The Festival of the Lost is the Destiny universe’s Halloween. It’s an occasion where Earth’s Last City gets together to mourn and celebrate the dead, as well as dress up in spooky masks that grant powerful gameplay perks. In 2018 it makes its debut in Destiny 2, along with a new game mode (the Haunted Forest), which drops a new currency (Fragmented Souls), which can buy a new auto rifle (Horror Story) at the current power cap of 600.
That’s a mightily desirable reward, so naturally you’ll want to know how the event works and how you can get your very own Horror Story in the most efficient way possible. Fear not: our guide will tell you how to access and conquer the Haunted Forest, as well as lay out the festival’s best sources of Fragmented Souls.
A bit of trivia before we begin: the Festival of the Lost was Destiny’s first-ever seasonal event, coming to the original game in October 2015, just after its celebrated Taken King expansion. It brought with it the Eververse microtransactions store.
Destiny 2 Festival of the lost 2018 dates
Festival of the Lost 2018 started on October 16, and will run until Tuesday, November 6, at 10:00 Pacific (17:00 GMT / 18:00 BST).
Destiny 2 Festival of the Lost quests
Your first introduction to Festival of the Lost will be a milestone (remember them?) to go and see Amanda Holliday in the Tower. She’ll give you a silly but useful mask and send you on a short quest to clear out a couple of Lost Sectors on Io. Do this, and she’ll send you back to the Infinite Forest – now in its new, darkened guise as the Haunted Forest. That’s the core of the 2018 Festival and you’ll be playing it a lot – see below for a full guide on getting the most out of it.
For the last week of the event, on October 30, a second quest line in which you’ll investigate the murder of Master Ives – former Cryptarch of the Reef – will begin.
Destiny 2 Festival of the Lost vendors
Once you’ve unlocked the Haunted Forest and completed your first, introductory run through it, you’ll unlock Amanda Holliday’s full festival inventory. Most of her wares will cost Fragmented Souls, the Festival of the Lost currency. They include:
- Horror Story, a Legendary Masterwork auto rifle fixed at 600 power (cost: 140 Fragmented Souls)
- Amaranth Atrocity shader (reward from acquiring nine masks)
- Nightmare’s End emblem (reward from killing 100 Nightmares in the haunted forest)
- Deep in the Woods emblem (reward from clearing seven branches in the Haunted Forest)
- A range of Festival of the Lost masks (three masks cost 30 Souls, five cost 40)
- Daily and weekly Festival of the Lost bounties (daily bounties award 1 Fragmented Soul, weeklies award 40 and seven Masterwork Cores)
Tess Everis is also stocking a range of new Festival of the Lost cosmetics over at Eververse. Their chief vehicle is the new Ephemeral Engram. You’ll be able to purchase these as usual, and you’ll also get one in addition to your usual Steadfast Engram whenever you level-up. Tess will also offer an Ephemeral Engram for free in exchange for completing occasional minor errands in the game, such as completing a challenge.
Destiny 2 Festival of the Lost Haunted Forest guide
The Haunted Forest is at the core of 2018’s Festival of the Lost – a free event, lets all remember, that already looks like it’s going to make better use of this area than the premium Osiris DLC in which it was introduced. It’s had a dark and spooky facelift, but here’s how it works beyond the aesthetics.
The Haunted Forest is divided into ‘branches’. Each branch will throw lots and lots of mobs at you, which will include special elites called ‘Nightmares’. You get a total of 15 minutes to clear as many branches as possible, but do note your goal is not to progress, or to open gates. Your goal is to hit ‘100% Cleared’. You clear the stage by killing enemies:
- Red bar enemies give 2% clearance each
- Amber bars give 4-6% each
- Daemons give 8% each
Kill the Nightmare and the timer is paused. You can take a break here, and will only be sent to the next branch when you all group up on the Vex plate. When your 15 minutes are up, you are prevented from resurrecting teammates, but can keep fighting until everyone on your team is dead.
