Destiny, the console-only MMOFPS, is getting a sequel this year, and it’s coming to PC. That means we finally get one of the PS4’s most-hyped FPS games on a platform that can actually support accurate sharpshooting! (Oooh, burn!) If you’re interested in playing, you may want to have a read of this handy guide to everything we currently know about Destiny 2.
Check our Destiny 2 class guide for the details on what you should play.
We’ve got everything Destiny 2 related here – scraps of footage, tweets, leaks, gameplay changes, character imports, and all. Consider this your one-stop-shop for all the important stuff.
Destiny 2 release date
Destiny 2 will release for PC on October 24. That's almost two months behind the console version, which launches on September 6.
You can see our interview with Destiny 2’s head of PC, David Shaw, above, where he explains that the decision around the PC release date was a hard one. They even considered delaying the console version, but eventually settled on a staggered release schedule. The final point, Shaw said, is that they wanted to “make sure we get it right, that we nail it, stick the landing,” and that required a little extra time.
Destiny 2 beta
There's an open beta for Destiny 2 on PC coming in late August, so it's not long until we can all shoot and loot through its sci-fi landscapes. Console players can get in earlier on July 19 if you pre-order, and on July 21 for everyone else.
The beta itself will include all three of the game’s new subclasses - the Sentinel, the Dawnblade, and the Arcstrider - for you to try out. There’s also PvP action to engage in at the Crucible, with the Nessus-set Endless Vale map confirmed, plus the Midtown map, alongside Control and Countdown game modes. You’ll also be able to buddy up with other players for a stab at the Inverted Spire co-op Strike, as well as check out Bungie’s new campaign design in the Homecoming mission.
Finally, you’ll be able to hang out at The Farm, the new social space located in the European Dead Zone. There you can try out the fully functioning football pitch, complete with giant ball and nets that shoot fireworks when goals are scored. The Farm is only open for an hour on July 23 for the console beta, but no similar details have been shared for the PC test period.
"We are looking forward to sharing a fresh, inviting story,” Bungie CEO, Pete Parsons, says in a press release. “And with the upcoming Destiny 2 Beta slated for this summer, we are eager to get feedback from millions of players around the world who will get a glimpse of the new adventures that will unfold for all of us. Together, with our partners at Activision, we are thrilled to get Destiny 2 in the hands of players in September."
Destiny 2 story
Destiny 2 is putting increased focus on plot and story, and it all starts with The Red Legion. They’re a faction of a militaristic alien race called the Cabal, and they’ve attacked Earth's Last City in overwhelming force. Their commander is Dominus Ghaul, who believes that the Traveller – Destiny's big, iconic white orb – made a mistake in granting its powers to you rather than him. He's out to convince it to change its mind, seemingly by holding it hostage: a big ship in the centre of his fleet can be seen unfurling and wrapping around the Traveller.
When this happens, all Guardians (that's you) are de-powered. You lose your gifts and stagger, defenceless, away from the fight. This explains why Ghaul wins – he's organised, and has his stuff together. In the words of game director Luke Smith: "he's like Alan Rickman's character in Die Hard."
The City falls and the Guardians are scattered to the winds. It's your job to find and reunite them, to get your powers back, and to take back your home.
If you’re a long-term Destiny fan and were hoping to discover what the mysterious Darkness is, then don’t get your hopes up; Destiny 2 won’t reveal anything more. The focus will be on Light, and game director Luke Smith has even said that Bungie themselves don’t really know what the Darkness is.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 story guide.
Destiny 2 planets and worlds
As with the original, Destiny 2 will launch with four planets. These will be: Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus. Earth's playable area is completely new as we're off to the European Dead Zone rather than the Cosmodrome. Bungie say the European Dead Zone will be the largest place they've built by a "factor of two." It'll be the first place you go after the City falls, and will have a new hub area.
That new hub area is known as the Farm, and will be populated not only by other players but new NPCs. One of them is a sniper called Devrim Kay, and you can chat to him using the game's new conversation interface. He's a quest giver, and you'll be able to head out on Adventures for him. These are smaller quests that help develop the game's lore outside of the main campaign.
The Farm also features a football pitch with score tracking, allowing fire teams to have a kick-around in their downtime between activities. Joining these new elements are tried-and-trusted hub elements such as a Postmaster and a Cryptarch (this time Tyra Karn, not Master Rahool), plus exactly what you’d expect to see on a farm: chickens.
Nessus is a planetoid that's been almost entirely overrun by The Vex, another returning enemy race from the original. They've transformed it into one of their giant computers, and it's started growing its own red vegetation. It looks pretty striking. It also seems Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 has got himself trapped here, so you'll probably want to rescue him.
Titan is a moon of Saturn. It'll be a big methane ocean with no landmass, but the monolithic ruins of humanity's Golden Age constructions stick out above the waves like oil rigs. The Vanguard's Commander, Zavala, retreats here to lick his wounds, suffering an existential crisis after the loss of the City.
