When it comes to PVE endgame content players really only have two choices: Raids or Dungeons. The former has been around since the original game’s release and focuses on challenging, lengthy encounters that require (usually) a team of six to complete. Inversely, dungeons are new to the Destiny franchise, with the first one released during Forsaken’s launch. Unlike raids, these are designed for fireteams of three, but still offer unique encounters and puzzles that players have to solve. Typically completable in a half-hour for skilled players, dungeons boast a new, engaging way to experience the PVE side of Destiny 2. With three released and more most certainly on the way, it’s time to see where each of these dungeons rank.
If you want to see our thoughts on each raid you can visit our ranking, here.
For ranking these dungeons we are focusing on these activities and the general experience of them during their initial release. So while we can power through dungeons like The Shattered Throne now, this wasn’t always the case. Additionally, we won’t just evaluate each activity based on their difficulty alone, but the encounter design, rewards, and how they serve as endgame experiences. Finally, it should be noted that we love all of the dungeons and there is no objectively “bad” one (so far), just some are more entertaining than others.
Every Destiny 2 Dungeon Ranked
4. Pit of Heresy
The second dungeon released, Pit of Heresy sees our Guardians venture into the depths of the crimson Hive tower that juts out of the Moon. From the beginning, Pit of Heresy does a terrific job of giving a sense of scale as you go deeper into the underground fortress. Bungie makes great use of vertical space here, with players able to run along massive towers and jump over huge gaps of pure darkness. Using the Hive Knight sword to take down three different types of enemies in three very distinct ways is remarkably clever.
Yet, some sections simply feel as if you’re aimlessly wandering around with little idea of what to do. The Ogre and Trap Maze are great the first time around, but that directionlessness of the encounters can quickly devolve into annoyance. Sure, you can pull up a map, but an activity shouldn’t require players to look for outside sources to understand how to simply navigate the space. All of this culminates into a solid final boss where the sword mechanics return but are sadly not built upon in any meaningful way.
Of course, the biggest mark on Pit of Heresy is the sheer lack of original loot outside of Xenophage. Even though the masterworked armor is nice, I do wish there were some unique armor pieces or weapons for players to hunt for. Instead, we are left with the same boring Lunar items we’ve been given all throughout Shadowkeep.
3. The Shattered Throne
Destiny 2’s first dungeon was one of the most memorable experiences the Forsaken expansion offered. Released only after The Last Wish raid was conquered, The Shattered Throne tasks players with discovering the source of The Dreaming City’s Taken corruption. It’s a brilliant way to tie in the rest of this destination’s story, serving as a fantastic endgame capstone to the franchise’s best expansion. Once players actually ventured into The Shattered Throne they discovered a taken plane filled with traps and terrifying bosses.
While the first encounter suffers from the same issues as Pit of Heresy’s Trap Maze, the rest of this activity is far more streamlined and engaging. Battling Taken Ogres across narrow beams, trying to survive a hallway filled with Shadow Thrall, and the dungeon’s first boss all serve as unique moments that wonderfully evoke different reactions. Even the final boss boasts a nice level of challenge thanks to micromanaging the three Knight’s health bars so they all die at the same time. Sure, we can absolutely reduce this boss to ash in seconds right now, but this wizard was surprisingly deadly upon the dungeon’s release.
Similar to Pit of Heresy, The Shattered Throne’s loot pool is pretty dull. The Wish-Ender is a neat exotic that ties into The Dreaming City’s lore, but there’s just not enough of an incentive to run this activity multiple times.
2. Grasp of Avarice
Destiny 2’s latest dungeon, Grasp of Avarice mixes nostalgia with a swashbuckling pirate theme. Set in the fabled “loot cave,” players venture into the cavernous depths below the Cosmodrome to hunt for a fabled treasure. It’s a remarkably entertaining story, brought to life by audio logs you discover the details a Guardian slowly losing his mind over a bunch of very gorgeous-looking crystals. Going even further, this dungeon has some breathtaking locations such as a giant crystal skull you drive your Sparrow into and an entire platforming section filled with hidden traps.
This feeds into the encounter design, where players will collect fake exotic engrams to power crystals and make specific enemies killable. While this makes both the first and final fight really entertaining, the second encounter can be a bit dull. Yes, there’s some novelty in firing makeshift cannonballs at the Fallen Shield, but it quickly becomes tedious upon repeat playthroughs. It also drags on a bit given you need to use the gravity cannons to pretty much get anywhere in the room. That being said, this brief underwhelming moment is definitely worth it since the loot is superb. Not only do we get the fantastic Thorn-themed armor, but Destiny 1 classics like Eyasluna, 1000 Yard Stare, and Matador 64.
Prophecy is not only the best dungeon but one of the finest pieces of endgame content in Destiny’s entire history. This three-person activity has players venture into the strange world of The Nine, which is a space that we really need to see more of. Just from a visual standpoint, Prophecy is a neon dripped wasteland of hard geometrical angles and bold primary colors. It’s the kind of place where you just stop and stare in awe at the warped, unnatural designs of this reality. The story is also terrific, as Eris Morn and The Drifter guide you on a quest to seek The Nine for answers about The Darkness.
Each encounter feels perfectly designed to challenge players in new ways. The Phalanx Echo forces players to think about their positioning and how they can use that to bring the boss’ shield down. Wasteland is a great cooldown period between the dungeon’s tougher moments and the Cube uses space is anything like we’ve experienced in Destiny. All of this leads to final boss who not only provides a significant challenge but is smart enough to not just stand there and let us kill him. Bosses not fighting back has always been a weird issue with Destiny 2, but the Kell Echo feels like a true threat. One willing to adapt and flee when it realizes you have the upper hand.
Plus, Bungie finally fixed their loot problem with the dungeon not only offering two unique armor sets but a bunch of weapons you can only get in this activity. These are terrific motivators to get hardcore players running through the dungeon every week, while casual players have something to show that they conquered this challenge. It’s a near-flawless example of how to craft three-person endgame experiences and I hope Bungie only builds upon this solid foundation going forward.