How to Get the Thunderlord Catalyst in Destiny 2

Upgrade your Thunderlord exotic by earning and unlocking the all-new Destiny 2 catalyst.

Does anyone else remember a time when Thunderlord was one of the most popular exotics in Destiny? It’s been many, many years since then, but Bungie is trying to bring it back around during the Season of Plunder. With the launch of Arc 3.0, buffs to Machine Guns, and Thunderlord’s very own catalyst. In this guide, we tell you how to get the new Destiny 2 catalyst to drop and explain what it actually does.

How to Get the Thunderlord Catalyst

You can obtain the Thunderlord catalyst by completing playlist activities. That means strikes (Nightfall or otherwise) and Gambit or Crucible matches. It basically comes down to sheer luck, sadly. Keep in mind, you need to actually own the weapon itself to cause the catalyst to drop.

What Does the Thunderlord Catalyst Do?

The Thunderlord catalyst doesn’t boost the weapon’s stats at all, but it does add the Return Stroke perk. With it, causing a lightning strike with Thunderlord specifically, partially reloads the magazine from reserves. The important context here is the Reign Havoc intrinsic perk which makes it so that final blows with the LMG cause lightning strikes from above. This is also now strong against Overload Champions.

In short, every final blow that causes a lightning strike now partially reloads the magazine. That’s kind of the weapon’s whole deal so in theory this should be a pretty good buff, at least outside of high level content.

Sadly, Masterworked weapons, even exotics, no longer generate Orbs of Power from multikills. Instead you need to equip one of the new Siphon mods to enable this.

How to Level up the Thunderlord Catalyst

You can level up the Thunderlord catalyst by eliminating 500 foes. There doesn’t appear to be any kind of bonus for certain game modes or from the season pass catalyst progress buffs. You can just use the gun a whole bunch or grind it out quickly.

There are many places where you can complete this catalyst, but you should note that the old Thrall hallway in the Shattered Throne dungeon has been patched to no longer grant any kind of XP or catalyst progress. You’ll need to find another location if that was something you frequently did. You can use the beginning of the Shuro Chi encounter or Grasp of Avarice as an alternative.

Now we recommend activities like the Blind Well and Altars of Sorrow as terrific alternatives. The latter throws huge numbers of weak Hive enemies at you, making it easy to complete this catalyst. At least with the new primary infinite ammo addition, you can literally just stand in one place as lines of enemies run at you. Sadly, our other recommendation, the Kingship Dock Lost Sector in The Tangled Shore, has been vaulted with the launch of The Witch Queen. This was an extremely short Lost Sector packed with enemies you could swiftly go through in a couple of minutes.

Looking for more Destiny coverage? We already have guides up on the Season 18 Seasonal Mods, a look at the Season of Plunder calendar, and a list of known bugs and issues. If you’re looking towards the future, we have a guide on everything we know about the new Strand subclass, the new Neptune zone coming with Lightfall, and the in-game loadout feature. And if you’re a Fortnite fan, check out the crossover where Zavala, Ikora, and the Exo Stranger are in Fortnite, while three skins from Epic’s title have made the jump to Destiny 2 as universal ornaments.