11 essential Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris tips to know before you play

Destiny 2's first proper expansion, Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, is now live on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and Bungie has brought with it a suite of new content and game-changing tweaks for its lively community of guardians to have fun with. There’s a lot going on in Curse of Osiris; so much so, in fact, that it can be easy to overlook or miss some of the subtle but significant reworks Bungie is implementing to improve the Destiny experience, especially as the game doesn’t always let you know about everything going on under the hood.

Having played through all eight of Curse of Osiris’ story missions, and invested a good deal of time into its array of new systems and side-content, I’ve been able to discover some of the more subtle reworkings firsthand, and have explained the most important ones below for you to read up on before you jump in headfirst for yourself. Here’s nine things I wish I knew before playing Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris.  

You can receive your new clan banner to start earning clan XP right away 

With the launch of Curse of Osiris, so too begins Destiny 2’s second season, and all the new competitive and cooperative opportunities which that entails. Your clan’s progress from season one will be locked in, and it’s back to the drawing board to start the collective levelling process all over again. 

Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to check in with Hawthorne at The Tower to receive your season two clan emblem. You’ll lose all your previous clan perks that were active before, but if your clan had reached its maximum level in season one, wearing the new banner now gives you the option to equip a new Imperial Staff, which is a little more colourful to the regular ol’ staff that inaugural clan members are stuck with. 

Regularly checking back into the tower will level you up faster

As has always been the way of Destiny 2 since launch, the quickest and most effective way to level up in Curse of Osiris is to manage your new influx of gear wisely. That means regularly returning to The Tower to decrypt your engrams, level your best weapons by infusing them with the drops you have no need for, and speaking to Tess Everis and Banshee-44 for more engrams and faction rewards. 

Unlike with the original campaign, playing through Curse of Osiris’ story won’t get you all the way to the new level cap of 25, which makes this habit an even more important one if you want to enjoy all that lovely season two endgame content as soon as possible. That said… 

Infusing higher level gear into lower level gear can create… unwanted side effects 

Now that the level cap has been raised, it’s likely that you'll quickly find yourself in possession of a piece of gear that has a higher level requirement than the stuff that you’re already equipped with. Your first instinct might be to infuse the high level (but less useful) gear into your equipped gear, but doing this doesn’t just raise its power level as usual. 

In fact, it’ll raise your gear's numbered level cap too, and if your Guardian isn’t a high enough level, the game may even automatically unequip that infused gear from your person and replace with another random piece as a stop gap. I know that all sounds rather complicated but, long story short, do not use any gear as infusion material if it’s got a level requirement higher than your current level. 

You can only explore the Infinite Forest (and parts of Mercury) during story missions and Adventures 

For those who are in love with Bungie’s unique take on procedurally generated environments, I’ve got some bad news. The Infinite Forest can’t be freely explored in the same way as Destiny 2’s other environments, but you’ll only be able to enjoy it during Curse of Osiris’ limited number of story missions and Adventures. 

The same goes for some of Mercury’s more interesting zones, which sadly don’t show up in the public area part of the new planet. The Infinite Forest isn’t exactly the most memorable environment to come out of Destiny, but it’s still somewhat disappointing that Guardians don’t have the freedom to return, should they ever feel the urge to indulge in some mindless procedurally generated firefights.

A lot of the Curse of Osiris’ biggest changes aren’t actually out yet 

So much is happening in the world of Destiny 2 right now that it’s almost impossible to stay abreast of every new update coming to the game. You might assume that the Curse of Osiris launch includes all of the drastic changes that Bungie has been talking about for the past few weeks, but that’s where you're mistaken. 

Right now, things like armor ornaments, changes to the mod economy, and Rahool’s ability to sell Engrams for Legendary Shards are live, but big reworks such as the new Masterworks weapons tier and Xur’s Fated Engrams are nowhere to be seen. If all goes to plan, Destiny 2 will be updated next week to finish off Bungie’s rollout of these more substantial features, but don’t jump into Curse of Osiris with the assumption that all of your most anticipated quality of life patches are available from the get go. 

