Destiny 2 Lightfall Calus boss fight – how to beat Calus

If you're struggling with the Calus boss fight in the Destiny 2 Lightfall campaign, here are some tips and tricks on how to beat Bungie's big boss battle.

How to beat Calus in Destiny 2 Lightfall: An up-close image of a shattered Calus.

Wondering how to beat the Calus boss fight in Destiny 2 Lightfall? You’re not alone. Both newer players and seasoned Guardians are struggling with the deranged disciple of The Witness, as it requires a fair amount of skill and agility regardless of whether you’re playing on normal or Legendary difficulty. Fortunately, we can tell you exactly how to beat him. We’ll break down the fight’s two stages with tips and tactics for each, as well as recommendations for your weapons and build.

The fight against Calus in Destiny 2 Lightfall will require strong movement skills, powerful weapons, and a little bit of luck. However, no matter your skill level, you can take down the disgraced emperor with a few cheeky moves by leveraging the Destiny 2 Strand subclass in the FPS game. Here’s what to do.

How to beat the Calus boss fight in Destiny 2 Lightfall

The design of the Calus boss fight clearly encourages you to use Strand, as there are many places to grapple around the arena. Throughout this battle, take advantage of cover as well as grapple abilities that will allow you to reposition quickly, both to attack from new angles and, crucially, to avoid damage. You can use the platforms on the edge of the arena to your advantage, too.

Like many bosses in Destiny 2, Calus has two different phases, the first of which has an immunity mechanic. You’ll need to engage with this mechanic to make him vulnerable to damage, but even once you deplete his first full health bar, he’ll gain another and continue fighting, this time with some new moves.

Destiny 2 Lightfall Calus boss fight: The glowing runes of the Witherhoard grenade launcher are visible on its barrel as a Guardian takes aim at Calus, a sinister, giant figure holding a heavy gun.

Calus boss fight, first phase

In both of Calus’s phases, you’ll have to manage hordes of weaker enemies (aka, ‘adds’) while dealing damage to the boss. We suggest you pack a useful add-clearing tool such as an SMG, or the Witherhoard grenade launcher if you can spare your Exotic, alongside something to put the hurt on a single target. Gjallarhorn is handy for its fire-and-forget ability, and the splash damage can mop up some adds while chipping away at Calus. The powerful Exotic machine gun, Thunderlord, can also fulfil both roles in a pinch, though you risk exposure to Calus’s shots while firing and ammo may become a problem. If you’re ever overwhelmed by adds, use Strand to reposition and drop a grenade or a rocket on them as you go.

In the first phase of the fight, Calus will occasionally launch seeking balls of fire at you. His behaviour is similar in essence to an oversized Taken Centurion, so you can fight as if that’s what you’re facing. Once you do enough damage to him, Tormenters will spawn and shield him from damage until you kill them. Bring them down and this will remove his shield, so you can continue to deal damage to him.

Destiny 2 Lightfall Calus boss fight: Calus hefts a pair of swirling, Darkness-infused swords in his second phase.

Calus boss fight, second phase

Once you’ve melted down Calus’s first health bar, you may think the battle is over, but – as so often in Destiny – it’s just a red herring. Calus will re-emerge with full health, but now he’ll come after you with a sword, exhibiting similar behaviour to a Cabal Gladiator. His melee attacks are immensely powerful and you should avoid them at all costs. Again, Strand grapples are your friend. He will occasionally put up a shield to protect himself, but it won’t make him invulnerable – a powerful weapon will counter it, so focus on staying alive, staying mobile, and dealing as much damage as you can.

If you can survive long enough and kill Calus before he kills you, you’ll complete the battle and reveal the ending of the Lightfall campaign. Congratulations! Here’s YouTuber ZaFrostPet doing the whole thing solo:

YouTube Thumbnail

Destiny 2 Calus lore

Once the decadent Emperor of the Cabal, Calus was deposed by his far more ascetic adopted son, Ghaul, and sent into exile. It’s not all bad though – his prison is the Leviathan, a colossal living spaceship full of luxurious baths, games, and weird purple nectar to keep Calus drunk and amused. The Leviathan drifted to the limits of the galaxy, where Calus first encountered the Black Fleet – and The Witness – in deep space. A longtime enemy of The Light, we first met Calus in the Leviathan raid in the base game of Destiny 2, where we slaughtered his robotic likeness. Since then, The Vanguard has joined forces with his daughter, Empress Caiatl, and the Cabal who remain loyal to her. Caiatl recognizes the futility of further conflict with humanity when there are so many greater threats shared by both species, and she further recognizes that, as The Witness’s foremost Disciple and herald, her deranged father is among them.

Now that you’ve beaten all eight Lightfall missions, you’ll want to know what else is new in Destiny 2 season 20, such as all the Destiny 2 Lightfall Exotics or the latest information about Root of Darkness, the Destiny 2 Lightfall raid. With so much to offer in the newest DLC, it’s no wonder the popular  multiplayer game recently reached a new all-time Destiny 2 player count high on Steam.