Destiny 2 Exotic Catalyst Guide: How to Find & Unlock Exotic Catalysts

Here's a handy list of every known catalyst in Destiny 2. Juice up those Exotics!

The Destiny 2 Exotic weapons are some of the coolest, most powerful guns in the game. But did you know you can make them even better? With an Exotic catalyst, an Exotic weapon evolves and improves in various ways. You can find Exotic catalysts in a variety of manners, but some are truly worth the hunt to take your favorite item to the next level.

Not all Exotics have catalysts just yet, so take a look at our list to see what can be yours within a matter of hours — and what isn’t worth hunting yet, simply because it does not exist.

NOTE: Hey folks! With the release of Shadowkeep, some of our Destiny guides may be slightly out of date. Several Fanbyte editors are already working on updates to all of our ongoing coverage. Until then, bear in mind that this article may not fully or 100 percent accurately explore the topic at hand. We will update this article (and all our Destiny 2 coverage) to remove this notification when its info is fully up-to-date. Thanks for your patience!

More Destiny 2:

Borealis Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 reload speed.

Where to find it: Random drop from PvE enemies. Just keep playing!

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 150 Arc kills, 150 Solar kills, and 150 Void kills.

Coldheart Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 stability, +20 reload speed.

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 300 kills. That’s it!

The Colony Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +10 magazine, increased ammo reserves.

Where to find it: Random drop from Crucible matches.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills. It’ll take a while, but it’s pretty simple.

Destiny Catalyst

Crimson Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 range.

Where to find it: Random drop from PvE enemies.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 300 Precision kills. That’s not too hard with a hand cannon.

D.A.R.C.I. Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 stability.

Where to find it: Random drop from PvE enemies.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 300 Precision kills. This one can be tricky, since ammo is limited, but you should be aiming for Precision kills with a sniper rifle anyway.

Fighting Lion Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +30 reload speed.

Where to find it: First warded during 2018 Festival of the Lost event. Now it’s a random drop from any PVE enemies.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: Kills (previously also included Festival of the Lost bounties).

Graviton Lance Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 range, +15 aim assist, better target acquisition. That’s… a lot.

Where to find it: It’s a random drop from enemies in either PVE or PVP. In the base game, you could only get it from Faction Rallies.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills and 1,000 kills with the Cosmology (heat-seeking void bolts) perk.

The Huckleberry Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Ambitious Assassin perk (overloads the magazine if you get quick, consecutive kills).

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Adventures.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills. Escalation Protocol is great for this.

Izanagi’s Burden Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Holding down reload on Izanagi’s Burden consumes ammo to load a more powerful single shot with greater range. The catalyst increases that damage bonus even further if you consume four ammo.

Where to find it: You must fully upgrade your Chalice of Opulence. This will add the Izanagi’s Burden catalyst to your Heroic Menagerie loot pool. From there, complete Heroic Menagerie until the catalyst drops.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills. They do not have to be precision shots.

Destiny Catalyst

Jade Rabbit Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +30 stability.

Where to find it: Random drop from Crucible victories.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 250 kills in Crucible.

Legend of Acrius Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +40 reload speed, increased ammo reserves.

Where to find it: Random drop from Prestige Leviathan Raid.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills.

Merciless Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +40 range, +40 stability.

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills.

MIDA Multi-Tool Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Precision kills greatly increase reload speed.

Where to find it: Random drop from Competitive Crucible victories.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: Precision kills in Crucible.

Outbreak Perfected Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Deal additional nanite damage. Enemies that die while under the effect of SIVA nanites will spread the ailment to nearby foes.

Where to find it: Rewarded for the Heroic Zero Hour mission. This unlocks after you beat the normal version.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: Complete the Heroic version of Zero Hour (the mission that gives you Outbreak Perfected). Doing so will give you SIVA Particulate. Farm up 500 SIVA Particulate, and get precision kills, to unlock the catalyst and upgrade it fully. You need to do this once a week for five weeks to get all the required SIVA Particulate.

Polaris Lance Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Precision kills create an elemental damage explosion.

Where to find it: Complete Nascent Dawn quest.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills total and 50 kills with Perfect Fifth perk.

Destiny 2 Exotic Catalysts

Prometheus Lens Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 stability, +20 handling.

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 300 kills.

Riskrunner Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +30 range.

