Destiny 2: Forsaken preparation guide: Everything you need to save, stockpile, and grind, to get ahead for the big expansion

Destiny 2: Forsaken is imminent. Like, really, really imminent. Like, Tuesday, September 4. And this isn’t just another expansion - this is a total rebuild of everything Destiny 2 is and does, with major changes to everything from weapon systems, to perks, to RPG systems, to the economies that underpin all of it. Some of the structural changes have already been patched into the game, but the full shape of the experience won’t really kick in until the September release. There's a lot of paradigm shifts coming to the way you play Destiny 2, and you’re going to need to be ready. So let us help you.

In preparation, you’ll need to understand the new priorities, the new customisation systems, and the new, early challenges of starting this reimagined, rebooted Destiny 2 path. Fortunately, we’ve been digging into all the upcoming changes over the last three weeks, and know exactly what to do. Below, you will find exactly what that is. Here’s everything you need to know to get ahead for the launch of Destiny 2: Forsaken. 

Stop spending right now  

Stop cashing in your Tower currencies immediately. Seriously, if you have anything that can be traded in at the Tower for loot, hang on to it. Better still, stash it in the Vault at the end of every session. It will be safe there until Forsaken drops. 

The reason for hoarding? At this late stage, unless there’s a specific Year One weapon you’re absolutely desperate for, you’re better off saving up for Forsaken gear. It will come with more perks, it will come with random perk rolls, and it will be compatible with Year Two’s incoming new Masterwork system. You can burn through your planetary currencies right now though. Asher, Devrim, Failsafe, et al will no longer take Tokens as payment come Forsaken - more on that a little further down - so those things will basically be worthless next week. 

As for the currencies you should keep… 

Know which currencies still have value  

As a general rule of thumb, if it’s taken as payment in the Tower, it’s still worth something. To dig into that in more detail, Zavala and Shaxx will still operate on the same currency set-up they currently do, meaning that Vanguard and Crucible Tokens still matter. Iron Banner Tokens are likely to be the same deal, so hang on to any of those you still have knocking around from the last event. Similarly, Banshee will still drop gear in exchange for Weapon Parts, though do be aware that the amount you’ll need to level up with him is increasing. 

Those are the background currencies you’ll need for general Legendary gear drops, but if you’re looking toward the more ‘active’ progression systems, you’ll need to be thinking in terms of Masterwork Cores and Mod Components. Year Two’s new Masterwork system will give you much more long-term control over the powering up of your weapons, but it will cost a lot more Cores. We don’t currently have a full idea of how Bungie is adjusting the Core economy in order to compensate for that, so the best way to hedge your bets is to stack up as many Cores as you can before Forsaken arrives. Masterwork Cores can be acquired by breaking down any piece of Legendary gear that drops in a pre-Masterworked state, so your best bet is just to grind events with Legendary rewards between now and Forsaken. 

As for Mod Components… 

Start dismantling your Mods  

Currently, the very thought of weapon Mod management can often leave Guardians sighing with exasperation, as the system has never been as simple or productive as it should be in Destiny 2. But Bungie wants to change that for good with Forsaken… for real this time. Year Two’s Mods will imbue your gear with real, tangible improvements, effectively acting as an extra layer of custom perks. 

To get hold of them though, you’ll need Mod Components. As such, that packed-out, largely unchecked Mods inventory page now has renewed value and import. Here’s what you should do: Get of everything. Right now. Or rather, dismantle it all for as many Mod components as your Guardian can carry. Legendary Mods dismantled guarantee a drop of Mod Components, while Rare ones have a small chance of delivering them. And if you’re short on Mods to dismantle, you can always use your infinite stockpiles of Glimmer to purchase Rares from Banshee at the Tower, hopefully trading them up to Legendaries (every three identical blues gives you one purple), before dismantling them for components like a gun-ho blacksmith high on molten metal fumes. 

Farm Glimmer by exploiting Zavala's shop 

This one requires you to have hit Vanguard level 50 by levelling up with Zavala, but if you're at the point of Destiny-hardcore where you're trying to optimise your inventory in time for day one of the next expansion, we can probably safely assume that you have. 

The trick is to buy Zavala's Authority, the Exotic ship Zavala puts on sale at rank 50. It will cost you Legendary Shards and Vanguard Tokens (again, you probably have loads of both), but can then be dismantled for a massive 5000 Glimmer. Buy as many as you can afford, while remembering the importance of Vanguard Tokens, post-Forsaken, You can either burn through a bunch of them to buy more Weapon Mods from Banshee, to fuel the trade-up process mentioned above, or stockpile the ships to crack out whenever you need the cash later down the line after Forsaken comes out. 

Stock up on planetary materials  

As part of the big, pre-Forsaken update earlier this week, Bungie has completely restructured how leveling works at planetary destinations in Destiny 2, streamlining its progress mechanics for a more straightforward experience. The key change is the switch from Planetary Tokens to Planetary Materials. These materials - those weird, naturally occurring crystals, datalattices, and whatever-the-hell-Alkane-is that you can pick up around Destiny 2’s various open-worlds - will become the main currency to be redeemed at Planetary Vendors for Legendary Gear. 

You can stock up on them now to cash in when Forsaken drops next week, as doing so will have a chance of rewarding you with some of the expansion’s new loot. In fact, a glitch has meant that Mars’ Ana Bray is already dishing out Forsaken gear to some Guardians completing their flashpoints right now, so the remunerations are already revealing themselves to the pre-prepared. 

Prioritise the right Ghost shells for maximum efficiency  

Destiny’s XP level has rarely meant anything past the first few hours of play during a new expansion. Although your XP level dictates the quality (and thus, Power level) of gear you can equip, past the game’s launch campaign, new XP level caps have generally been so low as to make the process a formality. Not so in Forsaken. With this expansion, the XP level cap is getting a massive increase from 30 to 50. That is going to take a while to plough through. 

Your best asset during this process? Ghost shells. A fairly useless piece of loot so far, the Legendary and Exotic variants are about to become a lot more meaningful. Dive into your inventory and Vault and dig out any Ghost shells that offer XP boosts in any activity. If you look around, you can find 10% XP boosts related to everything from specific planetary locations, to Strikes, to Crucible play. And if you can get hold of the Knight’s Peace shell (obtained by going flawless in Trials of the Nine), that will boost all XP, from everything. 

As an additional bonus, Ghost shells that flag up planetary resources will be a big help with the new economy too, giving you a faster route to all of those Materials and chests that will form the backbone of the new planetary vendor system. 

And on the subject of XP boosting... 

There's another cheeky trick you can pull to get a quick XP jump when Forsaken drops. Go to Zavala and Shaxx, and pick up some Vanguard and Crucible bounties. Complete them, but do not cash them in. Leave the completed bounties in your inventory, sit on them, then go and get some more the next day, and repeat the process. Also, pick up a Fireteam Medallion from Tess at some point. 

Then, when Forsaken drops, pop the Medallion (which will increase your rate of XP accrual), then cash all this bounties in. And behold, an instant XP surge to power you through those first few levels. 

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!