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Destiny's April update: everything you need to know

Destiny's biggest update since The Taken King is here, and this time it's free. Here's what you get.


Destiny's April 12, patch 2.2.0 update: everything you need to know

Destiny's April 12 update, which takes the game to version 2.2.0, is by far the most significant upgrade Bungie's online loot shooter's seen since The Taken King last September. New loot and activities have been added, including a complete new end-game activity, five new sets of armour, the return of year-one exotics and more. Here's everything you need to know about the update and what it's going to mean to you, the player.

When did it go live?

Destiny's April Update launched between 10:00am and noon PST on Tuesday, April 12.

How big is the download?

We're so glad you asked. Behold:

  • PlayStation 4: 1718 MB
  • PlayStation 3: 1040 MB
  • Xbox One: 1736 MB
  • Xbox 360: 793 MB

New PvE challenges

We'll get to the loot in a second, but first here's how you're occupying your Destiny time after April 12. While there's some rehashing going on, the inclusion of a (tiny) new quest line, two new strikes and 16 weeks of "unique" Prison of Elders end-game activity isn't to be sniffed at, especially considering it's all free this time. This is a round-up of Steph's report on Bungie's first April update Twitch stream.

Challenge of the Elders - The main thrust of Destiny's April update is a new end-game activity, a reworking of arena shooter Prison of Elders. This is the only way you're getting to the new Light cap of 335, so listen up. Challenge of the Elders resets every Tuesday: we'll bring you all the information you need to know about the new bosses and modifiers each week.

  • Prison of Elders now features two higher difficulties, level 41 and level 42.
  • Two new bosses and new modifiers have been added.
  • Level 41 includes match-making, has a recommended Light level of 260, and sticks to the normal PoE format. This drops gear up to 320 Light.
  • Level 42 is called Challenge of the Elders, has no match-making, comes with a recommended Light level of 320 and is a point-based activity through which you can win 335 weapons and armour.
  • Challenge of the Elders is fought over three rounds, each with a boss. Your fireteam's score is tracked on a card called the Elder's Sigil.
  • High Score and Cumulative Score are both tracked. If a High Score of 30,000 is hit during a run, players are awarded a weapon up to 335 Light. If 90,000 Cumulative Score is hit over each week, players are be awarded an armour piece up to 335 Light.
  • Challenge of the Elders resets every Tuesday, wiping your Cumulative Score.
  • The Challenge of the Elders promises "a total of sixteen unique encounters" based on variations of bosses and gameplay modifiers in each of the three waves. So that's four months of shooting before you see content repeating.

Blighted Chalice strike - The April update brought with it a new quest line, including a new strike called Blighted Chalice. Its boss is a Taken hulk called Malok, a shambling lump with ambitions to take Oryx's crown.

Winters Run strike - Winters Run, the strike ending with the fight against the Archon Priest, has been re-added to the Heroic strike playlist. This time it's Taken-themed, and has a chance of dropping level-appropriate loot.

Difficulty increased across most activities - A new level of difficulty, and more powerful rewards, have been applied to Court of Oryx, Heroic strikes, Nightfalls and the King’s Fall raid. The raid's Normal Mode now drops loot up to 320, with Hard Mode gear going up to a potential 335. The Court of Oryx now drops artifacts up to 335.

All this information is taken from Bungie's first information stream about the April update. Here's Arrekz's video breakdown for the reading-challenged.

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New rewards

New challenges are all well and good, but let's be honest here: we're all in it for the loot. Post-update Destiny includes new gear, old gear and a bunch of fancy new customisation options alongside the new playable content. Find out what you're fighting for below. This is a round-up of Steph's report on Bungie's second April update Twitch stream.

Max Light increased - Yep, Destiny's Light cap has been raised from 320 to 335 with the April 12 update.

How to get 335 gear - The only way to guarantee 335 gear after the update is to complete the new hardest level of the Prison of Elders, but it isn't the only route to the cap.

  • Challenge of the Elders guarantees 335 drops for hitting specific score levels (see above).
  • The King's Fall raid Hard Mode drops gear up to 335.
  • Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris drop gear up to 335.
  • The Court of Oryx drops artifacts up to 335.

New armour sets - Destiny's April update contains five new sets of armour. Three are revamped faction sets - one for Dead Orbit, one for New Monarchy and one for Future War Cult - and the other two are completely new. The Spektar Armour is designed specifically with Chroma in mind (see below) and the Desolate set is Taken-themed. It uses the Prison of Elders gear models. You get this gear through Sterling Treasure, a new consumable (see below). You can see pictures of all the new armour pieces here.

