Destiny 2 Crucible multiplayer: How each mode works, and how to win

Destiny 2’s Crucible multiplayer has changed a lot. It has smaller team-sizes, it has new game modes, it has new weapons and abilities, and it has vastly reduced the focus on power-weapons and super attacks. As such, it demands a whole new strategic mind-set and knowledge base, whether you’re a newcomer or a returning Guardian from the first game. So it’s time to shake things down and get you ready. 

Ahead, you’ll find the 15 most important Destiny 2 multiplayer tips (so far) that you’ll need in order to know what you’re doing in the Crucible, and now how to do it best. I’ll be updating the guide as the Crucible grows and evolves with new events, discoveries, and dynamics, so check back whenever it does. But for now, read on, ready up, and prepare to clock up those kill sprees. Casual player or aspiring Trials of the Nine champ, there will be something here to help you up your game, from tips on which gear to use, to higher-level team tactics. But let's start with the most obvious thing. 

Know the event types

There are currently five modes in the Crucible. The first three, as listed below, appear in the Quickplay playlist, and the last two will be found in the Competitive list, or in the hardcore, weekly Trials of the Nine event. They are as follows:

Clash - A traditional team deathmatch. Work with your team to kill the opposing team more times than they kill you, until you hit the time limit or the score cap.

Control – Capture and hold up to three control points in order to increase your team’s score and multiply the points you score for kills. 

Supremacy – A team deathmatch with a scoring spin. You won’t get any points for kills. Instead, you’ll only score when you pick up the red crest dropped by each downed enemy. Similarly, you can stop opponents from scoring by collecting the blue crests dropped by your fallen team-mates before your foes can grab them.

Countdown – An asymmetric attack/defend mode, where on alternate rounds one team must plant a bomb at a designated point and defend it until detonation in order to score, while the other team fights to defuse it.

Survival – A tighter, more strategic, higher-risk variant on a team deathmatch, where each side of four has a limited stash of eight lives to cover the entire team. When all lives are used up, the round is lost. The match is played out over the best of five rounds.

Fight as a unit, but know when to (temporarily) break apart 

Close-knit team play is the key to Destiny 2's Crucible. If you don't stick together, you're dead. With reduced team sizes, smaller maps, and much less reliance of supers and heavy firepower, there are no gimmicks to hide behind. Responsible, team-minded play will always win. Concentrated fire and smart, co-operative movement are the tools that craft victory. If you ever find yourself separated from your team, stop what you're doing and regroup. Trust me, doing that is more important that whatever else you were doing. 

But at the same time, you need to be careful. While you need to move as one unit, you don't want to physically be one unit. Bunch up too tight, and you're asking for a full team-wipe by way of a rocket or super. Warlocks go hunting for bunched up squads. Warlocks eat them for dinner. You also want to be able to break apart slightly to flank opponents. And expanding on that point, you should always... 

Concentrate fire, but know how to split your firing angles 

Rushing down opposing players with a concentrated salvo of multi-Guardian fire is something that you should absolutely do whenever possible. But you know what works even better? Concentrated salvos of fire that your target can't possibly hope to counter. Fire that comes from multiple sources that cannot be fired back upon in one fell swoop. Even with a rocket or a super. 

So you want to split your firing angles. The wider you spread your team around a particular skirmish point (while still, of course, sticking together and attacking with a shared focus), the faster you'll be able to drop your targets, and the less able your opponents will be to shut you down. Moving between targets to return fire takes time your opponents don't have when they're under pressure. So if one of you attacks from the left-hand side of a 'lane', someone else should go right. If someone goes under a bridge on the way in to a fight, someone else should attack from on top of it.  

And it works in terms of proximity too. If you can get one of your mid-range players to lead an opponent out into open ground, in view of a hidden sniper or scout rifler, then you create a spread-out team-fire situation your opposition has no chance of dealing with. 

Avoid the clash point

On many Crucible maps, you’ll quickly spot an obvious clash point. It might be a major choke-point through the middle of the map, it might be a wider, connecting area in the middle, possibly holding the central capture point in Control. But whatever form it takes, you’ll recognise it pretty quickly. It will be the meat-grinder that both teams continually throw themselves into in an attempt to break through to the other side. Emotionally, it’s understandable that people do this. There’s nothing to evoke that cinematic, war-movie feeling better than that big, successful push. 

