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First Steps in Destiny 2

Last Updated: June 4th 2024

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The Final Shape

Taking the first steps of your journey in Destiny 2 can be an overwhelming experience. The game has an expansive, lore-rich universe, hundreds of guns with thousands of perk combinations, loads of different activities filled with their own systems and rewards. Every Guardian at one point was exactly where you are now. The information below is here to guide you through those first crucial moments and get you into defeating all the enemies of the Traveler!

Create Your Guardian

Choosing your Guardian's class is the very first step you're going to take in Destiny 2, and one of your most important decisions. There are three classes to choose from in Destiny 2: Hunter, Titan and Warlock. Each class has a unique playstyle and fantasy about them and their own suite of Super abilities tied to each subclass. Don't worry if the first class you choose isn't your favorite, you have a slot to create one of each!

  • Hunter: Agile and daring, Hunters are quick on their feet and quicker on the draw. Hunters utilize their mobility in the form of a dodge, allowing them to evade their enemies. This dodge also has the capability of reloading your weapons or refunding your melee ability.
  • Titan: Disciplined and proud, Titans are capable of both aggressive assaults and stalwart defenses. Titans focus their resilience into a barricade. Barricades are either a towering wall to block enemy fire or a shorter piece of cover that increases reload speed while behind it.
  • Warlock: Subtle Warlocks weaponize the mysteries of the universe to sustain themselves and devastate their foes. Warlocks meditate on their recovery to materialize a small rift, able to heal or empower allies inside of it.

To learn more details about each class and their available subclasses, check out the Class and Subclass Overview.

Character Customization

After you select your class, customize the way your Guardian looks. Playable characters consist of three races: Humans, Awoken and Exos. Your Guardian's chosen race is permanent. Tailor your character exactly how you want! You can change your body type, face, hair and markings at any time via the character selection screen.

Complete Your First Mission

You've created your Guardian, watched the opening cutscene and walked out into the Cosmodrome. Time for your first mission. Here, you meet your first friendly face, Shaw Han, and learn some of the basic mechanics of the game. You earn your very own Sparrow to traverse open areas quickly and a Jumpship to transport you throughout the solar system. If you ever feel lost during these initial steps, Destiny 2 provides a quest tab in the director for you to check your next steps and track individual quests. You access the director by holding the 'tab' key on your keyboard, the menu button on Xbox or the touchpad on Playstation.

New Light Tutorial Skip

Next to Shaw Han, there's a terminal you can interact with to sync with Shaw's ship. This gives you the option to skip the opening questline and jump right into the action. Do not do this as a New Light! There is a lot of valuable information in these quest steps. From things as simple as how to aim your gun and read your radar to launching Vanguard Strikes from the director menu. Consider using this skip on subsequent characters or if you are experienced with games like Destiny 2!


In Destiny 2, your character's overall strength depends on your power level, often called your light level, displayed in the top right of your character screen. By playing the game and completing activities, weapons and armor drops at an increased power level compared to your own. You can increase your power level by equipping these new items or infusing their power into your current gear. When infusing gear, both pieces need to share the same slot. Helmets are only infused into other helmets, energy weapons are only infused into other energy weapons. Different activities have different power level recommendations, so keep that in mind. You want to be as close to or above the recommended power level.

In The Final Shape, while in a fireteam the person with the highest power level becomes the Power Leader and all other players in the fireteam are adjusted to be 5 levels below the Power Leader. This makes playing with friends easier than it's ever been. Adjusted fireteam power only affects the difficulty of the activity and your rewards are determined by your unadjusted power level.

Don't Dismantle Legendary Weapons

There are 5 different rarities of weapons and armor that you'll find during your first steps in Destiny 2: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Legendary and Exotic. As your power grows, you come across randomly rolled legendary weapons with varying different perks, but do not delete these as soon as you get something more powerful! In Destiny 2, you can get a weapon in your first steps that ends up being a part of your everyday loadout. You have an entire vault where you can store your old gear for later use. Your vault can be accessed while in orbit and at the Tower or H.E.L.M.

Play around with each legendary weapon you get and figure out what perks fit your playstyle the best. If you find one that you really enjoy, spend some materials and infuse a higher power level weapon into it! If something isn't to your liking then it's safe to assume you can delete it. The last thing you want to do is stockpile weapons you wont use and run out of vault space for something more valuable.

Ammo Types and Elemental Affinities

While on the subject of weapons, there are 3 different ammo types in Destiny 2: Primary, Special and Power. You have unlimited primary ammo, but there's a maximum limit for carrying Special and Power ammo. You replenish these ammo stores by picking up ammo bricks from fallen enemies or ammo caches. Small green bricks denote Special ammo and larger purple bricks denote Power.