You can visit the Eververse to get a free Illuminated Engram 

Bungie has begun to change how its cosmetic economy works with the addition of the Illuminated Engram into the Eververse. This replaces season one’s Bright Engram, and each one contains a variety of season two customization options; such as new emotes, shaders, and ornaments for Curse of Osiris’ swathe of new Exotics. 

These Illuminated Engrams will drop whenever you level up or as a drop when playing any activity in Destiny 2 but, as a gift to celebrate the beginning of the new season, Tess Everis will be happy to give one away for free when you visit her in the Eververse for the first time. Go talk to her early on when first booting up Curse of Osiris, and see if you can nab yourself a new Legendary emote to have fun with during the campaign.  

All new expansion gear comes with an Osiris symbol

Cayde-6 is practically drooling over the amount of new loot to be discovered with the release of Curse of Osiris, but how do you know the difference between any expansion specific gear and the content that’s been around since day one of Destiny 2? 

Just have a look at the top left hand corner of each icon, and if you see the Osiris symbol (an outline of a large eye), that’s Bungie telling you this is a new item related to Curse of Osiris. The vanilla gear will look exactly as it always has, so you’ll quickly be able to distinguish between both categories with a quick glance whenever you open you inventory.

You can’t ride your sparrow on Mercury 

Every Destiny 2 planet so far has allowed us to hop aboard our trusty sparrow for travelling long distances at high speed, but not so on Mercury. Despite it being a fairly large playground (though definitely not as big as somewhere like Nessus or Io), Bungie has a strict “No Sparrow Riding” rule in place, without providing any explanation as to why.

Perhaps it’s because Brother Vance and his Osiris fanatics believe the area to be sacred ground, and can’t have any speed hungry Guardians desecrating it with their new fangled rides. It’s a shame, though, especially as Curse of Osiris brings with it a bunch of fantastic looking new Sparrow skins and builds. 

The new “social space” isn’t really a social space 

Leading up to Curse of Osiris’ release, there was much talk and anticipation about Bungie’s promise of a brand new social space for Guardians to hang out in, otherwise known as The Lighthouse. However, “social space” turned out to be a bit of a misleading and indeed exaggerated term here, as the Lighthouse has more in relation to the EDZ church or Failsafe’s ship on Nessus than, say, The Tower or The Farm. 

While it’s true that you can wander inside The Lighthouse and talk to Brother Vance or fiddle around with the forge in a safe environment, that’s really about all there is to it. You’ll stay in first-person for the entire time, too, and there’s no social activities to speak of, other than messing around with your new emotes, of course, but you can pretty much do that anywhere. 

The wall pattern next to the forge shows your Lost Prophecy progress 

Have you noticed that weird one-eyed star plastered on the wall next to the forge in Mercury’s Lighthouse? It’s not just there for home decor, but actually serves a purpose as you slowly complete all 11 of Brother Vance’s Lost Prophecy missions. Whenever you satisfy the resource requirements of a Lost Prophecy, you’ll be able to craft a new weapon at the forge, and every time you do so, a specific point on that aforementioned star will light up. 

This is a quick way of showing you how many Lost Prophecy weapons you’ve crafted so far, and how many are left to go, which beats having to figure it out for yourself by digging through Destiny 2’s menus. It’s a small thing, but it’ll hopefully speed up your process just that little bit more as you hunt down all of Curse of Osiris’ best Legendary weapons.

The new Aeon Cult Exotics become more effective when nearby allies are wearing them 

Upon completing the Curse of Osiris campaign, you can speak to Ikora at The Tower to receive a pair of class-specific Exotic gauntlets. These will either be the Aeon Safe for Titans, the Aeon Swift for Hunters, or the Aeon Soul for Warlocks, and they all provide a perk called Aeon Energy, which grants class specific bonuses to “nearby Aeon Cult allies” when you perform certain abilities (such as summoning a barricade as the Titan). 

But who are Aeon Cult allies? Well, it’s any fellow Guardian who also happens to be wearing one these gauntlets, and you’ll know when they’re nearby because mini light beams will emit from your fancy new gloves whenever they’re close. Those who aren’t donning any Aeon  gear will still receive some of the shared energy from your perks, but nowhere near as much as your fellow cultists on the battlefield.

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!