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Destiny 2 guide: Exotic catalysts (update)

How to get them and where to farm them

Bungie/Activision

Destiny 2: Warmind brought with it an interesting new way to customize your exotics — called catalysts. These exotic catalysts are often hard to find and even harder to farm. Thankfully, there are a few ways to make the process easier. We can’t help your random drops, but we can help you make the most of your time.

This guide will let you know where to look for each catalyst, the requirements for completion, and the easiest way to farm for kills.

Note that you do not need to have the item in your inventory or equipped to earn the catalyst. However, you cannot earn a catalyst for an exotic you’ve never earned before.

This guide was updated alongside Destiny 2 patch 1.2.3.

Where to get catalysts and what they do

Catalysts from PvE kills

These catalysts are easy for most players to get and will eventually come to you in time. You can get them all from killing any enemy. There are two exceptions to this rule: Worldline Zero, where you need to kill enemies with swords to get the catalyst to drop, and Sturm, which only drops on Nessus.

Borealis - PS4 exclusive sniper

This sniper is currently PS4 exclusive.

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 150 Void kills, 150 Solar kills, and 150 Arc kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 reload speed.

Crimson

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 300 precision kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 range.

DARCI

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 300 precision kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 stability.

Sturm

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills with both Sturm and Drang in PvE. Note that both guns must be equipped for all 1,000 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 range and +40 handling.

Tractor Cannon

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 300 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you increased ammo in the magazine and reserves.

Wordline Zero

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to hit every Escalation Protocol boss at least once with the Worldline Zero. They must be un-shielded for this to count.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Another Dimension perk, which reduces the time it takes to activate Worldline Zero’s signature perk.

Catalysts from completing a strike

These catalysts come from completing heroic strikes or defeating Nightfall bosses. They have an extremely low drop rate.

Coldheart

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 300 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 stability and +20 reload speed.

Merciless

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +40 range and +40 stability.

Prometheus Lens

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 300 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 stability and +20 handling.

Riskrunner

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 300 kills and 300 lightning chain kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +30 range.

Wardcliff Coil

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Pinpoint Guidance Module perk, which tightens the rocket spread.

Catalysts from Crucible matches

Crucible catalysts are dropped into your inventory after you complete a Crucible match.

The Colony

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +10 magazine, increased ammo reserves.

Jade Rabbit

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 250 Crucible kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +30 stability.

MIDA Multi-Tool

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 250 precision kills in the Crucible.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Outlaw perk, which causes you to reload faster after a precision kill.

Vigilance Wing

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 250 Crucible kills and five avenge a teammate medals.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Full Auto Trigger System perk, which turns the weapon full auto by holding down the trigger.

Catalysts from Faction Rally

You can get Faction Rally catalysts by signing up with a specific faction and reaching level 50 with them over the course of a season. In season three, Graviton Lance comes from Dead Orbit, Sunshot comes from Future War Cult, and Sweet Business comes from New Monarchy.

Graviton Lance

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills and 1,000 kills with the Cosmology perk.

Completing the catalyst will net you +20 range, +15 aim assist, and better target acquisition.

Sunshot

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills and 1,000 kills with the Sun Blast Perk.

Completing the catalyst will net you +30 range and +20 stability.

Sweet Business

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 250 multi-kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Serious Business perk, which decreases damage flinch when Sweet Business is firing at full speed.

Catalysts from Heroic Adventures

You get Heroic Adventure catalysts after completing a Heroic Adventure on Mars or Mercury. The drop rate is hit or miss, taking some players many runs and others just a single completion. Keep coming back every day and retrying. These Adventures are difficult and far easier to complete in a Fireteam.

The Huckleberry

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Ambitious Assassin perk, which overflows the magazine based on kills.

Catalysts from quests

The Polaris Lance and Whisper of the Worm catalysts are the only quest reward catalysts right now. You get Polaris Lance from completing the fifth step of the Nascent Dawn quest from Ana Bray. Whisper of the Worm’s catalyst comes from completing the Heroic version of The Whisper quest.

Polaris Lance

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills and 50 kills with the Perfect Fifth.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Dragonfly perk, which causes headshot kills with the gun to explode.

Whisper of the Worm

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 50 Blighted Essence from chests in the Heroic version of The Whisper. Note that this will take three weeks worth of Blighted Essence chest runs and the final completion of Heroic The Whisper, which will likely need to be two, separate runs.

Completing the catalyst will net you the Box Breathing, which causes Whisper of the Worm to gain even more damage after looking down sights for a short period of time. Whisper of the Worm’s reload speed is also increased.

Catalysts from the raid

There are four catalysts that are raid-related. Skyburner’s Oath can be found in the normal Leviathan, while Legend of Acrius can be found in the Prestige Leviathan. The Telesto can be found in the Prestige version of Eater of Worlds. Sleeper Simulant’s catalyst can be found in the Spire of Stars Prestige raid. Each catalyst can drop from any end-of-encounter chest in their respective activities.

Legend of Acrius

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 500 kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +40 reload speed and six shells in each magazine.

Skyburner’s Oath

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get 1,000 Cabal kills.

Completing the catalyst will net you +30 range.

Sleeper Simulant

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get kills with each Escalation Protocol weapon (1,000 sniper kills, 1,000 shotgun kills, 2,000 submachine gun kills). Note that, at the time of this writing, these weapons only need to be equipped for the kills to count. Next, you’ll need to unlock the Oracle chest in the Heroic Whisper mission. To finish the catalyst, you’ll need to earn 500 kills with the Sleeper Simulant.

Completing the catalyst will net you +75 charge time and +2 ammo in reserves.

Telesto

To complete the catalyst once it drops, you’ll need to get earn all Verses from Brother Vance. Once all verses have been earned, return to him and purchase the exotic item from it. Take it to the forge to complete your catalyst.

Completing the catalyst will net you +60 magazine.

Where to farm Catalyst kills

Most Catalysts have some kind of unique kill requirement that ask you to use a gun’s unique properties to destroy enemies. While some catalysts may have very specific requirements — like hitting Escalation Protocol bosses or getting kills in the Crucible — most catalysts just ask you to kill in a specific way or get a certain number of kills.

The easiest way to farm these catalyst kills is actually in the Leviathan Raid. If you load onto the Leviathan and make your way up into the Castellum encounter, you can activate the fight without ever intending to finish it. Simply walk over to the active symbol plate for the week and step into the light. Endless waves of Cabal will start moving toward you, letting you farm them until you quit or finish the encounter.

Using this method, you can get any number of catalysts done very quickly — ammo is plentiful, and you never have to wait for respawns. This includes precision kills for something like DARCI or Crimson, as well as Polaris Lance perk-based kills.

Heavy strategy

If you’re looking to collect heavy weapon kills, you’ll need access to more power ammo. The easiest way to do this is to find your way to the Engine room or any of the Watcher rooms in the Leviathan’s underbelly.

When you land on the Leviathan, go under the platform you start on and into the room with all the levers. From left to right, enter the code: 1, 5, 3, 2, 4, 6. (You’ll need to really book it to each of the levers if you want to open it on your own.) Once the way is open, go up the ramp and into the underbelly. Follow any bath until you come across Watchers.

The Watchers drop heavy ammo each time, and getting spotted by them will spawn a group of enemies. When all the enemies and all the Watchers are dead, leave the room, let the door close, and pull the lever to reset. Repeat until your catalyst is complete.