It’s the start of the holiday season for us, and the beginning of a new season for Destiny 2. Season of the Forge, the fifth season in the game’s lifetime, has hit live servers, followed by a bunch of changes to the game. The Season 5 patch contains a lot of bug fixes — some significant, others less so — but also adjusts the game in some pretty meaningful ways.
We’ve combed through the official patch notes so you don’t have to. Here’s everything you need to know about Season 5 of Destiny 2.
1. Weapon and armor balancing lays a fan-favorite gun to rest
Like with all Destiny patches, Season 5 is full of minor weapon changes that — in the right hands — could make a big difference. The most notable change in this patch is to Trenched Barrel, the perk that made the Ikelos shotgun from Warmind so good. The bonus damage it gave after a melee hit now goes away after three shots, rather than being on a timer. The Ace of Spades exotic hand cannon is also getting nerfed a bit, and will now only hold five Memento Mori bonus damage shots, down from six.
In better news, the broken Ursa Furiosa gauntlets — which could grant a Titan nearly unlimited supers in PvP — have been toned down significantly. Machine Guns have increased accuracy this patch and SMGs have increased range. High-impact scout rifles are also seeing a very tiny damage buff, which should guarantee that three shots are enough to kill any Guardian.
2. New pinnacle weapons for all
Regardless of whether you own Forsaken, the Season 5 update has some serious grinding for you to do. As of this patch, three new pinnacle weapons are available for everyone: the Mountaintop, Loaded Question and Breakneck. These are guns awarded to the best of the best in their given activities, which are competitive PvP, strikes and Gambit, respectively.
Each of the guns comes with a lengthy or difficult quest, but should be worth the grind once it’s all over.
3. Black Armory
On Dec. 4, the Black Armory mini-expansion will launch for all players who own the Destiny 2 Annual Pass. This will come with the usual offerings, like more weapons, exotics and a new raid. Over the next four weeks or so, new activities will open up for Black Armory players to experience. At the end of January, Black Armory players will be able to embark on a quest to retrieve an old, fan-favorite exotic — what looks to be the Last Word from Destiny.
Black Armory comes with the Annual Pass for $34.99. Joker’s Wild and Penumbra — the two mini-expansions set to release in March and June, respectively — are also included in the Annual Pass. Activision will not sell the add-ons piecemeal.
4. Gambit is getting a bit more fair
Since the mode released with Forsaken, players have found all kinds of ways to manipulate and bamboozle Gambit bosses. Summoning the Primeval — the boss at the end of each match — first hasn’t always been the best move, for example. The Season 5 patch aims to change that by reducing the catch-up mechanic for teams that fall behind.
In Season 5, players on the losing team will only receive a maximum of one Primeval Slayer buff before summoning the boss for themselves, down from three. This may not sound like a lot, but the buff is a pretty significant damage increase. Summoning the Primeval first still won’t mean surefire victory, but it should at least help your lead rather than hurt it.
5. No more five-minute Tower loads
Look, this certainly isn’t the sexiest change in Destiny 2 Season 5, but it’s the one you’ll hopefully notice the most. If you play on console, you’ve been likely felt the sting of a multi-minute load into the Tower before.
Thankfully, you’ll now be able to load in far faster than before. It won’t be instantaneous, but you should certainly be spending more of your Destiny time taking down Fallen and less of it making a sandwich while your Eververse ship from three seasons ago flies through space.