Io is a moon of Jupiter, and is said to be the last place in the Solar System that the Traveller's Light touched. As such, it's sacred to Guardians, particularly Warlocks – this is where Ikora Rey flees in a fit of rage. It looks very spooky, and will be the furthest from Earth we've been in the franchise so far.
The way we interact with these worlds has also changed. Once you land on a planet, all activities there can be accessed without returning to orbit, so no more loading screens. You'll also get a map, which presumably you can call up mid-game, with markers indicating those activities. In keeping with Bungie's principle of providing activities for every mood, all activity types from the original are returning, along with a couple of new ones.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 worlds guide.
Destiny 2 classes and powers
Destiny has three classes that roughly conform to the classic Warrior, Mage, Rogue stereotypes: Titan, Warlock, and Hunter. Each class also has three specialisations, or subclasses. Destiny 2 will add three brand new subclasses, although three will be removed, keeping the total at nine subclasses.
The new subclasses are the Titan Sentinel, the Warlock Dawnblade, and the Hunter Arcstrider. Each has an elemental affiliation (Sentinels are Void elemental, Dawnblades are Solar, and Arcstriders are Arc), and will presumably replace the subclasses of the equivalent element that the original had, though this isn't confirmed.
Each subclass has its own Super ability, which is unleashed after a meter has built up, and the gameplay trailer shows us those too. Dawnblades use a flaming sword which can shoot fiery projectiles, and Arcstriders are acrobatic warriors equipped with an electric staff. Sentinels get a Captain America-style shield, which they can either throw and use to bash enemies, or deploy as a Ward of Dawn; the static bubble shield that proved so popular in the first game.
Each class has an additional three abilities, managed on short cooldowns. Two of these are melee and grenade abilities, while the third is a latent class skill. Hunters get a dodge, Titans a deployable shield, and Warlocks an area-of-effect buff.
Returning subclasses include the Hunter Gunslinger, Titan Striker, and Warlock Voidwalker. The Gunslinger feels very familiar, but the others have had subtle re-tweaks. The Striker’s Fists of Havoc super is now roaming, allowing them to run around while bolts of lightning arc from their fists. The Voidwalker’s Nova Bomb has been redesigned, too, and now will slowly track and home in on enemy targets. You can also expect to see re-designed ability trees for all returning classes. The three remaining unknown subclasses will presumably also be ones from the first game, albeit slightly redesigned.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 class guide.
Destiny 2 activities
The worlds of Destiny 2 will be filled with a variety of activities, quests, and events to keep you occupied. These are broadly split into five categories: story missions, patrols, adventures, strikes, and raids.
Story missions are self explanatory, but you may be less familiar with the others. Patrols are the most basic of sidequests; simple objectives like fetching items or clearing out areas. Strikes are three-player missions that can be played with randoms or friends, while raids are multi-hour, six-person dungeons that must be played with friends or clan members.
Adventures are new, and are secondary quests that provide more depth than patrols. An example we’ve seen so far are Lost Sectors, which are short dungeons containing a mini-boss and a reward for defeating them. We also know that there are treasure maps that will help us track down special loot.
Other new additions include Flashpoints, a weekly activity centred around a specific world. The featured location will be populated with new treasure maps and special monsters unique to the Flashpoint, and completing the activity will provide a special reward.
Nightfalls will return to Destiny 2, which are weekly, special versions of strikes. Previously these were only available in heroic difficulty, but this screengrab shows that they will now be available in normal difficulty. Nightfalls also now require a pass to play, although we’re so far unsure how you obtain these.
We know that for some activities loadouts will be locked. In the original game you could swap your weapons and even subclass at any time, allowing you to react to the situation provided you had the right tools in your inventory. Bungie have yet to reveal what activities will feature locked loadouts, but the restriction could encourage tactical thinking in regards to weapon selection, and an increased focus on the roles played by individual players. It could also promote a restrictive meta where the community shuns players who don’t own the ‘correct’ weapons for the activity. Only time will tell if Bungie have got this decision right.
Destiny 2 PvP
While the bulk of Destiny 2 is dedicated to PvE, competitive multiplayer is still a key component. PvP is now always 4v4 (it used to be 6v6 or 3v3), and available across a variety of modes. We’re expecting to see wide collection of different game types, but so far the only confirmed ones are the newly introduced Countdown and returning Control. Countdown functions almost identically to Counter-Strike’s classic mode: one team must set charges in one of two zones, while the other must eliminate the attackers and protect the area.
Maps will be set across all of Destiny 2’s new planets; so far we’ve seen Midtown, Vostok, and Endless Vale, and all offer a good mix of tight corridors and mid-sized open spaces to encourage varied approaches and loadout uses. They also really embrace the look and feel of Destiny’s world; Vostok has the heavy, oppressive feel of Russia’s Cosmodrome, while Endless Vale provides the sharp edges and square design of the digital Vex race.