You’ll accrue negative modifiers as you go. Wingchild claims on Reddit that they are fixed at each level:
- Branch 1 – no modifier
- Branch 2 – Glass (health is halved, but regen speed is doubled)
- Branch 3 – Attrition (health and shield regen is slowed, but enemies may drop wells of Light on death)
- Branch 4 – Grounded (incoming damage increased while airborne)
- Branch 5 – Blackout (radar is disabled, enemy melee damage increased)
- Branch 6 – Blackout, Glass
- Branch 7 – Blackout, Attrition
- Branch 8 – Blackout, Grounded
- Branch 9 and onward – all four modifiers
Each branch may have forking paths that will lead to treasure chests, which are guarded by mobs and will give between two and four Fragmented Souls. You should also note that an Ascendant Knight can potentially spawn any time, any place – he’s invulnerable, so just ignore him and run.
Completing branches of the Forest will award increasing numbers of Fragmented Souls – get as far as branch seven or eight, and you can expect as many as nine or ten Souls.
Destiny 2 Haunted Forest strategy and tips
Now that you know how it works, here are a few handy tips for conquering the Haunted Forest and getting as deep as possible.
- Rapid add clearance is the name of the game – yes, it’s nice to have some anti-boss tools, but killing lots of weak enemies as quickly as possible is the surest way to make progress.
- Weapon recommendations: Sleeper Simulant is better than Whisper for taking out the Nightmare since you’ll be running about a lot. One Thousand Voices and Rocket launchers with cluster bombs are both excellent alternatives, with the added bonus of being pretty good at sweeping up adds. If you’re struggling with add clearance, Wardcliff Coil is another great heavy pick. For your primary, pack your favourite add-sweeping tool – ideally Masterworked so you can make a few orbs (Midnight Coup is our pick).
- If you’re a Warlock, take the Winged Terror mod on your mask and run Dawnblade with Attunement of Sky and Wings of Sacred Dawn. Winged Terror is understating things when it talks about being nearly unkillable while airborne – to all intents and purposes, you are unkillable. If you don’t have Winged Terror, save and buy a fresh mask from Amanda, and run either Stormcaller or Well of Radiance in the meantime.
- If you’re a Titan, most Sunbreaker subclasses are handy – Hammer of Sol is great for add-clear and Melting Point good for bosses, while pairing Dunemarchers with Burning Maul gives you throwable mini-hammers that chain their damage – again, great for add-clear.
- If you’re a Hunter, run Nightstalker with Orpheus Rig – it still offers an unbeatable mix of add clearance and orb generation.
- Stay together and revive each other. If you respawn, you do so at the top of the instance, and it can take you a while to get back to your team. That’s a while in which your total damage output is down by a third, so don’t let it happen.
how to get Horror Story
Horror Story is the principal non-cosmetic reward of this year’s Festival of the Lost. As a 600-power Masterwork with a decent perk roll – including Zen Moment and Rampage – it’ll be a huge boost to your PvE game and your power levels if you’ve not had much time to raid yet.
And there’s good news: despite what you may have read above, the grind probably isn’t all that bad, assuming you’re looking to have it by the end of the festival rather than the end of the first week. The rest of our guide has described the way the festival works, but we’ll lay out the most efficient sources of Fragmented Souls for you here:
- Complete daily bounties in the Haunted Forest. Your goal is to finish 15 of these bounties so as to complete the weekly bounty, which awards 40 Fragmented Souls. Repeat next week. If you can’t wait until then…
- Grind the Haunted Forest, aiming to go as deep as possible. Higher branches only give one or two souls, but if you can consistently get as far as branch seven or eight, you can get nine or ten.
- Grab Haunted Forest chests when you can, but don’t get distracted by them – you don’t want them threatening your run.
Weekly bounties are the real prize, here. Assuming the bounties for weeks two and three drop the same rewards as for week one, and you can complete them all, you will have more than enough Souls for Horror Story by the end of the festival. Even missing one weekly bounty won’t take too much extra grinding to catch up, but missing two will probably make it a hell of a chore to get Horror Story.