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Destiny 2 Activities Overview

Last Updated: July 2nd 2024

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The Final Shape

Whether you're a New Light or a seasoned veteran, Destiny 2 has an abundance of activities for everyone to participate in. Some hardcore, others are more casual, but everything has a reward for you to earn. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of available content, this article should shine some light on what you might like to participate in. Destiny 2 is all about the grind for more powerful weapons and gear, and playing exactly what you enjoy makes the grind a little less daunting.


Zavala, Ikora and Crow: The Vanguard are a select set of Guardians that coordinate the Last City's defenses and mentor newly risen Guardians. Zavala serves as the Vanguard Commander and is your main vendor when it comes to its operations. Through him, you earn reputation and rewards simply by completing these linear activities.

Vanguard Ops

Made for three Guardians, this playlist is a blend of Strikes and past seasonal activities from Destiny 2. Strikes provide a good middle ground between campaign missions and dungeons or raids, mostly serving as a way to introduce newer Guardians to the game. This content is fairly casual and doesn't need much build optimization to complete. Most of these linear activities are just as Bungie originally created them, but some have been reworked to add more difficulty and longevity to the playlist. Guardians entering this set of activities do not benefit from higher power levels.


Nightfalls are pulled from the same pool of Vanguard Ops. However, there are only a select few in each Episode and the difficulties are turned up a notch. This playlist offers players more of a challenge needing some loadout optimizing, but there is an increased opportunity for rewards. There are three levels of difficulty, each adding more negative modifiers than the last. The Advanced difficulty option offers in game matchmaking, but for Expert and Master, you do need to find a fireteam before launching if you want help. Each week there is a showcased weapon that is the main reward and is doubled during certain weeks if you want to enhance your loot gains. Certain enemies become Champions, needing specific weapons or subclass mechanics to stun.

If normal Nightfalls weren't difficult enough for you, consider giving the Grandmaster playlist a shot. This is the most difficult level of the Vanguard Ops and tests both your loadouts and your fireteam's patience. The rewards from here are great, and the showcase weapon becomes an Adept version of itself which is guaranteed on a Platinum completion. To guarantee the adept reward, Guardians must kill every Champion that is present in the Nightfall. Adept weapons have increased stats and are able to have Adept mods slotted in them. Most of these mods are also a reward for the successful completion of Grandmaster Nightfalls.


With Into the Light came a new three player horde mode activity that the community had been begging for. Along with this activity, Guardians were reintroduced to some classic weapons rebranded as the BRAVE Arsenal. In Onslaught, players need to defend a point on the map with an ADU. Every fifth wave has a break in the action to collect and deposit a Spark and every tenth wave has a boss to overcome. Each boss wave rewards a chest with a BRAVE weapon and some other materials, but the last boss awards two. If players elect to do the Expert difficulty, this is increased to two chests per boss with the last granting a total of three, but there is no matchmaking. Finally, you can choose to do the full 50 wave version or a shorter 10 wave version on normal difficulty, both having automatic matchmaking.

Check out our Champions guide for more information on stunning Champions in Nightfalls.


When Guardians want to test their mettle against one another, they enter the Crucible. These player versus player game modes pit players against one another with one simple task: Win! Lord Shaxx is the Crucible Quartermaster, offering a reward track and reputation similar to the other playlist vendors. With a myriad of different playlists, Guardians are sure to find at least one that quenches their thirst for blood.


This is the unranked version of Crucible. If you need a time sink, want to blow off some steam, or test out that new weapon you just got, the quickplay playlists are your activity. These playlists have a loose skill based matchmaking system, so you should match up against players similar to your skill level. Starting off with 6v6, this playlist is split between Control and Clash. Control is an objective mode where players need to secure three points on the map as well as get kills to increase the team's score. Clash is the more classic team deathmatch where the team is only focused on getting kills. For the lone wolves, there is a free-for-all game mode called Rumble. 6 players set against each other with the goal to reach the top spot before their others do.

3v3 is split between a few different modes, but the most notable are Survival and Elimination.

  • Survival - Exactly as it's titled. Deplete the enemy team's lives before they have the chance to do the same to yours.
  • Elimination - Each player only has one life. If you manage to kill the entire enemy team, a round is secured. However, Guardians are able to resurrect each other after a few seconds. This timer increases if you need to be brought back multiple times.


The competitive division is the ranked side of things. Here, you need to play at your best and work with your team to topple your opponents efficiently. Players new to the activity go through a placement series of seven games to gauge where they stack up against other players. There are a total of eight ranks ranging from those that are untested, to Guardians that ascend above all others. Once a player has reached the top of the division, they are placed in a promotion series. Winning two out of three games grants you to the next rank.