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses. UPDATE: We’re hearing rumors that the Pain and Gain Exotic quest, acquired by Banshee-44 when you start Shadowkeep, awards a Riskrunner with its catalyst built in.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 300 total kills and 300 chain lightning kills.

Skyburner’s Oath Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +30 range.

Where to find it: Random drop from Leviathan Raid completion.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 1,000 Cabal kills.

Sleeper Simulant Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +75 charge time.

Where to find it: Random drop from Prestige Spire of Stars Raid Lair.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 4,000 combined kills with Escalation Protocol weapons (1,000 with sniper, 1,000 with shotgun, 2,000 with submachine gun).

Sturm Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 range, +40 handling.

Where to find it: Random drop from enemies on Nessus.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills with Sturm and 500 kills with Drang while both weapons are equipped.

Sunshot Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +20 range, +20 stability.

Where to find it: Random drops from PVE and PVP enemies. Previously, it was only available during Faction Rallies.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills and 1,000 kills with Sun Blast perk.

Sweet Business Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: When this weapon is fully spun up, the flinch from incoming damage is greatly reduced.

Where to find it: Found as a random drop in PVE and PVP. Previously, it was only available during Faction Rallies.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 250 multi-kills.

Destiny Exotic Catalyst

Telesto Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +60 magazine, increased ammo reserves.

Where to find it: Prestige Eater of Worlds Raid Lair.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: Complete all Verses for Brother Vance in the Lighthouse on Mercury.

Tractor Cannon Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: +60 magazine, increased ammo reserves.

Where to find it: Random drop from PVE kills.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 300 kills.

Vigilance Wing Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Full-auto trigger system.

Where to find it: Random drop from Crucible victories.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 250 Crucible kills and 5 Blood for Blood medals (avenge a teammate).

Wardcliff Coil Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Improved tracking on projectiles.

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: 500 kills.

Destiny Catalyst

Whisper of the Worm Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Aiming this weapon without firing for a brief moment grants bonus range and precision damage while it remains zoomed. The base damage on this weapon has been significantly reduced since its introduction, but the catalyst perk remains largely the same.

Where to find it: Awarded for clearing “The Whisper” mission.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: Complete The Whisper again and open chests to collect Blighted Essence.

Worldline Zero Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Reduced activation time of Tesseract perk.

Where to find it: Random kills in PvE with a sword.

How to upgrade to Masterwork: Hit each Level 7 Escalation Protocol boss with Wordline Zero.

The Prospector Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Larger blast radius

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade Masterwork: Defeat enemies.

Rat King Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Increased aim assist, reduced recoil

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade Masterwork: Defeat enemies.

Hard Light Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Increased stability

Where to find it: Random drop from Heroic Strike bosses and Nightfall bosses.

How to upgrade Masterwork: Defeat enemies.

SUROS Regime Catalyst – Destiny 2

What it does: Improved recoil and automatic heath on kill

Where to find it: Random drop from Crucible victories.

How to upgrade Masterwork: Defeat enemies.

Unknown

These Exotics currently either have no catalyst, or we just currently don’t know where to find them. Stay tuned for updates to see when each Destiny 2 Exotic catalyst becomes available!

Ace of Spades (Datamining rumors the perk to be “Funeral Pyre: Firefly deals more damage while Memento Mori is active.”)

Arbalest

Black Talon

Cerberus+1

The Chaperone

Lord of Wolves

Malfeasance

One Thousand Voices

The Queenbreaker

Trinity Ghoul

Two-Tailed Fox

Wish-Ender

Le Monarque

Jötunn

Anarchy

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Scott Duwe

Scott has been writing about video games for the better part of a decade, with bylines at sites like PC Gamer, Dot Esports, Red Bull Esports, and more.

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6 Comments

  1. You need to add to this that the Izanagi’s Burden Catalyst drops from the first completion of Heroic Menagerie and that it increases the damage of Honed Edge when 4 bullets are consumed. It als takes 500 kills to unlock.

    Also, you need to change the Sunshot, Sweet Business and Graviton Lance Catalyst drops. They now come from Strikes and Crucible.

  2. I think this would be a good time to add that the graviton lance, sunshot and sweet business catalysts can now drop from the crucible playlist and the heroic strikes playlist

  3. Your information on where to get the colony catalyst is wrong, unless it’s been changed in a recent update

    1. Not sure if it’s been changed, but we just double checked other sources and they also say it comes from Heroic Strike / Nightfall bosses.

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