Destiny 2 Commendations explained – how to get and give them

Destiny 2 Commendations are a new social feature with Lightfall - we explain how they work, their types, and how you can get and give them in the game.

Destiny 2 Commendations explained: A Guardian shoots at a Vex enemy in Destiny 2 Lightfall.

Destiny 2 Commendations are a social feature, new with the Lightfall expansion, by which players can recognise one another’s contributions across the game’s team-based activities. Bungie is introducing Commendations to celebrate and encourage those Guardians who make Destiny 2 a better experience for all players, and we’re here to help. In this guide we’ll explain exactly how this new system works, the different types of Commendation you can earn, and how you can both give and get them.

In a recent Bungie blog post titled “Lightfall and the Year Ahead,” Destiny 2 game director Joe Blackburn says Commendations act as “icebreakers” to allow other Guardians to understand at a glance what player can contribute to the team in the FPS game. Commendations are only positive, meaning players won’t be able to use them to troll teammates. Now that the Lightfall release date has passed, the system is up and running. Here’s how it works.

How Destiny 2 Commendations work

Destiny 2 players can elect to award Commendations to one another at the end of an activity, with some awards specific to some activities. For instance, ‘Pacesetter’ and ‘Saint’s Favorite’ are Commendations that are exclusive to Trials of Osiris, Destiny’s hardcore PvP mode. There are also specific Commendations such as ‘Perceptive’ and ‘Knowledgeable’ for raid and dungeon content. Commendation options will also appear in activities such as strikes and Crucible. Players do not have to own the Lightfall DLC to give and accept Commendations.

Destiny 2 Commendations are presently split into four categories: Ally, Fun, Mastery, and Leadership. You can grant a Commendation to a teammate by highlighting your teammate on the ‘Summary’ screen and then choosing from a number of available options. Commendations are represented by ‘medals’ that honour players who made other players’ game experience overall better.

Destiny 2 Commendations explained: A player grants a fellow Guardian Commendations on a Vow of the Disciple summary screen.

Note that you can’t reward friends with Commendations. Rather, these virtual honors exist specifically for matchmade experiences. While the overall goal is to encourage sportsmanship throughout the broader Destiny 2 community, Commendations can also signal when a veteran player may be open to answering questions from a New Light, or when a teammate likes to lighten the mood with a few jokes during a challenging activity such as a Destiny 2 Nightfall.

Earning Destiny 2 Commendations

Even players who aren’t necessarily skilled can benefit from Commendations. While you can find Commendation options that connote skill and leadership, players can also earn Commendations for simply being fun to play with or acting as good teammates. For example, in Crucible Control, a good teammate could be a player who works hard to hold and defend zones, even if their K/D is relatively low.

You can find the overall number of Commendations you’ve received on a new ‘Journey’ screen, accessible from both your inventory screen and the Director screen.

Destiny 2 Commendations explained: An image showing a player's number of Guardian Commendations and overall profile.

There’s also a connection between Commendations and Destiny 2 Guardian Ranks, though Bungie hasn’t provided the details of this in advance of Lightfall. It may be that players have to achieve a certain number of Commendations in specific activities in order to increase their Guardian Rank. Guardians who earn a high number of Commendations can also earn special rewards, though Bungie hasn’t revealed these rewards at this time.

Ultimately, one of the main goals of this new feature is to have players “accumulate a ton of different commendations that help build a story for how others in Destiny 2 perceive you,” Blackburn shared in the blog post. While some players have already expressed skepticism over their inherent value, the overall objective is to reward people on traits such as helpfulness and organization.

Destiny 2 Commendations explained: A scenic image of Neomuna in Destiny 2 Lightfall.

That’s everything you need to know about the Destiny 2 Commendations system. For more insight on what to expect with Lightfall in the popular multiplayer game, check out our guides to the Destiny 2 Strand subclass and season 20 content in one of the best free games available on PC.