Destiny 2: beta details, combat tips, release date, new classes, trailers... and everything you need to know

Fast facts

  • Destiny 2 release date: 6 September 2017
  • Formats: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Price: TBA, likely $59.99 / £49.99

While old-guard Guardians are still frantically combing the Dreadnaught in a bid finish up old Quests and complete those last lingering achievements on their Record books (hurry, Guardian - there's not much time left now!), others are looking forward to a shiny new Destiny dawn.

Bungie dropped a metric buttload of stuff on us during its  Destiny 2 livestream - and then again at E3 - so here's the very latest information, rumours and red-hot speculation. Dive in for the very latest Destiny 2 news and tips, and make sure to come back often - this page is regularly updated as and when fresh news hits.

Read on for everything we know about Destiny 2 so far...

Destiny 2's release date has been confirmed

Destiny 2 is coming to PS4 and Xbox One two days earlier than first announced: the new release date is September 6, 2017. The PC version is currently set to debut on October 24.

Bungie also released a teaser trailer featuring Cayde-6. It seems the proverbial has hit the fan and things are no longer quite so serene at The Tower, or the earth city below. There are Red Cabal smashing down walls, robot bartenders, and plenty of wisecracks to be had, and - naturally - it's up to you to sort it all out. 

Interestingly, the publisher also detailed "follow-on content plans" which "set the stage for growth". Could this be an acknowledgement that Bungie may be moving away from Destiny 1's irregular expansion release program? 

Destiny 2's beta is coming July 2017

The Destiny 2 beta is nearly here and it's time to start making some preparations

If you pre-order Destiny 2 on PS4, you can start playing the beta as early as July 18. Folks who pre-order on Xbox One will be able to jump in the next day on July 19. Then the Destiny 2 beta will open for all on both platforms on July 21, then conclude on July 23. The PC beta will begin some time in late August.

In terms of what the beta might contain, the reveal event might be a bit of a clue. While those lucky enough to be at the live event (Salty? Me? Never) got to lay their hands on that sweet new gameplay, there were many fans who could not be there (sob), and comments from Bungie devs during the stream intimated that fans everywhere would get to try experience the sequel "soon". 

Could this mean the opening Homecoming mission, new PvP mode Countdown, or The Inverted Spire strike - or all three - might be coming to a beta near you soon?

Destiny 2 planets will be bigger destinations

You might expect a Destiny sequel to just keep on building on the same fundamentals the original has refined over three years of real-world experience. But it sounds like Bungie has decided to set much all of that aside and go for a relatively clean slate instead.

Early reports indicated that Destiny 2 will make each individual planet feel like a more complete destination. Now Bungie has revealed the first four worlds - the revised "Director" map - coming to Destiny 2 as part of its grand reveal event... and it looks kinda amazing.

Once again, your Guardian's story kicks off on Earth in a new location called the EDZ - European Dead Zone. Described as something of an early basecamp - and a retreat for ordinary humans, not just Guardians, it seems - it's where the human race settles after, sniff, the destruction of The Citadel, the Last City on Earth.

And that's not all. We've also seen new zones Titan and Io - ostensibly tracking vanguards Zavala and Ikora Rey respectively - plus Nessus, home to the Vex, who are busy transforming the planetoid into a machine. So, that sounds nice. 

Interestingly, in an interview with GamesRadar, world design lead, Steve Cotton, said:  "Nessus is a centaur, we called it a planetoid in the presentation but it’s a centaur - a planet that orbits in our solar system in a weird way, a visiting orbit thing. We thought that was really fascinating. The Hunters catalogued this planet and that’s how the Vex built their thing and now it’s coming into our solar system. So that’s why it’s here."

Even more curious is that when we asked if that meant there might be a limited window to deal with it, he stated, "limited window." Hmm.

And if you're wondering if traversing these foreign planets is to remain as laborious as it is in Destiny now, we're told to expect many improvements to the Director interface (so no more shooting to orbit before visiting a new location - yay!). The map will also better illustrate items and missions, making it easier to find fun stuff like Public Events. More yay!

Destiny characters will transfer over some things... but not everything

Bungie has finally dropped hints about what Guardians can - and cannot - take with them when they tackle the next threat in Destiny 2

Initially we weren’t sure if we’d be able to carry anything over, but according to a recent update, Guardians who’ve reached Level 20 and completed the Black Garden story mission (which should be most if not all of us, let’s face it) will be able to retain their class, race, gender, face, hair, and markings.

What won’t carry over is powers, possessions (that includes weapons... RIP, beloved Year 3 Gjallahorn), and any Eververse items, such as Silver and the emotes etc. you’ve purchased with it (goodbye, Grease-style dance).

"We believe this is the best path forward," Bungie said. "It allows us to introduce the major advancements and improvements that all of us expect from a sequel, ensuring it will be the best game we can create, unencumbered by the past. We’re looking forward to sharing more details with you later this year for how we will honour your legacy in the future."

Of course, you’ll still be able to access all your gear in the original game…  you just won’t be able to take it with you. I know. I feel your pain too, Guardian.

Destiny 2 has new weapons systems and new Supers

Destiny 2 has revamped the Guardian sub-classes, plus reworked the weapons system, too. 

While the original Destiny broke down weapon categories into Primary, Special, and Heavy, Destiny 2 will recategorise your many, many guns (oh, please let there be a Supercell replacement) into Kinetic weapons, Energy weapons, and Power weapons.

That may sound like a simple switching of names, but during Bungie's gameplay reveal, we saw a character switch from an Auto Rifle to a Pulse Rifle, so weapons are also getting shifted around. 

