Destiny 2 Cipher Decoder Guide – How to Get & Use Cipher Decoders

Destiny 2’s Festival of the Lost celebration has returned, so it’s time to dawn your spookiest outfit and invade the Haunted Forest. Similar to last year, players who participate in this event can farm this returning activity for either the Horror Story or BrayTech Werewolf auto rifles. If you want to increase your chances of getting a god roll,  you’ll want to stock up on Cipher Decoders. A new item introduced during this year’s event, Cipher Decoders are used to unlock the five hidden chests in the Haunted Forest. This will be the key item you’ll find yourself collecting during the event, as it ensures you a higher chance to nab a god roll of either the Horror Story or BrayTech Werewolf.

How to Get Cipher Decoders

You can unlock Cipher Decoders by completing activities other than the Haunted Forest. You’ll be awarded one upon completing a Gambit, Crucible, Strike, patrol, Nightmare Hunt, and the Menagerie during the event. There are also reports of people getting Cipher Decoders from patrols, the Menagerie, and Nightmare Hunts. Following multiple buffs to the drop rate, one of the fastest methods right now is Nightmare Hunts. At the lowest power, you can typically clear this activity in under five minutes, possibly faster with a coordinated team!

How to Use Cipher Decoders

Now that you have a small stockpile of Cipher Decoders it’s time to put them to good use. These keys are used to unlock any of the five chests that appear at the end of Haunted Forest runs. Once your timer hits zero and you are transported to the final room, run to the end of the hall and approach the six chests. The center one can be opened by just participating in the activity, while the five behind it require Cipher Decoders. The number of chests that spawn don’t appear to be tied to how many floors you complete in the Haunted Forest. Rewards you can earn from these chests include masks, the Horror Story, the Braytech Werewolf, or a random legendary gear piece. These decoders cannot be used in any activity or turned into Eva, so make sure to use them all up before the event ends.

Additionally, there are hidden chests throughout the Haunted Forest. These won’t award weapons but are useful for picking up extra materials such as Candy and Chocolate Strange Coins Where these chests appear is completely random outside of never showing up at the start of each “cycle” and the boss chamber. Given the Haunted Forest boasts a randomly generated layout, you’ll need to keep your eyes out for these chests. Typically, I had the most success traveling off the core path, as there are a few sections that typically provide a fork in the road.

The chests themselves have a tendency to blend in with the environment, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for them as you battle your way through. It’s unlikely you’ll consistently find them every run unless you’re with a full fireteam that’s communicating. Expect to only average 1-2 a run, but this does depend on how good your team is at clearing the different floors.


Collin MacGregor

Collin MacGregor is the Guide Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He's also the person who willingly plays the support class (you're welcome) and continues to hold out for an Ape Escape remake.

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  1. Hey Collin,
    So, yesterday after work and laundry, I started playing around 8pm in order to get my first summoner. Got it after 2 hrs. Played 2 nightfall. But before all that, I picked up the mask from Eva, never wore it and still have not spoken to the drifter. I just looked at my inventory and I have 14 of those ciphers. I don’t think you trully need to wear the mask because mine is still at 750 and I did not upgrade it yet

    1. Ah gotcha, I just assumed you needed the mask because the first step of Spiders quest specifically asks you too so the Cipher spawns. I’ll update the guide!

    1. Thanks, I’ll add it to the list. Honestly, the entire drop rate and items seems really buggy atm. I find it hard to believe this item requires so much grinding.

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