Where Do We Begin?
If you’re loading up Destiny 2 for the first time, your first big decisions will come with character creation. The customization options aren’t exactly stellar, but since you’ll be spending most of the game in first-person, it’s not a big deal. Just focus on what looks neat to you. There are no in-game benefits for picking a certain race or gender.
The big choice to worry about will be your class: Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. There is wiggle room when it comes to more defined builds, but each of these classes has their own strengths. Titans are heavy and tough, able to take a lot of damage at a time but can struggle with navigating terrain quickly and elegantly. Luckily, they can summon barriers for extra cover, which is a decent trade-off in the thick of a fight. If you like being a walking tank, this is the class for you. Warlocks are slightly more technical with what they can do. While their health is decent it regenerates faster than the others. In fact, their special ability is a rift that heals them and other players nearby, making them a nightmare for swarms of cannon fodder. Warlocks also have the most control over aerial movement with their glide, making them great for some good old fashioned death from above. If you’re a more aggressive or reckless kind of player, this is a good start. Hunters require the most spatial awareness since their whole gimmick is fast movement, double-jumping, a dodge roll, and having armor made of tissue paper. If you have a thing for twitch aiming and fast movement, you’ll be right at home.
Once you’ve picked one of these three classes, your introduction to Destiny 2 will begin. If you’re a returning player and need a refresher, there is a way to return to the game’s new introductory campaign. First, head to the Tower then head to the Postmaster’s desk. To the left of the Postmaster tucked away near a ramp is a kiosk. Accessing it will let you replay single-player campaigns at your leisure. Go to the tab called New Light, then acquire the quest titled “A New Guardian Rises.”
This questline is essentially Destiny 2’s tutorial. You’ll start off in the Cosmodrome on Earth, get some starting gear, and learn the ins and outs of your class. You’ll also get to help a brand new character, Shaw Han deal with an alien threat in the area.
Overall, the tutorial does a good job with the basics. You’ll be shooting aliens, completing bounties for experience points, and participating in sandbox activities like patrols and public events. It’s a great starting point for Destiny 2. But we like to go one step beyond when it comes to these guides, so let’s get into the weeds.
Weapons, Armor, Power Levels, and You
All of this shooting is done for the sake of that sweet loot. You’ll be constantly getting new weapons and armor, riddled with stats and perks. At first glance, it can be overwhelming, but for now focus on the Power level. The higher your Power, the better your overall attack and defense gets. Every little bit helps in the think of things.
There are five colors of loot. White, Green, and Blues are common and are forgettable. Unless it’s got a higher power level than what you already have, dismantle it from your inventory. Trust me, you’ll find plenty more like it.
Next up are legendary purples. They have better stats than blue items and have better perks overall. Better still, they can be enhanced with weapon mods and infusion. You’ll earn weapon mods as you play and they can be slotted into a weapon in the menu. These mods can include better balancing, target acquisition, or deal more damage to certain enemies. As for infusion, you can use an Upgrade Kit to break down a different weapon and upgrade the Power level of your weapon. If you found a legendary weapon that you really like for one reason or another, hold on to it. It can be a great long-term investment.
Finally, there are yellow Exotics which are Destiny 2’s big selling points. In addition to having fixed perks, meaning it has the same abilities for all players, every Exotic has an completely unique ability. These can range from chest armor that gives you a second grenade to a bow that shoots three arrows at once charged with chained lightning.
The trade-off for this power is that you can only have one exotic weapon and one exotic armor piece equipped at a time. On the other hand, once you have received an Exotic, it’s permanently tied to your account. This means at any time, you can go to your Collections menu and (for a price) get a copy of that Exotic.
There are only two ways to get an Exotic item. The first is in random drops, but that is extremely rare. The second method is through Exotic Weapon Quests. These are long missions where you’ll go through multiple steps and objectives, usually ending in a challenging story mission. These quests can be a headache, but the reward is usually worth it. The rule of thumb is if you see an NPC with a blue crown, they have an Exotic Quest for you.