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Destiny 2 guide: How to unlock the Forerunner Catalyst

Rank up Xur’s Strange Favor in Dares of Eternity

Destiny 2’s Forerunner Catalyst Image: Bungie via Polygon

Destiny 2’s Forerunner Exotic sidearm and its Catalyst, added with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack, brings the classic Halo Magnum to Bungie’s newer franchise. This sidearm, unlike all other sidearms in the game (as of Season of the Lost), uses special ammo, which allows it to dish out massive damage both in PvE and PvP. When paired with its Catalyst, it not only dishes out that massive damage, but it also allows you to channel your inner Master Chief and throw a Halo: Combat Evolved frag grenade.

In this Destiny 2 guide, we’ll explain how to get the Forerunner Catalyst and give you some tips for ranking up with Xur.

Finding the Forerunner Catalyst

To start the small quest of unlocking the Forerunner Catalyst, you must collect the Anomalous Access Card, which you can find in Xur’s reward track at rank 16. Just make sure you’re visiting Xur in his treasure room in Eternity and not where he happens to show up on the weekends.

After you pick up the access card, Xur will give you the Destiny 2 “Magnum Opus II” quest. The first step of this quest is to complete a Dares of Eternity run while collecting at least 225,000 points. This is easy to do on the Legend difficulty, so grab some friends and jump on in. If you don’t have a group, this is doable on normal, but you just might need a lightning round, which is a random bonus encounter occasionally tacked onto the end of Dares of Eternity, to get enough points.

After you get the points, you’ll get a Quest item called an Anomalous Weapon Part. Visit Banshee in the Tower, show him the weapon part, and he’ll give you the Forerunner Exotic Catalyst.

Getting to Rank 16 with Xur

Getting to rank 16 with Xur’s Strange Favor reputation is easily the most time-consuming part of obtaining the Forerunner Catalyst. This requires you to run Dares of Eternity 70-90 times. Luckily, you do get a streak bonus for running them without playing another activity, so completing runs back-to-back is the quickest way to rank up (and a way to lower the total Dares you need to complete).

The hotfix applied on 1/11/22 made it so that Legend Dares grant more points than normal difficulty runs. Normal runs give 60 points with zero streak, up to 125 points on a max streak. Legend runs give 60 points with zero streak, up to 165 points on a max streak. You also can gain 20 extra experience on Legend difficulty by defeating all of the champions and earning a Platinum score.

If you’re unfamiliar with Destiny 2’s streak bonus system, here’s how it works: You’ll get bonus points (up to 125 on normal, up to 165 on Legend, and if you get a Platinum score on Legend you can get an additional 20 reputation for a total of 185) if you play Dares of Eternity back-to-back without launching any other activities in between. You can go back to the Tower, and you can log out and log back in. But the system is a little unreliable — it might reset on a new day, it might not.

Unlocking the Forerunner Catalyst

You need to get around 700 kills with Forerunner to unlock the Catalyst. You can get these kills in any activity, so go run around the system shooting enemies with Forerunner. If you’re in a rush to unlock the catalyst, you can always run the Shuro Chi checkpoint in the Last Wish raid for some fast and easy kills. Check out our Wishing Wall guide if you need help getting there.

What does the Forerunner Catalyst do?

The Forerunner Catalyst adds a new perk to the weapon called “The Rock.” After getting a final blow with the weapon, you can hold the reload button to transform your next thrown grenade into a fragmentation grenade. This costs six ammo. It’ll pull from reserves when available, but it will instead pull from the magazine if your reserves are empty. This action will also reload the gun, provided there is enough ammo. The given grenade does not impact your normal one, so if your ability is fully charged, you can throw both back-to-back. As shown in the trailer, you can use it to grenade jump, though you don’t get too much height and take quite a bit of damage from the explosion, so do it at your own risk.

Destiny 2 FORERUNNER CATALYST Upgrades this weapon to a Masterwork. It will generate Orbs after rapidly defeating targets and gain a tracker that displays the number of targets defeated with it. The Masterworked weapon will also receive additional capabilities. Defeat targets using this weapon to unlock this upgrade. For several seconds after a final blow, I Long Press to consume part of your ammo reserves, converting your next thrown grenade into a fragmentation grenade Image: Bungie via Polygon

The grenade is certainly powerful. It’s good for clearing big groups of enemies because of its high damage, large blast radius, and knock-back effect. This shines in low to mid-tier PvE where ammo is abundant and it is easy to activate the perk. Where ammo can be more limited, like high-end PvE and PvP, it will typically not be worth it because the gun itself can often do more damage with the 6 ammo than the grenade. While it is very fun to use, it is not a must-have catalyst in Destiny 2.