There's also all-new subclasses: 

  • Dawnblade for Warlocks: which lets players float in mid-air on wings of fire as they toss out energy blades (made of fire) from their magical sword (which is also on fire);
  • Sentinels for Titans: which - the internet reckons - transforms you into Captain America. You get an impenetrable shield, which you can also toss into enemy's faces and bounce off of them. It looks very, very cool;
  • Arcstrider for Hunters: Hmm. This doesn't look dissimilar from the Hunter's current Super, Arc Blade, but for this you'll use a fancy staff to whack people with. Tidy.

There'll be changes in Destiny 2's co-operative and competitive play modes

In the livestream reveal, Bungie announced that every team mode will now consist of 4v4 rather than 6v6, and promises a more informative Crucible UI, helping you track enemy stats, including super and special ammo.

There'll be new Strikes, Raids and Nightfall challenges, and for those of you lamenting that you could never matchmake for the latter two in Destiny 1, there'll be a more social-focused approach to matchmaking called Guided Games. Talking of which...

Clans can be formed in-game (enabling someone to jump in and join a vacant spot), customise their own banners and messages, and each player will contribute to the clan's status, sharing rewards across the team, too. 

Yup - even your clan gets to level up now!

As for servers? Well, Destiny 2 won't exclusively use dedicated servers but that doesn't mean it will suffer from all the same lag-related problems as the first game.  In a recent weekly update, Bungie added some much-needed context to the discussion around Destiny 2's server situation.

The original Destiny uses a mix of peer-to-peer and client-server networking. While no one hosts social spaces like the Tower, for instance, individual players are automatically selected to host activities like Strikes and The Crucible. If those players drop out, the game has to perform a host migration - and that's bad news if someone has a temperamental connection.  

According to Bungie, Destiny 2 will use a similar hybrid peer-to-peer/client-server model with a few key changes. Activities are now hosted server-side, so you'll never have to worry about a host migration again. And now physics calculations live in the cloud too, meaning there should be fewer discrepancies on key things like where attacks land.

Why not just go full into dedicated servers like Battlefield 1 or other big shooters? Well, Destiny 2's mix of activities and seamless matchmaking mean its networking needs are significantly more complicated than most. Check out this Reddit thread for a more technical rundown of what this revised networking arrangement could mean for the game. 

For more about how Destiny 2’s across-the-board changes are going to impact multiplayer, check out our guide to the biggest six changes coming to Destiny 2's PvP.

Destiny 2 is coming to PC, but there will still be PS4 timed-exclusives

It's official - Destiny 2 is coming to PC.

Hold up before you put in your Destiny 2 pre-order, though - Destiny 2 creative director Luke Smith told PC Gamer, "We're not committed to a PC date yet," 

"Our partnership with Blizzard and being on, we want to make sure that this version of the game has the time it needs to bake in the oven so it's a delicious piece of bread when it comes out."

Also, Destiny 2 players on PS4 will once again have access to exclusive stuff before anybody else. The cinematic trailers for the newly revealed game on PlayStation's official YouTube account both end with a familiar bump and a soothing voice assuring viewers that you can "Get exclusive Destiny 2 content on PS4*". 

The asterisk is there because it's timed exclusive content, which is guaranteed to not be available on other platforms until "at least" Fall 2018. PS4-nots might have to wait even longer than that - the PlayStation exclusive content released with The Taken King two years ago is still only available on PlayStation.

The first Destiny remains a console-only affair, despite bridging two generations of gaming systems, so it'll be interesting to see what Bungie can do for the PCers. Gun perks that enhance aim assist, while great on joysticks, will likely be less significant for mouse and keyboard players. And a PC version would be a helluva lot easier to datamine for spoilers, too...

Destiny 2 story has plenty of threads to pick up

In an investor call, Activision stated Destiny 2 will bring an accessible and "great" cinematic story" with "relatable characters".

We have a full article just for Destiny 2's story, based on hints found in the original game and connections from the grimoire to real-life mythology. And it wouldn't be Destiny if it wasn't really hard to summarise. But suffice to say it looks like Eris Morn, the Cult of Osiris, and even The Traveler itself will soon be cast in an entirely new light. 

As for Grimoire cards? You know, those cards that are unlocked in-game by finding dead Ghosts or making progress toward larger goals but you have to log on to Bungie's site to actually read them? Well, like the dancing parties in the Tower, they're confined to history now - never again will you have to visit the Bungie website to access more information on Destiny 2's story.

Destiny 2 world design lead Steve Cotton told us that Bungie has shifted the Grimoire's narrative load to in-game methods this time around.

"There's stories to chase in each world," Cotton explained. "There's the campaign story, reclaiming your power and your home. But then each world has a character in the world that has their own story to tell and you do things for them. And so each one of those adventures is telling a story. The Lost Sectors you find, when you discover those dungeons and these bosses, you make your own stories as you go as a player.

"As far as lore, there are still lore objects to scan and collect and find throughout the world. We want to put all the lore in the game. No more Grimoire, just all the lore in the game."

In a recent interview with GamesRadar+, director Luke Smith confirmed that one of the biggest changes heading for Destiny 2 was the story.

"It’s actually focusing on having a followable narrative, and having a big sort of storyline, epic scenario. Layering the story content in a way we haven’t done yet for Destiny," he said. 

"Then, below that in the layering, you have adventures that are stories about the worlds, the planets and the particular enemies contained therein - it doesn’t directly relate to the Red War, it tells a different story."

Smith hopes the extra focus on story will attract new fans on release. "I think one of the things for bringing new people into Destiny is going to be the way we’ve approached narrative differently, in terms of trying to tell a cohesive campaign. I think in Taken King it’s certainly something myself and the team tried to bring in and improve. We’ve got the space in Destiny 2 to let that breath a little."

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