Weapons also have 6 elemental affinities: Kinetic, Arc, Solar, Void, Stasis and Strand. Kinetic weapons do extra damage to unshielded, non-boss type enemies. The remaining 5 elements match enemy shield types and synergize with their respective subclasses. When using a weapon that matches an enemy's shield type, the shield depletes faster and causes a small explosion of that element, disorienting nearby enemies.

Materials and Currencies

The 2 currencies used for infusing weapons and armor are Glimmer and Upgrade Modules. During your first steps in Destiny 2, you won't be infusing much as your gear is replaced often. Instead, spend Glimmer with Ikora Rey to enhance your subclass and gain new abilities. Glimmer is earned by killing enemies and completing activities. Upgrade Modules are earned by completing gunsmith bounties or purchased from Banshee-44 and Ada-1. Ikora, Banshee and Ada can all be found at the Tower.

For more information on all the materials in Destiny 2, check out the Materials and Currency guide.

Head to the Tower

Subclass Purchase Menu
New Light Kits

During the opening questline, you'll head to the Tower, Destiny 2's main social hub, where some of your most important vendors are located. Among the vendors you meet is the Warlock Vanguard, Ikora Rey. Her role is incredibly important to a New Light as she sells the components of the subclasses and New Light Kits. These kits are curated sets of weapons, armor, aspects and fragments along with a quest that awards an Exotic armor piece when completed. Note that only one New Light Kit is available per Guardian. When you have enough Glimmer, head back to Ikora to experiment with new subclasses and abilities! Ikora Rey is found in the Bazaar, on the West side of the Tower.

Guardian Ranks and Activities

Guardian Journey Page
Objectives for Guardian Ranks

If you ever feel lost in your journey, Destiny 2 provides a system to guide you to your next activity. Guardian Ranks serve as a deeper tutorial after your first questline. Completing these ranks reward you with a slew of useful things like armor mods, loadout slots and pinnacle gear rewards. Head to the Tower to commune with the large tree nearest Zavala when you complete a rank. This sends you to the next rank with more objectives to complete. Ranks reset to level 6 each episode, but you don't lose the previous rewards gained. These rewards include Ghost Mods, additional subclass Fragments, Armor Mods, the Fireteam Finder, Weapon Mods and the ability to earn Triumphs and Titles!

See our Guardian Ranks Progression guide for a more in depth look at Guardian Rank rewards.


Time to cover the activities you have access to as a New Light. These activities are of varying difficulties and are there to help you develop as a budding Guardian. Each of them have unique rewards, earned mostly through playing these playlists and events.

  • Gambit - A combination PVE/PVP gamemode where you're pitted against another team to bank motes and kill a Primeval first!
  • Crucible - PVP game modes including free for all, 3v3 and 6v6.
  • Vanguard Strikes - A linear PVE activity where players encounter enemies throughout, culminating in a boss fight.
  • King's Fall Raid - A 6 player endgame activity reprized from Destiny 1. Face off against Oryx, the Taken King and his Hive forces on the Dreadnaught.
  • Crota's End Raid - A 6 player endgame activity reprized from Destiny 1. Enter the Hellmouth and exact vengeance against Crota, Son of Oryx and his Hive brood.
  • Vault of Glass Raid - A 6 player endgame activity reprized from Destiny 1. Located on Venus, stop the Vex from spreading through all of time and defeat Atheon, Time's Conflux deep in the Vault.
  • Prophecy Dungeon - Enter the Unknown Space, domain of the Nine, and fight through waves of simulated Taken enemies to reach their commander: Kell Echo.
  • Patrols - Short open world assignments on destination planets with miscellaneous objectives.
  • Lost Sectors - Identified by a small symbol near the entrance, these small oubliettes contain a number of enemies, a boss and an unlockable chest.
  • Public Events - A public encounter where several Guardians can work together to complete a common task. Can be made Heroic by completing certain objectives during the event to earn extra rewards.
  • Seasonal Events - Guardian Games, Solstice of Heroes, Festival of the Lost and The Dawning. These events line up with seasons during the year with special themes and rewards!
  • Dares of Eternity - A 6 player round based PVE activity organized by Xûr. Each round consists of minimal mechanics that need to be completed to reach the next round. The final round finishes with a boss fight and possible lightning round for extra rewards.


  • Decide what class you want to play and customize your Guardian.
  • Play through the opening questline, learning the ropes of Destiny 2.
  • Increase your power level through equipping new items or infusing old ones.
  • Buy subclass components and pick up a New Light Kit from Ikora on your first visit to the Tower.
  • Follow objectives from Guardian Ranks and earn rewards exclusive to different playlist activities.

Eyes up, Guardian! See you starside!


Written by: SquirrelyDan

Reviewed by: ShieldMaiden, Tenkiei

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