Destiny 2 Season 18 guide to plunder all the new loot

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder intro story mission Spider's Ketch on Europa
(Image credit: Bungie)

Use this Destiny 2 Season 18 guide to get you up to speed on the new Season of Plunder activities and how to get all the gear for a privateer. Scallywag Guardians must know about the three new activities that have been added – Ketchcrash, Expedtions, and Pirate Hideouts – which see you hunting down rival crews, privateers, and pirate lords under Eramis' command to plunder their stolen treasure. Along the way, you'll be earning plenty of new resources and reputation, so you need to know how you should spend them and how to get more if you’re to efficiently farm for the new pirate-themed weapons and armor! Here’s everything you need to know about Destiny 2 Season 18 to start plunderin’ some gear.

Throughout this season, you can check out the Destiny 2 x Fortnite crossover and get Destiny 2 Fortnite armor for free or see the character skins from Destiny in Fortnite.

New Destiny 2 Season 18 activities

Destiny 2 season of plunder ketchcrash fallen walker encounter

(Image credit: Bungie)

Season of Plunder has introduced three new activities to Destiny 2, all of which are unique but offer up new weapons and armor to unlock and chase the best possible rolls. Here are the three activities and how they differ:

  • Ketchcrash: A six-player Offensive activity with matchmaking that tasks players with boarding the Ketch of a rival crew, completing objectives to get through random rooms on the decks, and finally emerging on the top deck to fight the Ketch’s captain for loot. Defeating the captain boss awards one loot chest containing Season of Plunder gear. Completing Ketchcrash runs is also the only way to get Map Fragments used for crafting Treasure Maps.
  • Expeditions: A matchmade mission for three players that requires you to defeat enemies and protect a drill as it uncovers loot engrams. Chuck those engrams at the Treasure Haul and then escort it to the next drill site and repeat. Finally defend your haul from the incoming pirates and once it’s clear, you’ll be generously rewarded – a regular loot chest for all players and a bonus chest which can be opened using a crafted Treasure Map, which we’ve got more details on below.
  • Pirate Hideouts: A short mission for up to three players that’s very similar to a Lost Sector. Infiltrate the Pirate Lord’s hideout, defeat the Pirate Lord, and lastly loot the Relic. Pirate Hideouts are one-off activities that are part of the main seasonal story quest, ‘Sails of the Shipstealer’, so it’s likely that there will be a new one for each week of the quest. While Pirate Hideouts can’t be repeated, they do still offer a piece of Season of Plunder gear upon completion. Make sure you deposit the looted Relic on the receptacle opposite the Star Chart aboard the HELM too.

Destiny 2 Treasure Coordinates and Map Fragments in Season 18

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder captains atlas item

(Image credit: Bungie)
Destiny 2 Thunderlord catalyst

Destiny 2 Exotic lightning machine gun Thunderlord

(Image credit: Bungie)

Get the new Destiny 2 Thunderlord catalyst as you play Season of Plunder

The looting loop in Season 18 of Destiny 2 largely revolves around two new resources – Treasure Coordinates and Map Fragments – which are used to craft Treasure Maps that give out extra loot in Expeditions. The Basic Treasure Map gives you one piece of Season of Plunder gear and three Plundered Umbral Energy, but you can unlock other Treasure Maps that offer extra rewards, such as more Glimmer, an extra weapon, or even more Plundered Umbral Energy, at a greater cost. We’ve got a full guide on Destiny 2 Map Fragments, Treasure Coordinates, and crafting Treasure Maps, but here are the basics:

  1. Complete almost any activity during Season of Plunder to earn Treasure Coordinates.
  2. Play Ketchcrash as it’s the only activity in Destiny 2 that awards Map Fragments.
  3. Spend your Treasure Coordinates and Map Fragments using your Captain’s Atlas to craft Treasure Maps, although you can only hold one at a time.
  4. Use your Treasure Map to dig up extra loot at the end of an Expedition mission.

Upgrade your Pirate Crew in Destiny 2 Season 18

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder pirate crew upgrades list

(Image credit: Bungie)

As you play through the weekly story quests and complete various challenges, you’ll unlock Repute – a currency that can be spent on upgrading your Pirate Crew. You’ll find 21 of these Pirate Crew upgrades within the Star Chart vendor screen within the HELM, and each one costs one Repute to unlock.

