200 hours later, this Destiny 2 player made history by clearing a solo raid challenge thought to be impossible

Destiny 2 Vault of Glass
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 players have been soloing raid bosses and encounters normally meant for six people ever since the release of the Vault of Glass raid way back in Destiny 1. That includes Atheon, the final boss of the Vault. But somehow nobody had ever actually soloed the Vault's penultimate fight, the Gatekeepers, until now, well over a year after the raid's re-release in Destiny 2. 

TheSnazzzyRock (opens in new tab) recently managed a solo run thought to be impossible after spending roughly 200 hours practicing and grinding the challenge. He posted his record-setting clear on January 21, 2023, ecstatic to have the behemoth task behind him and his name carved into Destiny history. It's one of the most impressive solo runs in the MMO's life, so I had to reach out to Snazzy to learn more about how it happened. 

To start, let's go over why soloing the Vault Gatekeepers was thought to be impossible, because that wasn't always the case. The short version is that the encounter is split between a few chambers that contain special enemies that are immune to normal damage and will wipe your (in this case one-man) team if left unchecked. But due to a few short-lived bugs and exploits, soloing the encounter has been theoretically doable at various points in Destiny's history. Notable challenge runner Esoterickk proved the theory back in Destiny 1 (opens in new tab), and world-class raider Saltagreppo managed to clear three of the encounter's six checkpoints in Destiny 2 in his best recorded run (opens in new tab) in 2021. But even the most seasoned players struggled to handle the tight timing and merciless RNG of the fight, and whenever a new solo strategy was discovered, it was always patched out before long. 

In June 2022, Snazzy posted a video (opens in new tab) showing how Gatekeepers could still be soloed in Destiny 2, but the method he described was also patched shortly afterward. It wasn't until this season that Snazzy learned of a viable method exploiting the Void element's Volatile reaction, so after first attempting the solo back in May 2022, he got straight back to grinding with a new approach at the start of January 2023.  There was no telling when this method might be patched out too, or if another opportunity would come up in the future. 

"What had changed was Volatile explosions being able to destroy the shield on the Praetorian," Snazzy tells me, referring to the shielded Vex Praetorians which normally require a special relic to kill. "The Volatile works by applying it to an enemy near the Praetorian which then explodes near him and takes the shield off while the grenade finishes him off."  

"The most common reason to wipe changed throughout my attempts," he continues. "It first started with me not being able to consistently kill the Praetorian with my grenade, then after I got more consistent with that it started being my Gjallarhorn not killing the Wyvern all the time; Wolfpack Rounds would scam me half the time."

Snazzy's loadout was perfectly tuned for this challenge. He played Void Titan because the class has easy access to Volatile via the Controlled Demolition Aspect. A scout rifle with the Shoot to Loot perk let him instantly pick up heavy ammo bricks – pre-farmed to carpet the ground between attempts – to fuel his Gjallarhorn rocket launcher, which was essential for quickly taking out Praetorians and Wyverns while running between the encounter's portals and fending off waves of enemies. The Overload scout mod on the current Artifact also allowed Snazzy's rifle to handle the Overload Minotaurs in the outer chamber. Throw in an auto-loading grenade launcher to help with AoE and you've got all the basic tools you need. 

My hands are numb, my hands are numb, my hands are so numb.


Snazzy used the Heart of Inmost Light Exotic for most of the run to recharge his Void abilities – act surprised, Titan mains – but he swapped to Solar Titan and Synthoceps for its final stage to make sure he didn't fall at the gates after clearing the most difficult segment. 

"For the middle area, I had practiced it multiple times testing different ways to go about it and make sure when I made it there I didn't wipe," he says. "I ended up going with Solar Titan and Synthos, as if I had no Gjallarhorn for the middle, Synthos would two-hit the Wyverns in the worst scenario." 

"The only thing to really change in the normal strategy was when one of my homies, TaymNeon, had figured out if you jump when entering the Mars portal, you can see if it's Wyvern or Praetorian first," he adds. "This made the strategy 10 times better because beforehand, if you did not get the Wyvern on Venus, it was a hard wipe. This allowed me to prepare myself for which side each one was on, letting the rotation be possible with Wyvern/Praetorian Mars." 

After 200 hours of blood, sweat, tears, and a little luck for good measure, Snazzy claimed the world's first recorded Gatekeepers solo, and you can hear every ounce of effort and tension in his voice – "my hands are numb, my hands are numb, my hands are so numb" – and in his uproarious celebration, which is easily one of the most intense and most deserved 'LET'S GO' moments I've ever heard. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.