How to get Destiny Cipher Decoders and unlock Encrypted Caches

Destiny 2 Cipher Decoders
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 Cipher Decoders are used to unlock Encrypted Caches in the Festival of the Lost Haunted Forest. So let's explain Cipher Decoders, how to get them in Destiny 2, and their impact in the game. Just a heads up, no matter how you obtain these, you can only carry 25 at a time, so it makes sense to max your stack then clear 5 Haunted Forests in a row to respect your time. 

Destiny 2 Festival of the Lost Haunted Forest | Destiny 2 Festival of the Lost Epic Mystery Grab | Destiny 2 Shadehallow Emblem

Destiny 2 Cipher Decoders - What They Are & What They Do?

(Image credit: Bungie)

At the end of a Haunted Forest run there will be a constant chest that spawns. It has event currency and masks. Cipher Decoders are used to unlock Encrypted Caches, special event loot chests, that spawn based on your progress through the forest. If you clear at least five branches (I always shoot for seven as a base) then the five chests will spawn. Each one needs a separate decoder to open so make sure you have at least 5 per run. You’ll need 45 to unlock the exotic ship, sparrow, and ghost shell for the event.  

Notable Loot

  • Horror Story - 450rpm Auto Rifle
  • Braytech Werewolf - 450 Auto Rifle

How to get more Cipher Decoders

(Image credit: Bungie)

According to Cozmo, a North American community manager for Bunige Studios Cipher Decoders are meant to drop from everything other than the Haunted Forest and should have the same drop rate as an Umbral Engram. So any activity that would reward Umbral Engrams can provide players Cipher Decoders. However, drop  rates haven't been great, leading to this tweet from bungie

You can try farming Heroic Story Missions and/or Nightmare Hunts - drop rates are still super low but they can help you feel like you’re doing something. If that doesn't seem fun then I suggest just playing the game as usual with your mask on and wait for the drop rates to improve. Festival of the Lost goes from October 6 to November 3 so there’s time.

Destiny 2 Youtuber Cheese Forever created a video guide that uses a loot checkpoint manipulation using Spire of the Stars raid lar. Players would need to complete a boss checkpoint then, before the rewards finalize on-screen, switch characters. To ensure they never lose it, players need to bring a friend with them to the final checkpoint. As the ships change loading screens, you’d change characters again. Your friend would get an extremely high chance of getting a Cipher Decoder upon loading in. 

You’d go back to the original character and repeat the cycle. After 25 decoders are collected, the maximum you can hold, your friend would need to do Haunted Forest to open 5 Encrypted Caches a pop to clear them. Eventually you and your friend would switch places (assuming they have a checkpoint) and it would be your turn to farm the decoders. 

However, that appears to have caught Bungie's attention so that option looks dead. 

However, that's not to say more options might be discovered though so we'll keep an eye out for any better ways to boost your rewards. 

Freelance Writer