Repute is earned by completing certain Seasonal Weekly Challenges, so the number of upgrades you can get each week is capped, based on the number of challenges offering Repute. Make sure you check in after every Destiny 2 weekly reset to see the new challenges under your Quests or Season 18 tab. Prioritize the Repute challenges to rapidly upgrade your Pirate Crew and reap the benefits.

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder repute challenge reward for Pirate Crew upgrades

(Image credit: Bungie)

Upgrading your Pirate Crew will provide lots of improvements to your looting and combat abilities, providing extra NPC crewmates to fight alongside you in missions, unlocking new Treasure Maps that offer focused rewards, and offering reliable sources of Deepsight Resonance Season of Plunder weapons. We reckon this is a pretty good set of upgrades to unlock if you really want to get as much new Season of Plunder loot as possible. You can also unlock them in this order too:

  1. Hire the Skiffblades: You can summon the Skiffblades, granting slightly increased melee damage while they’re active. You also get a random bonus reward when you and other players emote at the end of Ketchcrash and Expedition missions.
  2. Hire SCUR-V the Servitor: You can summon SCUR-V, who grants slightly increased reload speed when in combat. Also unlocks Season of Plunder armor focusing at the Star Chart, so you can get new armor with Umbral Engrams.
  3. Armor Treasure Map: You can now craft the Plunder Armor Focused Map using the Captain’s Atlas for Expeditions.
  4. Focused Weapon Spoils: You can now decrypt Umbral Engrams into any Season of Plunder weapons that are in your Collections at the Star Chart.
  5. Weapon Treasure Map: You can now craft the Plunder Weapon Focused Map using the Captain’s Atlas for Expeditions.
  6. Hire Halsiks the Sniper: You can call in Halsiks, who grants slightly increased precision damage when summoned. Also allows you to occasionally find Treasure Coordinates from defeated combatants at any time.
  7. Floating Debris: Increases your chance of getting Season of Plunder gear from Ketchcrash completions.
  8. Hidden Compartment: The first Ketchcrash mission you complete each week will always give you a weapon with Deepsight Resonance.
  9. Magnetic Drill: Increases your chance of getting Season of Plunder gear from Expedition completions.
  10. Double Plundered Umbral Energy Map: You can now craft the Double Plundered Umbral Energy Map using the Captain’s Atlas for Expeditions.

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder pirate crewmates servitor and sniper on deck

(Image credit: Bungie)

To summon a crewmate during both Ketchcrash and Expedition missions, you need to find a relevant banner in the area, and they’re usually found near your current objective or doorways. Activate a banner for a crewmate that you have unlocked – either SCUR-V the Servitor, Halsiks the Sniper, or the Skiffblades – and they’ll join the fray, providing some useful passive buffs while they’re in combat, such as increased reload speeds or precision damage. You won’t be able to activate banners for crewmates you don’t have unlocked, but another Guardian on your fireteam might be able to.

Rank up the Star Chart with Savvy in Destiny 2 Season 18

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder star chart vendor savvy reputation rank

(Image credit: Bungie)

As well as upgrading your Pirate Crew, you’ll need to boost your Star Chart rank to unlock rewards. Including more Season of Plunder gear, the Glimmer Treasure Map, and the Destiny 2 Cryptic Quatrains quests from Treasure Beacons. You increase your Star Chart rank by earning Savvy reputation points, which are awarded for completing Ketchcrash and Expeditions missions. Once you’ve reached the maximum 10,000 Savvy and Legend rank, you can collect the Ascendent Shard reward to reset your rank and get even more rewards.

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder star chart vendor umbral engram focusing screen

(Image credit: Bungie)

While you’re at the Star Chart, make sure you pick up plenty of Bounties to rake in the XP and level up your Season Pass and the Skeleton Key Artifact – doing so will help you quickly unlock the powerful Destiny 2 Sundering Glare mod. The Star Chart is also where you can do some Umbral Engram focusing to get specific Season of Plunder armor and weapons, but you’ll need Umbral Engrams, plenty of Plundered Umbral Energy, and the necessary Pirate Crew upgrades to access this.

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.