PvP has always existed across multiple layers: as part of The Crucible for general play; in Iron Banner mode for those wanting to use their Light level gear; and in Trials of Osiris for the really hardcore. We know both Iron Banner and The Crucible are returning, but it appears that Trials of Osiris may be replaced with a similar-but-different mode.
If you like to played ranked then, unfortunately, Destiny 2 won’t have anything to offer. PvP will not feature a ranked mode.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 PvP guide.
Destiny 2 clans and guided games
Clans will be supported in-game, akin to MMO guilds, and leaders will be able to set a clan name, motto, and create a banner design. These communities of players can group up from an in-game social menu in order to complete activities like raids and Nightfalls together.
For anyone not in a clan and wishing to play a raid, a new system called Guided Games can help. Traditionally raids have only been accessible to a group of friends, and this has meant around 50% of Destiny players have never tried a raid. To change this, a group of players who need an additional one or two people to make up the team of six required for a raid can advertise with the Guided Games system. Solo players looking to raid can then answer the call, allowing them to raid without needing five friends online. Think of it as Destiny’s answer to traditional MMO looking for group systems.
Due to the difficulty of raids, Guided Games will only be available for normal difficulty raids and Nightfalls. This means that serious players doing heroic difficulty activities won’t be teamed up with potentially unreliable solo players and end up having a bad experience.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 raid guide.
Destiny 2 DLC
We know that Destiny 2 will receive DLC. The first game revolved around the release of four expansion packs and a variety of free seasonal updates, and we can expect a similar approach to the sequel. We don’t currently know what we can expect to see, but the season pass contains two expansions, each marked by a symbol. The first, a golden eye, represents Osiris, while the second – a blue winged diamond – represents Rasputin. These are outlying figures in Destiny lore that cast a huge shadow despite being relatively under-explored in the first game, so this hint that we'll see more of them is pretty exciting.
Thanks to a deal with Sony, the PS4 gets a few exclusive things at launch, including a strike mission. It is, thankfully, only a timed exclusive: we’ll get this DLC on PC in 2018.
Destiny 2 character importing
In case you strayed to console to try the first one – there's no shame in it – Bungie have announced their plans for character transfers to Destiny 2. As we saw in the reveal trailer, all your stuff is gone – only your characters' cosmetic features will carry over to Destiny 2, though there will be some emblems to recognise your achievements in the first game, if any.
Though this means characters will only persist in the most technical sense, it's good news for any potential cross platform play, as new PC players won't have to worry about getting stomped by console veterans rocking high-end gear. It is uncertain at this time if console players will be able to import their character from the first game to the PC version, so look out for further details.
Destiny 2 PC features
A big question on everyone's mind is exactly what the PC version of Destiny 2 will have to offer. After the gameplay reveal stream we now know – pretty much everything you could ask for. Here's the list from the press release:
- 4K Resolution Support (3820x2160)
- Uncapped framerate
- Full mouse and keyboard support with custom key mapping
- Text chat
- Adjustable Field of View
- Detailed PC settings screen
- 21:9 monitor support
It will also be distributed – exclusively – through Blizzard's Battle.net.
Destiny 2 system requirements
While we don't have official system requirements yet, here's what the Destiny 2 press build is running on at the event:
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti (Courtesy of Nvidia)
- CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2Ghz (Courtesy of Intel)
- 16GB Ram/500GB SSD/Windows 10
That's some hardcore hardware, and it would be more worrying if it didn't run on that sort of gear. Hopefully, and almost certainly, minimum specs will be a damn sight smaller.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 PC performance guide.
Destiny 2 pre-order
Pre-orders for Destiny 2 are now live on the official site and Battle.net. As said, pre-ordering gets you early access to the beta. If you're looking for info on the Destiny 2 Collector's Edition, check out our dedicated post at that link.
On Battle.net, the standard edition is going for $59.99/£44.99, the game plus the expansion pass for $89.99/£69.99, and the digital deluxe edition for $99.99/£79.99.
Destiny 2 trailers
The first Destiny 2 teaser trailer stars Nathan Fillion as witty rogue Cayde-6, reciting war stories in a bombed-out bar in the Last City before striding out to join the fray. The tone is equal parts bleak and humorous, lending depth to Cayde that he was missing in the original.
The 'Last Call' teaser was soon followed by the full reveal, in which the Vanguard leader, Commander Zavala, represents the inspirational, dramatic voice that Destiny has always had. The difference is, he's nicely juxtaposed by Cayde's comic relief; expect Destiny 2 to dial down the melodrama.
The E3 trailer showed us a little more of the Red Legion's attack on The City.
That's all we know of Destiny 2 and the plight of The Traveller so far. We'll update as and when we learn more from The Speaker (if we can ever find him).