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One of Destiny 2's best seasonal loot systems is coming back for a whole year

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 Season 13 will re-introduce the Umbral Engram decryption system that players loved back in Season 11, and it'll stick around for the remainder of Year 4. 

Bungie detailed the revamped Umbral system in its latest blog post. From Season 13 onward, Umbral Engrams will drop from basically every activity in the game: patrols, Strikes and Nightfalls, Crucible, Gambit, Empire Hunts, seasonal activities, Exo challenges, and more. All of the enemies in the game will also have a chance to drop them, so expect to see a lot of them. That said, expect to see fewer Umbrals than we did in Season 11, as Bungie has lowered the drop rate across the board. 

Originally, Umbral Engrams were tied to machines in the Drifter's workshop, but these have been promoted to Tower kiosks. The Prismatic Recaster is back and will allow players to focus their Umbral Engrams in order to target specific seasonal loot. "Because Umbral Engrams are here to stay, the new Recaster will have different pages for each Season, and you will be able to focus engrams to the Season of your choice," Bungie says. 

To focus an engram further, you'll need a new consumable called a Prismatic Lens. This allows you to "target a narrower collection of gear" and "target specific armor stats," much like the original system. 

"You will be able to earn Prismatic Lenses by doing various activities in the game and you can track your progress towards unlocking lenses at the Prismatic Recaster," Bungie says. "We don’t want to spoil everything though - so we’ll let you discover how to start earning these in Season 13." 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

Once you've focused an engram, chuck it in the Umbral Decoder to claim your loot. Bungie says that the new Umbrals will offer a smaller loot table, and will not include Season 12 gear which can already be targeted for specific rolls, so hitting season-specific gear shouldn't be hard. Of course, finding the godliest of rolls will still take a fair few engrams and some good RNG. 

Umbral Engrams were well received by the community and turned Season 11 into a god roll bonanza. They basically wrote the book for the targetable loot systems Bungie's released since, so it's nice to see them returning as a seasonal staple. 

Season 13 will introduce more than just umbrals as well. Bungie also outlined two systemic changes that are coming next season. Firstly, repeatable titles like Conqueror, Flawless, Dredge, and Unbroken can now be gilded by completing additional challenges. Gilding a title will add a gold color to its seal, giving hardcore completionists a new way to show their accomplishments.

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

Finally, as part of Bungie's plan to preserve more seasonal activities, Season 13 will make some changes to the usual transition. Season 12 activities including Wrathborn Hunts, all Hawkmoon missions, story missions, the Adored quest, Crow's vendor screen, and the seasonal seal will be available until the end of Year 4. However, Crow's bounties, the seasonal artifact, the season pass, and the cryptic Messages from the Field will be removed. 

"Shifting to keep more of this content around after the Season ended has created some weirdness for Season of the Hunt, which was initially designed assuming the old model," Bungie explains. "This is why Crow was still hanging around in Spider’s lair right after being unceremoniously kicked out earlier in the Season."

A Destiny 2 state of play, another of Bungie's hallmark discussions on the future of the game, is planned for next season. 

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.