How to smash Destiny 2 Planetary Assimilation Pistons with the Piston Hammer

Destiny 2 Echoes Assimilation Piston
(Image credit: Bungie)

Finding Destiny 2 Planetary Assimilation Pistons in Breach Executable and breaking them with your Piston Hammer isn't easy, but it's the main way you'll get valuable Radiolite samples. These strange Vex devices aren't particularly obvious or well explained, which makes the Specimen ID: NES001 quest quite annoying. Thankfully, a teammate can smash one for you to help out, but you'll still want to know how to find and destroy these Pistons yourself to get samples that provide even more Destiny 2 loot. Here's everything you need to know about finding and smashing Assimilation Pistons with your Piston Hammer.

Where to find Planetary Assimilation Pistons in Destiny 2

Destiny 2 Echoes Assimilation Piston

(Image credit: Bungie)

Assimilation Pistons are found only in the Breach Executable activity on Nessus. Complete your first objective in the activity and then a Planetary Assimilation Piston should spawn somewhere in the area, so you'll need to explore to find it – it's a tall Vex device with round, metal plates at its base and a bright conflux tower coming out the top.

As you explore, look for Radiolite samples as these typically surround the Piston, so you'll know you're not far away – make sure you collect these before smashing the Piston too. When you get close to the Piston, you should also see a gray waypoint with a white star directing you to it. Crucially, don't begin the next objective as this shrinks the area you can freely explore which will prevent you from finding the Piston, unless it happens to be nearby.

How to use the Piston Hammer in Destiny 2

Destiny 2 Echoes Guardian smashing Assimilation Piston with Piston Hammer

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Planetary Piston Hammer that Failsafe gives to you as part of the Specimen ID: NES001 quest is used to smash Planetary Assimilation Pistons. When you find a Piston in Breach Executable, approach it and you should get a button prompt to smash it with your Hammer. When you do, more Radiolite samples will be revealed in the surrounding area that you and your teammates can collect. Remember, samples are given to everyone in the fireteam, when collected by one player, so you don't have to fight for them.

Destiny 2 Echoes Assimilation Piston destroyed with new radiolite samples

(Image credit: Bungie)

Radiolite samples can then be deposited in the Radiolite Bay found either in the HELM next to Failsafe or in the mission end room of Breach Executable. You must have at least 200g of samples to deposit any, but you can get Glimmer, XP, Echoes gear and Engrams, Organic Specimens, and even Exotics from doing so.

Your Piston Hammer has a maximum of five charges (one charge is used up when smashing an Assimilation Piston) and charges are regained by completing Echoes activities. If your Hammer is completely out of charges, it'll regenerate one charge each day.

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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.