Destiny 2 guide for beginner players and returning Guardians

Destiny 2 Lightfall
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 is a huge multiplayer FPS with seemingly endless loot to collect and use in its toughest activities, from challenging Raids and Dungeons to competitive Crucible multiplayer. However, with many weapons and armor pieces to collect, loads of Subclass build options, and plenty of space-magic jargon to wrap your head around, Destiny 2 is hardly a beginner-friendly game. Whether you’re a New Light playing for the first time or a returning player trying to get reacquainted, this Destiny 2 guide should help you out.

General Help

Classes and Subclasses

Destiny 2 Lightfall

(Image credit: Bungie)

If you’re a new player, the first thing you’ll do when starting the game is choose one of the Destiny 2 Classes for your character – their Guardian role within the Destiny universe which determines their abilities. You can be a resilient Titan, an agile Hunter, or a wizardly Warlock, each with their own unique Super abilities and more.

Once you’ve chosen your Class and created your characters, you’ll gain access to three Subclasses that you can freely switch – more Subclasses can be unlocked by playing through the campaigns of certain expansions. You can also unlock new powers for your Subclasses known as Aspects and modify them with Fragments to create distinct and powerful builds for various activities, like our Destiny 2 Solar builds.


Destiny 2 Arc 3.0

(Image credit: Bungie)

With a fairly barebones tutorial and new content arriving reasonably frequently with big annual expansions and regular seasons, Destiny 2 is a pretty daunting game, and can be difficult to get into. Hopefully our Destiny 2 tips can help you understand the essentials and a few things the game doesn’t explain particularly well, from weapon stats to how armor works.

Weekly reset

Destiny 2 Season of the Seraph europa battleground

(Image credit: Bungie)

One of the most important things to be aware of in the game is the Destiny 2 weekly reset. Every Tuesday, many of the game’s challenges are reset so that you can do them all over again for even more loot during the next week. Other activities see rotations and changes with each week, bringing new challenges and keeping things fresh. Check out our guide to see a full list of what gets reset each week.


Destiny 2 Lightfall

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 Lightfall is the next big expansion for the game, adding a new campaign, a fifth Subclass type for each Class, and a new destination in the form of Neomuna – the pristine, high-tech capital of Neptune. Guardians will have to face off against the Shadow Legion and ally with noble Cloud Strider warriors to prevent Neomuna falling. Along with a new Raid, new foes, and, of course, loads of new loot, Lightfall is going to be massive.

Best Exotic weapons and armor

Destiny 2 guardians classes exotic gear witch queen

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 features a fairly standard loot rarity system, where different colors represent the quality of different pieces of gear – yellow representing the highest rarity, Exotic. As well as a good Subclass build, you’ll also need a collection of some of the best Destiny 2 Exotics for your Guardian to be prepared for any activity – there are also a lot to choose from, so use our guide to see which ones you should prioritize. The full gear rarity scale works like so:

  • Exotic (Yellow) = The rarest and (usually) best gear in the game. You can have only one Exotic weapon and armor piece equipped at once.
  • Legendary (Purple) = Powerful gear that will be the majority of your equipped items.
  • Rare (Blue) = Middling gear that is sufficient when levelling up.
  • Uncommon (Green) = Weak gear that’s used only for early levels, if at all.
  • Common (White) = Poor starting gear that you can quickly forget about.

Heroic public events

Destiny 2 Heroic Public Events

(Image credit: Bungie)

Knowing how to activate and complete Destiny 2 Heroic Public Events will really help you while you’re out on patrol. Each Public Event in Destiny 2 can be made Heroic by completing some sort of secret objective – some you might do by accident, but others you’ll have to really look out for. Once an event has been made Heroic, complete it for increased rewards and massive Glimmer payouts.


Destiny 2 crucible rift game mode bungie image

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Crucible is Destiny 2’s answer to arena-based PvP, where you can face off against a team of other Guardians in objective-based modes. It’s a very different change of pace from all the other PvE activities, so you might want some Destiny 2 Crucible tips to help you out. If you’re after something more competitive in PvP, learn about Destiny 2 Competitive Ranks for the Competitive playlist too.

The Crucible also features regular events in the form of weekly Trials of Osiris events that start on Friday and Iron Banner events that appear only a few times per season and last a whole week. Trials of Osiris represents the pinnacle of small Crucible matches, pitching two teams of three Guardians against each other in an elimination mode. Get on a hot streak of wins and you’ll be handsomely rewarded and might bag a trip to the Lighthouse for even better loot. Similarly, Iron Banner is for larger teams and only features chaotic 6v6 modes. To get the best loot, you’ll need to complete Destiny 2 Iron Banner challenges.


Destiny 2 drifter

(Image credit: Bungie)

Gambit is a unique Destiny 2 mode that combines PvE with a bit of frantic PvP. In short, you’ll be competing against another team in a race to defeat enemies, deposit the Motes they drop into your Bank, and then defeat the final boss. The teams compete in separate arenas but one player can occasionally invade the other team to cause chaos. Check out our Destiny 2 Gambit tips to learn about some good strategies for ensuring victory.

Seasonal guides

Season 19

Destiny 2 Season of the Seraph heist battlegrounds hive boss

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 Season of the Seraph is currently underway, with Guardians fighting against Xivu Arath’s Wrathborn armies and trying to reactivate the Warmind A.I and old defender of the solar system, Rasputin. You’ll be infiltrating derelict Seraph Bunkers in Heist Battlegrounds missions, searching for sub-mind data for Rasputin’s restoration, and clearing out the Wrathborn threat. Learn more about Heists, Operations, a new Exotic mission, and all the loot you can get in our Season of the Seraph guide.

Season 18

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder intro story mission Spider's Ketch on Europa

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder introduced piratical activities in the form of Ketchcrash and Expeditions, as Guardians fought pirate crews of Eliksni foes to retrieve ancient relics of great power. While it’s no longer the current season, you can still play all of the activities until Lightfall launches, to catch up on the story and get any loot fit for a scallywag.

Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.