Destiny 2 is a big improvement over its predecessor in many ways. Systems have been streamlined, activities have been expanded, and generally speaking, the overall experience is way more rewarding, and much more respectful of your time.
However, if you're only just getting started or if you need a few hopefully helpful hints and tips, then you may want to give this quick beginner's guide a read. We've compiled a few different pointers and frequently asked questions regarding loot that could help you hit the ground running in the shooter sequel.
Start with the story
This first tip may seem obvious, but in Destiny 2, it's the best way to break into the full experience. Concentrate your efforts on completing the main campaign -- or at least getting a good ways into it -- and you won't regret it. The recommended power levels for the story missions aren't too high, you'll learn all the basics of the game, and, perhaps most importantly, you'll unlock more stuff to do outside of the campaign.
Indeed, by reaching certain points in the story, you'll gain access to multiple different activities. Free roam patrol missions are opened up later on, as is the case with co-op Strikes. Even fresh adventures are unlocked as you progress through the main narrative, so it's well worth the effort.
In short, completing the campaign opens up the rest of Destiny 2, and by the time you've seen the story through, you'll be prepared to tackle the challenges that the rest of the game has in store.
Give new weapons a chance
Another hint that sounds fairly obvious, but it's worth testing out weapons that you come across during your travels -- you never know when you'll stumble upon a particular type of gun that you really like the feel of. It's all too easy to pick up an engram, quickly check your equipment screen, and dismantle it without a second thought.
Well, okay, sometimes you're going to be dismantling weapons purely because their attack power is a lot lower than what you currently have equipped -- nothing wrong with that. But if, for example, you're not a huge fan of auto rifles and you happen to pick a reasonably powerful one up, resist the the urge to turn it into scrap and take it for a quick spin instead.
The thing you have to remember is that Destiny 2 has weapon types within weapon types. One auto rifle might feel noticeably different to another, so it's often worth giving different guns a go. This is even more important when it comes to legendary and exotic weapons, as their individual attributes are even more pronounced.
Take the time to explore
One of Destiny 2's biggest improvements over the first game, free roam environments offer much better rewards for your efforts. The sequel has four big areas to explore at your leisure, and each of them contain side quests, hidden dungeons, public events, and treasure chests.
Whether you're taking part in some casual exploration or you're hunting down Lost Sectors, you're always working towards something, mostly thanks to the newly introduced tokens currency. Each of the four locations have their own tokens, and you get these from completing activities and looting treasure chests. You then cash them in for legendary engrams by talking to the area's vendor.
If you take the time to explore every now and then, you'll find that you can quickly build up a collection of tokens, and more tokens means more legendary equipment. Sniffing out treasure chests is a surprisingly effective way to grab an extra few tokens, so be sure to check around corners and wander off the beaten trail from time to time.
Movement is key
As is the case with many primarily first person shooters these days, movement is a vital part of Destiny 2's gameplay. While you'll definitely want to seek cover to sit behind when you're under heavy fire, you should never ignore the many movement options that are almost always available to you.
First off, it's best to get used to jumping around a lot early on. Leaping into the air puts you out of reach of melee-based enemies, and then performing your second jump while in midair can be a fantastic tool for evading incoming projectiles.
Indeed, most enemy projectiles in Destiny 2 have a travel time, meaning that unlike real bullets, they'll take very noticeable time to actually reach their target. This allows for a window of opportunity where you're able to avoid fire if you time your movement correctly. When you're up against a whole group of foes and they're all shooting at you, you should always either be on the move, or behind solid cover.
Destiny 2 Frequently Asked Loot Questions
In this section, we're going to attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Destiny 2's loot system.
How does loot work in Destiny 2?
The loot system has, thankfully, been streamlined in Destiny 2. The gist of it is that your equipment counts towards your total power level, which is that big number sitting on your character screen. In short, the better your equipment, the higher your power level, and the stronger your character is.
As you progress through the game, you'll automatically find better and better equipment, and you'll gradually work your way up in terms of power level. When you're first starting out, don't worry too much about it. Just equip the stuff that's going to make you more powerful.
Loot has five different rarity levels, represented by the colour of their engram. Common loot is white, uncommon loot is green, rare loot is blue, legendary loot is purple, and exotic loot is yellow. Up until you reach level 20 -- that's your actual level, not your power level -- you'll be finding a lot of common and uncommon loot, as well as some rare stuff as you approach the higher levels.
It's not until you hit level 20 and gain the ability to trade in tokens and other currencies for legendary loot that you need to really think about what gear you're using.
What's the best way to increase my power level in Destiny 2?
As you progress through the game, you'll no doubt notice that your power level is constantly going up as you get better and better equipment. In other words, you can quite easily increase your power level simply by playing through Destiny 2.
This may take some time, however, so you may want to start thinking about what your most efficient options are. If you're playing alone or with friends cooperatively, then Strikes are a good way of grinding out more powerful equipment. If you're up for some multiplayer action, the Crucible dishes out similar rewards.
But what if you're not up for working through the same Strikes over and over, or spending hours getting shot in the Crucible? In that case, your best bet is to travel to a free roam location of your choice and partake in the many activities that they offer. Start gathering tokens and trade them in for legendary engrams.
However, it's worth noting that there will be times when you find rare (blue) equipment that has a higher power level than your legendary gear. In this scenario, it's probably best to go ahead and equip the rare stuff, especially if you're still working on increasing your overall power level.
Why? Well, here's the thing: you can increase the attack or defence of your legendary gear by consuming other weapons or armour of the same type that's of a higher attack or defence. This is ultimately how you'll bolster the effectiveness of your favourite equipment.
But in order to do that, you'll need legendary shards, and you can only get legendary shards by dismantling legendary equipment. Long story short, you should dismantle legendary gear that you have no use for, and then save up the shards for when you can level up your favourite equipment by infusing it with something that's a fair amount more powerful.
How do I get legendary engrams in Destiny 2?
Legendary equipment is the stuff that you should be looking to collect once you've hit level 20. Outside of exotic gear, which is more specialised in its use, legendary weapons and armour form the basis of the endgame grind.
Legendary engrams aren't too difficult to come across. There's a small chance that they'll be dropped by defeated enemies for starters, and you're guaranteed at least one piece of legendary equipment every time you trade in enough tokens to fill up a vendor's reputation bar. Legendary engrams can also be obtained as rewards upon completing Strikes and participating in Crucible matches.
Do you have any hints and tips for fellow Guardians? Dish out some pointers in the comments section below.