before The Dark Below hit. For those of you yet to tackle the new ones, go forth and conquer with our guide to the Will of Crota Strike and a guide to The Undying Mind Strike.

Run the Raids

Vault of Glass and Crota's End can feel like a totally different game to the rest of Destiny. Gone are mission prompts and carefully explanatory weapons; without a guide, many players simply can't figure out where to go and what to do. Even when you know what you're doing, executing can be tricky. Playing Raids teaches you a lot about how you and your friends work together (and as such may ruin friendships), and provides an important reality check for those convinced they've mastered Destiny. Well worth the effort of getting six friends together.

Run the Raids ... in Hard Mode

A lot of Guardians are afraid to venture into Hard Mode, and it's true that for the under-levelled it can feel like the enemies can kill you with a sneeze. But apart from a really good weapon in order to hit hard and fast, all you need is a team that understands what to do and works together. The sense of achievement you get upon knocking the final boss to their knees is amazing. And the loot is fantastic. On that note:

Collect a full set of Vault of Glass and Crota's End Raid gear

Both Vault and Glass and Crota's End feature a collection of weapons and armour pieces designed specifically to tackle that raid. Maxed out, each equipment set brings the player up to the level cap for that particular release (30 for Vault of Glass and vanilla Destiny, 32 for Crota's End and The Dark Below), which still leaves you a couple of levels below the maximum level of the Hard Mode versions. Still, they come with perks that make running that particular Raid much easier, such as bonus damage against specific targets. The best weapons only drop on Hard Mode, and some only from the final bosses.

Next: seven more tasks to complete before Tuesday.


Hit max level

If you haven't done this yet, you're very unlikely to do so before House of Wolves hits - and the new Ascend system introduced with House of Wolves, but free to everyone, means all the old methods will be out of date. Still, since you can reach level 34 on House of Wolves launch day if you're well prepared, and get a good leg up even if you're not, it's worthwhile putting in a bit of last minute effort to max out your gear. Here's how to level up in Destiny, and how to hit The Dark Below level cap. If you're still not clear on how you level up past 20, here's a guide on levelling up with Exotic and Legendary gear.

Crank your Reputation with every faction

Get to at least level three with Vanguard, Crucible, Cryptarch and all three faction vendors as well as level four with Eris Morn to ensure you can buy whatever you need from them, should House of Wolves fill their inventories with extra goodies. Crucible Reputation can only be earned in PvP, alas, and Eris Morn insist you do Bounties, but for everyone else, the easiest way to grind reputation is to complete the Nightfall, earning a very nice XP and reputation boost, then run high-level Strike playlists while simultaneously completing Bounties. Reputation gains go to the Vanguard by default, but equip a Faction-specific class item to divert it to the appropriate stream. Cash in engrams to earn Cryptarch Reputation.

Reach rank five in the Iron Banner

You've missed the boat on this one, as there won't be an Iron Banner event before launch, but if you did manage it during any of the proceeding events, you are more than worthy of respect in the Crucible. Keen to have a go next time it pops up? Here's our guide to achieving maximum rank in the Iron Banner.

Collect and max out every Exotic

Even with the recent vault size upgrade, there are probably too many Legendaries to carry around unless you want to maintain two alts for the purposes of holding them. But you can get one of every Exotic weapon and armour piece in there, and for many players, this has become the end goal of pre-House of Wolves Destiny. To manage this feat, you'll definitely want to be running the Nightfall, completing both raids on normal and then hard mode, and competing in events as they pop up in order to maximise your Exotic drop chances. Even then, you'd better pray to RNGesus.

Collect all the Ghosts and Golden Chests

You might be surprised how many of these you've already found. Check the map screens on each Destination to see if you have Golden Chests left unopened, then use our Destination guides to find them on Earth, the Moon, Venus and Mars. If you know which Dead Ghosts you need to get, try out Dead Ghost location guides - Earth (including Tower), Moon, Venus and Mars. Use a tool like Ghost Hunter if you're a bit lost. Don't forget to find the new Dead Ghosts added with The Dark Below!

Try every class

I'm not suggesting you maintain two alts, although plenty of hardcore players do (usually of the same class, to maximise their drop chances), but it's definitely worthwhile finding out how different each Destiny class feels. You know so much more about how the game works on a second go that you can run through the main story and do a bit of levelling up within a few hours of starting a new character.

Get all the Trophies or Achievements

Ah ha ha ha! Good luck with Flawless Raider. Here's a full list of Destiny Trophies if you want to have a go.

Not what you were after? Paul offers a list of 20 unmissable experiences in pre-House of Wolves Destiny, and our Destiny guide offers loads of information on practically everything you might want to do. Did we miss anything? Let us know.

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