Destiny 2 season 18 is on the horizon and it’s shaping up to be a banger. As the narrative ramps into a storyline finale a decade in the making, we’re more excited than ever to finally discover the truth about the Traveler and the secrets of the Light and the Darkness.
New Destiny 2 seasons always bring surprises, but season 18 looks to mix new content with throwbacks, possibly dating back to the original Destiny. With a ‘new’ raid, an Arc elemental class overhaul, PvP changes, and other quality-of-life improvements on top of the season, players have plenty to be excited about in the coming months.
Season 18 release date, time, and name
The Destiny Season 18 release time is August 23, 2022 at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST. Season 17 is scheduled to end on August 23, which will lead players directly into the start of season 18. Season launch events typically occur at the same time as the regular weekly resets.
The launch coincides with Bungie’s Destiny 2: Lightfall showcase, which is happening an entire season earlier than most expected. This is when Bungie will reveal season 18’s name and preview where the story will head next. Bungie claims Lightfall will resolve some of the franchise’s biggest outstanding plot points when it launches in 2023.
Bungie often needs time to perform server maintenance between seasons, so prepare for season 17 to end a few hours before the reset time. During this time, players won’t be able to log into Destiny 2, so make sure any open seasonal quests or bounties are completed a few hours before the season launch. Similarly, once the new season launches, server overload can cause login issues that often last as long as an hour or two, so players may have to try several times to access the new season once it’s live.
When it comes to the name of season 18, Bungie has followed the usual practice of referring to it as “Season of the [REDACTED]”. According to the latest leaks, season 18 is known as ‘Season of the Plunder’ and is expected to be pirate-themed. We’re very close to the release date and Bungie haven’t confirmed the name of the season, so it’s likely going to be officially revealed on launch.
Season 18 campaign and season pass
The campaign for season 17 culminated in players’ first look at The Witness, which will likely continue throughout season 18. Players know little about the Witness, except that the entity is the leader of the Black Fleet that caused Io, Mars, Titan and Mercury to disappear before the Beyond Light expansion.
Players who purchase the game’s seasonal content pass, which they will already own if they purchased the Beyond Light expansion, can expect several weeks of story missions and access to a seasonal activity.
This falls in line with the content players receive every new season, alongside an exotic weapon, though Bungie has been unusually quiet on the details of the forthcoming season’s weapon. Over the past few seasons, pass holders have also accessed a seasonal artefact, which they can level up to unlock armour mods.
Arc 3.0 update: Format, aspects, and fragments
Following the recent Void and Solar overhauls, Bungie has already shared that there will be an Arc rework coming to the game. Projected to debut at the beginning of season 18, the rework will likely function similarly to the previous overhaul.
In preparation, players should unlock Arc class aspects and fragments. This approach allows more flexibility for players to customise their character builds and conform to their unique playstyles. Just like the Void, Solar, and Stasis elemental classes, there’ll likely be a series of quests to complete in order to unlock Arc aspects and additional objectives to unlock fragments.
What is the new Destiny 2 raid?
In addition to the new seasonal content and the Arc subclass overhaul, season 18 will also feature a ‘new’ raid. However, Bungie will actually be bringing back a raid that first appeared in the original Destiny. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen recycled content with a fresh coat of paint, with the Vault of Glass rework and now-derelict Leviathan in season 17 being two prior occasions of this happening.
There’s speculation among some community members that the returning raid is King’s Fall, which appeared in the original Destiny as part of The Taken King expansion, regarded by many as one of the best expansions in the franchise’s eight-year history. Savathûn’s references to The Taken King rising again imply that the raid’s main boss, Oryx, could return to the game in some form. Therefore, there’s a strong possibility that players will have the opportunity to play a reworked version of the classic raid.
Others suspect the forthcoming season could see the return of Rasputin, which could make the upcoming content release a SIVA season. This implies the returning raid could be Wrath of the Machine.
The final candidate for the returning raid is Crota’s End, though some argue that the raid is too short and developers would have to significantly rework it to fit with Destiny 2’s current meta.
Bungie has already revealed some information about the raid to give players adequate time to prepare. The raid will go live on Friday, August 26, at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT/ 6pm BST / 7pm CEST, and Contest Mode will be enabled for the first 24 hours. Players need to be at a power level of at least 1560 for all encounters, and clearing the raid in Contest Mode will unlock both Challenge Mode and a Triumph for completing all challenge Triumphs.
World’s First is a Bungie-endorsed competition to see which raid team will be the first to complete the raid. This time around, a team will become the World’s First if they are the first to complete a secret Challenge Mode Triumph. While in Challenge Mode, a team will wipe if they fail the success conditions for any encounter.
season 18 PvP: Crucible and Iron Banner details
Season 18 will also introduce several changes to multiple PvP activities. For example, season 17’s Iron Banner introduced the Rift game mode and the Disjunction map, set in Savathûn’s Throne World. These will not join the Crucible pool. Bungie is also introducing changes to its skill-based matchmaking, which will consider player connection quality.
Iron Banner will also get a new mode called Eruption, which is essentially Clash with energy boosts based on killstreaks.
Sandbox, weapons, and quality-of-life changes
In season 17, Bungie introduced several changes to weapon balancing, including modifications to Airborne Effectiveness penalties, and buffs to shotguns, glaives, and linear fusion rifles. These changes will carry over to season 18 as the team continues to iterate and refine its balancing leading into the new season.
Several weapons are also being taken out of the loot pool. These include Iron Banner drops Peacebond and Archon’s Thunder, Nightfall weapons PLUG ONE.1 and The Hothead, and Trials of Osiris weapons Eye of Sol and The Summoner.
The game will also introduce changes to Gunsmith bounties, designed to help players level their characters faster. The bounties will now award 50 reputation instead of 25, and dismantling Legendary and Exotic weapons will now award five reputation instead of three.
That’s our breakdown of what players can expect in Destiny 2 season 18. In the meantime, prepare for the new season by perfecting your Titan, Warlock or Hunter builds with our Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 and Void 3.0 build guides.