Getting Started in Shadowkeep – Destiny Tips the Game Doesn’t Tell You

Destiny 2 has gone through a lot in just a few short years. Here are our latest tips for Shadowkeep.

With the release of Shadowkeep, Destiny 2 tips its hat to a new free model, more planets and activities, plus a whole host of quality of life improvements. Hell, there’s even a battle pass now. With Destiny looking so different, however, we have decided to offer our own tips: gameplay tips. We’d like to make your transition into the new expansion — or your first trip to The Last City and its surrounding planetoids — a pleasant one. That’s why we’ve put together this list of Destiny tips! Now sit back, relax, and FIGHT FOREVER, GUARDIAN!

NOTE: Due to Destiny maintenance, server issues, and long queues, we’ve only been able to play a few hours of the game since Shadowkeep launched. Our current Destiny tips are based on that brief window and information provided by Bungie. We’ll continue to update this guide with more detailed information once the game stabilizes a bit. Until then, please enjoy what we pulled together so far!

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Empty Your Pockets – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Shadowkeep raises all your existing gear in Destiny 2 to level 750 by default. I mean literally everything. That means you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing or what you own. It’s all going to become obsolete rather quickly as you pick up new stuff, and that new stuff will level up appropriately since you’re Power Level 750 as well. That means its safe to empty your inventory — either by deconstructing your stuff, or popping it in the bank if you’re feeling sentimental.

Obviously Pinnacle Weapons, like the Recluse, will likely still have their uses. Although they may be outshined and outright nerfed into disuse. But you can also pull some items from your collection with the same starting numbers. That way you can get Armor 2.0 versions of, say, Exotic pieces right off the bat. Then just recycle your existing ones to get resources (like weapon materials and Legendary Shards). It’s up to you!

Destiny Tips Shadowkeep

Some Bounties Are Unlimited – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

This is one of the biggest changes Bungie made to its bounty system. Destiny now lets you claim an unlimited number of random bounties every day. They only cost Glimmer (the very basic in-game currency), but provide XP and Bright Dust (the free currency used to buy cosmetics). Unlike some similar games, however, you don’t get to choose between a random assortment. The bounties are 100 percent random when you purchase them from NPC vendors. If you don’t like the bounty you receive, you can just discard it and grab a new one. And there’s always Spider in the Tangled Shore to get more Glimmer from.

You Can Level Up Without Even Playing – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Sorta… The thing about Destiny is that it has multiple kinds of levels — and level caps. Your “normal” level is something you used to raise just by playing, but now contributes to your Season Pass. What really matters in Destiny 2 is your Power Level. That’s the average of all your gear scores combined. This, in turn, has hidden “soft caps” that require you to get gear from different, increasingly difficult sources. But there’s a way to boost right on up to the first soft cap in Shadowkeep; just turn in tokens.

NPCs like Zavala, Devrim Kay, and Failsafe all accept tokens (and planetary materials in some cases) in exchange for gear. These are pretty easy to acquire. You can literally pick materials off the ground, while bounties and patrols award tokens. Turn enough of these in to your vendors and they’ll give you enough stuff to reach the first invisible level cap. If you already have a ton of tokens and/or materials saved up, you can immediately hit the cap before even starting the Shadowkeep campaign. Just bribe the appropriate character and reap the rewards!

Quests and Bounties Share Space – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Here’s something incredibly annoying and ill-explained! The Destiny 2 quest log shares inventory with your bounties. It’s… honestly kind of bizarre. You can hold 63 quests and bounties in total. Although the cap for bounties visibly shifts depending on how many “real” quests you have accepted. Why 63 of all numbers? Why make these share space at all? Why do items that are obviously a kind of currency, like Modulus Reports, take up quest inventory? These are all great questions I don’t have answers to. But now you ought to know why your maximum bounty number keeps shifting all over the damn place.

Destiny Tips Shadowkeep

Pay Attention to Public Events – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Public Events are natural little quests that occur out in the world. They’re quick and usually easy, but can provide some impressive rewards — including Exotic Engrams. The rub is that you need to complete unlisted side objectives to make them “Heroic” Public Events in order to get the best stuff. Veteran players likely already know how to trigger this, most of the time, but newcomers will need to learn.

If you’re unsure of how to make a Public Event turn Heroic, you ought to sick back and watch your “allies.” If someone nearby isn’t just blithely shooting the boss, or whatever else is nearby, odds are that they’re trying to kick off a Heroic. Watch what they’re doing, try to help, or just… get out of the way! Don’t kill the boss. Instead, let them finish they’re business and help them with the Heroic. Everyone profits.

Set a Certain Hotkey… – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

This is one of our Destiny tips for PC players only, I’m afraid. But it’s a pretty useful one! You can set a hotkey that takes you directly to your quests tab — saving you quite a lot of trouble as the sub-menu fills out. This isn’t very obvious at first. That’s because the hotkey is completely unassigned by default. You can’t just tap around and find it by accident, but instead need to reach for your control settings. We personally recommend the “U” key for the quest log, since it’s easy to hit and not used for anything else, but the power is in your hands.

