Destiny 2 Guardian Games 2021 bringing new cosmetics and the Heir Apparent Exotic catalyst

The 2021 Destiny 2 Guardian Games will kick off on Tuesday, April 20, challenging players to represent their favorite class in a range of activities to earn some exclusive loot. 

The Guardian Games will be open to all players, so you won't need the latest expansion or season pass to participate. All you'll need to do is unlock the Tower by completing the early missions. The original Guardian Games turned out to be a blowout in favor of Titans, but Hunters actually had a tremendous lead at the start. Nevertheless, I'll be playing for the Warlocks again this year.

This year's Guardian Games will run until May 9, giving players just under three weeks of the so-called Destiny Olympics. During that time, Warlocks, Hunters, and Titans will collect laurels – special collectibles that drop while you're wearing an event class item – and complete Contender Cards and new Triumphs to boost their class' reputation. The final tally will affect the permanent appearance of the custom class items available during the event, with the class that's represented the most earning a gold item, second place rocking silver, and third place stuck with bronze. All of the class item variants look pretty good, though.

Per the event FAQ, Bungie's made a few changes to the rules and loot of this year's event. Most importantly, the Heir Apparent Exotic machine gun is back with a new catalyst. The Guardian Games Exotic Ghost shells are also returning, and you've also got two emblems and shaders to chase on top of the new class items. Additionally, you can earn bright dust and glimmer from weekly, daily, and repeatable event bounties. The premium Eververse store will have some paid goods of its own, including this tennis ball Ghost. 

If you already own Heir Apparent, you'll have a shot at the catalyst when banking gold or platinum medals at the Guardian Games podium. If you don't, you'll need to complete the event quest to obtain it. Note that one step of this quest requires you to collect dropped laurels, but since laurels no longer physically drop in Gambit and Crucible and are instead awarded at the end of each round, you'll need to collect laurels in normal PvE activities to clear this step. 

Destiny 2 Season 14 is less than a month away, which means nerfs to standout weapons like The Lament, Felwinter's Lie, 120 RPM hand cannons, and more are getting close.

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.