But these pushes are never truly successful. At best, one team will smash through, only to have the clash re-establish itself not long after. And however it goes, both teams will spend a lot of dead Guardians on not gaining very much at all. It is dumb, and you are smart, so do not engage in this. Crucible maps always have loads of alternative, intricate side-routes to any given point, so find those, use them, and move smart. You’ll find that you reach objectives a lot more cleanly, and you’ll open up all kinds of flanking opportunities as the enemy team remains engaged with fruitless choke. There’s always a cleverer, less obvious route, so find it and take it.

Know when to move, and when to hold a position 

Depending on the immediate situation - and the mode you're playing - movement might not actually be necessary. Sometimes it's better to just consolidate your position and let your opponents come to you. Far from putting you on the back-foot, taking a defensive position can actually be the most powerful, offensive move in Destiny 2, just as it was in Bungie's Halo multiplayer. It will take co-ordination, but it can also lead to some ludicrous streaks. 

With a held position, you have consistency. You know all of the potential entrances, and you know how they can and can't be used. Your opponents' options are finite, and you can respond to them in a largely prescribed fashion. Narrowing down the possibilities like this also makes it a heck of a lot easier to predict action from the radar. And unless they can co-ordinate a multi-directional attack very well indeed, the other team will always be at a disadvantage. They'll either have to all pile in together (thus making a large, bunched up target), or split up, making for drastically weaker, more vulnerable targets. 

As for when to do this? Basically, as often as you like in Clash and Supremacy, and selectively in Control. In the latter mode, you'll ideally want to hold at least two out of the three control points while racking up kills, so if the opposite team starts taking them while you bunker down, you'll have to head out. Unless of course, you're already ahead on points, in which case just consolidate your position and force them to come your way. They'll have to if they want to score any of their own. Just don't let them. 

Stay on the ground (or jump smart)

With the amount of air-time and control you can enjoy in Destiny 2, it’s really tempting to jump and fly around the Crucible on a whim. But don’t. Much like in a fighting game, while aerial play can give you advantages in attack if used carefully and strategically, unnecessary jumping will leave you exposed. Ground-based combat is always a safer bet. Jumping should primarily be used to make a surprise escape when the odds are stacked against you, and you should always be aiming for cover while you do it. 

That said, there are certainly ways of using air-time offensively. If you're about to engage a one-on-one battle, kicking things off from a point of elevation can give you an advantage if you can surprise your opponent with it, jump at disorientingly close-range, and do consistent, accurate damage while moving through the air. Jump at long distance and fail to do damage while aloft, and you're just handing your opponent an easy shot. And when configuring your set-up for the Crucible, you should always prioritise unpredictable aerial skills like the Warlock Voidwalker’s blink jump, which acts as a couple of small, confusing teleports. Long, predictable, floaty jumps are just inviting the bullets. 

Know how to deal with an incoming super 

Seeing an opponent trigger their super attack is no longer the end of the world. Not only are Destiny 2’s supers now largely built around doing sustained, ‘roaming’ damage rather than throwing out one-hit kills – leaving the user exposed for a long time if they want to get the best out of their offense – but they also have a major weakness. Energy damage. Energy weapons will burn through a supered Guardian’s shields and health remarkably quickly, so always have a good one equipped and ready, and pull it out straight away should you see a super incoming. Given how falsely empowered the unwary Guardian feels when in a super state, they’ll very often underestimate the danger they’re in. 

Additionally, while you certainly shouldn't spam your super as a knee-jerk panic move - supers are such a comparative rarity now that you really have to wait until using them will truly count - do be aware of their potential use in countering opponents' supers. If, for instance, you see an Arcstrider Hunter popping an Arc Staff at close range, and you don't have time to respond with gunfire, a vertical jump comboed into a Warlock Nova Bomb will lift you to safety from the ground-based attack and let you clear the threat before it can damage the rest of your team. Similarly, a Titan Sentinel's shield-guard move can actually block a Nova Bomb, provided it's the slower, tracking variant  of the Nova rather than the faster, damage-over-time version.