You want to make sure that you are putting in the effort to keep up with your rank. Players that neglect this on a week to week basis have their rank decay, with a potential to see you drop to a lower rank. The rewards here are fairly decent, being weekly focusing of competitive only weapons, transmat effects, and even a special emblem for those that reach the highest rank, Ascendant.

Rotating Playlists & Crucible Labs

To keep things interesting, Destiny 2 has certain PvP activities that rotate on a week-to-week basis in their own respective playlists. These game modes add a little flavor to the normal Crucible experience by modifying weapon damage output in Momentum Control, heavily increasing Super ability regeneration in Mayhem, and even taking normal weapons completely out of the mix like Team Scorched. If you need a break from the day to day Crucible experience, these more casual modes should keep your attention.

Iron Banner

To commemorate the Iron Lords, there is a Crucible event called Iron Banner head up by Lord Saladin. This ancient tradition is now a two week long event, one week being the Control game mode and the other week revolving around more thematic modes like Eruption, Fortress, and Tribute. Iron Banner has unique rewards including armor sets, weapons, emblems, and shaders. The week you choose to play does not affect your rewards and all of them can be earned through Saladin or by simply playing the activity.

Trials of Osiris

Trials are the ultimate endgame PvP activity in Destiny 2. Overseen by Saint-14, this game 3v3 mode pits teams against each other in a game of Dominion, adding a point to secure to the standard game of Elimination. Guardians need to optimize their loadouts and work with their team to secure wins. The rewards for this PvP playlist include emblems, shaders, ghost shells, ships, sparrows, upgrade materials, armor, and weapons exclusive to Trials of Osiris. First, you need to purchase a Passage from Saint, each having their own attributes like granting mercy on a loss and extra rewards. To reach the Lighthouse and earn the most rewards, players need to complete the passage without losing a game.


Gambit offers an experience unique from other Destiny 2 activities with a player verses player verses environment game mode overseen by The Drifter. Two teams of four face off in a race to fill a bank with Motes of Light dropped from fallen enemy combatants. During each match, players from the opposing team can invade your area in an attempt to slow you down from filling your bank first. Depositing Motes in increments of 5, 10, and 15 sends a Blocker over to the enemy team, preventing them from depositing and even draining their Motes when multiple Blockers are present.

Once a team's bank is full, a Primeval spawns and needs to be killed before the opposing team can do the same. If you happen to be invaded during the boss phase, being killed by the invader heals the Primeval so you need to take care of them as soon as possible.

Exotic Weapon Missions

Destiny 2 wouldn't be the same game without its Exotic weapons. These once secret missions take players to special areas to unlock some of the most coveted of these weapons. Let's take a look at these quests and learn a little more about the available rewards.

The Whisper

This reprised Exotic mission takes Guardians back to Io to investigate a Taken anomaly within Vex machinery in the depths of Jupiter's moon. Players face off against Taken enemies while traversing through these Vex structures to face off against a new boss: Tulgorh, Aspect of Agony. Upon completion, you are rewarded with the Whisper of the Worm Exotic Sniper rifle. You have 40 minutes to finish, 20 minutes on Legend difficulty, and are rewarded with Exotic traits for the sniper rifle and the Karve of the Worm ship for completing special objectives during the activity. The Whisper is launched from the Legends node on the Director and is free for all players.

Zero Hour

Players return to the Last City to meet with Mithrax in an attempt to stop the Fallen from stealing SIVA within the vaults below The Old Tower. Face off against the Fallen Captain Siriks and a Brig to be rewarded with The Exotic pulse rifle Outbreak Perfected. Players also have the opportunity to earn Exotic traits for it and the Exotic ship Vimana Junker for completing special tasks during the mission. You have 40 minutes to finish on normal difficulty and 20 minutes on Legend. Zero Hour is launched from the Legends node on the Director and is free for all players.


In an effort to prevent players from experiencing the fear of missing out, Destiny 2 has a rotating playlist of Exotic weapon activities. Each week showcases a previous Exotic weapon along side some old seasonal weapons, all being craftable after earning the respective number of patterns needed. These missions are all located in the Legends node of the Director.


Guardians descend into the AVALON node of the Vex Network with the help of Mithrax to discover the source of a repetitive signal. Harnessing the power of the Network, players fight the Vex and eventually discover an old enemy, Brakion, repurposed Mind. The Exotic glaive, Vexcalibur, along with weapons and armor from Season of Defiance. Ownership of the Lightfall DLC is required to launch this Exotic mission.

