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Destiny 2 guide: Guardian Games 2021

How to compete for your class in the 2021 Guardian Games

Destiny 2’s Guardian Games are back for 2021, and they’ve changed quite a bit. “Bounty Simulator 2020,” as fans called the event last year, is no more. Instead, you can buy specialty quests to earn medals and help declare your favorite class the winner of Guardian Games 2021, which runs from April 20-May 10.

In this Destiny 2 Guardian Games 2021 guide, we’ll teach you how the event works and all the various rewards you can get from it.

How Guardian Games 2021 works

Destiny 2 Guardian Games 2021 podium
The different point totals for Guardian Games 2021
Image: Bungie via Polygon

Guardian Games 2021 is a simple holiday event, but it has a long enough loop that you’ll stay busy if you really want to put in the work for your team.

The idea is that you want to earn medals — Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — and turn them into your class’ podium in the middle of the Tower. The team with the most medal points by the end of the day, week, and the event itself wins. If you want your favorite class to win, you’ll be playing a lot of Destiny over the next few weeks.

There are two ways to earn medals. The first is Triumphs. There are several Guardian Games triumphs in Destiny 2 now, and you can access them by going to Triumphs > Season of the Chosen > Events > Guardian Games. Guardian Games is the only event this season, so the Triumphs are easy to find. Depending on the difficulty of the Triumph, you can pick up Bronze, Silver, Gold, or even Platinum medals by completing various Triumphs. Consider clicking on a triumph you’re working toward to mark it so it’s easier to keep track.

While Triumphs are a good way to get medals, you’ll eventually run out. The best way to get medals is to complete Contender Cards, a new kind of quest for Guardian Games 2021. To complete Contender Cards, you’ll need Laurels.

Laurels drop in Strikes, Gambit, and Crucible — although your character will need to manually pick them up in Strikes. You’ll generate these Laurels by getting ability kills or defeating tougher enemies. You can only pick up your class’ Laurels, so Titans can only pick up Titan laurels, Warlocks can only pick up Warlock Laurels, etc.

Running activities with members of your same class will net you more Laurels, which you’ll use as currency in the Guardian Games. Bungie added a new Guardian Games Strike playlist in the tower that specifically matches you with other members of your class. You must wear your Guardian Games 2021 class item if you want to pick up Laurels. You’ll also get bonus Laurels for competing in the Daily Focus playlist, which you can check via the Milestone menu on the Director.

Once you’ve collected 100 or more Laurels, return to Eva Levante in the Tower. You can trade Eva 100 Laurels for a Contender Card, angled toward Strikes, Gambit, or Crucible. You can also give her 200 Laurels for a Platinum Card, angled toward Nightfalls and Trials of Osiris.

These cards give you a random objective for the activity you selected. A Strike Contender Card may ask you to defeat enemies in Strikes with Solar or Stasis damage, for example. When you complete your card, you’ll automatically get a medal deposited into your medal case. Contender Cards give Gold medals while Platinum Cards give Platinum medals. It’s worth noting that you’ll get a Bronze medal each time you complete a Strike.

Once you have your medals, return to the podium in the Tower and deposit your medals at your class’ designated section — Titans are red, Warlocks are yellow, and Hunters are blue. You’ll earn points for your team depending on the type of medal you turn in:

  • Bronze: 1 point
  • Silver: 2 points
  • Gold: 5 points
  • Platinum: 15 points

You’ll get a few random items each time you turn in a medal.

The winning team

At the end of each day, one class will win Guardian Games. The third place class will get a multiplier added to their progress, helping them catch up for the rest of the event. Each week, one class will win again based on how many overall wins they had. And finally, one class will become the definitive Guardian Games 2021 winner based on their total wins throughout the event. You’ll get a small reward at the end of each week based on how you contributed to your team’s success.

Whatever team wins the overall event will get a golden statue next to Commander Zavala for the next year.

The rewards

Eva Levante’s Guardian Games offering in Destiny 2
In addition to these cosmetic rewards, you can also get the Heir Apparent and Heir Apparent Catalyst
Image: Bungie via Polygon

We can all agree that glory is nice, but what about tangible rewards? Guardian Games has plenty of those too.

The biggest thing Guardian Games has to offer is the Heir Apparent Exotic machine gun. Bungie added this Exotic during the first Guardian Games, but it was tough to get. Check out our guide for the new Heir Apparent quest.

Once you have the Heir Apparent, you can also unlock the Heir Apparent Catalyst. This Catalyst is new to the 2021 Guardian Games. Check out our guide for the Heir Apparent Catalyst.

The three class-specific Exotic shells are also back after last year. But this time you can just buy them from Eva. Each shell costs 350 Laurels.

You can also buy the Color of Speed Sparrow from Eva. But you’ll need to complete the Guardian Games World-Class Point Scorer Triumph first. That’s a three-pronged Triumph for turning in medals and earning points. You’ll need to earn 50 points for the first iteration. The next two steps will likely also require 50 points, leading to 150 points total.

Those are all the Guardian Game specific rewards for this year’s event. You’ll need to claim all of these rewards before May 11.