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Five things to know about Destiny 2’s July update

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Patch 1.2.3 brings some long-awaited features

Destiny 2’s final patch before Forsaken arrives is finally here. Patch 1.2.3 brings updates to exotic armor, strikes and Crucible. It also (finally) adds bounties and prestige-difficulty raid lairs into Destiny 2, giving longtime players new activities to tackle.

All of this comes just two weeks ahead of the Solstice of Heroes event, which will begin on July 31 and will give players a chance to earn new cosmetics and 400-power armor before Forsaken launches.

But until then, players have plenty to do within patch 1.2.3. Here are five things you need to know before logging into Destiny 2.

1. Bounties are back

Bounties, the daily activities from Destiny, have finally been implemented in the sequel. Starting now and evolving in Forsaken, bounties will be rotated every day and cost a bit of glimmer to pick up. They’ll also expire if not completed in time. For now, the only vendors offering bounties are Lord Shaxx and Commander Zavala.

Destiny 2 - Commander Zavala and Ikora Rey give each other a look in a cutscene Bungie/Activision

2. Even more catalysts have arrived

With the introduction of the prestige raid lairs, new exotic catalysts have been added to the game. By completing the prestige versions of Leviathan, Eater of Worlds and Spire of Stars, players will be able to earn the catalysts for the Legend of Acrius, Telesto and Sleeper Simulant, respectively.

In other catalyst news, heroic strikes will award their catalysts more frequently than before. Skyburner’s Oath will also drop from Leviathan on a more regular basis. Finally, the Sturm catalyst is now available, and can be found by killing enemies on the planet Nessus.

3. The second exotic armor pass updates nine pieces

With this sandbox update comes another exotic armor pass, buffing nine total pieces of gear.

Hunters are receiving buffs for Lucky Raspberry — causing the Arcbolt recharge to be far more frequent and reliable — as well as St0mp-EE5s and Young Ahamkara’s Spine.

Titans will see ACD/0 Feedback Fence and Dunemarchers be more useful, while Doom Fang Pauldrons may actually bring the Sentinel subclass into viability.

Warlocks will see a buff to Starfire Protocol and Crown of Tempests. Karnstein Armlets will also now continuously heal the user after a melee kill.

For more specific details on these changes, check out Bungie’s patch notes.

Destiny 2 - four Guardians mug for the camera before a Crucible match Image: Bungie via Polygon

4. Crucible is getting a bit more hectic

The Crucible is getting some much-needed love in this update. Valor will now be earned in Iron Banner, Competitive and Crucible Labs. Supremacy has also been removed from quickplay, and quickplay will now also offer 6v6 matches instead of 4v4. Players who are grinding for Redrix’s Claymore will also be happy to hear that matchmaking will now be based off Glory numbers, not matchmaking rating (MMR).

Iron Banner will see some really interesting new changes once the limited-time mode comes back around. From a visual perspective, the control points will now be Iron Temple fire pits instead of flags. But there is also a new Iron Banner specific rule when it comes to Power Plays. When one team captures all three points, the fire pits will lock, giving players a chance to clean up for 20 seconds. Once the Power Play is over, all capture points will become neutral again.

5. Prestige raid lairs are finally here

After months of waiting, players will finally be able to experience the prestige difficulties in the Eater of Worlds and Spire of Stars raid lairs. As mentioned above, these raids are the only way to get two of the new exotic catalysts in Destiny 2. However, they’re also the only way to get 400-power weapons before Forsaken releases.

This new prestige mode will focus specifically on unique weapon loadouts, asking players to switch things up each time they go into a raid.