AVALON Rewards

  • Vexcalibur
  • Vexcalibur Exotic Catalysts (Legend difficulty completions)
  • Regnant
  • Prodigal Return
  • Perpetualis
  • Raconteur
  • Royal Executioner
  • Caretaker
  • Season of Defiance armor sets


One of the end game activities of Destiny 2, raids serve as a way to test fireteams, their loadouts, and communication. Designed for 6 players, these activities are split up into various encounters of mechanically involved puzzles and boss fights with traversals in between. All raids have unique weapons, origin perks, and armor sets to earn upon completion. Most have a Master difficulty that awards adept versions of the weapons, high stat armor, and rarer upgrade materials. Each week, one of the previous raids is highlighted in a rotation and this activity's loot can be farmed as much as players want. The most recently released raid however can only be completed once per week, per character for loot on Normal and Master difficulty with a max of three chances at its Exotic weapon.

Last Wish

The last living Ahamkara has been Taken and Guardians are tasked by Mara Sov and Petra Venj to reach the heart of the Dreaming City and kill the corrupted wish dragon. Last Wish has a total of 6 encounters, 4 of which are boss fights and does not have a Master difficulty. Weapons from this raid are craftable. Ownership of the Forsaken DLC Pack is required to launch Last Wish.

Last Wish Rewards

  • One Thousand Voices
  • The Supremacy
  • Techeun Force
  • Apex Predator
  • Nation of Beasts
  • Chattering Bone
  • Transfiguration
  • Age-Old Bond
  • Tyranny of Heaven
  • The Great Hunt armor sets

Need a fresh build for your next raid session? Check out our Build Guides.


Dungeons are another of the endgame activities in Destiny 2 and serve as a middle ground between Vanguard Ops and raids. Just like raids, they are broken up into encounters featuring puzzles and boss fights with unique rewards, but are instead designed for 3 players. Each week, one of the previous dungeons is highlighted in a rotation and this activity's loot can be farmed as much as players want. The most recently released dungeon however can only be completed once per week, per character for loot on Normal and Master difficulty with a max of three chances at its Exotic weapon. Unlike raids though, most of their weapons are not able to be crafted.

Ghosts of the Deep

Beneath the Arcology in the ocean of Titan, the Lucent Hive are attempting to resurrect the fallen Taken King and Guardians must stop this at all costs. Ghosts of the Deep spans 2 bosses over 4 sections and has a Master difficulty for players to earn artifice armor. Ownership of the Lightfall Dungeon Key is required to launch Ghosts of the Deep.

Ghosts of the Deep Rewards

  • The Navigator
  • New Pacific Epitaph
  • Greasy Luck
  • No Survivors
  • Cold Comfort
  • Taken King Suit armor sets

Dares of Eternity

Dares of Eternity is a 6 player, round based PVE activity organized by Xûr. Think of it like a game show, but with a lot more killing! Each round consists of mechanics that need to be completed to reach the next round. The final round finishes with a boss fight and a possible lightning round for extra rewards. In between rounds, Guardians must traverse small platforming sections. Doing so successfully grants the Starhorse's Favor buff, giving you increased defense and regenerating ammo for your power weapons. The Legend difficulty has a set rotation of encounters each week and increases your odds of a lightning round. There are 2 pools of rewards as far as weapons and armor go. One is a static, Dares exclusive pool and the other is a pool of old seasonal weapons and world drops.

Seasonal Activities

Seasonal activities are what keep Guardians busy after the campaigns are finished and give you a way to earn a variety of craftable weapons. Each seasonal vendor also gives the opportunity for focusing high stat rolled armor for those that are still in need. In Episode 1: Echoes, players have sought out the help of Failsafe to battle the Vex that has risen on Nessus. There are currently 2 seasonal activities: Breach Executable and Enigma Protocol, tasking Guardians to investigate Vex disturbances and disrupt their search for Golden Age data. There are unique armor sets and weapons with more to be released in the following Acts.

Get a deeper dive into Destiny's Episodic content with our dedicated guide.


Planetary patrol is the simplest of activities in Destiny 2. Players can do a myriad of things while touched down on planets. Complete public events, discover and clear lost sectors, find hidden chests, and help the locals with short patrol missions. This is as casual as it gets, but the rewards are still worth it if you just want to relax while getting your gains.


There are activities for everyone to enjoy in Destiny 2. Find what your favorites are and the grind becomes significantly more enjoyable in the long run.

  • Work with Zavala and the Vanguard to complete strike operations and Nightfalls.
  • Battle against other Guardians in the Crucible.
  • Reap powerful rewards through completing Exotic weapons missions.
  • Face off against legendary bosses for exclusive loot from raids and dungeons.
  • Enjoy the game show activity, Dares of Eternity, with Xûr and his friend the Starhorse.
  • Complete seasonal activities to grab a variety of craftable weapons and high stat armor.
  • Relax while on patrol for an easy way to earn those always needed rewards.


Written by: SquirrelyDan

Reviewed by: Dredscythe

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