Grab All the Ritual Weapons – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Destiny 2 used to have Pinnacle Weapons. These were incredibly powerful guns with unique perks that only the most dedicated players could acquire. They’re kind of back in Shadowkeep. Except now they’re called Ritual Weapons, and seem a bit less… game-breaking. Ritual Weapons still have very good perks, but shouldn’t completely unbalance the game. And anyone can get them! You just need to speak with Shaxx, Zavala, and the Drifter to acquire the three respective Ritual Weapon quests.

You ought to pick up these missions the first time you load into the game. That way you start to progress on them immediately, since the objectives are just long grinds that require you to play a lot of the game. We also have guides on how to get each of them and what they do! Check them out here:

Ikora Has Missions Now – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Ikora Rey, ostensibly one of the most important figures in Destiny 2, has never had much to do. She basically just stood around the tower, occasionally tossed you an Engram, and showed up in cutscenes. Now she actually has quests and such, like the rest of the major Tower NPCs! Returning players should make sure to speak with her — rather than run past her to pick up Clan Bounties from Hawthorne. New players, meanwhile, can rest easy knowing that basically everyone on that side of the social hub is useful. Note: This goes into effect on Oct. 5, 2019, when the Vex Offensive begins in Destiny 2. Ikora is still pretty silent until then.

Use It or Lose It – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Levels aren’t the only thing capped in Destiny 2. Certain rare resources also have upper limits on what you can hold. Ascendant Shards, used to upgrade your gear into Masterwork status, cap out at 10. Whereas you can only hold 25 Upgrade Modules — now used when infusing gear —  at a time. Luckily you can just purchase either item. But their relative expense and rarity means that you ought to spend enough to keep from reaching the cap. That way, if they do drop or unlock as rewards, you get to keep what you find. You can read a full account of how to power up your equipment in our Destiny 2 upgrade guide.

Remember the Rule of Tens – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Shadowkeep actually brings back an old concept from the original Destiny. Namely, gear now has stats that affect things like the recharge rate of your Super. This is pretty well laid out whenever you look at your character! You can tell exactly what percentage of an increase you get from each “tier” of a stat. What isn’t completely clear, however, is that stats only matter if you get them in groups of 10. Six points of Discipline, for example, won’t have any affect on your character at all. You need 10 points to reach tier one, 20 points to reach tier two, and so on. Each new tier then increases the level of benefit you receive.

Destiny Tips Shadowkeep

Check the Battle Pass… Er, Season Pass – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

There is a Destiny 2 battle pass now, confusingly called the “Season Pass.” This is not a season pass in the traditional video game sense (where you get a bundle of DLC content for a discount). Instead, it’s a list of rewards you can earn by gaining XP derived from all kinds of challenges.

The crucial thing to remember is that everyone with Shadowkeep gets the first Destiny Season Pass for free. If you have Shadowkeep, you already have the pass, but you still need to manually activate it. Just go to the “director” (where you can see the star map and such) and tab over to the Season menu. This is where the Season Pass lives. Clicking on it will kick off the Season Pass and reward you with some nifty gear — including an Exotic Hand Cannon. Just bear in mind that not all Season Passes will be free. From here on out, every new Destiny Season Pass will cost $10 as a separate purchase from the expansion.

Amanda Has the Old Stuff – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Amanda Holliday has never played too big a role in Destiny. She sells you crummy ships and sparrows, and occasionally appears during quests, but… that’s about it. The New Light update makes her a bit more important. Although the game doesn’t so much as hint at it unless you talk to her. Amanda (the Chief Shipwright found in the hangar of the Tower) now holds all the old quests. If you want to participate in Warmind, Curse of Osiris, or the Red War (i.e. the base Destiny 2 campaign), you need to speak with her.

Some Hard-to-Find Weapons Just Got Easier  – Destiny 2 Tips for Shadowkeep

Those who played through the Black Armory expansion might remember hunting for some random Exotic weapons: Jotunn and Le Monarque. These only dropped from specific activities, called Forges, and required a lot of luck. That only got harder as the year wore on and fewer players bothered with the old Black Armory stuff. Now, however, you don’t have to worry about the randomness. Ada-1, the Black Armory NPC, will just give you Exotic quests for both weapons — guaranteeing your ability to acquire them.

You still have to run the Forges. There’s no getting around that. But hopefully more people who missed the gear the first time around will fill up the matchmaking queues for you to acquire them quickly! And guaranteed progress is better than random drops, any day of the week. Just speak to Ada-1 in the tower to acquire the missions before starting off on your journey in Destiny.


And that’s all for now! These are all the Destiny tips for Shadowkeep we have at the moment. As mentioned above, however, we will continue to update this guide as more information becomes available.

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Steven Strom

An obsessive writer broadcasting to you live from the middle of nowhere. Thinks cute things are good, actually.

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