Destiny 2 Faction Rallies: Who are the factions, what gear do they have, and which should you choose?

Update: November 7, 2017 - The second Destiny 2 Faction Rally will run from Tuesday, November 7 to Monday, November 13. As such, we've updated this article to take into account the brand new, special reward weapons for each (potential) winner. You can find them at the bottom of each Faction's respective section, along with a full break-down of their apparent quality. And in another article, we also have all the upcoming changes to the Faction Rallies system for activity rewards

If you’re a newcomer Guardian in Destiny 2, you might be a tad bamboozled by all the recent talk of factions. Surely it’s just Us vs. Everyone Else And Especially The Red Legion, right? Well no, it gets a bit more granular than that. You see, while everyone in the Vanguard is indeed on the same side, the first game also introduced three different Vendors, affiliated with three different factions of varying outlooks and philosophies. They also bring different shop line-ups, different freebies, and entirely different base colour schemes. That last one is particularly important. And now those factions are back for Destiny 2’s new, regular Faction Rally event. 

What are Destiny 2’s Faction Rallies? Simply, it’s an event that lets you sign up with a faction in order to earn Tokens during your day-to-day Destiny 2 activities, which can then be turned in for reward packages full of loot. At the end of the week-long event, the faction with the most packages claimed will be declared the winner. What do they win? Discounts! Every Faction has a special, “powerful” weapon, and the winning faction will put theirs on sale at the end of the week. Everyone will be able to buy it, but Guardians who pledged to the winner will be able to buy it for 1,000 Glimmer, rather than the usual price of 50, 000. Loyalty has its benefits. 

Which Destiny 2 faction should you join? 

Well pleasingly, it's not a particularly divisive decision on the surface of it, as all three have a decent spread of stuff. Though there are still important differences to note in terms of specific new gear options (which take in a few unique, Faction-bespoke weapons), and the pool of already-available stock each Faction has set aside for rewards. So read on. All of this, and those mysterious three end-of-week specials, will be explained.   

Dead Orbit 

Who are they? 

Ostensibly a bit miserable and grumpy, Dead Orbit deny any accusations of morbidity, claiming to be actually the most optimistic of the three factions. Their philosophy is that life on Earth has a finite lifespan, and that the future of humanity lies further out in the stars. So, while they will equip you for the current conflicts, their end goal is to quit Earth and find a new life far into the cosmos. Their Vendor is Arach Jalaal, who is voiced by Peter Stormare, so that's as good a reason to join up with them as any. 

What gear do they have? 

If you’re looking for a hand cannon, then the bespoke Dire Promise is a bit of a beast. Its stats are through the roof, with massive impact, solid range, vast stability and handling, and a decent reload speed. It's not quite as hard-hitting as my beloved Better Devils, and it lacks the joy of explosive rounds, but it is a smidge easier to control, and its key perk will send more bullets to the chamber when you land repeat precision hits. So what you lose in immediate power, you gain in potential momentum. 

Otherwise, back in the realm of ‘normal, already available weaponry’ Uriel’s Gift is a brilliant Auto Rifle, combining great range and respectable impact with good stability and handling. In terms of perks, you can choose between High-Caliber Rounds for greater hit-stun and range, or Steady Rounds, for even better stability. It’s also worth looking at the Rattler Sidearm. What it lacks in range, it makes up for in handling and reload speed, and it has the twin bonuses of Kill Clip – a perk that boosts damage when you reload after a kill - and looking like a metal bat wing. 

What's their special weapon? 

It's a grenade launcher, called Truthteller. Interestingly, it's not far off a reskin of an existing Legendary grenade launcher called Flash and Thunder. The good news though, is that Flash and Thunder is great, and thus, Truthteller looks to be too. 

The interesting thing about Flash and Thunder is that it has two ammo settings, one that blinds enemies but has tiny blast radius, while the other, Concussion Grenades, gives the weapon a ludicrous area of effect. Truthteller keeps this dual ammo trait, maintaining the latter (best) option, and also packing Black Powder, which slightly increases Blast Radius alongside a boost in explosion damage, in exchange for reduced Stability. Either way though, you're looking at as near as damnit a rework of Flash and Thunder in its optimised state. Dead Orbit are a good bet this time. 

Future War Cult 

Who are they? 