Sterling Treasure - The April update has added a new consumable called Sterling Treasure. It gives new armour pieces and Chroma to colour weapons and armour. It looks like Hellraiser's Lemarchand's box. You can get three per week: everyone gets one just by visiting the Postmaster; you get one for completing a level 41 run in the Prison of Elders (see the section above); and the game also rewards one for completing a match in the weekly Crucible playlist. If you can't be bothered with any of that, you can also buy them with real money from Tess Everis in the tower.

Infusion system changed - Infusion now works at 1-1 levels. No more approximations. If you infuse a 320 item into a 310 one, the resulting piece will be 320 Light.

Chroma - Having thankfully listened to justified moaning about Destiny's relatively terrible character customisation options, Bungie has added Chroma colour-shading to both weapons and armour in the April update. It comes in white, blue, red and yellow. You can re-roll Chroma-capable gear to get the colour you want. Chroma isn't affected by shaders. They're separate things.

destiny_blighted_chalice_strike (8)

Year-one gear upgraded - Year-one weapons, such as Badger CCL, Shadow Price and The Devil You Know, have been taken up to current damage levels. They drop from legendary engrams at 330.

Year-one exotics are back - A bunch of old yellows have returned at relevant levels, including Patience and Time and Sunbreakers. Check out the Destiny Instagram feed for all the weapons and armours pieces revealed so far.

"When one can wield the fire of stars, what use is flesh and bone?"

A photo posted by DestinyTheGame (@destinythegame) on

New emotes - A bunch of new emotes have been included for sale in the April update, not least of which is Praise the Gun, a nod to Dark Souls. If you collect a full Taken-themed armour set, you get the Taken Shiver emote as a gift.

New PlayStation-exclusive exotic named Zen Meteor - A brand new exotic sniper rifle, Zen Meteor, has been added April update, but it's a PlayStation exclusive. Sorry, Xbox players.

PlayStation-exclusive armour and sparrow - And it's not just Zen Meteor; PlayStation got a stack of exclusives this time, including a fancy new sparrow called the Velumbra. See them all here.

HUD goes optional - As of the April update, you can choose to turn all HUD furniture off, both in social spaces and combat.

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Changes to PvP

Bungie's shaken Destiny's PvP up considerably with the April update, making serious changes to revive timing, sniper rifles and more. Here's everything from Steph's report on Bungie's third and final April update Twitch stream.

Revive times increased - Two seconds have been added to the basic revive timer, meaning it now takes seven seconds to bring a teammate back up instead of five. A second revive takes 14 seconds, and a third takes a monstrous 21 seconds.

Revive proximity reduced - You now need to be closer to a teammate to perform a revive.

Overshields weakened - Overshields aren't as strong as before. This is part of the effort to make it more difficult to revive teammates.

No more legendary engrams for Iron Banner - Bungie's removed purple engrams from Iron Banner with the April update, instead focusing on rewarding players with tournament gear. Artifact and Ghost drops, starting at 320 with Rank 3 packages, are now guaranteed. Rank 5 packages have a chance to contain 335 Light gear.

Trials of Osiris gets 335 Light drops - Trials treasure chests now contain 335 gear. Trials bounties drop gear up to 330.

Sterling Treasure - The new consumable, Sterling Treasure (see above), can be earned by playing Crucible matches. These boxes contain new armour piece and Chroma, the new armour and weapon shaders.

Ammo changes - Players now begin rounds with Special ammo. More spawns three minutes into matches, and then again two minutes later. Heavy ammo only spawns once after five minutes.

Weapon class changes - Some pretty serious weapon were applied in the April update, probably the heaviest being to sniper rifles.

  • Sniper rifles - Zoom length has been increased on all sniper rifles. This is to stop players using them as mid-range weapons and force people to sit far back, as Bungie originally intended. Snap Shot now increases zoom-time by 20%, not 30%, and stability has being decreased to discourage rapid-firing.
  • Hand cannons - Hand cannon ammo capacity has been increased.
  • Fusion rifles - All fusion rifles now have increased stability.
  • Exotic weapons changes - Many yellow weapons have been tweaked by the April update, including Suros Regime, Telesto and Hawkmoon. You can read about them in detail in Steph's report on Bungie's third Twitch stream.

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