Cloudstrike is a new Exotic sniper rifle in Destiny 2: Beyond Light. It can deal some serious area and boss damage, as well as clear an entire team of Crucible players in a single shot.
But you don’t get Cloudstrike via an Exotic quest like The Lament Exotic sword. Instead, you need to unlock Elective Difficulty Empire Hunts and grind for Cloudstrike.
Here’s everything you need to do to get this powerful new sniper rifle.
Step 1. Unlock Empire Hunts and complete Variks’ Sabotage missions
Before you can properly start farming for Cloudstrike, you need to complete Variks’ post-campaign bevy of quests. Once you’ve unlocked the starting Sabotage quests and unlocked the ability to purchase Empire Hunts, you should be good to proceed.
Note: If you reach Step 4. and don’t have access to the proper Sabotage quests, you may need to complete more of the early Sabotage ones first.
Step 2. Complete Old Secrets, New Challenges
After players completed the Deep Stone Crypt raid for the first time, Variks got a new quest: Old Secrets, New Challenges. Pick up this quest and go to the location on the map. This will launch you into an Exo Challenge. Follow the objective until you complete it.
You don’t have to have played or beaten the Deep Stone Crypt raid to unlock this.
Step 3. Complete A Hard Rain Falls
When Old Secrets, New Challenges came online, so did the A Hard Rain Falls mission from the Exo Stranger. Pick up the quest from her and prepare to do some work in the Eclipsed Zone on Europa. You can tell which of the zones is the weekly Eclipsed zones by looking to the right of the map, where it will say “Eclipsed Zone” and then one of the three zones under it.
To complete this quest, you just need to kill enemies or do activities in the currently Eclipsed Zone. Our best advice here is to do a Heroic Public Event and a few Patrols in the Eclipsed Zone. Once you’re done, go talk to the Exo Stranger again.
This unlocks Variks’ final set of Sabotage missions.
Step 4. Complete Variks’ Sabotage: Europan Explorer 1 and Europan Explorer 2
Once you’ve finished all the busy work above, you should be able to purchase two new Sabotage quests from Variks: Europan Explorer 1 and 2. You’ll need to complete them in their designated order, so you can’t hold them at the same time. Once you clear both, you can start farming for Cloudstrike.
Europan Explorer 1
This Sabotage is very easy. You just need to kill enemies with Kinetic, Energy, and Heavy weapons on Europa. Go get that done and come back to Variks.
Europan Explorer 2
This Sabotage is a little tricky, but we have a very quick method. You need to kill 30 powerful enemies across various Empire Hunts. You have two options here. You could just run Empire Hunts like normal, or you could use our method.
For our method, pick up the Dark Priestess Empire Hunt from Variks. Complete the attunement steps until you see the flag on your map to start the mission. Start it up.
When you first land, go forward and kill the orange-bar enemies that exit the Fallen Skiff. Then kill the yellow-bar Captain near the elevator. Ride the elevator up and kill the five orange-bar Vandals waiting for you. Abandon the activity. When you load back on Europa you’ll have eight powerful enemy kills and be standing right next to the flag. Load it up and do it three more times.
Go back to Variks once you’re done.
Step 5. Farm Elective Difficulty Empire Hunts
With Europan Explorer 2 out of the way, you now have access to Elective Difficulty Empire Hunts. This is where you can actually farm for Cloudstrike, but know going in that it’s a huge pain in the ass.
Find a Fireteam of three (you can do this solo, but it’s much slower) and commit everyone to running the Hunt until you all get Cloudstrike. Select the weekly Empire Hunt node on the map and select the Adept difficulty — Cloudstrike is a rare drop on all difficulties, so the easier the better. Run the Empire Hunt until it drops for every member in your party. It drops on the mission complete screen, not the boss.
This took around two hours for our group of three, taking between eight and 15 runs for all our party members to get it. We actually recommend knocking this out during a single day rather than spreading it out. Since the Empire Hunt is weekly, we started clearing runs in about five minutes, making the process much smoother.
The Cloudstrike Exotic sniper rifle
The Cloudstrike sniper rifle is very good at something most sniper rifles are very bad at: crowd control.
Its Exotic perk is Mortal Polarity, which causes lighting to strike an enemy corpse if you kill it with a headshot. This deals massive damage to nearby enemies, and one-shots enemy Guardians in PvP.
Its secondary perk is Stormbringer, which spawns a lightning storm if you can hit multiple precision shots. This is good for increased boss damage.