In the universe of Destiny 2 (and its predecessor, Destiny), exotic-level items are the best gear you can get. These coveted weapons, pieces of armor and more don’t just serve as your most powerful tools in the fight against the forces of the Darkness — they often bear unique properties that complement and enhance your Guardian’s abilities.
And they look awesome, to boot.
Destiny 2 has only been out for a few days, so we haven’t had the chance to personally unlock or use many of the game’s exotic items. But we’ve put together a list of everything we know of — so far, anyway. Of course, that includes the three exotic weapons that were available in the Destiny 2 beta: the solar hand cannon Sunshot, the auto rifle Sweet Business and the arc submachine gun Riskrunner.
It’s true that the Cabal attack that kicks off Destiny 2 results in the destruction of the Tower — which also serves as a convenient narrative explanation for why all the gear players acquired in Destiny is now gone. But if you’re a Destiny veteran, you may be interested to hear that at least two exotic weapons from the original Destiny are returning in its sequel: the auto rifle Hard Light and the scout rifle MIDA Multi-Tool.
As for exotic armor, you first encounter it in a story mission on Titan — you get to choose from three different pieces as a reward. There are more than a few pieces of exotic armor returning from Destiny in the sequel.
Curiously, unlike legendary (purple) gear, exotics in Destiny 2 do not appear to require Guardians to have reached the level cap of 20 — or at least, exotic armor doesn’t. We were able to don the exotic armor in question once we had hit level 4, and each piece bore a defense value of 105. That’s far below the legendary items in the Destiny 2 beta, which were at 200 attack (for weapons) and 200 defense (armor) and required level 20.
There are also plenty of other exotics in Destiny 2. We saw three exotic Sparrows, each rated with 160 speed, which was the cap in the original game. There are at least six exotic jumpships, which are still merely cosmetic items. And Bungie has introduced exotic emotes in Destiny 2. They don’t just consist of a fun animation for your Guardian — each one comes with neon holographic effects. For instance, a Guardian doing the Salty emote will sprinkle white salt onto the floor. (Yeah, it’s pretty great.)
Another neat thing about exotic gear — as well as all weapons and armor pieces from Trials of the Nine (née Trials of Osiris) and the raid — is that you can get some backstory about them, and yes, you can do it directly in the game. When you’re examining one of these unique items, holding the left trigger will bring up a lore tab. These pages are full of the same kind of detail that was relegated to Destiny’s Grimoire cards, which don’t exist in the sequel.
How to get exotics
With all this exotic gear in Destiny 2, it makes sense that there’s a variety of ways to obtain it. The most basic way is the aforementioned mission reward, or specific exotic quests (like the infamous Thorn quest in the original Destiny).
When you decrypt an exotic engram, it’ll turn into an exotic item of some kind. Bright engrams, which only Tess Everis can decrypt, may contain cosmetic exotic items like Sparrows and emotes. Certain special vendors, like Xur, will sell exotics. If an exotic was a pre-order bonus, like the trace rifle Coldheart, it’ll be available at the Gunsmith once you hit level 20. And finally, there’s always the chance that you’ll get exotic gear as a random drop from loot chests, Public Events, Crucible matches and other activities.
Without further ado, here are all the exotic items we’ve seen so far in Destiny 2.
Let’s get this out of the way: No, Gjallarhorn is not in Destiny 2. Sorry.
Everyone is guaranteed to get at least one exotic weapon during the campaign. You can choose between three of them — Graviton Lance, Riskrunner and Sunshot — as a reward for completing the first mission on Io, “Sacrilege.” Note that it’s possible to unlock all three just by playing the game.
- MIDA Multi-Tool*, scout rifle
- Rat King, hand cannon
- Sturm, sidearm
- Sweet Business, auto rifle
- Vigilance Wing, pulse rifle
- Coldheart**, arc trace rifle
- Fighting Lion, void grenade launcher
- Graviton Lance, void pulse rifle
- Hard Light*, arc/solar/void auto rifle
- Riskrunner, arc submachine gun
- Skyburner’s Oath, solar scout rifle
- Sunshot, solar hand cannon
- Borealis***, arc/solar/void sniper rifle
- D.A.R.C.I., arc sniper rifle
- Legend of Acrius, arc shotgun
- Merciless, solar fusion rifle
- The Prospector, arc grenade launcher
- Tractor Cannon, void shotgun
- The Wardcliff Coil, arc rocket launcher
*This weapon is returning from the original Destiny.
**Coldheart is exclusive to Destiny 2 pre-order customers. It will be available for everyone else to earn through gameplay starting Dec. 5, 2017.
***Borealis is exclusive to the PlayStation 4 version of Destiny 2 until at least fall 2018.
Everyone is guaranteed to get at least one exotic armor piece during the campaign. You can choose between three of them — obviously, the specific pieces depend on your class — as a reward for completing the second mission on Titan, “Riptide.” Note that it’s possible to unlock all three just by playing the game.
- Celestial Nighthawk, helmet
- Foetracer, helmet
- Knucklehead Radar, helmet
- Mechaneer’s Tricksleeves, gauntlets
- Young Ahamkara’s Spine, gauntlets
- The Dragon’s Shadow, chest piece
- Lucky Raspberry, chest piece
- Raiden Flux, chest piece
- Lucky Pants, leg armor
- Orpheus Rig, leg armor
- ST0MP-EE5, leg armor
- An Insurmountable Skullfort, helmet
- Mask of the Quiet One, helmet
- ACD/0 Feedback Fence, gauntlets
- Doom Fang Pauldron, gauntlets
- Synthocepts, gauntlets
- Actium War Rig, chest piece
- Crest of Alpha Lupi, chest piece
- Hallowfire Heart, chest piece
- Dunemarchers, leg armor
- Lion Rampant, leg armor
- Peacekeepers, leg armor
- Crown of Tempests, helmet
- Eye of Another World, helmet
- Nezarec’s Sin, helmet
- Skull of Dire Ahamkara, helmet
- Karnstein Armlets, gauntlets
- Sunbracers, gauntlets
- Winter’s Guile, gauntlets
- Starfire Protocol, chest piece
- Wings of Sacred Dawn, chest piece
- Lunafaction Boots, leg armor
- Transversive Steps, leg armor
- Dinas Emrys
- Vanishing Point
- Flip Out
- Six Shooter
- Spicy Ramen
- The Bandwagon
- Ego and Squid
- Eriana’s Vengeance
- Rose and Bone
- Symmetry Flight
- Takanome Wings