Destiny 2 Gambit tips to help you bank those motes

Destiny 2 drifter
(Image credit: Bungie)

Use these Destiny 2 Gambit tips to elevate your mote-collecting, Primeval-melting, and Guardian-killing skills. Gambit is a mode that blends PvE and PvP into a competitive race to collect motes from defeated enemies, deposit enough of them into a Bank, and then defeat a final boss known as the Primeval. It's rules might have changed a fair bit since it launched with the Forsaken expansion, but it's still the same core premise, so there are a few tips and strategies to be aware of. Whether you're on your way to the Dredgen title or just knocking out some weeklies, these Destiny 2 Gambit tips will help you keep motes in the bank and get the Drifter on your side.  

Collecting and banking motes is the most important thing

Destiny 2 Gambit Prime

(Image credit: Bungie)

The basic Gambit loop is pretty simple: kill dudes, get motes, bank motes, repeat until your team gets 100 motes to summon the Primeval. As such, banking motes is a key part of that process, and it's the one you'll see people mess up the most. While hoarding motes and going for the big 15-mote Taken Knight Large Blocker is both tempting and useful, it's also full of risk. The longer you spend out gathering motes, the more at risk you are of being killed, either by Invaders or regular enemies.

Don't be afraid to bank any amount of motes if it means you can safely offload your haul. If you have gone for the full 15 motes, make sure you bank as soon as you can - you really don't want a poorly timed Invader ruining your match. Holding motes can also delay your team's Invasions, so don't hold your team back either. It's also more efficient to distribute your motes evenly, so let your team grab a few if you're nearing 15, guaranteeing stronger blockers for every teammate.

However, it's also important to be aware that being the first to bank your motes can actually be bad. For example, if you bank 7 motes and no one else on your team joins you, the other team has only a Small Blocker to worry about. This'll give them loads of time to gather even more motes, while your team scrabbles to more too.

If your team is particularly skilled and coordinated, they could gather the motes needed to reach that first Invasion, all bank at the same time, send an Invader, and clean out the other team. This obviously puts your opponents at a huge disadvantage and will allow you to easily extend your lead even more. However, if the other team of four banks 15 motes at once, they will send enough Blockers over to start draining your motes from your Bank and will unlock an Invasion, potentially allowing them to wipe your teammates out.

Keep your Bank clear of Blockers

Destiny 2 Gambit

(Image credit: Bungie)

Remember, the enemy team will be trying to do the same thing to you as you are doing to them. It's therefore imperative that you keep your Bank clear of them to ensure your team's Bank is always open and your motes can flow freely, causing havoc for the other team by sending them Blockers. If you've just banked your motes and Blockers are coming in, don't run away - try and fight off the Blockers as best you can until your teammates arrive to bank their own motes and can help you out.

Here's a quick breakdown of each Blocker type:

  • Small Blocker - Taken Goblin: Costs 5-9 motes, weak and can shield other enemies to make them immune to damage.
  • Medium Blocker - Taken Phalanx: Costs 10-14 motes, strong due to shield that blocks damage and can knock you back with powerful blasts.
  • Large Blocker - Taken Knight: Costs 15 motes, very strong bullet sponge with a powerful weapon.

One major mechanic that can really help swing matches is the ability to drain the opposing team's bank of its motes. Mote draining is active whenever the enemy has at least two Blockers of any size on their Bank, so you should always try to bank your motes with at least one other teammate. Not only will give you a good chance of siphoning an extra few motes from the enemy, but it'll also prevent them from banking their own motes and leave them overwhelmed having to deal with the Blockers, allowing your team to easily snowball to a rapid Primeval summon.

Watch the mote counter to learn about motes, Blockers, and Invasions

Destiny 2 Gambit

(Image credit: Bungie)

The blue and red bars at the top of the screen show how many motes both teams have banked, and the white portion of each bar shows how many motes each team is currently holding. You'll be able to use this to gauge when your team and the opposing team have enough motes to unlock Invasions (at 40 motes and 80 motes), as well as when the best time to invade is. 

Ideally you want to try and wipe the enemy team out to get rid of all their held motes, so invading when their white bar is fairly big is key - don't just invade as soon as the portal opens! Likewise, if the enemy team is holding a lot of motes, you'll know that Blockers or even an Invader are on the way and you should get ready to protect yourself and your Bank.

The first Invasion is critical  

Destiny 2 Gambit

(Image credit: Bungie)

Gambit matches can snowball very quickly, and the easy way to get that ball rolling is banking 40 motes before the enemy team, invading early, and cleaning them for all they're worth. Your presence as an Invader will throw a wrench in their plans, and if you can nab just one kill to deny a few motes, you can seriously set them back while giving your team more time to push for the next invasion. This strategy is even more effective if your team can chain Blockers by banking more motes whenever the enemy team kills their last Blocker.  

Counter Invaders with Supers and Heavy weapons

Hearing that Invasion alarm can really put the fear of the Traveller in you, but you've got to face the Invader to be have a chance of bringing them down before they can do any damage. It's important to remember that the Invader is just a normal Guardian with an overshield and wall hacks. You can put them down with a well-placed sniper shot, a hail of Gjallarhorn fire, or a Super, so don't feel like you have to retreat whenever you get invaded. If you're holding a bunch of motes or aren't confident in your sharpshooting, it totally makes sense to hang back. But if you've only got a few motes, get out there and stand your ground. Even if you don't kill the Invader, you can at least slow them down and defend your teammate who's holding 15 motes. 

Grab Heavy ammo from crates

Destiny 2 Gambit

(Image credit: Bungie)

Due to the rarity of Heavy ammo in Gambit, having any amount of it can really swing matches, allowing you to rapidly clear fronts of the occupying enemies, melt Primevals, or immediately shut down Invaders. Luckily, clearing a front of all its enemies awards the whole team with a lootable Heavy ammo crate that will grant a small amount of Heavy and Special. Listen out for Drifter's warnings of a High-Value Target. Not only do they drop lots of motes after they're killed, but they'll also drop a Heavy ammo brick.

Don't dump everything into the Primeval immediately  

Once your Primeval is up, you can be invaded repeatedly until it dies, and every Invasion is an opportunity for the enemy team to heal your Primeval by killing you. So if you dump all your Supers and heavy ammo into the Primeval but get wiped out by an Invader, your Primeval will be back to full health and you'll be out of juice. 

The more Primeval Envoys you kill - the Envoys are the Taken Wizards that spawn in every so often to shield the Primeval - the more damage you deal to the Primeval, so it's worth saving your Supers or the majority of your heavy ammo for when you've built up a few stacks of Primeval Slayer.

At the very least, let the first Invader come through while the Primeval is still at full health. They'll waste their time and you'll build more stacks of Primeval Slayer, so when you do pop the cork and melt the Primeval, you'll do more damage more safely. Waiting will also give you time to clear out the trash mobs in the area. 

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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.

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