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Destiny 2 Iron Banner guide: weapons, armor and more

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Make Lord Saladin proud

Bungie/Activision

Destiny 2 players are getting their first taste of the Iron Banner this week.

A semi-regular Crucible player-versus-player event in the original Destiny, the Iron Banner offered exclusive wolf-themed armor and weapons for skilled players who were willing to put in the time. But things have changed in the sequel, and not just because the Crucible is a four-on-four affair this time around. Here’s what you need to know.

When is the Iron Banner active?

Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event goes live at the weekly reset this week — 2 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 10 — and will run for exactly seven days, ending at the same time on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

How do Iron Banner matches work in Destiny 2?

Let’s take a step back and explain the Iron Banner in the original Destiny. Level advantages were enabled, which meant that your gear mattered — if you were at a Light level of 220, you would do more damage to (and take less damage from) a Guardian who was at, say, 180 Light. Of course, the game’s matchmaking system would try to pit you against players who were at a similar level. But this setup still restricted your loadout options: Would you risk switching to a preferred weapon even if it dropped your Light significantly? (In the standard Crucible, you can use whatever gear you want, because level advantages are disabled.)

Bungie is keeping level advantages disabled across all Crucible modes in Destiny 2, including Trials of the Nine and Iron Banner. So whether you’re at a power level of 200 or 305, you’ll be on the same footing as your opponents — life and death will come down to skill. That’s all well and good, but it does take away the defining facet of competition in the Iron Banner.

Control is the gametype for Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event, but don’t get used to it — it’s usually a different one each time.

How do Iron Banner rewards work in Destiny 2?

The Iron Banner always offers gear that can only be earned by playing Iron Banner matches. You’ll unlock those items in much the same way as you get gear from other activities in Destiny 2: Completing matches gives you Iron Banner tokens — you get five if you win, two if you lose — and you turn in those tokens to Lord Saladin, the event’s vendor. When you give him 20 of them, he’ll reward you with an Iron Banner engram that can contain Iron Banner-themed armor and weapons. (You can get additional tokens by completing daily Iron Banner challenges.)

This setup is way more simple than the reward structure for Destiny’s Iron Banner, where access to gear was gated by the amount of time you put in. To be able to unlock the best items, you had to play enough to level up through five ranks of Iron Banner reputation. That required a significant time commitment, especially within the one week that the event was active. Bungie has also done away with Iron Banner bounties; in fact, there are no bounties in Destiny 2 at all.

What kinds of Iron Banner loot can I get?

Iron Banner engrams are guaranteed to contain one piece of Iron Banner gear — a weapon, armor piece or class item — as well as Iron Banner shaders and one non-Iron Banner reward. Each of the eight Iron Banner weapons is named for one of the Iron Lords or Iron Wolves: Weyloran, Skorri, Radegast, Perun, Efrideet, Nirwen, Silimar and Saladin. You can watch us go through all the possible loot for Hunters in the video below, or read the lists.

Iron Banner armor, Hunter

  • Iron Truage Casque, helmet
  • Iron Truage Grips, gauntlets
  • Iron Truage Vest, chest piece
  • Iron Truage Boots, leg armor
  • Mantle of Efrideet, cloak
The potential rewards from Iron Banner engrams, including armor for Hunters.

Iron Banner armor, Titan

  • Iron Truage Casque, helmet
  • Iron Truage Grips, gauntlets
  • Iron Truage Vest, chest piece
  • Iron Truage Boots, leg armor
  • Radegast’s Iron Sash, mark

Iron Banner armor, Warlock

  • Iron Truage Hood, helmet
  • Iron Truage Gloves, gauntlets
  • Iron Truage Vestments, chest piece
  • Iron Truage Legs, leg armor
  • Timur’s Iron Bond, bond

Iron Banner items

  • Felwinter Frost, emblem
  • Shades of Radegast, emblem
  • Iron Wolf, shader
  • Iron Battalion, shader
Destiny 2 - Iron Banner pulse rifle, The Time-Worn Spire
The Time-Worn Spire, the Iron Banner pulse rifle.
Bungie/Activision

Iron Banner weapons

  • The Forward Path, kinetic auto rifle
  • The Wizened Rebuke, arc fusion rifle
  • The Time-Worn Spire, kinetic pulse rifle
  • The Day’s Fury, solar grenade launcher
  • The Steady Hand, kinetic hand cannon
  • The Guiding Sight, kinetic scout rifle
  • The Fool’s Remedy, solar sidearm
  • The Hero’s Burden, void submachine gun

Non-Iron Banner rewards

  • Legendary Shards
  • Errant Knight 1.0: Hunter helmet, chest piece, leg armor
  • Icarus Drifter Vest: Hunter chest piece
  • Uriel’s Gift, arc auto rifle
  • Valakadyn, solar auto rifle
  • Berenger’s Memory, void grenade launcher
  • Lincoln Green, kinetic pulse rifle
  • Baligant, void shotgun
Destiny 2 - three Guardians on Distant Shore map
Distant Shore, the new Crucible map that’s debuting in Destiny 2 alongside the game’s first Iron Banner event.
Bungie/Activision

Is anything else coming with the Iron Banner?

Indeed there is! Bungie announced this afternoon that it will add a new Crucible map to Destiny 2 along with the Iron Banner event. The map, Distant Shore, is set on Nessus; it’s actually a reskin of one of the original Destiny maps, the Venus-based Shores of Time. Once the Iron Banner event ends, Distant Shore will enter the rotation for all Crucible gametypes.

Update (Oct. 10): Updated with details on Iron Banner loot and more.