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Destiny 2 guide: Resources

Tokens, more tokens and some datalettuce

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Every planet, moon and centaur you visit in Destiny 2 has multiple things to collect. While the resource management is not nearly as intimidating as the first game, there’s still a lot going on. Most of it is pretty easy to keep track of, but there’s still plenty to get confused about.

Our Destiny 2 resources guide talks about what all of the various consumable resources are (spoiler: they’re currency), where to find them and who to give them to.

The Basics

The reason to collect any of the resources in Destiny 2 is to give them to someone else — an NPC that will usually give you an Engram in return. That’s it really.

Planetary resources and Faction Tokens

Tokens are the most obvious resource you’ll encounter. They’re planet-specific (easily identified by the name) and you’ll get them for pretty much everything you do on a planet from Public Events to finding chests to doing Patrols, Adventures and Quests. If you’re not paying attention, and we speak from experience here, you’ll end up with dozens and dozens of them.


You’ll trade the various resources you pick up like Dusklight and Datalettuce Datalattice to the local Faction Leader — at a worse exchange rate. You’ll just have to collect more of it to equal one Token. You’ll also find Rare versions of these resources that are worth more, but still not quite as much as a Token.

  • The gentleman sniper/silver fox Devrim Kay accepts Dusklight Shards and EDZ Tokens on Earth (in the EDZ).
  • All business (and a little boring, frankly) Sloane accepts Alkane Dust and Arcology Tokens on Titan.
  • The other fan-favorite Failsafe accepts Microphasic Datalattice and Nessus Tokens on Nessus.
  • The ever-crotchety Asher Mir accepts Phaseglass Needle and Io Tokens on Io.

Non-planetary resources

There are other resources you’ll encounter as well. These aren’t planet-specific and you’re in charge (in a way) of when and where you collect them.

  • Gunsmith Materials. When you dismantle a Rare (blue) or better piece of gear, you’ll get a few Gunsmith Materials in return. You can trade these in to a Gunsmith — either Arcite 99-40 at the Farm or, later, Banshee-44 at the Tower — in exchange for a Legendary Engram just like the Tokens above.
  • Gunsmith Telemetry Data. If you have the right Ghost Shell equipped, you’ll be generating Gunsmith Telemetry Data with certain kills. This data acts like another currency for increasing your Reputation with the Gunsmith(s).
  • Legendary Shards. When you dismantle a Legendary (purple) or better piece of gear, you’ll get some Legendary Shards. You can’t trade these for Engrams, though. You need them when you Infuse gear or as currency when Xur’s around.
  • Mod Components. When you dismantle (noticing a theme?) a Legendary (purple) mod, you’ll get a Mod Component. Two of these and a thousand Glimmer will get you a random Legendary armor or weapon mod from Banshee-44.
  • Bright Dust. When you dismantle (told you) anything you got from a Bright Engram, you’ll get Bright Dust. This is a currency you can use with Tess Everis to purchase things from the Eververse.

Other Tokens

Once you complete the campaign, you’ll be able to meet (and do things for) the members of the Vanguard, Zavala, Ikora and Cayde-6. Lord Shaxx shows up as well. They all have tasks for you to complete, but only Zavala and Shaxx will give you Tokens for completing their missions. Just like the Faction Tokens above, you can turn them in for Engrams.

  • Vanguard Tactician Tokens. Completing Strikes will earn you Vanguard Tactician Tokens that you can give to Commander Zavala.
  • Vanguard Research Tokens. When you complete Meditations for Ikora Rey, you’ll earn Vanguard Research Tokens.
  • Crucible Tokens. Competing in the Crucible will earn you, unsurprisingly, Crucible Tokens. These go to Lord Shaxx.
  • Emporer Calus Tokens. You’ll earn these tokens by participating in Destiny 2’s first Raid, Leviathan. Once you successfully complete the raid (and only once you complete it successfully), you can use them with the surprise vendor in the tunnels beneath the Tower.

So … why?

Occasionally, collecting Planetary Resources will be a daily Challenge on a planet. You’ll have to run around and find 10 of whatever is on that planet to complete one of the tasks. But for the most part, you’ll be using them to increase your Reputation.

Every time you fill your Reputation bar with one of these NPCs, you’ll get a Legendary (purple) Engram in return. Since these Engrams’ Power level generate based on your Power, they’re a great way to get good gear.

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