How to start and beat the Destiny 2 Nightmare Containment activity

A successful Destiny 2 Nightmare Containment run grants you powerful gear, seasonal rewards, and plenty of other goodies to kit your Guardians out with

Guardians approaching the Nightmare Harvester in the Destiny 2 Nightmare Containment event

Looking for tips on how to beat the new Destiny 2 Nightmare Containment activity? Destiny 2’s Season of the Haunted features a familiar foe: Emperor Calus. The Lord of Laughter has awakened an army of Nightmares on the Leviathan, and these products of the Pyramids are here specifically to exploit Guardians’ worst fears.

For the Destiny 2 Nightmare Containment seasonal activity, your Guardian must head to the Leviathan in order to take on Calus and the Nightmares. However, the once opulent ship is now dilapidated and overgrown. It’s also home to hordes of Cabal and Scorn, in addition to all those nasty Nightmares.

Guardians must combat these Nightmares by collecting shards of Dread and then binding Nightmares together using ritual spots that are dotted around the arena. There are three tiers in a run, and each Nightmare Containment tier has slightly different mechanics. Here’s everything you need to know about the seasonal activity, including the rewards you can get for beating it, a guide to all three activity tiers, and how to start it in the first place.

How to start the Destiny 2 Nightmare Containment seasonal activity

You must own the seasonal content and complete Operation: Midas on the Derelict Levithan in order to access Nightmare Containment. This mission is really straightforward, so you don’t need to prepare for it. Upon completion, you’ll be transported to the H.E.L.M. where you can find the Crown of Sorrow Hive Artefact – interact with that and accept the Nightmare Harvester seasonal artefact so you can start claiming rank rewards and collecting bounties.

Once you’ve done this, go to the Destination screen and select the Moon. In the lower left corner of the screen, find the Derelict Leviathan. Select Nightmare Containment and before selecting the green ‘Launch’ button, be sure to change the activity mode from ‘Castellum’ to the option that says ‘Containment’. This will matchmake you with players who are solely looking to complete the Nightmare Containment activity, ensuring there are enough active participants to complete the activity.

While the game recommends a power level of 1580 for the activity, it will automatically raise your power level to 1570 if you are below that level.

The three Nightmare Containment tiers

Nightmare Containment has three tiers. The summoning process begins when someone places their Nightmare Harvester down. You then have five minutes to complete each tier. Though you’ll face numerous hordes, your HUD will indicate which enemies to target. Throughout the process, enemies will drop little shards called Vestiges of Dread, which can be used to bind the Nightmares. Players can also earn Vestiges of Dread from other Destiny 2 activities across the Derelict Leviathan, so it’s a good idea to have some handy before starting this event so you can get more loot at the end.

The first tier begins when someone places a Nightmare Harvester in the designated location. This spawns in hordes of enemies, plus Dread Bearers that drop Cores of Dread when slain. Placing these Cores of Dread into the Nightmare Harvester spawns relics, which are powerful, high-damage scythes. Note that you’ll summon Dread Devourers with Overload traits when you do this, so you should prioritise weapons and abilities that can counter them with Disrupt. As soon as you defeat these Champions, the game will task you with eliminating two psionic illusions to reveal shielded Egregore Atavists. You can quickly wipe these out using melee. Upon eliminating them, more Dread Bearers arise, and when you defeat those and place the Cores of Dread the drop into the Nightmare Harvester, a Nightmare Harbinger will be summoned.

When the Nightmare reaches half of its health, it summons an impenetrable shield. You must remove the shield by shooting at two Resonant Splinters, which are black diamonds that float in the air. Once the shields come down, you can focus your fire on the Nightmare to defeat it, which progresses you to the second tier. Don’t forget to grab the heavy ammo that appears at the end of each tier.

The second tier doesn’t differ much, but it’s slightly more difficult and there are more enemies to kill. Instead of two Egregore Atavists, there are four in this round, and players must shoot down four Resonant Splinters during this tier’s final Nightmare encounter.

Tier three begins when someone activates the harvester and summons Nightmare of Elykris, the Machinist. After your group has dropped a third of Elykris’ health, she’ll develop a shield, and two shielded Emissaries will also appear. Six more Resonant Splinters will show up, and shooting them down removes the Emissaries’ shields. Upon defeating the Emissaries, Elykris will then lose her shield. When she reaches one-third health, the process starts over.

Nightmare Containment rewards

If you complete each tier in under five minutes, you’ll complete the run. Make sure to interact with the Nightmare Harvester at the end to collect a variety of different rewards depending on the amount of Dread you’ve accumulated. You’ll find a basic loot chest regardless, but if you have 500 Vestiges of Dread, you can bind them for even better rewards, such as an Ascendant Alloy, seasonal armour and weapons, Bound Presence (which can be redeemed for seasonal items as part of the Sever quest), and Opulent Umbral Energy, which is used to focus Umbral Engrams into Opulent and Haunted weapons and armour). Completing multiple runs before each weekly reset will also award powerful gear.

That’s our quick rundown on beating Destiny 2’s Nightmare Containment seasonal activity. If you’re new to Bungie’s space game, get acquainted with our guide to picking the best Destiny 2 class, and our ranking of the top Destiny 2 Exotics – you’ve got a lot of grinding to do, so you’ll want to be using the best gear. If you’re a returning Destiny fiend however, check out our guides to the daily Destiny 2 Lost Sector, Nightfall weapon rotation, and weekly Timelost weapon. There’s always plenty to do.

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