The most heavily militarised faction, the Future War Cult are driven by the belief that another great war against the Darkness is inevitable, and that preparation for it - through the running of incredibly detailed predictive simulations - must be their absolute priority consideration. Despite all the doom-laden seriousness though, they have the most party-time approach to default gear decoration, adorning their kit with more blue, red, and orange panels and brightly coloured mesh than you’d find in a sweaty Hard House club circa 1998. 

What gear do they have? 

The Nergal PR4 is a heck of a good pulse rifle. Its base stats tell a tale of good stability and handling on top of a solid rate of fire. And it is a good tale. But when you factor in its facility for ricocheting its bullets around corners, alongside the Full-Auto perk – which delivers faster, automatic fire when you hold the trigger – and you have a really fun and formidable gun.

The Future War Cult also have two of the best hand cannons I've used so far. The first, faction-bespoke one, is called True Prophecy. Very much based on the harder-to-get Better Devils, it has better impact and range, and a similar explosive signature perk, but lacks the Handling and Stability that make the faction-agnostic gun such a refined monster of a thing. It is though, still very, very good. 

And its partner weapon? The Energy charged Annual Skate. Actually better than Better Devils on paper – its base stability and handling are noticeably greater – it falls short only on its lack of explosive rounds. Though with its replacement Outlaw perk giving incredibly fast reloads after precision kills, and the ability to add Steady Rounds for even greater stability, it’s a ferocious delight all on its own.

As for the other special faction guns in the FWC rewards list? The Number is one of the most exciting things I've seen so far. A seriously rangey auto rifle, it also has decent impact for the class, pretty strong stability, and ricochet rounds. And it works just as well in practice as it does on paper. Delightfully effective in PvE, if you can hold mid-range headshots it also shreds in the Crucible, with the added bonus of being a great suppressive weapon thanks to its ability to fire around corners. 

It's also just brilliant fun to use. The Number is delicious

What's their special weapon? 

This time around it's a fusion rifle called Timelines' Vertex. While it doesn't initially look too spectacular, a bit of digging into the stats and perks reveals a pretty tasty little gun indeed. It has thoroughly solid handling, stability, and reload stats, and decent range and impact (if not exactly in the god-tier of something like the Iron Banner's Wizened Rebuke), but when you multiply all of that by its optional Accelerated Coils perk - which reduces charge time in exchange for decreased Impact damage - then all of those qualities suddenly become rather nicely amplified. It'll take practical field-tests before we can completely ascertain how favourable the trade-off is, but overall, this is looking like a rather appealing fusion rifle indeed. 

New Monarchy 

Who are they? 

The most high-falutin’ and politically minded faction. New Monarchy has long opposed the authority of the Speaker, believing in the need for an elected Monarch to lead the Tower. Depending on your opinion of the Speaker’s outlook and actions - and how questionably vague or not you find their current plans for taking control of the Tower - you might find that a very sympathetic reason for joining them. Also, red-white-and-gold colour schemes. If you like red, white, and gold, their stuff is feverish with it. 

What gear do they have? 

As well as Annual Skate – seriously, do not miss out on that – New Monarchy has Last Hope. If you like your pistol weapons faster and spammier than the traditional, single-shot head remover, then Last Hope is waiting for you. Probably the best specced sidearm I’ve found so far, it has ludicrous impact and stability for the class – the latter can be maxed out with Steady Rounds, and the Zen moment perk further steadies its fire as soon as you start dealing damage – and fires at a giddy 415 rounds per minute, in three-shot bursts. If I was making a punsome CSI joke, I’d call it a triple-shot expresso. But I’m not, so I won’t.

New Monarchy too, have  the bespoke Sentencer IV. It’s a Scout Rifle with near maximum range and very heavy impact. Its stability and handling look to hold it back, giving it a kind of heavy sniper feel in terms of its stats, but in recompense for that, just look at the thing. It is a most beauteous thing. 

What's their special weapon? 

It's a sword called Honor's Edge. It looks cool, but it's not terribly exciting. Its stats are decent but not mind-blowing, and its optional perks come with the traditional sword trade-offs between Efficiency and Defense. It does have the facility for extra damage immediately after a weapon swap, which gives it some natty extra utility, but given that swords are a one-hit kill in the Crucible anyway, that's pretty much a PvE-only perk. And let's face it, with the quality bar for swords so high as standard, it takes something very special to stand out at this point.