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Destiny 2 guide: 5 quick beginner’s tips

A primer focused on speed and efficiency for newcomers

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

After a few hours of story missions, events and side activities, you can reach level 10 in Destiny 2. We learned a lot on our way to level 10, so here are some quick tips geared toward newcomers to ensure that you get through Destiny 2 in a speedy, efficient fashion.

Equip better gear as you get it

In Destiny 2, enemies will drop copious amounts of loot. You will also get new items from chests, missions and other activities. New items bring new power, and while that new hand cannon may not be your favorite, equipping it will up your Power level, which will in turn increase all of your damage as well as your survivability. You replace pieces so quickly that dealing with a lackluster gun here and there is worth it for the power you gain. When you get something new, equip it.

If you don’t like your gear, buy new pieces

Each of Destiny 2’s vendors will offer you level-appropriate loot whenever you speak to them. You can buy these items with the game’s currency, Glimmer. You gain Glimmer whenever you defeat enemies or dismantle lower-level gear. You will have more cash than you know what to do with only a few levels in, and though you may be getting gear all the time, that doesn’t mean you’ll like what you get. While we don’t want to spend all our Glimmer on our way to 20, grabbing some similarly powerful weapons from the store to replace a gun you don’t like is certainly worth the price.

Unlock new subclasses early

Destiny 2 - Lost Sector graffiti instead Trostland church
The telltale marking of a nearby Lost Sector.

While we won’t spoil how and why, you will only have access to one subclass in the beginning of Destiny 2: Sentinel for Titans, Arcstrider for Hunters and Dawnblade for Warlocks. To get your second subclass, you need to loot a specific item from chests around the world. One of the easiest ways to do this is by completing Lost Sectors early in the game.

Once you are on patrol, you will find markings throughout the world. (Devrim Kay will point one out to you during the introduction to the EDZ, or European Dead Zone). If you follow the nearby path, you will find yourself in a den of enemies. Kill their pack leader and claim the chest at the end.

This seems like a fairly reliable way to get these new subclass items, which are random drops. Once you have the item, you need to kill enemies and participate in Public Events, so the earlier you get them, the sooner you can reclaim your Striker, Gunslinger or Voidwalker subclass.

Complete Public Events to level up fast

While playing through the story campaign is required if you want to have access to late game activities, the story missions will not necessarily take you to 20. Some missions are locked behind higher levels, so you will have to level up somewhere else. Doing activities like the aforementioned Lost Sectors, will grant you enough experience to ensure that you can keep rolling through the story. But if you hit a roadblock and need some quick XP, Public Events are a great way to boost you.

Destiny 2 - Public Event map on Titan Bungie/Activision

Look at your map to find Public Events. Go to them and face off against whatever challenge is thrown at you. Not only will you get experience for killing the enemies at the event, but you will get a big chunk of XP when it ends. If you are ready to move on and see the dreaded “must be level X to do this mission,” don’t panic; just roll around the Patrols and help other Guardians defend the planet.

Be careful what you dismantle

During Destiny 2’s campaign, you will get your hands on some pretty fancy weapons and armor. However, these items are gifted to you at a power level that is appropriate for a sub-20 Guardian, meaning that you will quickly outgrow them. Instead of just scrapping your old gear, hold onto it.

Returning from Destiny is the infusion system, where you essentially feed an item that you don’t want to an item that you do want. This will boost the latter item to the power level of the item that you fed to it. While this costs a few Legendary Shards, it’s a lot easier and cheaper than getting back an item that you once loved after it has been destroyed. Hold onto your cool stuff, and help it catch up to you after hitting max level.